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Apple’s PowerBook G4

Note: This document has been revised since it was first published as a news article in March, 2001. The original article is here.

PowerBook G4 picture

In March 2001, Apple's titanium PowerBook G4 became commonly available. This model has since been revised twice, in October 2001 and December 2001. The PowerBook G4 represents the "professional portable" portion of Apple's four-part product line. It includes both the first 15-inch screen (actually a 15.2-inch screen) and the first G4 processor on any Apple laptop.

The PowerBook G4 is approximately half a pound lighter than the PowerBook G3 it replaced. It comes in two standard configurations and can be custom configured at Penn's Apple Store.

What it has

  • G4 processor (550 or 667 MHz) with 256K full speed level 2 cache
  • Two DIMM slots, currently allowing up to 1 GB RAM
  • CD-RW/DVD-ROM 'combo' drive
  • 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet
  • 56 kbps modem
  • Internal AirPort [IEEE 802.11b] slot
  • Two 12 Mbps USB ports for connecting low-speed devices
  • One 400 Mbps FireWire [IEEE 1394] port
  • One Type II PC Card (PCMCIA) slot
  • One infrared 4-Mbps IrDA port
  • 15.2-inch active-matrix screen with 1152 x 768 maximum (native) resolution
  • ATI 4x AGP Rage Mobility 128 AGP video controller with 16 MB SDRAM
  • Stereo speakers and 1/8-inch stereo out jack
  • S-Video out port
  • 24 Bit Video out (standard monitor connector)
  • Internal omnidirectional microphone
  • Mac OS 10.1.2 & Mac OS 9.2.2

What it doesn’t have

  • Analog sound-in port (sound must now be imported through either USB, FireWire, or a PC Card)
  • Floppy drive (external USB floppy drives such as the Imation SuperDisk are available)
  • Removable drive bays

Standard configurations

The PowerBook G4 is offered in two standard configurations at the Computer Connection:

  • 550 MHz G4/256 MB RAM/20 GB hard drive/CD-RW/DVD-ROM 'combo' drive
  • 667 MHz G4/512 MB RAM/30 GB hard drive/CD-RW/DVD-ROM 'combo' drive/AirPort card

Technical issues & recommendations

Information Systems & Computing (ISC) does not expect there to be significant hardware-related compatibility problems with the PowerBook G4. However, the PowerBook will have the same software-related conflicts that any Mac OS 9.2-based or Mac OS 10.1-based workstation would have.

ISC has tested the PowerBook G4 for compatibility with University-supported hardware and software. Special attention has been paid to dial-up networking and modem functionality, which has been tested using a modified version of ISC’s modem testing script. The PowerBook G4 is compatible with the 2001 PennConnect CD-ROM and with Penn’s supported network applications.

These workstations meet ISC’s Recommended Configurations for New Lightweight 'Desktop-Equivalent' Laptop Workstations. As always, support providers should be aware of the technical issues associated with any new workstation design.

--Bob DeSilets, Jr. & John Mulhern III, ISC Technology Support Services


Please note: This material is no longer current and appears online for archival purposes only.
Use the search and navigation tools above to locate more up-to-date materials, if they exist.


Please note: This material is no longer current and appears online for archival purposes only.
Use the search and navigation tools above to locate more up-to-date materials, if they exist.
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