Apple Releases New 15.2" Aluminum PowerBooks: Faster, FW 800, USB 2.0, More

As expected, Apple has announced new 15.2" PowerBooks at todayis Apple Expo in Paris, France. The new units bring the aluminum skin to the 15" PowerBook family, as well as FireWire 800, USB 2.0, AirPort Extreme, support for 2 GB of 333 MHz DDR RAM, the same backlit keyboard as the 17" PowerBook, and a 64 MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 video card. Hard drives for the new machines are Ultra ATA/100 mechanisms, though the speed of the drives remain at 4200 RPM. The new units are also 25% faster, with Apple offering 1 GHz and 1.25 GHz G4 models.

Other aspects of the new units:

  • The weight of the new machines is 5.6 lbs., .3 lbs. heavier than the Titanium model
  • Battery life is stated to be 4.5 hours
  • The FireWire 800 port is in addition to the FireWire 400 port

From Apple:

Apple today introduced the all-new 15-inch PowerBook G4, offering an unrivaled mix of power and portability in a sleek aluminum design weighing just 5.6 pounds. Featuring a stunning 15.2-inch widescreen display, phenomenal graphics, Appleis revolutionary backlit keyboard and advanced connectivity including AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 starts at just US$1,999.

The 15-inch PowerBook G4 joins new models of the groundbreaking 17- and 12-inch PowerBooks to complete the industry-leading family of notebooks for mobile professionals.

Designed for creative and business professionals, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 offers Appleis revolutionary backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors for working in low-light conditions such as airplanes and design studios--not to mention blackouts. The new 15-inch PowerBook G4 now includes a fast PowerPC G4 processor running up to 1.25 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, phenomenal graphics performance from the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM, support for up to 2GB of DDR 333 MHz SDRAM and a 60 or 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive. Delivering the latest in wireless networking, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 supports AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth and provides advanced connectivity with a full complement of I/O ports, including built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T), USB 2.0 and high-speed FireWire 800 for fast transfer of uncompressed digital video to high-capacity storage devices.

Pre-installed on every PowerBook G4, Mac OS X "Jaguar" version 10.2.7, 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 for long battery life through Energy Saver Profiles. Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple’s iLife applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software, including iTunes for managing digital music, iPhoto for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie for digital movie-making, and iDVD for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.

The 1.0 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of US$1,999, includes:

  • Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • 256MB DDR SDRAM; and
  • 60GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive.

The 1.25 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of US$2,599, includes:

  • SuperDrive™ (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • 512MB DDR SDRAM;
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • AirPort Extreme 54Mbps wireless networking; and
  • Backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor.

Apple also announced new 12" and 17" models today. You can find more information on the new 15.2" PowerBooks at Appleis Web site. Apple says the new 15.4" units are available immediately.