“Laptops are designed for portability, and not everyone would be happy lugging around a 17-in. laptop of any make. But at 6.9 lb., this one stacks up well in comparison with some of its PC competitors. Hewlett-Packard Co., for instance, this week released its new Compaq Business Notebook nx9500, which also sports a 17-in. screen and weighs almost 9.5 lb. Now that’s a portable desktop,” Ken Mingis reports for ComputerWorld.
“The latest crop of PowerBooks shows that Apple has done a superb job of narrowing the gap in features between the 12-in. entry-level PowerBook, which goes for $1,599, and the 17-in. model, which costs $500 less than the first version did a year ago,” Mingis reports. “When trying to decide which PowerBook to get, would-be buyers for years have posited the same question on numerous message boards: Should they snag a 12-in., the midrange 15-in. version or the big guy?”
Mingis reports, “In the past, opting for portability meant a major trade-off in speed or features. That’s no longer the case. The processing speed of the 1.33-GHz G4 chip in the 12-in. model is close to the speed of the 1.5-GHz chip in the 17-in. model. They’re all available with SuperDrives, AirPort Extreme, Universal Serial Bus 2.0, FireWire 800 and other shared goodies. No, you can’t get the lighted keyboard in the entry-level model, nor does it offer a PC Card slot. Otherwise, it’s very close in features. In fact, you can even add that 5,400-rpm hard drive, though it’ll cost you $125 if you’re getting the 12-in. model.”
“The same is true for the 15-in. models, which come with either the 1.33-GHz processor or the same 1.5-GHz chip found in the 17-in. model. You can get the faster hard drive in either if them and, in the top-end 15-in. model, the extra video RAM,” Mingis reports. “In other words, when trying to decide which PowerBook to buy these days, the decision really comes down to how small (or big) you want to go… For me, that decision points to the 17-in. PowerBook, the creme de la creme of the lineup.”
Full article here.