Waiting for new Powerbooks

30 Jan 2005

G5 Powerbooks soon?

I recently decided that my Titanium G4 Powerbook is finally due for a replacement. Like an old car, its starting to get costly repair bills. At the moment, its suffering from ‘floppy screen’, and when that goes, it just isn’t worth considering a repair. I’m not bitter, its two and half years of use and hard abuse has been a very good innings. Its also been my favourite Mac I’ve ever owned – more so than my G5 desktop, and I’ve been thinking of using a setup like Mike Matas where the Powerbook is the main machine.

For the last couple of months the advice from rumour sites has been unanimous. Don’t buy now – new lines are on their way. What they will be no one is sure – The Register and DigiTimes had reports that suggested the possibility of G5 Powerbooks, whereas Mac Rumors were more conservative predicting just another bump in processor speed and HD size. Whatever they were, they were expected any day now.

I asked my Account Manager at MacWarehouse who in turn spoke to his rep from Apple. I wasn’t sure how honest an answer I would get, but he claimed that there would not be any new powerbooks until May/June! While that would tie in with the DigiTimes report that delivery was set for the second quarter, Powerbook G4’s (at least in the US) have been marked end of line, and with stocks drying up, what are Apple going to sell in the meantime? It seems unlikely that Apple would release a new Powerbook, and then again in a few months time, but according to Appleinsider “sources say that Apple also holds a PowerBook G4 upgrade in the pipeline — rumored to be the last G4 bump before the laptops acquire G5 processors in the second half of 2005’. To complete the optimism, MacMinute stated as far back as last February that “All of the key components for Apple to produce a PowerBook G5 appear to be ready, and Mac users should expect to see the new laptop no later than this summer’. Obviously that hasn’t happened.

However, the problem with using a G5 processor in a Powerbook has always been heat. A desktop G5 needs no less than 9 fans to stop it boiling over, how on earth could they acheive that in a small Powerbook casing? Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, stated that for Apple to produce a G5 equipped PowerBook would be the mother of all thermal challenges.

The rumours (and certainly my heart) are pointing towards a G5 Powerbook soon.

One more thing though – if you use a 17” Powerbook, please leave your experiences here, as I can’t decide between that and the 15”.

Update : More on the dual core G4 rumors.

Another update : In the end, I opted for buying Dunstans ever so slightly older 17 incher, rather than a brand new one right now. It was a great decision – I love that screen!

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