Just in time for the holiday feeding frenzy, Apple has updated their Titanium PowerBook G4 and iBook lines. The PowerBook G4 now offers either a Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive or the first slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics processor, and PowerPC G4 processors running at either 867 MHz or 1 GHz. The top-of-the-line 1 GHz model includes the SuperDrive and an AirPort card, along with 512 MB of RAM, a 60 GB hard drive, and 64 MB of DDR SDRAM graphics memory for $3,000, whereas the 867 MHz model drops the price to $2,300 by using a Combo drive, making the AirPort card optional, and shipping with only 256 MB of RAM, a 40 GB hard drive, and only 32 MB of DDR SDRAM graphics memory. Although it’s interesting that Apple is now making the AirPort card standard equipment, Apple made no comment about improving the Titanium PowerBook G4’s abysmal range with wireless networks. Nonetheless, the enhancements to the 1 GHz model should make it an even more attractive option for those who want to work only on a laptop without giving up options like the SuperDrive that were previously available only in desktop Macs. The 867 MHz model is available immediately; the 1 GHz model should be available in mid-November.
The changes to the iBook are less significant, though certainly welcome. Apple has increased processor speeds, so you can buy iBooks with either 700 MHz or 800 MHz PowerPC G3 processors, and the company also added the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller, with either 16 MB or 32 MB of RAM. Prices have dropped as well, so an iBook with the smaller 12.1-inch screen, a 700 MHz PowerPC G3, 128 MB of RAM, a 20 GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive costs only $1,000. Add $300 for the next model up, which offers an 800 MHz PowerPC G3, a 30 GB hard drive, and a Combo drive. The larger 14.1-inch screen model costs $1,600, but provides an 800 MHz PowerPC G3, 256 MB of RAM, a 30 GB hard drive, and a Combo drive. AirPort cards can be added to any of the iBook models. All models of the iBook are available immediately.