Why We Need the 17-Inch MacBook Pro


17-inch MacBook Pro

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.

17-inch MacBook Pro

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.

17-inch MacBook Pro

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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Justin McGee

Writer. Editor. Teacher. Thinker. Follow Justin on Twitter @jstnmm.

127 Comments

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  1. I think our best chance for larger Macbook Pro screens will happen when Apple decides to increase the screen resolutions again (4K or thereabouts). I would like to see a 14-inch screen for the small Macbook Pro, and 16-inch for the large.

    1. A 14-inch screen would be cool! Something that’s still portable, but just a touch bigger than the 13-inch. Thanks for reading!

  2. Im still have the last MBP 17″ for me as a Civil Engineer I need a big screen to work anywhere. I put it a SSD and this work faster. I hope some time Apple releases the 17″ MBPr . With the last Intel chip on it.

    1. I did the same, but in an early 2008. Didn’t last long: NVIDIA 8600M GT. I can’t find an upgraded circuit board. Yeah, I’m a holdout.

    2. Same here, the screen extra real estate is vital for video editors, graphic designers, people working on multiple tasks across various applications with a higher number of open windows or just people with bad vision who need to enlarge text…
      Had to place a SSD in my last generation 17″ MacBook Pro which I had to buy refurbished after Apple discontinued it in the hope that it would last me until they’d come to their senses and put a new one in the production pipe.
      Apple should definitively bring the 17″ model back, I don’t understand why the trend is to make cell phones ever bigger and to keep shrinking laptops, it doesn’t make sense, you have an iPhone plus which is almost as big and heavy as a MacBook Air?!?

  3. I use my 17 inch MBP like a small desktop. it is on ac power most of the time. and sometimes I use it with an external keyboard and mouse. I just wish I had bought a quad core model before they went away. Come on Apple how about a 16 inch or 17 inch laptop. Use the extra space in the case for more ram or a 2nd SSD or CPU.

  4. I miss the 17inch Macbook and hope to see it come back! I on a 2009 17″ Macbook Pro trying to keep it going as long as I can. I can’t stand using anything smaller. I upgraded to an SSD and its running good for the most part, but would love to upgrade!

  5. Yes, I seriously miss the 17: MBP. I have a 15″ and 2 external displays so I can function at home. But on the road I feel much more limited by not being able to see multiple windows at once.

  6. I have a 2011 17-inch MBP, and I am incredibly happy with it. But it is also heavy to carry around. My dream machine would be a Macbook 17-inch. I know that today such a machine would probably be too slow, but in a couple of years that ought not be a problem …

    I use it for webdesign and graphic design – it makes it possible for me to do occasional work while travelling / being on the road.

  7. I agree completely. Although I have a 15″ through work, my 17″ is my primary computer, and every time I use my 15″ for anything, it’s like working through a keyhole. The extra screen real estate definitely makes a difference to me, and I work long enough that I’d need a power adapter for whatever machine I’m using anyways, so the extra battery life on the 15″ means nothing to me, all of which means I haven’t upgraded and I’m not going to until my 17″ is irreparably dead, or Apple introduces a new 17″.

  8. Both my lady friend and I still have our old 17 inch. Both waiting for a new one. We are senior citizens that apple forgets, when she comes to visit me she was bringing her 17 inch, she needs a new one badly, we may have to give up the apple brand as they have given us up. We feel we have waited long enough. We have given them our loyalty but they don’t give it back. We wait forever or at 80 and 70 it seems like it. Bye bye apple…….

  9. Completely agree. Still rocking the last generation 2011 quad 2.5G i7 17″ matte display with dual drives, SSD, 16GB, and even OS X supported USB3 via express card/34. Just had the main board replaced under Apple warranty for the dreaded 2011 15″ / 17″ graphics card melt down issues.

    I’ll keep using this one until something equally as adept comes along, and I’m loathe to go down to a 15. Even the Retina machines just don’t have the meaningful workable resolution of the 2011 17″. Wait what? Sure look at the numbers, the “hires” 15’s had a display ratio of 16:10, 1440×900 pixel. The Retina displays are 2x in each direction, for 2880×1800, but all the on-screen OS “objects” are the same size as they were when the screens were 1440×900 – they just look better due to sub-pixel aliasing. I know there are minor “bumps” Apple provides to get more on the Retina screens, or hacks to go full native – but that one isn’t really very useful due to how small everything gets – and the bumps don’t come close the 17’s real-estate.

    The usable hires top of the Macbook Pro line was, and still is for most tasks, the 16:10 ratio 1920×1200 17″ MBP display. Roughly, today’s Retina 15″ MBP has only about 60% of the same screen real-estate of the previous 17″. ((1440×900) / (1920×1200)) =~ 0.5625)

    Remember, the Retina 15″ cannot display any more OS “objects” on the screen as the non-retina, the OS displays things at relatively the same size – if was 10mm tall on a 1440×900 screen, it’s 10mm tall on a 2880×1800 screen – with better color transitions.

    This is all a build up to state that the difference is way more then 2 inches of screen.

    I have actually started a side project to build and sell companion monitors for high resolution laptops. These are smaller 17″ displays at 1920×1200, housed to sit down low right next to your laptop. This would go well with people having limited desk space, or users which would like to continue to more easily use their laptop display instead of cranking their head up and down between their native laptop display and at a taller 24″ display (because oddly enough, you have to get about a 24″ display to have a resolution of 1920×1200 – or “TV-HD” of 1920×1080).

    Thanks for the article.

  10. I am cheerfully cherishing my 17″ MBP, and dread the day I have to give it up. I may end up switching to the dark side if I can’t get something bigger than a 15″ MBP. Sigh…

  11. Yep, still have my MBP 17. Replaced the battery a couple years ago and switched the HD to an SSD and it runs great! I’d love to see Apple introduce a new generation model.

  12. In the same boat here. I love my 2011 17″ quad-core; it still runs well after 5 yrs. I’d love to replace it with a slimmer (no optical drive) Skylake-based 17″ MBP, but I don’t expect Apple to offer one. I may have to just upgrade the SSD at some point. C’mon, Apple! Give us more options.

  13. Still using my MBP 17 purchased in August 2010. Just replaced the hard drive today. Still going strong. Would love to have a new MBP, but will delay as long as possible if it can’t be 17. I need the screen size and portability.

  14. I have two of the last 17″. Still using the 30″ display as well. Great for Photoshop, etc. Feel no need to upgrade.

  15. I’ve upgraded my 17″ 2011 MacBook Pro about as much as I can and won’t stop using it until it dies completely, or Apple releases a new 17″. 4K and 5K are not important, having a default resolution of 1920×1200 or more is what I want.

  16. As much as you might like it, it’s not coming back. The plain fact is they stopped making it because they didn’t feel they were selling enough of them. If you need to be stationary for a day, tote a monitor with you. There are a lot of lightweight ones now.
    Seems the large screen PC laptops don’t really come with large resolution screens.

  17. As a professional designer in print and web, also a photographer and videographer, large monitors are the best. desktop uses 3 monitors (23,30,23), and I use the 17″MBP when meeting with clients or doing a photoshoot in the field. The 17″ MBP feels light to me. I just need Apple to make a newer, more powerful version, full featured, and upgradable (I also use the DVD burner). In the comments, it seems many people like smaller laptops due to weight. Weight is not an issue to me. If I want a small screen — I can use an iPad.

  18. When the decision to abandon the 17″ Mac Pro was made, our company bought 10 of them just to have for future employees. Since then we have run out of 17″ Mac Pro’s and have resorted to buying the 15″. We are an engineering company, which consist of electrical, mechanical and software engineers. All of the employees that have the 17″ enjoy working with the added workspace, while the others with 15″ Mac Pros request more screens. Maybe Apple was thinking they could sell more thunderbolt monitors, well they guessed wrong. we are buying Dell monitors which I am sure Dell is happy about.

    Please bring back the 17″ so we don’t have to resort to something ever more drastic, like buying a Dell laptop.

  19. I am an illustrator and appreciate the larger screen size of the 17″ Mac Book Pro. When Apple discontinued them, I searched out and bought a used one as back up. I have always been a loyal Apple supporter, but now feel the company has turned its back upon the creatives that helped support Apple in its early days. When my two 17 inch MacBook Pros bite the dust my next laptop will not be an Apple.

  20. I have a 2009 17″ MBP and have upgraded the HD to a 1 TB SSD. I love this computer! BUT I am longing to upgrade to a new 17″ MBP as mine is now 7 years old. Having read comments on this subject on this website and many others, it seems obvious to me that there is a latent market of a few million professionals and enthusiasts who would hand over good money straight away to Apple for a new 17″ MBP. The screen size, portability and, compared to desktops, small footprint make the 17″ a no-brainer — come on, Apple — you CAN do it. If screen size doesn’t matter, why the larger screens on iPad Pro’s, indeed, why do people go for bigger screens on all sorts of devices.
    I originally had PC desktop computers, then a PC 17″ laptop (2004 vintage) which had a so-so quality screen. BUT then I migrated to my 17″ MBP — it was like entering the Promised Land! I can’t imagine switching back to PC but I need to see some common sense from Apple. PLEASE don’t ignore the professionals that have been instrumental in establishing Apple’s reputation.

  21. I use MacBook primarily for creating music and Dj live performance really miss the 17inch the 15 inch just doesn’t have the real estate I need for a screen. I still have my 2011 Macbook pro but it is getting slow so need another alternative. Apple

  22. I have a 2011 17” Mac Book Pro and I will never downgrade to a 15” MBP. This is the reason I am still using my old machine, although I would love to have a retina display on it and some of the other new features. But even all of these new features are not attractive enough to make me switch to a 15”.

    The larger screen gives so much more freedom on the scree and I do not have the difficulties seeing smaller fonts, can work on a few documents simultaneously. Resolution doesn’t help compensate this as many people believe.

    A thinner and lighter contemporary version of the 17” will be much more convincing to buy for a wider audience and for those looking for portability. But yet will give the benefits of a larger screen. Smaller could never be larger.

  23. i have brand new MacBook Pro 17″ Early 2011 Rebuilt By Apple in (2016) it was completely rebuilt new housings and logic board. and i also have a 15″ Retina MacBook Pro (Mid 2015) with AMD and although i have to admit that i love the slimmness of the new computer and the retina display i have to say that. i will not stick with that computer one because it has issues with StainGate Display and also if something is too go wrong on it you have to replace the entire screen or the Logic Board which is super costly including replacing the battery you have to repalce the entire Top Case which is about 300$ so i have decided to keep my 17″MacBook Pro there is now 32GB Ram Options Available that i am going to be getting for my computer as well.

  24. My mid 2009 MBP 17″ is having keyboard & trackpad issues & the bluetooth isn’t working. Repairs aren’t available from Apple any more, may be $600+ locally. But I really don’t want a 15″. This is the only computer I use, am really happy with it & everything else is in excellent shape (so far).
    There isn’t a happy solution unless Apple brings back a new version of the 17″. Let’s hope it happens in 2017. The baby boomer generation needs something we can see!

  25. The Retina MacBook Pro 15″ just isn’t enough real estate for desktop-level work that you need to be able to carry around. Pixel density does not compensate sufficiently for physical screen size for many professional users. I used to buy new 17″ MacBook Pros every two years and have 3 that are still running. Last year, I put an SSD in my own Early 2011 MacBook Pro—my main machine—and it is still better than anything now on the market for my uses. I’d pounce on new 17″ MacBook Pros tomorrow if Apple brought them back, and I watch every Apple keynote hoping for that one more thing. Same for several colleagues who are also nursing along their 17″ers and many others who reluctantly switched to 15″. I’m going to keep this last one working as long as I can for myself, but last month I finally had to give in and buy two Dell 17″ Inspirons for my lab. After being a Mac-only shop for decades, it was a sad day to have to move over to PCs!

  26. I dearly await a 17″ MBP. For my work I used to have one and then it broke. I got a 15″ but it was just too small to work on all day and a second monitor is a requirement for me either way so I could not just use an external screen while at work to increase my screen size. Now I am using an iMac at the office and the 15″ MBP when I travel, but that sucks because I always have to keep my stuff in sync and it is a huge hassle to do it because I don’t need the small macbook very often. I want a 17″ MBP that I can use at the office and when I travel. I have the iPad Pro as well and I love the thing like crazy… I really hope they bring back the big MBP… They are bringing out phones almost as big as that nowadays anyways (iPhone 6,6s,7 plus…). That stuff is just laughable. A phone is not a computer, but a computer should be large enough to actually be used as a computer!

  27. As CEO and road warrior to Europe and Arab Gulf, I still have my 17″ MBP, now 10 years old.
    Yes I have MBAirs (5), MBP Retina 13 (mid 2015), iPad Pros (2), iPADs (6), but love the real estate on the old MBPro 17.

  28. I have the MacBook Pro 17″ yr 2013 and want to buy a new model. Went on the Apple side and Big surprise. No more Apple MacBook Pro 17″!!! inch. I have carried mu MacBook all over the world without a problem. I do all my work on this computer. In my opinion, there is no difference in carrying a 15″ or 17″. I think that for most people the era of having a portable AND a desktop is over. Therefore, the 17″ just offers superior “work space” on a trip, at home and in the office. I won’t want to downgrade to a 15″.

  29. I have a 2011 17″ MacBook Pro that I’ve bumped up to 16 GB of RAM and I’ve replaced it’s hard drive with 1 TB SSD and it screams! You can put together a system like this for about $2k. I think this system will probably meet my needs for the next 3 years at least. At that point, it’s probably going to seem long in the tooth. I’m hoping that by then, Apple will come to their senses and offer a new 17″ MBP. I understand Apple’s logic that a 15″ MBP with a retina display has a higher display resolution than a 17″ MBP with standard display, and that’s great if you’re young, but those of us over 40 often have a difficult reading things that tiny. Sad to say, but if Apple doesn’t come out with a 17″ MBP by the time mine is ready for retirement, I’ll probably buy a high-end 17″ Windows laptop and hate myself and my user experience as well…

  30. I’m just now seeing this article while researching the question: “will Apple ever bring back the Macbook Pro 17″?” and wanted to comment.

    I LOVE my 17″ and am regularly terrified that it will either quit on me, or become unsupportable in terms of newer software and OS updates. Yet when people suggest to me, “Just get a desktop,” I respond that I love the mobility and ease of a laptop and have no desire to tie myself down to a desktop model just to accommodate a bigger monitor screen!

    There is no comparison between using my 15″ and 17″ Macbook: the wider screen makes working with photographs far easier, it makes working with multiple open docs more manageable, and it allows for the proper amount of visual framing for eye ease. When I take the 15″ on trips, I can’t help but note how crammed everything feels on that smaller screen, how constricted and limiting.

    I don’t know if there’s any way to let Apple know there are many of us out here who still want this product, but I hope they resurrect the 17″ and bring it into more contemporary product releases.

  31. There are two points missed in previous comments, which are very important to me:
    1) matte display
    2) two SSDs
    In my late-20117 MBP (17″, of course) I have a nice matte display, which means I can use it under direct sunlight and still be able to see what is on the display. I tried a new retina model, outdoors is not usable at all!
    And I make multichannel sound recordings (typically 32 channels), so I need an HUGE and fast storage space.
    In my MBP I installed TWO Samsung Evo 850 SSDs, each is 2 Tb, so I have 4 (FOUR!) terabytes of fast SSD storage in my MBP. I can consider updating it to a newer model only if I can at least get the same storage space, and possibly even larger (two Seagate USB3 disks of 2Tb each are always in my bag, and the idea of having 8Tb of SSD INSIDE a new Macbook pro is appealing for me).
    Current Retina models only offer 1 Tb storage, ridiculous… No Firewire interface (OK, there is the Thunderbolt adapter, but for professional use it is unreliable, as it disconnects easily), no Ethernet port, no Expresscard slot. Same amount of RAM as mine (16 Gbytes), and nothing can be upgraded after purchase.
    Someone wonders why the sale of Macbook Pro laptops dropped in the last two years, I see no surprise. Late 2011 models are far superior to more recent ones, so people will not change them, better to spend money installing faster SSDs, expanding the memory, and purchasing useful Expresscard interfaces (I have USB3, E-Sata, SD).

    1. While I don’t need that much storage, I completely agree with the matte display. I’ve used a 15″ with a glossy display and it’s always reflecting something so strongly that I can’t read the screen. I shouldn’t have to position myself and the laptop to suit the laptop’s needs, the laptop should be able to be positioned to suit my needs.

  32. I’ll take a new 17 with every bell and whistle. I’ll give an extra $1000 if its keyboard has a real number pad — even if I must give up one of the loudspeakers to make room for it.

  33. I’ve been working on my MBPro 15 for 6 years, and recently bought a Late 2011 MBPro 17, in which I put 2 SSD’s and 16gb : I’m doing web design, web coding, server management, music producing, and watching p**rn Lol 🙂
    Seriously, for the music and photo professionals like me, a 17 inch MBPro is a must-have, and we ARE ready to put money into it !

  34. I’m an illustrator and continue to use my old 17″ MacBook Pro. In fact I recently bought a second one for back up. I need the big screen for illustration. As I recall Mac started out with creative professionals as their base. I feel Apple has abandoned us. When the 17 inchers are no longer viable, I guess, I too will join the creatives that are leaving Apple behind. And by the way, I don’t consider it heavy. Thinner and smaller! Have you seen the controller for the newcApple TV device. It’s 4″ long an inch wide and about an 1/8th of an inch think. How long do you suppose I have until I lose it in the depths of my couch? This is bad design! Bring back the 17 inch MacBook Pro, and forget your cute little I Watch!

  35. We just took in our 2nd 17″ Macbook Pro from the 2011 era to Apple for repair. Both of ours have suffered the breakdown of the soldering connections for the graphics chip, which causes all kinds of instability and video issues. This was very common for certain machines from that time frame.

    Apple *finally* recognized this systemic issue with the 2011 series 15″ and 17″ MBPs and offered an extended repair plan, which we were able to take advantage of again now for the the 2nd repair – which is great. (BTW, the 1st 17″ to succumb was our “hotter” BTO 2.5Ghz i7, and the 2nd 17″ to fail is a 2.3Ghz i7. It actually took *less* use in elapsed time for the 2.3 machine to see its graphics chip fail).

    While we were talking with the Apple rep at the repair counter, we mentioned trying to keep our 17’s going while hoping that Apple would rethink the situation and bring back a professional 17″ Macbook again. Oh, the disappointment I felt when he just laughed about that and said that Apple would never do that at this point.

    I know that one Apple rep certainly doesn’t make policy, but it should be obviously to all of us too. 🙁 They’re really probably not going to make more. That’s pretty sad.

  36. I have the 2012 15 inch pro and use it both as a desk and laptop. However recently started
    editing with FCPX and a extra 2 inches would sure be great. Plan on getting the new 15 Pro
    but would get the 17 inch in a heartbeat if it was offered.

  37. I hoped that the macpro release yesterday would have finally got a 17inch or 18 inch , but none. Surface studio has attracted my attention even though have 27inch imac and 17inch mac pro. but things get older and you want more speed, for the work and graphic I do unless apple gets moving or maybe surface brings a 17-18 inch surface book out then it might be time to dread and change. I think apple is not listening to its buyers and they should have serious look at this high end devices that are used for real work daily,. we gone from a PC family to apple. what now???

  38. Sadly, I will have to go with a PC for my next computer because I have to have a larger screen. This will be the last mac product I will own. Even my phone and new tablet is a samsung because of Apple’s refusal to sell large laptops. Apple has failed to realize the loss of crossover sales required for having like devices. I didn’t buy a replacement for my ipad and my Samsung works better than an iphone anyway. Sorry Mac, you failed me.

  39. Sign me up… I have mourned the disappearance of the 17 inch laptop. I would buy one the moment it comes out again, particularly with the advances that have been introduced since it disappeared a few years ago.

    Come on, Apple, please do it.

  40. Have just read all the above comments – surely there is still a great need for another 17″ MCP. I’m afraid Apple has become arrogant like Microsoft – they need to get back to what the customer wants. I cannot upgrade to Sierra because my 17″ is too old, but in a heartbeat I would buy a new 17″ if I could. In our tech crazy, immediate response world, why can’t Apple survey its customers to really find out who would purchase a new 17″ MCP – I bet there would be significant interest. Like so many above, I will just keep mine until it dies, maybe by then Apple will come to its senses. I commiserate with all of you.

  41. I’ve clung to my 2011 17″ MBP (which was their last model) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I’m a graphic and web designer who also does a lot of non-graphics work and this is my only computer. I upgraded it myself to a 1TB SSD and 16gb memory, plus I back up to a 2TB drive, so I’m good. I really hope they bring it back; macOS Sierra is the first update that has a feature my baby is too old for: copy and paste between iPad and Mac 🙁

    I still hate Apple for taking away the power user’s work horse.

  42. I will not buy a new Mac unless there is a 17″ screen. Period
    It’s too useful to have a full screen and full powered laptop.
    The new ones are a TOO THIN and TOO SMALL fad.

  43. The new Macbook Pro’s are fantastic. Except for one tiny detail. Still no 17″ version.
    So keep up with my 2011 17″ Pro modified with a fusion SSD drive.

  44. I converted to Mac with fear after fifteen years of being a PC user. I am still using the mid-2009 Macbook Pro that I purchased and I am a hearty Apple proponent now. I use my 17″ Macbook every day as my main computer on my desk, carry it on business trips and overseas. However, I am becoming disenchanted with the passing of Steve Jobs and coasting in Apple’s innovation department. I’m trapped! I cannot upgrade to Sierra OS on my mid-2009 Macbook Pro because it is not compatible and there is no 17-inch laptop anymore. Besides the new laptops lack connectivity and upgrade ability of the older ones. Am I destined to revert to my dreaded old PC roots if Apple doesn’t step up soon?

    1. The only upgrade available for you? Probably the Late-2011 17″ Macbook Pro. Not a bad machine really, quad core i7’s up to 2.5Ghz with a 3.6Ghz boost possible. Up to 16GB of ram (which as we all now know, is still just fine for Pro work, right, right? 🙂 ) You can put in a couple of TB SSD’s, and use the express card slot for USB 3.0.

      You still get MagSafe, USB2, Mini-Displayport, Ethernet …all built in, wow! Seems nice!

      I have put the 3g 960GB SSD from OWC in 2 17″ MBPs now, in the DVD area using data doublers. The performance via Blackmagic is 425MB/s writes and 500MB/s reads. Not too bad either.

    2. I’ve come to that conclusion as well. However, do you know where to find new ones? I have not been able to locate more than used ones.

    3. Good call then!

      Heh, I found a couple of new ones a while ago. We have 2 of them here, a 2.5Ghz BTO Matte and a 2.3Ghz Matte and I wondered if there were any new ones left so I searched around. We have had both of our logic boards replaced under extended warranty by Apple due to the same graphics card type failures so I wanted to know if I could get backups just in case.

      Well, I found a couple on Amazon, but you’d better move fast. One of them is only $29,000 and the other is only $9,000. I didn’t stutter.

      Here’s the “cheap” one:

      https://www.amazon.com/Apple-MacBook-MD311LL-17-Inch-Laptop/dp/B005CWJ76O/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478811002&sr=8-3&keywords=17+macbook+pro&refinements=p_89%3AApple

      Here’s the pricey one:

      https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Macbook-quad-core-2-3GHz-MD036LL/dp/B004QKEGJG/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1478811040&sr=8-23&keywords=17+macbook+pro&refinements=p_89%3AApple

      Get them while they’re hot, eh!

  45. Some of the 2011 17 inch had issues with the screen going white. Thermal expansion effects had pins of a graphics chip come loose from the circuit board due to bad solder chemistry. Apple still run a recall on the models affected until the end of 2016 so in case your MBP 17 show such tendencies take the opportunity to have Apple replace its motherboard for free as they did on mine. After the recall ceases any owner will need to buy a spare motherboard (some 500 dollars) and find someone to replace theirs so beware. Apple will only repair units that show a defect when they run their service workshop diagnostic tests. So if you have a unit that does not come up as defective in the test Apple programs then it will not be eligible for the free recall repair.

    See this page: https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/

    1. Half true half not true. The technical support guys will let the machine run through the test and if nothing shows up you are out of luck unless you can literally show the malfunction to them in their faces. I recently had an issue with the B key on my 2016 15″mbp, it wouldn’t register everytime and it didn’t show up in their scan so I went to the store and spammed the key on MS word and they replaced my keyboard which was soldered with the batteries and trackpad ??

  46. I am still a heavy user of my 17″ mid-2009 MBP. Before the Apple Care ran out I had some issues with the TouchPad, motherboard and the graphics card. All were replaced for free. Ever since then, this MBP has stood up to the daily work I use it for, both work and play. It is my only computer. I use t for rendering videos, photo-shopping, as well as for everyday web-surfing and skyping. Yes, it’s fastest port is a Firewire800, yet the speed is not that bad when I trade in the real estate of the 17″ versus speed for a smaller screen. Just think about the killing Apple would make with a 17′ MBP with Retina display, Thunderbolt and USB3. I was looking for the last year Apple made a MBP 17″ for sale but have held out, hoping Apple gets wise and realizes there is a professional market out here that needs a 17″ with more useful upgrades than the most recent 2016 MBP 15″ which is very watered down for a professional.

    1. My wife uses mid 2009 17′ and she doesn’t want any other mac laptop size. She patiantly waits until newer 17′ laptop from mac becomes available.

  47. I have an iMac 27”, MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013), MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011), and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- while the iMac is a desktop (and a great one), all the rest are MacBook Pros.

    I do a LOT of multi screen work (e.g., simultaneously view several files and objects on the same screen, which is a perfect task for the bigger screen while on the road) in the security/forensics business, as well as graphics and source code writing. Hence, my preferred system is my MacBook Pro 17″, even above my faster Retina 15″ 2013. I greatly improved my 17″‘s performance by 1TB SSD drive, which makes boot up, virtual machine performance, and I/O much faster and I have increased the ram to 16GB. Therefore, I would love to see a new MacBook Pro 17 come into the lineup – not sure how Apple’s mantra of eliminating ports and replaceable drives and ram though…

    As a side note, I have been subjected to 3 visits to the Apple Store (and a 4th is eminent) to replace my 17″ Logic Board due to the GPU (graphics chip defect) which gratefully Apple is repairing at no cost to me as per their Quality Program extension (which by the way ends Dec 31 2016). However, Apple is simply replacing the logic board with refurbished units that test ok on their bench. The GPU problem (heat related ) seems to always come back over time. I was encouraged the last time I took it in for the service (Nov 2017) when the “Genius” told me Apple Service was replacing the chip on all these refurbs, and properly soldering, and addressing new thermal paste. However, after just 3 days, literally during the time primarily focused on restoring and reorganizing the data on my drive, the problem is again coming back. So, back it goes for what I’m afraid will be just another board change (and not an appreciable fix). I’m frustrated to read that outside 3rd parties are repairing the logic boards by replacing the GPU chips, properly resoldering the chip, and using improved thermal paste for their customers (which resolves the problem more permanently, albeit that their customers pay $200 – $400 USD for their service), compared to Apple’s service centers simply swapping boards. Apple’s process doesn’t seem to comprehend actually addressing the known problem. But, I’ll keep bringing it in until the problem is fixed.

    All that said, I would love to see a 17″ MBP get reintroduced and I’d gladly get one. Even through Apple may not consider me a typical user in their demographic (although they used to), I’d still benefit from the larger-screen workhorse.

    PS: Incidentally, the same Genius from the Apple Store also mentioned to me that Apple was going to be coming out with a 17″ MBP in late 2017. But, I don’t know that I can rely on that information, based on the BS I feel I was given about what they were going to do to repair my MBP this last month!!!

    1. You and I are alike in that we’re not a part of the general demographic of Apple users, being inclined to like 17″ MacBook Pros. My first venture was with a 2007 17″ MacBook Pro with a Hi Res 1920×1200 display option, and later, a 17″ 2010 model, and currently as we speak, am typing on a 17″ Early 2011 Quad i7 model. Just recently took this into the Apple Store, where the 4-day repair service most likely simply replaced my logic board. While it was nice to get a new board as the bottom RAM slot wasn’t working, it still begs the question as to whether or not the GPU will have legitimate issues. So far, however, I have been babying this thing, and should anything go awry with the notebook, I will disable the discrete GPU by removing the .kext files, and simply using the integrated Intel HD graphics, as this was one of the last MacBook Pros released which can still boot with a defective GPU.

      Either way, this is absolutely perfect for me. I find it hard pressed to desire a 15″ MacBook Pro, even a Retina display model, as it leaves screen real estate to be desired. The performance is phenomenal, and I believe with modern technology, Apple could certainly make use of the internal space they claim they keep running out of, in the newer notebooks.

      I find it very hard to believe Apple will rerelease a 17″ notebook again, as it is unlikely they are to invest in a market which isn’t all too profitable for them, though, I can see them profiting from such a potential market.

    2. I doubt the creative pro market (which would be the target market for a 17″ MBP) is not a profitable one – in fact it’s a market much more likely to pay a premium for top-of-the-line equipment. The margins can be much higher. And there are more and more creatives out there creating digital content, so it’s a growing market.

      Ask any creative professional (designer, photographer, audio/videographer) if they’d buy a 17″ MBP with today’s thin and light hardware, and I would be surprised if they aren’t interested in it.

      I really don’t understand why Apple isn’t bringing it back. Seems like a slam dunk to me.

    3. I am glad to see that I am not the only one on this boat. My 2011 mac pro 17″ got a new logic board for free on April 2017, yes it was out of the extended warranty but they did an exeption as I called them on Nov 2016 and let them know that my computer was stuck overseas and me in the US for some customs and shipping issues. Anyways. As soon as I started using it again I noticed the same issues coming back: white screen, glitches when I reboot it and I thought the same as you mentioned in your comment it only makes a sense if apple was replacing the logic board with refurbished ones and I am afraid they were recycling the same logic boards with the defective grafic carts they took off from returned customers. I really don’t what to do as I invested a lot on this machine with tons of upgrades and bought it as a gift for my brother who needs it for work overseas.