There is a new arrival at the Happy Macs lab this week – a final generation 2005 15 inch PowerBook G4! It features a 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4 CPU, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160 GB ATA/100 hard drive and in this final generation, a higher resolution display than had been previously used in the PowerBook G4 series. For PowerBook G4 aficionados, it is a model 1138. This was the last, and the fastest, PowerBook G4 that Apple released before moving to Intel CPUs and re-launching their laptop line under the new MacBook and MacBook Pro brands.
I have a penchant for collecting the last and the fastest of Apple’s models. Hence I have a Quadra 840AV, the fastest 68K Mac Apple made, a PowerMac G5 Quad, the fastest PowerPC Mac that Apple made, and now I have added a 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 to the collection, the last and the fastest PowerPC laptop Apple made. In addition to the speed, I love the design aesthetic at work in the PowerBook G4 – end to end aluminum and even an aluminum keyboard. The look is sleek and uniform. I just love it.
I purchased this particular unit on eBay, from a seller named byte.surfer, who has a range of other Mac related products on offer. This particular seller did a great job. The machine arrived in nearly pristine condition, shipped in excellent packaging and was absolutely LOADED with software. Everything was exactly as the seller advertised. If you are looking for a high quality Mac product on eBay, I can provide this seller a big thumbs up. As always when I endorse a business, let me state for the record that I am not affiliated with byte.surfer in any way other than being a satisfied customer.
Below are two pictures of the machine running 10.5 Leopard, after I finished setting it up yesterday:
My initial impressions of the PowerBook G4 are very positive. It is remarkably speedy for a vintage laptop and is even able to handle the rigors of today’s web with reasonable responsiveness (TenFourFox is such a blessing!). Most applications launch with only a minimal delay, much of which is to be expected given the machine’s older technology. One must temper one’s expectations somewhat. The PowerBook G4 does use a 5400 RPM parallel ATA/100 hard drive after all, which limits application loading speed in its own right. Nonetheless, I find the machine to be quite responsive and I plan to put it to good use in the days and months ahead.
By the way, harking back to my last post on the topic of QuickFans, I can now report that QuickFans doesn’t work on G4s, or at least not on this particular G4 anyway!
So, if you are looking for a great PowerPC laptop at an excellent price, hunt down another model 1138 PowerBook G4. You won’t be disappointed.