17\" AlBook initial thoughts


OK, it's big. I don't mean a little big, I mean quite extraordinarilly big.

OK, enough about the 17" G4 PowerBook's width (and, a bit more regretably, weight). Let's talk about the other interesting features. This is just an initial set of thoughts, so expect a more considered discussion after a couple of weeks, once I get data moved over and I'm ready to give a more considered view of it.

Here, without further ado, are my initial thoughts:

  • Did I mention that it was wide? I don't have another airplane flight for about two weeks, and that's on a CRJ, so that will be an interesting test.
  • The "palm rest" is pretty large. I would have preferred a bit less real estate there and putting the keyboard closer to the front, but based on a cursory look, that would interfere with the SuperDrive.
  • The keyboard/mouse is a bit more sensitive than any of the G4 PowerBooks that I've had so far, and thus far has resulted in my turning on the option to ignore clicking during typing for the first time.
  • The airport range appears to be excellent. I haven't tried "g" yet, but that'll be forthcoming. With good ol' "b", it is working great in locations that were always a bit problematic in the past.
  • Battery life looks pretty good. I've started running it out and things are well over an hour at this point, without having plugged it in yet. Note: the battery specs out with lower capacity than either the current 15" or 12" PowerBooks.
  • Video response is excellent, it "feels" much more responsive than the 800MHz TiBook that it is replacing.
  • Screen refresh is also excellent. I don't know what the stats are on this, but the screen really is quite pretty, and although I'd like more dots, the dot pitch is very comfortable on the eyes.
  • The keyboard feels a bit odd in comparison to the TiBook, but I'm not sure if it is bad or just a little different. The travel is somehow different, and it feels a bit less, but we'll see.
  • The "mouse button" has quite a bit less tension than the TiBook and I'm sure my thumb will enjoy that. However, that may be related to the typing problem mentioned earlier.
  • OK, the backlit keys and auto-dimming screen is just plain cool. I'm sure I paid through the nose for that, but darn it's cool.
  • My laptop has been on my lap for over an hour now and I'm not feeling the need to run off to the hospital.That's it for this AM, more news as it comes.