The gush of praise for Apple’s new iBook just keeps on coming. A
Washington Post Online
site describes the overhauled consumer portable as “easy on the wallet and the back.”
“The usual way to save money on a new laptop is to look at your wallet, look at your shoulder, then decide which one you’d like to keep around,” reviewer Rob Pegoraro writes. “While you can buy a good portable computer for US$1,500 or less, it’s traditionally been difficult to find one that doesn’t weigh a pound or two more than the upmarket alternatives. Apple’s iBook upends that unwritten rule: For as little as $1,299, you can get a laptop that does a desktop’s work, runs three hours or more on a charge, and weighs about the same as Apple’s pricey, titanium-hulled PowerBook G4 “
Though not exactly petite, he says the iBook isn’t “painful” to carry, which is more than he can say for most “value” laptops. And this “amazingly cool tool” abounds with the little design touches that Apple adores (a sleep-mode light that glows through the plastic case, a hinge that retracts into the lid the moment you release its latch) Pegoraro says.
Though the case shows scratches and fingerprints too easily, overall the iBook’s shows “(mostly) uncommon good sense,” he adds. The reviewer has good things to say about its screen, solid keyboard, and included software.
So what didn’t Pegoraro like? The lack of a forward-delete key. Too short battery life (he could never get more than 3.5 hours though Apple touts five). Difficulty in installing an AirPort card.
But the iBook’s “one real shortfall is its smallish hard drive, which is just too compact for any computer preloaded with a second operating system (Mac OS X), an MP3 jukebox (iTunes) and a movie editor (iMovie),” Pegoraro says. “A 20-gig drive is available as a build-to-order option, but the $200 extra that Apple charges for it is borderline extortionate. This is not a new problem for Apple customers, unfortunately — the flexibility Apple offers via build-to-order options at its online store is undercut by how much it exacts for these upgrades.”
Despite some irritants, the reviewer recommends the iBook as a laptop worth a look — even by Wintel fans. (Thanks to MacCentral reader John Droz, Jr., for the heads-up on this one.)