Apple PowerBook 15-inch G4 review

One of a kind, Apple urges its users to 'think differently'

The PowerBook is chic and sleek with a beautifully smooth aluminium body

TechRadar Verdict

Excellent machines, but not as good as the new Intel models


  • +

    Stock 512MB of RAM (finally!)

    Good speed boosts

    Backlit keyboard

    New scrolling feature on trackpad


  • -

    Intel machines are faster

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Amidst the sea of Windows-compatible laptops, the Apple is nothing if not distinctive. Still a darling of the publishing industry, Apple computers have a reputation for ease of use and reliability. The new PowerBook G4 includes all these qualities but is stylish and compact too.

There are two 15-inch PowerBooks on the market. We went for the 'cheaper' model, which still works out as rather pricey considering that you only get a 60Gb hard drive, 256Mb of RAM and a combined DVD and CD drive that will only burn CDs. Upgrading to the 'SuperDrive' version will set you back £1,750.

The PowerBook is chic and sleek with a beautifully smooth aluminium body and a light-sensitive system that adjusts the brightness of the screen and backlit keyboard. For wireless connectivity, it features AirPort Extreme as well as Bluetooth, but it still comes with wired Ethernet and a built-in fax/modem. Image quality is very good indeed and you get iPhoto software bundled in for easy viewing of your shots.

Unless you need the Apple operating system, the PowerBook is expensive compared to PC equivalents and the new Intel models are faster Matthew Richards was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.