by August 10, 2001 0 comments

The iBook is to the PowerBook, what the iMac is to the
PowerMac. If you observe, Apple has products in two segments, entry level and high end, both of which are for the desktop as well as mobile users. The iBook is meant for entry-level mobile users, and does a pretty good job at it.

The iBook is a little thicker than the PowerBook, but appreciably smaller in length and width

Apple iBook

Price: Rs 97,000 for G3/500, 10 GB HDD, 64 MB RAM, and CD drive; Rs 136,700 with 128 MB RAM, DVD drive and
Features: Built-in V.90 56 kbps modem, 10/100 Ethernet, FireWire and USB ports
Pros: Small size, lots of bundled software
Cons: None
Contact: Apple Computer International. Tel: 080-5550575. 5th Floor, Du Parc Trinity, 17,
M.G. Road, Bangalore 560001. 

Previous iBooks from Apple had more designer appeal to them. They had flashy colors and a rounded design. However, the new iBook has more of a boxy design. While the PowerBook is extremely slim and flattened out, the iBook is a little thicker, but appreciably smaller in length and width. This makes it an ideal traveling companion. In fact, it is quite in line with many of the Intel platform-based ultra-slim notebooks. It weighs close to 2.2 kg.

The new iBook comes with a 500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 128 MB SDRAM and an 8 MB VRAM ATI RAGE Mobility 128 graphics accelerator. It has a 12.1” TFT XGA active-matrix display and supports a maximum resolution of 1024X768 pixels. It has a 10 GB Ultra ATA IBM hard drive and you can choose between a CD drive, CD-RW, or a DVD drive. The CD drive model ships with 64 MB RAM, expandable to 512 MB. Its power house is a Lithium-ion battery that lasts for around 4.5 hours between charges. It also has built-in speakers that pack quite a punch and clarity for their small size.

One convenient feature is that all ports are located on the left side of the notebook, and not on the rear panel. These include a phone line connection to the internal 56 kbps V.90 modem, an RJ45 jack for the built-in 10/100 BASE-T network card, a FireWire port for connecting high-bandwidth devices, two USB ports, a VGA-out port and an AV connector. The VGA-out can be connected to an external monitor or LCD projector. The AV port can send composite video output to an ordinary TV.

The iBook comes with a host of bundled utilities like most other Apple systems we’ve reviewed in the recent past. It ships with Mac OS 9.1, i-Tunes software, i-Movie2, AppleWorks 6 and three games–Bugdom, Nanosaur and Cro-Mag Rally. i-Tunes keeps all your music in one place, rips CD tracks and even burn your music tracks onto CD-RWs. i-Movie2 is a proven video-editing package, popular with novices and professionals alike.

The notebook is available in two models, one with 64 MB RAM and CD drive and the other with 128 MB RAM and a DVD and CD-RW drive. Both have a G3/500 processor and 10 GB hard drive. Its pricing is also attractive at Rs 97,000 for the former and Rs 136,700 for the latter. Surely a good buy at this price.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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