Apple unveils iBook

Amid applause and cheering from an enthusiastic crowed at the MacWorld Expo in New York this week, interim Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's much-anticipated consumer portable machine, called the iBook.

During his keynote speech, Jobs also set the tone for the show, providing insight into the company's direction with sneak peeks at upcoming technology, announcing a variety of new partnerships and products, and providing some crowd-pleasing gags.

The $3295 iBook, however, clearly was the keynote headliner. Expected to be available in Australia from mid-October, it is the last piece in the puzzle in Jobs' four-part, simplified computer-product strategy, launched last year. The product blueprint calls for Apple to deliver one desktop and one portable machine each, for the consumer and professional markets. Apple has already delivered, on the professional side, the PowerMacintosh desktop and the PowerBook portable, and on the consumer side the iMac desktop.

Unveiling the iBook today, Jobs stressed value for money, saying that the machine "is the second fastest portable in the world, second only to the venerable Apple PowerBook".

Jobs said that machines using Microsoft Windows and Intel processors that offer features similar to the iBook are priced at more than $US3000.

"We went to our customers and asked, 'What do you want in a portable?'" Jobs said. "What they wanted was an iMac to go, could we make an awesome iMac to go, and we have done that, I hope."

For about half that price, he said, the iBook offers: a 300MHz G3 chip with 512K backside L2 cache; a 12.1in active matrix TFT SVGA display with millions of colours at 800 x 600 resolution; up to six hours of battery time on a single charge of the machine's Lithium-Ion battery; 32MB of SDRAM memory, expandable to 160MB; and a 3.2GB hard drive.

The iBook also sports a 24x CD-ROM drive, full-size keyboard, a Universal serial Bus port for peripheral devices and, for connectivity, a 56Kbps modem, as well as 10/100Base-T Ethernet port.

To appeal to gamers and to provide a platform for game developers, Apple is offering 4MB of SDRAM video memory with the machine.

The machine borrows some of the flashy design points from the iMac, the consumer desktop machine released last August. Like the iMac, the iBook comes in a choice of colours. It offers a two-tone colour scheme: a choice of blueberry and white or tangerine and white.

Initial reaction from the crowd was favourable.

The iBook also offers wireless networking options. It comes equipped with two built-in antennas and an internal slot to accept Apple's new Airport wireless networking card, which costs $US99.

The iBook will come equipped with MacOS 8.6.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?