Is the 12" G4 the New Modern-Day 'Pismo' PowerBook?
Silver is the New Black in Apple's Bushel of Powerhouse Holdovers

by Joe Leo, Columnist February 28, 2007

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What's so great about these 12" machines? Well, they're small, compact, light, and ultra-portable. I'm not going to go into detail about that because I've already written about this many times over in previous articles (which you can go read after this). You know, the machine I just got in September that finally replaced my Pismo?

(I'm not just the president of the club, I'm a client. Whatever that balding guy used to say in the "Hair Club for Men" commercial that used to be on TV in the early 90s).

Just go onto eBay yourself and see how these things are selling. For once, the mini anodized aluminum contraptions that are selling like hotcakes aren't iPods for a change.

Will this fever last? I don't think so. With the rumors abounding--not to mention the article I just wrote yesterday on the topic--when and if Apple does release a compact MacBook Pro, or whatever it turns out to be, I'm sure people will jump and make the leap to those new machines, ditching their 12" PowerBooks in an instant.

It's akin to the 14" iBook of yesteryear. People liked the 12" iBook but thought there was something missing in between that and the 15" PowerBook. So, Apple responded with? The "Son of Pismo"-- the code name for the 14" iBook. (Though I don't think the 14" iBook sold as well as expected for a few reasons we won't get into here).

Funny isn't it? That's why Apple got rid of the 12" PowerBook and 14" iBook, thinking that the 13" MacBook would serve as a go-between for both which would satisfy everyone. But now that the customers have spoken, we might be seeing the return of the 12-inch portable because people feel that 13" is too big and that something in the product line-up is missing again.

Even funnier is the newest rumor (are you surprised?), as discussed in depth last week by fellow columnist Charles W. Moore, the fact that now people want a mid-size MacBook to fall in between the 13" model and the high-end 15" MacBook Pro. A new 15" MacBook? We'll see about that one. Our bets are on the 12" MacBook Pro coming out before a 15" MacBook ever does.

The high-end 12" PowerBook model was released in 2005 with 1.5 GHz processors. Will this model last for seven years until 2012 and be a holdover like the Pismo? In a way, yes, for those that like to hang on to things forever. But as a machine suitable for "everyday tasks," very highly unlikely considering how fast chip makers like Intel are progressing these days. I say another two years, tops. Don't forget too, that Apple has declared the G4 "dead." [SEE RELATED ARTICLE]

But for today at least, the here and now, it seems the Pismo has been knocked out of the ring, and the Thresher is the new champion who's here to stay... that is, until the son of Thresher is born!

(Don't tell me you didn't know the code name of your favorite little PowerBook. And no it wasn't "Al." Silly).

[Wait, there's an idea. They should code name the new compact notebook "Raider." Al Davis, silver and black, Oakland Raiders? Never mind. Just a little homage to anyone in the Bay Area reading this. Apple is in Cupertino which is in the Bay Area anyway, so it wouldn't be a long shot. Now who's being silly?]

**Note: thanks to for providing that last piece of information, the nickname of our favorite little 12-incher.

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