Apple Rolls Out Updated PowerBook G4's
Today Apple quietly released an updated lineup of PowerBooks. This was not much of a surprise, as rumors of the release have been circulating for weeks. What did come as a surprise however were some of the "little extras" that are offered this time around.
Let's first look at the expected enhancements for this update.
1. Processor speedbumps: the new lineup has jumped up to 1.5GHz (12") to 1.67GHz (17"). This is a nice, but minimal speedboost.
2. Intergrated Bluetooth 2.0 standard. This new version promises 3X the speed of Bluetooth 1.0 and considerable power savings.
3. 5400 rpm hard drives standard. This is a nice performance booster, however the faster drives will generate a bit more heat and demand more battery power.
And for the surprises...
4. All models have feature a new "Solid-state trackpad provides precise cursor control; supports tap, double-tap, drag and scrolling capabilities." This is a nice addition that is long overdue on Apple laptops.
5. All models ship with 512MB RAM minimum. Okay, for the price of a PowerBook, this should have been done on the Spring '04 revision.
6. All PB hard drives now have a "Sudden Motion Sensor" to lock your drive in position in any case of shock to the system while it is running (i.e. bumping the corner of your machine while working or the unthinkable.. a drop to the floor - happened to a friend of mine with his 15" - UGG). This is a clever feature that will help to protect data should an unexpected mishap occur.
7. A price drop of $100. I'll take it!
1. Boo. Hiss. Where the hell are the G5's? Even with the spiffy speed bump and faster hard drive, the PowerBook is somewhat crippled by an aging processor that is limited by its modest 167 MHz system bus.
The new G5 processor opens up a can of whoop-ass with its spectacular 600-900 MHz sytem bus and 64-bit architecture, jetting ahead 450MHz faster than even the latest Intel 875 chipset, which sputters out at 800MHz!
2. Oh no... Not the same low-res displays again. Apple has not increased display resolution on the PowerBooks this time around. We are sure to see that change on the next rollout right? G5's? Please?!
Easy there cowboy (or cowgirl). If you are in need of an awesome overall fantastic notebook, go for the new model. Despite my complaining, this is still an outstanding and beautiful machine. But if you are simply wanting to update your current aluminum PowerBook, we suggest you keep your wallet secured. If you are not in immediate need and can wait 6 months, you are sure to get the best bang for the buck upon the arrival of the PB G5 lineup that may surface as early as July. Besides, you don't even get Tiger OS X 10.4 if you buy now. Our thoughts... Wait, wait, wait... The G5's will be coming soon.
For more information, go directly to Apple's Website: apple.com
Barry J. Doyle
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