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Apple adds DVD burner to PowerBook

The company updates its entire portable line, most notably adding its first PowerBook capable of burning DVDs.

    Apple Computer on Wednesday updated its entire portable line, most notably adding its first PowerBook capable of burning DVDs.

    The PowerBook line now includes an 867MHz model, available now for $2,299, and a 1GHz model that can both burn and read CDs and DVDs. That model will be available later this month for $2,999.

    "We're turning up the heat today by making the iBook and Powerbook more robust and more affordable," Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of hardware marketing, said in an interview. He noted that the new PowerBook was the first notebook with a slot-loading drive that can burn DVDs.

    As expected, Apple also bumped up the speed of all of its iBooks by 100MHz while dropping the price of each model by $200. The consumer portables also sport improved graphics now, using ATI Technologies' Mobility Radeon 7500 chip with up to 32MB of graphics memory.

    With the faster ATI chip, the iBook can now take advantage of the improved Quartz Extreme graphics engine built into the latest version of Mac OS X.

    The three iBook models consist of a $999 model with a 700MHz chip, a 12.1-inch screen, a CD-ROM drive, 128MB of memory and a 20GB hard drive; a $1,299 model with an 800MHz chip, a 12.1-inch screen, a combination CD-rewritable/DVD-ROM drive, 128MB of memory and a 30GB hard drive; and a $1,599 model with an 800MHz chip, a 14-inch screen, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, 256MB of memory and a 30GB hard drive.

    As for the PowerBooks, the low-end model comes with a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, 256MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive. Both models also come with improved ATI Radeon 9000 graphics, with the low-end model including 32MB of graphics memory and the high-end model with 64MB of graphics memory.

    Joswiak said Apple planned the introduction to try and boost holiday sales.

    "This was the time to get these things out," he said.