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High-quality unboxing photos: late 2008, 15" MacBook Pro

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
The redesigned new MacBook Pro replaces the thin aluminum shell of the prior model with a substantially stronger, more rigid unibody construction with tighter tolerances and remarkably better looking fit and finish. Here's how it compares to the existing model. Here's what it looks like out of the box and pressed up close against the model it replaces.

See also:
High-quality photo comparison: the new unibody MacBooks
High-quality unboxing photos: late 2008 13" MacBook

The new 15" MacBook Pro, like the 13" MacBook version, now comes in a white box (below).





Typical packaging materials (below).













Compared against the existing MacBook Pro (below), the new model appears organically plump rather than plainly square. The new model is both wider and deeper, but slightly thinner.



With the previous MacBook Pro stacked on top (below), the new model reveals its larger outline, but sharply tapered flourish. If you thought the original Aluminum PowerBook design was minimal, the new MacBook Pro is simply stark.



From to top left edge, this close up (below) reveals the fantastic fit and finish made possible by the new unibody construction. The laptop on top has been treated pretty well over the last two years, but still looks bent and misaligned, with waving panels that cave in at the points where an Apple Store Genus torqued the screws too hard. There's also a visible gap between the hard plastic lips of the case and above and below where the plastic attaches to the body and lid. In contrast, the new MacBook Pro looks absurdly strong and solid with simply perfect lines.



The front left edge reveals the same outstanding lines and curves of the new model against the warped edges and gaping margins of the earlier model. The unit on top is latched, but there's enough spring in the lid that the corners lift apart. The lid on the new model is actually thinner while maintaining a more rigid, solid, flex free hinge action. There's also no exposed screws to show off the damage a Genius can wrought. While only slightly thinner, the new model actually feels significantly thinner because the corners taper smoothly to a strong edge. The new MacBooks are an Air with more there.



With a more dramatic camera angle and lighting (below), the subtly and strength of the shape of the new machine is highlighted further, and the screw-stripping zeal or haste of the Genius who serviced my machine under the ironically named AppleCare is exposed with particular brutality.



The front right corner (below) again highlights the larger outline but stronger, aerodynamic lines of the new model.



The back right corner (below) replaces all of those ports with the optical drive. A comparison of the opposite side shows how Apple shoehorned more ports into a smaller space, in addition to getting rid of the extra Firewire 400 port and the large DVI connector. Also visible in this shot is solid black back panel, which covers the hinge mechanism. As with the previous laptops, the wireless antenna is also exposed through this panel on the hinge, facing the inside of the laptop.



From the front (below), the sharp minimalism of the new MacBook Pro leaves the current version looking like an old tin bucket with peeling plastic trim on the corners. The black keys and solid black screen margin also contribute to a distinctive identity.



The hinge on the new model offers the same effortless action of the MacBook Air, its same ultra thin edge, and a strong, muscular corner that sharply contrasts with the previous model's wimpy weak edges.



From the right side, the new model looks like the product of a different company. Polished steel replaces the flat grey plastic of the audio jacks, and the oval ExpressCard slot is now squared off. The walls of the port opening also hint as the far more rigid structure of the case. It's slightly lighter than the last MacBook Pro, but certainly no lightweight. If you want a lighter machine, you'll need to consider the stripped down Air, which is 3/5ths of the heft of the new Pro.



Zoom out a bit (below) and the strong corners of the new Pro, its subtle power button, and its ultrafine hole grid over the speaker panels make the previous model look clumsy, loud, and sloppy.



The improved hinge design also allows the lid to open significantly wider, a welcome solution to an issue I frequently find an irritating limitation on the existing MacBook Pro. The difference looks subtle in the photo (below), but the wider angle of opening is a significant improvement. In this photo you can also see the difference in construction, with the new model on the bottom using a thin cover over the bottom with tapering edges, rather than a thin, one piece pan that is screwed onto the top palm rest cover with the internals suspended between them.



Face to face (below), the new model shows off its greater width, simple new multitouch trackpad with integrated button, and the indented, margined keyboard borrowed from the MacBook. Also missing on the new model is a latching mechanism. Rather than being snared shut by a couple latch arms, the new lid shuts with precision and is held closed with slight magnetic attraction. It will not flap open without a finger touch, but offers little resistance when it's being opened. Another difference: the previous version had keys that lifted above the surface of the palm rest top, so the lid had to be held slightly open to prevent the keys from contacting the screen. The new model sinks the keys into the surface just enough to allow lid to close with no gap.



Instead of latch holes and a mechanical release button, paired with latching devices embedded in the lid, the new MacBook Pro simply carves out an opening to make lifting the magnetically fixed lid effortless.





Flipped over, the unit reveals a dual panel cover. The smaller section that covers about a third of the back is ejected using a lever that pops up with a touch (below top), and then is flipped over further (below bottom) to pop the lid off.





Once ejected, the thin battery cover reveals the battery (below top, installed; below bottom, removed) and the black hard drive, held in place by a bracket with a single screw. Access to RAM requires removing eight tiny phillips screws and taking off the larger panel.







The battery is longer and slimmer than the previous MacBook Pro battery (previous mode on left, 15" MacBook Pro in center, 13" MacBook battery on right, below), and also interfaces with the unit itself to display the power charge indicator on the side of the unit. One side effect is that extra batteries now lack an easy way to tell if they're charged or not, but if the battery isn't in your laptop, you probably already know if its charged up or not. If you can't keep track, you'll now have to swap them in and out to find out. The convenience of the side mounted display is probably enough to outweigh the lack of an integrated battery indicator on the unit itself. While a replacement battery has always seemed like an important feature, I have to admit that I have very rarely ever used any of my extra batteries over the last decade.



Detail of battery bay (below).

post #2 of 54
Wow. Simply wow. A fantastic design. Clean and attractive. Nothing superfluous, everything with a purpose. Hyperbole of the article aside, the new design is incredible. Wish I was coming into a new buying cycle...

First Post!
post #3 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post

Wow. Simply wow. A fantastic design. Clean and attractive. Nothing superfluous, everything with a purpose.

First Post!

Except that crazy fat bezel and a glossy screen a big proportion of its users don't want to sit in front of. \
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post #4 of 54
this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!
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post #5 of 54
Wow - those are impressive picts. What a great design.

Can't wait to see one in person!

Nice prose by the way
post #6 of 54
i disliek the bezel and the individual keys, but it does have a nice tapered feel

the magnetic latch is nice i just wish i didnt have to put my thumb all over the webcam just to open it. I feel like i am scratching or marking it.

i like how the keyboard is lowered to allow the screen to close with no gap. nice touch
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!

WHY do people like this come here to waste their own time and everyone else's by making such inane comments??

Just go away will you? Idiots.
post #8 of 54
How is the new key action "feel" compared to the previous model Pro? I have used both the previous model Macbook and current Macbook Air, and do not like the key action at all. Is the new Pro keyboard different?
post #9 of 54
Blimey! Hard core computer p0rn!
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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post #10 of 54
IMO the black is ugly. Should have stayed monochromatic. Like the profiles, tapering, etc. No FW400 is slightly annoying, Jury is out on the glass until I see one in person.

Also, you are bashing the last couple MBP gens like they are garbage. I think I still prefer them and they are certainly better than 99% of the laptops out there. Mine is 20 months old and I don't have the lid alignment issues your pics display. I also don't travel a lot with mine which could explain a few things. How old is the MBP in the pics?

BTW - the new hard drive placement is F'ng brilliant! That is my biggest complaint about my MBP. I need a bigger (and faster) HD but voiding my warranty is not an option. Neither is paying someone $300-500 to perform labor a money could do to install a $120 part.
post #11 of 54
Spectacular Design work on the part of Apple. I just bought a fairly new used iMac which I am totally thrilled with. However with the addition of a display that finally has speakers.... and all the other cool tech in this machine.... I'm sure I will be buying one as soon as I can afford it. I wonder what they have up their sleeve with that new processor arrangement. I think that Nvidia chipset is a Gate Array. What was next in line to replace the PowerPC chip. I mean holy crap... 120 Gigaflop.... that's incredible. Wonder if any newer versions of OSX will put that to use outside of just graphics.

Anyway.... I can't wait to see one of these new machines. Once again they seem to have raised the bar to a whole other level. Looks like an incredible piece of engineering.

Z
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The front right corner (below) again highlights the larger outline but stronger, aerodynamic lines of the new model.

WTF? This isn't an actual airplane. Next time please just post the photos and leave the "intuitive commentary" out.

Systems do look nice though, can't wait till next summer when I should be able to afford one.
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!

yeah thats a very good business model for apple... and your point for making that comment is....

fyi, there are some fanatical pc people too. You just choose to ignore them..
post #14 of 54
I've ordered one. I was resistant to the Glossy screen at first, but I stopped by a store and tried an older MacBook with a glossy screen out & think it's worth a shot. (Besides it'll be hooked up to a Cintiq most of the day anyway).

But one thing that has me concerned is the fact the glass goes right up to the edge. It seems like one good corner bump & one could do some breakage. At least with the older models there was some aluminum around the outside to dent and absorb some of the impact.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

Wow, that so creative of you....NOT!

Quote:
BTW - the new hard drive placement is F'ng brilliant! That is my biggest complaint about my MBP. I need a bigger (and faster) HD but voiding my warranty is not an option. Neither is paying someone $300-500 to perform labor a money could do to install a $120 part.

Yup.

But like all new products there is some things that Apple leave out like 2 firewires, matte screen. Lets see how does the new display will affect usage before we start bashing it

Oh yea btw, isn't FW400 compatible with FW800?
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post #16 of 54
I'm so pleased that most of the responses here are positive on the new mac book pro. I'm really amazed at how much negativity it seems to have generated elsewhere. The build is gorgeous, and that matters to me. I do have concerns, like others, such as the loss of anti-glare, but overall this looks like a great machine.

I bought the first mac book pro, fully-loaded, a day or so after it was released and still have it. I've been waiting to replace it for most of this year, and yesterday put in the order.

So I go from the old macbook pro (Jan 2006):
2GHz Intel Core Duo, 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 100GB Seriea ATA @ 7200; ATI Radeon X1600, 256 RAM

To the new mac book pro (Oct 2008):
2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. 4GB 1066Mz DDR3 SDRM, 320GB Serial ATA @ 7200, NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512MB of GDDR3

The new one is a few 100 dollars more, but I think is a pretty cool up-grade.

-- dave
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!

Huh?

Get out much lately?
post #18 of 54
The black chiclet keyboard looks much better live than in pictures -- it is absolutely gorgeous on my wife's MBA.

My only concern is that dirt build-up will show much easier...
post #19 of 54
I would have liked to see more of a CPU upgrade, but the new graphics card configuration sounds like a brilliant idea. Still, I can't say I'm going to trade my 1 year old MBP for this machine just yet. I use every port, including firewire 400 nearly all the time, so for me it's a shame that they've trimmed them down...
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The black chiclet keyboard looks much better live than in pictures -- it is absolutely gorgeous on my wife's MBA.

My only concern is that dirt build-up will show much easier...

That keyboard does look killer

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post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

There's also no exposed screws to show off the damage a Genius can wrought.

'Wrought?' Er, no. You mean 'work.' There's a Dictionary widget in Dashboard.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!

Yeah.. whatever. But apart that... I am always puzzled by the term fanboy. I know it is very juvenile and must be fun to use if you are 14 but what happened to the girls? How come they aren't included?
post #23 of 54
And why? What's the point of putting down a fantastic design? Is the build on the new MacBooks better? Sure. It ought to be given that the Pro was basically designed back in the G4 PowerBook days.

But the old Pro is a well built, beautiful machine. It has a purer design than the new Pro, which looks a bit like a cross between an Air, the old Pro, and the iMac. I am not saying the new Pro is bad. I like it a lot. But I like the build more than the design. I'm not crazy about glossy, either, and there seems to be no way around that if you have a glass cover over the screen.

The Air is a perfect design. The new Pro is good, but not quite in the same league.

The old Pro aged extremely well. It still looks more modern than most Windows laptops. It made my Dell D800 look, and feel, outright primitive. I'm not sure how the new Pro will age. I suspect it will evolve a bit.

The real winner here is the 13" MacBook. It offers an outstandingly better value proposition than the old series.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post

'Wrought?' Er, no. You mean 'work.' There's a Dictionary widget in Dashboard.

Actually, he means "wreak," which means "inflict or cause damage."
He also means "There ARE no exposed screws..."
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

...where an Apple Store Genus torqued the screws too hard.

Always have the work done by an Apple Store Phylum or, in a pinch, one of the Species.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by diger4ai View Post

IMO the black is ugly. Should have stayed monochromatic. Like the profiles, tapering, etc. No FW400 is slightly annoying, Jury is out on the glass until I see one in person.

From what I have read elsewhere all you need is an adaptor cable, which costs less that $20. If that is indeed the case then this is not really an issue.
post #27 of 54
I don't really get why the author had to put down the older MBP down HARD at every single turn. It really put me off - with all the over-the-top hyperbole, the thing reads like someone that's unhealthily obsessed with the new design, and has no perspective on the machine that came before it. We get it - the new one looks good (as it should be). But that doesn't negate the merits of the previous version, which, if I may say so, actually looks BETTER with out the weird black bezel and keyboard.

And why do you people all want black black black? Macbooks and Macbook Pros look *cool because they're NOT like typical black laptops*. And multiple colors? MAYBE on the Macbooks, but dear god, please not on the Pros. These aren't little iPoddy toys.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Wow, that so creative of you....NOT!


Yup.

But like all new products there is some things that Apple leave out like 2 firewires, matte screen. Lets see how does the new display will affect usage before we start bashing it

Oh yea btw, isn't FW400 compatible with FW800?

It is. But I still like having two FW ports. Either one of each or two FW800 ports. As for the matte screen I could care less. Leaving the FW off the Macbook is stupid. At $1299 it should have it. Hey HP makes several laptop models in the sub $900 price range that have FW. As for the display port. Think back to the old 12" Powerbooks. They had the adapter pigtails to hook up a monitor. The big difference was they CAME with them. After paying $2000-$2500 for a MBP and $1299 for a Macbook and then have to cough up another $29-$99 for the adapter. The guys at Apple must be smoking some good stuff. They must be HIGH. If the new MBP had the two FW ports it would be the ticket. As for now I'll wait and see. BTW Apple has a page on their website to give them feedback and complaints.
post #29 of 54
I love this design and everything about the new MBP. I am glad I've waited. I will get one this weekend or the next and then will sell my iMac. Can't keep up with two computers at once and I always end up ignoring one of them


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

this is going to be great. all the fanboys are going to rush off and buy the new model (after they bought a recent macbook pro within the last year...)

and by January of next year Apple will have anodized a few colors... and those fanboys will just have to have the lush anodized Black Macbook Pro!

brilliant!

Yawn..

This song is getting boring by the way... zzzz
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by gasparschott View Post

Actually, he means "wreak," which means "inflict or cause damage."
He also means "There ARE no exposed screws..."

Yeah, you're probably right. So, not only did he get the wrong tense but he got the wrong root meaning as well. I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt on the latter... Shouldn't people who write articles on websites, posing as journalists, be held to a higher standard of writing than the people who write in the comments section? Or perhaps AI wants to publish articles with that "folksy" feeling so as not to sound elitist... nah, it's an Apple fan website. I've been given to understand that we're all elitist. Except for those few of us who are above all of that. [/me buffs fingernails]
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulky Cranium View Post

I've ordered one. I was resistant to the Glossy screen at first, but I stopped by a store and tried an older MacBook with a glossy screen out & think it's worth a shot. (Besides it'll be hooked up to a Cintiq most of the day anyway).

So get a screen filter if the screen is too glossy...

http://www.powersupportusa.com/produ...hp?category=pb

http://www.nushield.com/?source=goog...FQOeFQod4273yw

http://www.nextag.com/laptop-anti-gl...er/search-html

http://www.macmall.com/macmall/searc...s&id=235155712
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

So get a screen filter if the screen is too glossy...

Thanks for the links mjtomlin. I'll try it without at first, as I can control the lighting everywhere I'll be using it. But if I'm bothered by the gloss I'll check out the filters.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidofido View Post

I don't really get why the author had to put down the older MBP down HARD at every single turn. It really put me off - with all the over-the-top hyperbole, the thing reads like someone that's unhealthily obsessed with the new design, and has no perspective on the machine that came before it. We get it - the new one looks good (as it should be). But that doesn't negate the merits of the previous version, which, if I may say so, actually looks BETTER with out the weird black bezel and keyboard.

And why do you people all want black black black? Macbooks and Macbook Pros look *cool because they're NOT like typical black laptops*. And multiple colors? MAYBE on the Macbooks, but dear god, please not on the Pros. These aren't little iPoddy toys.

yeah, lidofido your soo sooo right thanks for saving me the keystrokes and energy of retyping what you have here and what a few others have repeated as well.. i kept holding up my MBP (purchased 08/09/07) and i could not find any of the dings and dangs this guy is so obsessed with here-- did he have his MBP thrown under a bus?? my MBP is in tip top shape no scratches or bent lopsided lid as the one he's bashing in here and its so obvious that he is either getting something free from apple (maybe a new WackBookPRo) or he's trying to get into WWDC 2009 for free, i dunno but i really can't understand also is why they removed FIREWIRE??? I am a pro music producer/IT consultant here in NY and use Target Disk mode and all of my music peripherals are firewire based - so this Macbook would not suffice for my uses... and I do not like the black styled flip screen it looks like an iMac type of PC and doesn't flow like my current MBP- and for my designing GLOSSY just won't do either.... so good luck to all the fanboys who run out and buy this thing -- i will be advising my clients to save some $$$$ and get the last gen MBP... and what happened to the under $1,000. laptop everybody was raving about up in here??? (they must have found a cheaper manufacturer for the battery as well- SONY prob was charging way too much so they are prob using some other CHina components for most of these laptops... and lets no forget the NVIDIA CHipset scandal thats supposedly in ALL of their chips--
search google for it and you will see..what i mean..
post #34 of 54
These are fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by diger4ai View Post

IMO the black is ugly. Should have stayed monochromatic. Like the profiles, tapering, etc. No FW400 is slightly annoying, Jury is out on the glass until I see one in person.

Also, you are bashing the last couple MBP gens like they are garbage. I think I still prefer them and they are certainly better than 99% of the laptops out there. Mine is 20 months old and I don't have the lid alignment issues your pics display. I also don't travel a lot with mine which could explain a few things. How old is the MBP in the pics?

BTW - the new hard drive placement is F'ng brilliant! That is my biggest complaint about my MBP. I need a bigger (and faster) HD but voiding my warranty is not an option. Neither is paying someone $300-500 to perform labor a money could do to install a $120 part.

You need to move! I'm in Las Vegas and I recently had a WD320 installed in my MBP for a total cost of $183 ($113 for the HD from OWC and $70 labor).

I'm with you concerning the current MBPs. I love the aluminum keys compared to the black plastic of my Titanium. And, IMO, the current keyboard action is considerably better than that of my wife's MacBook. I haven't tried the new MBP keyboard but if it's anything like the MacBook I'd really be disappointed.
post #36 of 54
The old MBP is beautiful, but it is hell to open and upgrade the hard drive (which I did twice, from 80 to 160, then to 320).

I think Apple's next job will be updating the Mini so the access is as easy as the new MB/MBP.
post #37 of 54
Can someone tell me why Apple chose a black keyboard? They did this in the late 1990s and it was very unpopular. For anyone over 40 (me and Jony Ive), or certainly anyone over 50, it's very hard to see light characters on black keys.
For a company that prides itself on good design this is a significant error in judgment. They should consider offering a configuration option for light or white keys.
post #38 of 54
I bought one yesterday, and unboxed it last night. I was worried about the glossy screen too: http://kansieo.com/wp-content/upload...0/dsc00030.jpg, but don't have a problem with it when it's on. Only time will tell how bad it is in the sunlight.

Sorry if posting an image url is against the rules...this image in particular highlights the issue.

Also, there were a handful of very minor imperfections in the anodization. I kept trying to wipe away the dust specs until I noticed they were "built in".

After taking off the HD/battery cover, I struggled a bit to put it back on...the tabs that hold it don't have guides on the body to show exactly where they should lie. If you're going to be swapping the battery often, this could become a problem.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMinne View Post

Can someone tell me why Apple chose a black keyboard?

It's a matter of change. Change is sometimes viewed out of context. In a few months time you'll love it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #40 of 54
Call me crazy, but I just ordered the 'old' MacBook Pro 15", 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM (ordered 4GB RAM updated from Crucial memory for $69), 200GB HD, SuperDrive laptop from MacMall for $1449.

Talking to more than one Apple employee, they recommended the matte screen for photography, so without that option I think the previous model should work well. And the price break doesn't hurt either!

I do have to admit, the design of the new MacBook Pro machines is very impressive. But did they decide the thinness of the display was more important than allowing an option for the matte screen? The customer service person at MacMall was surprised there wasn't a matte option for the new MBPs. She said they were the best selling config for the MBPs!

Oh well, the photographers and graphic designers out there who opt to purchase a new MBP will have to let us all know how the glossy display works in the next few weeks!
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