Big and small

Apple Computer has launched its new 1GHz 1-inch-thick 6.8 pound PowerBook G4 notebook computer. The new lightweight machine features a 17 inch screen that supports a resolution of 1440-by-900 pixels.

In addition to the 1Ghz processor, the notebook includes 256K backside level 2 cache and 1MB of L3 cache. It also sports 512MByte of DDR SDRAM expandable to 1Gbyte. An NVIDIA GeForce4 processor is built in to handle the graphics.

Another first from Apple featured on the new notebook is a fibre optic backlit keyboard with laser-etched keys. A light sensor automatically adjusts the keyboard and screen brightness based on the available ambient light. In low light, for example, the PowerBook G4 automatically lowers its display backlight and turns on the backlit keyboard. Then light-emitting fibre optic strands located under the keyboard come to life and illuminate the backlit keyboard so users can continue to work unaffected by the change in ambient light.

The PowerBook G4 also comes with a SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) that can be used to burn DVDs which can be played in most consumer DVD players. The SuperDrive also lets the user use Apple’s iTunes software to burn music CDs, and the Disc Burner feature in Mac OS X to burn data CDs. The SuperDrive reads DVD titles at 6x, and writes to 4.7-Gbyte DVD-R discs at 1x.

The new machine has two FireWire ports – one for the hundreds of FireWire 400 peripherals already available, and the other for the coming generation of FireWire 800 peripherals.

It also features 802.11g ‘AirPort Extreme’ wireless connectivity that runs at 54Mbps in addition to Bluetooth technology.

Starting price is $3299.

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