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Friday, February 18, 2005

Apple Introduces New Cheaper Portables, Still No G5 PowerBook

Apple has refreshed the high end portable line of Powerbooks today with some new features and several improvements on the aging line, they are, however, still G4's. Tim Cook, Apple's VP of Worldwide Sales and Operations has admitted that a G5 PowerBook would be "would be the mother of all thermal challenges." during Apple's most recent conference call with analysts to discuss first quarter earnings.

The new lineup includes the faster Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) which is up to three times faster than its predecessors, offering a maximum data rate of 3Mbps. For those who don't know, Bluetooth is a wireless protocol which can be compared to a USB or Firewire connection, rather than ethernet for internet connectivity. Bluetooth can be used to connect peripherals such as mice, keyboards, even printers to your computer with no wires. Bluetooth can also be used for data transfer for properly equipped phones and PDA's - to easily and quickly sync your address book and calendars.

Also new in the Powerbook line is a new trackpad with scrolling capability, using two fingers on the trackpad you can to scroll vertically and horizontally or pan around any active window. This feature is also fully customizable via the System Preferences.

One more new feature protects the data on your hard drive in case your Powerbook falls. Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor senses change in axis position and accelerated movement and parks the hard drive in order to minimize damage.

Each Powerbook now comes with a standard 512MB of RAM and is loaded with software - Apple's latest iLife Suite, Quickbooks for Mac, New User's Edition, Art Directors Toolkit, OMniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and GraphicConverter are just a few of the titles included with every new PowerBook.

The smallest PowerBook - 12 inches - comes in two standard configurations, both feature 1.5Ghz PowerPC G4's, an NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 with 64MB of DDR SDRAM, the lower end model comes with a 60GB hard drive and a Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW the higher end, a 80GB drive and a 8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW).

Both 15 inch PowerBook configurations come with a 80GB hard drive and an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 64MB of DDR SDRAM. The lower end model has the same 1.5Ghz PowerPC G4 as the 12 inch and a Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW). The higher end model has a 1.67Ghz PowerPC G4 and a 8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW).

The largest PowerBook, the 17 inch, has a 100GB hard drive, a 1.67Ghz PowerPC G4, a TI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 128MB of DDR SDRAM and dual-link DVI, and an 8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW).

The 15 and 17 inch PowerBooks all have an illuminated keyboard with an ambient light sensor, and the faster 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) ethernet ports. With prices starting at $1,499.00 for the low end 12 inch PowerBook and $2,699.00 for the 17 inch PowerBook, standard configurations, there is room for a new Apple portable in about any budget. See Apple's PowerBook site for more information.

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