Apple unveils 15-inch PowerBook, updates 17 and 12

Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday announced the long awaited revamped 15-inch PowerBook at Steve Jobs' Apple Expo keynote in Paris, France. The company also offered customers updated versions of its 17-inch and 12-inch PowerBooks, increasing speed and adding features.

The new 15-inch PowerBook tops out with a 1.25GHz G4 processor; 2GB 333MHz DDR RAM max; SuperDrive (on the high-end model); lighted keyboard (high-end model); FireWire 800 and 400; USB 2.0; Bluetooth; ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (64MB DDR); 60GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive (80GB on the high-end model; and Gigabit Ethernet. The low-end model is AirPort Extreme Ready, while the high-end model has AirPort Extreme built-in.

The 1GHz model with a Combo drive will cost $1999, while the 1.25GHz SuperDrive equipped model is $2599 -- both configurations are available today.

The 17-inch PowerBook gets a speed increase to 1.33GHz, with 512K L2 cache, 2GB maximum memory and USB 2.0. This model is available for $2999.

The 12-inch PowerBook also received a speed increase, bringing it up to 1GHz with 1GHz PowerPC G4; 512K L2 cache; 256MB DDR266 SDRAM; 40GB Ultra ATA/100; NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 (32MB DDR); 10/100BASE-T Ethernet; FireWire 400; AirPort Extreme Ready; and Mini-DVI out.

The 12-inch Combo drive PowerBook will cost $1599, while the SuperDrive model will cost $1799.

"2003 has been 'the year of the notebook' for Apple," said Jobs during the keynote. "Industry averages 24-25 percent all computers sold as notebooks; Apple sold 42 percent last quarter."

Compared to previous models

The 12-inch PowerBook came with an 867MHz G4 processor; 256MB DDR266 SDRAM; 40GB Ultra ATA/100; Combo Drive; NVIDIA; GeForce4 420 Go; 32MB DDR video memory; 10/100BASE-T; Ethernet; FireWire 400; AirPort Extreme Ready; Bluetooth built-in; and VGA & S-Video out.

The low-end model sold for US$1599, while the high-end model, which included a SuperDrive sold for $1799.

The 15-inch PowerBook has seen the most changes in the updates. The older models came equipped with an 867MHz or 1GHz G4 processor on the high-end; 1MB L3 cache; 256MB SDRAM, 512MB on the high-end; 40GB Ultra ATA/66, 60GB for the high-end; Combo Drive, SuperDrive for the high-end; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000; 32MB DDR video memory, 64MB for the high-end; Gigabit Ethernet; FireWire 400; AirPort Ready, AirPort was built-in on the high-end; Bluetooth optional; and DVI & S-Video out.

The 15-inch Combo drive PowerBook sold for $1999, while the high-end 15-inch model sold for $2599.

The 17-inch PowerBook was the most feature-rich notebook in Apple's line-up, which was equipped with a 1GHz PowerPC G4; 1MB L3 cache; 512MB DDR333 SDRAM; 60GB Ultra ATA/100; SuperDrive; NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go; 64MB DDR video memory; Gigabit Ethernet; FireWire 400; FireWire 800; AirPort Extreme built-in; Bluetooth built-in; and DVI & S-Video out.

The 17-inch PowerBook sold for $3299.

Update: Updated specifications for new PowerBooks.

This story, "Apple unveils 15-inch PowerBook, updates 17 and 12" was originally published by PCWorld.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon