Apple introduces new PowerBooks, but they’re G4-based.

Apple’s new PowerBooks are nifty, no doubt, but so were the last batch, and it’s hard to argue that these new ones have been worth the wait. With a top of the line speed increase from 1.5-GHz to 1.67-GHz, the new PowerBooks might benchmark better, but not by the orders of magnitude that would spur large sales. Otherwise, your nifty new features are BlueTooth 2.0—only usable by some of the PowerBook-toting contingent—and a hard drive safety feature than parks the drive heads if the Powerbook is dropped (a technology perhaps licensed from IBM who has been touting it in their ThinkPads). There are a couple of build-to-order options that are new (like the availability of a 100-GB hard drive), but again nothing to make the masses fly online or to Apple retail stores.

So Mystic, my 15″ G4 1.5-GHz PowerBook, and I are feeling somewhat relieved. It’s always painful when the technology you’ve spent big dollars on gets surpassed. Undeniably that’s what happened today, but it’s also clear that Mystic is still very much in the running as a viable top-of-the-line Apple portable, and that for those many who clamor for a G5 PowerBook, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say those units will show up sometime in the late summer.