During the WWDC in the summer of 2012, Apple unveiled its newest versions of its MacBook lineup. The 13-inch version was a combination of power and portability, and the 15-inch model packed just as much of a punch as the 13-inch notebook, but the extra screen space gave you just a bit more real estate to work with. Missing from the lineup? A 17-inch MacBook Pro model.
Since then, the 15-inch model has been the biggest screen that Apple offers in a notebook, and while 15 inches is plenty of room for most people, for power users, it leaves something to be desired. Even still, for some other users, 15 inches just isn’t big enough to use comfortably for long stretches at a time. There are obvious reasons why the 17-inch MacBook Pro isn’t in the MacBook lineup anymore — mainly battery-related issues — but there’s a case to be made for why we still need the 17-inch MacBook Pro.
Doing Real Work on a Notebook
If you’re a photographer, graphic designer or even just someone who casually uses photo or video editing software, having a big screen is essential. The 17-inch MacBook Pro used to be just big enough so that you could actually do real work on a notebook. Even though this computer sits on your lap, it’s big enough to be a truly useful machine.
With that much screen real estate, it’s easy to have multiple windows open at once, making multitasking simple. On a larger screen, manipulating photos and videos is a relatively simple task, but even creating and editing text can be much easier with a bigger screen. Though I argue that real work can be done on any size screen, the 17-inch MacBook Pro is like a portable desktop, and these computers are comfortable to work on for extended periods of time.
Mixing Laptop and Desktop
The 17-inch MacBook Pro is truly the mixture of a laptop and desktop. While using any laptop on your lap for a long stretch of time isn’t terribly comfortable, if you’re using a large 17-inch model, it’s a more comfortable proposition than a smaller laptop. But the 17-inch MacBook Pro is just as comfortable to use on a desk in front of you.
In fact, if you’re one of the many people who primarily use your laptop on a flat surface and don’t carry it around very often, having the extra screen space that a 17-inch MacBook gives you really starts to seem like a no-brainer. This particular model of the MacBook is truly the best mix between the laptop and desktop.
Casually Using a 17-Inch Screen
For most people, a 17-inch screen isn’t ideal. It’s a large computer to carry around, and you might even have to buy a new bag to carry around a laptop this big. But for some casual users, a 17-inch screen can be a real game changer.
For gamers, having the extra screen space is great. Playing games full screen gives you an intensely all-encompassing effect. For people who like to watch movies and television shows on their laptops, having a bigger screen makes it much more comfortable to stream videos. Admittedly, most people get by just fine with smaller screens, but if they had the option, it might surprise you how many people would choose to go with a bigger screen.
Complementing the iPad Pro
The new iPad Pro has a huge screen (for an iPad), and it makes the 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro look incredibly small for laptops. Now that Apple has produced such a large iPad, it would make sense for them to consider making a large MacBook Pro to complement the iPad Pro. If you have an iPad with a 12.9-inch screen, it makes little sense why you would also need or want a 13-inch MacBook.
Comparing the 15-inch over 17-inch
For most people, the 15-inch Macbook Pro model is probably big enough, but just having the option to get a bigger screen may make a lot of people take a second look at the MacBook lineup. 15-inches is a great size for most people, but just two more inches gives people a lot more screen real estate to work with.
Do you miss the 17-inch MacBook Pro? Do you think Apple will ever bring it back? Are any of you still holding on to older models of the MacBook Pro because Apple doesn’t make that model anymore? Do you know people who are still refusing to upgrade their old machines? What does the extra 2 inches of screen space mean in the real world? Is the bigger screen worth having less battery life? Let us know in the comments below.
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bought mine in 2009. still heavily use it. alas it has wifi and heat problems.
up-graded it to 1TB ssd and the full 4 GB of ram.
now EtreCheck reports a healthy system under Yosemity.
as soon as a 17″comes out ill pounce !
Waiting to buy MacBook 17” as soon as they bring it back!
Ive had mine since 2011, light use , works perfect , but i would buy a new 17 inch mac in a heartbeat if they brought it back !!!!
I use a 2006 17″ MacBook Pro (barely supported), and shall only buy another apple computer if they come out with another 17″ MBP. I am bummed that one can no longer watch/play DVDs and CDs on the later MBPs (after 2012). I have bought several newer MBPs , iPads and iPhones for my gal friend over the years (bought a top end 15″ touch bar/retina MBP today), but I personally am stuck on stupid (or I bumped my head or something) about the MBP with a 17″ screen. old folks need a bigger screen dag nab it. I believe they would sell a bunch, and do not realize the desire/demand potential. already told you more than I know, and good luck on that other deal
Definitely wish for Apple to come out with a 17 inch.
I have a 2011 MacBook Pro 17. Coming on 6 years of service is excellent. There are multiple issues now emerging. It is time to upgrade. There is another kind of user you do not mention in your article. One who primarily works a lot at home but regularly travels and must have a laptop computer. The 17″ screen is the best tool for that scenario. Battery is not much of an issue as I am plugged in most of the time. When I am not the battery works fine. I need real estate on my screen for the reasons already presented.
I use my 2010 MacBook Pro 17″ heavily. It heats up sometimes but otherwise I haven’t had any issues with it. I have a 15″ as a work computer and get frustrated with the smaller screen size. I anticipate that I’ll likely need to buy a new laptop in the next year or two. I’m still hopeful that Apple might come back with a 17″ screen; if not, I’ll start exploring other makes that provide it.
Both my 17″ MacBook Pros slow down when they get hot, but my solution is multiple 15″ x 9″ KAZ SmartTemp Hot/Cold Pads from my freezer. A Mac can sit on one of these pads until the frozen clay pad becomes warm & then I swap the warm pad out for an icy one from the freezer. In addition to running faster than a hot one, a cool Mac stays trouble free longer.
We need 17-inch for mobile work. It is very important to have more space when working with drawings.
I have an early 2009 17” MBP with the 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8GB of RAM and a 7200 rpm 320GB hard drive.
The 17” screen real estate is really important in visually supporting the multiple main frame sessions I need in order to perform software development.
The 8GBs use to be more than sufficient in support of the large and complex Excel spreadsheets. Microsoft Office 2016 is a different matter. I also use Parallels to run Windows 7 where I use Eclipse to do IIB development.
Running an antivirus and the Mac’s firewalls is also required in order to connect to the company network.
I am running El Capitan and would be running Sierra if my nearly 8-year old MBP were still supported. I intend to install/hack it anyway since it otherwise meets all of the basic system requirements.
If Apple still had or were to reintroduce a 17” MBP, I would not be writing this comment.
As a photographer on the go, I feel completely abandoned by Apple refusing to make another PRO laptop. I keep repairing my 2010 macbook pro 17″… sometimes I try to order the 15″ retina … and I always return it. I am so sad. The 15″ is too small to do anything. Photoshop like like sh-t on the 15″. The glare from the retina makes the machine useless for pro work (I don’t want to open a laptop and see the reflection of my own face when I am trying to work on pictures).
I don’t know what to do… so many years using Mac that I can’t switch to PC… and I need a laptop (for those that wonder why, it’s about how things go for a photographer: you work all day and your back gets fried, then have to rush home and get images processed, meaning a couch with some pillows and the laptop on your lap).
Would have gladly payed 2 or 3 times more then the 15″ to get a proper pro 17″ or larger laptop. PLEASE APPLE!!! Don’t abandon the people that got you going. It was the designers, photographers, art directors etc. that were loyal to you… all we ask for is a 17″ or larger macbook Pro with NO GLARE screen. Thank you for listening to my plead 😀
Apple made its initial success by catering to the creative professional market, and when it discontinued the 17″ MBP, it disappointed that exact market. As a UX designer, being around other designers out there, I haven’t yet met a single 17″ MBP owner that has stopped using it (I actually own two, just in case one dies). It’s just the perfect laptop for Creative Pros. No need for a second monitor, plenty of screen real estate to see the big picture in a design, without having to squint, and that awesome matte screen (I can’t stand glossy screens).
So it still baffles me to no end that Apple isn’t seeing what is an obvious golden opportunity to rekindle that relationship with the market that arguably made Apple, by releasing a 17″ MBP, with all the lighter and thinner components of today. I would pay the premium price for it in a heartbeat.
Turns out someone has recently started some petitions (I signed both):
I also sent Apple a tweet. I think in order to get enough attention, there needs to be enough people behind it… so share!
I’m on my second MacBookPro 17″ – late 2011. I too require screen space of 17″.
Machine going strong – only prob is looming sellBy no-support date –
a reality I refuse to embrace.
I too pray for new 17″ .
I couldn’t care less about weight, thickness, retina /not screen – – just keep me functional, up to date, secure/safe on. Please retain brilliant magnet on plug, and don’t omit USB ports.
Why is Apple choosing to drive away loyal customers?? Apple’s omitting entire 17″ size category necessitates our abandoning Apple.. Not complicated.
Memo to Tim:
iMac too big for my carry-on.
I have an older mac book pro 2002 model and want to upgrade to a 17″ model but can’t. My wife has a 15″ model and it’s to small for me. Please apple wake up make the 17″ mac book pro available as an option. There is a need for them.
The minute Apple produces a MacBook Pro Retina 17 inch I will buy it!!!!
I am still working on a mid-2009 17-inch Macbook Pro. I detest the new Macbook Pro models with no RAM and no peripheral ports and I have refused to upgrade because I need all the real estate I can get on my laptop which I use every day of my life. If this one dies I’ll be looking for a used 17-inch model until Apple wises up and brings their offerings back to where they left off in 2012.
Oh, and I must add . . . that I worked on very high end PC laptops for 25 years of my life and only switched over to Apple after much agonizing and research. I’ve been so thrilled with my Apple products I could have been their best salesman. Now I too feel abandoned. Do something, Apple, so we can once again boast about what a superior product you produce.
I´m using the 2011 mac book pro 17″ with icore7, 16 Giga Ram and 1 Terra SSD at work, have bought 2 more, one to use at home and one for backup.
But 2011 is a while ago and a faster machine will be needed soon.
Please Apple make a new 17 inch model with many USB ports, hdmi/tunderbolt and options for 2 extra screens.
I love the magnetic power connector. And remember a laptop is used for more than surfing the net, e-mail and looking at facebook . Some use it for programming/3d modeling/pcb layout and its a perfect main platform for serving VMWare fusion to run windows XP, 7,10 and linux. I love the time machine backup that not care about if you move the entire backup to new machine. A laptop with 17 or bigger screen, is better than a stationary machine with a screen that you need to look up at when using it, in the end your neck get stiff. Off course it possible to lie in the chair as most programmer/gamers do when they dealing with a desktop screen , but that is bad for the back. so laptop is best, but need to be 17″ or bigger.
The 17 inch MacBook is a big difference between the 15 inch MacBook if you’ve owned both. I would definitely get a new 17 inch if they were to ever bring it back.
I love my MAC-BOOK Pro 17″, especially when using multiple apps. It has ran since 2009 and I just can’t imagine what I will do when it no longer works. I really hope that Apple comes up with a new 17″ for all of us who will pay the extra money for it. The extra space for running apps such as Photo-Shop Adobe Bridge, and the internet along with Illustrator is a must. Please bring it back.
I use my 17″ Macbook Pro from 2004 every day, it looks new and has always done everything I need, but I can no longer upgrade my browsers or be compatible with my PC-using office. I much prefer it to my Airbook, used for mission travel. I am a researcher and writer living in a small French flat, so I don’t want a large desk top machine (have one at work anyway). So if there were a new model this size I would definitely purchase it.
I run a late 2011 i7 (2.5g) 16GB 17″ with a USB 3.0 Express/34 card (nice flush-mount dual USB), upgraded Bluetooth/WiFi, about to go with Samsung SSD, and just gutted it to install an astronomy-friendly red gel to my keypad (I also put one on the outside of the screen when needed). I fear the day Apple abandons upgrading my model. I lead study groups for Astronomy and Cosmology at my community college and find this machine essential for presenting both in class and during viewing sessions in the field where a projector is not an option, as well as my day-to-day work. This IS my desktop. At home, the screen is equal in visual angle (apparent size) to my TV across the room. I have no desire to hunch into a little laptop after spending too much time on a little phone screen for much of the day. I signed and shared the petition. Don’t make me do Windows just to keep my screen!!
Hey Dan, what usb 3.0 Express/34 card are you using and how did you set it up? I’ve heard that to enable other express 34 cards usage (those found on amazon) you have to introduce a security flaw, so I’d really appreciate it if you were to tell me about it. Also, how did you upgrade the bluetooth?
I have a late 17 inch with anti glare screen. Anti glare was another good thing they dropped. I upgraded the ram and it has a fast 500GB SSD. The graphics died but luckily it was included in the recall so Apple fixed it for free. It is still a very nice machine. It is a bit bulky to carry but that hasn’t stopped me carrying it 8 miles or more on a bike a few times. Even after 5 years or so the battery is better than any previous laptop I have owned so I don’t see that as a problem. For me it is a desktop replacement. I hope there is something similar available when it is time to replace. Or perhaps I’ll get a 15″ with a big separate screen. I think I’ll miss ‘lappy’ when it’s gone. Notwithstanding Moores law, it’s the best computer I have ever owned.
2009 Macbook Pro, 17 inch. Same story, waiting for the next one.
I’ve recently aquired a mint condition minimal-used 17″ macbook pro (late 2011) 2.5ghz quad i7 BTO configuration with antiglare screen. I’ve spent a considerable amount upgrading it – Samsung 850 evo 2tb SSD, 16gb 1600mhz ram, 2nd 2tb hdd in replace of dvd drive. I’m a design professional and couldn’t be happier with it. I previously had a 2014 15″ retina 2.8ghz, but much prefer the antiglare screen & much needed extra screen space. And in all honesty – the performance difference compared to the 2.8ghz retina is negligable at best.
I’m one of the many design/productivity professionals who feel very let down by Apple’s recent “style over substance” attitude towards their Pro level mac’s. It’s like becoming more like fashion accesories, and less catering towards the professionals that mac’s were originally built for.
I will most definitely be sticking with my superb customized 17″ configuration for the forseeable future, and can only hope that Apple sees sense at some point, and reintroduces a new 17″ model – with actual “ports & all
I’ve had my 17″ since 2012 and am growing increasingly anxious about its inevitably shortening lifespan in view of the absence of a replacement. I cannot fathom why Apple does not respond to this segment of the market. Desktops serve a defined need, but laptops for many are the universal machine and 15″ is simply too small, especially if you use it for the full range of functionalities like image editing, game playing and movie watching.
Please Apple: re-introduce the 17″ Macbook Pro.
MY 5 cents on this subject ( considering inflation )….. I too have an early 2011 MBP that I cherish and have some issues in the past that needed attention. But NOW,for a while, sometimes, and on an increasing more regular basis, my letters on thee keypad don’t always work anymore…. At first,i thought it was just a mechanical problem, but i now believe it ‘s increasingly intermittent problem may be more electronics related…. And this too-may have to do with the unit heating up….. HAS anyone else experienced this quite annoying problem….????
Yup – over the past 3 years I have replaced 5 keys. Ordered the parts online and replaced them with a pair of tweezers. A real pain in the you know what — BUT, well worth it because my last time around it took almost a week to get replacement F and J keys and I had to type on the white nub – LOL!….
Just want to add my voice to those hoping that the 17″ MBP gets reissued. I will keep using my last-model , buying NO OTHER until Apple does better by its best costumers. I’ve upped this one to 16MB RAM and a 1TB SSD and it runs well, so maybe I should thank Apple for saving me $$ by not being able to upgrade.
At the office I have a 27″ iMac that I couldn’t use without the multiple screens Spaces allows me!
Ya, still holding on to my 2009 17″ mac book pro. If there were a new model this size I would definitely purchase it. 15″ is to small.
thanks for making a case for 17″. PUSH IT! PUSH IT! PUSH IT!
Just another vote for a 17″ antiglare MBP. (I have a 2009 and late 2011; hard to give them up.)
My 2010 MacBookPro 17″ just died and I am so stressed having to find the trouble and hoping to fix it.
I’m using my wifes 13″ MBAir and there is no comparison, it’s like a toy.
I am 65 this year and have Glaucoma in check at the moment and definitely will need at least another
17″ MBP or larger. Now that they have designed for those that don’t need accessories and have improved
the guts they need to go all out and build the real professional laptop that they used to make.
I will be putting my old Linux desktop back together with a flat screen TV for now just in case they bring
out a 17″ or better. Hope I can stand it!
Looking forward to this. I also do hope they bring it back, but make it thinner. 😀 That would be aweeessooomeee! 😀
I have Macbook Pro mid 2009 17″ and will never change to a 15″. Yes, Retina is good bla bla bla, but I NEED more workspace, e.g. opening two documents on the same screen etc, so what does image quality has to do with that, huh? So since I have waited and waited and Apple doesn’t seem to bother to reproduce a 17″ laptop, I will just buy a nice HP 17″ and upload Hacintosh and hope it’ll do the work, otherwise, I’ll have no option but to turn to Windows, after 16 years of being a Mac user. I’m starting to think that the new people who run Apple after the Steve Jobs era are probably a little ignorant and maybe even stupid (can see that on the iPhone philosophy too). By the way, the new Macbook Pro with the touch bar is a very bad idea and will cause many problems to users. I think Apple is heading towards loosing the market (and lots of money), it’s already started, they just cant see it yet, but they’ll realise it after a few years and it’ll probably be too late by then.
I still hold onto my 17 inch Mac that I purchased in 2009 which I used all through graduate school. I use it occasionally but have the 15 inch now. I miss the 17 inch because I like multiple docs to look at for my teaching and for watching DVDS . I had no issues carrying around the 17 inch heavier workhorse. I took it on the airplane and everywhere I needed to and everyone with Ipads were laughing at me. I did not care…. If they re-introduce a 17 inch Macbook, I will be first in line to buy one.
Yes, I still use the late 2011 MBP 17 inch with i7 2,4 quad core, and have upgraded to 2TB SSD and 16GB memory, and do not want to buy any smaller MBP. I used them, and the real estate is to small for what I do with it even when the screen is less sharp without Retina. And I have another late 2010 same size etc. as second MBP in case the first one fails, which indeed happens now and them because of the soldering issue of the video card. Yes, the motherboard was replaced, but before the Apple guarantee, so was replaced with a second hand one.
I’m afraid Apple will not make a real Pro 17 inch anymore, you know, with lots of ports and not so thin and with a magnetic electrical cord, so I even want to invest in a new motherboard that is still for sale here and there, instead of buying a new 15 inch. Size and weight, although I use it in different places and countries, is not important to me. I understand Apple will not sell too many if they would make it again, but they could up their margin so still make a very good profit. I think nobody who really wants a Pro instead of the prosumers that they now produce would mind to pay more, IF it only was available.
The 17″ MacBook Pro MD311LLA with matte (non-glare) screen is my current dream computer picked up on Ebay for more than $1000 and worth every penny. With its relative rarity as one of the last of the 17-inch MacBook Pros, I like to imagine that someday, this will be a treasured electronic “antique”. The matte screen versions are more and more difficult to find, as are ones that haven’t been dented up and mistreated. In my opinion, the “holy grail” was the built-to-order 2.5 GHz matte MD311LLA (I have the standard 2.4 GHz). Notwithstanding that using this laptop on an airplane sitting in an economy seat is nearly impossible, and that it weighs a stunningly-heavy 3 Kg, everything else about this laptop is pure aesthetic joy. I liked my last one (an early 2008 17″ matte screen MBP that can run El Capitan but not Sierra) so much that I felt compelled to pick up another one – one of the 17″ 2011 models that support Sierra – before they disappear.
There is a way to replace the internal BCM94321MC WiFi card for Sierra support on the early 2008 17″ MBP, and I even ordered the replacement Mini PCIe BCM94360CS2 for only $15 surface mail (overseas slow cargo shipping) from China, but alas, the antenna wire connectors are not quite the same size and I didn’t feel like disassembling nearly the entire laptop just to replace the two antenna wires. (The procedure is described as Difficult on ifixit and I trust their assessment.) Both models run Windows 7 without any issues, as long as you install the BootCamp software immediately after installing Windows. You should install the BootCamp software itself, which will then install the drivers, rather than trying to install the BootCamp drivers manually. The reason is because otherwise, you won’t have fully-functioning F1 to F12 key support in Windows.
The 17″ screen is indispensable whether for home or work. For example, at home when I’m doing genealogy research, zooming into parish church records and trying to decipher centuries-old handwriting, or scrolling pages and pages of STR and SNP (Y chromosome genetic) data. At work when I’m examining telecommunications drawings, zooming in to look at cable wiring schemes or equipment port configurations. I don’t want to arch my back, hunched forward squinting at a 15 inch screen, Retina or not. There are some tasks that a 17 inch screen can make so much easier. I can appreciate why photographers and graphics professionals love these 17″ models so much. Oh, and I don’t own a TV because the matte 17″ screen and thunderous sound is so exquisite. When my girlfriend comes up to visit, we put the MBP on a shelf at the foot of the bed, adjust the screen to near maximum brightness, hook up my Makita stereo, turn down the lights, and enjoy 2 or 3 movies without ever thinking, gee, the image or the sound is not up to snuff. On the contrary, the image and sound are spectacular!
On both models – the early 2008 and late 2011 – I have macOS and Windows in a pristine configuration where each is kept to itself on separate disks formatted with each OS’s native file system and boot record (that is, not installed using BootCamp and its potentially-unstable hybrid MBR method). I have Paragon to translate between HFS+ and NTFS and it works perfectly. I forget it is even running behind the scenes. Sierra is running on a Wintec 92 GB ExpressCard (another item that is increasingly difficult to find), Windows 7 Pro x64 is running on a Samsung SSD, and to keep them protected from any OS catastrophes, all of my documents are stored on a separate 2 TB hdd in a caddy in the optical drive bay. I didn’t use BootCamp to install Windows, but I installed BootCamp afterwards: When installing Win 7, I kept the Wi-Fi temporarily turned off, long enough for me to (1) install BootCamp to update the drivers and turn on the F1-F12 function keys, and (2) to install about a dozen pre-downloaded Windows Update packs and rollups (aka pseudo-Service Pack 2). Then and only then, I turned Wi-Fi on for Win 7 to snag the most recent updates. This saves an enormous amount of time.
Windows 8 or 10 are foreign to me. I tried 8 once. Ugggg! Never again. I’ve tried 10 several times over the past year, even bought a bargain price netbook with Win10 just to familiarize myself with 10’s quirks, but I find the simplest tasks are painfully non-intuitive. Win10’s interface is beautiful… …but inconsistent. I’m sticking with 7 and Sierra for now. Every time I try to use 10, I feel like I’m schlepping in quicksand and not making any progress with my work tasks or hobbies because I’m spending so much time struggling against the interface. (Is there a way to completely turn off that dreaded metro tile interface permanently???) Egad what an abomination and thank goodness there is the Mac alternative. I’m really hoping that Apple brings back the 17″ MBP someday. I’d scoop one up in a heartbeat.
Of course, OS X or now macOS has its own quirks and flaws, but I’ve found good solutions, work-arounds, replacements, or just adapted to its way of doing things, for everything that was driving me crazy. For example, Path Finder to activate F2 rename and right-click Cut, and to prevent creation of hundreds of aggravating .DS_Store files, Keka in place of 7zip, OS X’s built-in key combos in place of Gadwin PrintScreen, XnView MP in place of ACDSee, Clementine in place of Foobar2000, EasyFind in place of Agent Ransack, and so on. There are some programs that I can only run on Windows, which is why I absolutely had to install Windows much as I wanted not to do so. I tried Parallels but it was too schizophrenic for me, always feeling like I was in between worlds and hindered me from fully acclimating to OS X.
My future dream 17″ MacBook Pro (Apple is anyone listening?):
Intel i7 quad core.
8 MB RAM standard.
Dual graphics processors.
500 GB Apple File System (not HFS+) formatted SSD with Sierra pre-installed.
At least 5-hour lithium polymer battery.
At least 2 USB 3 ports, preferably one on each side of the laptop rather than clustered next to each other.
At least 1 USB-C port (Thunderbolt 3).
1000-BaseT RJ45 Ethernet.
A dedicated DEL (forward delete) key like Windows PCs have, not just a Backspace key.
Arrow keys that are not tiny and are in an easy-to-use upside-down T or plus-sign orientation.
I wish Apple would bring back the ExpressCard 34 slot and the MagSafe power cable.
I wish Apple would put the Control key (not the Fn key) in the lower left corner, or at least allow switching Ctrl and Fn keys in firmware.
Easy to pop off the bottom panel and upgrade components just like you could with the late 2011 models.
I have a 2009 17″ macbook pro and have loved it! I have traveled with it and find it’s not much a problem to put in a large totebag.
Unfortunately, I am not able to make any more software updates, I am heartbroken.
Really hope Apple relaunches a brand new Macbook Pro 17″ screen again this fall.
Amen Justin and other posters.
Full disclosure: I feel completely betrayed by Apple, having used their products exclusively since the Apple II.
I picked up a second matte screen 2011 17″ Apple refurb at the end of 2012, when I saw the user hostile direction Apple was headed (where the eff is my Rosetta? Soldered RAM and SSDs – c’mon). Who needs upgradable hardware when you can pay triple upfront, or otherwise say goodbye to resale value? 10 year lifespan computers are no longer good for business, but that used to be one big feather in their cap in justifying buying a relatively expensive Mac over a PC. Oh well.
Other than the dreaded GPU Fail (that afflicted the entire MBP line of that era) my 17 has been flawless. I think the word ‘Covet’ would be appropriate here. I LOVE it. Dual SSDs, 16GB RAM, 10.6.8. Runs circles around even the newest 2017 MBP (Mostly because I can still run the ever stable and speedy Snow Leopard R.I.P. – I run El Cap acceptably on my 2010 White Macbook when I must).
I’ve been considering my next Laptop for over two years, but nothing compares. Even the best Hackintosh worthy 17″ PC (While significantly faster the the latest disappointing MBP at 1/2 the price), leaves me saying “meh”. As a content development professional, I would seriously spend 5K on my fantasy 17″ 4K retina MBP, 2TB SSD (dual drive option, please), 32GB RAM, 3+GB GPU. What would you pay for such a configuration?
But, alas… With Steve Jobs rolling in his grave, Apple is but a shareholder’s fashion brand now (Thanks Ive, Cook, and Schiller). They could give a damn about the digital publishers and content creators that made Apple what it once was. All they seem to care about now is high style content consumption, not content creation. Yeah guys, great job pushing the entrapments of iCloud while you keep removing those pesky UI elements! Hey, let’s all scroll backwards now, Johnny says it’s cooler.
Where next? Windows? Not! Linux? Hmm. Honestly, I’m stymied by a bonafide “they don’t make em like they used to” scenario. Both hardware and OS. Never thought I’d be ‘that guy’ “Get off my lawn!
I know my days are numbered – soon enough Apple will drop OS support for these beautiful machines, for non-technical reasons. So, I count my blessings that 95% of what I do on my mac, I can still do in 10.6.8,. The rest has fallen to my humble Macbook.
Aside from unsuccessfully trying to find a way to spoof my OS version to specific applications such as Chrome and Adobe CC (any advice here folks?), I am faced with the ultimate irony of getting a PC just to run the latest Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere, and faster than any mac laptop can – some of the very apps that made Macs the “go to” platform.
The arbitrary obsolescence of older Mac OSs (ex 10.6 -8, they’re coming for you next, Mavericks) are unconscionable marketing decisions designed to force hardware and software upgrades that are technically unnecessary. And don’t cite speed or security, Apple. Safari 5 aside, Snow Leopard is the fastest, most stable, and possibly most secure OS you ever released.
When people ask me what new mac to get, I usually suggest anything from 2011, particularly the 27″iMac and 15″/17″ MBP. In, fact, if the Easter Bunny left me a fully spec’d brand new MBP, I’d immediately sell it and get the best examples I could find of the models I just mentioned.
So, I’m done preaching to the chior. Thanks for all the thoughtful users here who remember what it was once all about. As an enthusiastic forward thinking person, it pains me that all I see with Apple are compromises ahead. I can’t see the next platform “for the rest of us” on any horizon. If anyone who requires a new 17″ workstation has found a better solution than Hackintoshing, or Virtual Boxing Mac OS on a PC, please share you solution.
Best to all.
Long live Steve Jobs. He was an uncompromising prick, but man could he execute his uncompromising vision. The guys running the show now are just compromised pricks.
I have an early 2011 MBP 17 – bought it refurb in late 2011. Within a year upgraded RAM to 16. Used it here and there as a personal device for several years relying primarily on my 15.4 inch company Dell for work/travel/etc (hey, it had a 10-key which came in handy). My company upgraded me to an ultra, lovely 11 inch, pretty nice portable. But 11 inches on the road is a killer on the eyes. So, I ripped open my MBP, swapped the SATA for an SSD and it is now my primary device when traveling.
Comparing cost to usability and features, I gotta say, I like my old 17 inch MBP far more than anything Apple has to offer in their current MBP lineup. A touchbar? Puhleaze -Gimmick and useless for my line of work. I need a solid 17 inches. 1.5 inches makes a huge difference for those of us on the road. Since 2011 through present I have forked out $2200 in total for device, warranty, RAM and SSD. Why would I pay $3800 for a 15 inch MBP???? And, besides, the latest and “greatest” in the MBP line doesn’t even have the iconic glowing apple medalion on the lid. C’mon guys – If you build it, we will come. Until then – Spending $3800 on a disposable laptop is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!! With my 2011 I can upgrade, customize, do anything. No screen issues – Am I just lucky? Hey, knock on wood. Is there a noticeable difference between a Hi-Res 17inch and a Retina 15inch? NOPE! Not worth losing 1.5 inches of display or the ability to swap out hard drive, ram or whatever I want.
Still use mine! AND STILL WAITING ON APPLE TO WAKE UP AND GIVE US A OPTION THAT DOES NOT FIT IN MY POCKET…. The 15 is just unusable to me. So if my little baby goes out I will be forced to go PC…….NOoooooo!
Voice your desire to bring back the 17″ Macbook Pro, directly to Apple,
Yep got my 2011 macbook… 16gb ram and ssd. If there is no 17inch macbook pro when this needs replacing i will have to look for a hackintosh…
A 15 inch with many pixels simply isn’t a viable portable workstation for my development work. When my 17 inch MacBook Pro gives out, I will have to switch to a PC based laptop. The larger screen is not an option.
Size matters. Need a 17 inch now! Am loathe to go to a PC and the joys of Windows 10. And most PC 17 inch seems to have many and varied issues.
It is not just a question of bringing back the old 17 inch but bringing out a 17 inch upgrade. From the look of the above comments there is a ready market for such a machine.
There is absolutely a NEED for the 17″ MacBook Pro. I’m on my 3rd 17″ after purchasing the very last model Apple made. I know it will soon be time to replace it. And like everyone else who has commented, I am desperately hoping Apple will wake up and see the professional need for this large screen laptop. I also agree that the antiglare option would be mandatory.
Does anyone know if Apple is taking note of these and other similar comments? Has there been any response from Apple executives regarding their interest in meeting the needs of the professional community of laptop users?
I have one of the last 17” models made in late 2011-early 2012. I refuse to give it up. I’ve dropped a 1TB SSD drive into it. Helped greatly. I just keep spending money keeping this old guy working. I’d gladly spend serious amounts of money on a new, updated, 17” (or larger.) I need one. This 2011-2012 isn’t going to last forever. I will not buy anything from Apple until they make a notebook for “pro users” (i.e. those of us upon whom Apple built their business.) I have been a Mac user for 25 years. I feel absolutely abandoned by a company I remained loyal to for decades.
I completely agree with everyone. And speaking as a traveling photographer, please, please, PLEASE make a new 17″ for photo nomads like me! Screen space and portability are essential to our work.
Couldn’t agree more
I still use my 17″ late 2011 2.5ghz i7 as my daily work/production machine. It’s had a huge amounts spent on upgrades – 16gb 2133mhz ram, 2 x 2tb 850 Pro ssd’s (in raid 0) – it’s still
a beast of a machine, and I have absolutely no intention of “upgrading” any time in the near
future. Full HD is fine – the antiglare option is fantastic, and I could not forgo the 17″ screen
space – Apple seriously need to stop putting so much emphasis on style over substance, and
start bringing the focus back on those who brought them to the dance in the 1st place – the
creative pros. We need the 17″ option, and we need (dare i speak it) PORTS! The latest machines longer qualify as part of the “Pro” category – please give us back the 17″ Macbook Pro we so long for
Could not agree more with you Graeme.
I think creative pros all over the world should start making waves on social media, and Apple’s own community site:
If Apple is looking for an instant hit with a growing professional and amateur market of designers, resurrecting the 17-inch is the obvious way to go.
I have 4, yes 4 17-inch MBPs. The 2.5 Ghz one is my main machine, I have another I use occasionally as a desktop replacement, one is hooked up to my TV, and another one is a spare, just in case my main one craps out. I absolutely love the larger screen and wouldn’t trade it for two MBP 15-inch laptops. I also upgraded the heck out of it. The SSDs and 16GB RAM is key.
Been following this comment thread for 2+ years. Guys–gasp!–I don’t think Apple is following it.
I don’t think Apple looks at this site’s comment section. But if there’s enough noise on their own community site (not to mention Apple’s social media feeds), it might some get attention.
I’ve been a 17 inch MacBook Pro devotee for years and hold on to two units. One is the veritable workhorse that I use daily for Node / React app development, the other is a like-new one that I amassed in a situation where I suspected the GPU was giving up. But the machine miracoulously healed itself so now the 2nd one is standing idly by for time to come.
The only event that could have me give the model up is if Apple launch a modern MacBook Pro 17. Imagine the possibilities today ! All this new technology and ability to design thin and light hardware. It would be an immensely attractive machine. The mechanical quality of these unibody machines is so high that a MBP can look brand new after years where a Windows laptop is by far phased out for performance reasons and general aging. And the most amazing factor; they still continue to work brilliantly with the latest MacOS versions.
Still using my 17″ 2008 model. It’s been repaired several times, but I love it. I actually still use Snow Leoopard! I strongly dislike the newer OSs and until I can’t use 10.8.6 any more, will keep it.
Looking for a 2012 17″ for a backup!
Just came across this thread, while looking for something else.
Yes, I have 2 of the very last 17″ MBPs. Was figuring they’d be getting harder to find, and that I’d be stuck if anything went wrong, so got myself a second one last year. Just as well, the first one did the GPU failure thing, have been using the second one since, and got the other one fixed. Last night the 2nd one did the same – yellow stripes on the screen, so am back to my original – swapped the SSD, took 20 mins, am continuing pretty much where I left off.
Now to get #2 fixed.
But if _only Apple would make one with current specs!
Mid-2010 MBP 17″ is my workhorse – it’s not just gamers and video producers–I do a lot of concept modelling and a lot of work that requires simultaneous viewing of multiple app windows–impossible to do comfortably on my 13″. My MBP is at the edge of obsolescence, so may have to evolve away from Apple altogether if I must replace this 17″ and find that Apple is STILL not responding to professional users. What a disappointment.