Apple MacBook Pro MD311LL/A 17-Inch Laptop

Price: Check on Amazon

Product Description

Introducing the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The state-of-the-art quad-core Intel i7 processor delivers up to 2x faster performance (over the previous generation of MacBook Pro). New Thunderbolt technology lets you connect high-performance peripherals and high-resolution displays to a single port, and transfer files at lightning speeds. And with the built-in FaceTime HD camera, you can make astonishingly crisp HD video calls.

With the revolutionary Thunderbolt technology, you’ll be able to achieve bi-directional channels with transfer speeds to peripherals like external hard drives and servers up to an amazing 10 Gbps–while also connecting to a DisplayPort-compatible high-resolution display.

As with previous models, the MacBook Pro features a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, creating a thin and light mobile computing workhorse (less than 1 inch thin and just 6.6 pounds) that’s also highly durable. It includes a 17-inch, LED-backlit glass display as well as a glass trackpad that doesn’t include a button (for larger tracking area) that features Apple’s Multi-Touch technology. And it comes standard with automatic graphics switching that provides performance when you need it and energy efficiency when you don’t. You’ll also get up to 7 hours of battery life while on the go.

This version of the 17-inch MacBook Pro (model MD311LL/A) features a second-generation 2.4 GHz Core i7 quad-core processor, 750 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of installed RAM. Other features include ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth connectivity, an ExpressCard/34 slot, three USB 2.0 ports, and a FireWire 800 port

Key Features

Revolutionary Thunderbolt Technology

Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O (input/output) technology delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second of transfer speeds in both directions. Built into the MacBook Pro, the Thunderbolt port allows you to connect to new Thunderbolt-compatible peripherals as well as existing USB and FireWire peripherals using simple adapters. You’ll be able to move data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and more than 12 times faster than with FireWire 800, and you can daisy-chain multiple high-speed devices without using a hub.

And because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, you’ll be able to connect to a high-resolution display from the same port. Any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt port, and you can also connect displays that use DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA connections with an existing adapter. You’ll also be able to include your display into a daisy-chained set of peripherals.

Next-Generation Quad-Core Intel Processor

This MacBook Pro is powered by a second-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, which provides breakthrough digital media management, content creation, and 3D gaming capabilities. With updated Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, the latest Core i7 increases speed automatically for whatever you’re doing, dynamically accelerating performance to match your workload.

Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology enables each core of your processor to work on two tasks at the same time, delivering the performance you need for smart multitasking. And you’ll enjoy a rich set of new features for a stunning and seamless visual experience with no additional hardware. The Core i7 processor also provides faster access to the installed RAM, with an integrated memory controller to connect fast 1333 MHz memory directly to the processor.

With new microarchitecture, the graphics processor resides on the same chip as the central processor and has direct access to the 6 MB of shared L3 cache–helping your applications run at peak performance. And an integrated video encoder enables HD video calls with FaceTime, while an efficient decoder gives you long battery life when you’re watching DVDs or iTunes movies.

Automatic Graphics Switching

The MacBook Pro offers excellent graphics flexibility with two video processors–the discrete AMD Radeon HD 6770M processor (with 1 GB of GDDR5 video memory) for heavier workloads and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor for better battery life on the go. When gaming or using processor-intensive applications like Aperture or Final Cut Pro, you’ll appreciate the power of the AMD Radeon HD 6770M, which lets you see more frames per second and experience better responsiveness. And the automatic graphics switching feature determines which graphics processor an application needs and switches instantly between the processors.

Buttonless Multi-Touch Trackpad

With no button on the glass trackpad, there’s more room to track and click–left, right, center, and everywhere in between. Without a separate button, the trackpad gives your hands plenty of room to move on the large, silky glass surface. It also incorporates Multi-Touch gestures–including swipe, pinch, rotate, and four-finger swipe. And it also now supports inertial scrolling, an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites.

Key Specifications

  • 17-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with edge-to-edge, uninterrupted glass (1920 x 1200-pixel resolution).
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor (“Sandy Bridge”) with 6 MB shared L3 cache for excellent multitasking.
  • Dual graphics processors with automatic switching between AMD Radeon HD 6770M (with 1 GB of GDDR5 video memory) for demanding applications and integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 (with 384 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for power savings.
  • 750 GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 RPM)
  • 4 GB installed RAM (1333 MHz DDR3; supports up to 8 GB)
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer DVD support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Built-in FaceTime HD camera for video chatting
  • Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Gigabit Ethernet wired networking (10/100/1000)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones
  • Three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port
  • ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Thunderbolt port with native Mini DisplayPort output plus support for DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately)
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control with support for inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities
  • Full-size backlit keyboard
  • Stereo speakers with subwoofers
  • Dimensions: 15.47 x 10.51 x 0.98 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life
  • Meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements
  • Rated EPEAT Gold
What’s in the Box

17-inch MacBook Pro, display cleaning cloth, 85W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, power cord, printed and electronic documentation

Limited Warranty And Service

The MacBook Pro comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a 1-year limited warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Product Features and Technical Details

Product Features

  • 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 4 GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 750GB 5400rpm Hard Drive; 8x DVD/CD SuperDrive
  • 17-Inch LED-backlit Display, 1920 by 1200 Resolution; AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB GDDR5
  • Mac OS X v10.7 Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life

Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

  • Hardware Platform: Mac
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • RAM Type: SDRAM

Hard Drive

  • Size: 750 GB
  • Manufacturer: SATA
  • Type: Serial ATA
  • Speed: 5400 rpm

Graphics and Display

  • Graphics Card: Radeon HD 6770M
  • LCD Native Resolution: 1920 x 1200

Cases and Expandability

  • Size (LWH): 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches
  • Weight: 9.6 pounds

Customer Reviews

  • Pros:

– Stunning full HD display.
– Very fast machine.
– Great interface and touchpad is the best I have seen.
– Solid, quality build.
– Clean OS and fluid experience.


— Obviously, the price. Some will find they need to take out a second mortgage to finance the credit card bill just incurred–especially if you get upgrades.
— Only 4 GIG Ram standard.
— Upgrades to default specs are expensive.
— If you are used to Windows OS, the interface takes a while to get used to.
— Did I mention it is expensive?

I use both Mac and PC windows devices. Each has their pros and cons. Some people purchase MAC on brand or OS loyatly or as a botique item, but I just decide based on needs and specs. I was shopping for a laptop, not only for portability but also to act as a dedicated replacement for a Desktop. I wanted a large high-res full 1080p HD screen and decent specs that won’t be outdated in a year. I limited my searches to this crtieria. There are only a few laptops today that offer this criteria and all of the ones I sampled fall short of the Macbook on screen quality and display. You can get a higher spec machine for much less, but the quality and user experience on the MAC is what sold me. The display is just stunning. I would have opted for the 15 inch model but I was looking for the full 1080P resolution. I am mainly into multimedia and the Videos and Images are simply stunning. I have not seen a better display on any laptop out there, period.

As far as tech specs, you can get more for less money. The standard RAM is 4 GIG. Most other brands with laptops in this range start with 8. This is cheap as heck, IMO. You can get 4 GIG for $40 at cost. Basically, then, you can find other machines with equal specs for half the price. If tech specs are you main concern when purchasing, you can do better. But the machine is by no means slow and the specs will not be outdated in a year. It is a very fast machine and will outdo many of the deskptops on the market today. You will also be hard to find a display that riavls the macbook and the user experience is simply something else. IMO, of course.

Obviously, my decision was based on more than just specs. I will be using this quite a bit. Like most Apple products, the laptop itself is very high quality and solid with a sleek profile. No plasticy materials or feel. One of the reasons I disliked some other laptops is that they just felt too fragile and the materials seem cheap, as if you can snap the plastic easily. Some things you buy feel built to last and some things feel built to last a few months before something goes wrong. I sense the Macbook belongs to the latter category.

The user experience on the Macbook is also fluid and fast. The trackpad is the best I have ever come across. Pinching, swiping, selecting. Its all done with fluidity and without delays. It is a quality high-end experience and thats part of what sold me. This is a solid, well built machine. Period.

I have come across a few minor annoyances. Why are the ports on the left? When hooking up externals, I found this a bit annoying.

Overall, if you re not into graphics or multimedia, you should probably go with the 13 or 15 inch models. There is a lot of real estate on the 17 inch and the high res screen is nice but not everyone will need this. You can save some money by downgrading if multimedia is not a main priority. Also, the 17 inch is obviously not as portable. So if you travel a lot, you should consider this. You will probably find it hard to use this machine in economy coach class.

Overall, with a few minor annoyances, I couldn’t be happier. Awesome machine. It is very expensive, but this is Apple and you know that going in. Can you do better with something else? It all depends on your needs and what you are looking for. The premium price was worth it for me. It may or may not be for you. I would suggest playing around with the macbooks and a number of laptops in the store before buying and avoid the MAC vs PC wars.

  • First, Apple’s service is terrific! The computer is incredibly fast, and there seems to be a big difference between the new 7200 RPM hard drive models versus the slower hard drive model that they had before the refresh came out. I won’t go into lengthy detail on this laptop, as the other reviews on the 15 inch would be quite similar. Just remember there is no SD card slot, and instead you have to purchase an inexpensive ExpressCard adapter, which allows you to have quite a bit of flexibility on what you want to plug in there.Now here’s the thing: I’ve returned this laptop two times over a dead area on the lower right of the space bar key. Great support, and Apple had no problem exchanging the first laptop and refunding the amount on the second laptop. Note that the problem I experienced with the space bar key occurred on the two laptops I had, and I was also able to replicate the issue on the models in the Apple Store and in the Best Buy Store. This is only unique to the 17 inch model, and the space bar works perfectly fine on the 13 or 15 inch models. This is strange to me since they’re supposed to all have the same keyboard.
    If you’re a typist that pecks, then this won’t bother you. But if you are a fast typer, and one who doesn’t pound down on the keys, this probably will affect you.Here’s the problem: The first morning I started typing an e-mail, and got something like this, ” HelloAnn, how areyou doing?” When I pressed the space bar key, the computer didn’t actually recognize my ‘press.’ Granted, I type lightly, but I’ve never had a problem with a key press not being recognized. Try this test out yourself at an Apple Store or Best Buy Store with their 17 inch models.Lightly press the lower right edge of the space bar (very lightly, but enough so that the space bar actually goes down). Do this 20 or 30 times in a row in a text editor so you can see the cursor move as you press the space bar. Sometimes the space bar will move and sometimes it won’t, like righthere where there are fewspaces. The last sentence was just an example, but that’s what happens when you press the space bar but the computer acts as if you didn’t press it. It drives me nuts that the space bar does not always work. Now do the same test on the 13 and 15 inch models and notice that the space bar works every time, even with the lightest press (on the lower right hand portion of the space bar key, where touch typists usually press the space bar key).So I ended up returning the 17 inch models (after 2 times, thinking the keyboard was just defective). After the second one was still defective, and the models at the stores had the same problem, I’ll have to get the 15 inch model or wait until Apple fixes the lower right hand portion of the space bar key on the 17 inch models.I’m picky, and for many buyers they won’t even notice the space bar not being recognized because they type really hard or they type in the middle of the space bar. But for touch typists, usually the space bar is pressed on the left or right sides, and a press should be a press, even if it is light. I’m probably just going to get the 15 inch model, as it doesn’t have the space bar issue.Edit December 22nd: For further information, see the Apple discussion board from multiple folks at the official Apple site where people are having similar issues with the space bar key (including the Airs and other lines). Apparently Apple is forgetting to put the rubber pads on the underneath of the space bar — there’s a picture on the first page of the forum of what it looks like. If you’re experiencing the same issue, I would call Apple support so hopefully they can start shipping with keyboards where the space bar actually works 100% of the time.Since Amazon doesn’t allow outside links, just go to google and type in the following search words “dead spot on space bar macbook pro” and it’s the first link at the top that comes up.
  • Another terrible Apple keyboard.
    If your hands don’t fit within the standard 10.6″ width of the QWERTY keys the Apple keyboard, or like so many of us you have any trouble in your wrists, elbows, back or shoulder and need an ergonomic design, then you need to really find and external keyboard that is manufactured FOR the Apple. Good luck trying to find a local store where you can try one of these out.

    The top salespeople at stores like Best Buy don’t even know that there are external Apple keyboards.

    I ended up buying a Kinesis Freestyle on Amazon. It feels weird but at least it doesn’t give me shoulder and wrist pain. I’ve had it a month and hope I’ll get used to it, since it cost a bundle.

    For my home and work base I use an external monitor at eye level, which is a necessity for anyone with back or neck problems.

    As for a trackpad, I’m stuck putting the Macbook to the right of my external keypad, and using the trackpad on the Macbook. The wireless trackpad doesn’t work for me because of bluetooth interference, which is a very widely reported complaint on the posts and blogs. Of course, you won’t know if you have bluetooth interference until after you buy a wireless device and try to pair it with your MacBook.

    Putting the Macbook to the right of the keyboard takes up a lot of desk space right where I want to put all the papers that I typically want to the right of my keyboard (like that bill I want to pay.) I will probably try an external wired ergonomic mouse. What this means is that if you have any neck, spine, shoulder, wrist problems, then don’t expect that the Apple trackpad is going to be of help, at least if you live in an area that has Bluetooth interference. The only way to know if your area has Bluetooth interference, is to buy the Apple equipment and try it out. Good luck with that gamble!


  1. I recently made the switch from PC to Mac, and I can say that I’m not sure why I waited so long. Considering that I have only had my computer a few weeks I can’t say much about the durability and longevity of the hardware, but I can say that the operating system (mine shipped with Lion) and software is top notch.I labored for a long time trying to decide whether the 13″ MacBook Pro (MBP) or MacBook Air was the right choice for me. I liked the form factor, screen resolution and weight of the Air, but couldn’t get comfortable with the comparatively small hard drive and the RAM fixed at 4GB. Considering these factors along with the significant price premium for an Air, I decided that the MBP was right for me.I also thought long and hard about whether to go with the base model with the 2.4Ghz i5 processor and 500 GB HDD or the 2.8Ghz i7 processor with the 750GB HDD. after looking at reviews and benchmark tests I decided that for my uses, the less expensive model would be perfect and that the incremental added performance of the more expensive model is not worth the additional cost. When large solid state drives become more affordable I will probably switch my HDD out, but until then 500GB should provide plenty of storage.I opted to get my computer locally, but purchased the Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 Memory Module (CT2KIT51264BC1339) from Amazon for a great price. Once I got my computer home I installed the RAM in 10 minutes, start to finish. If you are planning this upgrade just be sure that you have the right Phillips head screwdriver.After using this computer for the past few weeks and carrying it on weekly business trips I am very pleased with my choice of computers. It handles the Microsoft office suite flawlessly, and the added ram allows me to open and view very large pdf files without any lag. I have done minor video and photo editing on this computer and it performed very well. The added weight compared to theAir hasn’t proven to be too noticeable, but I am a big guy at 6’4″ and 210 pounds.So far I am pleased with this computer and my Mac experience overall. The process of learning a new OS and overall user interface was daunting at first, but Apple has done a great job creating a system that is intuitive and easy to learn.I would recommend this computer to anyone looking for a new laptop that they expect to have for awhile and would like to be able to customize to fit their needs.

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