|[10:00 AM] MACWORLD Tokyo - iBooks To Come With More RAM & A 366 MHz Graphite Model Hits The Street
Apple has introduced new versions of the iBook, Apple enormously successful consumer portable. The company has announced that the Blueberry and Tangerine models will now come standard with 64 MB of RAM and larger hard drives. More importantly, Apple has announced a new Graphite iBook that includes a faster processor. According to Apple:
In a move to make the best selling consumer portable in the U.S.* even better, Apple® today introduced an enhanced iBook lineup, including the debut of iBook Special Edition. Featuring double the memory and hard drive size, all three new iBook models come standard with 64MB of memory and a 6GB hard drive. iBook Special Edition features a faster 366 MHz PowerPC G3 processor and, like iMac DV Special Edition, comes in a stunning Graphite-color enclosure.
Like the original iBook, the new models offer all-day battery life of up to six hours and support for Apples revolutionary AirPort wireless networking for cable-free Internet access. The new iBook line retains its stunning design, which includes a rubber-coated translucent enclosure, a pullout handle for safe carrying, and a unique closing mechanism without latches.
iBook and iBook Special Edition features include:
- A brilliant 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT SVGA display with millions of colors at 800x600 resolution;
- A built-in 56K modem and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet;
- Instant Internet access with a free 30-day trial with EarthLink;
- 24x-speed CD-ROM drive;
- A USB port for peripherals such as printers, input and storage devices;
- Mac® OS 9, featuring 9 Internet power tools;
- ATI RAGE Mobility graphic controller featuring AGP 2X support and 4MB of SDRAM;
- Innovative power adapter whose cord winds up like a YoYo; and
- Built-in stereo headphone jack.
Pricing and Availability
All three models are available immediately through Apple Authorized Resellers and The Apple Store (www.apple.com). iBook, available in Blueberry and Tangerine, is priced at US$1,599. iBook Special Edition is priced at US$1,799.
*According to PC Data's Portables Hardware Tracking Service (October-December 1999).
The Apple Store is all set with the new iBooks, so go check it out.
The Mac Observer Spin: Of all of Apple's new product announcements, the new iBooks are the most under-whelming. It is a very good thing that they come with 64 MB of RAM, but that should have been the case when they were announced. We would have liked to see the Blueberry and Tangerine models get some sort of speed bump. The original models were introduced 7 months ago, and were slightly anemic at 300 MHz then. 366 MHz Blueberry/Tangerine units and a 400 MHz Graphite model would have been perfect.
In some ways, the company is being hobbled by the lack of true speed increases on the high end. With PowerBooks coming in two models, 400 MHz and 500 MHz, it is possible that they feel there needs to be more differentiation between the PowerBooks and their consumer cousins. If Apple could offer a 600 MHz or 650 MHz PowerBook, that would give them more marketing room in the iBook arena. This could explain the puzzling lack of FireWire in the units too.
Speaking of Graphite iBooks, this is a great move on Apple's part. The company is essentially duplicating the phenomenal success of the iMac DV SE, as well they should. That model has sold in huge numbers and essentially people are paying an extra US$200 for the color and an extra 64 MB of RAM. Some may argue, and in fact many already are, that there is not enough extra in the Graphite iBook to warrant the US$200, but we think that is not the case. The color and the faster processor will combine to make the Graphite iBook sell like, uhh... iBooks. It would have been a nice touch if the company had replaced the white part of the casing with a light gray, but this product is still going to be enormously successful.