A Supersize PowerBook

Apple's 17-inch PowerBook is big.

Apple PowerBook

Apples 17-inch PowerBook is big. Measuring 15.4 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep and weighing 6.8 pounds, the thing barely fits into my briefcase, and when Ive toted it from here to there, Ive definitely been aware of its presence.

To Apples considerable credit, however, its flagship notebook computer is about as small as it could possibly be for something thats built around the roomy LCD display from the companys 17-inch iMacs.

After all, the 17-inch PowerBook is only an inch thick, and its other, much more sizable dimensions dont seem quite so onerous once youve got that excellent 1,440-by-900-pixel display open.

The 17-inch PowerBook is powered by a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor, which delivers snappy performance. Support for Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless networking is built-in, as is a slot-loaded, DVD-burning optical drive and a generous complement of peripheral ports—including a PC Card slot.

Im generally not a fan of track pads (I tend to prefer mice or eraser-point controllers), and I found this PowerBooks keyboard to be set a bit farther back into the machines 10.2-inch depth than Id like, but neither of these quibbles made the 17-inch PowerBook uncomfortable to use.

The qualities I most relish in a portable computer are portability and price, so a charge for the $3,299 17-inch PowerBook isnt likely to show up on my credit card statement. However, if youre after a sharp-looking, well-performing laptop with screen real estate to spare, I suggest you cruise into an Apple store and check one out.