Washington Post says hardly any software bundled with 12-inch PowerBook G4

“It’s possible to mistake Apple Computer’s new 12-inch PowerBook G4 for its own manual — the foam envelope that protects the laptop in the box is only a little longer and wider than the plastic pouch for the documentation. About 11 inches wide, 85/8 inches deep and less than a quarter-inch thick, this PowerBook is the smallest laptop Apple has ever built, and at 4.6 pounds it’s almost its lightest. A laptop small enough to tuck into an interoffice envelope is no longer unusual. But normally, it costs a lot extra or requires detaching a separate optical drive or expansion module. The 12-inch PowerBook, on the other hand, provides the capabilities of a desktop at $1,799 or $1,999, depending on configuration,” writes Rob Pegoraro the (Feb. 9) Sunday edition of The Washington Post.

“The PowerBook ships with Mac OS X… and little else. Apple has preinstalled some graphics tools and includes a CD of Intuit’s QuickBooks 5, but that’s it — there’s no Quicken or AppleWorks, let alone Microsoft Office,” Pegoraro writes.

Inexplicably, he completely overlooked iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, Safari, iSync, iCal, iChat, Mail, iDVD (SuperDrive-equipped model only), FAXstf, TextEdit, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, Preview, and more. Otherwise, a worthy review of the 12″ PowerBook here.


  1. Don’t beat up on Rob Pegeraro so quickly. Overall, his article was good, if you read it. He noticed a few of the small things. Maybe his system didn’t come with OS 10.2.4 nor iLife?

    And I sure hope Apple comes out with iDocument or whatever. AppleWorks needs a lift.

  2. It is inacurate to review a product and claim that the contents are not there. The iApps that are standard in all OS X Macs are also in the Powerbooks and to ignore them completely is misleading. No Office does not mean that there are no applications. Why can’t people like this think outside the box?

  3. I suggest easing off on the guy. Next to e-mail, word processing is probably the most used computer app. It’s true that PCs don’t come with it, either, but methinks that should open all manufacturers, Apple included, to criticism. Especially after shelling out two grand for a machine. TextEdit, anyone?

  4. Yes! TextEdit! We have been getting our reviewers to submit all their articles using it now. Kills all the extra hidden code in MS Word and is robust enough to handle most review processes we use. AppleWorks takes too long to load.

    I emailed Rob Pegeraro and expect a response. I’m sure he will be reading this forum as well.

    When is a ding not a ding? When it is recanted. And who knows. He may have been trolling to satisfy the PC-Centric minded and to create Mac-hits. ;^)

  5. You are all sheep.
    This new laptop lacks even the basic applications that ship with a new iBook.

    Oh and OK you “nimrod” author, safari does not ship with ANY current mac – so why list it? Trying to encite the masses?

    Would it have been so hard for Apple to put Appleworks on this laptop? Or are they afraid of the pro crowd seeing how bad Appleworks compares to MS Office?

    The reviewer is right, Apple stripped the software from this powerbook. I know you all like apple, I do too, but they are NOT beyond critisizm, despite what some of you mindless zombies think.

    Go find another cult you losers.

    I bought an ibook 800 instead of this powerbook for some of the reasons mentioned, also because the ibook actually scores higher than the powerbook in Xbench.

  6. i got the sense that the “The PowerBook ships with Mac OS X and little else” was an attempt to add criticism. it was the only negative short sentence or two and generally the reviewer sounded bowled over with comments such as “in its own weight class, this PowerBook faces little competition”

  7. Actually, the only reason that the iBook beats the 12″AlBook is because the iBook does not do the “Altivec” test in the CPU category. The AlBook score in this category artifically brings down it’s score to below that of the iBook. When actually, the iBook should get a 0 for this test, no score is taken. Xbench obviously has problems if a 800MHz G3 beats a 867MHz G4 in the CPU test.

  8. He’s not a complete idiot. He’s used Macs for a long time. I know he has upgraded his Mac clone. Of course the Mac comes with “digital hub” software, but what do you use to write a resume, TextEdit??

  9. Who will pay for the free software you think you are entitled to? If you want free use ‘vi’… it loads fast, can edit multi-gig files quickly and is available everywhere. When I buy a Mac, I am paying for the machine… not the right to expect something in return for my loyalty.

    If you want entitlements stand in line at ‘The Department of Health and Human Misery’ like everybody else who harps ad nauseum about not getting ENOUGH free stuff and not paying for it.

  10. The software bundle is no different than any of the other “Pro” series Mac. Apple assumes that buyers of “Pro” series Macs already have software to load on their machine and do not want the basic apps. Pro users will use Office instead of Appleworks. The iBook on the other hand is a “Consumer” Mac and it is assumed that these users do not have a lot of software already and do not need “Pro” apps.

  11. I am very glad there is no MS Office on any Mac. You can make very serious work with AppleWorks. I am technical translator i NEVER use any MS application that usually bloats my system. Strange to find that when you get rid of all MS applications AND extensions, you will find your Mac goes better and is less prone to crashes. For reading ‘universal’ MS Word DOCuments, i use the very cheap and very good IcWord (even better than MacLinkPlus Deluxe!) and i use to send PDF documents using PrintoPDF which is very cheap and very good as well. You live very well without MS even if you are a pro and you are happy to not give a cent to Bill!

  12. Rob Pegoraro is a smart, reliable tech writer at the Post and something of a Mac fan – indeed they’re his machine of choice. Before you flame him, try and decide whether he’s being unfair or you’re being a bit too sensitive to what is, after all, a correct statement.

  13. We need a mass enema in here, STAT! Settle down, folks! The ONLY Apple computers that get the full bundle of iApps are the i/eMacs/Books. That’s the way it’s always been. The reviewer should have known that, for sure, but GOD; you should all be venting at Apple for releasing the bug-ridden and glacial iMovie 3 and wasting their resources developing iCal! No pro hardware has EVER come with AW, Quicken or Bugdom. Once some reader had already mentioned it in these reader posts, the rest of ya should have gone “DOH!” and got on with your lives!

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