Onyx: TiBook the Sequel

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

With the recent speculation that next week’s Macworld Expo may feature mostly new desktop Macintosh hardware announcements – like Titan, the new G4, and Tessera, the new iMac – I have be inundatated with email wondering about the status of Apple’s three new PowerBooks currently on the docket: iBook Dual USB in colors (IBC), Son of Pismo and Onyx, the updated TiBook.


With the recent speculation that next week’s Macworld Expo may feature mostly new desktop Macintosh hardware announcements – like Titan, the new G4, and Tessera, the new iMac – I have be inundatated with email wondering about the status of Apple’s three new PowerBooks currently on the docket: iBook Dual USB in colors (IBC), Son of Pismo and Onyx, the updated TiBook.

Details are sketchy as ever but new information suggests that only one PowerBook may make it to The Big Dance next week. Two sources have told me that both the IBC and SOP boxes are not going to grace the stage on Wednesday and that instead Apple will announce Onyx as the only new PowerBook. The logic is that they need to rev the TiBook to add combo drive (DVD/CD-RW) functionality to get the “professional” model up to par with the “consumer” model that costs half as much.

Further support of an Onyx announcement is Apple’s promotion bundling a free CD-RW drive with each TiBook purchase and the fact that Apple is offering the TiBook 500 MHz to employees for the low low price of only US$2799 via their internal quarterly promotion.

Onyx will reportedly include a slot-loading DVD/CD-RW combo drive and get a speed bump to 500 and 600 MHz IBM PPC 7410 (G4). To distinguish Onyx from the original TiBook Apple is reportedly considering a variant of black for the color. A quick browse of our favorite dictionary site reveals that synonyms for Onyx include: atramentous, ebony, inky, jet, jetty, pitch-black, pitch-dark, raven, sable.

Hmmm… the thick plottens.

(Psst: conspiracy theorists should note that Onyx.com is already owned by a CRM software company with no [apparent] ties to Cupertino – or at least that is what they would like us to believe…)

Ok, so what about the possibility of a Dual G4 TiBook you ask? The reality is that although Dual TiBooks (as opposed to Ti2, which is Onyx) have been spotted here and there I have been told that they may either be fakes, a clever part of Apple’s mis-information campaign, or simply technology demos to see how such a unit would perform.

The Go2Mac thinking is that Dual TiBooks (insert clever code-name here) are still a ways off, if they ever get released, for the simple reasons of power consumption and heat dissipation. I could make breakfast on the bottom of my TiBook right now (did you know that Titanium is conveniently non-stick?) and can imagine how hot a dual processor version would get. And battery drain? Fah-get-aboud-it! My current Ti 500 can barely make it through the night without draining a full battery while asleep in OS X.

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