PowerBook G4 Takes Wing

Not even two years old yet, the PowerBook G4 is growing long-in-the-tooth and ready for an overhaul. And what an overhaul it’s going to be!

The Rumor Mill

The new TiBook, its announcement delayed until after Tuesday’s elections, sprouts wings – almost literally. I’ll be the first to call it the WingBook, because in addition to the spectacular 1280 x 854 screen used on the latest generation TiBooks, the new PowerBook G4 will include two additional fold-out 640 x 854 screens. You really have to see it to believe it, and our mockup photo doesn’t really do it justice. (The real WingBook will be gold plated Titanium.)

PowerBook G4 WingBook

You ain’t seen “megawide” until you’ve seen this baby, and serious gamers will appreciate the ability to better immerse themselves in the game world thanks to the outrigger screens.

The WingBook will be thicker than the current model – 1.2″ to provide room for the additional displays to fold beneath the main screen. The hinges for the displays will also increase the width of the PowerBook G4 by 0.2″ and add a bit of weight (our sources had no weight figures).

This will also eliminate the problem with fingerprint oils from the keyboard messing up the screen.

For improved AirPort reception, which has been the TiBook’s Achilles heal, there will be an antenna in each of the screens on the side.

Following the model set by the Power Mac G4, the WingBook will come in three different versions. The base model will have the same 800 MHz G4 processor as today’s top-end machine, the intermediate model will include a 1 GHz G4, and the new top of the line will contain a pair of 800 MHz G4 processors.

Yes, the rumor mongers are right, this sweetheart will have a SuperDrive – but as an option on the entry-level model to keep that price “reasonable.”

Besides gaming, the “wings” can be used for palettes, to hold IM clients, to keep email or some other app away from other projects, etc. And if all that isn’t enough, the WingBook still supports an external monitor, which can either mirror the primary display or act as a fourth screen for the power user.

Unofficially, Steve Jobs says that if you can’t afford a personal jet, you can’t afford the new WingBook, so don’t bother asking about the price. However, every Windows laptop user will be “jealous as Dell” when they see you unfold the screen on this screamer.

The single-display TiBook will stay in the line for those whose budgets are more down to earth. Sources say you may have to wait until April 1, 2003 before the WingBook leaves the nest.

– Anne Onymus


Update: I must have been on to something here. Six years later, in December 2008, MacLife featured the “Apple TriBook” on its website. The image was created by kromekat and first posted on December 3, 2008. I think we should call him kopykat! Yes, he did a much better job rendering a triple-screen MacBook than my meager Photoshop skills could create. But remember, you heard of it here first! AO

Apple TriBook concept by kromekat

Apple TriBook concept by kromekat ©2008

Online Discussion

We always find it interesting to read what others think of our hare-brained ideas. We sure had fun creating the mockup image.

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