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Unibody 17-inch MBP, Mac mini due Tuesday?

updated 06:05 pm EST, Sun January 4, 2009

17in MBP and Mini at MW09

Apple is planning at least two key Mac updates that may show their faces as early as this week's Macworld, AppleInsider has allegedly confirmed through its own sources. The company is seen launching a 17-inch MacBook Pro based on the unibody shell of smaller models but will allegedly switch to a fixed-in-place battery. Why the move will be made is unknown, though the MacBook Air was designed in similar fashion to help slim down the casing versus previous models. The report points to earlier claims which say Apple might compensate the reduced flexibility with a much higher-capacity battery than what's presently offered in the large MacBook Pro.

Additionally, these same sources also state that the Mac mini should receive significantly greater expansion options beyond just the dual display connectors rumored late last week. The new compact desktop will reportedly receive a fifth USB port and should replace the FireWire 400 jack with a faster 800 model; previous leaks have already confirmed a switch to a NVIDIA-based chipset for the mainboard that should also be shared by the next iMac.

Whether or not either system will be introduced at Tuesday's Macworld keynote speech is unknown, though Apple has been placing cloth-covered banners about its booth at the event that suggest new products will be unveiled that demand this level of secrecy.

By Electronista Staff


  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Liquid cooled quad core?

    ...with an 18.4" 1080p display would really impress me - and an external booster battery may surrogate any power issue - I've always viewed the large format design as more of a portable computer than a laptop myself...

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    on the other hand...

    Apple may reveal very little at MacWorld as it emphasises the desire to make product announcements according to it's own schedule rather than that of IDG or anyone else. I'm guessing that, in an effort to thwart stock manipulation by pundits and analysts alike, Apple will become increasingly unpredictable in both the timing and content of its' announcements until it is successfully proven that the analysts are "always" wrong!

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Another EPICFAIL

    No user-replaceable battery = EpicFAIL

    ANOTHER bonehead move by Apple.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Just like the iPhone

    Yes, indeed, epicfail, just like the iPhone...

    If the rumours are correct, and this battery ends up lasting more than 3 years without meaningful loss of capacity, AND it allows the computer to run 7-8 hours on a single charge (like clam-shell G3 iBooks used to), the non-replaceable battery will be a non-issue.

  1. jay3ld

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2004


    No battery removal?

    Come on Apple, I may have a reason to need to take my battery out. When I am doing processes that require a lot of cpu usage and it causes the fans to kick in (Such as playing some games), I usually remove the battery to help keep it cool (Without it, it says about 12 degrees cooler on average).

    I guess this is just so that way when you battery stops holding its charge, you have to go in and get it replaced by a Apple Certified Serviceman/Technician (ie, $$$).

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    Battery Removal

    How many people actually ever remove their battery? For most people that do, they simply want extra juice on long hauls when they can't plug in. That's a simple request. There could also be a simple solution. Why does an external battery need to replace a battery? There have been many solutions for the iPod and iPhone that allow extended life through an external power pack.

    I, for one, would welcome this change as it would have little impact to my daily routine. And, with a battery that isn't readily replaceable, the battery no longer has to be square. All the extra space saved from the unibody process could now be used for more battery capacity squeezed into all those little spaces.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Battery removal

    How many people actually ever remove their battery?

    Oh there's a set of users. How large, who knows.

    However, I do know that if I didn't have a removable/replaceable battery in my MBP, when I took it to the Apple store to get the battery replaced, I just had to get it to swap out (after the genius was telling me what a great guy he was for doing it, even though it wasn't really covered). If I had this computer, I would've had to drop it off and be without it for who knows how long.

    BTW, I had it replaced because it wasn't even at 200 cycles and couldn't hold a charge, let alone keep track of how much time was left - a known issue with batteries which caused a replacement plan.

    And, how come the 17" MBP, which would have the most internal free space and more ability to create as big and oddly shaped battery would be the one computer which wouldn't have a replaceable battery? Then again, Apple was also the company that thought MacBooks needed easily replaceable HardDrives and MBPs didn't.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    They won't save too much room with it, especially with the 17" size. Thus it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    They will not switch to a fixed in place battery, (especially not in a machine that has plenty of room in it) so don't worry about it. Apple makes a good amount of money on selling spare MacBook batteries now.

  1. cyn1c

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008


    Try harder Apple.

    I can see having fixed batteries in your ipods... but a Mac Book Pro is supposed to be a professional-grade device, not a fluffy multimedia machine. I don't care if the battery lasts longer, I want to be able to switch it out when it dies.

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