Aluminum G4 Powerbook

Apple introduced a new line of PowerBook G4s in 2003. With aluminum cases the new notebooks, encouraging the new moniker "AlBook”, brought a different new design to the PowerBook G4 line. These Aluminum G4 Powerbook computers also laid down the groundwork for Apple’s notebook design for the next five years.

The Aluminum Powerbook G4 came in 12, 15 and 17-inch screens, replacing the earlier titanium models. While the titanium PowerBook G4s were competent of running Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X operating systems, the aluminum G4 PowerBooks could only boot in Mac OS X from startup.

The Aluminum G4 Powerbook was designed by Apple's Vice President of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive. He tried to use a fundamentally different design from the prior titanium models. The most apparent change was of course the use of aluminum for manufacturing the body. The keyboard, too, which was initially black, was changed to match the color of the body. In addition, the aluminum keyboard was backlit on the 17" model and on one of the 15" models. The design of Aluminum G4 Powerbook computers was considered far better and advanced. Consequently, Aluminum Powerbook G4 became one of the most desirable notebooks on the market.

However, there were a few quality issues related to the Aluminum G4 Powerbook. Many users encountered failure of the lower memory slot. Apple had then started a Repair Extension Program concerning the issue. Moreover there was also the "white spot" issue in the Aluminum Powerbook G4.

There has also been a rash of sudden and pervasive sleeping of 1.5 and 1.67 GHz models reporting, which is also known as Narcoleptic Aluminum Powerbook Syndrome. The warning signs include the PowerBook suddenly going sleep mode, even with a strong battery level. Ambient light sensing, associated instruction set coding and the keyboard backlight can be the possible causes. Another cause can be the track pad heat sensor monitoring.

To keep these problem at bay, replacing the motherboard or power converter are some options. But the actual solutions, depending on the model are to replace or remove the left or right ambient light sensors; and disconnect, remove, or replace the heat sensor.

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