How big is the 17\" AlBook?


I've now had a few days to get used to the big boy of the Macintosh world, and I'm becoming used to it.

However, it's still rather large. So, what does that mean from a practical perspective?

  • When open for normal use (such as you might attempt to do on an airplane), the top of the 17" display is actually only 3mm taller than the 15". This is because of the new hinge on the 17" that puts the screen behind the base unit.
  • The distance to the keyboard from the front of the machine is a bit uncomfortable unless your desk and chair are well adjusted (or you're using it on your lap). The problem is that the if your elbows are below the machine, the front lip of the machine hits right on the underside of your forearm.
  • Another problem with the keyboard location is that the touchpad got further away from the keyboard. It's also a bit larger, both of which mean that you need to move your hands a bit more. All in all, the keyboard is separated by another .25" than on the 15" and the "button" is 3.5" away instead of 2.75", adding further to the reach for people with small hands. This may be mroe critical to me because I'm a touch typist and prefer to not move my hands from the keyboard at all.
  • The width is still very large. When you're sitting at a desk, it's hardly noticable, but in cramped spaces, you will be looking for someplace else to put your tasty beverage.
  • And the depth is quite large as well, coming in at about 11" when you count the screen open. On the other hand, the screen is hard to beat, especially if you occasionally need to do a presentation without a projector.