Apple has given the mainstay of its portable line, the 15-inch PowerBook, an overhaul at Apple Expo in Paris. Rather more than just a speed bump, the PowerBook gets its first serious redesign since the introduction of the Titanium three years ago. This also represents Apple's first reply to Intel's $300 million Centrino marketing campaign, and also a response to something that didn't exist three years ago: an abundance of relatively low-cost, well-designed and ... whisper it ... stylish Wintel notebook PCs. The Titanium's industrial design stood out from the pack when it was introduced, but it's much less differentiated now, when a feature-packed Vaio or a Fujitsu can be picked up for under $2,000.
So How has Apple responded? Answer: by bifurcating the 15-inch line and lowering prices. Squeaking in at $1999 is the basic 1GHz model, only with aluminium in place of the titanium casing, DDR333 memory, USB 2.0 and FireWire 800. Its well-heeled sibling, at $2599, features a faster processor (1.25 Ghz), more memory (512 MB vs 256 MB) and a larger hard disk (80 GB vs 60 GB)... and the illuminated keyboard that debuted in the 17-inch leviathan back in January. Then again, the keyboard is available (in English and Spanish) as an option from Apple's online store for just $69 more.
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News source: The Reg