Apple Introduces 17" Aluminum PowerBooks: NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go, Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme&qu

Apple has introduced a new 17" PowerBook, made of what Steve Jobs characterized as aircraft grade aluminum alloy, that we will quickly dub the AlBook. The new unit sports a 17" widescreen 16:10 display, the same display used in the 17" iMac, a 1440 x 900 resolution, built-in Bluetooth, built-in AirPort Extreme, a new wireless technology. The AlBook has a SuperDrive, and sports a 1 GHz G4. It also features backlighting on the keyboard, with automatic light sensors that turn on the backlighting when it gets dark.

Other key features:

  • Weight is 6.8lbs
  • 1 MB L3 cache
  • Uses DDR RAM running at 333 MHz
  • Has FireWire 800
  • Supports up to 1 GB DDR RAM

Appleis press release:

Apple? today unveiled the 17-inch PowerBook? G4, the worldis first notebook computer with a 17-inch display, the largest ever in a notebook. Encased in a durable aluminum alloy enclosure, the new PowerBook measures only 1-inch thin and weighs just 6.8* pounds. The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is also the first notebook to offer built-in AirPort? Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking**, new high-speed FireWire? 800, a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors, and built-in Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting to cell phones and other Bluetooth equipped peripherals.

The 17-inch PowerBook delivers the screen space and performance previously found only in desktop computer systems. The new PowerBookis stunning 17-inch screen displays 1440-by-900 super-crisp pixels in a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio. The 17-inch PowerBook is the most powerful Apple portable ever with a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, new high-speed architecture, fast NVIDIA graphics and a slot-loading SuperDrive? for playing and burning CDs and DVDs. Housed in a lightweight and durable aluminum alloy enclosure just 1-inch thin and weighing only 6.8 pounds, the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 model is the thinnest Apple notebook ever, and lighter than most competitorsi 15-inch and 16-inch notebooks.

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 includes the worldis first fiber-optic backlit keyboard, as well as ambient light sensors that control the brightness of the display and automatically regulate the keyboard backlighting. In low light, the 17-inch PowerBook G4 automatically illuminates the backlit keyboard and lowers the display brightness, reducing eye strain and extending battery life. As light levels increase, the display brightness is re-adjusted automatically and the keyboard backlighting is turned off. This truly integrated display and lighting solution is an industry first, and will be warmly greeted by professionals who spend long hours in front of computer screens in low light conditions.

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 is the most wirelessly connected notebook ever, with both AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless networking built in. AirPort Extreme is based on the new 802.11g standard and transmits data wirelessly 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 devices in use around the world. Built-in Bluetooth provides wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Appleis new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones.

The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 includes a full complement of I/O ports, including two powered FireWire ports, one FireWire 400 port and one FireWire 800 port so customers can quickly transfer uncompressed digital video to high-capacity storage devices. And, it continues to be the only notebook to offer built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T).

The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is the leader in mobile performance, offering 1MB of level 3 cache and 512MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory running at 333 MHz. Combined with the power of Appleis UNIX-based Mac? OS X version 10.2 ?Jaguar,? the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 runs professional applications including Adobe Photoshop up to 51 percent faster than a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4-based notebook***. The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 comes with the NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go graphics processor and 64MB of dedicated video memory capable of delivering 880 million textured pixels per second and advanced transform and lighting.

Additional build-to-order options for the new PowerBook G4 include the ability to upgrade to up to 1GB of DDR RAM. AirPort Extreme Base Station and the AppleCare? Protection Plan are also available for the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 for an additional price.

*Weight includes battery and SuperDrive, 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.
***Based on 9 commonly used actions in Adobe Photoshop 7.0.

The new PowerBook should be available in February, and is priced at US$3299.