, Edward C. Baig calls Apple’s iBook “the notebook I’d want if I were back in college.” He compared it to three Windows-compatible PCs in a recent CyberSpeak column entitled
Pick a laptop: The perfect accessory for college.
Lauding the overall design of the iBook and its battery life — the best of the bunch — Baig said, “what makes Apple shine is its underlying software.” Mac OS X, iPhoto, iMovie and iTunes all get the thumbs up. His one quibble — the speakers are weak. The iBook scored 3 1/2 stars out of four, the same as the Dell SmartStep 200N.
Comparatively, Baig called the hefty Dell SmartStep 200N “the kind of machine that makes you glad your kid is carrying it and not you” for its nearly 8 pound curb weight. He also looked at the IBM ThinkPad R32 Model 2658-BPU, which lacked FireWire or separate volume control; as well as the bargain-priced WinBook J4, which is as heavy as the Dell but lacks a DVD-ROM drive and has a weak battery to boot.