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17 ″, 12 ″ Powerbook and an iPod to wear

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One of the novelties comes from a product that could pass on the second line in the face of what has happened in the Powerbook sector. It is the iPod. After much talk about an iPod 2, perhaps with video capability, something even stranger has arrived. A snowboarding jacket (and not only) with an internal pocket to store your iPod and controls stitched on the left sleeve. Incredible (and expensive: $ 499 for this garment made by the American Burton), the first credible step towards a pervasive computer science to wear.

According to Steve Jobs, 2003 will be the year of laptops. And the figures prove it. Since the introduction of the Titanium powerbook, the most innovative laptop of the last two years, the growth trend of this sector has never been slowed down by anything, not even by the unfavorable economic situation. So much so that for Jobs in a short time the sale of laptops will reach 50% of Apple's total sales. Following this, the evolution should be the same for companies that produce PCs. For this Apple launches two new products, upsetting the 2 × 2 matrix (a laptop and a fixed one for the consumer market and the pro market respectively) which has been guiding its strategy in the last two years.

The first product is the evolution of Titanium, with a substantial stylistic and content renewal. In practice, only the processor remains the same: 1 Ghz G4 already present in the previous top model.

The novelties are in the case, always an inch high but now containing a 17-inch monitor, a direct derivation of the iMac screen. The ports, that is two Usb 1, a Firewire 400, a Firewire 800, audio output, S-Video, digital video, PCI card, GigaEthernet and modem, are arranged on the sides of the powerbook, as happens for the current iBook, and it changes the system of hinges for opening the computer, now based on a mechanism similar to that of the iBook.

Large, backlit keyboard controlled by two sensors for ambient light (the third world record for the new Powerbook G4, after Firewire 2 and 17-inch monitor), large stereo speakers on the sides of the keyboard, CD and DVD reader and burner.

Note also the wireless connectivity: integrated and integrated USB also the new concept wireless card that supports the Wi-Fi of Airport 802.11b and 802.11g. So, on the same 2.4 Gigaherz frequency, it is possible to use both perfectly compatible 11 and 54 Mbit standards. The antenna, positioned in the monitor panel, promises the same reception level as the (excellent) one of the iBook. Maximum resolution of the video, which has an aspect ratio of 16/10, of 1440 × 900 ppixel. Cost: $ 3299 from February.

There is also a new Airport base, identical in shape but of different denomination, Airport Extreme, which supports both standards, in addition to the ability to do bridging (that is, allow the connection between different bases directly wirelessly and without being forced to lay a cable between one base and the other as before) and with a USB port to share USB printers over the wireless network. Cost: $ 199.

The second laptop presented a clone of the iBook intended for the professional market. It shares with the new 17-inch Titanium the aluminum shell and the G4 processor, the 867 Ghz, in addition to the 32 Mb nVidia GeForce4 (instead of 64 as in the older brother). It's called Powerbook G4 and has the same characteristic metallic color (uncolored and therefore less susceptible to scratches than the old Titanium) but a 12 ″ screen. Also prepared for Airport Extreme, with housing for the new card, it can also be equipped with Superdrive to also burn DVDs. It will arrive before the end of the month at a cost of 1799 dollars (1999 the version with Superdrive) and represents the weapon to compete on the small laptop market.

Finally, the television campaign for the two new Apple laptops (which we probably won't see in Italy but which can certainly be downloaded from the Apple website). In addition to a conventional spot, the applause of the entire Moscone Center sparked the presentation of a spot with two witnesses, a basketball player and a dwarf, who are seated next to each other on the plane and use the largest and smallest small of the Apple G4 laptops. It is worth going to see it on the Apple website …