Mac attack: PowerBook performs with the best

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PowerBook G4

Because benchmark results from the Mac OS version of the GCN Lab's Alterion Corp. benchmark software differ slightly from those of the PC version, directly comparing the PowerBook G4 with the other notebooks in this review would literally be a case of Apples and oranges.

But after a month's use, I can say that the 1.5-GHz PowerBook with 512M of RAM and 80G hard drive multitasks on complex applications as easily as the IBM ThinkPad T42 or the Dell Latitude D800.

The PowerBook ran 3 hours, 35 minutes on the GCN Lab's battery-life benchmark, which was remarkable in view of its whopping 17-inch LCD, the largest available on mobile PCs.

Despite its 17-inch screen with crystal-clear 1,440- by 900-pixel resolution, the PowerBook measures only an inch thick. Its well-distributed 6.9 pounds are easy to carry.

And the PowerBook brings the added benefits of a desktop replacement system: a 400-Mbps FireWire 400 port, another 800-Mbps FireWire 800, two USB 2.0 ports that transfer up to 480 Mbzps, and one PC Card slot for Type I or II cards.

The test unit had built-in, 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme IEEE 802.11g wireless networking.

A robust ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processor with AGP 4X support and 128M of double-data-rate video memory enhance the G4's processor. It could even slice its way through high-resolution photo editing while the DVD/CD-rewritable combo drive was spinning.

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