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Apple enhances PowerBooks with higher-res displays

post #1 of 79
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Apple today upgraded its PowerBook G4 line of notebook computers with higher-resolution displays and up to one hour more battery life on the 15- and 17-inch models. In addition, every new PowerBook now includes a DVD burning SuperDrive(TM) with prices starting at just $1,499.

The new higher-resolution PowerBooks provide significantly more screen real estate and include the 17-inch PowerBook with a 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution -- 36 percent more than the previous generation -- and the 15-inch PowerBook with a 1440-by-960 pixel resolution -- 26 percent more than the previous generation.

Ideal for business and creative professionals, the new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks make reading text and viewing images even easier with brighter displays -- up to 46 percent brighter on the 17-inch model. The 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks also provide up to an additional hour of battery life to get even more work done while on the road.

"The Apple PowerBook continues to deliver the ultimate in portability, performance and innovative features," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Our mobile customers are going to love working on the new high-resolution PowerBook displays and appreciate the added productivity that one more hour of battery life delivers."

The PowerBook line includes three models: the 1.5 GHz 12-inch PowerBook with an 8X SuperDrive and the new 1.67 GHz 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks with an 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support. Both the 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks include ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 128MB DDR dedicated video memory and now feature built-in Dual Link support to drive Apple's massive 30-inch Cinema HD Display as an external monitor, providing more than four million pixels of additional workspace.

Every PowerBook includes built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), integrated AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking, a scrolling TrackPad and Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor technology. Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger," the fifth major release of the world's most advanced operating system and iLife '05, Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, are included with every PowerBook.

Pricing & Availability

The 12-inch and new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks are available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

512MB of PC2700 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB;
a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;
AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support;
two USB 2.0 ports and FireWire® 400;
audio line in and headphone out; and
a scrolling TrackPad.

The 1.67 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW);
512MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM running at 333 MHz, expandable up to 2GB;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;
Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch Cinema HD Display support), VGA, S-video and composite video support;
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T);
two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800;
analog and optical digital audio input and output;
illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor; and
a scrolling TrackPad.

The 1.67 GHz, 17-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW);
512MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM running at 333 MHz, expandable up to 2GB;
120GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;
Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch Cinema HD Display support), VGA, S-video and composite video support;
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T);
two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800;
analog and optical digital audio input and output;
illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor; and
a scrolling TrackPad.

Additional build-to-order options for the 12-inch PowerBook include the ability to upgrade to 100GB (5400 rpm) hard drive, up to 1.25GB DDR SDRAM, a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, and the AppleCare Protection Plan. Additional build-to-order options for the new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks include the ability to upgrade up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, a slot-load Combo (DVD- ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, and the AppleCare Protection Plan. The new 15-inch PowerBook also offers a 100GB or 120GB (5400 rpm) hard drive as a build-to- order option.
post #2 of 79
Oof. That's ugly. Guess I'll wait until Intel comes.
post #3 of 79
Does the longer battery life suggest a new 7448? Maybe not, due to same 333 RAM Mhz bus?
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post #4 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Oof. That's ugly. Guess I'll wait until Intel comes.

Why ugly? For 15", you now get everything in the former $2300 model for $2000, plus:

-- 128MB graphics memory, vs 64MB
-- 25% more screen pixels (1440x960 vs 1280x854)
-- Better superdrive (dual layer DVD burning capability)
-- Faster memory
-- 20% longer battery life

Guessing you were expecting a 7448 w/ 200 Mhz bus (400 Mhz RAM)? For ref, here's the compare from today's PB to yesterday's:
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post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by imiloa
Why ugly? For 15", you now get everything in the former $2300 model for $2000, plus:

-- 128MB graphics memory, vs 64MB
-- 25% more screen pixels (1440x960 vs 1280x854)
-- Better superdrive (dual layer DVD burning capability)
-- Faster memory
-- 20% longer battery life

They've also added digital audio in/out, which was previously only available on the 17". It seems at the moment that there's no way of telling if they're using 7448s or 7447s, but you would have thought that if it were 7448, they'd make more of a deal about it.
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post #6 of 79
Very disapointing update, not even 1.8GHz G4s.
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post #7 of 79
This "update" proves Apple had no choice but to switch to Intel. Guess I'll buy an iMac while the Powerbook wait continues.
post #8 of 79
Apple can only do what's possible.

They don't have faster G4 chips, so they upgraded a bunch of other things.

Now stay tuned for Intel Earlier than June maybe?

Re the 12" staying the same... it ALREADY has tiny pixels. Packing in more res sounds good on paper, but it's bad for readability. That's not good for most users.

I'd have like to see lighted keys and a higher GPU on it, though. I want a 12" PB next... but I want the FULL features of the higher 'Books (or what space/cooling permits).
post #9 of 79
Time to say farewell, once again, to my 12" Powerbook. Looks like I'm heading back to the 15".

With the Developer discount, and bumping the HD to the 120 Gig option, I'm looking at $2470 Canadian (incl. tax). I'll upgrade the RAM myself. That seems like an insane bargain to me.

The 76% increase in screen real-estate (over my current 12" PB) is the kicker for me.

So, anyone around Toronto want a 12" 1.33 80Gig 768Meg SD PB? Yours for $1600 C$. I'll even throw in a free iSight.
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post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by imiloa
Why ugly?

Those things are fine, but come on, PowerBooks hit 1.33 Ghz in 2003, 2 frickin years ago. Now they're at... 1.67 Ghz. That's pathetic. In the same time period the PowerMacs have gone from using a 1.4Ghz G4 to a dual-core 2.5 Ghz G5. This is why Apple is switching to Intel.
post #11 of 79
Dealram has this page for what appears to be the correct spec. for the new 15", but it's labeled '533MHz', whereas Apple's page lists '333MHz'; anyone know if this is definitive, best place to get, etc.?

Thanks.
post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Those things are fine, but come on, PowerBooks hit 1.33 Ghz in 2003, 2 frickin years ago. Now they're at... 1.67 Ghz. That's pathetic. ... This is why Apple is switching to Intel.

Definitely agreed on the motivation of Intel switch. And personally, I was at least hoping for a 7448. Given the 333 bus (vs 7448's 400), I'm assuming we still have the older G4s.

That said, the new 15" is effectively a ~US$500 discount off yesterday's prices, *before* the higher res, longer battery life, and better DVD. That's something in itself, despite the stagnant processor.

re: 7448, given this update and the timeline to Macintel, it seems likely Apple won't invest the R&D into upgrading PB CPUs until they're x86. So this may be the last PPC PB rev ever. And that's a machine I want, being wary of the migration issues and software delays of the early Macintel models.
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post #13 of 79
The new PB uses 533mhz DDR RAM--it's just been downclocked to 333. 533 should work fine.
post #14 of 79
Thanks!


Anyone know if the latency will matter (I don't think it did even back in the day)? Heck, I don't even know if they make faster latency DDR2 SO-DIMMs. I wonder.

Quote:
Originally posted by mrmister
The new PB uses 533mhz DDR RAM--it's just been downclocked to 333. 533 should work fine.
post #15 of 79
I'm kind of relieved my PowerBook 12" from June is still almost top of the line. At the same time, it sucks for people who waited over a few months for the update. Hopefully Intel will be very impressive.
post #16 of 79
Who will explain what happened to MPC7448? I cannot believe that there still is the 7447 there in.
post #17 of 79
I really would've like to see the resolution on the smallest PB increased too. Not necessarily a 12", as a 13.3" would be fantastic, something like the same sized Sony Vaio, though as light as the current 12". Extra resolution, for 2 pages side by side, ultra portability compared to the 15", keyboard closer to full size, etc. Maybe Apple will wait till the Intel chips are ready. But it's definitely a powerbook I'd buy.
post #18 of 79
hmm...no FrontRow either...I was hoping for that in some form or another...o well, not a huge deal I guess...

and now for Intel...
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post #19 of 79
Not as great an update as I was hoping for, but I'm buying anyway. I'm tired of waiting and I need a laptop badly now.
post #20 of 79
This is a sexy picture too...

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post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by imiloa
Definitely agreed on the motivation of Intel switch. And personally, I was at least hoping for a 7448. Given the 333 bus (vs 7448's 400), I'm assuming we still have the older G4s.

You're confusing Front Side Bus (FSB) speed with System (RAM) Bus speed. There is a chip (I believe codenamed Intrepid) that interfaces the processor to the RAM, Intrepid has a single-pumped bus to the processor (Motorola's MAXBUS, this is the FSB), and a double-pumped bus to the system RAM; the two buses are independent and don't necessarily have to be integer multiples of one another (although that does help implementation somewhat).

The 7447 has a maximum FSB speed of 167 MHz, and the 7448 has a max FSB speed of 200 MHz.

The numbers that Apple quote are those of the system RAM bus speed, not the FSB speed. Apple do not quote enough information to know for sure whether they are using the 7447 or 7448, but I would have expected at least SOME increase in processor speed if it were the 7448.

Anyway, that lack of any significant speed increase in almost a year is very sad for the PowerBook. Bring on the Intels!
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post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by csean
I really would've like to see the resolution on the smallest PB increased too. Not necessarily a 12", as a 13.3" would be fantastic, something like the same sized Sony Vaio, though as light as the current 12".

A 13.3" with the same resolution as the old 15" would have gotten my attention. I'm totally untempted by the 12" PB with the same resolution as my 4-year-old 12" iBook G3 it would replace. Although it's bigger than I'd like I may eventually consider a 15" if the right deal comes along.
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Those things are fine, but come on, PowerBooks hit 1.33 Ghz in 2003, 2 frickin years ago. Now they're at... 1.67 Ghz. That's pathetic. In the same time period the PowerMacs have gone from using a 1.4Ghz G4 to a dual-core 2.5 Ghz G5. This is why Apple is switching to Intel.

I don't want to defend IBM here, but I seriously doubt this was the best option that can be provided. I do however, think it's the best option considering the next version of the Powerbook will have Intel Inside

a) It's really not worth putting the engineering work into the PPC line anymore.
b) The Intel Powerbooks are now just going to looks sweeter in benchmarks and price/performance numbers.
post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
Who will explain what happened to MPC7448? I cannot believe that there still is the 7447 there in.

Believe! page 25 of the technical specs pdf on the powerbook page has the miserable facts. Freescale hasn't managed to produce enough 7448s yet by the looks of things.

Apple isn't happy...it looks like they have tried to bury the FSB and cache specs on all the easily available info. The FSB is 167 Mhz and the cache is 512k (rather than 200FSB and 1Mb cache for the 7448).

I guess that we can expect another incremental update to the powerbooks and mini in February if the 7448 is to ever be included in this Apple line up. Either that or its all the way with x86.\
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post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
Who will explain what happened to MPC7448? I cannot believe that there still is the 7447 there in.

Sorry man! I did warn u! Those processors don't exist for Macs until thay are actually in Macs and the fat Apple logo chimes...

The big question is whether it's Freescale with delivery, or where it's Apple - who have given over all there teams to doing the Intel project. Personally, I'm for the rumor that because of lack of personel on the project unforseen engineering tech. prob. were not possible to overcome without the adequate resources to fix them = abandon and no new processor in-da-box. It is a real shame. If I had the money I would be hanging out for the top PPC PB..
post #26 of 79
I'm sitting on the new 15" powerbook I just bought at the Los Angeles apple store, the new resolution rocks!
post #27 of 79
ha! i just realized that w/ the student discount, a 15" with a 120GB hard drive and AppleCare is the same as a 17"! Yay!
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post #28 of 79
Im selling my 12" Powerbook to get a iMac i've decided, having waited for the PB update, seems a ilttle disapointing but the price drop is very welcomed
post #29 of 79
IBM does have a low power G5 processor.

I haven't heard much word on it, Apple of course hasn't said anything about it.

I imagine PowerBook's are still selling well but Apple is going to need to do something soon about the PowerBooks

I could imagine Apple announcing the G5 PowerBook in January. Allowing that update to carry them through 2006, until launching OS X.5 and their 64 bit solution on the Intel platform.
post #30 of 79
noone seems to be making much hoopla about the powerbooks 7200rpm option.... correct me if Im wrong but this should single handedly make the powerbooks perform faster than the last build....to me this is the biggest feature of them all and it's free! although you have to sacrifice 20gig off the storage space from the standard.
post #31 of 79
oops...I mean its free on the 17" , looks like its 200 on the 15"
post #32 of 79
At last! I've been waiting and waiting for a PB update before buying a new computer. They updated today, and I bought tonight. I am now the proud new owner of a 12" PowerBook.

"A 12" PowerBook?" you all ask? Yes. I find it to be the perfect size, with a great amount of power. And the best part is what most sites aren't reporting on: there may not have been a big upgrade to them, but there was quite a good price drop. 20 extra gigs of hard drive space, plus a Super Drive for the price of the Combo. In addition, almost no one noticed that Apple also dropped the price of dropping in a gig of RAM from $475 to $250.

So, I've finally joined the club, and I'm enjoying what I see so far. I've only had a couple hours to play around tonight. Real trials will come tomorrow and over the weekend. I need to set up .mac and build a website about my honeymoon.

Hope there are some other happy people around here.
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post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
IBM does have a low power G5 processor.

I imagine PowerBook's are still selling well but Apple is going to need to do something soon about the PowerBooks

I could imagine Apple announcing the G5 PowerBook in January. Allowing that update to carry them through 2006, until launching OS X.5 and their 64 bit solution on the Intel platform.

The low power G5 would be nice, though last I heard, it maxes out at 1.6GHz, which isn't impressive when AMD's Turion 64 line starts at that same speed with twice the cache and goes up to 2.2GHz and maybe higher. The Pentium-M clocks up to 2.26GHz and can be had with 2x to 4x the cache.
post #34 of 79
I had $2500 ready to blow today on a new PB, but I think I'm going to wait now... While the PM update was pretty good, the PB update was lame. If they had thrown in an iSight and FrontRow, even with the lack of speed I would have gone there.

My 1Gig TiBook is getting a tad long in the tooth, but I really don't feel compelled to cough up 2k for a new one. Also, I don't care so much for the current design with all the ports on the sides (especially the DVI) makes for a messy desk and a pain to "dock." Maybe they will at least put a dock connector on the MacTels.

What is the deal with optical in/out and no FrontRow and remote anyway?

Maybe I'll buy a new iMac and play with that...

Corey


post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by Corey
I had $2500 ready to blow today on a new PB, but I think I'm going to wait now... While the PM update was pretty good, the PB update was lame. If they had thrown in an iSight and FrontRow, even with the lack of speed I would have gone there.

My 1Gig TiBook is getting a tad long in the tooth, but I really don't feel compelled to cough up 2k for a new one. Also, I don't care so much for the current design with all the ports on the sides (especially the DVI) makes for a messy desk and a pain to "dock." Maybe they will at least put a dock connector on the MacTels.

What is the deal with optical in/out and no FrontRow and remote anyway?

Maybe I'll buy a new iMac and play with that...

Corey



I had a 1Ghz TiBook but sold it in jan for a PowerMac. I still miss it sometimes...
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post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
Re the 12" staying the same... it ALREADY has tiny pixels. Packing in more res sounds good on paper, but it's bad for readability. That's not good for most users.

Only because the OS does not allow the user to select the font sizes for individual UI elements. Smaller pixels are better because it can form much nicer looking fonts, if the fonts were scalable. I understand that buttons and other graphics are raster images that may not scale properly, but surely text is scalable! Other OSes have been doing this for ages!
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post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
The low power G5 would be nice, though last I heard, it maxes out at 1.6GHz, which isn't impressive when AMD's Turion 64 line starts at that same speed with twice the cache and goes up to 2.2GHz and maybe higher. The Pentium-M clocks up to 2.26GHz and can be had with 2x to 4x the cache.

If this is true, IBM could improve the situation.

With Apple leaving PPC would it be worth the effort?

Apple needs to do something to radically improve the PowerBook next year.

We shall see.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by drumsticks
Only because the OS does not allow the user to select the font sizes for individual UI elements. Smaller pixels are better because it can form much nicer looking fonts, if the fonts were scalable. I understand that buttons and other graphics are raster images that may not scale properly, but surely text is scalable! Other OSes have been doing this for ages!

------------------------------------------------------

Isn't that something you can do with Tinker Tool and similar utilities? Better if part of the OS, but I've been using TT for a while and like the options on fonts and font sizes for UI elements, as well as turning off anti-aliasing. Weird that Apple doesn't have these in the OS though.
post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
You're confusing Front Side Bus (FSB) speed with System (RAM) Bus speed. ...
The 7447 has a maximum FSB speed of 167 MHz, and the 7448 has a max FSB speed of 200 MHz.

I wasn't confusing the two, I just wasn't being clear in my haste to post amid work chaos.

What I meant was: a 333 RAM speed suggests the FSB is still at 167 (167*2 = 333). 333/200 = 5/3, an odd stepping ratio.

If the CPU was a 7448, with 200 FSB, I'd expect RAM speed to be a more reasonable multiple of 200, eg: 400.
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post #40 of 79
does the 1.5 15" powerbook have optical audio output as well?
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