Apple Drops iBook Price To US$999, Adds QuartzExtreme Support, Faster Processors

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Apple has updated both the iBook and PowerBook G4 product lines (see our full coverage of the PowerBook updates for more information). The company has reduced prices across the board on the iBook line, added faster processors, and perhaps more importantly to many users, upgraded the video card to the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500, which includes support for Appleis much heralded QuartzExtreme technology. The new video cards come with either 16 MB or 32 MB of RAM.

New pricing for the iBook starts the consumer portable at less than US$1000 for the first time ever, at US$999. The midrange unit is priced at US$1299, and the high-end 14.1" iBook is price at US$1599. Apple also upgraded the processors, with the low end model offering a 700 MHz G3, and the midrange and high end units sporting an 800 MHz G3. From Apple:

Apple® today updated its popular iBook™ line of portables with faster PowerPC G3 processors running at up to 800 MHz and the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics for stunning 3D gaming performance. Weighing as little as 4.9 pounds, the iBook now starts at only US$999, making it more affordable than ever.

In addition to faster processors, the iBook now provides incredible graphics performance with the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor and up to 32MB of dedicated memory. All of the new iBook models take advantage of Quartz™ Extreme which uses the graphics engine to relieve the PowerPC processor of screen calculations to dramatically improve overall system performance and make the graphical user interface more responsive. For all-day mobile use, the new iBook also offers industry-leading battery life of up to six hours.

Offering the latest in communications, all iBook models come with built-in antennas and an AirPort® Card slot for 802.11-based wireless communications at up to 11 megabits per second. iBook now also offers a 56K internal fax/modem with support for the latest v.92 standard for new features such as faster upstream data rates. Each iBook also comes with built-in fast Ethernet (10/100BASE-T) for easy connections to networks as well as cable and DSL modems.

Every iBook includes Appleis industry-leading suite of digital lifestyle applications including iPhoto™ for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 2 for creating digital movies and iTunes™ 3 for creating a digital music library. Also on every iBook is Appleis new Mac® OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar," offering more than 150 amazing new features including a new Mail application designed to eliminate junk mail and iChat AIM-compatible instant messenger. Mac OS X "Jaguar" enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the iBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management through Energy Saver Profiles for industry-leading battery life of up to six hours on a single charge. Mac OS X "Jaguar" also offers integrated Bluetooth and 802.11 software for wireless communications.

The new iBook is also an integral part of Appleis new Curriculum Mobile Labs, complete affordable solutions for education that combine the best curriculum software with Appleis award-winning hardware, Apple Professional Development courses and a variety of accessories to create a powerful tool designed to meet the education goals specified by the No Child Left Behind Act. The iBook is now available in education for as low as US$899.

Pricing & Availability
The new iBook is available through the Apple Store®, Appleis retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers in three standard configurations.

iBook with a suggested retail price of US$999 includes:

  • a 700 MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache;
  • a 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller with 16MB RAM;
  • 128MB SDRAM;
  • a 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and
  • a CD-ROM optical drive.

iBook with a suggested retail price of US$1,299 includes:

  • a 800 MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache;
  • a 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller with 32MB RAM;
  • 128MB SDRAM;
  • a 30GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and
  • a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive.

iBook with a suggested retail price of US$1,599 includes:

  • a 800 MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache;
  • a 14.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller with 32MB RAM;
  • 256MB SDRAM;
  • a 30GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and
  • a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive.

*Wireless Internet access requires an AirPort Card, AirPort Base station and Internet access (fees may apply). Some ISPs are not currently compatible with AirPort.

You can find more information on the iBook line at Appleis site.

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