Apple’s newly updated, 800MHz iBook is, overall, what you’d expect — slightly faster than its 700MHz predecessor (see Macworld Lab’s test results in this month’s review of the new PowerBook G4s). However, this system is quite a bit faster in terms of video, thanks to the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor — this step up from the older Mobility Radeon chip in previous iBooks takes advantage of OS X’s Quartz Extreme video-acceleration technology.
Although it lacks a G4 processor, this iBook runs OS X well enough. However, we’re still looking forward to the day that this last cornerstone of Apple’s product line migrates to the more powerful G4 processor.
The iBook with a 14.1-inch screen comes with 256MB of RAM; the 12.1-inch model, 128MB. But the 14.1-inch model costs $300 more, is a pound heavier, and offers the same maximum display resolution — its pixels are larger than the 12.1-inch model, but there aren’t any more of them. That makes it a product that will appeal only to people who are looking for a “large-print edition” of the iBook: namely, anyone whose eyes can’t handle reading the screen of the smaller model.
With a bright screen, decent speed, small size, and light weight, the 12.1-inch iBook remains one of the best values in the Mac product line and a fantastic choice for anyone who doesn’t need to use software that’s optimized for the G4 processor, such as multimedia and graphics applications.