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Apple Turns Titanium Into Aluminum

Apple Computer Tuesday tweaked its product lineup with a revised PowerBook and a couple of wireless peripherals.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker said its all-new 15-inch PowerBook has been upgraded to a G4 running up to 1.25 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM, support for up to 2GB of DDR 333 MHz SDRAM and a 60 or 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive for a starting price of USD$1,999.

Far more striking, the new laptop now comes in an ultra-light aluminum enclosure replacing the original Titanium casing introduced in January 2001.

Like its 17-inch cousin, the new 15-inch version also comes with a backlit keyboard, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. The notebook also runs the latest build of Mac OS X "Jaguar" version 10.2.7.

In a statement from the company's Apple Expo in Paris, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 "sets the bar for professional notebooks even higher" with its faster speeds and latest wired and wireless connections.

Not to be left out, the 17-inch model is now available with a 1.33 GHz G4 processor and double the amount of on-chip level 2 cache for USD$2,999. The revised 12-inch PowerBook features a 1 GHz G4 processor and a Digital Video Interface (DVI) port to connect to flat panel displays.

Also on Apple's plate is its new Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse. The two Bluetooth-based peripherals can be operated from a range of up to 30 feet and include 128-bit, over-the-air encryption.

Retailing for USD$69 each, both the keyboard and mouse require Mac OS X version 10.2.6 or later and connect to Mac systems with either a built-in Bluetooth adapter or the external D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter.

Both products also feature Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) software, which lets the Bluetooth radios adapt to the presence of other wireless products and eliminate interference.

"Apple was the first to fully integrate Bluetooth support in its operating system with Mac OS X and the first to make Bluetooth standard across our entire line of professional notebooks," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The Bluetooth-based Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse are an ideal complement to our new PowerBooks and provide our desktop customers with an elegant way to eliminate cable clutter."