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Apple tunes up PowerBooks

A new 166-MHz model will become the first significant addition to the PowerBook 1400 line since it was introduced last year.

Apple Computer (AAPL) will refresh its PowerBook 1400 notebook lineup with a 166-MHz model, the first significant addition to the line since it was introduced late last year.

The new PowerBook 1400c/166 will come with a 166-MHz 603e PowerPC processor and will essentially serve as a midrange notebook. Current 1400 models will also get larger hard drives and faster CD-ROM drives.

The 1400s are Apple's notebooks for basic office applications and are currently offered with 117- and 133-MHz versions of the 603e processor and 11.3-inch dual-scan or active-matrix displays. With the new model, Apple fills a gap between the older 1400s and the high-performance PowerBook 3400s, which have up to a 240-MHz 603e and a 12.1-inch active-matrix display.

Apple has not officially announced the 1400c/166, but sources close to the company confirmed that the company is preparing to release the new model. The new model will probably be priced between $3,200 and $4,400, the current prices for the 1400c/133 and 3400/180 respectively.

Apple will also add a 2GB hard drive and an 8X CD-ROM drive to the 1400c/166 model. Older models will be refreshed with either 1GB or 1.3GB hard drives; the 1400c/117, cs/133, and c/133 will get 8X CD-ROM drives.