Apple to bundle Wi-Fi with all PowerBooks

iBooks updated too

Apple has confirmed across-the-range upgrades to its PowerBook and iBook laptop lines, as anticipated this morning.

As expected, the PowerBooks get faster G4-class processors, taking the range to 1.5GHz, and sport quicker (4x) DVD-R drives, too. In an unforeseen move, Apple will bundle its 802.11g Wi-Fi card to all PowerBook G4s, rather than just the top 15in and 17in models.

Those two machines feature the 1.5GHz CPU, along with ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics chips backed by 64MB of dedicated SDRAM. BTO buyers can up the graphics memory to 128MB. The ATI chip is also included in the lower-end 15in PowerBook, which now contains a 1.33GHz processor, up from 1.25GHz.

The two 12in models now sport a 1.33GHz G4 and a 64MB Nvidia GeForce FX Go 5200 graphics chip. They also gets 333MHz main memory, up from 266MHz, suggesting a faster, 167MHz system bus into the bargain. Apple upped the hard drive to a 60GB model while it was at it.

The iBook line was also upgraded, with the 12in model and low-end 14in machine bumped up to 1GHz from 800MHz and 933MHz, respectively, and the top-end 14in version given a 1.2GHz processor, up from 1GHz. As anticipated, the new CPUs now feature 512KB of on-die L2 cache, up from 256KB. The faster 14in iBook also gains the 4x DVD-R writer - but as a BTO option.

Each iBook offers ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory. Unlike the PowerBooks, they do not ship with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth as standard.

The four PowerBooks costs £1149/$1599 (1.33GHz 12in Combo), £1299/$1799 (1.33GHz 12in Superdrive), £1399/$1999 (1.33GHz 15in Combo) £1749/$2499 (1.5GHz 15in Superdrive) and £1949/$2799 (1.5GHz 17in Superdrive).

The three new iBooks are priced at £799/$1099 (1GHz 12in Combo), £899/$1299 (1GHz 14in Combo) and £1049/$1499 (1.2GHz 14in Combo). All UK prices include VAT.

The new iBooks are available now, as are the 12in and 15in PowerBooks. Anyone after the 17in model will have to wait until "early May", Apple said. ®

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