As expected, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a revamped, faster PowerBook G4 line-up at Apple Expo Paris this morning, bringing the company's 15-inch product in line with the other models in the group.
The 17-inch and SuperDrive-equipped 15-inch PowerBooks now feature Apple's revolutionary backlit keyboard and a full tranche of connectivity options, including: AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth (built-in across the range), FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet (in the 15-inch and 17-inch models).
Apple sets the trend "Apple continues to lead the industry's move to portable computing by delivering the world's most innovative notebooks," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
"The new 15-inch PowerBook G4 succeeds the legendary Titanium PowerBook G4, the industry's first widescreen notebook introduced in January 2001. With its speed, widescreen display, connectivity and ultra-light aluminum enclosure, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 sets the bar for professional notebooks even higher," he said.
17-inch price cut, up to 1.33GHz The company has maintained price points across the range, though the 17-inch model sees £200 lopped off, it now costs £2,399, from £2,599 for the previous model.
The new 17-inch PowerBook carries a 1.33GHz G4 processor and offers a 512K L2 cache. It weighs 6.9 pounds and uses an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR memory for graphics. It hosts an 80GB hard drive and can carry up to 2GB DDR RAM and offers a SuperDrive. It is equipped with DVI and S-Video out and has AirPort Extreme built-in. FireWire 800 support also features in the product.
15-inch specs Now encased in aluminium, not titanium, the 15-inch PowerBook runs at 1GHz (with combo drive) or 1.25GHz (with SuperDrive), and carries 512K L2 cache. Graphics support comes from an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR memory. The PowerBook itself ships with 256MB DDDR memory, and can accommodate up to 2GB of memory. This model also offers FireWire 800 support.
The £1,999 SuperDrive-equipped PowerBook offers built-in AirPort Extreme support, DVI and S-Video out and ships with 512MB memory; the £1,599 combo drive model is ready to have an AirPort card added and ships with 256MB memory. These models ship with 80GB and 60GB hard drives respectively.
12-inch specs Both the 4.6 pound 12.1-inch PowerBook models offer a 1GHz G4 processor (with 512K L2 cache) and includes a Digital video Interface (DVI) port so it will connect without hassle to Apple's flat panel displays. Apple has opted for an nVidia GeForce FX Go 5200 graphics processor for this Mac, which is equipped with 32MB DDR memory. The 12-inch PowerBook can hold up to 1.25GB of memory (256MB installed).
Both models ship with 40GB hard drives. However, the 12-inch PowerBooks do not carry Gigabit Ethernet, offering 10/100BASE-T instead; neither do they support FireWire 800. The Combo drive-equipped PowerBook costs £1,299, while the SuperDrive-toting PowerBook costs £1,449.
Each new machine ships with Mac OS X 10.2.7. This offers Instant On, which can wake a PowerBook from sleep in one second, Automatic Networking, which automatically switches network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and the modem.
All models ship with Apple's iLife applications, including iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD.
The new notebooks are available now, with the exception of the new 12-inch product which is "expected to be available later this month", Apple says.
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