Mean Green Machine

The new colors are what catch the eye--the striking deep blue of indigo, the pulsating Day-Glo green of key lime. But the real significance of Apple's new line of iBooks is beneath the surface.

When it debuted in the summer of 1999, the iBook quickly got a reputation for being more dazzling than dutiful. The original iBook featured only 32MB of RAM, making that model prone to crashes.

Apple doubled the iBook's RAM this past spring. And the latest revisions continue to bolster the laptop's power (see "Something Old, Something New").

The standard iBook configuration now includes a 366MHz G3 processor, 64MB of RAM, and 10GB of storage. The iBook Special Edition is even faster, now with a 466MHz G3 processor.

Gamers have plenty to love about the new iBooks. Apple has replaced the ATI Rage Mobility graphics controller with a Rage 128 Mobility chip set--the same graphics processor that ships in PowerBooks.

Just as important, Apple has added a FireWire port, a composite video-out port, and iMovie 2 to the new iBooks. Find a DV camcorder that costs less than $1,000, and you've got a sub-$3,000 portable moviemaking kit.

Not bad for a machine that just a while ago was getting by largely on looks.

Something Old, Something New

  CPU Installed Memory/Maximum Memory Hard Drive Graphics Processor Optical Drive Modem Ethernet USB FireWire Video Out Display Size Colors Price
July 1999 iBook 300MHz 32MB/160MB 3GB ATI Rage Mobility controller CD-ROM 56K built-in 10/100BaseT Yes No No 12.1 inches Blueberry, tangerine $1,599
February 2000 iBook 300MHz 64MB/320MB 6GB ATI Rage Mobility controller CD-ROM 56K built-in 10/100BaseT Yes No No 12.1 inches Blueberry, tangerine $1,599
February 2000 iBook SE 366MHZ 64MB/320MB 6GB ATI Rage Mobility controller with 4MB of SDRAM CD-ROM 56K built-in 10/100BaseT Yes No No 12.1 inches Graphite $1,799
September 2000 iBook 366MHZ 64MB/320MB 10GB ATI Rage Mobility 128 controller with 8MB of SDRAM CD-ROM 56K built-in 10/100BaseT Yes Yes Yes 12.1 inches Indigo, key lime $1,499
September 2000 iBook SE 466MHz 64MB/320MB 10GB ATI Rage Mobility 128 controller with 8MB of SDRAM DVD 56K built-in 10/100BaseT Yes Yes Yes 12.1 inches Graphite, key lime $1,799
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