mbp17

Many of us were deeply disappointed when Apple discontinued the MacBook Pro 17. While the Retina MacBook Pro 15 introduced at the same time offered higher resolution, sometimes there’s just no substitute for physical screen size. Photographers and videographers in particular loved the combination of the sheer size and the option of a matte screen.

I loved mine enough to immediately sell the three-year-old one I owned at the time in order to replace it with the last model made, to maximize its useful life. I still love it enough that I’ve just laid out a thousand bucks on a 2.5-year-old machine to fit 2TB of SSDs, giving it the best of both worlds: lightning-fast performance combined with huge storage that allows me to have all my files with me when I travel.

There may not be too many others who’ll follow my admittedly extravagant example, but I do think it’s time for Apple to revisit its decision and bring back the mobile professional’s workhorse … 

I should say that I fully understand why Apple chose to discontinue the machine at the time. It had just introduced the shiny new Retina MacBook Pro machines in 13- and 15-inch sizes, and the cost of a 17-inch Retina screen would, at that time, have been prohibitive.

Retaining the non-Retina model would have been messy – where in the line-up do you position a machine which offers the largest screen size but not the highest resolution? Apple has always liked simple line-ups, not the mass of scarcely-distinguishable models put out by many PC manufacturers, so it took the easy way out and dropped the machine.

1315

The argument many made at the time was that it was in any case a niche product, with some even suggesting that the MBP accounted for just one percent of MacBook sales. Given Apple’s famed secrecy when it comes to sales breakdowns, I strongly suspect that figure was made-up, but it’s undeniable that it was a product bought by a small minority of Apple’s customers.

Some went further and suggested that with Apple now a mass-market consumer company, the business market was less important to the company, and the subset of audio-visual professionals who made up most of the 17-inch machine’s user base was now effectively irrelevant.

That might have been a supportable argument at the time, but no longer. Defense exhibit A: the Mac Pro.

mp

The Mac Pro is even more of a niche market than the MBP 17. The percentage of Apple’s customer base even interested in the machine, let alone prepared to lay out between $3,000 and $10,000 on one, is miniscule.

Yet Apple not only launched a new Mac Pro, but did so with a great deal of fanfare. It put a huge amount of R&D into a revolutionary new desktop PC design. It made a machine unlike any other.

Even today, almost a year after it was first announced, Apple still makes a huge fuss about it. Just visit apple.com and click on any of the other Macs there: Air, Pro, iMac, Mini, it doesn’t matter. You get Apple’s standard white background site.

white

Now click on the Mac Pro. Apple has sufficient pride in this special machine that it created a whole new site design for it.

pro
Apple launched a new Mac Pro not because the market for the machine was a large one, but because it was an important one. The earliest and most loyal customer base for Macs comprised creative professionals. Graphic designers, photographers, videographers, musicians, writers. These were the people who acted as Apple’s unpaid evangelists in the very early days. It wouldn’t be too great an exaggeration to say that these people helped build the company into what it is today.

In creating the new Mac Pro, Apple demonstrated that its commitment to this market remains alive and well.

Which is precisely the argument for launching a new MacBook Pro 17 today. The machine appeals to a very similar (and in many cases overlapping) market: creative professionals who want a high-end machine with decent screen size when mobile.

While yield rates on a 17-inch Retina screen would have been impractically low in 2012, that’s no longer the case today. The niche demand is there. Apple’s demonstrated commitment to supporting a core niche market is there. The manufacturing practicality is there. It’s time.

And my machine demonstrates just how great it could be. With a 2.4GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and dual SSDs, the machine absolutely flies.

Upgrading the RAM was obviously trivial on the non-Retina machines, and something I did as soon as I bought it. I initially replaced the 750GB hard drive with two 1TB ones (one in the optical media bay with an OWC Data Doubler adapter), and have now replaced both chunks of spinning metal with shiny new Samsung EVO 840 SSDs.

2tb

2TB allows me to have all my files with me all the time no matter where I am in the world.

But that’s two-year-old technology. The SSDs, for example, are fast:

 

speed

Coming from hard drives, I couldn’t be happier. But stick the latest quad-core i7 CPU in there and make the SSDs PCIe ones, and my machine would look like it was having trouble waking up in the morning.

And imagine the battery-life it would have with a Haswell processor and that massive battery! A MBP 17 with genuine all-day battery-life would be phenomenal.

So, please, Apple: let’s have an all-new MacBook Pro 17. I’d even forgive you announcing it a few days after I’ve laid out a grand on SSDs for mine …

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145 Responses to “Opinion: It’s time to bring back the mobile professional’s workhorse, the MacBook Pro 17”

  1. Zac says:

    I agree! Bring back the 17″ MacBook Pros :)

    Like

  2. Good god yes – while I have my 13″ Retina as a travel/meeting buddy, I love doing proper work on the go on my late 2011 17″. It’s a stunning machine to work on for long periods.

    Like

  3. Strongly agree!!!! We need the 17″back.

    Like

  4. I’m in the same boat Ben. Still hanging on to this 2009 MBP 17″ – 8GB of memory, 300GB SSD and 750GB HDD (removed the optical drive long ago).

    The other glaring omission in Apple’s lineup are new stand-alone displays. I’m using a 27″ model (prior to Thunderbolt) at the desktop with the MBP, but I’d love to upgrade to a higher resolution at the same size along with an updated Retina-class MBP.

    Like

  5. Couldn’t agree more. The only issue is the duffle bag you would have to have to carry it around in.

    Like

  6. I agree with you 100%.The MacBook Pro 17 was the workhorse for many mobile professionals myself included.
    MacBook Pro 17 = must have
    MacPro = nice to have

    Like

  7. zoidbert says:

    AMEN TO THAT. Agreed. I like my 15″ MBP(r) just fine but for on the go work, 15″ doesn’t cut it for page layout work.

    Like

  8. I would gladly trade in my 15″ retina MacBook Pro for a 17″ in a heartbeat.

    Like

  9. I have the latest 17″ Macbook Pro ever produced and I don’t know what I’ll do when the time comes for it to be changed. Apple, please bring back the 17″ MBP!!!

    Like

  10. Angola Image Bank Blog says:

    Totally agree! Thumbs up! A new MBP 17″, please, Apple! Thanks

    Like

  11. I cannot agree more. I work with photographs and I travel a lot. My office is in the field and even when I’m in the office, it’s not a permanent place. Só I need a big screen + big performance + big portability. I even considered travelling with the Mac Pro in the backpack stuck among the lenses, but it’s not that portable…and…I need a screen. Impossible. So, Apple, please…give us back the portable workhorse, MBP 17″ with all the new hardware thats in the current/next line of MBP 15″ and, why not, 32GB of RAM ;)

    Like

  12. Amen. I love my 17″ MacBook Pro just as much as I love my 15″ MacBook Pro Retina. Time to bring it back!

    Like

  13. vkd108 says:

    Om to that. But I was just wondering, Ben, how, when your profile states that, “Ben Lovejoy is a British technology journalist”, how you, “laid out a thousand bucks”? If you have not emigrated, then the British Pound would be your currency, and that has never been referred to a a “buck”.

    Like

  14. maxleopold says:

    Oh yes,

    I care for my 2007 Model dearly and transplant every 2 years a new larger SSD into it.

    If Apple does care (!) and they do a 17″ MBP with Retina Display –
    please do NOT forget the Kensington Lock Hole OR provide a neat Alternative.

    Retina MBPs are expensive
    I want to be able to protect them,
    while being on a FairTrade Show Floor / Conference Center / Coffee Shop

    &

    the Matte Screen Options is certainly a must have –
    sure, the latest Generation of Retina Glass Screens does mirror less
    than the first Version, which still had a gap in-between Display & Frontglass,

    but the Matte Screen is still my Favorite!

    Like

  15. Here, Here! My first Mac was a 2006 17″ MBP. I’ve owned two others since. Last year I caved and bought the 15″ Retina MBP, but couldn’t bring myself to sell my last (2011) 17″. Like you, I’ve upgraded it to SSD and I still use the machine regularly. I love how thin and light my new 15″ is, but I really do miss the screen size of the 17. If Apple were to announce a new 17″ Retina model at WWDC, my 15″ would be listed on eBay the same day!

    Like

  16. Hell yeah!
    Those Haswell on a 17” MBP w/Matte Screen Option and 32/64Gb Ram Option…
    … oh my…

    Like

  17. I have the latest 17″ and i absolutely love it. I use it for video editing and photography. I need sometimes take it with me on the road and the size of the screen is perfect use. I plugged in SSD and 16GB RAM and kept the DVD-drive for convenience. I agree that Apple should launch an 17″ Retina.

    Like

  18. I’m still on my early ’11 2.2 i7 MBP 17 and I would probably order a new 17″ one as soon as it’s available, fingers crossed, sort of. Can’t really imagine downgrading to 15″, don’t even know what am I going to do if they won’t bring 17″ back in a year or so.

    Like

  19. Apple’s first line up of mbp was 15 and 17. To me when they introduced the 13″ they were going to phase out the 17″ because the new 15 became the old 17. Where before the 15 was good but 17 had all the latest tech/specs. Likewise now 13 is good but the 15 has all the specs/tech. The 17 would be too large to carry around – and if your not carrying it around much and your a photographer/video editor ask your self why would you using a 17″ display when you could hook up the new 15″ powerhorse to 32″ 4k screen? And is really the 15″ not that big when you do make a quick travel plan to the coffee shop for the afternoon or a relatives for the weekend? Oh wait you can hook it up to a TV too while your visiting and show your mother-in-law your latest photos! The 17″ is not dead but alive in the new 15″.

    Like

  20. I still use my 2009 17″ Macbook Pro and don´t know what to do if it breaks down one day. But, do not only count the creative professionals opting for the 17″ Macbook Pro. Developers like myself do not need the GPU perfomance of a Mac Pro, but a large screen mobile workstation is very important and a 15″ Retina is simply not good enough for at least a good chunk of Mac developers.

    Like

  21. That is why I’m currently using a PC (Dell Laptop 17″)

    As you can see I totally agree with your demand, so customer have a choice that match better their needs.

    I understand the concept the reducing and simplifying product lines but sometimes Apple goes too far with it. Same thing can be said of iPhones which are lagging behind in screen size (not all customers are teens with 20/20 vision).

    Like

  22. Mike DeRosa says:

    17in retina with touch screen plz. A bunch of windows ultrabooks are really putting the current macbooks to shame (at least in terms of hardware). I’ll be hanging on to my 2009 17in MBP until there’s a serious macbook refresh. After upgrading the RAM and putting in an SSD, the machine still holds it’s own for pretty much every task.

    Like

  23. fredhstein says:

    Outlier here. A 17″ MBP would be lovely. Examine the use case. Many professionals work at home, at an office, and on the go. How much of time are you on-the-go and need the bigger retina screen? So the use case is for a sub-set of the time of a sub-set of a relatively small segment of the MBP market.

    The Mac Pro, though, was essential. It filled a need. A 17″ MBP is a “want”.

    Like

    • Did you made a poll?
      What numbers is your opinion based on?
      Not very scientific but it seems that the overwhelming majority in this post seems to favor a 17″ MBP
      I am a graphic professional on the go and need the big screen to show and discuss my work with clients. For me, a 17″ screen is a must.

      Like

      • fredhstein says:

        Good point. I did not do any survey. Surely Apple looks at the numbers and thinks about the value of the creative people, like yourself, who have contributed so much to the Apple ecosystem. They also have sharp pencils when it comes to portfolio and logistics. We’ll see.

        Like

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      It’s not just the ‘on the move’ time, though. As Toro says, it’s at client premises. It’s also for use locally while travelling, when my office is a hotel room.

      Like

  24. I bought one as soon as I found out they discontinued it. I wish Apple would at least allow those who want the 17″ to special order one. One thing to keep in mind is, eyesight changes as we age and smaller screens just don’t cut it. Everybody that uses a Mac isn’t 20 with perfect vision. Just my 2 cents

    Like

  25. Definitely, a lot of users want a new 17″ MacBook Pro.
    I’m still using my 2007 MacBook Pro, waiting for a new one to upgrade.
    I have considered the other models, but some are not portable enough for my needs and the rest are no powerful enough, starting with the crappy Intel Graphics; I want a real GPU like AMD or nVidia!

    If it wasn’t for the fact that my MBP can’t be upgraded past 4GB RAM, I wouldn’t have a need to replace it.

    Like

    • leehord says:

      If you have the mid-2007 MBP model A1229, it can support up to 6GB of RAM.

      Like

    • nadavp3 says:

      FYI Intel’s HD5200 (avilable in the high-end MBPr 15″) is just 15% shy of matching GeForce 750M in most benchmarks (see notebookcheck.net for raw numbers).

      But yeah, Geforce 880M blows both of this options out of the water.

      Like

  26. pazzavlad says:

    Thanks, good things

    Like

  27. myke2241 says:

    i refuse to upgrade (downgrade screen size). earlier this i did the OWC data doubler and added a SSD as my main drive. The increase in performance was great! i now see this machine lasting a couple more years if needed. If there is no 17″ or better option from apple ill move to a mobile PC work station. i think that is kind of a sad thing to say but as a pro i feel i have as a customer have been forgotten or pushed to the side. i really hope that changes and the 17″ MBP is brought back!

    Like

    • nadavp3 says:

      This is kind of how I ended up with an 17.3″ MSI laptop :(
      p.s.
      What do you think of dell’s 18″ laptop?

      Like

      • myke2241 says:

        i haven’t started looking at PC yet. i am hoping i don’t have to! I do have dual dell 29″ displays which i really do like for editing.

        Like

  28. I personally would never want own such a large Macbook. I spent lots of money the other way (loading down the specs of a 13″ Retina Display to make it as awesome as possible) to avoid carrying a large machine with me. That being said, I am a web developer and spend 99% of my time in text editors writing code. So my opinion would be part of the minority. I don’t think most people would opt for the 17″ Macbook Pro, but the writer of this article makes a good point about the Mac Pro. I think there are more 17″ Macbook Pro’s floating around than Mac Pro’s.

    Like

  29. I’m in. Great post.

    Like

  30. 17″ MacBook Pro…not going to happen. Its all about the numbers. The 17″ sales figures were declining and not has happen to change that. Get over it.

    Like

  31. GilsonSoares says:

    I agree! Bring back the 17″ MacBook Pros

    Like

  32. applecino says:

    They should bring it back!

    I currently use a 17inch early 2011 Macbook Pro with 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. It outerforms my 2013 Retina Macbook Pro I use at work.

    I would pay 3500€ for a Retina Macbook Pro 17inch.

    Like

  33. nadavp3 says:

    Stuff I would love to see from Apple:

    Bigger Screens (19″ laptop/32″ iMac anyone?)
    4K resolution
    OLED
    240hz (refresh rate)
    G-Sync
    Geforce Titan Black (or 880M for mobile, would love an MX buffed version)
    SLI of the above
    Bigger than 1TB internal SSD storage (/w Raid options)
    axing usage of aluminium for cooling heatsinks and heatpipes in favor of copper
    Wireless charging (phones/tablets/laptops)
    Phones/Tablets without ports (thanks to the above + BT4/AC WiFi)
    Competitive audiophile grade headsets\ear plugs (consider Beyerdynamics DT880 as a sort of a baseline)

    Like

  34. applecino says:

    People would still buy the 17inch model.

    Like

  35. Ben, I agree 100%. Let’s have it Apple.

    Like

  36. Ryan Coleman says:

    I purchased, on eBay, a mid-2010 17″ to replace my mid-2010 15″ that finally died (the second of that model I’ve purchased – I love that series). It’s taken some getting used to, having an SD slot was more important than I thought and definitely more important than a third USB port.

    If they bring it back I hope it’s with four features: Built in FW800 (two ports/controllers?), Thunderbolt, SD card AND ExpressCard. I don’t need (or want) USB3, but I want some expansion. Most manufacturers put too many dedicated expansion items in systems, I’ll be happy with a generic expansion option.

    Like

    • nadavp3 says:

      Wouldn’t thunderbolt be able to carry anything you would otherwise use ExpressCard for? also, what ExpressCard supports OS X ? (or did you plan to bootcamp Windows for that?)

      Like

      • Ryan Coleman says:

        Potentially, yes, however I cannot carry a thunderbolt Cinema Display with me in the field under most scenarios, and wireless at schools is a fraction of hardwire speeds. Most universities offer 2Mbit service over wifi, but 100Mbit+ over hardwire. When you have 60-90GB in photos to upload from an event ethernet is a requirement, and thunderbolt devices are simply TOO expensive for my budget.

        Like

  37. applecino says:

    I wonder when Apple are going to introduce Macbooks that support 32GB of RAM.
    I currently use an early 2011 17inch Macbook Pro with 16GB of ram; 2.3GHz quad-core i7 and a 512GB SSD. While I’m still very satisfied with the performance of the machine, I realize 16GB of RAM kinda gets crampy for me. Believe it or not, there are times I’m left with less than 1GB of free ram. That’s because I use programs such as Photoshop CC, Archicad, Sketchup, Skype Safari, Spotify, AutoCad, Vectorworks all at the same time. Photoshop alone already needs 8GB for it to work fluently enough (my Photoshop files can be larger than 500MB).

    My next Macbook Pro will one that supports 32GB RAM. I just hope Apple won’t wait until 2020 before they introduce those.

    Like

  38. peterlobl says:

    yes i need 17″+ – this would make me leave pc totally behindd

    Like

  39. Len Williams says:

    Thanks for this article Ben! It’s so nice to see so much support in the many comments. I’m one of those people with a MacBook Pro 17″ (2010 model) and I can’t imagine being without it. Mine is an i7 with 8MB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. The 17″ allows me to take my entire office with me when I travel. It’s a workhorse while still being light enough to carry, and even fits easily on an airline fold-out tray. I have no idea why naysayers think it’s too heavy or too big. These people have probably never owned and used the beautiful 17″ and experienced its awesomeness. Years ago I had 2 different 15″ models, and they were great, but I always envied the 17″ version. The MacBook Airs and the 15″ MacBook Pros are just too small for me to work on as a graphic designer and photographer. Smaller pixels aren’t the answer, unless magnifying glasses are also included with each laptop. As I’ve grown older I need glasses to work at my computer. My 17″ MBP is perfect for my needs, and I hope that Apple will continue to manufacture the 17″. Heck, I’d even welcome a 19″ MBP, which would be only a tiny bit larger in physical dimensions, but it could have a HUGE battery for doing real work all day (my work day usually lasts about 14-16 hours). I hope the execs at Apple read this article and the huge amount of support for the 17″.

    Like

  40. Kevin Traas says:

    Yes please! I love my MBP17, and I’ve dumped 16GB RAM and 2x750GB SSD into it, too. Not ready to upgrade yet, but… I’m just not sure what I’m going to do when the time comes….

    Like

  41. avieshek says:

    Can’t these be on top of the website. I feel like there shl’d be a start of a movement :D

    Like

  42. avieshek says:

    How to edit comment here by the way

    Like

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      Annoyingly, WordPress comments don’t offer an edit facility – we have asked them to do so.

      Like

      • nadavp3 says:

        You could always try contact other high profile WP websites and then reach out to WP as a united group.

        Or just switch out.

        Like

      • Ben Lovejoy says:

        We have tried others in the past, but edit facility aside, the WP one works well. I know other sites have made the same suggestion, so hopefully it’s on someone’s To Do list.

        Like

      • avieshek says:

        Accha.. That’s the thing. I thought the problem was with mobile version or India servers. ‘Disqus’ is quite common for this platform for commenting.

        Like

      • avieshek says:

        Can’t this site ‘ve an arrangement like Macrumors. ‘M quite regular there.
        There ‘ve been a no. Of times I wanted to comment on 9to5mac for topic like this and specially to u’r posts, feels like a friendly man. However, the present was my ignorance. And today ‘m already thinking of deleting this app.. Quite annoying.

        Like

  43. Same here. When they announced the end of the 17″, I went to the refurb store and bought the latest and fastest, maxed it out with RAM and an SSD. I don’t know how my aging eyes are going to deal with my location photography work when this machine is no longer cutting it. Maybe I’ll have to go back to what I did in the old days when Powerbook screens weren’t good enough, carry an external monitor in a Pelican case (does anybody remember a black plastic machine named Pismo?).
    I vote for a new 17″ model. It would be the perfect companion to the Mac Pro on that black section of the Apple site.
    On a side note Ben.. I was told that the optical bay may not play nicely with an SSD. I moved my hard drive there and put the SSD in the hard drive bay as recommended. Do you have any issues with the SSD in the optical drive’s old location?

    Like

  44. rafterman11 says:

    They’ll never do it. Apple is all about smaller, thinner, sleeker and a 17 inch Macbook is going in the wrong direction for them. The only exception is the 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhones (allegedly) coming, but they are probably only doing that because of the Samsung threat from their Galaxy and Note phones.

    Like

  45. avieshek says:

    Any news by which year Mac will come with DDR4 RAM and the possibility of Quantum-Dots-Display screen as once Apple said they were interested in Quantum-Dots when their Retina iPad-Mini was criticized. Certainly gives me hope.
    Pls, if u ever come up again with a post for 17″ MacBook Pro, add a polling section as it really garners thousands of votes. *My personal Request*

    Like

    • nadavp3 says:

      Looking back on DDR generations (from the very first all the way to the third) they always followed this “evolution” steps for some reason:
      first gen of new DDR series, just as fast as high end last gen memory but costs more.
      Awhile after (six months+) actually faster, still expensive
      even later on – finally priced the same, higher capacity, and actually is faster.

      While Apple wouldn’t stay behind when everyone will finally upgrade to DDR4, I wouldn’t recommend jumping on it before the 2nd generation of Intel’s CPU that will actually support this.

      That is just my personal opinion but if Broadwell was to come out by the end of this year and feature DDR4 support, unless if your computer dies, I would wait for Skylake to come out.

      No don’t get me wrong, there is always something new that is about to come out in 6-12 months, and if you always wait for it.. you will never buy anything (by definition of “always wait for it”) but if history thought me anything about RAM… is that first iteration is not all that great.

      As far as QLED goes, yes, that would definitely be a welcome addition, OLED could be good option too, but I would imagine that they would start small and then scale (as in, first you will see either of this options in mobile, than at laptops and lastly on the imac\tbd).

      As far as pull goes, I kind of suspect that Apple’s market research wouldn’t particularity care for anything in the lower six digit range, and frankly, on this website I cant see a situation where a pull will be reaching even that, not to offend our lovely 9to5mac but… yeah, wont really happen here.

      Like

      • avieshek says:

        ‘Skylake’ for 2015 and ‘Cannonlake’ for 2016. You sure don’t want to wait for 2016?

        Like

      • avieshek says:

        Currently ‘ve the latest 13″ non-Retina MBP as my first Mac. But ‘m so impressed by it, and sales service even being the region is India, ‘m really into going totally for a full spec, top-configuration MacBook Pro and of course the big-sized one. And if 17″ makes the comeback, it’s music to my ears. So, probably I wouldn’t mind waiting ‘coz after such an investment the only thing I’ll do with it is software updates ( it’s free now, yeah! ) and run it for years and years and years..

        Like

  46. I agree. My MacBook Pro 17-inch, mid 2010 still works great but I would love to upgrade. 

    Like

  47. 17″ Perfect for apps developer like me, but I’m still stuck at 13″ and planning for 15″ rMBP (2.3ghz i7/16GB RAM) which cost a lot here in India (~$3,330). I doubt if 17″ will be affordable, if released again.

    Like

  48. Typing this on my Mid-2009 17-inch MBP. I dropped an SSD into it a while back and it runs great. Hoping for a return of the 17-inch, but for now I’m set.

    Like

  49. Those Samsung EVO drives lack power loss protection. You may regret not spending a little bit more for a more professional drive with PL protection, like Crucial’s m550 (3 year warranty) or Intel’s 730 or S3500 (5 year warranty). The Samsung SSDs are also fast because they’re new. Look around and you’ll see they have some of the worst long-term performance and erratic response times. Furthermore, they use Samsung’s cheap TLC memory that has worse longevity than the MLC found in most competing SSDs.

    Like

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      They have excellent reviews. All SSDs have a limited life, and the EVO 840 anticipated life is three years – I’m sure there will be newer tech I’ll want by then.

      Like

      • Indeed the EVO 840 has received many excellent reviews, but nearly all reviews involve short-term benchmarking and do not examine response times in detail. All SSDs slow down over time and the EVO 840 is among the worst of its age. The EVO 840 is not a “pro” drive and is an outdated design. The state of the art today is to provide power-loss protection. (You may well learn the value of PLP when you’re left up a creek after a reboot or forced shutdown.)

        Check out the endurance tests being conducted by Tech Report

        http://techreport.com/review/26058/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-data-retention-after-600tb

        btw: the Intel 730 is a newer model with PLP but the max. capacity available is only 480GB.

        Like

      • Ben Lovejoy says:

        Indeed, but the take-outs from that are “That’s not to say that the 840 Series flunked this class; 300TB is well beyond what the average consumer is likely to write to any SSD during its lifetime” and “By far the most telling takeaway thus far is the fact that all the drives have endured 600TB of writes without dying. That’s an awful lot of data—well over 300GB per day for five years—and far more than typical PC users are ever likely to write to their drives.”

        Like

  50. I’m a professional photographer and videographer, but I have no use for a laptop that big. A laptop should be portable, not the size of a desktop IMO. I can see my work just fine on a 13″ or 15″ screen, and those machines actually fit in a standard bag.

    Like

  51. I’m still using a 2010 17″. It rides to/from work each day in a backpack and I carry it around the office to meetings. I’ve also done a few off-site client meetings. Sure it’s a bit heavy, but I really appreciate that big screen.

    In the move to retina displays Apple trimmed 20% from the 15″ and has now achieved a 23% reduction in mass for the 13″ model. If a similar approach was taken to the 17″ form factor it would lose at least 600g and the be noticeably lighter than the old 15″ MBP. For me it would be the ultimate portable computer.

    Like

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      I’ve always liked the ability to upgrade the ‘classic’ MBP models, but I have to admit a slimmed-down rMBP 17 would look quite stunning – so much capability in such a sleek object. I would, though, want serious SSD capacity in a non-upgradeable machine.

      Like

  52. Agree massivly, i live on my 17″ MBP and would be lost with out it!

    Like

  53. Why not just plug a 15″ MBP into a large external display?

    Like

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      Tricky to carry a large external display in your carry-on baggage (I have travelled carry-on-only since I was 19).

      Like

    • Kevin Traas says:

      Eye-yi-yi. Spoken like a true Apple salesman.

      While at work, I already have my 17MBP plugged into 2 WQHD displays. (I used to have 3 – until 10.9.x broke the ability to have more than one DisplayLInk USB monitor attached. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…. Hey Apple! We’re still waiting for that fix!!!!)

      But, it’s a bit awkward lugging an external display around with you, dropping it onto a table in Starbucks, convincing the airline passenger beside you to allow it on their tray-table, etc, etc. ;-)

      While at work (and home), I plug in as many monitors as Apple will allow me to use. While on the road, I don’t want anything less than my 17″ display.

      Like

  54. I completely agree – I still have an early 2011 17″ MBP with the data-doubler with SSDs in each bay, and while I’ve been tempted by the new Retina MBPs, I do a lot of CAD work so having the additional screen real estate is key. If they made it thinner and lighter, I would pick up a new one in a heartbeat.

    Like

  55. Yoel Sandel says:

    we must have a bigger (17-18) Retina macbook, LETS MAKE A PETITION NOW

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  56. drtyrell969 says:

    Killing the 17″ model should have resulted in someone getting sacked.

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  57. I’m glad someone finally wrote an article about this. I have the latest model 17″ MBP from 2011. A few days ago, I replaced the hard drive with a 1TB Crucial M550. MUCH improved. However, I only made this kind of investment in this older machine because I’m willing to wait it out another two years if necessary for Apple to return to the 17″ model. Perhaps one of the main reasons I read macrumors and 9-5mac is to see if there is any news on the 17″ coming back. If Tim Cook prides himself in being a good new leader for Apple … they will realize that the 17″ is less about “high sales” and more about rewarding the most die-hard apple fan base … because we are the ones who generate the enthusiasm for other products like the iPhone.

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  58. I could not agree more with this post. As some loyal customer to MBP 17″, I was deeply disappointed back then when it was announced to be discontinued, and bought the latest MBP17 exactly as what the author did in this post. After three years now, I would undoubtedly be one of the first buyers for the new 17″ model if there’s ever going to be an another one.

    Like

  59. I agree; size does matter.

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  60. Jordan Digby says:

    Amen! Software development needs big screen real estate. A 17″ is essential. Bring it back!!

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  61. jorge1170x says:

    I personally will never get the concept of sitting around on a blog “wishing” that “someday” ONE company will produce product “X” with feature “Y”. It seems to me that almost every feature that people are asking for already exists in the PC world. And sure, that old “it’s the quality” argument used to be true, but c’mon that’s getting real stale in 2014. Windows 8.1 is a pretty sweet and powerful OS nowadays, especially when you “get” what it’s trying to do and the build quality on the higher-end PC’s has improved to the point where all this hand-wringing and longing for “only” the Apple version (a version which doesn’t even exist half the time, mind you) just seems so obsessive and overly closed-minded. I mean, you’re unhappy, but you don’t leave. Don’t suffer guys, just explore other options, you might be surprised how good the competition has gotten in the last few years.

    Like

  62. Ben Lovejoy says:

    Great to see all the supportive comments here. We’re a small minority, but we’re certainly an enthusiastic one. Rather like Mac Pro owners, Mr Cook …

    Like

  63. Dan McCarthy says:

    I think you might be underestimating the impact on battery life of a retina 17″ panel and the GPU required to drive it. Not to mention heat.

    Like

  64. b9bot says:

    It was a poor seller and most people thought it was to big and to heavy. Didn’t fit on airline trays so it wasn’t a great travel companion. Apple stopped selling it because of all of these issues I believe.

    Like

  65. I work with Mathematica on my MacBook Pro 17, and I, too, am aprhensive about replacement it when the time arrives. I would purchase a new 17″ today if it had a GPU that supported OpenCL. Compared to the newer generation MacBook Pros my 17″ is a little too heavy, but that is not a deal-breaker. The current screen resolution and battery life are adequate for my needs, but more is always better. I like the mag-lock connector to the power supply, but it needs more development work to prevent physical failure resulting from (careless) twist-and-pull disconnection. Nick

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  66. seanpaune says:

    TESTIFY! The 17-inch MBP needs to return. Not sure how much longer my 2011 will last. Every time it so much as hiccups I start crying… okay, maybe not “cry,” but you get the idea.

    Like

  67. Yes, please!

    I own a, MATE SCREEN, early 2009, 17”, MBP with maxed out RAM (8GB) and a Crucial M4 SSD (256GB) and it’s the greatest piece of engineering I have worked with (minus the weight, also it’s been months since I used the superdrive).

    Screen size convenience has nothing to do pixel density. So a retina screen wouldn’t be bad, but it’s not an issue at the distance a laptop screen stands.

    So, Tim, please give us a superlight 17” MBP with standard dual graphic chip, no dvd drive, optional mate screen, retina or not (I would prefer battery life, though) and specially NO HDMI (in Steve’s honor and our own sanity). One shouldn’t expect less from the crazy ones.

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  68. I know my reasoning my be very different from many of you, but I have the 15 MBPr now, and whilst i require the machine for work I use most of it’s recources in bootcamp for games. And whilst my work doesn’t require more than what I have, my games could use a little more. I have been thinking for a while about building a new pc, instead of upgrading my laptop when the refresh comes out.. but if the 17″ came back with dual GTX cards, I would sell everything i own for one.

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  69. windlasher says:

    I bought a 15″ Mac book pro after owning 2 17″ MBP. I was disappointed to no ends not to have the option but if they do bring it back I will be trading up ASAP.

    Like

  70. The MacBook Pro 17 is an amazing machine. I still prefer it over all my other devices, but, it is starting to show its age. I know it was a small percentage of Apple’s sales but I am guessing a high percentage of the MBP 17 owners were developers that Apple needs to make it platform what it is. Bring back the MBP 17 I’ll buy it loaded right now.

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  71. I am still using my 17″ MBP and would upgrade in a heartbeat as soon as one comes available. 17″ is the perfect laptop for a developer. Please apple, bring it back!

    Like

  72. I agree. On the bright side, OWC is working on a 32 GB RAM upgrade for the 2011 17″ MBP, ETA is unknown, however…

    Like