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(Pocket-lint) - To cut a long review short, the 17” Apple G4 PowerBook is a dream toy that unfortunately doesn’t come at a dream price.

We all love the gadget that gives us the wow factor and Apple have certainly managed it with the PowerBook range. The 17” - the big daddy so to speak - certainly doesn’t have any troubles in this area. Sauve, sophisticated and stylish, and that’s just the box - this is certainly a machine that will have friends and colleagues salivating at the lips like a dog waiting for dinner.

Weighting just over 3Kg this inch thick laptop is light if not a tad on the large side. This causes two problems - firstly that you feel a bit overbearing using this thing on the train and that secondly the keyboard is set so far back that it can catch on the wrong side of your wrists. That said the 17” screen is to be marvelled at with plenty of scope to throw as many windows around the desktop.

Another notable exterior feature is the black lit keyboard that automatically brightens depending on the level of light available and the screen dulls accordingly as well. This is great for working when you partner wants to watch a movie with the lights down low or more importantly on the red eye from New York to London.

Inside the G4 PowerBook is no slouch. Packing a SuperDrive as standard means you can play and write both DVD and CDs. Enjoy the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics processor with AGP 4X support and 64MB of DDR SDRAM video memory graphics card or the 512 Mb minimum system RAM. The 1.33Ghz CPU doesn’t hinder either making this a machine that copes well with design and photo applications along side movie editing and games.

Those concerned about inputs will be pleased to know like all the PowerBook range there are plenty; 2 USB2.0 ports, 2 FireWire ports (including a 400 and 800 slot), a 56K modem, PC Card slot, headphone in and audio out. Bluetooth and Wireless are standard on the 17” model and makes connecting to the wireless world a simple affair.


This certainly offers everything a Mac user could want from a portable platform. In fact even what most PC laptop users could want as well. In does have a few hiccups, but nothing major, and in testing we actually found a use for the large space next to the touchpad - an impromptu mini-pad for an external mouse. Of course things of such beauty don’t come cheap and like expensive PC laptops the Apple 17” G4 PowerBook will set you back just over £140 an inch. Expensive - but then aren’t all the finer things in life?

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 2 January 2004.