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Apple Upgrades PowerBook G4 Line To 1 GHz, SuperDrives, Radeon 9000 Mobility, Lower Prices

Apple Upgrades PowerBook G4 Line To 1 GHz, SuperDrives, Radeon 9000 Mobility, Lower Prices

by , 9:00 AM EST, November 6th, 2002

As many Observers expected, Apple today revved both the PowerBook G4 and iBook product lines (see also our full coverage of the iBook updates). Apple's new PowerBook G4 line packs some very powerful new features, including faster processors at 867 MHz and 1 GHz, a SuperDrive (CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-R) on the high end model, faster hard drives, and the Radeon Mobility 9000 video card with either 32 MB or 64 MB of DDR RAM. Apple also lowered prices for the product line, making it possible to get into a 1 GHz model for US$2799. The high end unit with the SuperDrive is priced at US$2999, and the low end model now starts at just US$2299. From Apple:

Apple® today announced a major upgrade to its Titanium PowerBook® G4 notebook line with PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 1 GHz, the industry's first slot-loading SuperDrive™ for reading and burning both CDs and DVDs, the fastest mobile graphics processor, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, and integrated 802.11 wireless networking -- all in a 1-inch thick, 5.4-pound Titanium enclosure with a widescreen 15.2 inch (diagonal) display*. The new PowerBook line starts at just $2,299 (US).

The new PowerBook G4 line offers fast PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1 GHz with Velocity Engine™ and 1MB of performance-boosting level 3 cache. Combined with the power of Apple's UNIX-based Mac® OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar," the new PowerBook G4 runs professional applications including Adobe Photoshop up to 44 percent faster than a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4-based notebook**. The fastest PowerBook ever now offers even more incredible 3D graphics performance with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics processor featuring up to 64MB of dedicated Double Data Rate (DDR) video SDRAM and advanced capabilities such as programmable pixel and vertex shading for lighting and shadow effects, photorealistic 3D performance and cinematic-quality video. The PowerBook G4 also offers fast Ultra ATA/66 hard drives up to 60GB and support for up to 1GB of memory.

The new PowerBook G4 line offers the industry's first slot-load SuperDrive for burning CDs and DVDs. With SuperDrive, customers can create and burn custom DVDs using Apple's pre-installed iDVD software, the world's easiest-to-use application for creating DVDs that play in consumer DVD players. And with Disc Burner software integrated into Mac OS X "Jaguar" PowerBook G4 customers can easily burn data CDs and DVDs of up to 4.7GB directly from the Finder™. Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications including iPhoto™ for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 2 for creating digital movies, iTunes™ 3 for creating a digital music library and iDVD 2 for creating and burning custom DVDs are included with every new PowerBook G4.

Offering the latest in mobile communications, the PowerBook G4 has built-in antennas and an AirPort Card slot for 802.11-based AirPort wireless communications at up to 11 megabits per second; the 1 GHz model comes with an AirPort Card pre-installed***. The PowerBook G4 offers built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and a 56K internal fax/modem with support for the latest v.92 standard with new features such as faster upstream data rates.

Pre-installed on every PowerBook G4, Apple's Mac OS X "Jaguar" offers more than 150 amazing new features including the new Mail application designed to eliminate junk mail, iChat AIM-compatible instant messenger, a system-wide Address Book, Inkwell™ handwriting recognition and QuickTime® 6 with MPEG-4. Mac OS X "Jaguar" enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management through Energy Saver Profiles for industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge. Mac OS X "Jaguar" also offers integrated Bluetooth and 802.11 software for wireless communications.

Pricing & Availability
The 867 MHz Titanium PowerBook G4 is available now, and the 1 GHz model is expected to be available in mid-November through the Apple Store®, at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers at the below suggested retail prices.

The PowerBook G4 is now aggressively priced at only $2,299 (US) and includes:

  • 867 MHz PowerPC G4 with 1MB DDR level 3 cache;
  • Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 with 32MB DDR SDRAM graphics memory
  • 256MB SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
  • 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and
  • AirPort ready with integrated antennas and card slot.

The $2,999 (US) PowerBook G4 includes:

  • 1 GHz PowerPC G4 with 1MB DDR level 3 cache;
  • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 with 64MB DDR SDRAM graphics memory;
  • 512MB SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
  • a 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and
  • AirPort enabled with integrated antennas and pre-installed AirPort Card.

* Weight includes battery and Combo drive, and varies by configuration and manufacturing process.
** Based on 9 commonly used actions in Adobe Photoshop 7.0.
*** Wireless Internet access requires an AirPort Card, AirPort Base station and Internet access (fees may apply). Some ISPs are not currently compatible with AirPort.

You can find more information on the product line at Apple's PowerBook G4 product page.

The Mac Observer Spin:

These new PowerBooks are simply stunning. The new features coupled with the price makes them very compelling. Apple has once again raised the bar on high end portables, and seems intent on perhaps selling a few of these units.

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