Apple 15-inch PowerBook G4 review: Apple 15-inch PowerBook G4

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.1
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Battery life: 5.0
  • Service and support: 4.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Beautiful sleek-and-slender design; robust software package, including Mac OS X Tiger; illuminated keyboard and scrollable trackpad; SuperDrive DVD burner.

The Bad Expensive; only 90 days of toll-free technical support.

The Bottom Line The high-performance, fully loaded, simply beautiful 15-inch PowerBook G4 will satisfy students and creative professionals who can afford to sacrifice cash for style.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Apple PowerBook G4 (15-inch, SuperDrive)

Buying a laptop typically demands certain trade-offs, but with the beautifully designed thin-and-light 15-inch PowerBook G4, there's no need to compromise: it delivers portability, performance, and a 15.2-inch (diagonal) display that's great for graphics work, watching DVDs, and just about anything else. Like the 17-inch PowerBook G4 , this 15-inch model includes features such as a scrolling trackpad and a Sudden Motion Sensor that protects the hard drive when the laptop is dropped. In addition, the 15-inch PowerBook G4 is among the new fleet of Macs running on Mac OS X Tiger, and it ships with the iLife '05 software suite. Though the excellent software package adds significant value, on a pure hardware basis, the PowerBook G4 comes at a premium: a similarly configured ThinkPad T43 , for example, costs $500 less.

The Apple PowerBook's sleek aluminum shell is hard to miss, and the 15-inch model has particularly pleasing dimensions. Measuring just 1.1 inches thick, 13.7 inches wide, and 9.5 inches deep, it is similar in size to the Portable One MX and the ThinkPad T43. At a reasonable 5.6 pounds, the PowerBook G4 weighs about average for a thin-and-light laptop--slightly heavier than the ThinkPad T43 and 0.5 pound heavier than the Portable One MX. Its 0.4-pound AC adapter makes for a total weight that's acceptable for carrying on the occasional trip.

Lift the lid of the 15-inch PowerBook G4, and you'll find the same minimalist design as on its 17-inch sibling : just a power button, a big keyboard framed by stereo speakers, and a large trackpad with a single mouse button. Unlike the lower-end iBook , the PowerBook G4 has a silver case and keyboard that do not pick up finger smudges. Though the keys are a bit shallow, they're wide, and we found them comfortable to use for long stretches of typing; we also loved the keyboard backlighting, which automatically adjusted to changes in ambient light levels. Like on other PowerBook G4s (and now iBooks, too), the generously sized trackpad lets you scroll through long documents and Web pages by dragging two fingers down the pad. The laptop's 15.2-inch (diagonal) TFT wide-screen display is adequately sized for most productivity and entertainment applications, and its vivid 1,280x854 native resolution teamed with the PowerBook's stereo speakers make it a good portable movie theater.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 31, 2005
  • Resolution 1280 x 854 ( WXGA )
  • Installed Size 512 MB
  • Weight 5.7 lbs
  • Optical Drive CD-RW / DVD-R - fixed
  • Graphics Processor AGP 4x - ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 - 64 MB DDR SDRAM
  • CPU PowerPC G4 1.5 GHz