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Apple debuts faster PowerBooks with new technologies

updated 08:35 am EST, Mon January 31, 2005

New G4 PowerBooks

Apple today introduced later this week starting at $1,500 (12-inch), $2000 (15-inch), and $2,700 (17-inch).

Both the new 15- and 17-inch models now feature a backlit keyboard--up to 10x brighter--with ambient light sensors for working in low-light conditions as well as an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (either 64MB or 128MB); the 17-inch model also adds Dual Link support to drive Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD Display (also available as BTO on the 15-inch model).

"Apple continues to lead the industry with the most innovative notebooks," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With new features like the scrolling TrackPad and Sudden Motion Sensor, the new PowerBooks are the ultimate combination of performance and portability."

Designed for creative and business professionals, the new PowerBooks introduce Apple's scrolling TrackPad, allowing users to easily scroll through long web pages or across large photographs using the two fingers (instead of one) to quickly scroll or pan within the window. The new PowerBooks also feature Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor technology which integrates a "tri-axis accelerometer" to help protect a spinning hard drive if the notebook is accidentally dropped.

  • 12.1-inch (1024x768), 1.5GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 60GB hard drive, Combo DVD/CD-RW optical drive, Nvidia GeForceFX Go5200 with 64MB, FireWire, mini-DVI out for $1499.

  • 12.1-inch (1024x768), 1.5GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, SuperDrive, Nvidia GeForceFX Go5200 with 64MB, FireWire, mini-DVI out for $1699.

  • 15-inch (1280x854), 1.5GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, Combo DVD/CD-RW optical drive, backlit keyboard, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 64MB, FireWire 400/800, DVI & S-Video out for $1999.

  • 15-inch (1280x854), 1.67GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, SuperDrive, backlit keyboard, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 64MB, FireWire 400/800, DVI & S-Video out for $2299.

  • 17-inch (1440x900), 1.67GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 100GB hard drive, SuperDrive, backlit keyboard, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 128MB, FireWire 400/800, DVI & S-Video out, Digital/analog audio, Dual link DVI, for $2299.

The 15- and 17-inch models feature build-to-order (BTO) memory configurations of up 1GB (2x512MB), 1GB (1x1GB) and 2GB (2x1GB). The 15- and 17- models come standard with one 512MB memory module; however, the 12-inch PowerBook has 256MB of RAM soldered to the motherboard (and a 256MB module in the user slot in the standard configuration for 512MB) for a maximum memory of 1.26GB ($425 at the Apple Store). Upgrading the video memory to 128MB version of ATI's video card on the 15-inch PowerBooks is $100 (ATI card is not available on the 12-inch PowerBook).

by MacNN Staff




  1. vickys-box

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Available now

    Well, in the UK store at least :-)

  1. John F.

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not much has changed. Hate that Apple puts 256 MB soldered and 256 MB in the slot. HD is 5400 RPM across the line and TrackPad adds scroll. 12" PowerBook seems a good deal.

  1. bobthenob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple will now start offering 512MB as the base for all "Power" systems (iMac / G5s / Powerbooks).

    Even though 512 really should be the standard across the board, this would be a good move and would add a little more separation between the minis / emacs / ibooks.

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: well..

    Hmm, the RAM is all in DIMM's according to the shop.
    The Bluetooth is now 2.0!
    The Trackpad is new, the CPU is a little faster, the GPU is upped, you can now order 100GB drive, you can now connect it to a 30" display...

    I say it rocks!

  1. boron

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Scroll and Sudden Motion

    Put those two new feature into the iBooks, and I'll upgrade now. I (personally) just can't justify dropping $2000 on a powerbook when the 14" ibook is $1300.

  1. JTVD

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The 15" with Superdrive is 1225 ex VAT in the US as opposed to 1343 ex VAT in the UK, that is $200 difference!

  1. boomer0127

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still waiting....

    I know most people think it is not worth waiting for the G5 powerbook, but I think either dual G4 processors or a G5 are the only upgrades I will make from my Rev. A Lunchtray (1 GHz 17 inch PB). Sure the video is nice but with the increased demands of Tiger and future OS X upgrades, either dual processors or a 64-bit processor is going to be effective for the future. I'm waiting for the WhiffleBook G5. I think even a slower G5 is better than the G4 (what can I say, Apple marketing has worked on me).

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not enough

    Well I own a powermac G5 1.6, and this is a G4 at 1.67ghz...and its been said many times at the same clock frequency the G4 is faster (for 32 bit anyway...of course it doesn't do 64 bit).

    it will take an introduction of a 64 bit OS and a lot of time on top of that, before 64 bit is the norm.

    This is a capable machine, but I must admit, at the price of a powerbook, I too would demand only the best, and this seems too modest a machine.

  1. Ixion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    About Goddamn time

    I'm not too terribly impressed. I'd be more enthused if this update came back in say the November time frame or so. Regardless, updates are always good, but I don't think I'll be upgrading until a full 1ghz seperates me between the latest updated 12" Powerbook and my 867mhz.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice tweeks...

    ...but still just tweeks (exept for 30" capability)... The speed differences I've experienced G4 - G5 mean I'll be waiting still longer to trade in my Ti - G5's the first macs I've tried that browse even close to as fast as my peecee...

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