The list is shrinking, but some models are still available as refurbished models from the Apple store. These are in pristine condition, and come with a 1 year warranty, and are eligible for AppleCare extension to three years. Three differences:
1) they are not exchangeable at a store. But they can be repaired as usual.
2) They are already in the shipping box. No changes or add-ons.
3) they come in a plain brown box.
Grant Bennet-Alder, greetings; You said "3) they come in a plain brown box.".
They most certainly do NOT come in a brown box, but in a plain white box. I can affirm that since my 2010 and late 2011 17" MBPs did ( the 2011 was delivered about 3 months ago). Now my old 2006 MBP came in a brown box, but as you can see Apple has upgraded the boxes. Perhaps you may remember we had a discussion about this, perhaps a year ago.
Please get your boxes straight.
All my Mac Pro refrubs in the US came in a plain brown box.
but in a plain white box.
Forget the Prefered stock options and the 137 Billion in cash. Now I am really concerned.
This could be a sign that Apple may be in serious financial trouble?
Could this mean they still have so many white boxes in that large size that they will be forced to re-issue the MacBook pro 17" just to use up the boxes?
Oh dear me, where is my Broker's number. It must be time to sell. The sky is falling!
The Early 2011 17" Anti-glare (with 10.6 of course) was the absolute best laptop machine Apple ever produced.
I've seen the new Retina's and what not, tried 10.7 and 10.8, not even close.
Having a few install disks of 10.6, not having to rely upon the Internet to install OS X, can quadtriple boot 4 operating systems on the machine?
Can upgrade the storage drive? Replace the Superdrive with another driver? Max the RAM at 16GB?
Tons of free software, including CS2?
And there will NEVER be a machine like it EVER again, at least not from Apple.
ds store, greetings; Close but no cigar. The late 2011 is superior to the early 2011. The late 2011 has a faster CPU and improved GPU. It can also run Snow Leopard and if you make a Lion/Mt. Lion thumb drive you achieve the same freedom from the Internet and Apple servers as OS disks. I concur on the rest of your spiel.
The late 2011 is superior to the early 2011.
The late 2011 has a faster CPU and improved GPU
The CPU is slightly faster, the GPU is the same.
It can also run Snow Leopard
Right, but I have to Firewire Target Disk mode it from another 10.6 compatible Mac to get past the firmware block.
It won't boot the 10.6.6 or 10.6.7 install disks like the Early 2011's can.
if you make a Lion/Mt. Lion thumb drive you achieve the same freedom from the Internet and Apple servers as OS disks.
Yes, but the Lions are total crap.
I'm going to use some combination of 10.6 and Windows 7 until this Early 2011 dies, then make a decision then.
Windows 7 will get support until 2020, so that's 7 years.
ds store, greetings; The GPUs are NOT the same. The early 2011 MBP has a 6750M Radeon GPU, the late 2011 has a 6770M Radeon GPU.
I agree that one must copy a 10,6,8 into the late 2011 MBP, never the less it will operate that OS.
You may not like the Lions, but the point is that you can avoid the Internet installation.
I have no use for Windows, so that is irrelevant for me.
The early 2011 MBP has a 6750M Radeon GPU, the late 2011 has a 6770M Radeon GPU.
I have no use for Windows
Win 7 is pretty decent and since it's used so widely in buisness until 2020, one needs to keep their skills up in that area, plus Apple removed the 17" and anti-glare models.
I just need more hardware selection choices and Apple's closed stuff and corny UI doesn't cut it for me.