15″ PowerBook G4 (Late 2003)

A little bit bigger and heavier than its Titanium predecessor, the Late 2003 15″ PowerBook G4 is clad in aluminum, runs faster (at 1.0 and 1.25 GHz), gains USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 support, and includes the same 1280 x 854 15.2″ display as earlier models. The hinge design now matches that of the 12″ and 17″ PowerBooks, and ports are now on the side instead of in the back.

15" PowerBook G4Bluetooth support is built into the Aluminum PowerBooks, and both models support 802.11g AirPort Extreme, which offers 5x the wireless bandwidth of the earlier AirPort protocol. The 1.25 GHz model includes AirPort Extreme as a standard feature and has the same illuminated keyboard first seen on the 17″ PowerBook G4. The SuperDrive on the faster PowerBook officially supports 2x DVD burning, twice as fast as on the Titanium PowerBook.

Graphics performance is improved with the Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics processor and 64 MB of video memory. Memory is PC2700, and Apple officially supports configurations to 2 GB. Battery life is rated at 4.5 hours.

Closed Lid Mode: G4 PowerBooks support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions. The TiBook is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in closed lid mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.


  • Nicknames: AlBook, FW800
  • introduced 2003.09.16 at US$1,999 (1 GHz/Combo) and US$2,599 (1.25 GHz/SuperDrive); replaced by 1.33 and 1.5 GHz models 2004.04.19
  • model numbers: M8980, M8981
  • Requires Mac OS X 10.2.7 through 10.5 Leopard
  • CPU: 1.0/1.25 GHz G4 (7457)
  • Bus: 167 MHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 556 (1.0 GHz), 688 (1.25 GHz)
  • ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
  • RAM: 256/512 MB, expandable to 2 GB using two PC2700 DDR SDRAM modules
  • Level 2 cache: 512 KB at CPU speed
  • Level 3 cache: none
  • Video: ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 AGP4x
  • VRAM: 64 MB
  • Video out: S-video and DVI connectors (VGA supported with adapter)
  • display: 15.2″ (38 cm) 24-bit 1280 x 854 101 ppi color active matrix
    supports 1152 x 768, 896×600, and 720×480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio
    allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode
  • Hard drive: 60/80 GB 4200 RPM Ultra ATA/100
  • Optical drive: 8x24x24x CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive or 2x8x16x4x24x SuperDrive
  • floppy drive: external USB only
  • expansions bays: none
  • USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire: 1 FW400 port, 1 FW800 port
  • IR port: none
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • Modem: v.92 56k
  • AirPort Extreme: included on 1.25 GHz model, optional on 1 GHz
  • Bluetooth: Built in
  • PC Card slots: 1
  • size: 9.5 x 13.7 x 1.1″ (241 x 348 x 28 mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 pounds (2.5 kg)

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