, Stephan Somogyi said that the new iBook is a worthy successor to the long-discontinued and oft-lamented PowerBook 2400. His comments come in a new commentary entitled
Why I like the new iBook.
The diminutive PowerBook 2400 was Apple’s last subnotebook — itself a replacement for the Duo series which preceded it. Somogyi has one, and like many 2400 owners, is a die-hard enthusiast. “The introduction of the new iBook shows that Apple still has the wherewithal to produce a fully functional machine in a compact, sturdy package,” said Somogyi.
Somogyi said that while the PowerBook G4 is impressive with the wide aspect ratio of its display and its faster componentry, it is a lot bigger and isn’t as good with AirPort, Apple’s wireless networking solution.
“[The new iBook’s] AirPort reception (and transmission) is loads better than the TiBook’s, and makes this new little laptop thoroughly pleasant to use wirelessly,” wrote Somogyi.
Somogyi said that the performance of the iBook was adequate for Mac OS 9 and related apps, but he was unimpressed by the machine’s performance with Mac OS X — an issue he’s hoping Apple can correct with a future upgrade to the new operating system.
The writer calls the iBook’s appearance “slick,” but also noted one potential design drawback. Fluff, he said, can often accumulate in book bags and backpacks, and such stuff would not be good to accumulate in the open ports on the iBook’s left side.
Somogyi also gives the iBook’s screen, and its battery life a thumbs-up. He also likes the iBook’s now-famous hinge mechanism, although he said that it’s possible to see vibration on the screen, and he said that installing an aftermarket hard drive to replace Apple’s offerings is not easy.
Recommendations Somogyi has for Apple when considering future improvements to the iBook include a second power cable, include the $19 video cable, and beef up the horsepower a bit.
“The bottom line is that this is a great iBook, and a worth successor to the 2400. It’s inexpensive, small and light, aesthetically pleasing and functional, and provides a well-balanced combination of performance, battery-life and features. While there’s always room for enhancement and improvement, this is the first Apple system in a long time that hasn’t immediately evoked the need to wait for Rev B,” said Somogyi.