Utterly pointless screen
There are two points to a 16:9 screen on a computer.
1) To match the aspect ratio of HDTV for video playback.
2) To save money, because a 16:9 screen has less area than a 16:10 screen with the same diagonal.
So what they've done here is charge a reasonably large amount of money for a machine with an inferior resolution to any 1680x1050 screen (let alone WUXGA), that has an inferior aspect ratio for document editing (try fitting two A4 pages on it - 16:10 is much better), and that can't display HD resolutions without scaling (blurring) them.
Personally, I've never found black bars (aka "somewhere off-screen to put the DVD player control) distracting - certainly no more than the screen boundaries. I'll be amused if someone starts doing ambilight-esque coloured borders. This is entirely a cynical attempt to fob off a cheaper panel than a "real" 17" screen would have been, and claim it's superior.
16:9 is not, and never has been, a good choice of aspect ratio. Now it's polluting our laptop screens. Eugh.
Pint glass, for looking at distorted images through.