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Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)  


Manufacturer: Apple


PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)
June 8, 2004 | Johan Hansén
Pages:123456


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The latest lineup of PowerBooks from Apple definitely looks like an invitation to gamers on the road. With 1.33 to 1.5 GHz G4 processors, the new PowerBooks feature the fastest G4 processor in any Mac ever. And paired with ATI's Radeon 9700 Mobility graphics card in the 15” and 17” models, the PowerBook is surely enough for gaming. I was pleasantly surprised when the specs of the new PowerBooks were revealed, because I had just planned to get one myself. Since the computer was primarily for work, I didn’t choose the 1.5Ghz model with a 128 MB Radeon 9700 Mobility — the optimal gaming PowerBook — but settled for the least expensive 15-inch model, with a 1.33 GHz G4 and a 64 MB Radeon 9700 Mobility. The 1.33 GHz model is equipped with 256 MB RAM standard, which is a bit low for a modern computer and you can easily run out of memory in normal work, not to speak of gaming. Because of this, I bought and installed an extra 256 MB chip. The build-in hard drive is 60 GB, which could be tight for a hardcore gamer or movie director on the road, but should suffice if you don’t want every game out there installed at the same time and don’t work with movie production. Still, just my copies of Neverwinter Nights and Unreal Tournament 2004 with their modules takes up approximately 10 GB. I have a Mirror Drive Door dual G4/867 in addition to the PowerBook, so this isn't really a problem.

The Case
The newer PowerBooks have an aluminum case, which is a very light and relatively sturdy metal, but can still suffer from cracking if mistreated, My own bike has an aluminum frame and has taken a lot of abuse, so I doubt anything would happen to a PowerBook. I was a bit surprised when lifting an Aluminum PowerBook for the first time, because they weigh a bit more than you would expect after having worked with aluminum before. The 15” machine weighs 5.7 pounds, but it's slim looks are deceiving. This doesn’t mean that the PowerBooks are heavy at all; they just look like they would be light as a feather, or … a large aluminum feather.

On the left and right side are connectors for USB 2.0, Firewire 400 and 800, headphones, line-in, Ethernet, a 56k modem, DVI and S-Video out. The placement is logical with one USB connector on either side to suit both left- and right-handed people for connecting a mouse. The power connector, modem and audio connectors are also on the left side while the FireWire and visual connectors are on the right. The PowerBook also features built-in Airport Extreme and Bluetooth networking. Thus you can easily connect to 802.11b or g wireless networks and use Bluetooth peripherals without need for extra hardware. On the front of the PowerBook is the slot that leads to the DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive. The placement of this might hinder having the computer in the lap, but there’s more than this to stop you from this.



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Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)