A whopping 17-inch display gives Apple's latest PowerBook G4 the most real estate ever in a notebook. The 17-inch screen displays 1440 x 900 pixels in a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio and with a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, new high-speed architecture, fast graphics and a slot-loading SuperDrive for playing and burning CDs and DVDs, its billed as the most powerful Apple portable ever.
Other firsts in the 17-inch PowerBook G4 include AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking, high-speed FireWire 800, a fiber-optic backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors and built-in Bluetooth connectivity. The result is by no means clunky - the G4 weighs just over 3kg and at 25mm, it's the thinnest notebook produced by Apple to date.
"Apple's taking another giant leap beyond PC notebooks with the world's first 17-inch notebook, miraculously engineered into an ultra-light aluminum alloy enclosure that's only 1-inch thin," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Many users are going to wonder why they even need a desktop computer anymore."
The backlit keyboard incorporates ambient light sensors that control the brightness of the display and automatically regulate the keyboard backlighting. In low light, the device automatically illuminates the backlit keyboard and lowers the display brightness, reducing eye strain and extending battery life. As light levels increase, the display brightness is re-adjusted automatically and the keyboard backlighting is turned off.
Wirelessly connectivity via the new 802.11g standard delivers 54 Mbps transfer rate -almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies - and the G4's Bluetooth capabilities allow wireless connection to cell phones and PDAs.
Announced at the Macworld conference in January, the new PowerBook G4 will be available in the US during February for US$3,299.