Excerpt: The Apple PowerBook G4 (12-inch) is the smallest notebook Apple has ever built with an integrated optical drive and a full-size keyboard. This recent addition to the PowerBook G4 family measures 1.2 inches thick and weighs 4.5 pounds. Calling it an ultraportable may be a bit of a stretch (it weighs a pound more than the next heaviest ultraportable in our roundup and more than 2 pounds more than the lightest here), but it's still a wonderful machine to take on the road,...
Excerpt: Although Apple is having fun promoting the little and big PowerBooks with the help of Mini-Me and NBA giant Yao Ming, Apple's in-between system, the 15-inch Apple PowerBook G4, might be the one that's just right for the masses. And though it doesn't garner the mainstream corporate demand of the other notebooks here, it is well equipped and by far the best-looking system for multimedia mavens.
Excerpt: The head-turning silver titanium case will make you do a double take. The 15.2-inch-wide screen with 1,152-by-768 resolution will hook you, while the 1-inch-thick, 5.3-pound package will make you drool. Looks aside, the heart of this Apple PowerBook G4 is the 500-MHz G4 processor. More powerful than the Apple iBook, this is the notebook of choice for use with the operating system OS X. This is not the supercomputer Apple liberally touts, but it offers solid performance.
Conclusion: If it's an Apple portable you want, the PowerBook G4 lets you walk around in style. If it's too much for your tastes, you can opt for the smaller, lighter, and more affordable Apple iBook (12-inch). If it's a toss up between a PC and a Mac, the HP Pavilion dv1000 is a great multimedia buy.
Pros: Computing luxury at its best. Good performance. Backlit keyboard.
Cons: Screen isn't as bright as other multimedia notebooks. Expensive.
Excerpt: In a slick, shiny aluminum case, the 12-inch Apple PowerBook G4 is the smallest of the PowerBook trio. Though only 4.6 pounds, it can hold its own with other Apples or competing notebooks. Apple has beefed up the 12-inch model to include Mac OS X Panther v.10.3, Safari 1.2, and Mac OS X Mail, as well as a 1.3-GHz G4 processor. The hard drive, now at a comfortable 60GB, is the largest in our ultraportable group.
Excerpt: A favorite among graphic artists, the 1-inch-thick Apple PowerBook G4 is a sleek laptop with a gorgeous wide-screen, 15.2-inch LCD. Going mobile with this machine is easy; it weighs 5.4 pounds with the battery. In keeping with the clean lines of the system, the PowerBook has a cool slot-loading CD-RW/DVD drive and a flip cover that hides its various ports and connections, including an IEEE 1394 port and two 12-Mbps USB ports.
Excerpt: Apple is known for creating cool designs at premium prices, and consistent with that trend, the Apple PowerBook G4 (17-inch)—at $2,999, the most expensive system in our roundup—did not disappoint. The PowerBook is thinner than the other 17-inch wide-screen notebooks in this review, the HP Pavilion zd7000 and the Toshiba Satellite P25-S607.
Conclusion: There are some things I haven't gotten into with this machine that you might be interested in. First is battery life. Apple advertises a battery life of about 4.5 hours, and that, from my testing, seems to be accurate. I used it all the way back on the road from Vegas (about 350 miles in a slightly circuitous route), and it was just about out of juice by the end. Second is wireless reception.
Excerpt: This was one of the first notebooks to move to the 802.11g wireless standard. Though incompatible with our standard PC-based wireless tests, in informal testing its signal reached up to 140 feet, and its DVD playback lasted 2:22, which is enough for most movies. This system isn't really meant to be carted around daily. As a desktop replacement, it's a rock-solid system.