CW: Assumptions Pale, 17-inch MacBook Pro Amazing, Stunning Screen

Writing for Computerworld, Ryan Faas has been a skeptic of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, a notebook computer that seemingly hardly qualifies as a portable computer. After a week, his previous assumptions paled in comparison to the excellent speed and stunning LED backlit screen.

Of course, all that power and HD screen will set the buyer back. The model Mr. Fass reviewed was priced at US$3,349. That included a 2.6 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM and an extra $100 for the LED backlit screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution.

At first, the 6.6 pound computer seemed too big and towered over a MacBook next to it. "I had to laugh at the idea of putting it into the backpack-style case that has served me for both a MacBook and one of the very first 15-in. MacBook Pros," Mr. Faas noted. In time, however, that concern faded away, especially when he became mesmerized by the gorgeous screen. Apple clearly had digital video editing in mind in the design process.

"The LED backlighting is the one you want: Itis bright, crisp and at full power immediately. With the glossy screen -- an option for MacBook Pro displays -- the brightness and color brilliance is out of this world. It has to be seen in person to be appreciated," the author noted.

"It is simply stunning. Even during the operating systemis start-up sequence, when thereis nothing but a gray screen with a darker gray Apple logo on screen, I found myself staring at it. By the time Iid finished walking through the Setup Assistant, I was as as much in love with this display as I was with my first HDTV," he added.

The remainder of the review delved into performance, handling of Rosetta driven apps like MS Office 2004, and battery life. The machine excelled in every area and the tested battery life was as good as any competitor. The bottom line, however, was that a hands-on with the 17-inch MacBook Pro changed the revieweris perceptions of the computer.

"Even if media work is something you only do as a hobby or if youire just eyeing a portable with an amazing display for movies or games, this machine is well worth a look. You may decide that itis still bigger than you need. Or you may find, as I did, that your assumptions about size and weight pale in comparison to the solid design, stunning screen and ample processing power available on Appleis biggest laptop," Mr. Fass concluded.

Appleis sales numbers for notebook computers suggest that customers who get a chance to also touch and feel and use the MacBooks in the retail stores are coming to the same conclusion.