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Summary:

Well, Apple has finally updated the Powerbook line. After more than a year since the last upgrade, users expected some substantial speed bumps. What the got is a different story. Instead of the rumored dual-core G4, or dreamed of G5, we got a minimal 1.5ghz increase […]

Well, Apple has finally updated the Powerbook line. After more than a year since the last upgrade, users expected some substantial speed bumps. What the got is a different story. Instead of the rumored dual-core G4, or dreamed of G5, we got a minimal 1.5ghz increase in speed. However, Apple did add some sorely needed features, as well as some innovative new ones. For the first time, Powerbooks have the ability to scroll via the touch-pad. Users can scroll in any direction by dragging two fingers across the track-pad. Although this is a great feature, it still does not address the lack of right-clck support by default. Users wishing to add even more functionality to the touch-pad will still have to rely on programs such as sidetrack. Another feature new to the Powerbook line is acceleration protection for the hard drive. An accelerometer chip on the motherboard detects the machine beginning to fall, and moves the reading head off of the disk platter to protect from damage. This is a tactic pioneered by IBM in their ThinkPad line.

The upgrades to the line include:
– 512MB of RAM is now standard on all models.
– 1.5GHz (12 and 15 inch models) and 1.67GHz (15 and 17 inch models) G4 processors.
– Dual-link DVI 128MB ATI Radeon 9700 graphics cards able to connect to the 30′ Cinema Display (standard on 17″, BTO option on 15″).
– 5400RPM HDD standard on all models. 60GB (12″), 80GB (12″ and 15″), 100GB (17″, BTO 15″ and 12″).
– Bluetooth 2 high speed wireless on all models.
– iLife ’05 pre-installed on all models.
– $200 price drop on all models.

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  1. Is it just me or is the Powerbook line starting to feel like the PowerMac line did back before it hit 1 GHz? They add a few spiffy features and give it what is a nearly negligible speed bump from the perspective of the end users. I guess it isn’t just the PowerBooks either. The iBooks and eMac’s haven’t seen much in terms of speed or feature growth either and other than being a bit faster in the CPU the Mac mini is pretty much the same old tech that we have had to choose from for the last few years. It is time for some major upgrades across the board.

  2. nick santilli Monday, January 31, 2005

    I’m thinking it’s just the “physical” limitations that the processor industry has come up against in terms of real speed gains.

    At least Apple is adding some other features with the new lines, rather than just giving a couple hundred Mhz more and dropping a couple hundred dollars in price.

  3. Just great! I bought my first new Apple G4 during Macworld in San Francisco earlier in the month of January. Gee, does anyone know if this company offer free upgrades to anyone who plunked down 2K for a 15″ notebook within 30 days of this fabulous upgrade worth at least a few hundred dollars?

    Wait! Don’t tell me, let me guess…

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