Apple Rolls Out New PowerBooks

At the Apple Expo in Paris, the Mac maker introduced a 15-inch laptop as well as a Bluetooth-based keyboard and mouse.

Apple Computer Inc. today announced a refreshed PowerBook G4 line as well as new wireless input devices.

CEO Steve Jobs announced the new products at a keynote address this morning, which kicked off Apple Expo 2003 in Paris.

The 15-inch PowerBook G4 boasts the most dramatic updates; the new laptop replaces the Titanium PowerBook and features the aluminum enclosure and high-end connectivity that the 12- and 17-inch models have shipped with since January. New features include a 1.25GHz processor, backlit keyboard, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. Pricing starts at $1,999, with a high-end configuration at $2,599.

Apple also boosted the 17-inch laptops speed to 1.33GHz and lowered its price by $300, to $2,999. The lightweight 12-inch model was bumped to 1GHz and will ship with a DVI port, enabling users to connect the PowerBook to Apples digital displays.

The new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks will ship immediately, but Apple said the 12-inch model wont be available until later in September.

Jobs also introduced new Bluetooth input devices, announcing a wireless keyboard and mouse that feature 128-bit encryption and a 30-foot range. Apple says the new accessories will ship with industry-first Adaptive Frequency Hopping software, eliminating wireless interference among multiple devices. The devices are priced at $69 each and are designed similarly to Apples wired models.

In a press release, Apple also announced that it is offering a $50 rebate to customers who buy a new Mac with the companys Keynote presentation software.

Apple Expo 2003 runs through Sept. 20 at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center.