December 14, 2018
Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)  

Manufacturer: Apple

PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)
June 8, 2004 | Johan Hansťn

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Itís Hot!
If you get the computer spinning up and use some of that horsepower, you can start to feel the heat radiating from it. This is very easy to feel when playing games. Since metals are natural heat conductors, the heat of the PowerBook will spread rather evenly throughout the case, and when it is at its warmest, you will start to sweat at your wrists if youíre using the built in keyboard. If you donít push the performance, the computer doesnít show any tendencies towards this at all. At times Iíve felt it grow cold on me instead, making me turn on the iTunes visuals to heat it up a bit.

The 15Ē display is a neat little LCD and excellent for every day work. The built in resolution of 1280x854 is good enough for most people, but for those that want more, there is a DVI port on the right side of the computer to which you can connect a second display and extend your desktop.

The quality of the display is really good, even if I personally find it a bit unsharp compared to the two 17Ē LCDs connected to my MDD. As for gaming, the refresh rate of the display is great, I havenít been able to detect any ghosting on it at all so far. There is a drawback with the display though, and that is that not all games natively support widescreen resolutions. Games that donít will have to be drawn at a scaled up resolution, causing the graphics to become less sharp. To add to this, most games donít use the full screen surface due to itís wide resolution, which leads to a black bar on both sides of the gaming area. Most new games are adapted to the wide resolutions of the PowerBooks and cinema display, but now and then thereís a game that donít. There are also a number of games that support the custom resolutions, but without having them visible in the graphic options, and for people that donít know what files to edit and how to edit them, the list of PowerBook resolution supportive games decreases rapidly. This information can usually be found in game's documentation, so the enthusiast shouldn't have any problems.

The PowerBooks have always had great keyboards, and the Aluminum PowerBooks are no exception. The look, feel and size of the keyboard is absolutely excellent. The function keys on the top of the keyboard can work either as the F-keys you are used from a normal keyboard, or for adjusting volume and brightness. The key to switch this is probably my single largest gripe with the keyboard. In the position furthest down to the left is the Ďfní key that unlocks these special features as well as turns the key arrows into page up, page down, home and end, and turns a part of the keyboard into a numerical pad. While the feature is great, it moves the ctrl, alt and command keys one step to the right, and I find myself pressing the wrong keys by routine over and over again. Another shortcoming with the Ďfní key has finally been addressed in the latest OS update from apple. Before 10.3.3 you couldnít set the F-keys to be F-keys by default in OS X, so if you played a game that uses F-keys, you would have to keep the Ďfní key down or accidentally turn the sound off. But now you can go into the keyboard preference pane and tick a checkbox to reverse the function of the F-keys. This wonít be a problem to anybody who gets the new PowerBooks since 10.3.3 is installed by default.


Archives  Reviews  PowerBook G4 1.33 GHz (15 inch)