“Travel light and fast. The new PowerBooks.” Describes the Early 2005 1.5-1.67GHz 15″ and 17″ models with a mild speedbump from 2004. There wasn’t much of an improvement besides 2005 models having a stock 128MB ATi Radeon 9700 versus the 64/128MB option for 2004.
“Welcome to the W8 club” is a famous title for the 2005 PowerBook 17″ 1.67GHz models, as Apple’s new displays specific to the PowerBook G4 models with serials that started with W8. Similar to the iMac G5 iSight displays, the PowerBooks would get quite a few lines running vertically down the LCD. Apple never issued a recall on these, and the popular choice by owners to keep these machines running was to purchase a used display off a 1.0-1.5GHz PowerBook. The DLHR PowerBooks don’t seem to have this problem.
So, the actual PowerBook itself! It’s a funny story how I received it, there is this local Facebook group for my area where people (try) selling things. This lady had posted this PowerBook with lines all down the screen, wanting $125 OBO (posted June 15). I had offered $40 expecting to leave with it for $80. Nope, they were totally cool with $40. Got to their house and today (June 27) was their last day in my town before moving down the SoCal, so I lucked out! Went and picked it up, found out that it was a 1.67, 2GB Ram, 100GB HDD, 128MB Radeon 9700, and a few other things. A couple of things caught my eye, like the Refurb tag (refurbished by Apple in June 2005), and overall how clean the computer was. The original battery had 320 cycles yet had 46% capacity remaining, so my bet was it was a desk machine for pretty much most of it’s life and wasn’t around kids.
I did notice the F2 key didn’t work, which was semi-important to me for the brightness up. I removed the key and was trying to see if it was something I could fix, and twice I hit the F1 key and the display went dim entirely, so I found myself navigating the mouse with the flashlight on my iPhone. Ended up breaking F2, so a new top case will soon be ordered. On the bottom there are two missing screws along with two more in the battery compartment, so soon those will be ordered, and just to be on the safe side, a new battery will be ordered too.
My big issue with this laptop was the screen for sure. Yeah it’s usable and I spent most of my Friday getting Leopard all set up and whatnot on it, but the lines would annoy you to no end. I bit the bullet and spent $90 on a Grade A display that was the entire assembly. Could have ordered just the panel for $60 but I found it easier to get the entire enclosure so I wouldn’t need to mess around with tearing more crap apart. That will be here soon so expect an update with the install!
This is Mac #2 of 5 we have received this week so far.
Power Mac G5 2.7GHz
PowerBook G4 17″ 1.67GHz
iBook G4 14″ 1.42GHz
PowerBook G4 12″ 1.5GHz
Mac Mini 1.33GHz