The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Apple Introduces 12", 4.6 Pound PowerBook G4

MWSF 2003 - Apple Introduces 12", 4.6 Pound PowerBook G4

by , 4:15 PM EST, January 7th, 2003

Apple today announced a new 12" PowerBook G4 that is packed full of features yet it is only 1" thick and a mere 4.6 pounds. It features a new aluminum alloy enclosure, an 800MHz processor, FireWire 800, and the new 802.11g wireless. From Apple's press release:

Apple® today unveiled the new 12-inch PowerBook® G4 with a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display housed in a lightweight, durable aluminum alloy enclosure weighing just 4.6 pounds*. The sleek new 12-inch PowerBook G4 offers a speedy 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, fast NVIDIA graphics, a standard slot-loading Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, built-in Bluetooth, and industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge, all for just $1,799 (US).

?The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is a jewel,? said Steve Jobs, Apple?s CEO. ?It?s the smallest and most affordable PowerBook Apple has ever created and the most compact full-featured 12-inch notebook in the world.?

Offering a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display with a 1024-by-768 pixel resolution, the new PowerBook G4 measures just over 1-inch thin and weighs just 4.6 pounds. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 has a 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine? and offers 256MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory (expandable to 640MB) and a fast NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go graphics processor with 32MB of dedicated DDR RAM for incredible 3D graphics and display performance. The standard slot-loading Combo optical drive lets customers watch DVDs and burn both data and music CDs. Customers can also build-to-order their 12-inch PowerBook G4 with a slot-loading SuperDrive? for playing and burning both CDs and DVDs.

The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 includes built-in Bluetooth for wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple?s new iSync software is also included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth devices. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 also includes built-in antennas and a card slot to support AirPort® Extreme, Apple?s next-generation wireless networking based on 802.11g**. 802.11g can transmit data at up to 54 Mbps, almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies, yet is fully compatible with the millions of 802.11b Wi-Fi devices currently used around the world.

Pre-installed on every 12-inch PowerBook G4, Apple?s Mac® OS X version 10.2 ?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 senses the active network port and 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. Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple's iLife? applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes? 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto? 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie? 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD? 3*** for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.

Pricing & Availability

The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is expected to be available later this month through the Apple Store® (, at Apple?s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US).

Additional build-to-order options for the new 12-inch PowerBook G4 include: up to 640MB of DDR RAM; the SuperDrive (DVD-R/CR-RW) optical drive; the AirPort Extreme Base Station and AirPort Extreme Card; and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.

Apple offers special prices on Macintosh® computers for education customers through the Apple Store for Education at or by calling an Apple education sales representative at 800-800-APPL. To download the latest Apple education price lists, go to

* Weight includes battery and Combo drive, and varies by configuration and manufacturing process.

** Wireless Internet access requires an AirPort Card, AirPort Base station and Internet access (fees may apply). Some ISPs are not currently compatible with AirPort.

***iDVD 3 included only with optical SuperDrive.

For more information visit Apple's 12" PowerBook G4website.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is the sub-notebook that some Mac users have been craving for in the past year. With the power of a full-fledge pro PowerBook in the enclosure smaller than the iBook, this is the laptop for the travelling professional. With its low price tag, these babies are bound to sell like hotcakes.

Recent Headlines - Updated February 13th

Mon,12:40 PM
Three Ways to Protect your Apple Watch (and One Way Not To)
Fri,7:07 PM
Apple’s First Scripted Series will Star Dr. Dre
7:07 PM
Adobe Creative Cloud Bug Deletes Files Without Permission
6:00 PM
AT&T Says it’s 5G Network will be 100x Faster than LTE
5:01 PM
My Classic Hard Disks Are Spinning Right into the Graveyard
4:54 PM
Bumprz 2: Minimalist Protection for iPhone on Kickstarter
4:51 PM
MGG 592: Taming Wi-Fi Chaos
1:45 PM
OK Go’s Parabolic Flight Video for ‘Upside Down & Inside Out’
1:35 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2016-02-12: 5G Wireless Speed Tests, Apple’s Growing Patent Infringement Mess
1:31 PM
Xtra Drive Lightning Flash Drive with 16GB Micro SD Card: $71.99
12:55 PM
How to Fix the ‘You Are Not Signed into Apple Music’ Error
10:38 AM
Immersion Sues Apple, AT&T Over Haptic Feedback Patents
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!