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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Are you happy with your 15" PowerBook ?

Are you happy with your 15" PowerBook ?
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Skypat
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Oct 26, 2003, 06:22 PM
 
Simple as that : would you recommend it ? What do you dislike ? con/pros ... What about heat/airport range/noise/screen quality/portability ...

thanks
S k y p a t
     
ownersbox
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Oct 26, 2003, 06:52 PM
 
It is the best overall laptop I have owned period.

With that being said there are a few draw backs;
It gets very hot (As I expected it would

Airport Range is not as good as my windows machine with external card, I don't know the main factor here whether it is the placement or the materials.

My laptop runs very very quiet and I love it.

Screen Quality is excellent, not a huge resolution but good enough for me. Very Bright (I actually turn it down a tad to conserve batter).

It has a very strong feeling to it, very well built IMHO.

On somethings you did not mention;

The speakers are simply the best I have heard on a laptop, I'm not a music buff but I find myself listening more and more to enjoy these speakers.

Now with Panther under normal use (No Sound, Airport, 50% Screen, No Bluetooth) I getting my battery to last about 3:15 which is perfect for me.

I would call and double check before you buy that these White Blobs/Pools have been fixed with the screen. They aren't that bad (Not worth to return) but simply a shame with everything else on the laptop being perfect.

I recommend highly.
     
spatterson
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Oct 26, 2003, 07:04 PM
 
Originally posted by ownersbox:
It is the best overall laptop I have owned period.

With that being said there are a few draw backs;
It gets very hot (As I expected it would

Airport Range is not as good as my windows machine with external card, I don't know the main factor here whether it is the placement or the materials.

My laptop runs very very quiet and I love it.

Screen Quality is excellent, not a huge resolution but good enough for me. Very Bright (I actually turn it down a tad to conserve batter).

It has a very strong feeling to it, very well built IMHO.

On somethings you did not mention;

The speakers are simply the best I have heard on a laptop, I'm not a music buff but I find myself listening more and more to enjoy these speakers.

Now with Panther under normal use (No Sound, Airport, 50% Screen, No Bluetooth) I getting my battery to last about 3:15 which is perfect for me.

I would call and double check before you buy that these White Blobs/Pools have been fixed with the screen. They aren't that bad (Not worth to return) but simply a shame with everything else on the laptop being perfect.

I recommend highly.
Itís good to here some good comments about the 15"... If you can just hold out on returning your book until they have a solution, then send it in, you should have a good experience.
     
slider
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Oct 26, 2003, 07:13 PM
 
I am absolutely trilled with my PB, I was really worried about all the problems people were experiencing, but I was really lucky. I have to agree, the airport range could be better, my iBook calm has amazing range and I kinda expected the same with the placement of the antennas on the display, but it's not that bad. I think I just need to redistribute my AEBS's. I am still floored at the size of the display. Love it.
     
ae86_16v
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Oct 26, 2003, 07:59 PM
 
Love it. . .
     
newmanium
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Oct 26, 2003, 10:34 PM
 
just ordered mine and pre-loving it
     
NightEyes
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Oct 26, 2003, 11:02 PM
 
I've had mine 5 weeks now and it's been wonderful.
     
11011001
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Oct 26, 2003, 11:26 PM
 
I am going to rain on this parade! Muwha haha!

Mine is a 15" AlBook

My screen has been a mojor pain, it got white spots 3 days after I got it. And in the end they got really, really bad.. about 20 of them.

I got the screen replaced... and now, the same problem is showing up. First day, no spots, second day, one tiny spot the left, and now more very faint batches are showing up... just like before. This was last week that I got it replaced.

So, can I recommend this PB? No. Not until the screen issue is fixed.

Regardless of the screen though, I love this thing. I was not sure if I was justified in purchasing it before I had it, but, now that it has become a part of life.. now that I use it for coding all my assignments at school, for looking at course notes.. and day to day casual computing, it has become indespensible. I love it.

I even sleep with it. Well, not quite, I keep it under my bed.

The coolest experience I think in owning it, was pulling it out of the box for the first time. It was so cold.. it just felt strong, and powerful. Totally wicked.

I will wait another month or two before I swap this screen. Hopefully by then there will be a solution to this screen problem. Till then, I'll just look past the issue.
     
spatterson
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Oct 26, 2003, 11:44 PM
 
Originally posted by 11011001:
I will wait another month or two before I swap this screen. Hopefully by then there will be a solution to this screen problem. Till then, I'll just look past the issue.
Yeah I think thatís the best thing to do... Just grit your teeth (even though itís Apple and you shouldn't have to) and wait a while. Sorry for your bad experiences.
     
KP*
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Oct 27, 2003, 12:18 AM
 
I think this is a great machine. Mine has some flaws: the latch comes loose sometimes, and after 5 weeks it's just started to show white spots. They're very faint right now and I'm being more careful about not putting presure on the middle of the screen when I carry it (I need it every day until Feb. 2, so I won't be getting it repaired/exchanged for a while).

Despite these flaws, which hopefully can be easily corrected for future buyers, I'm in love with my Al15" and I'm still very glad I bought one.
     
laserjock
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Oct 27, 2003, 01:14 AM
 
Absolutely great powerbook. I have the 1.25, and it's *considerably* faster than the revA 12" PB. Sreen is considerably nicer and a good resolution, too...

I can't recommend it enough.
     
nate_02
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Oct 27, 2003, 01:51 AM
 
I love my PB (except of course the white spots). It seems very well built. I would take a PB with white spots any day over a PC book.
-nate
     
forcelite
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Oct 27, 2003, 02:56 AM
 
Mine is absolutly flawless.

I love it

Just for the record I ordered mine 2 days after the announcment, so mine is definalty one of the first batches.
Force
     
taldrich
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Oct 27, 2003, 12:25 PM
 
It's a beaut. Mine took a long time to arrive (UK), but worth it. Perfect in every respect.
"most people are fools, most authority is malignant, god does not exist and everything is wrong" - Ted Nelson
     
RGray02
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Oct 27, 2003, 03:48 PM
 
pretty happy with mine. My only complaint would be that apple didnt make 512MB standard on the combo version. OSX needs it.

Im doubly happy that I skirted the entire iBook G4 thing too. I was inches from snagging a 12" superdrive.

No matter what PC notebook users tell you, the widescreen makes a much bigger difference than resolution...
http://www.****microsoft.com - "Free your mind, and your OS will follow"
     
BluThng
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Oct 27, 2003, 07:10 PM
 
I'm very very happy about my Powerbook G4. I don't have any white spots, weird noises...it's pretty much perfect!

Likes:
- VERY bright screen
- fast!
- looks sexy
- backlighted keyboard
- Ports on the side


Dislikes:
?????
Can't think of any. I just hate FedEx because they don't know where my Panther CD is...grrr...hehe
iN THe eND, iT DoeSN'T ReaLLy MaTTeR

| PowerBook G4 | 15.2" | 1.25GHz | 512MB | Combo | 60GB | AE | BT |
     
art_director
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Oct 27, 2003, 07:15 PM
 
Originally posted by Skypat:
Simple as that : would you recommend it ? What do you dislike ? con/pros ... What about heat/airport range/noise/screen quality/portability ...

thanks

don't know, it's been with apple care for 1/3 of the time i've owned it. will follow up when it's returned with the new logic board and screen.
     
deviousgelatin
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Oct 27, 2003, 07:22 PM
 
Just had mine delivered to work today, and I sure do love opening my desk drawer and looking at the box! Not going to be a whole lot of sleeping tonight.... but there will be a lot of playing!

5pm cannot come soon enough.
     
spatterson
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Oct 27, 2003, 07:49 PM
 
Originally posted by deviousgelatin:
Just had mine delivered to work today, and I sure do love opening my desk drawer and looking at the box! Not going to be a whole lot of sleeping tonight.... but there will be a lot of playing!

5pm cannot come soon enough.
Hehehe, I love that feeling!
     
cc_foo
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Oct 27, 2003, 08:11 PM
 
I really like my PBG4. I ordered it on the day of announcement, and received it the Monday after. (about 5 days after).

Developed a white spot on the screen after 3 weeks -- in the region 1 area.

Otherwise, great laptop. I've always been concerned with metal notebooks, preferring plastic (white iBook or black Pismo). I got convinced that Aluminium was the material to go with after buying the iSight (prior to the PowerBook 15"). And it has been as good as I expected.

Haven't got the screen latch problem.

Do have the squealing speakers problem. Very peculiar. Seems to be exacerbated when I visit "secure sites" e.g. my bank, or use when purchasing stuff online.

Overall, I love it. I'm glad Apple didn't cut corners on the HD space and RAM. This must be the first computer in a while that I didn't have to buy a memory upgrade for. Everything I need just works with what came in the box.

What I use: Eudora, Safari, Office, all iLife apps, iCal, iSync, iChat AV, FileMaker, DVDBackup, DVD2OneX, GraphicConverter, Toast.... I also use an iCurve and a USB hub connected to my Zire 71, wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, USB card reader and Yamaha USB speakers.

Things I don't like -- the white spots of course. I think that repairs at this stage will cause the problem to recur later. I might wait a few months before sending for repair.

Also, the battery life is a disappointing. Apparently "Panther makes it betterô".

Third, I wish there was a cheap Firewire 800---> 400 adapter available (in Australia).
     
Sakino
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Oct 27, 2003, 08:28 PM
 
Originally posted by Skypat:
Simple as that : would you recommend it ? What do you dislike ? con/pros ... What about heat/airport range/noise/screen quality/portability ...

thanks
A first time switcher that is not
HAPPY AT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL?!?!?!?!
Well let me start out by saying my first powerbook was a complete lemon. Battery life was at about 1.5 hours max w/ panther, 5 white spots, hd ticks, and a major heat issue. After 2 weeks of working with apple to get a new powerbook they finally gave in. Well today I finally got my second powerbook, which almost turned into a disaster. The powerbook was not SHIPPED TO MY dorm, but 2 buildings down. Lucky for fedex I decided to waste 2 hours of my afternoon to search for the pos around campus. After getting a big hype after finding the powerbook, I powered her up an dthe first thing I did was download PiXel Check V1.2 from versionchecker.
As I went from red to green to blue to black, everything was perfect. I had one last screen color to go, with all my luck it showed 3 faint white spots?! 3?!?! After looking at white spots for 2 weeks you can pick out about anything on a bad lcd when it comes to it, and I refuse to look at 3 faint white spots on my powerbook.
Right now I am on hold with apple to have them determine wha thtey are going to do. Personally I will not get off the phone until they ship a new powerbook to the apple computer store, and have me do the swap there. I have gone with out a computer for most of the semester and I refuse to go without one any longer.
     
h00ligan
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Oct 27, 2003, 11:11 PM
 
yah but i have a ti.

I got to spend some time with a new 15" today, and i have to say, i won't be upgrading to it.

The 12 and 17 are so solid, i don't knwo why the 15 seems so junky.

The lid bowing.. the latch problem, the white spots..

my ti is kicking butt, and imho after seeing the enw design.. the only one it looks good on is the 12"

i know you will think i am a ti loyalist, but i assure you , I was all set to get a new 15..

that said, i would get a 17 now if i was to spend more money over this.. since my ti is so close to the speed of the new 15 now, i will bekeeping it.

my $1.94 after spending some time with the new one and living with the "old one"
     
KBFinFan
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Oct 28, 2003, 12:29 AM
 
Been lurking.. but I just had to post about my 15"


So.. I am a switcher and couldn't be happier with my 15" PB.

The first thing I love is the screen- it is so crisp, bright, and large. I love having the ability to run open documents and what not next to each other

Second is the keyboard. I figured I would use an external one most of the time, but no... it is just so solid. It really is a pleasure to type in, possible more so than an external keyboard. The lighted option is pretty cool too...

The build quality is excellent, as is the design and aesthetic beauty of the machine.

Battery life is about three hours, which is plenty of time for me.

All in all it's great!
Thank you Apple.. see you later Microsoft.
     
machem
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Oct 28, 2003, 12:34 AM
 
Now, I may shock some of you by saying....

I'm very happy with my PowerBook. Yes, I've had the screen replaced once. Yes, Spots are coming back. But overall, I'm still happy. The spots aren't that bad (yet), and when this dies down again I'll get it taken care of.

To be fair, I'm not on my fourth spotty 'book (Hi FM!), and my PB didn't come back with worse spots than it went out with (Sakino..?). Maybe it's because it was purchased for me, maybe it's because I'm really lusting over a dual G5 cluster....

I broke the 'book out today before my IT meeting (the creme d'la creme of the geeks on campus), and people were drooling. Even the new head of Enterprise here could hardly contain her lust (for the Aluminum).

Anyway, my $0.02.
1.25GHz 1024M SD 15" AlBook
     
PowerMatt
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Oct 28, 2003, 01:30 AM
 
I am very pleased with my 1.25GHz combo drive PowerBook.

Likes
1. Speed: Compared to my PowerMac 733, it is very fast. I had intended on adding RAM as soon as I took delivery, but I haven't needed to. Maybe I will once I buy Photoshop or PS Elements.
2. Feel: This thing is designed for the user. The keyboard is lightyears beyond any PC laptop out there. It is put together solidly. Jacks (USB, FW, etc.) are tight, not loose.
3. Form: My friend carries around the latest and greatest from Dell. He often complains about the weight and non-portability of his laptop. I never feel like the PB is cumbersome. There is very little wasted space, everything serves a purpose. The AC power adapter is ingenious.
4. Battery life: I get 3:45 with Airport on, BT off, Screen @ 33%, and power save set to Auto. I can't wait to see this improve in Panther.
5. Audio: The speakers are great for being laptop speakers. The 24-bit audio makes using the PB in a pro-audio setting feasible without buying usb/PC card dongles and adapters.
6. Versatility: It is a more than adequate desktop replacement, but is just as good at being a portable.

Dislikes:
1. White Spots: Once I get a final and official word that the white spots are resolved, I will send mine in for a screen replacement.
2. I have to work so I can use it more often.

Overall Grade: B+
It I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.
     
mattcass
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Oct 28, 2003, 01:57 AM
 
Just going to throw a few comments in on mine...

Had my 1 Ghz 15" for about 3 weeks now and here's what I've found...

The good stuff!

1. The screen is HUGE. I opened it up for the first time and couldnt believe the size. I did the whole "did they send me a 17" by mistake?" check. I look at all the PC 15" laptops around my school and the screens are tiny in comparison.

2. DVD Playback is great. Watching movies I parts of scenes I missed before. I dont know the reason, my technical knowledge isnt that great, but movies just look so good. Plus you get to watch them on a widescreen so the picture is even bigger.

3. The size is perfect. It's not too big that you cant carry it around and the weight is definately reasonable for a laptop. I havent carried around any PC's before but this Al certainly doesnt weigh me down. Anything more than this would be too much I think.

4. Battery life is actually pretty good. Using it off and on during the day at school yesterday, the battery only died at 11 at night, and I'd been there since 9 in the morning. I think I got about 3.5 - 4 hours of infrequent use out of it that day. Couldnt be happier.

5. Speakers are great. Really good definition between the left and the right and the high-end is surprisingly evident with music. My speakers seem to be a bit left-heavy but that's why there's a balance adjustment!

6. The little stuff is great. Backlit keyboard is definately a worth-while option. Someone mentioned the AC adapter and yeah, that thing is great. Plugs into a powerbar without covering two other slots. All the network/USB/Firewire ports are nice and tight. I used the airport net at school and reception was great and so damn fast! I was downloading at 500kb/sec at one point. I was shocked.

The not so good stuff....

1. I have a white spot. Saw it as soon as I turned the computer on. It's really small and off to the side so it's not a big deal, but still, it's there and I cant help but notice it. Nothing to send the thing back over though.

2. 1 Ghz might not have been enough. I was typing up a presentation in Word today and the computer would stal when it did an auto-correction or formatting. Maybe I'll buy some more RAM, see what happens.

3. The bill on my credit card! Have to pay it off really soon. This and a 20GB was maybe a bit too much to spend but whatever, Oh yeah, the ipod is just as amazing. It gets more attention than the powerbook!

4. It wobbles. I think it might be my desk because it didnt do this on my dining room table or kitchen counter. But it seems to do it more often than not.

Overall, a GREAT package. Could use a bit more speed just because of that Word issue, but it's not a big deal.

By the way, this is my first Mac and I'm sticking with them. I'm really enjoying just about everything about the Mac OS. The programs like iTunes and iPhoto and easy to use, straight forward, and just work.

I'll give this thing an A.
     
goMac
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Oct 28, 2003, 02:35 AM
 
Originally posted by h00ligan:
yah but i have a ti.
I hate my Ti.

Just got off the phone with Apple. They are declaring it a lemon and replacing it with a 1.25 ghz albook. Seems more sturdy.
8 Core 2.8 ghz Mac Pro/GF8800/2 23" Cinema Displays, 3.06 ghz Macbook Pro
Once you wanted revolution, now you're the institution, how's it feel to be the man?
     
forcelite
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Oct 28, 2003, 02:35 AM
 
I am glad to see so many switchers happy.

It really sux when you have your first experience turn bad with a company.

Stick with it if you can, cause overall Apple products rock.

BTW I currently use both PC and Apple. But I find myself on my PB 90% of the time.
Force
     
ruiner71
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Oct 28, 2003, 03:29 AM
 
I am so happy with my dinosaur- 667 PBG4 Titanium-still running 10.2 with no updates.
I use Palm for my contacts and calendars. The reason I have not updated to 10.2.2 or higher is because of the bug that crashes my system when I inserted a PC card adapter with a memory card that has images on it. Other than that it's been incredible-I got it last june or July. :-)
     
11011001
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Oct 28, 2003, 05:08 AM
 
Originally posted by mattcass:
2. 1 Ghz might not have been enough. I was typing up a presentation in Word today and the computer would stal when it did an auto-correction or formatting. Maybe I'll buy some more RAM, see what happens.
You probably have 256 MB of RAM right?

Ya, that isn't really enough. At a minimum, I would recommend 512 MB.

I had only 256 MB for the first week I had mine, and that was slow. Putting a GB in there really, really sped things up.
     
KP*
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Oct 28, 2003, 08:11 AM
 
Originally posted by forcelite:
I am glad to see so many switchers happy.

It really sux when you have your first experience turn bad with a company.
I switched last year with the purchase of a Power Mac. I've never been able to tell what exactly is wrong with it, but using it is like playing Russian roulette. I have to save my work after every change because I never know when the next click might be my last. Throughout my experience I've seen what Mac users love about it, but I haven't gotten to enjoy the legendary stability that made me want to switch in the first place.

Knowing that most users don't have the kind of issues I had, I eventually decided to stay "switched," and that when I needed to replace my Dell laptop it would be with a PowerBook. The week after the 15" came out, I got a job on a tour which would require me to use a laptop as my only computer for four months. At this point I couldn't conceive of being stuck with only a PC. So the day I was hired I went to the Apple Store to get a 15".

White spots and all, I love this thing. It's everything I always loved about using a Mac, plus I'm learning that I can trust it. I decided to be reckless and install Panther right before going on the road, and my experience has gotten even better. So this is just a long story about a somewhat disappointing switching experience that had a happy ending.
     
BenN
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Oct 28, 2003, 11:27 AM
 
My new PowerBook shipped on 9th October (ordered on September 20th), so it was waiting for me when I got back from holiday last week. I got the following: 15" 1.25GHz, 512MB RAM (single stick, plus another from Crucial), 80GB drive (5400rpm Hitachi), SuperDrive, AirPort Extreem etc.

I bought a first-gen 12" PowerBook as a stop gap in July, and sold it to fund the 15" model (which is what I was really after). The 12" is perfect for maximum mobility, so its great if you also have a desktop as well. But the 15" is more of a desktop replacement, which is what I needed.

Speed -
Compared to the 12" AlBook, it is very noticeably faster, in the Finder, iTunes visualization, and gaming (Neverwinter Nights). I've installed Final Cut Express & Soundtrack on it, but haven't put them through their paces yet on the 15". Of course, apart from the 30% faster CPU, the GPU is much better, and I've got more RAM (1GB vs. 640MB) and a faster HDD (5400rpm vs. 4200rpm). Installing Panther has had a further noticeable positive effect.

Screen -
Flawless. No dead/stuck pixels, no white blobs. Almost the first thing I did was check it with PiXel Check

I love the extra screen real-estate (1280x854 vs. 1024x768), and its a real boon for video editing, Photoshop, etc. Also, it turns out that 1280x854 is a native (i.e. supported) resolution in Neverwinter Nights! Yay!

Audio -
The speakers are great (for a laptop). Games & DVD watching (all I've tested so far) sound fantastic, very clear & loud.

Heat -
This was one of my pet-peeves about the 12" rev.A AlBook. It would get quite toasty, especially running CPU-intensive apps (like games or FCE), and the fan was quite loud. The 15", by contrast, stays remarkably cool to the touch on the wrist-pads, and only gets pretty warm near the function keys after extended use. The fan does kick-in for CPU-intensive usage, but its pretty quiet.

Warping -
None that I've noticed. My 12" started out level, but developed a slight warp that resulted in a wobble. The display is also flat, with none of the warping that others have described.

Latch -
Works fine, every time. Very classy, like closing the door of an expensive car.

Battery Life -
Not great (~2 hours), but I've gained an extra hour having installed Panther.

AirPort Reception -
About the same as the 12" AlBook. In other words, OK, but could be better.

Overall, I'm really, really happy with my new PowerBook. Sure, I've had to pay more for it compared to the 12" model, but it has none of the issues that the 12" had, and has some great features to boot - faster, larger display, FW800, PC card slot, back-lit keyboard, DVI-Out etc.

Now that I've got it, I can forgive the delay in delivery - hopefully that means that more early-production-run bugs got ironed-out by the time mine was built!
     
   
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