Taking baby steps, Apple has updated the PowerBook line. No, it’s not a G5. That’s still in the future, and you can well believe it’s proving to be an extremely difficult task. This doesn’t mean the new models aren’t interesting. While cutting the price by $100 and upping CPU power from 1.5GHz to a maximum of 1.67GHz may not seem much, there are some neat extras. The first is a scrolling trackpad, which lets you drag two fingers across the trackpad to scroll through a document or pan around an active window. The other feature may not be altogether obvious, but it could save you from a major catastrophe if you happen to move your PowerBook abruptly or drop it. The Sudden Motion Sensor will detect a change in axis position or sudden movement, and park the hard drive heads. All right, dropping the PowerBook may damage the display and other parts, but at least your data will be intact. The entire line includes built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, plus enhanced graphics chips. Minimum RAM has also been upped to 512MB across the board. You can check out the rest of the specs at Apple’s Web site. All models should be shipping by the end of the week. In any case, with a starting price of $1,499, for the 12-inch PowerBook, the line now encroaches deeply into iBook territory. Does that mean a price drop for Apple’s consumer laptops is in the offing? Have a nice day.
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