Jon Simpson

PowerBook Updates

7 Feb 2005 — apple, powerbook g4, ibook

So the much rumoured PowerBook updates emerged at lunchtime on Monday of last week (01/02/05), and underwhelmed the Mac masses anxiously awaiting the Powerbook G5 (any Tuesday now, right?). Not content with bringing you this ‘news’ a week late, I’ll continue with random information about how the update affected the PowerBook range, and why I care enough to write a weblog entry about it.

To start with, I’ll lay out how the PowerBook & iBook range was previously, for the models I considered potential desktop replacements.

You’ll notice the configurations here don’t compare very well against each other, but I just selected form factors and configured them to what I considered an acceptable specification. I was considering these options, with the iBook in there as a ‘Hey, if I get a cheap laptop, I could throw a 20” Apple Cinema Display on there to make up for it’. Also worth noting is that these are Apple Higher Education prices, so they’re not what you would have paid then on the consumer Apple Store UK site.

Moving on to the new configurations:

Ok, so the new, faster, top-of-the-line 15” Powerbook is under £1500 fully loaded with factory upgrades. To me, that was a compelling change in the line up. It’s obvious the 12” dropped in price to compete better with the iBook’s configuration, but it just isn’t as appealing to me as the 15” at these price points.

Now the background story. I was meant to pick up a new laptop before heading to University last September (‘04) and had been keeping a strong eye to the state of the 15” PowerBook. An unhealthy interest in the Mac rumour scene led to this purchase being delayed and delayed waiting for ‘the next big thing’ (read: PowerBook G5). Recently this had been beginning to suck, as revisions of the G5 suitable for mobile use slipped out of the public eye and the general consensus started to fall upon there being serious issues with the G5 in a laptop (not to mention the idea of buying a Rev. A Apple product).

This speed-bump was an opportunity to jump from the waiting game, and I took it. At the earliest I consider G5 PowerBooks to be a WWDC announcement, and even given this optimistic prediction, a good revision would be somewhere around Fall/Christmas ‘05. I was prepared to wait for MWSF to bring something, but waiting over a year is ridiculous for a product, especially when the limitations of the iBook have begun to make themselves clear.

I placed an order last Friday night (04/02/2005) for a new 15” PowerBook G4 1.67 SuperDrive with 100gb hard-disk and 128mb graphics memory upgrades, which is due to be shipped before or on 18/02/2005 (next Thursday). It’s going to be a long 9 days or so since I’m dying to get my hands on it. It’ll be becoming my main system, and the first Mac I’ve owned directly.

I also ordered a Tom Bihn Monolith case for transporting my new toy in safety on my trips to and from home, and around campus. It will probably be here a week or so before the laptop. No doubt this won’t be the last entry I write on this subject, so I’m going to put these posts in a new My PowerBook category.