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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New 17" - First Impressions

New 17" - First Impressions
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Peabo
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Sep 24, 2003, 11:55 AM
 
I just received my new 1.33 ghz 17" Powerbook. This is my first laptop ever, but I have used many of Apple's powerbooks in the past, including the Ti.

This thing is truely beautiful, the design is very consistant (moreso than the Titanium) and stylish and the machine feels very solid.

I was worried about this thing being too big, or too heavy etc. like some people have claimed but I didn't find it bulky at all. The first time i picked it up I was surprised to feel how light the machine was compared to my preconceptions. It sits perfectly comfortably in my lap and doesn't feel awkward, heavy or cumbersome.

I love the screen, it's incredibly crisp and suits my needs perfectly as I tend to use apps which generate a lot of windows on screen at once. It's wonderful for games too, running them widescreen is awesome! Speaking of games, they run really well; I've tested Quake 3, Wolfenstein and Medal of Honor so far and they all ran at 60fps+ (Q3 got 135fps in the timedemo running at 1024x600 with all the setting maxed out- I'll have to try the UT2003 tech demo next!).

The machine gets warm but never hot or uncomfortable. The fan only seems to come on when I run 3d games but it's very quiet; when the fan is off I can't hear a thing!

Anyways, so far I am totally satisfied with my new purchase and am glad I chose the model that I did

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me.
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ctishue21
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Sep 24, 2003, 12:15 PM
 
Wow sounds great! Did you get the 5400rpm drive? If not, how is the 4200rpm? Which brand/model drive did you get? Go to Apple System profiler to check if you don't mind.
     
CobraNT
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Sep 24, 2003, 12:23 PM
 
Drooool........
     
pdovinh
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Sep 24, 2003, 12:32 PM
 
Would you please give additional detailed opinion regarding the use of your new 17" after you spent time with it.

I am stalling on my buying decision because wanting to read additional reports and comments about it.

There are so few reports and comments available about this new 17" except the many complaints of it lacking L3 cache.

Thanks.
     
RooneyX
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Sep 24, 2003, 12:41 PM
 
yeah, I'd like to see someone do impressions of a Powerbook.
     
parsec_kadets
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Sep 24, 2003, 01:37 PM
 
Originally posted by pdovinh:
Would you please give additional detailed opinion regarding the use of your new 17" after you spent time with it.

I am stalling on my buying decision because wanting to read additional reports and comments about it.

There are so few reports and comments available about this new 17" except the many complaints of it lacking L3 cache.

Thanks.
Have you tried do a search for this? There were tons and tons of reviews when people finally got the original ones in March or so. I posted one myself. You'll get a pretty good idea of what people thought of carrying them around and such if that's what concerns you. As for speed, well it's not going to be slower now is it? People can complain about the lack of L3 cache all they want, but considering L2 cache is doubled (L2 is much faster than L3) and the CPU is faster, I highly doubt you'll wish you had the older one over the new one.
     
AssassyN
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Sep 24, 2003, 01:46 PM
 
Congrats!

How much RAM do you have, and did you get the 5400rpm drive?
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scott brown
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Sep 24, 2003, 01:56 PM
 
i'll post xbench scores tonight of my 17incher with 5400rpm drive
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ctishue21
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Sep 24, 2003, 02:43 PM
 
Originally posted by scott brown:
i'll post xbench scores tonight of my 17incher with 5400rpm drive

Woooo can't wait. My decision can finally be made TONIGHT!
     
Peabo  (op)
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Sep 24, 2003, 02:50 PM
 
It's the default config, so 512 megs of ram and a 4200 drive. I also use a 7200 drive in my G4 tower and this hasn't felt any slower.
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( Last edited by Peabo; Sep 24, 2003 at 03:00 PM. )
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wavegroom
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Sep 24, 2003, 02:51 PM
 
cool finally somebody with a 5400 drive... !
can't wait to see your bechmarks.....

can you look which model the drive is? cache size?
How is the subjective hard disk performence?
Does it "feel" like a desktop drive? Is searching fast?

I'm waiting for a 15" with 5400 drive....
( Last edited by wavegroom; Sep 24, 2003 at 03:00 PM. )
     
Jbroad572
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Sep 24, 2003, 04:13 PM
 
Have you ever messed around with the Rev A PB 17"? Is it considerably faster than that or even the Ti since they are about the same performance wise. Do the graphics on the games look better with the new ATI 9600?
     
nagromme
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Sep 24, 2003, 04:18 PM
 
How's the noise/heat on the 5400 rpm compared to the slower drive? Anyone know?

And how much does it hurt battery life?
nagromme
     
Peabo  (op)
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Sep 24, 2003, 05:26 PM
 
I used a Ti 800 mhz and this is significantly faster.
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nobitacu
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Sep 24, 2003, 09:43 PM
 
Very nice indeed... welcome to the world of the 17.

Ming
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Centris650
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Sep 24, 2003, 10:42 PM
 
What made you decide to go with the 17? What are you using it for (work, home use, both?) and what kind of programs are you using? How is the ergonomics of the keyboard and the large screen? Do you find it uncomfortable?
     
vancenase
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Sep 25, 2003, 12:05 AM
 
Originally posted by Centris650:
What made you decide to go with the 17? What are you using it for (work, home use, both?) and what kind of programs are you using? How is the ergonomics of the keyboard and the large screen? Do you find it uncomfortable?
you didn't ask me, but i'll answer i went for the 17" for the increase in screen real estate. i use X11 to use scientific UNIX based software for my research ... so it's convenient to be able to easily switch back and forth between X11 and apps such as MS Word (without having to restart, back and forth, from linux and windows).

the screen size is nice so i can display more data on the screen at one time, rather than squishing it onto a smaller resolution screen.

i've been using my bosses 15" TiBook until i made my purchase, and i'm extremely satisfied with the size, weight, dimensions and, more specifically, the screen real estate the 17" offers!

to answer your questions:

ergonomics are similar to that as the TiBook; took a while to get used to the texture of the keyboard, but now i prefer it over the TiBook.

larger screen .... yummmie!

and it's not uncomfortable ... not the least bit. i was afraid that it would be 'too large'. i bought the brenthaven shoulder case ... and i am happily surprised to see that the 17", inside the brenthaven sleeve, just fits into my north face backpack ... nice!
     
trublue
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Sep 25, 2003, 12:16 AM
 
I think that I'll chime in here...

I am one of those people, who when they first heard about the PB 17", was like "that is way too huge." That was also my first impression months ago when i first saw one at an Apple Store at a glance (we don't have one within 6 hours of me...so I can't just pop in).

Then I started using Photoshop & Macromedia Studio again on my 12" ibook (which I sold in anticipation of the new PB's). Let me just say, for the record, screen realestate is king. (I also plan on getting a Formac TRV...so bigger screen=better tv for me).

I went down to the only apple reseller today that we have in my home town, and was able to actually hold and use the PB 17. WOW! It is sooo beautiful AND quite AND light AND so easy to type on.

I had planned on saving for 2 more weeks to get the 15", but now I think I might make it 3 weeks and get the 17.

I had anticipated a behemoth after reading these threads that hurt your wrists to type on, had a messed up wobbly keyboard that lit uneven, had a "cheap PC Card slot cover" (whatever), had a screen that would "collapse" on you, and made a hissing/cracking sound from the keyboard. Boy are some people really anally obsessed! This machine rocked. I could not find validity to anything poor written about it (I could even bring the screen to a really low angle and it would not budge)!

It was hands down the nicest notebook that I have ever seen and the build quality was amazing! And the screen. WOW.

About the only thing that would hold me back is the attention that it would draw everywhere. I am a little shy, and sometimes just want to work It's size, while it doesn't bother me, would definitely draw everyones attention. Also, if your chair is cramped it crossed my mind that it might be tought to use as a true "laptop"...

This store gets the new 15's in as well tomorrow, so I will be able to do a more thorough evaluation of both.

In summary, don't listen to what others always write and say about this machine...aside from battery time (which itself is pretty variable) and a few other concrete things...a lot of what they have to say is sooo subjective. If you are considering this machine as opposed to the 15" (like me) go check them both out...it is so worth it.

-Ian
     
Peabo  (op)
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Sep 25, 2003, 04:10 AM
 
I chose the 17" Screen becauae I work with apps like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Lightwave. My previous screen was a 17" ASD and this one seems just as nice, with the added bonus of the widescreen aspect ratio.

The keyboard feels more solid than any other portable I've used, they keys dont wobble or feel flimsy at all.
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spalding12
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Sep 25, 2003, 06:03 AM
 
trublue
that was a great testimonial for the 17"
i love the 17" and wouldn't dream of getting the 15"
the more screen the better for what I like to do with a notebook computer
but... of course, that's why Apple makes the powerbook in 3 sizes

papa bear will do just fine for me

greg
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Centris650
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Sep 25, 2003, 08:06 AM
 
Thanks everyone. The reason I ask is that I'm self employed and I was thinking about buying a desktop for work (maybe an eMac) and a tower for home. (I currently use an iBook 466 SE that's showing it's age.) My wife and I juggled the numbers and it was just insane. Finally when the new PBs came out the thought hit me...buy a 17". Of course I'm going to have to wait until at least Jan. due to having to put it to the budget. (Waiting til Jan. I can take out the full price of the computer from my salary and it's 100% income tax free. That's nice!)

Anyway, I've been looking at the 17". I use photoshop, freehand and iMovie (Really want Final Cut Express) as well as Excell, Word/Appleworks & Keynote. Freehand 10 uses a TON of pallets and I knew I didn't want a 12" PB but I was concerned about the ergonmics of the 17".

Thanks again.
     
SEkker
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Sep 25, 2003, 09:51 AM
 
I have to echo trublue's comments about the PB17 -- even the part about drawing attention.

When I purchased it to replace an ageing TiPB (those PBs really do not wear well), most folk that saw it paid attention to its size. Instead, I tried (and failed) to get them to focus on how useful the space was - you could see 2 pages of text at a time- and how it had an integrated DVD-R drive (these were PC folk, so no 'Superdrive' comments in these conversations!), how it weighed less than their laptops, etc. They just said, 'isn't that too big?'

There are very few users of the PB17 that would ever want to go back to a 15" PB. That's perhaps the best testimonial of all.
     
nagromme
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Sep 25, 2003, 04:21 PM
 
Just tell them you love it, and other sizes are available too!
nagromme
     
iDaver
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Sep 25, 2003, 05:27 PM
 
Great machine! A couple of disappointments though.

It's hotter than I was expecting after having read folks comments about Rev A. After using it on my lap for an hour or more it is uncomfortably warm, even when it's on a plexiglass platform I use to keep the heat off my legs.

The trackpad is too big. It's hard to use without accidentally touching the edge with your hand or another finger, causing the cursor to act up. My index finger can only move back and forth so far so I see no need for such a huge trackpad.

I wish it closed more tightly without the gap around the edges.

Trivial complaints, I suppose, but I haven't been as blown away by this 17" PowerBook as I thought I might be.
     
KeriVit
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Sep 25, 2003, 06:58 PM
 
Thought I'd chime in since I have been debating trading my 17" for the new 15"...

Since I first raised the question on this forum of getting the 15", I have been using my 17" alot more. Just to see if I really wanted to do this. I have to say after 2 weeks and working even just in iMovie and Photoshop. I think I would be sorry if I let this laptop go. Without even thinking about it, I have 2 windows open side by side for comparison sake. I wouldn't have that with the 15".

Many said that the 17" is too heavy for a woman. Now really- I'm not a weakling folks. But would I really have a load off with the 1.3 lb difference? I think not. My back is no good, but I can't stand up with a coffee cup in my hand, much less a laptop. I think that I still like my 12" iBook for the quick fix,, but when it comes right down to it, this machine is the perfect for me. (And I like when people stare at it when it comes out of the bag.)

Bottom line- I also agree that you've got to compare before you buy. See them hold them, all that. Borrow someone elses if you can tear it away (I'm scheduled for a weekend with the 15" tomorrow). That way you won't be shocked or disappointed.

My 2.
     
bcaslis
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Sep 25, 2003, 07:12 PM
 
iDaver,

I'm really interested in your impressions. This is a rev B 17", correct? I have a rev A 17" and got a new 15" Al a week ago. I wanted something like the 17" but a little smaller. Frankly, I've been disappointed in the 15" so far. It has a brighter screen, but runs much hotter than my 17" and the battery life is equal or less than my 17" (I was hoping for it to similar to my previous Tibook).

I was considering returning the 15" and getting a rev B 17", but if the rev B 17" is running that hot it isn't any better than the 15". I've never been bothered by the heat from my rev A 17".


Originally posted by iDaver:
Great machine! A couple of disappointments though.

It's hotter than I was expecting after having read folks comments about Rev A. After using it on my lap for an hour or more it is uncomfortably warm, even when it's on a plexiglass platform I use to keep the heat off my legs.

The trackpad is too big. It's hard to use without accidentally touching the edge with your hand or another finger, causing the cursor to act up. My index finger can only move back and forth so far so I see no need for such a huge trackpad.

I wish it closed more tightly without the gap around the edges.

Trivial complaints, I suppose, but I haven't been as blown away by this 17" PowerBook as I thought I might be.
     
nagromme
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Sep 25, 2003, 07:42 PM
 
Don't forget that Wintel laptops with pretty mediocre specs and smaller screens are often much heavier--and bigger (in volume) than the 17".

The gap is cosmetically GOOD I think: it keeps the screen away from the keys, and to hide the gap would mean adding additional lip around the screen. It might look slightly better closed, but worse when open.
nagromme
     
iDaver
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Sep 25, 2003, 08:13 PM
 
Originally posted by bcaslis:
iDaver,

I'm really interested in your impressions. This is a rev B 17", correct? I have a rev A 17" and got a new 15" Al a week ago. I wanted something like the 17" but a little smaller. Frankly, I've been disappointed in the 15" so far. It has a brighter screen, but runs much hotter than my 17" and the battery life is equal or less than my 17"
Yes, I've got the Rev B. I suppose it's a little hotter than the Rev A due to the speed increase but I thought I heard the 7457 chip was supposed to be cooler, even if a little faster. I haven't used a Rev A before so I don't know what the difference is, but had read here and elsewhere of people impressed with how cool the Rev A 17" PowerBook was. Oh well.
     
iDaver
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Sep 25, 2003, 08:21 PM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:
The gap is cosmetically GOOD I think: it keeps the screen away from the keys, and to hide the gap would mean adding additional lip around the screen. It might look slightly better closed, but worse when open.
I have no problem with the gap, cosmetically. I'm a little concerned that if the notebook is in a bag, there's lots of unnecessary flexing going on there.

If the only reason for the gap is to keep the screen away from the keyboard, I'd say recess the keyboard a bit, or recess the screen a bit as necessary even if it means making the PowerBook slightly thicker. I agree it's important to keep the screen off the keys, as I was annoyed by that "defect" on my old TiBook.

I don't want to give the wrong idea. I think the Rev B 17" PowerBook is an amazing machine. It's just that this thread is for first impressions and unfortunately the (slight) negatives are the first things that comes to mind.
     
iDaver
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Sep 25, 2003, 08:42 PM
 
It just occurred to me that since the PowerBooks are designed for closed-lid operation with external displays, perhaps the gap between the lid and base is a necessary evil to allow some heat to escape.

I feel better now.
     
Centris650
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Sep 25, 2003, 09:30 PM
 
Is anyone using a (wireless or not) keyboard and mouse with their 17"? Anyone using an icurve or similar device? If so what do you think about it? When I get a 17" this is the kind of set up I'm thinking of rigging in my office at work. What are the possitives/negatives of such a setup?
     
nagromme
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Sep 25, 2003, 11:05 PM
 
The 17" can fit on an iCurve--someone posted pictures of that a long time ago, in the spymac.com gallery. Maybe you can search for them. They posted a LOT of (rev A) pics.

As for the Apple wireless keybd/mouse, they're MEANT for PowerBooks--should work great.
nagromme
     
pjmurphy
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Sep 26, 2003, 06:55 AM
 
Just wanted to include my take on the Rev B 17"

I just upgraded from a 15TiPB.. I LOVED that machine and was a little sad to clean the hard-drive and ship it to it's new owner.

The 17" IS huge when you first unpack it. BUT, it is amazing how fast you get used to it. I have only had this 36 hours but it fits perfectly - not sure how I lasted so long without it ! :-)

The fit/finish is incredible. The keyboard is the best I have used. Screen is gorgeous.. It is SO quiet too! I think the fan has come on once.. in my opinion, cooler than the 15"Ti

Those of you on the fence.. go for it! You won't even look back!
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Centris650
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Sep 26, 2003, 07:54 AM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:
The 17" can fit on an iCurve--
That's what I was afraid of. Oh well. I might just have to jury rig something.
     
nagromme
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Sep 26, 2003, 10:21 AM
 
can fit...

not can't fit
nagromme
     
Centris650
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Sep 26, 2003, 10:23 AM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:
can fit...

not can't fit
Doh! That's what I get for posting first thing in the morning before a shower, cup of coffee and putting in my contacts!!

Sorry!
     
Rinpoche
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Sep 26, 2003, 10:58 AM
 
I just recently sold my tibook and I'm buying the new 17! i really had a tough time deciding between the 17 and 15 but I decided the screen size would make my life a lot easier.

Here's my question, do you all feel that the podium coolpad will be sufficient enough to support the massive 17? it worked great on my 15 and I really prefer it over the icurve, i'm just a bit concerned with the size and weight of the 17 ontop of this thing.

i REALLY would like to continue using the coolpad and nothing else. any comments?
     
pjmurphy
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Sep 26, 2003, 11:01 AM
 
Originally posted by Rinpoche:
I just recently sold my tibook and I'm buying the new 17! i really had a tough time deciding between the 17 and 15 but I decided the screen size would make my life a lot easier.

Here's my question, do you all feel that the podium coolpad will be sufficient enough to support the massive 17? it worked great on my 15 and I really prefer it over the icurve, i'm just a bit concerned with the size and weight of the 17 ontop of this thing.

i REALLY would like to continue using the coolpad and nothing else. any comments?
YES! I too just switched over to the 17 from a 15 and the podium cool pad works fine!!
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Rinpoche
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Sep 26, 2003, 11:05 AM
 
thank you, i am happy
     
xi_hyperon
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Sep 26, 2003, 11:05 AM
 
I just received my PB 17" yesterday, and got it with the 5400 RPM drive. After using a TiBook 500 mhz for almost 3 years, the difference in speed is like night and day. Photoshop actually opens up quickly.

With regards to its size, I'm liking it. The huge area for resting your hands took me a while to get used to, but now I really appreciate it. The only issue I had was that the trackpad seems more susceptible to accidental input while I type, even with the "ignore accidental input" option selected. Most of the time though, I'm using a mouse, so I've just turned off the trackpad altogether. The screen size is really nice to use if you do work with apps that have a lot of pallettes, and I have to agree with the poster who said once you've got a 17", you'll not likely want to ever go back to a 15".

As far as heat, there is no comparison between this PB and my old TiBook - I can use it on my lap comfortably, while I could fry an egg on the bottom of my trusty old Ti. The fan has turned on a few times when running several apps, and although quieter than the Ti's fan, I am wondering if it is not quite aligned correctly. Instead of a smooth whirring noise, it tends to sound more like a "purr", as if the fan blades might be rubbing something in their housing. It's not a show-stopper for me by any means, but I was wondering if anyone else who's got the new 17" hears the same type of noise.

While I'm writing about noise, I'll mention that the hard drive is almost totally silent. If I am in a quiet environment and I put my ear to the left side of the PB, I can hear it doing its thing, but that's about it.

I've still got to set up VPC, so I'm looking forward to giving that a try. I've got XP, and it was unusable on the TiBook, period. I'm optimistic that it will at least be tolerable to use on this one. Unfortunately for me, I have to use Outlook in Classic at work, but at least Classic loads and runs very fast on the 17".

One thing I didn't think about when I got this Powerbook, was that I can no longer use Plus Optimizer to defragment from time to time. The Alsoft CD is only OS 9, and of course the new Macs will not boot in 9 at all. I hope that Alsoft brings us an OS X version of Plus Optimizer soon, as I don't trust any other disk defragmenter.

Overall, I am truly impressed. The fit and finish is flawless, and the strength and rigidity of the PB body is great. No flexing like the TiBook. Of course, the hinge is much stronger too, so I'm not worried about ever having a problem with it as I was with the Ti's weaker hinge design. The backlight feature in the keyboard gets a big "wow". Very nice to use if you work in bed at night or on an overnight flight. Probably the biggest improvement for me is the graphics capability. Going from the ATI 128 in the TiBook to the 9600 in this beast makes all the difference in the world with Quartz, and I'm sure graphics intensive games will fly (although I haven't installed UT2003 yet).

I've got to run off. Sorry if this was convoluted, but I hope it helped give a little insight on the new model for those who might be curious about it.
     
pjmurphy
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Sep 26, 2003, 11:13 AM
 
Originally posted by xi_hyperon:
I just received my PB 17" yesterday, and got it with the 5400 RPM drive. After using a TiBook 500 mhz for almost 3 years, the difference in speed is like night and day. Photoshop actually opens up quickly.

... The fan has turned on a few times when running several apps, and although quieter than the Ti's fan, I am wondering if it is not quite aligned correctly. Instead of a smooth whirring noise, it tends to sound more like a "purr", as if the fan blades might be rubbing something in their housing. It's not a show-stopper for me by any means, but I was wondering if anyone else who's got the new 17" hears the same type of noise....I've got to run off. Sorry if this was convoluted, but I hope it helped give a little insight on the new model for those who might be curious about it.
RE: the fan.

Again, I have heard it come on once or twice and yes, it is a "different" sound.. I guess its good to hear someone else has the same impression.

And just to reiterate - the more I use this, the more I love it
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Peabo  (op)
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Sep 26, 2003, 12:20 PM
 
The fan in my 17" purrs too
LC 16Mhz • LC 475 25Mhz • Centris 650 25Mhz • Performa 6200/75Mhz • G3 266Mhz • Snow iMac DVSE 500Mhz
G4 QS 733Mhz • 17" Powerbook 1.33Ghz • 15" MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.16Ghz • Mac Pro 8-Core 3.0 Ghz
     
nagromme
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Sep 26, 2003, 06:23 PM
 
Thanks for the report, xi--I'm eager to hear reports of 3D games. What details/res settings are practical? What framerates can you get? Do you have to avoid some kinds of games in UT2k3, or is it pretty much always playable?

(My eMac/700/2MX can handle 1-on-1 with low detail--but not great. Without opponents it's surprisingly fast in most parts of a map.)
nagromme
     
Podolsky
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Sep 26, 2003, 11:47 PM
 
Originally posted by xi_hyperon:
I just received my PB 17" yesterday, and got it with the 5400 RPM drive. After using a TiBook 500 mhz for almost 3 years, the difference in speed is like night and day.
Great review - thanks mine arrives next week is configured the same. How much ram did you get? I got mine stock but will add another meg just as soon as my card recovers from the shock of the PB 17"!
     
nagromme
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Sep 27, 2003, 01:26 AM
 
Podolsky--ordering with 1 GB in slot 1 (if not too late to change) is CHEAPER than ordering stock and adding 1 GB 3rd-party:
http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...hreadid=178674

It only costs $400 to upgrade slot 1 to 1 GB from Apple--seemingly a lot, but then you can add 512 MB from a 3rd party for $120. Total cost: $520 to go from 512 MB to 1.5 GB. If, instead, you order 1 GB for slot 2 from a 3rd party, you get the same 1.5GB--but for a cost of $650-$700. So in this case, getting more Apple RAM is best!
nagromme
     
xi_hyperon
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Sep 27, 2003, 01:32 AM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:
Thanks for the report, xi--I'm eager to hear reports of 3D games. What details/res settings are practical? What framerates can you get? Do you have to avoid some kinds of games in UT2k3, or is it pretty much always playable?
I read somewhere on these boards a post by someone who tried UT2003 and it ran pretty well on the default setting (or maybe a little higher). I still haven't had a chance to load it on mine. I've got a flight tomorrow morning and so I've been doing laundry and paying bills instead. When I get back I'll load 'er up and post some impressions.
     
xi_hyperon
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Sep 27, 2003, 01:37 AM
 
Originally posted by Podolsky:
Great review - thanks mine arrives next week is configured the same. How much ram did you get? I got mine stock but will add another meg just as soon as my card recovers from the shock of the PB 17"!
I did the same thing - I ordered the PB with the stock RAM and ordered an extra 512 MB from another company at a lesser price. Did you get a backpack also? Have fun with it when it arrives!!
( Last edited by xi_hyperon; Sep 27, 2003 at 01:44 AM. )
     
xi_hyperon
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Sep 27, 2003, 01:43 AM
 
Just a funny note to end my little string of posts, and then off to bed. Lots of people at work coming by today to see the new Powerbook. I'm usually a low-key person, but being giddy over my new acquisition, I felt like showing off a bit. I upped the "wow" factor a notch by using Backlight to make Marine Aquarium as my desktop. For those who haven't seen it, Marine Aquarium is a pretty slick and realistic looking full motion fish tank screensaver. Backlight is a freeware that allows you to run any screensaver as your desktop. Anyway, when people came by and saw tropical fish moving fluidly about my desktop as I worked, many of them had to pick their jaw up off the floor. It was quite funny.
     
Joecool
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Sep 27, 2003, 07:19 AM
 
Originally posted by xi_hyperon:
Just a funny note to end my little string of posts, and then off to bed. Lots of people at work coming by today to see the new Powerbook. I'm usually a low-key person, but being giddy over my new acquisition, I felt like showing off a bit. I upped the "wow" factor a notch by using Backlight to make Marine Aquarium as my desktop. For those who haven't seen it, Marine Aquarium is a pretty slick and realistic looking full motion fish tank screensaver. Backlight is a freeware that allows you to run any screensaver as your desktop. Anyway, when people came by and saw tropical fish moving fluidly about my desktop as I worked, many of them had to pick their jaw up off the floor. It was quite funny.
Gee, surely the fan would kick in pretty quickly and stay on if you've got marine aquarium going on in the background??!!

Also, when I tried doing that with a Ti 800, the responsiveness of the machine dropped quite a bit!!
Joecool only answers the phone when he knows it's for him...
     
trublue
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Sep 27, 2003, 03:32 PM
 
Marine Aquarium Rocks!

THANKS for posting about it xi_hyperon. I downloaded it after reading about your colleauges!

Anyway, I am quite curious as to the performance of Marine Aquarium on a new PB 17 rev B! Fill me in man!

I am working on my Uncles borrowed ibook 900 now, with a radeon mobiliy 7500 with 32 MB VRAM and 384 MB system RAM...and so far I am impressed as all hell with Marine Aquarium.

I already had backlight installed so, all I had to do was register the Aquarium to get it running in the background. It usually runs at between 25 and 30 fps (all it's settings maxed) on my 1024 x 768 screen...

CPU meter is about half without much else running. When I have a buch of apps open at the same time (AOL, iTunes playing music, Safari, Mail, Stickes, Text Editor, Calculator, CPU monitor, etc..) CPU meter is pretty much pegged at 80% and sometimes flatlining at 100%...BUT THE SYSTEM KEEPS RUNNING no matter what else I throw at it. It just gets sluggish (not unusable). I presume that I am running out of RAM and CPU on this machine.

I so LOVE seeing the fish in the background swimming as I work on the computer, and would like always keep it on when I get my PB 17 for everyday stuff (i.e. surfing web, checking email, listening to music). I am sure that I can live without it for my Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash & Logic work.

Here are a few of my questions:

Does it look very pixelated on the 17" screen with higher resolution?

Does quartz extreme and system response slow down at all when you do a few other things like listen to music/surf the web?

What are your system specs (specifically RAM)?

What are your Marine Aquarium settings? Do you notice an increase in system resources when you limit the frame-rate of the Aquarium? What kind of frame-rates are you getting otherwise?

My fan comes on and stays on after about 1 hour while doing everything that I am doing while running the Aquarium...of course that is an hour at MAXED CPU. When I just leave MA running by itself the fan goes off. Does your fan come on???

How do you use it? And what would you recommend?

I know that there are a lot of questions...just answer what you can

And once again...THANKS A MILLION!

-Ian
     
 
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