Yesterday, as soon as the Expo doors opened, I bum-rushed the Apple booth, trying to get access to the new 17" unibody MacBook Pros.
The decision to have a non-user replaceable battery is sure to be unpopular with some users -- at least in theory. Aside from the whole international flight issue, what effect does an 8 hour built-in battery have on heat? Having spent a few minutes with the new 17", I can say it is the coolest 17" notebook I have ever felt.
The 8 hour battery life is impressive. Obviously, we'll have to wait for the reviews to see how accurate that lifespan actually is, but it certainly sounds impressive. The touted 1000 cycle lifespan of the battery is significantly longer than any other laptop battery on the market. Even excessive recharging would yield 5 years of life (if you do 200 cycles a year).
I was most impressed with the screen. It's huge, it's gorgeous, and it has 1920 x 1200 resolution. I use my MacBook with an external monitor, but I could see using the 17" as just a main computer. Which is pretty much the point.
Check out the video: