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Hot off the Press - News
April 19, 2004 9:45AM PT,  by Chuck Brown
            
Finally, New i and PowerBooks Announced,
But Still No G5.

A lot of Apple die-hards have been holding off on buying a new PowerBook during the last year, apparently believing that Apple was about to debut a new G5 powered model. PowerBook and PowerMac sales just recently were reported by Apple for the last quarter as not only being flat but down by a considerable chunk at a 19% sequential drop and a 5% year-to-year drop.

But just as we’ve been telling you since MWSF 2003, don’t expect a G5 PowerBook in any time soon and we were right, unfortunately.

Apple has just released updated models of the PowerBook and iBook line and they are still G4’s, with the G4 PowerBook now toping out at 1.5GHz and the iBook at 1.2GHz. Those speed bumps are NOT going to excite anyone and analysts we spoke to agree, that this will do nothing to perk the increasingly sagging Apple Mac sales. The last time Apple upgraded its notebook line was in September.

The lack of a G5 spin at Apple has already begun with this statement by Greg Joswiak, Apple vice-president of hardware product marketing, "In the very long run, the G5 is part of our long term processor roadmap, but it will be some time before that processor will be in a notebook.” Joswiak noted that it “took about two years for the G4 to migrate from the desktop to the notebook”. This is entirely true.

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Our sources at IBM tell us that the REAL problem is that the G5 processor is a real “hot potato” and quiet a “power consumption pig” to be put into a PowerBook, which is noted for long battery life and already has a heat issue.

Besides the minor speed bump improvements, the iBook gets a maximum RAM limit of 1.25GB and an optional SuperDrive. Perhaps Apple should now call it an ipowerBook, as that’s nearly what it’s become. Strongly consider an iBook, it's a great deal if you're not doing high-end graphics design work.

On the G4 PowerBook, other differential improvements are: a new competent 64MB from 32MB GPU and a less out of date 4x SuperDrive. Here's hoping that a 6x or 8x is not far off.

Here’s the skinny on the specific new iBook and PowerBook models:

  • iBook 1GHz/12.1"/256MB RAM/30GB HD/Combo Drive - $1,100
  • iBook 1GHz/14.1"/256MB RAM/40GB HD/Combo Drive - $1,300
  • iBook 1.2GHz/14.1"/256MB RAM/60GB HD/Combo Drive - $1,500
  • PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/12.1"/256MB RAM/60GB HD/Combo Drive - $1,600
  • PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/12.1"/256MB RAM/60GB HD/4x SuperDrive - $1,800
  • PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/15"/256MB RAM/60GB HD/Combo Drive - $2,000
  • PowerBook G4 1.5GHz/15"/512MB RAM/80GB HD/4x SuperDrive - $2,500
  • PowerBook G4 1.5GHz/17"/512MB RAM/80GB HD/4x SuperDrive - $2,900



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