Macworld SF01: Mercury Specs Surface

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive


SAN FRANCISCO — It’s official, I think that I have the Devil’s cold.

Barely off the jetway from a decidedly uneventful flight from PHL to SFO I received an urgent phone call that went something like this: “Didya see MacEdition? They’ve got the Mercury specs posted.” My reply, a simple “No, I still have to find my bags, but I’ll check it out when I get to the hotel.”

After realizing the Eagles did, in fact, lose yesterday, instead of being the horrible nightmare I was expecting to wake up from, I rubbed my eyes and decided to hunt for my bags, a cup of tea and an analgesic to take the edge off things a bit.

After checking in at my beautiful hotel (featuring an in-room ‘Nature’s Soothing Sounds Machine,’ no less) I dialed up the ‘Edition to see what those wacky kids had up their sleeves.

Dubbed the PowerBook G4, this thin titanium beastie is only about one inch thick (as well as 13.4″ wide and 9.5″ deep ? mercifully not as deep as contemporary ?Books, but wider!) and tipping the scales at barely more than five pounds, with a 15.2-inch display. A full inch more!

There ought to be room for 1 gigabyte of RAM and a 30-gigabyte hard drive. The speed will top out at 500MHz, but the G4, it will be claimed, will top Pentium III notebooks by some 30%. Oddly, there are claims that Mercury will have 4MB/second infrared (why? does anyone use this?) and incredibly enough, the 15.2-inch display will have a resolution of up to 1152 x 768. Wowzers, will that fit in my Jack Spade bag?

I’ve got to hand it to them, everything matches up pretty closely with the rumblings we’ve heard – except for that 4 Mbps Infrared thing. Anyone have the scoop on that? Email me at the war room if you have any real juice, or the usual places if you just want to weigh in with an opinion. Also, I will personally award a vintage PowerPage embroidered denim oxford button-down shirt to the first person that sends us real pictures of Mercury.

Ok, I am getting primed for a quick tour of Moscone and to take a peek around the show floor a bit. A Tazo Calm Herbal Infusion and some anti-oxidant nutrients should fix me right up.

More soon…

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