BusinessWeek Online says that
Apple’s overhauled iBook has the youth appeal of its predecessor, but now also “has what students and educators really need.”
Reviewer Stephen Wildstrom found the original iBook “garish” with is curvy lines and bright colors. It was also underpowered and, at US$1,599 when introduced in 1999, overpriced, he said. Despite all this, it was a hit with the kids, he admitted. However, the new iBook is less dramatic but a lot more practical, Wildstrom said.
“Based on the reaction I’ve seen, it still has plenty of youth appeal.”
Wildstrom likes the looks, features, and software package that come with the revamped consumer/education portable. He said the “most striking” feature is the inclusion on the US$1,799 model of a drive that can play DVDs and read and write CDs.
“Such drives are immensely popular with those who use their computers both as tools and as entertainment centers,” Wildstrom said. “For once, Apple is offering such a high-end feature at a competitive price.”
He did have a few complaints, however. The basic 10GB hard drive is too small for avid music or video collectors. The entry-level iBook comes with an “inadequate” 64MB of RAM. Battery life of about four hours is down about an hour from the first iBook because the design forced use of a smaller battery. But overall the reviewer likes what he sees.
“Apple lost a lot of ground in educational markets when good products couldn’t overcome botched marketing,” Wildstrom says. “The new iBook ought to give it a chance to win schools back. And Windows laptop makers, who see the school and student markets as a potential source for growth, should take a close look at Apple’s winning design.”