Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg has been using one of Apple’s recently announced 12-inch PowerBooks for about a week now. All-in-all Mossberg really liked the notebook, with one exception all too familiar to Titanium PowerBook owners.
“The 12-inch PowerBook is one sweet little laptop. Sheathed in an aluminum case, it has the feel of a finely made camera,” writes Mossberg. “And it’s the smallest notebook I’ve tested that sports a full range of features, including one I’ve never seen on a compact laptop. Yet it’s significantly less expensive than some comparable Windows laptops.”
Mossberg compares Apple’s diminutive PowerBook to Toshiba’s Portege 4010 and Fujitsu ‘s Lifebook P2000. While these two Windows notebooks weigh slightly less than the PowerBook, Mossberg notes that Fujitsu ‘s offering “cheats a bit with a puny 10.6-inch screen and a cramped keyboard.”
Mossberg also pointed out the price difference between the PowerBook and a similarly equipped Portege from Toshiba. For $1,899 you can get a base model PowerBook with an AirPort card installed; “you’d have to pay a whopping $2,399 for a Portege 4010,” writes Mossberg.
“The machine abounds with the kind of clever design touches for which Apple is known,” said Mossberg. “CDs and DVDs are sucked into the machine through a slot, like in an auto CD player, so there’s no protruding tray. The rear hinge dips down so the screen sets lower than on other laptops, making it even more compact for use in tight spaces.”
Like many others before him, the only problem Mossberg had with the computer was that it “gets pretty hot because of its metal skin.”
Mossberg also raves about Apple’s new Web browser, Safari. Noting features like SnapBack and the integrated Google search, he says it beat Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in his tests, sometimes by a huge margin.
“Like the 12-inch PowerBook, Safari shows Apple’s deft sense of design and dedication to ease of use,” said Mossberg. “Both products will help make the Macintosh platform an attractive alternative to Windows.”