Apple marked the first day of this year's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas by introducing a 17-inch version of the Intel processor-based MacBook Pro line. The new high-end laptop replaces the 17-inch PowerBook G4 as the ideal computer for portable video production.
Sporting a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, the new one-inch-thick MacBook Pro features a 17-inch 1680 by 1050 display that the company says is 36 percent brighter than the screen on its predecessor, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics processor that can drive Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display. Unlike the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the new model has an 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support, one FireWire 800 port (in addition to one FireWire 400 port), as well as a third USB 2.0 port.
The laptop includes a built-in iSight video camera at the top of the display, an infrared remote control to access the included Front Row media software, and an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot, and it features Apple's MagSafe power adapter, introduced in January 2006. Both AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless functionality are included, but as with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has left out the built-in modem; an external USB modem is available separately. The new laptop costs $2,800 and is scheduled to begin shipping this week.