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Apple Unveils Faster, More Affordable PowerBooks

post #1 of 198
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As expected, Apple Computer today unveiled faster, more affordable PowerBooks, featuring PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1.67 GHz, faster hard drives and a faster 8X SuperDriveÂall housed in the PowerBook's signature aluminum enclosure. All new PowerBooks come standard with 512MB memory, faster graphics, integrated AirPort 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.0 wireless networking and two new Apple patent-pending technologiesÂthe scrolling TrackPad and the Sudden Motion Sensor.

"Apple continues to lead the industry with the most innovative notebooks," said Philip Schiller, AppleÂs 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 AppleÂs patent-pending scrolling TrackPad that works with every application and document, so users can easily scroll through long web pages or across large photographs. Simply touch the trackpad with two fingers instead of one to quickly scroll or pan within the window. Every PowerBook also includes AppleÂs patent-pending Sudden Motion Sensor technology which integrates a tri-axis accelerometer to help protect a spinning hard drive if the notebook is accidentally dropped. AppleÂs backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors for working in low-light conditions is now built in to all 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks and is up to 10 times brighter than before.

The new PowerBooks deliver increased performance with both the 15- and 17-inch PowerBook models offering up to 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4 processors and industry-leading ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processors with 64MB or 128MB of graphics memory. All models now include 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM and faster 5400 rpm hard drives for demanding professional applications. The 17-inch PowerBook now features Dual Link support to drive AppleÂs breakthrough 30-inch Cinema HD Display as an external monitor, and this feature is also available as a build-to-order option on the 1.67 GHz model of the 15-inch PowerBook.

Every PowerBook now includes built-in AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking. Apple is the first notebook maker to include integrated Bluetooth 2.0 (Enhanced Data Rate) for up to three times greater data rates, up to 3 Mbps, for faster wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals including cell phones, PDAs, printers and headsets. Bluetooth 2.0 is also compatible with Bluetooth 1.2 devices such as the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. Â*

Every PowerBook now includes iLife Â05, AppleÂs award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications. iLife Â05 is an innovative and comprehensive suite of software for organizing, editing and sharing digital photos; creating digital movies and DVDs; and purchasing, managing and creating digital music. iLife Â05 includes iTunes 4.7.1, Apple's digital music jukebox software with the iTunes Music Store inside. iTunes provides seamless integration with AppleÂs complete family of popular iPods, including the new iPod shuffle. iLife Â05 also includes iPhoto 5 for organizing and sharing digital photos; iMovie HD for digital HD-quality movie-making; iDVD 5 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs; and GarageBand 2, the music application that turns the Mac into a professional-quality musical instrument and recording studio.

Mac OS X version 10.3 ÂPanther is pre-installed on every PowerBook and delivers features such as iChat AV desktop video conferencing, Mail, Safari web browser, Sherlock, Address Book, QuickTime, iSync, iCal and DVD Player. Panther also features FileVault, which uses the latest security standards and 128-bit encryption technology to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure; Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; and Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem. Â*

The new 12-,15- and 17-inch PowerBook models will be available later this week through The Apple Store, at AppleÂs retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 1.67 GHz, 17-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $2,699 (US), includes:
\t512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open slot, expandable up to 2GB;a 100GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive and Sudden Motion Sensor;a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 128MB video memory;DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch support), VGA, S-video and composite video support;AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem;two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire® 400 and 800;optical digital audio input and output;a scrolling TrackPad; andilluminated keyboard with ambient light sensor.

The 1.67 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $2,299 (US), includes:
\t512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open slot, expandable up to 2GB;an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive and Sudden Motion Sensor;a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 64MB video memory with Dual Link DVI functionality;DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support;AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem;two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800;a scrolling TrackPad; andilluminated keyboard with ambient light sensor.

The 1.5 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes: Â*
\t512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open memory slot, expandable up to 2GB;an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 64MB video memory;DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support;AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem;two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800;a scrolling TrackPad; andilluminated keyboard with ambient light sensor.

The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:
\t512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB;an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics with 64MB of video memory;DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support;AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;Ethernet 10/100BASE-T and 56K V.92 modem;two USB 2.0 ports and Firewire 400; anda scrolling TrackPad.

The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:
\t512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB;a 60GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics with 64MB of video memory;DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support;AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;Ethernet 10/100BASE-T and 56K V.92 modem;two USB 2.0 ports and Firewire 400; anda scrolling TrackPad.

Additional build-to-order options for the new PowerBook line include up to 1.25GB DDR RAM on the 12-inch model and up to 2GB on the 15- and 17-inch models, an 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive, 128MB graphics memory with Dual Link DVIÂ*on the 1.67 GHz 15-inch (for enabling the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display as an external monitor), a 100GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 5400 rpm on all models, AirPort Extreme or Express Base Station, Apple displays and the AppleCare Protection Plan.
post #2 of 198


Okay, Apple... WTF is this?! Okay, they've met the *conservative* expectations of everyone, but anyway... With these machines they'll lose a lot of the money they made with the Mac mini etc. through further declining sales in the pro area...
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post #3 of 198
Not much GHz excitement, but lots of nice new extras...

- brighter keys
- 30" display support
- fiber optic digital audio i/o
- 3x Bluetooth speed
- 512 RAM in one DIMM
- 8x SuperDrive
- DVD+/-RW
- scrolling trackpad
- motion/drop sensor
- faster graphics
- higher rpm drives
- lower price!

That will just have to tide us over for a while... G5s just are not portable yet. That's life.

I wonder if the 12" screen quality has been brought up to the level of the 15"/17"?
post #4 of 198
Boo!
post #5 of 198
You guys are missing the biggest point.

Dual DVI on the 17", so it can drive the 30" monitor.

[and I predicted it, thank you very much!]

Who cares how fast they are, they are fast enough.
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post #6 of 198
And the whining begins....
Except for the processor itself, which is out of Apple's hands (and besides is not that bad actually), the specs are quite good!! A very nice upgrade.

All models come with build-in bluetooth and airport-card, 512 MB RAM, very nice graphics cards and BTO options, 5400 rpm drives all over etc. etc.
post #7 of 198
Here's a first for Apple:

Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
All new PowerBooks come standard with 512MB memory

!
post #8 of 198
ya the whole 512MB thing is definitely good. i think these updates are great, even htough i wont be buying cause my powerbook isnt that old. anybody complaining is just stupid.
post #9 of 198
Although we all would like to see G5 Powerbooks this is a nice step. The prices are very attractive as are the new features. I have a 1ghz Ti Powerbook now and I dont have any problems with the processor speed. C'mon give them a break on ths one its a good step without the heat issues on the G5 chip being resolved.
post #10 of 198
This is good... not quite enough for me to upgrade from my 1GHz 12" Powerbook, but definitely good. I really like the 512MB of RAM as standard and the faster Superdrives and Airport as standard.

My bank balance is sighing with relief though, as I'm currently pledged not to upgrade until either a G5 or dual-core G4 Powerbook is available - whenever that might be.
post #11 of 198
To me this signals that Apple is doing everything they can to make an exellent machine with what they've got (the G4). Kudos for that!

If I was not going to buy a dual G5 Power Mac for my work (when they get upgraded soon hopefully), I would seriously consider upgrading from my 1 GHz 15" TiBook to the new 1.67 GHz 15"
post #12 of 198
This puts me in a funny situation.

I can order the (17" + 30" monitor) for less money than the (15" + 30" monitor), because the 17" does not need to be BTO, so I can order it off Amazon with no sales tax.

Is the 17" too big to be useful/portable?
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post #13 of 198
Maybe I'm just stupid...but how do these have "faster graphics"? The old ones had Mobility 9700 with 64MB too.
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post #14 of 198
Guys,

These notebooks really are competative with windows based laptops, both hardware wise, and for once cost.

If you look at Dell's 9200, and IBM's T series, which are probably the powerbook's competitors, they aren't all that hot. I'm stuck on this horrendous IBM T42 that cost about $2k (although I received mine subsidized), and for the money spent on this piece, a beautiful powerbook could have been purchased.

The g4 is fine for the powerbook. It blows the hats off the mobile centrion processor anyday. At around the $2k price range, 1.6gh chips are only being used. These chips have heat problems too.
post #15 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by concentricity
Maybe I'm just stupid...but how do these have "faster graphics"? The old ones had Mobility 9700 with 64MB too.

nope, you're not stupid. as mentioned, Apple has put in some excellent effort given limitations in CPU and GPU areas...

graphics have not been upgraded in the sense that the 12" and 15" and 17" are using the same GPUs, you can check the older powerbook specs on Apple Malaysia http://www.applemalaysia.com.my/powerbook/specs.html (hey, Malaysia's not that backwards, they'll be getting Mac minis in a few weeks time)
post #16 of 198
The 512 MB RAM - according to the store this is 256 onboard, and 256 MB SODIMM.

Yep, they just filled the slot as standard, not upgraded the on-board RAM.

I still want one....

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post #17 of 198
What is with Apple and typos lately? The specs page shows the 128MB graphics and dual-link DVI options as availble on both 15" models. The store shows no evidence of a 128MB option for the 1.5 15" model and dual-link DVI does not show up as an option for either 15" model. Better wait until Apple gets their facts straight before ordering. Sheesh.

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post #18 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
What is with Apple and typos lately? The specs page shows the 128MB graphics and dual-link DVI options as availble on both 15" models. The store shows no evidence of a 128MB option for the 1.5 15" model and dual-link DVI does not show up as an option for either 15" model. Better wait until Apple gets their facts straight before ordering. Sheesh.

I was able to configure a 15" with dual DVI - it is under "video memory", but only on the superdrive model.

Also, the 256+256 ram is only on the 12", the other two models have 2 DIMM slots that you can fill as you like
(no on-board ram).
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post #19 of 198
Fiber Optic In/Out is only available on the 17" model. No 128MB graphics option on the 1.5 GHz model anymore. What good are price cuts if you are forced to pick from the more expensive options? Damn you Apple.

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post #20 of 198
I am buying a 12" Superdrive, 768MB BTO tomorrow

With the exception of the FX5200, I has everything I want.

Wooot!!
post #21 of 198
I doubt I'll upgrade my 1.33 GHz 12" PB, but I took a look at the new 12" anyway.

You're supposed to be able to order an optional 80GB or 100GB drive, but the only options currently available using the online order form pop-up menu are for the default 60GB or 100GB, skipping the 80GB option that's mentioned even in the text directly below the pop-up menu.
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post #22 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
Fiber Optic In/Out is only available on the 17" model. No 128MB graphics option on the 1.5 GHz model anymore. What good are price cuts if you are forced to pick from the more expensive options? Damn you Apple.


That decides me, I need the 17" to get the optical output.
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post #23 of 198
I wonder what drive is being used for the Superdrive. Same as the Mac mini but without the firmware limiter? Someone please run System Profiler when you receive it. Thanks!

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post #24 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978

Also, the 256+256 ram is only on the 12", the other two models have 2 DIMM slots that you can fill as you like
(no on-board ram).

Well spotted - thanks!

Re: comparing well to a PC, I went and tried to configure something similar on Dell's site. I ended up with:

Lattitude D400, 12" screen
2 GHz Pentium M
512 Mb
60 Gb Disk
(lose the insurance)
8xDVD+RW
No floppy drive

So basically a rather nasty laptop, missing several of the bits on the 12" SuperDrive PB, but with a better warranty and a bit lighter.

But it's a Dell, so it's cheap right?

GBP 1035, fifteen quid more expensive than the PowerBook.

Kudos to Apple, excellent work guys.

Martin.
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post #25 of 198
what was the pricing on the previous models?
post #26 of 198
Very nice, the new goodies make it tempting. However I think I'm still going with the next Mini since I'm poor.

I wonder, is that new trackpad scrolling in software or hardware? In other words, could they update current PowerBooks for that?

Nice bump, good hard drives finally. Only thing is the NVIDIA. NVIDIA sucks in laptops. The G4, oh well, what can you do. Hopefully next time, Freescale will deliver.
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post #27 of 198
The 17-incher is a pretty sweet laptop to get. I'll probably pick it up when
Mac OS 10.4 comes out. Any chance for the new OS to come out before
April though?
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post #28 of 198
No FW800 in 12"
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post #29 of 198
I'll be right back, after I pour over the new PowerBook tech specs and find something new we can all cry over. </everyone>
post #30 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by datamodel
Well spotted - thanks!

Re: comparing well to a PC, I went and tried to configure something similar on Dell's site. I ended up with:

Lattitude D400, 12" screen
2 GHz Pentium M
512 Mb
60 Gb Disk
(lose the insurance)
8xDVD+RW
No floppy drive

So basically a rather nasty laptop, missing several of the bits on the 12" SuperDrive PB, but with a better warranty and a bit lighter.

But it's a Dell, so it's cheap right?

GBP 1035, fifteen quid more expensive than the PowerBook.

Kudos to Apple, excellent work guys.

Martin.

Oh come on, you can configure a much better system than that.

Inspiron 9200
17" Ultrasharp
Pentium M 2.1ghz "Dothan"
1gb DDR333
ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 128mb
100gb hard drive
8x DVD +/- dual layer burner

$2396

There, more powerful than the 17" Powerbook and cheaper too.
post #31 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
Oh come on, you can configure a much better system than that.

Inspiron 9200
17" Ultrasharp
Pentium M 2.1ghz "Dothan"
1gb DDR333
ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 128mb
100gb hard drive
8x DVD +/- dual layer burner

$2396

There, more powerful than the 17" Powerbook and cheaper too.

OK - I was comparing the 12" SuperDrive as that's what I'd be in the market for, and in UK prices, as that's where I'd buy it, so looking for a realistic alternative.

But well done anyway, I'm sure.

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post #32 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by datamodel
OK - I was comparing the 12" SuperDrive as that's what I'd be in the market for, and in UK prices, as that's where I'd buy it, so looking for a realistic alternative.

But well done anyway, I'm sure.

M.

Ok, we'll look at another 12" from Dell.

Inspiron 700M
Pentium M 1.6ghz
1GB DDR333
8x DVD +/- dual layer burner
60gb hard drive
Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics

Graphics aren't as good as the 12" powerbook. I think the one you configured would be a bit better.

Also, Dell has coupon codes out all the time that can be found at www.gotapex.com
In october they were giving $750 off notebooks.

That said, i'm actually selling my 2 dell notebooks so I can get a 17" powerbook.
post #33 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
Oh come on, you can configure a much better system than that.

Inspiron 9200
17" Ultrasharp
Pentium M 2.1ghz "Dothan"
1gb DDR333
ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 128mb
100gb hard drive
8x DVD +/- dual layer burner

$2396

There, more powerful than the 17" Powerbook and cheaper too.

More powerful how, exactly? Is there one task that you can perform on that machine that you can't on the Powerbook? Or is it just some task that will take, like, 10 milliseconds longer on the Mac? Or just that some of the numbers are bigger?

Frankly, everyone here gets so worked up over there own fantasies of G5 ultra cheap mind-reading portables that anything seems disappointing. But my little iBook keeps chugging along, keeping me entertained and making me money.
post #34 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by D.J. Adequate
More powerful how, exactly? Is there one task that you can perform on that machine that you can't on the Powerbook? Or is it just some task that will take, like, 10 milliseconds longer on the Mac? Or just that some of the numbers are bigger?

More ram, faster CPU.
post #35 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
More ram, faster CPU.

Ah, bigger numbers then. In real world applications, the 'Faster' cpu will make almost no difference. Comparing the different architectures is difficult--but for most of what a laptop is used for, I can't a big difference. I can't make my presentations run any faster, email any faster, and any speed gained on the bits of video I do would be lost trying to find a software package with as nice an interface as iMove or Final Cut Express.

RAM is cheap, and I always choose to go with the minimum possible from the vendor and upgrade for cheap elsewhere.

Just to be clear, the PC is not bad. It may be better in some ways and for some tasks. But the Apple is competitive--and it's just a pet peeve of mine when people compare numbers on machines, rather than looking at the tasks that need to be done with them. I can't count the number of people at work who have kick-ass video cards, and then just do email and word-processing. But the video card has bigger numbers, so they think they need it.
post #36 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by D.J. Adequate
Ah, bigger numbers then. In real world applications, the 'Faster' cpu will make almost no difference. Comparing the different architectures is difficult--but for most of what a laptop is used for, I can't a big difference. I can't make my presentations run any faster, email any faster, and any speed gained on the bits of video I do would be lost trying to find a software package with as nice an interface as iMove or Final Cut Express.

RAM is cheap, and I always choose to go with the minimum possible from the vendor and upgrade for cheap elsewhere.

Just to be clear, the PC is not bad. It may be better in some ways and for some tasks. But the Apple is competitive--and it's just a pet peeve of mine when people compare numbers on machines, rather than looking at the tasks that need to be done with them. I can't count the number of people at work who have kick-ass video cards, and then just do email and word-processing. But the video card has bigger numbers, so they think they need it.

I understand what you are saying. But if you can get more power for less, why not? For your uses more power would'nt make a difference, but a lower price would.
It's only gamers and video editors that need more power.
post #37 of 198
No you guys don't have to backtrack.

Dell laptops suck. That Inspiron 9200 starts at 7.7lbs before you add in battery and optical drive. That's damn near a 9lb laptop.

Now check the Powerbook 17"

Weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed (8)

Which do "YOU" want to carry around for any length of time?
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post #38 of 198
DAMN IT

i was going to order when they updated but now i have to sit back and think about things for a minute

i LOVE these updates except one thing really ticks me off...

WHY does apple Add an extra 215mb ram card instead of giving us ONE 512mb ram card. DAMN IT this would have made me buy one right now!

i wish the 12" had firewire800 and ati graphics (& maybe optical out) or at least a BTO option for these but that isnt such a big deal to me

...i guess ill have to really think hard about all this (as usual)

decisions decisions
post #39 of 198
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
I understand what you are saying. But if you can get more power for less, why not? For your uses more power would'nt make a difference, but a lower price would.
It's only gamers and video editors that need more power.

But my point is, numbers don't equal power. A smaller size, a better interface, and great application are more equivalent to "power" than a few more mhz that really won't make any difference to my tasks.

Just to make a ridiculous example, say you could get a video card that was twice as fast as you current one, for free, but it caused you machine to crash once every half an hour. Would this make you machine more powerful? No, even if they paid you to take it, it would still be a bad deal.

That's why the question when buying a computer has to start with what you wish to do with it, what applications you want to run, and what operating system you are comfortable with. You don't buy a car based solely on horsepower, and the engine may not even be the most important thing you are looking for.
post #40 of 198
why would apple wait to roll out this update? considering their powerbook sales sucked last quarter, why wouldn't they introduce these models in early novemeber for example for the holiday season?

maybe they are trying to stretch out this out because the g5 powerbook is really going to take a while and this update has to last a looong time.

i'm guessing next macworld for a powerbook g5 announcement at the earliest based on this speedbump.

if not then someone in the powerbook division needs to fired.

at least we can see what future ibook specs look like after the powerbook goes g5.

chung
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