Wall Street Journal Gives Enthusiastic Endorsement To PowerBook G4

One of the most important technology writers in the country is Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. This has not always been to Appleis benefit in years past as Mr. Mossberg frequently slammed Appleis products or ignored them altogether. Coinciding with the return of Steve Jobs (though not coincidental), this began to change as Mr. Mossberg began to give various Apple products positive reviews. Today, Mr. Mossberg has reviewed the PowerBook G4 (one of the few members of the press that Apple deigns to work with) and given it what can only be considered an enthusiastic endorsement. From the review:

I am writing these words on a strikingly handsome, cleverly designed new laptop computer. Itis only an inch thick, yet it contains a DVD drive, which gently pulls disks in when you insert them rather than propelling a disk tray at you.

It has one of the largest screens on any laptop, yet it can be used in a coach airline seat -- as long as the jerk in front of you doesnit recline. Itis entirely clad in titanium, the metal commonly used in jet fighter planes, yet it starts at about $2,600, less than some competitors in its middle-weight class.

My verdict is that the PowerBook G4 is a first-rate laptop at a fair price that will delight its users, despite a few flaws. It compares very favorably to the ThinkPad T.

The PowerBook G4 also gives you more for less money than the ThinkPad T. The $2,599 base model of the PowerBook compares with the $2,849 base model of the ThinkPad, and includes a DVD drive and Ethernet networking port, while the low-end ThinkPad has only a CD-ROM drive and lacks Ethernet. The Apple also has an ultrafast FireWire port, which the ThinkPad lacks. Both have modems, USB and video connectors.

And on the negative side, Mr. Mossberg says that not being able to get a CD-RW drive, indeed, to not have the ability to change out modules, will be a handicap to some. He also criticizes the keyboard as being too small and not taking advantage of the extra space afforded by Appleis design of the unit. This is the same keyboard that Mr. Jobs called the best keyboard they had ever put on a portable, but Mr. Mossberg called it inferior to the ThinkPad Tis keyboard. Lastly, Mr. Mossberg said he got poorer reception with an 802.11b network than he did with his wifeis iBook or the ThinkPad T.

Read the full review for more information, it is a good review and a good read. It is available at the Wall Street Journalis public area that does not require a subscription.