As CDM expected, Apple has unveiled new hardware:


New PowerBooks are available now, with 1440 x 960 resolution on the 15″ (the old 17″ resolution) and 1680 x 1050 (equivalent to the 20″ desktop display) on the 17″ model. Battery life is improved by 22%, and the models support the Apple 30″ display, but prices are lower on the 15″ and 17″ models: US$1499 (12″) – $1999 (15″) – $2499 (17″). DVD SuperDrives are now standard, as well.


Here’s the disappointing part: most users want more power from their PowerBooks, not more pixels. It’ll be easier to connect to a big Apple display at home (and they’re cheaper now, starting at $1299), but if you want desktop performance, you’re better off with a desktop machine. The price cuts are welcome, but the 12″ is at the same price point it was, meaning, for $200 less, the 14″ iBook can be appealing. (The iBook sacrifices hard disk performance, with 4200 rpm instead of 5400 rpm, which could be a problem for audio though most of us multitrack off a separate drive, and has a slower video card.)


Here’s what you do get with the new 15″/17″:


  • Better battery life: 22% improvement. (12″ again remains the same.
  • Faster RAM: PC2-4200 instead of 333MHz DDR
  • More pixels, 30″ display support
  • Lower prices ($1999/$2499)


  • SuperDrive standard across the board, which amounts to a price cut on the $12″ (since $1499 previously bought you a combo drive)


    My own choice: I’m going with a refurb 15″ 1.5G PowerBook and sticking to the Power Mac as my desktop machine.

    • filarion

      I'm glad I'm not in the business for a new powerbook yet, fortunately (even though I'm typing this waiting for Live 5 to freeze audiotracks, heh). late next year is a better time to buy new portables I reckon.

    • cstarrett

      What a disappointment!

      For what it's worth to you, I've been very happy with my 1.5G PB and from the looks of it, wont be replacing it until the Intel PBs start appearing. And even then, I'll probably wait until the second generation of those if I can. I was an early-adopter of the PB 5300 and boy did I learn my lesson!

    • atomic_afro

      A PC user doing another little jig. :p

      I do mean this in the most loving jest.

      ATA :grin
      Look on the bright side come next year, you guys will be doing the jig while I'm all bitter and shit about Vista.