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Apple PowerBook Laptop 15.2" M9969LL/A

Apple PowerBook Laptop 15.2" M9969LL/A (1.67 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, SuperDrive)

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Several updates, and a price break too4
In October 2005, Apple updated its Powerbook G4 15 & 17 inch models, for the first time, since late January 2005. Unfortunately, a faster processor was not included in the update. However, it was still a worthy update!

From when you first take this Powerbook out of the box, you are immediately impressed by its size, texture, sleekness, and overall clean design. The packaging is beautiful too, with the Powerbook comfortably nestled in, with all the accessories, and a packaging cover, which reads "Designed by Apple in California." If you've anxiously awaited the arrival of your Powerbook, you will not be disappointed, when you start to open it up! When you turn it on, you're quickly greeted my OS X, and the Powerbook experience continues...

Processor - The 15-inch Powerbook continues to be ran by a PowerPC G4 processor running at 1.67 GHZ. This processor is more than acceptable, for the vast majority of customers. It does a great job at daily computer tasks, and it is even very capable, for pretty intense photo work, and light video work. It is only unfortunate that we could not have seen a small boost to the processors, however, it was evidently not something feasible in this update, so Apple made up for it, with updates to other areas!

Screen Resolution - The biggest improvement to the 15-inch Powerbook is an increase in screen resolution. Simply, a higher resolution allows you to fit more data, onto your display, making you more productive. The display now sports a 1440x960 resolution display allowing you to fit more windows or more of your photograph, on the screen. A valuable asset.

Double Layer Superdrive - The Powerbook G4 now has superdrives (DVD burning capable) across the line. However, the 15 & 17 inch Powerbooks now sport double-layer super drives, which allows you to fit up to 8.5GB of data, on a single double layer disk. The drive's speed is still marketed as 8x.

Memory - The Powerbook continues to come standard, with 512 MB of memory, but new system architecture now makes use of DDR2 memory. The 15 & 17 inch Powerbooks can be user upgraded, to have a maximum of 2 GB of memory. If you're going to be using your Powerbook, for more than basic consumer tasks, you will want to add more memory.

Graphics - The 15-inch Powerbook now features 128MB of video memory standard, and the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 card allows you to connect your 15-inch Powerbook to beautiful, big, displays such as the Apple 30-inch cinema display.

Ports - The 15 inch Powerbooks have a great array of ports. Some of the very best in the industry. S-Video output, DVI output (plus a VGA adapter), Firewire 800, Firewire 400, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports, audio in, audio out, and a PC card slot. Whatever it is, you'll probably find a way to connect it to your Powerbook G4.

Mac OS X - If you're considering Macintosh for the first time, you're going to love the Mac operating system, Mac OS X Tiger. It is incredibly user friendly, and you'll quickly find the interface and design is saving you time. Furthermore, Mac OS X is much more secure than Windows, so you can put your mind at rest.

iLife - Although many power and professional users of a Powerbook are going to be using his or her Mac, for a lot of professional work, with professional applications, Apple still includes iLife with every Mac. iLife is a great way to manage your personal digital life. Store and manage your digital images in iPhoto, jam to music in iTunes, create music in Garageband, and create simple movies in iMovie.

Furthermore, there are convenient applications built right into the operating system such as Dashboard, iCal (a great calendar that syncs up with your external devices including iPod), Dictionary, Expose, Stickies, DVD Player, and more.

Appearance - The Aluminium enclosed Powerbook G4 may very well be the most beautiful notebook computer line ever made. It is an easy case to argue, for the sleek lines, and beautiful finish catches the eye of all who see it. Furthermore, it comes in light at 5.6 pounds.

Battery Life - In ideal conditions, the 15-inch Powerbook G4 now sports longer battery life, with up to 5.5 hours.

Wireless - Your 15-inch Powerbook will come standard, with an Airport Extreme card, for wireless networking. Furthermore, a bluetooth module is included, allowing you to use wireless devices, such as keyboards and mice, plus sync devices such as a mobile phone.

Value - The increased value of this updated Powerbook G4 is one of the things that make it very appealing. Apple previously offered two 15-inch models: one, for approximately two-thousand dollars, and one for approximately three-hundred more. The higher end had more features. Those features have now been made standard on the 15-inch model (improved in some areas), but yet the price now starts at where the low-end used to be. That makes this Powerbook a great value.

Overall, Apple has put great new features, in this update to the 15-inch Powerbook G4. You'll find yourself more productive with its high-resolution display, double layer superdrive, and fantastic video output options, with its capable video card. The Powerbook G4 15-inch is a fully-capable and feature-rich professional notebook computer. If you choose it as your notebook computer, you will no doubt benefit from its performance, reliability, and simplicity of design.

Fantastic Machine5
I am a convert. Last December I made the switch from a Dell X300 PC laptop to my first Apple computer, a Powerbook G4 12". The one thing I knew I was giving up on was weight: The Powerbook 12"'s weight is acceptable but not great. This was -the- deciding factor against a larger Powerbook.

Overall, I was super-happy with it, except that I had a couple of hardware problems: Within 60 days of my purchase my hard drive died and had to be replaced. Later on, I started to have system crashes intermittently when connecting the computer to an external DVI monitor while in sleep mode and then bringing it up from sleep. (I have yet to find a web thread addressing this issue, but I do know other people with this problem.)

The one thing that kept disappointing me was the screen. Even though I have 19" flat panel displays both at home and at work, I do use the laptop standalone often, and 12" just wasn't cutting it for me. Another thing I regretted was not getting a SuperDrive, which would have allowed me to make family DVDs for example. Yet another thing was the fact that in low light conditions (e.g., in bed) I just couldn't see the keyboard. Some Thinkpads have a very cool blue light coming out of the top of the display that illuminates the keyboard but the Powerbook 12" didn't have any such thing. Finally, I felt the disk was too slow to allow efficient use of FileVault (on-the-fly encryption/decryption of your files which I find extremely important to feel good about traveling everywhere with sensitive job information).

Then a grad student of mine showed me the 15" he had just bought. As I lifted it, I was surprised that the extra 1lb was barely noticeable.

Shortly after, when Apple released the new wave of Powerbooks, I grabbed this baby. I did order a couple of upgrades: 1GB on a single DIMM (now I think two DIMMs would have worked just fine) and a 7200rpm disk to help with FileVault. I transferred all my data from the 12" (this was a breeze by the way) and have been using it ever since (disclaimer: ever since = 1 week).

All I can say is that this is an awesome machine. The display is so bright, contrasty, colorful, wide! The keyboard is comfortable (softer keys, though, which I initially resented) and is automatically backlit when ambient light is poor. (The display's brightness is adjusted as well.) The full-size DVI connector also gets rid of that ridiculous dongle I had to endure with the 12" (a VGA monitor/projector still requires an adapter). I am also surprised at the duration of the battery for such a "powerhouse," I suppose it has to do mainly with the fact that the processor is under 2GHz but I have no data to back this up. I am assuming my 7200rpm is eating up some battery time but it still is quite decent.

Overall, I highly recommend this computer.

Horizontal Lines on PowerBooks.4
It's really disappointing and annoying this issue with horizontal lines that plagues the new Apple Powerbooks, especially the models with a 15" screen.
The new Apple Powerbook is a great, if not, an almost-perfect machine. It could be perfectly use as a desktop replacement, being powerful enough for most people to do their work and their normal everyday tasks.

The horizontal lines are barely noticeable under normal work, web browsing, emailing and word processing. When you get into graphics, picture editing or video editing, you do really see the lines, especially running across faces if you're working with pictures. This problem is a major problem for those of us who take our display seriously. If you're a professional photographer who relies on their Powerbook to work and make money, you will find that your job will be greatly obstructed and you will become frustrated with this growing problem. Heck, you don't even have to be a professional photographer or a graphics or web designer. Even the average Joe who uses their Powerbook for photo editing for his own family picture will notice these lines, supposing Mr. Joe has at least a bit of attention for detail.

I believe Apple should fix this problem as quickly as possible, and so do think many, many other unhappy new Powerbook owners. When you're paying almost $2,000 for a notebook computer, you expect a great, non-defective, quality product. You don't expect to have problems with the most important part of the notebook - the screen. The screen is what you use the most on a laptop, isn't it?

Some people claim that they do not have the lines. Please, look a little closer, look at different pictures and shades of color. I've noticed that full colors don't display the horizontal lines. I did not seem them in dark colors, like red, blue or black, but do appear on gray, light blue (Tiger's default wallpaper), and earth-like colors. Other people argue that the lines are barely noticeable - Yes, this is exactly what I thought, until I did something different than web browsing and emailing on it. Try looking at family pictures or editing some video - Then you will notice a difference if you have a flawed display.

Other than the horizontal screen problem, the Powerbook is an excellent computer. Having owned one for nearly a week and being this my first laptop, I'll say I'm mostly pleased with it. I really like the display resolution, the widescreen, the backlit keyboard. The speakers also sound pretty decent compared to other notebooks on the market. The computer feels fast enough for most of my everyday tasks, which are web browsing, emailing, light photo editing, some gaming, some video editing and listening to music. Another minor annoyance is the strength of the Airport Express card. I have compared my reception to my girlfriend's Dell, and where she gets 5 full bars, I get 4 and sometimes oscillates between 3 and 4.

The battery on my PowerBook was also dead on arrival when I received it. It wouldn't charge at all. A quick call to Apple and the customer service representative acknowledged the problem and quickly set me up to send me a replacement battery. Within 48 hours of that call, I had a new, working battery in my doorstep. I sent back my dead battery in the pre-paid box and didn't even have to step out of my house because it was picked up.

I hope the horizontal screen problem is as easy as a software update or firmware update. If it's a hardware issue, I hope Apple recognizes fault for shipping a defective display and offers a replacement display, free of charge, to affected users.

It's not a perfect computer, at least not yet, but a very nice computer compared to what's in the market now.

About Apple PowerBook Laptop 15.2" M9969LL/A (1.67 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, SuperDrive) detail

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1444 in Personal Computers
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: M9969LL/A
  • Platform: Mac OS X
  • Dimensions: 9.50" h x 1.10" w x 13.70" l, 5.60 pounds
  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1.67 GHz
  • Memory: 512MB SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 80GB
  • Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128MB
  • Processors: 1
  • Networking: 10-Mbps/100-Mbps/1-Gbps Ethernet
  • Native resolution: 1440-by-960
  • Display size: 15.2
  • Included Software: iLife '05 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand), Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive, Zinio Reader, Art Directors Toolkit, FileMaker Pro Trial, GraphicConverter, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, QuickBooks For Mac New User Edition, and Apple Hardware Test


  • 15.2-inch (diagonal), 1440 x 960 resolution, TFT widescreen display
  • 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with 167 MHz system bus
  • 512 MB DDR SDRAM, 80 GB hard drive, slot-loading 8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • One FireWire 400, one FireWire 800, two USB 2.0 ports, and Type I/II PC Card slot
  • Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ethernet, 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and 56K V.92 modem

Apple PowerBook Laptop 15.2" M9969LL/A (1.67 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, SuperDrive) Description

Housed in a sleek, lightweight enclosure, the PowerBook G4 makes the perfect travel companion. But don't let the good looks fool you: it also packs a powerful punch.The PowerBook G4 is a study in power and functionality, that's a pleasure to open in public. The PowerBook G4 notebook introduces a higher-resolution display, longer battery life and a host of features that keep it high on the wish list of every pro. And with its low prices, your wish is more affordable than ever before!

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