That 17-inch MacBook Pro is a thing of beauty, no doubt. But we have some reservations. First of all, the five years of battery charges couldn’t have been tested (this new tech/form factor didn’t exist five years ago). Lithium Polymer might age poorly or differently in real world conditions and differently than in testing. We are willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt but know we have been dealt a bit of a wild card there. Also we know the five hour batteries typically last three hours, so should we expect these 7/8 hour batteries to last 5/6 hours?
Next, that enclosure doesn’t just enclose the battery but it also encloses the hard drive (see no seams in video below). And you only have a few (Apple only) options out of the box. The biggest drive you can walk away with is a 320GB. You can easily replace an Apple drive on a 13 or 15 with one of the many 500GB 2.5 inch SATA drives out there. Hrmmmph.
Apple also offers SSD drives in 128 and 256 GB sizes for $500 and $900 respectively. We’d also like to replace the SSD if/when we choose to. In a couple of years into that five year battery life, bigger SSDs will cost much much less. It would be nice to be able to upgrade without major surgery. (more below)
RAM. We love the ability to go to 8GB of RAM but $1200 is pretty steep. Especially when RAM prices have fallen so sharply over the past few years. Even if you could easily get into the case, that type of RAM isn’t cheap from 3rd parties. Oh, and since the 17 inch can go to 8GB with the exact same memory, can we now upgrade our 13 and 15s? Not yet.
We are waiting for the iFixit disassembly videos to show us the way to do the surgery.