By Cisco Cheng  |  Posted 2006-05-18 Print this article Print

The MacBook Pro 17-inch, the second Apple branded notebook to receive Intels powerful Dual Core architecture, offers virtually everything a user needs. It shares many of the same pleasing features found in the smaller MacBook Pro 15-inch model, including Front Row, the MagSafe adapter, the iSight camera, and the iLife 06 suite. And best of all, despite this MacBooks larger 17-inch screen, its not too difficult to tote.

The MacBook Pro 17-inch keeps its weight down to an astounding 6.8 pounds—truly impressive for a desktop replacement—and sports an attractive, thin, 1-inch frame. The wide screen allows you to view several photos at the same time or edit video content with several windows open. At 1,680-by-1,050, the resolution is pretty good, but Im sure many video-editing enthusiasts would love to have an option for a 1,920-by-1,200 display.

Theres more surface area on the MacBook 17-inch to dissipate heat, so it doesnt get as hot as the 15-inch model. Nonetheless, the base below the keyboard is still too hot by my standards. In fact, Apple recommends—and I quote—"Do not leave the bottom of your MacBook Pro in contact with your lap or any surface of your body for extended periods." The palm rests felt relatively cool to me compared with the systems base.

Typing on the MacBook is comfortable; it has the same responsive touchpad as the Apple PowerBook 17-inch, You can scroll up, down, left, and right by applying two fingers to the touchpad. As with the MacBook Pro 15-inch, the system comes with the handy MagSafe power adapter, which releases itself from the unit when you give it a gentle tug. The adapter is magnetized, so I wouldnt recommend placing your credit card, iPod, or any electronic device near the adapter—be careful when you throw everything in your bag for travel.

At the top of the screen, youll find the iSight camera—ideal for webcasting, video chatting, or taking silly pictures of yourself. The Front Row interface and the Apple Remote are also included, giving you a slick solution for navigating multimedia files. Still missing, on this and all Apple systems, is TV-recording capability.

As with all the Intel Macs, Apple bundles this one with its powerful iLife 06 software suite. iLife includes iPhoto, a very good photo editor; iMovie HD for video editing; GarageBand to take care of audio editing; and iWeb for simple web publishing.

Read the full story on PCMag.com: Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch

Cisco Cheng is PC MagazineÔÇÖs lead analyst for laptops and tablet PCs. He is responsible for benchmarking, reviewing, and evaluating all laptops and tablet PCs. Cisco started with PC Magazine in 1999 as a support technician, testing printers, PC components, networking equipment, and software. He became the lead analyst for the laptop team in 2003 and since has written numerous reviews, buyer guides, and feature stories for both PCMag.com and the print magazine.

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