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Apple officially axes 17-inch MacBook Pro from notebook lineup

post #1 of 154
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After introducing the next generation 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, complete with Retina Display and an all-new thin design, Apple took down the 17-inch version of its laptop from its online store, effectively killing off the large desktop replacement.

Although no official announcement was made during Apple's WWDC keynote on Monday, the disappearance of the 17-inch MacBook Pro from the company's online store can be taken as confirmation that the large-screened notebook has reached end-of-life.

Rumors that the venerable 17-inch notebook would see its demise first cropped up in April as analysts predicted flagging shipments would prompt Apple to cut the device from its lineup. Apple's online storefront now lists its entire lineup of notebook from the smallest 11-inch MacBook Air to the now top-of-the-line next generation 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Whispers in December pointed to a refreshed 17-inch model upon news that Apple was looking into using a new 2,800 by 1.800 pixel display for its MacBook lineup, but it seems that the display was destined for the 15.4-inch device announced today.

MacBook Lineup
The 17-inch MacBook Pro is now unlisted on the Apple online store. | Source: Apple


Apple was the first computer manufacturer to release a 17-inch laptop in 2003 and the model was continually updated with subsequent refreshes. The large screen size allowed the company more chassis space to include larger speakers and a higher number of internal components, but the recent trend toward portability saw sales of the monster laptop begin to slow. Originally, the 17-inch MacBook Pro targeted the professional demographic, evidenced by an anti-glare screen and high performance graphic cards.

It is unclear whether Apple will bring the model back when high-resolution display pricing drops, but it seems that most users, including professionals, are content with 15-inch products.
post #2 of 154

Oh well. Years of 17-inchers since the first model is over for me.

 

Retina 15-inch? I'll take it.


Edited by AppleZilla - 6/12/12 at 5:00am
post #3 of 154

Bugger.

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post #4 of 154

Hopefully the rumors that pointed to a Fall changeover for the 17" to the next gen will come true.    A 17" is about the only portable that interests me, personally, as I need screen real estate more than anything and a "retina" type display on a 17" screen would fit the bill.   I don't travel that much and when I do, need a true desktop replacement to do work on the road.   My current macbook and older Macbook Pro don't quite fit the bill...

 

We'll see.  I'll have to check out the 15" next gen MBP but would really like a 17" version.  I know it is probably a low volume thing but I would guess that content creators on the Pro side would also want the screen real estate.

post #5 of 154

Good riddance.

post #6 of 154
I can see why they wouldn't include a 17" MBP with a Retina Display. You can look at the 15" model and see that the financial costs, technical difficulty, and power requirements have increased dramatically with the Retina Displays.

[edit: Corrected by dempson]...not to mention the other issues of creating a larger display that is Retina or the GPU needed to push the several million more pixels it would have.

But what is a bit of a head scratcher is dropping the old-style 17" MBP. The only thing I can think of is that it's not popular enough to warrant even updating the CPU which frankly surprises me.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/11/12 at 5:44pm

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post #7 of 154

They obviously didn't talk to my co-workers.

 

We have about two dozen iMac users, another two dozen 13" MB Air users and a dozen or so 17" MB Pro users. I know of only two 15" MB Pros in the office. People here either prefer to focus on a single task or they want as much screen real estate as possible.

 

Sure the new 15" retina machine offers more dots on the screen than the old 17", but those dots are really tiny. At some point making text smaller makes it unreadable. For many of us over 40 that limit has already been passed and we're already reading/editing documents at 125-150% zoom and hitting Cmd-+ in our browser windows. Losing 1.6" of screen real estate may not seem like much, but for me it means that items I can currently check at a glance would be permanently covered by other windows. That's a pretty big productivity loss.

post #8 of 154

Apparently the 17" accounted for less than 2% of total macbook sales...

post #9 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by gripmedia View Post
Apparently the 17" accounted for less than 2% of total macbook sales...


But as a profit was made on each one, just like every other Mac model, other considerations had to have been taken.

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post #10 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Sure the new 15" retina machine offers more dots on the screen than the old 17", but those dots are really tiny. At some point making text smaller makes it unreadable.

The whole point of the 2x resolution/4x pixel increase is so you don't have to reduce the size of text to increase a high PPI display. That's the reason the HiRes displays the sell on the old MBPs are such an issue for many.

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post #11 of 154

the dumbing down of Apple continues. 

post #12 of 154
Quote:

 

Sure the new 15" retina machine offers more dots on the screen than the old 17", but those dots are really tiny. At some point making text smaller makes it unreadable. For many of us over 40 that limit has already been passed and we're already reading/editing documents at 125-150% zoom and hitting Cmd-+ in our browser windows. 

 

Have you actually used a retina display, like on the iPad 3? A retina display is not about making text smaller or cramming more things on the desktop. A retina display is about making things look better, from text characters to pictures to whatever.

 

And if I wanted a large screen size, I'd just hook up a macbook or even a tiny macbook air to a huge external monitor. To be honest, 17" is not all that big to begin with, when comparing it to external monitors.

post #13 of 154

post #14 of 154
I do wonder how useful the retina display will be for current video projects.
post #15 of 154

It was like carrying around your own tombstone! :) I like the way Apple keeps its product lines streamlined. Allows more resources to be assigned to the "cool" stuff! :)

post #16 of 154
As a professional who once owned a 17" MacBook Pro, I found the machine's extra 2" of screen really didn't make it feel any less constrained. For real work, a 24" screen or larger is still necessary, so the added size and weight of the 17" model just didn't pay off. I moved back to a 15" model (coupled with an external display) the next time I needed a new computer and would have never gone back. And I know I'm not the only person that felt this way.
post #17 of 154
First let me say ive been using a mac since 85'
Really folks? WTF is apple thinking let's go PC that's Tim cooks thinking apparently.
The MacBook pro the only professional atop on the market for designers,editors, screenwritters,ect. And apple who is getting summer has not only axed the 17" but also took the optical drive out and axed FireWire.
I'm extremely disappointed.
post #18 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer162 View Post

First let me say ive been using a mac since 85'
Really folks? WTF is apple thinking let's go PC that's Tim cooks thinking apparently.
The MacBook pro the only professional atop on the market for designers,editors, screenwritters,ect. And apple who is getting summer has not only axed the 17" but also took the optical drive out and axed FireWire.
I'm extremely disappointed.

Just like the floppy drive, Apple is thinking forward. USB dominates the market, and they are betting the farm on Thunderbolt. I have had my MacBok Pro 13" since December and used the DVD/CD drive exactly never. Also there are adaptors for USB, Firewire 400/800 for thunderbolt.

post #19 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer162 View Post

First let me say ive been using a mac since 85'
Really folks? WTF is apple thinking let's go PC that's Tim cooks thinking apparently.
The MacBook pro the only professional atop on the market for designers,editors, screenwritters,ect. And apple who is getting summer has not only axed the 17" but also took the optical drive out and axed FireWire.
I'm extremely disappointed.

Use thunderbolt, and a external drive...usb3 compatible..quit whining
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post #20 of 154

Stupid move by Apple. Why couldn't they simply update the old MBP 17" alongside the 13" & 15". I use a 17" MBP because it's much easier when you're multi-tasking with a few applications to have a larger screen. What do I need a retina display for? I don't watch films or play games, I use it for work and to catch up with news on the internet. Apple seem to be so far down the "consumer" mentality that they've lost all sense of perspective about what users want. I'm sure a lot of rich people will buy the thing so they can have the latest toy which sadly I suspect is what Apple are hoping for.
 

post #21 of 154

I've got a 15" and a 17" MBP (17" is my personal machine, 15" is my work provided one) and even though the 17" is a slightly older (and slower) device I prefer it to the 15".  Two inches may not sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference in use.  With the 17" machine I hardly ever feel the "need" to plug into an external monitor, on the 15" machine I feel cramped, particularly in Xcode (primary use of the 15").

 

I'll miss the 17" MBP.  It's absence from the MBP line will turn my next personal computer purchase into a game of compromises.

post #22 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The PSU has gone from 65W to 85W (same as the 17"). That's massive change that makes me think a 17" MBP Retina Display with a 105W+ PSU just wouldn't work [...]

 

The 15" MacBook Pro has always had an 85W adapter. The 13" model uses a 60W adapter.

 

15" and 17" PowerBook G4 models used to have a 65W adapter, but both switched to 85W with the first MacBook Pro.

post #23 of 154
I won that bet.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #24 of 154

With 4 (yes only 4) 17" laptops here, we'll be looking at other options. If we wanted smaller, we'd all have iPads … we want our 17" back!

 

Skip

 

Office has 23" & 30" monitors, 17" laptops, and small just doesn't work for us here. Of course if we're forced to go small -?

post #25 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

Have you actually used a retina display, like on the iPad 3? A retina display is not about making text smaller or cramming more things on the desktop. A retina display is about making things look better, from text characters to pictures to whatever.

 

And if I wanted a large screen size, I'd just hook up a macbook or even a tiny macbook air to a huge external monitor. To be honest, 17" is not all that big to begin with, when comparing it to external monitors.

 

I've seen the new iPad. It shows exactly the same amount of information as the iPad 2 just sharper. If the MBP retina display will only be used to make existing stuff sharper and clearer then there's a huge loss of screen real estate. If you use all the new resolution just to make the old 1440x900 content look nicer then you're still looking at just 1440x900 worth of stuff on your screen. With just 1.6" more physical screen size, I've got 1920x1200 quite comfortably displayed.

 

If a "desktop replacement" is supposed to free you from your desk, then it needs to offer sufficient screen real estate to make that a practical option. If you have to plug in a large external display then you you're tied to a desk. I can't take my 23" external display with me to meetings.

 

I'm still disappointed that Apple didn't introduce a MacBook Pro with a small SSD boot drive and a traditional HD for affordable, high capacity storage.

post #26 of 154

First, the 17" usually took 2-3 months later than the rest to be updated.  15" first, 17" later.  No one knows if it will be killed for good.

 

Second, if they didn't sell enough to exist, too bad.  It must be the screen size that the pros (both of them) like about the 17" because the retina 15" obviously has more pixels.  My guess is Apple is testing the HiDPI market to see if it should develop Retina displays for its other machines.  That or it just takes time to make those suckers.

 

Third, screen real estate is pixels, not size.  The pixels are still tiny and there.  Why do people keep saying it isn't actual screen real estate?  Updated apps will take full advantage of every pixel the Retina display has.  If you want to view a 12pixel font at 1x it will be effing TINY (TINY?), not "the same size" as a non-retina display.  Icons will be bigger so you can see them and use them.  The user interface will be bigger so you can use it, but a pixel is still a pixel (again, for updated apps only).

 

Fourth: Stop whining!

post #27 of 154

I'm over 40. EVERYTHING is a retina display for me :-\

 

I don't know what I'll do without a 17" model in the lineup... except hang onto my current 17" MBP longer. Surely *THAT* isn't what Apple wants. Oh well. Saves money, I suppose.

post #28 of 154

Let the 1.7% of people who supposedly bought this start bitching up a storm....I personally would rather have one of the new 15" MBP's (next gen). 

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post #29 of 154

The title of this thread is misleading and false. The facts as stated imply that Apple has [i]un[/i]officially dropped the 17" MacBook Pro. To officially drop the its top-of-the-line laptop, Apple would have to announce that it was doing so.

post #30 of 154

I can foresee a 20" flexible rubber magnifying glass to expand the 15" monitor -- seems like the retrofitting we saw in Terry Gilliam's dystopian film "Brazil" is going to be prophetic.

 

Apple: "No, you don't really want 17" so you have enough screen real estate to do FCP or After Effects without a projector..."

 

Hopefully, portable monitors are going to get ultra thin as well. I can use 15" when I'm not doing anything intensive -- but I this isn't putting the "Pro" in pro user.

post #31 of 154

All of you people who love your 17" Mac Books do have an option to extend the useful lives of them. Buy more RAM and a good solid state drive. Your machine will seem newer and it will work just as well as one update cycle. When components start to fail you'll just have to find a suitable replacement or keep your older software and fix your hardware. You could do research and create a Hackintosh with a different brand or perhaps switch to a different OS that isn't Windows (Linux) and see what you can do.

post #32 of 154

I bought my 17" to get the screen size when working away from my dual screen desktop system.  The pixel density is more than enough and retina would be nice but far from essential.  The 15" retina will look sharp but are there enough square inches to support all the great image editing software.  Only time will tell.  An upgrade of the existing model would have been my preferred choice until the resources can support a 17" retina.

post #33 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

I've seen the new iPad. It shows exactly the same amount of information as the iPad 2 just sharper. If the MBP retina display will only be used to make existing stuff sharper and clearer then there's a huge loss of screen real estate.

That's only true for text. FCP X, for example, can show full pixel-for-pixel 1080p video and still only use 40% of the screen. For graphics, it shows more information. For text, it shows sharper information.
post #34 of 154

It almost burnt me once last year where I thought 17" was killed only to surface a couple months later.  Honestly, Screen is one of the most imporant elements in a (portable computer). I have both 17" and MBA.  MBA is light and super portable but I only use it for emails and browsing as the screen is less desirable to do serious work.

 

Given the MBP is shrinking to Air-like model, a 17" would be perfect for those who value screen.

post #35 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

All of you people who love your 17" Mac Books do have an option to extend the useful lives of them. Buy more RAM and a good solid state drive. Your machine will seem newer and it will work just as well as one update cycle. When components start to fail you'll just have to find a suitable replacement or keep your older software and fix your hardware. You could do research and create a Hackintosh with a different brand or perhaps switch to a different OS that isn't Windows (Linux) and see what you can do.

Or I could just use my brand new 17" MacBook Pro for the blistering fast machine that it is. You're right about more RAM (16GB) and a good solid state drive (bought one of OWC's fastest), but I fully expect it to be running OS X for several years to come. Heck, I still have my decade-old third-to-last Mac laptop here in the office running OS X (and more importantly some ancient legacy stuff in OS9), only somewhat slow and ragged in its titanium case (definitely not a high-res screen though).

 

I'm just glad I got one before they stopped selling them; I definitely called that one right.

post #36 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


But as a profit was made on each one, just like every other Mac model, other considerations had to have been taken.

Not sure maybe it's a bit more difficult breaking out the cost of the 17" MacBook Pro. 

 

The simplest example is Jon Ive's time designing a new one, or making adjustments. How do you put a price on that? You can bet he's a bit busy. Same with many other people throughout Apple, QA, et cetera et cetera. Surely the 17" was profitable from a point of view of manufacturing costs vs sales price, but I guess the other factors pushed it into net loss territory.

 

Anyway - I concur, 17" is simply too big, even if it's as small as Apple's 17" MBP. I love the screen on mine, but the sheer size is just too much. Have had mine for 3 years and was already planning to move to 15". Of course there's a bit of a conundrum now as the retina ones are only 1440x900 effective - if there were 1680x model retina, it would be perfect. Still - will go with retina, whatever. 

post #37 of 154

I'm personally waiting for a new Mac Pro.

 

However I always consider the laptops, mac mini's etc, but I'm waiting for USB3+TB+PCIe3 before I consider the Pro. There's no PCIe3 in the mini, so it' drops down the list of what I want to buy, and that leaves the MacBook Pro.

 

I have never considered the MacBook Pro before because it didn't beat what my old 2004 Laptop had, a 1920x1200 screen in a 15" laptop. This was only available in the 17" and ... no, I won't consider a 17" laptop. So no loss here.

 

But I think Apple made a mistake with removing the Ethernet port and not adding another TB port at least. If you're capturing video you're going to have some combination of monitors, cameras and hard drives, and not all of those are going to run on the same bus and play nice. 

post #38 of 154

It has the screen resolution required to show everything required in enhanced apps.  For many pros that's good enough...1080p native in a window for FCP or larger images in Photoshop etc.  For us old blind guys it's no worse than the current 15" MBP for the UI and text.

 

The big thing that was in the 17" MBP that wasn't in the 15" MBP (aside from the screen rez) was expandability.  That 2nd TB port is hugely valuable for many pros over the non-retina MBP.  It means less of a slowdown when using multiple offboard cards...like a Rocket card.  And 16GB of RAM is a great bump...I really need this.

 

A retina 17" MBP would be doubly awesome.  So would a 13" retina MBP with a discrete GPU.  I expect the latter (including the GPU part) and hope for the former. 

post #39 of 154

I have a 17" MB Pro. Bought it sometime last year, put gobs of RAM and upgraded the HDD to a screaming fast SSD. It's probably the smoothest laptop I've ever owned. But I find I don't use it much at all. When I'm out, I usually carry my 13" MBA instead. The thing is pretty darn heavy, it's got its uses but the cost was fairly high. 

post #40 of 154

I remember reading that Apple only sold around 50,000 unit per year of the 17". I don't know the profit margin, but it must be small enough that once R&D production costs, etc are factored out, there is not much left. 

 

Will miss the 17". I've had two now and despite the trouble of finding a suitable backpack for carting it to work everyday, I'd buy another. That extra screen space is worth every cent. 

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