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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 15' Powerbook palm rest - is it comfortable?

15' Powerbook palm rest - is it comfortable?
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wackerly
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May 20, 2004, 01:18 PM
 
I'm currently choosing between a 12" and 15" PB for my return to school this september. I like the fom factor/portabilty of the 12', but am considering the 15" for the screen and the power.

Recently, I was trying out a 15" at the local retailer, and, I noticed that the front lip/edge of the palmrests kept digging into my forearms. This was at a Compusa, where the PB was "caged" onto a shelf, so I couldn't move it to a normal height work surface to see whether the height/angle was causing this. The 12", becuase of its smaller palmrest and slightly more rounded front lip, did not bother my forearms.

I don't want to buy a computer that is literally a pain to use. Is this a common complaint, or does it sound like this was a result of the weird angle or height goin on at the store?

Thanks
     
EdipisReks
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May 20, 2004, 03:58 PM
 
the 15" palmrest isn't as comfortable as the pismo, but you get used to it quickly.
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Jack-iMac
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May 20, 2004, 06:15 PM
 
yeah
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rag on a muffin
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May 20, 2004, 06:26 PM
 
the 12" palm rest is nice cause your wrists bend right at where it ends.
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bauhaus
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May 21, 2004, 07:43 AM
 
No, it's not comfortable. It's the classic Apple problem of form over function. The 15"Ti is much more comfortable whereas the Al has that sharp edge so that when the PB is closed it looks "seamless"-- however in the end it hurts the long-term usability (plus the seamless-ness is lost since the lids don't close perfectly and have a slight curvature and gap that Apple claims is to keep keyboard marks from the screen but just looks like poor QC.)

In the end, you have to select the laptop based on forearms if you really want to be comfortable. (..and don't get me started on the 17"PB with its deep-set keyboard--only the 12"PB ends up being comfortable because almost everyone's wrists fall at the edge of the laptop)

Another bonus is that the palmrests on the Als develop whitespots overtime, so the less contact with your skin the better if you want it to look better in the long-run (it only took about 5 months for the first whitespots to develop for me) and the palmrests tend to get hot over long-term usage-- so once again, the less touching your skin, the better. Overall, to keep your hands from getting sweaty or from feeling the heat or the palmrest cutting your forearm or whitespots, the 12"PB is better.
     
nagromme
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May 21, 2004, 02:18 PM
 
Yes--perfectly comfortable. My AlBook is a little too high where I sit, so my wrists slightly touch the edge at times. Not a problem--never notice it. It's not metal, there's a plastic pumper all around the edge. You'd have to be sitting really low or in a different pose than I do or you'd never notice the edge. I'm sure personal opinions will vary.

The metal never seems to get sticky or cling to my skin like my plastic PBG3 did, and shows ZERO marks anywhere on the surface--including the wrist rests. That's after six months of HEAVY use--my plastic PowerBook showed permanent buffing/shining of the wrist area by then, but the anodized aluminum does not. Anodized aluminum means there's a coating made of the same stuff as sapphires and rubies, without the color--it's VERY hard and durable--even "scratches" from metal cables rub right away with a finger--it's like the softer metal wrote in the 'Book like a crayon. So I'd be astonished if anyone sees discoloration that doesn't wipe right off with a little water. In my case, I haven't even had to do that in half a year. I'm looking at my palm rests now from all angles and they look brand new.

I also never feel any heat there. I feel heat on the metal strip above the F keys--where I never have to touch anyway--and on the bottom if in my lap.

I like the 12" too, but for comfort I cannot complain about the 15" either. AND the screen is much brighter.

Either way, enjoy!
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rag on a muffin
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May 21, 2004, 03:50 PM
 
you forgot to mention the oxidizing on the palmrests. this has happened to everyone i know with a powerbook.
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dodo_nutter
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May 21, 2004, 04:33 PM
 
I have a 15" and in the 2 weeks i've had it i've never had any problems with the palm rests. I can imagin that if you bent your wrists down so your wrists dug in it would be painful but the way i always type with the PB on my lap or on the desk only the base of my wrist rests on the large flat Al area and my forearms are raised off the PB away from the edge.

Just my experience
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EdipisReks
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May 21, 2004, 05:54 PM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:


Anodized aluminum means there's a coating made of the same stuff as sapphires and rubies, without the color--it's VERY hard and durable--even "scratches" from metal cables rub right away with a finger--it's like the softer metal wrote in the 'Book like a crayon. So I'd be astonished if anyone sees discoloration that doesn't wipe right off with a little water. In my case, I haven't even had to do that in half a year. I'm looking at my palm rests now from all angles and they look brand new.
anodization is simply a controlled oxidation. the anodized aluminum that apple uses is quite soft compared to, say, the anodized aluminum that SIG Sauer uses in their handgun frames. everyone i know that has an aluminum powerbook (including myself) has suffered from scratches and corrosion.
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todrain
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May 23, 2004, 11:09 AM
 
the new 15" has that strange sharp edge just before the keyboard... I don't know why apple designed it that way.

From what I've seen, the only part that gets really hot on the 15" is the underside. the palm rests are almost always the same.

the 12"ers, however, have a big heat difference, and the left gets much hotter than the right. I had the same situtation back when I had my dual USB iBook. It was rather annoying, but it didn't get as hot as the PBs do.
     
tooki
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May 23, 2004, 01:50 PM
 
I find the square edge of the palm rest to be terribly uncomfortable, I'm still (after 6 months) trying to find a position as reliably comfortable as using the Pismo.

tooki
     
Cheesebury
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May 24, 2004, 07:31 AM
 
Just got my 15" last week and yes the edges are uncomfortable, I've taken to wearing wrist bands if I'm going to do lots of typing, solves the problem but it's hardly smart. I miss how comfortable my wallstreet was (but thats all i miss).
     
Bonhomme7heures
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May 24, 2004, 10:48 AM
 
Wakerly,

the best thing to do, is to try it yourself! I could say that I have bigger hands than normal and I don't have any problem with the space for the palmrest.

So, go back to the store and see for yourself, don't ask these guys.
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spatterson
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May 24, 2004, 10:58 AM
 
I love it!
     
davcomp
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May 24, 2004, 02:02 PM
 
I just received my 15" 1.5Ghz Al PB today and the edges are slighty curved, not straight like others I have seen. I'm not sure if this is unique to the latest PB's or not, but mine certainly isn't uncomfortable and the curved edges are almost as curved as my Ti's...
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