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View Full Version : 17"PB Owners: Quartly Reviews!!


Wren
Jul 29, 2003, 10:28 PM
A while back, the shipping and anticipation of 17PB seemed to take forever. Now, it's been four months since a few of us lucky ones has had the chance to use it. I'd like to share my opinions so far: Other feedbacks are welcome.

PROS:

Impressive Screen, Solid Constuction, Backlit Keyboard, Good Performance and the suprising portablitly ( considering it's size ). No overheating. Bluetooth ready.

I would have preferred a better Graphic Card like Radeon 9600 but that would have been wishful thinking during production. Otherwise, I"m very happy with my purchase.

janey
Jul 29, 2003, 10:35 PM
pros: nice keyboard, dvd-burner, sturdy aluminum construction

con: the friggin size

wowoah
Jul 30, 2003, 01:42 AM
con: the friggin size

Haha! That's like saying "I love rocks, if only they weren't so hard." I'm not sure if you'll find a 17" laptop that's any less than 17" across the diagonal. ;)

iGav
Jul 30, 2003, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by wowoah
Haha! That's like saying "I love rocks, if only they weren't so hard." I'm not sure if you'll find a 17" laptop that's any less than 17" across the diagonal. ;)

:p :p :p exactly what I was thinking!!

AngryAngel
Jul 30, 2003, 06:21 AM
... until they invent folding screens.

RichP
Jul 30, 2003, 08:57 AM
Im waiting for fedex to deliver this thing right now! Saying im excited is an understatement!

Ill post a review against my older 15 once its in hand.

janey
Jul 30, 2003, 09:09 PM
i'm happy with the screen size of the 12" pb/iBook and the Pismos and perhaps the TiBooks. The 17" pb is slightly too big, nevertheless i love mine :)...it's so shexy :p

sky131
Jul 31, 2003, 12:05 AM
I love my 17" PB. I use it to edit video at home and school, the screen size is perfect for DV editing. Combine it with Final Cut and you can do great work at the drop of a hat almost anywhere.

DrGonzo
Jul 31, 2003, 09:42 AM
I have a 17" fold out screen laptop, takes up the footprint of a subnotebook, very nice!

benixau
Jul 31, 2003, 12:08 PM
Did you know that the 15" powerbook is mammoth - at least it was when a 13.3" TFN screen was standard.

Did you know that the 17" powerbook is mammoth - at least is is whilst 15" TFT is that standard.

see - eventually it will become more accepted and things will be designed to axccept them - ok not economoy class trays - but most things will.

BWhaler
Jul 31, 2003, 06:30 PM
(Great idea for a thread, BTW)

My assessment as an owner:

PROS:
-Fast. I rarely wait for anything.
-The WOW factor. I get complements everywhere. Sales presentations, airports, you name it. Nice ice breaker for meetings.
-Quality contruction (one negative note below)
-Has everything I want is built in. Very leading edge technology.
-I am just a humble business guy, not a designer, so I thought the extra screen would be waisted on someone like me. Not true at all. After my first week, I needed every inch of screen real estate.
-Size and weight is OK given all the benefits. The tight package compensated for a lot. (And yes, I travel a lot.)

CONS:
-Hinge is a little wobbly and accordingly, the screen is not a tight fit when closed. Not a big issue, but I hope this doesn't cause problems down the road.

NEUTRAL:
-GPU. I don't notice anything missing with the Nvidia card personally, but ATI is better, and at 3200 bucks, Apple should give us only the very best.

SUMMARY:
This is the best machine I have ever owned. Period.

Kiwi-Todd
Jul 31, 2003, 06:33 PM
I've had the 17" for about two months and it is sensational -
Pros:
I edit video for a living and the screen size and proportions are unbeatable for FCP and after Effects etc. - oddly enough you start to want more acreage - I sometimes plug in another screen which is so easy to do on this machine.

Bluetooth is awesome - I have just got a T610 and it works a treat (get Salling Clicker for extra fun)

Airport is great - networked in minutes.
Portability: It is may not be THE most portable machine but the thinness makes it seem smaller and lighter than it is - having said that it is certainly a heap easier to take home than my eMac ever was!
Clients love it - its like taking a labrador puppy to meetings!
Cons:
battery life is sub average
strangely un-apple like poor design on screen release button.

BWhaler
Jul 31, 2003, 06:34 PM
One other thought.

This is not really a statement about the machine itself, but rather a thought for Apple on the next rev.

For 3,200, give us 1 gig of memory standard. This would cost apple less than a hundred bucks. (Plus the opportunity cost of people who don't buy the 512 mb upgrade.)

It would be great for everyone, even people like me who will see simple speed increases.

But it's also good for Apple. It will be yet another "bragging rights" item that will absolutely make every trade press that comments on the revision. Plus, it will continue to put pressure on the "cost guys" to keep up.

cr2sh
Jul 31, 2003, 07:44 PM
I have the tendancy to throw mine in a lite-weight laptop bag and toss it in the back seat of my work truck while its asleep... 5days later I pull it out and carry it into a hotel, set it on the bed and I still have battery power. Nice. Battery power does drain fast but when its sleeping, it conserves it really well. Maybe thats dumb, but its impressive to me. :)

I'm not so sure about the screen quality, I think mine is a bit blurry.. but perhaps I've got something turned on I shouldn't. I know when I look at my 15" LCD on my cube, it looks sharper.. I think... :confused: Is there a setting for anti-alias or something? *shrug*

The lit-keyboard is nice in total darkness, but often times I like to set a little mood lighting.. you know, get romantic with my PB.. and it doesnt work real well. The brightness of the letters varies with darkness in the room.. again, maybe there's a setting?

It does get a lot of stares.. that's for sure. "I've never seen a laptop that big." I get a lot of that.. I simply reply "It burns dvds too.."

Four months later I can say this for sure - its the best computer I've ever owned. I take it everywhere and its never let me down.

Now about that screen anti-alias and keyboard.. anyone know?

cr2sh
Jul 31, 2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by BWhaler
For 3,200, give us 1 gig of memory standard. This would cost apple less than a hundred bucks. (Plus the opportunity cost of people who don't buy the 512 mb upgrade.)

It would be great for everyone, even people like me who will see simple speed increases.

Have you seen a substantial performance boost witht he memory upgrade and how hard is it to install the memory? I've haven't added memory to a laptop since my ibm pentium 166.. also, I knew plenty about old sdram but this new stuff... what's a good source (other than apple) for compatible RAM? thanks!

WilliamGates
Jul 31, 2003, 08:51 PM
My only gripe is the keyboard could have been brighter. I don't use it. Otherwise this is the best laptop I have ever owned. I have had 2 Ti laptops. This one still is a pleasure to use, looking just as new as it did 4 months ago. I am impressed every time I open it. I think this is not only the coolest running metallic Powerbook, but due to its surface area it will probably remain the coolest running and quietest of all metallic Powerbooks even after the new 15" revisions appear.

VladDracul
Jul 31, 2003, 09:57 PM
Well, I only got mine 2 weeks ago.

Everyone at the office had to stop by my desk to see this thing in action. My boss was the only person who said anything negative. He said something along the lines "Every time I see a used car on sale I think about the 3000 dollars you spent on that thing". My reply was along the lines "Can those used cars burn DVD's too?".

As far as portability, let's just say that I take mine to every single meeting. Up until 2 weeks ago I would only take a notepad and a pen.

janey
Jul 31, 2003, 11:01 PM
after listening to all you people, i decided that i shouldn't be complaining about any aspect of the 17" PowerBook and instead should be thankful about the fact that I even have one.
Although i do wish that the hard drive in my pb could be upgraded to something with a bigger capacity...

benixau
Aug 1, 2003, 01:15 AM
your HDD can be upgraded. Search for a site on doing to the 12" Pbook. The process for getting inside is identical.

Also, iJon - he works at a reseller or something - basically he may be able to assisst (read: send you instructions via email or PM) on how to get inside to your HD. If your lucky he might give you some piccys to boot!

So PM iJon and see what turns up.

Chad4Mac
Aug 1, 2003, 11:31 AM
I'll definitely say that the only neagtive factor on the computer is the screen hinge thingy. The screen should definitely latch a little tighter, at least on mine. However, my mom has one too and hers has a tighter latch.

Another thing is that my screen, when latched, sits higher on the left that on the right. Seems like the screen is on wrong; however, it's something you really have to look for.

Also, the right side of my spacebar and Apple key pretrude up a little. Astheticly, it's a problem.

Other than these issues, it's the best computer I have ever owned (2nd best: 15 Powerbook).


Chad4Mac

WinterMute
Aug 2, 2003, 05:31 AM
I have a couple of gripes, the security slot is too close to the PSU socket, its a real squeeze to get the kensington cable lock in with the power, and the cycling fan is more obtrusive than the constant one.

Other than that its an excellent machine, its quick, big and sexy, bit like Sharon Davies really...:D

I think its the most complete portable for vidoe/DVD/audio/MIDI on the face of the planet.

WilliamGates
Aug 2, 2003, 07:20 AM
Chad4mac you should try this:

http://homepage.mac.com/bhardy3/PhotoAlbum34.html

The latch is snug and secure with the clear pads and there is no longer contact of the LCD frame lid with the hand rest, also the LCD rests evenly with the lower hand rest edge as you can see.

For me it was the perfect solution.

Wano
Aug 2, 2003, 09:45 AM
Wow! Where should I begin?

I have had this machine for about 3 months and it's absolutely amazing. Although I would like a little more power, so I have been trying to trade it, but then again when I think about it, I really don't cause it's a such an awesome machine and it's really great for what I do.

Pros:
-Excellent screen, nice and sharp! Not to mention big.
-Screen is perfect for video editing!
-Fast(but would be nicer if it was dual)
-Really cool keyboard
-Smooth texture and feel to the powerbook, it doesn't have one singel scratch and I have had it for about 3 months. It just get's a little dirty from fingerprints, but after whipping it with a damp cloth it looks brand new.
-DVD burner!
-Slot loading drive(saves a lot of space and effort)
-Speakers are fair for a notebook
-Great Airport reception!!!

Cons:
-Trackpad get's sticky sometimes, seems like it needs to warm up or something, cause if i haven't used it for a while it's sticky for about the first 5min or so.

Neutral:
-Would be nice if battery lasted a little longer. When working with it set to highest performance and working with proccesor intensive applications i get about 1h30min-2h, but when it's set to longest battery life and screen brightness turned down passed half i get about 3h20min while working with simple applications.

It was definately worht the money, and I think if I did sell it or trade it I would regret it...cause this is a portable powerhouse!

jbomber
Aug 2, 2003, 03:20 PM
After holding out for a month and a half after selling my 15" Tibook, i broke down and bought a brand spankin new 17". It's pretty damn sweet. I agree with all the PROs that people have been saying.

My only real gripe is that it's not as truly portable as the 15". It's a little ungainly and doesn't have quite the same 'throw it in your bag and go' feeling as the 15".

Other than that tho, it's a BEAST. as soon as i buy a new messenger bag, I may revise my previous statement.

Chad4Mac
Aug 4, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by WilliamGates
Chad4mac you should try this:

http://homepage.mac.com/bhardy3/PhotoAlbum34.html

The latch is snug and secure with the clear pads and there is no longer contact of the LCD frame lid with the hand rest, also the LCD rests evenly with the lower hand rest edge as you can see.

For me it was the perfect solution.

Cool. I'll definitely check this out...

Chad4Mac

plutnicki
Aug 4, 2003, 11:59 AM
William

Did you find the display had to be given a little more push to close the latch? I just installed those Radtech cushions on my 15" TiBook in the recommended positions and just felt a little worried about having to give it a little extra push to get the latch down.

Any thoughts...

...Jim

WilliamGates
Aug 4, 2003, 05:33 PM
I do apply more pressure to close the lid. But I think the structural rigidity of the 17" can handle the slight pressure. I also know by the frame marks on the handrest without the cushions that there was pressure when inside the backpack, otherwise there would be no marks. I feel the cushions help distrubute the exterior pressure evenly on my laptop. I also think a razor blade may shave the cushions down to the desired thickness for those with a magnifying glass and a steady hand, but I would slice the cushions before attaching them to the Powerbook. I am not sure about the 15" Powerbook and have never used cushions on it. Do they in fact prevent screen marks on the 15"?

RichP
Aug 5, 2003, 09:03 AM
what did jobs say about the G5??..oh yeah "kick-ass!" I think it applys to this machine as well. I loved the 15" Powerbook, but this thing is just another level. Its BIG, but at the same time, very sleek and unintrusive. Unlike the PC counterparts, it isnt 10 lbs and 2 inches thick.

I agree with the pro's and con's listed. However, I will also add that this machine is SOLID. I can pick it up open with one hand, it doesnt flex, feel weak, make cracking sounds, etc. It feels like a solid piece of metal..VERY impressive (and no, I am not swinging the thing around the room, but even the 15" when you pick it up may creek a little)

It was worth the cost of upgrade, to say the least.