While most of yesterday’s Macworld keynote was uninteresting to me personally – I rarely use any of the updated software, and don’t have iTunes store access – the new 17″ MacBook Pro was mostly as I expected: the additional space was used for a larger battery, and more USB ports.

It was gratifying to see Apple’s battery page practically repeat my reasoning about the infrastructure (and wasted space) needed to accommodate removable batteries. (See also Chuq Von Rospach‘s discussion of the issue.) Not that the 15″ model’s infrastructure is quite as large as they show in the video, of course… but it makes the point well.

Judging from the pictures, the hard drive is inside a space that’s almost exactly square. In theory, they could have rotated the drive 90 degrees and made the battery 30mm wider, for maybe 10% more capacity. So why didn’t they do that? It would have meant extra weight, a beefed-up charging circuit, more heat dissipation, and either a larger power supply (which already is at 85W) or a longer charging time.

I don’t doubt that we’ll see incremental upgrades for iMacs and Mac minis rolled out without much fanfare over the next two months. My tip for the iMacs is that they’ll use the exact same front and back bezels as the corresponding-sized displays, with only a 10mm shim module inserted to accommodate the CPU and drives. The advantage, of course, would be that you could add a second display to your iMac with the exact same styling, screen parameters, and height; a good selling point. It would be a no-brainer for the 24″ model. I’m not sure that a 20″ display from Apple would sell well by itself, but if it used bezels and nearly all components from the 20″ iMac, it might be price competitive, and the styling advantage would be worth paying a few bucks extra. A 28″ iMac has been rumored; would that, then, mean that the current high-end 30″ display would be shrunk to 28″ too? I hope we’ll have the answer soon.