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Apple Shines Up Power Macs, Laptops At Macworld

SAN FRANCISCO -Apple concentrated on beefing up its high-end G4 Power Mac desktops and PowerBook notebook computers and announced a firm ship date for Mac OS X, at Macworld earlier this month.

The primary improvements to the four-unit Power Mac line are the addition of Apple’s 733MHz G4 processor and including CD-RW drives with all units, which will ship next month.

The flagship model, at a $3,499 suggested retail price, has 256MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, 32MB of video RAM and a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive. It comes bundled with Apple’s iTunes and iDVD software.

The next model down the price ladder, with a $2,799 suggested retail price, has many of the same features but is powered by a 667MHz G4 processor and drops the DVD-R capability from the drive.

The two entry-level Power Macs will be available with either a 466MHz or 533MHz G4 processor. The 466MHz model has a 30GB hard drive, 128MB of RAM, 16MB of video RAM and four PCI slots. The 533MHz bumps up the hard-drive capacity to 40GB and doubles the video RAM to 32MB. Respective suggested retail prices are $1,699 and $2,199.

On the notebook front, Apple unveiled the Titanium PowerBook G4 line. The first two models in the line started shipping this month, one centered on a 400MHz G4 chip and the other uses the more powerful 500MHz version. Each is about 1 inch thick, weighs in at 5 pounds and has a titanium body. Other shared features are a 15.2-inch display and a DVD-ROM drive.

The 400MHz model has 128MB of RAM, 10GB hard drive, an ATI Rage mobility graphics card with 8MB of video RAM, built-in networking card, and FireWire and USB ports. Its suggested retail price is $2,599.

The higher-powered PowerBook has twice the RAM and hard-drive capacity of the entry-level model, with a $3,499 suggested retail price.

Mac OS X, the latest incarnation of the Macintosh operating system, will hit stores on March 24 for $129, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reported at the show.