12″ PowerBook G4 (Late 2003)

After eight months at 867 MHz, Apple speed bumped the little AlBook to 1 GHz and upgraded video with the Nvidia GeForce FX Go5200 graphics processor. The 12″ PowerBook G4 also catches up with the rest of the line by adding DVI support (with a mini-DVI to DVI adapter) while moving to an optional accessory for S-video support.

12" PowerBook G4The 1 GHz 12″ PowerBook officially supports a 1 GB upgrade for up to 1.25 GB of RAM. Other features include built-in Bluetooth and support for “five times faster” 802.11g AirPort Extreme.

In many respects, it’s more like an aluminum-clad iBook with a G4 than a low-end PowerBook, including no support for gigabit ethernet.

The 12″ PowerBook G4 had the third-smallest footprint of any Apple notebook to date at 93.74 square inches, beat out by the PowerBook 2400c (89.25 square inches) and barely edged out by the PowerBook 100 (93.50 square inches). It had the lowest total volume of any Mac ‘Book until the MacBook Air was introduced in 2008.


  • introduced 2003.09.16 at US$1,599 (Combo) and US$1,799 (SuperDrive); replaced by 1.33 GHz model 2004.04.19
  • Requires Mac OS X 10.2.7 through 10.5 Leopard
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz G4 (7457)
  • Bus: 133 MHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 522
  • ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
  • RAM: 256 MB, expandable to 1.25 using PC2100 DDR SDRAM memory
  • Level 2 cache: 512 KB at CPU speed
  • Level 3 cache: none
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce FX Go5200
  • VRAM: 32 MB
  • Video out: mini-DVI (supports DVI and VGA with adapters)
  • display: 12.1″ 24-bit 1024 x 768 106 ppi color active matrix. Supports resolution scaling for 800 x 600 and 640 x 480. Supports to 2048 x 1536 on external display.
  • Hard drive: 40 GB 4200 RPM Ultra ATA/100
  • Optical drive: Combo drive or 2x SuperDrive
  • floppy drive: external USB only
  • expansions bays: none
  • USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire: 1 FW400 port
  • IR port: none
  • Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
  • Modem: v.92 56k
  • WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme optional
  • Bluetooth 1.1: built in
  • PC Card slots: none
  • size: 8.6″ x 10.9″ x 1.18″ (219 x 277 x 30 mm)
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg)

Online Resources


  • Note that some vendors are substituting PC2700 RAM for PC2100 modules. You can’t use both types of RAM in the same machine, and since onboard RAM is PC2100, you cannot use PC2700 in this ‘Book.
  • Portable Computers: Models Which Do Not Have a Backup Battery notes the iBook has no backup battery to retain time and other settings when the main battery is removed. A small capacitor holds enough energy to maintain PRAM contents for 20 seconds, so switch batteries quickly.

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