The new iBook is now as “sleek, sexy and functionally appealing” as the Titanium PowerBook, according to a CNET review. In fact, the consumer portable’s “new elegance, plus its dramatically lower price, smaller size, and lighter weight, may give even the Titanium some competition,” reviewer John Rizzo opines.
The review describes the revamped iBook as full of “function and simplicity,” praising its ice-white, scratch-resistant polycarbonate surface, the metal-ringed footpads, the lid latch that retracts so that it can’t bend or break, and the 12.1-inch TFT LCD display that produces “beautiful, high-contrast, colorful images.” Rizzo also liked the way the iBook makes “good use” of the keyboard for hardware controls.
What didn’t CNET like? The way the keyboard flexes down slightly in the center when you type on it. And the reviewer had some speed issues.
“In CNET Labs’ tests, the iBook was a little faster than its predecessor on application tasks, such as running Photoshop, but it actually posted slightly slower times in our Quake III and iMovie tests,” the review says. “What’s more, this 500MHz iBook was significantly slower than the 500MHz PowerBook, except during the Quake III test, when both notebooks ran neck and neck. A large part of the blame goes to the iBook’s system bus (66MHz), which is slower than that of the PowerBook line (100MHz).”
They add that, in what may have been a performance-related problem, audio CDs paused for a fraction of a second when normal tasks, such as saving or opening a file, were performed. However, CNET says this occurred only when they booted from Mac OS 9.1, not OS X.
Still “with the PowerBook G4 and now with the dual-USB iBook, Apple is on a notebook roll,” the review concludes. “If you don’t need the Titanium’s wide screen or high-end performance and are interested in saving a lot of money, the smaller, lighter, capable iBook is the better buy.”