Jobs wows Macworld attendees with his 17-incher...
Apple has marked the second anniversary of its high-end Titanium PowerBook, with news that future models will be available with a 17-inch screen.
Apple's move acknowledges the demands of its core user groups - typically designers - who have long campaigned for larger screens. It also brings laptops up to speed with desktops, where larger screens have been the norm for some time. Apple has traditionally been slow to recognise these demands of its users. The most recent iMac only started shipping with a 17-inch screen in July 2002.
Speaking at Macworld, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "We believe someday notebooks are even going to outsell desktops." He predicted the sales ratio will climb to at least 50 per cent in a few years.
"We want to replace even more desktops with notebooks," he said.
To achieve that goal, the company created a new PowerBook that is one inch thick, slightly thinner than its predecessor. It weighs 6.8 pounds, compared with 5.4 pounds for the 15-inch Titanium PowerBook. The new model replaces titanium with a form of anodised aluminium that is normally used for airplane hulls.
New features include built-in Bluetooth, FireWire 2 and AirPort wireless networking. The long-anticipated FireWire 2 has a throughput of 800Mbps (megabits per second), about twice as fast as the previous version.
The 17-inch PowerBook, with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive and a DVD recording drive, is priced at £2,599 inc. VAT and will ship next month.
Apple also introduced a 12-inch PowerBook. "We decided to apply this technology to something a little smaller," Jobs said.
The smaller PowerBook costs £1,399 inc. VAT and includes an 867MHz G4 processor, a 40GB hard drive, Bluetooth and is 802.11g-ready. 802.11g is a wireless networking standard that boasts faster speeds and better security.
"This is the most affordable PowerBook ever, and we will be shipping them in about two weeks," Jobs said, touting the new 12-inch PowerBook as a portable digital media studio.
"This is clearly going to be the year of the notebook for Apple," he said.
Joe Wilcox writes for News.com