Our folks in Asia are at it again with some pretty startling news.  The 17-inch MacBook Pro is going Unibody, like the 13-inch and 15-inch models.  That, in itself isn’t really that big of a deal; it was widely expected.  The big news is that Apple is making a super slim battery pack for the 17-inch MacBook Pros that will last much longer than current models.  However, you won’t be able to remove the battery pack.  It will be inside the machine, just like iPods and iPhones.  How?  I’ve outlined a hypothesis on Apple pioneering Silver-Zinc battery usage here.

Those of us with three year old MacBook Pros can attest that these batteries lose a significant amount of performance over time and need to be replaced. It isn’t quite clear how Apple will deal with this issue.  They may have new technology that can take more charges, or they may offer a service replacement similar to the replacement of a motherboard or hard drive.  Maybe swapping out the battery will be as easy as swapping out RAM.

Obviously, these new 17-inch displays are expected to be revealed at Macworld 2009 and will also likely be outfitted with Apple’s high gloss screens. Apple has come under fire from graphics professionals for not offering a matte option to their glossy screen Pro models.  

Additionally, the 13-inch Plastic MacBook is widely expected to be phased out which might bring the cost of the Unibody MacBook down closer to the $1000 price point.  We can’t verify this, however.

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