New PowerBook in January

1999 – What better way to launch a new rumor site than with the scoop on the long-anticipated next (and maybe final) retooling of the PowerBook G3 expected at Macworld Expo in January.

Okay, everyone expects it, but Apple’s going to do something so radical it will make the iMac look beige.

Other rumor sites call it Pismo, but it’s going to be a cobranded model that will make John Dvorak lose his lunch – the PowerBook Pepto-Bismol.

That’s right, this PowerBook G3 (yes, the official name will still be PowerBook G3 – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!) will be a true speed demon, available at 500 MHz, and maybe even faster. It’ll help you avoid an upset stomach by letting you work faster than any portable computer in the world.

The PB P-B will come in shocking pink, a color that has brought great success to the Mattel toy company and its Barbie line. It’s also the color of Pepto-Bismol, the stuff you take for an upset tummy.

But there will be more innovations than just another garish Apple color scheme. The PB2 will have an ultrafast FireWire-native hard drive, 128 MB of memory (who cares about cost!), and dual AirPort slots for twice the bandwidth.

Bucking all trends on the Wintel side of the industry, the PB2 will be even larger and more rugged than the already oversized iBook. In fact, the PB2 takes a page from the past – I believe there was an HP laptop that had a full sized keyboard, including Fn keys, navigation keys, and a numeric keypad.

That’s right, folks, the Apple Extended Keyboard is back, this time housed in an extra-wide pink laptop. No need to put up with small arrow keys. The forward-delete key will be back. No more tiny keys!

Best of all, when Dvorak and his ilk call it a girlie computer, you can just smack ’em with the 11.3 pound behemoth. It’s designed to take that kind of abuse.

Price? If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Steve Jobs has been so successful selling against the market ($1,200 iMac vs. $400 PCs) that the $6,500 price tag should make the PB2 Apple’s biggest success since the iCEO ousted Gil Amelio.

 – Anne Onymus

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