Apple Ups Speeds and RAM on iBooks (UPDATE)

Apple Computer announced Tuesday a new line of iBook laptops with faster Power PC G4 processors running up to 1.42 gigahertz, 512 megabytes of memory now in every model, higher performance graphics and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, standard.

The new 12- and 14-inch iBooks offer improved performance with either a 1.33 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor. Each iBook features the ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 with 32 megabytes of dedicated video memory for improved graphics and either a slot-load SuperDrive, for burning DVDs and CDs, or a slot-load Combo drive for watching DVDs and burning CDs.

Every new iBook will also include a scrolling TrackPad to easily scroll through long web pages and Appleis Sudden Motion Sensor technology to help protect a spinning hard drive if the notebook is accidentally dropped.

Every iBook now features built-in Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and integrated AirPort Extreme 54Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking.

1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 iBook with 12.1-inch display, 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive and Combo drive, weighing 4.9 pounds, has a suggested retail price of $999. The 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 iBook with 14.1-inch display, 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive and a SuperDrive, weighing 5.9 pounds, has a suggested retail price of $1,299 -- $200 less than the previous top-line model.

The new models replace the low-end, 12-inch model at 1.2GHz. Additionally, Apple has discontinued a mid-range 14.1-inch model with Combo drive, reducing the iBook line to two models only.

The new entry-level iBook sees a 10GB increase in hard drive space for the same price as before. All models received new graphics chips from the previous ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 and the new added feature of BlueTooth. Display resolution has not changed from 1024x768 resolution and all models previously came with built-in AirPort Extreme.

"The new iBook lineup is immediately available," the company said in a prepared statement.