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What You Need to Know About Apple PowerBook G4 Laptops

The PowerBook G4 is a line of notebook computers produced by Apple between 2001 and 2006. The PowerBook series was aimed at the professional market and thus allows you to perform business and work functions on the go. The laptops are made with an industrial design and a PowerPC G4 architecture.

What is the PowerPC G4?

The PowerPC G4 is a type of 32-bit single-core processor produced by Motorola and Freescale. The official name for the processor is the PowerPC 74xx. The PowerPC architecture is a type of processor known as a reduced instruction set computer. This means it requires fewer instruction sets to complete a given amount of work, which is different from a highly specialized and complex instruction set computer. The clock speed of the G4 can range anywhere between 400 MHz for the lower PowerBook models to 1.67 GHz for the higher-end PowerBook models.

What are some features of the PowerBook G4?

The PowerBook G4 laptop has two main designs. Between 2001 and 2002, the PowerBook was made with a titanium body, a translucent black keyboard, a front-mounted slot-loading drive, and a 15.2-inch display. Between 2003 and 2005, the PowerBook laptop was made with an aluminum body, an aluminum-colored keyboard, and a SuperDrive. The G4 screen size ranged between 12.1 inches and 17 inches, depending on the model. Certain models contain an ATI Radeon graphics card, while others contain NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. The PowerBook G4 also comes equipped with the following features:

  • Two USB 1.1 or 2.0 ports
  • A Firewire 400 or Firewire 800 port
  • PC Card I/II support
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • An audio output mini-jack
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • An Ethernet port
  • A 56k modem
  • A hard drive

The video output may vary based on the model. The PowerBook titanium model has two different video output ports: S-video and either VGA or DVI. The aluminum PowerBook models initially featured a mini-VGA or DVI port. However, later models replaced the mini-VGA with a mini-DVI port. DVI is a digital display interface, whereas VGA is an analog interface. The aluminum models also feature Bluetooth 1.1 or 2.0 connectivity.

Which operating system does the Apple PowerBook G4 use?

The titanium PowerBook G4 models initially ran on the Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" operating system. They also support Mac OS 9.2.2, which was the final release of the classic Mac OS operating system. For the final few titanium models, Apple switched to the Mac OS X 10.5.8 "Leopard" operating system. The aluminum models continued to support Leopard until the entire PowerBook line was discontinued. The Leopard operating system is equipped with network file sharing, Photo Booth, the Spotlight search feature, and the Safari 3 web browser. It was the final version of the Mac OS X operating system to support PowerPC architectures, so the PowerBook cannot be upgraded beyond this version.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Apple.
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