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Apple updates PowerBooks

Multiple sources point to faster notebooks

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Apple will today announce revisions across its PowerBook and iBook laptop ranges, according to a variety of sources cited by Mac-oriented websites.

Despite a widely mentioned 19 April announcement date, details and specifications are absent from the reports. However, faster G4-class PowerPC 7447 processors seems a distinct possibility at the high end.

One site with basic specifications, AppleInsider, points to iBooks with 512KB of on-die L2 cache, implying an update to the most recent G4s, the 7447. It also lists 1.5GHz 15in and 17in PowerBooks, suggesting Apple has indeed adopted Motorola's recently released PowerPC 7447A, which makes some minor tweaks to the older CPU to gain a slight clock-speed increase.

A consensus forecast suggests the Mac maker will reveal two updated 12in PowerBooks, two updated 15in PowerBooks and a single 17in update. There will be one new 12in consumer-oriented iBooks and two updated 14in iBooks.

According to AppleInsider, the PowerBook line will be upgraded to 1.33GHz CPUs (12in and one of the two 15in models) from 1GHz, and 1.5GHz (the second 15in machine and the 17in model) from 1.25GHz and 1.33GHz, respectively. The 12in iBook will be upgraded to 1GHz from 800MHz, with the two 14in iBooks jumping from 933MHz and 1GHz to 1GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively.

Memory and hard drive capacities appear not to have changed, but the DVD-R/CD-RW 'SuperDrive' models are likely to feature faster versions of the optical unit. Prices are said to remain largely unchanged.

Apple last updated the PowerBook line last September. ®

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