Tech columnist Walter Mossberg considers whether Apple’s new 17-inch PowerBook is too darn big to be mobile in his latest
Personal Technology column.
He noted that the 17-inch PowerBook a better desktop replacement with portability than a true luggable laptop. Mossberg said its size and price tag (US$3,299) aren’t for everyone, but that there’s lots to love about the new PB.
He finds the screen “simply breathtaking — vivid, sharp and oh, so roomy.” Mossberg likes the 17-inch PowerBook’s technical specs, stereo speakers, “robust” video card, FireWire 800 port, illuminating keyboard, and improved AirPort reception. And the columnist was also impressed with the speed and performance of the PowerBook.
However, while he found battery life to be merely “respectable,” he was less impressed with the keyboard layout and “jumbo” width. Though Mossberg likes the feel of the keyboard, he doesn’t like how it’s pushed all the way to the back of the large base, “forcing you to reach over a wide swath of the case to touch the keys.” As for the base itself, the columnist admits it can be a bit inconvenient.
“Despite its admirable design and plethora of features, the new PowerBook’s dimensions can be inconvenient,” he writes. “It swallows nearly all of a coach airline tray table, about 16.5 by 10.5 inches. And it would be too wide to gracefully fish out of a briefcase jammed under the coach seat in front of you.”
Still, for those who need a Mac to transport between the home and the office, “the 17-inch PowerBook is a great choice and another design win for Apple,” Mossberg concludes.