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.