Apple unveils faster PowerBooks starting at $1499 with ‘scrolling TrackPad, Sudden Motion Sensor’

Apple today unveiled the fastest, most affordable PowerBook line ever, featuring PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1.67 GHz, faster hard drives and a faster 8X SuperDrive—all housed in the PowerBook’s signature aluminum enclosure. All new PowerBooks come standard with 512MB memory, faster graphics, integrated AirPort 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.0 wireless networking and two new Apple patent-pending technologies—the scrolling TrackPad and the Sudden Motion Sensor.

“Apple continues to lead the industry with the most innovative notebooks,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in the press release. “With new features like the scrolling TrackPad and Sudden Motion Sensor, the new PowerBooks are the ultimate combination of performance and portability.”

Designed for creative and business professionals, the new PowerBooks introduce Apple’s patent-pending scrolling TrackPad that works with every application and document, so users can easily scroll through long web pages or across large photographs. Simply touch the trackpad with two fingers instead of one to quickly scroll or pan within the window. Every PowerBook also includes Apple’s patent-pending Sudden Motion Sensor technology which integrates a tri-axis accelerometer to help protect a spinning hard drive if the notebook is accidentally dropped. Apple’s revolutionary backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors for working in low-light conditions is now built in to all 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks and is up to 10 times brighter than before.

The new PowerBooks deliver increased performance with both the 15- and 17-inch PowerBook models offering up to 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4 processors and industry-leading ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processors with 64MB or 128MB of graphics memory. All models now include 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM and faster 5400 rpm hard drives for demanding professional applications. The 17-inch PowerBook now features Dual Link support to drive Apple’s breakthrough 30-inch Cinema HD Display as an external monitor, and this feature is also available as a build-to-order option on the 1.67 GHz model of the 15-inch PowerBook.

Apple continues to lead the industry in integrated wireless communications, and every PowerBook now includes built-in AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking. Apple is the first notebook maker to include integrated Bluetooth 2.0 (Enhanced Data Rate) for up to three times greater data rates, up to 3 Mbps, for faster wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals including cell phones, PDAs, printers and headsets. Bluetooth 2.0 is also compatible with Bluetooth 1.2 devices such as the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse.  

Every PowerBook now includes iLife ‘05, Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications. iLife ’05 continues to lead the industry with the most innovative and comprehensive suite of software for organizing, editing and sharing digital photos; creating stunning digital movies and DVDs; and purchasing, managing and creating digital music. iLife ‘05 includes iTunes 4.7.1, the world’s best digital music jukebox software with the iTunes Music Store inside. iTunes provides seamless integration with Apple’s complete family of popular iPods, including the new iPod shuffle. iLife ‘05 also includes iPhoto™ 5 for organizing and sharing digital photos; iMovie HD for digital HD-quality movie-making; iDVD 5 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs; and GarageBand 2, the revolutionary music application that turns the Mac into a professional-quality musical instrument and recording studio.

Mac OS X version 10.3 “Panther” is pre-installed on every PowerBook and delivers breakthrough features including iChat AV desktop video conferencing, Mail, Safari web browser, Sherlock, Address Book, QuickTime, iSync, iCal and DVD Player. Panther also features FileVault, which uses the latest security standards and 128-bit encryption technology to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure; Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; and Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem.  

The new 12-,15- and 17-inch PowerBook models will be available later this week through The Apple Store, at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 1.67 GHz, 17-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $2,699 (US), includes:
– 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open slot, expandable up to 2GB
– a 100GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive and Sudden Motion Sensor
– a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive
– ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 128MB video memory
– DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch support), VGA, S-video and composite video support
– AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem
– two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800
– optical digital audio input and output
– a scrolling TrackPad
– illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor

The 1.67 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $2,299 (US), includes:
– 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open slot, expandable up to 2GB
– an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive and Sudden Motion Sensor
– a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive
– ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 64MB video memory with Dual Link DVI functionality
– DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support
– AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem
– two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800
– a scrolling TrackPad
– illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor

The 1.5 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:  
– 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, with one open memory slot, expandable up to 2GB
– an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
– a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive
– ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 64MB video memory
– DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support
– AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and 56K V.92 modem
– two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800
– a scrolling TrackPad
– illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor

The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:
– 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB
– an 80GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
– a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive
– NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics with 64MB of video memory
– DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support
– AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Ethernet 10/100BASE-T and 56K V.92 modem
– two USB 2.0 ports and Firewire 400
– a scrolling TrackPad

The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:
– 512MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB
– a 60GB (5400 rpm) Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
– a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive
– NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics with 64MB of video memory
– DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support
– AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Ethernet 10/100BASE-T and 56K V.92 modem
– two USB 2.0 ports and Firewire 400
– a scrolling TrackPad

Additional build-to-order options for the new PowerBook line include up to 1.25GB DDR RAM on the 12-inch model and up to 2GB on the 15- and 17-inch models, an 8X SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive, 128MB graphics memory with Dual Link DVI on the 1.67 GHz 15-inch (for enabling the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display as an external monitor), a 100GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 5400 rpm on all models, AirPort Extreme or Express Base Station, Apple displays and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

See the new Apple PowerBook line here.

32 Comments

  1. 5400RPM drives!! I never knew Apple had it in them!

    Same old video cards, oh well, they’re good enough.

    Audio/video pro’s are gonna like the 17″ a whole lot more now with optical and dual-link.

    I got the first 12″ iBook ^H^H^H^H^H PowerBook and this one looks all grown up now.

    Carbon Fiber? Sure it might be strong and light, but it’s the metal that makes the PowerBook feel so good in your hand and look so good. Maybe a thick carbon fiber would work. Maybe a translucent carbon fiber, Apple bring back the see-thru Macs!!

    A more rugged case would be good. Something that could get rained on, dropped in the sand and take a couple hard hits would be good. The iBook market would be a great place for a ruggedized computer. Let the kids drop and step on it, stand in the rain waiting for the bus, put it under your shirt to break the hand of the big kids that try to beat you up. Soldiers could strap them on the sides of thier Humvees. That sort of thing. Like the clam-shell iBook, but with Carbon Fiber and a bigger screen.

    Magic Word: every as in every thing should be made like this.

  2. I think that the dual-core G4 is more likely than a G5 powerbook. That’s ok though. Dual G4 will be a very good OSX machine. Very good.

    Who uses their PowerBook as a rendering farm anyway? The G4 is a great chip. Could you put a G5 in a mini? NO. Not at 1.42GHz anyway.

    Don’t wait for a G5 laptop. The difference between the G5 and G4 is mostly clock speed. The G5 isn’t SO much better. All the Pros have Cons. Faster bus speeds mean hotter main boards. Faster memory means hotter memory. Faster CPU means hotter CPU.

    No, PowerBooks are better off in a processor that was designed to be light and cool from the ground up.

  3. Yeah, I was so worried they would introduce a G5 PowerBook and then I’d want to ditch my 17″ PowerBook that is just over a year old. I can still hold my head up at the coffee house!

    Magic word = inside as in they’ve only changed the inside of the computer so from the outside nobody knows any better.

  4. At least it made my 1GHz 17″ a very good machine that I bought…

    i’ve had it for 2 years nearly now and there is nothing that makes me want this new machine… It’s not even that much different, obvoiusly a bit quicker tho

    Looks like i’m gonna have to spend my hard earned tax dosh on something else!

  5. AAPL up over $75, valuing the company at more than $30bn. That’s come on a bit since the $4.8bn days, when I said to my partner “we should invest in that, it’s going to go up”, but then went out and spent £100k on a second home instead. Oh well, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but not worth losing any sleep over.

    Magic word “million” – as in £100k equalled $160k, meaning I could have bought 12,500 AAPL shares, now worth just short of a ……

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. I’ll probably wait until Tiger ships installed in the new machines (and by that time there might be even newer machines to APPEAR). Not too worried about the G5 at this point

  7. Magic Word: TWIT – as in all the twits who insist on telling us what their magic word is. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. WHAT??!! This isn’t TUESDAY!!! Why on earth is Apple releasing a new PowerBook on MONDAY??? All of the rumors sites that keep saying ‘new PowerBooks on Tuesday’ like a broken record have a lot of ‘splaining to do…

  9. I’m using a 1st generation TiBook 400 15″. I am very tempted by today’s 17″-1.67 GhZ machine that costs as much as my machine did 3 1/2 years ago.

    I so cannot wait for Apple to solve the cooling issues with the G5 and get a G5 Powerbook out on the streets.

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