For the last three years now, Apple power users (who have to travel a lot) have been asking for a MacBook Pro version of the 12-inch PowerBook G4. Now that Apple has decided to discontinue future support of the older (pre-Intel) processors for their systems and software, it is again time to ask the question. When will there be a new power user version of a sub-notebook computer available from Apple? Traveling power users can not survive on Air alone.
In January of 2003 Apple proudly announced “the smallest and most affordable PowerBook Apple has ever created”, but in 2006 when Apple changed to Intel powered MacBook Pro, the 12-inch version of the Apple laptop was forgotten. Consumers and the media kept wondering when it would show up, but so far nothing. The Macbook Air is of course a sort of replacement but for a true power user, it just doesn’t really cut the mustard.
The current MacBook rumors could of course yield a new low cost ($700-$800) 12-inch MacBook model, but it still won’t be the compact road warrior, that IT consultants, engineers, musicians, journalists, photographers, and other heavy duty traveling professionals are looking for. We need all the processing power, ports and networking hardware of the MacBook Pro, just in a smaller package.
The Apple press release below is for the original 12-inch PowerBook G4, which was introduced in January of 2003. By the time it was discontinued in 2006, it was available with a 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 processor. The 12-inch PowerBook G-4 is still so popular, that a good condition used late model will cost you around $700.
Apple Introduces Its Smallest Notebook Ever
MACWORLD EXPO, SAN FRANCISCO—January 7, 2003—Apple® today unveiled the new 12-inch PowerBook® G4 with a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display housed in a lightweight, durable aluminum alloy enclosure weighing just 4.6 pounds*. The sleek new 12-inch PowerBook G4 offers a speedy 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, fast NVIDIA graphics, a standard slot-loading Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, built-in Bluetooth, and industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge, all for just $1,799 (US).
“The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is a jewel,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It’s the smallest and most affordable PowerBook Apple has ever created and the most compact full-featured 12-inch notebook in the world.”
Offering a brilliant 12-inch, active-matrix display with a 1024-by-768 pixel resolution, the new PowerBook G4 measures just over 1-inch thin and weighs just 4.6 pounds. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 has a 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine™ and offers 256MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory (expandable to 640MB) and a fast NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go graphics processor with 32MB of dedicated DDR RAM for incredible 3D graphics and display performance. The standard slot-loading Combo optical drive lets customers watch DVDs and burn both data and music CDs. Customers can also build-to-order their 12-inch PowerBook G4 with a slot-loading SuperDrive™ for playing and burning both CDs and DVDs.
The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 includes built-in Bluetooth for wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple’s new iSync software is also included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth devices. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 also includes built-in antennas and a card slot to support AirPort® Extreme, Apple’s next-generation wireless networking based on 802.11g**. 802.11g can transmit data at up to 54 Mbps, almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies, yet is fully compatible with the millions of 802.11b Wi-Fi devices currently used around the world.
Pre-installed on every 12-inch PowerBook G4, Apple’s Mac® OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar” enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically senses the active network port and switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management through Energy Saver Profiles for industry-leading battery life of up to five hours on a single charge. Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple’s iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3*** for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.