14th Jun 2002

Reviews for Apple iBook

Apple’s new milky-white iBook has been out since late spring. But I really think it’s the perfect back to school laptop for the fall — provided you’re willing to consider a portable that doesn’t run Microsoft Windows.

The iBook is one of those gadgets that makes you smile as you fiddle with its most mundane details.
Apple iBook
Push a button on the battery pack, for instance, and a little display shows you how much charge is left, even if the battery isn’t attached to the computer.

Apple’s attention to detail impresses even before you turn the five-pound machine on — flip the lid and a latch automatically retracts so you won’t accidentally hook anything. Also Apple wants you to be able to toss the iBook in a book bag without problems. The catch to open the lid is recessed to make it harder to press by accident and the CD drive has no button at all, but is instead controlled from the keyboard. Every little detail was considered.

As with all new Macs, Apple also includes one of the best MP3 jukebox programs for any computer, iTunes, and a high-speed Firewire port that makes it easy to connect a camcorder. (Though the iBook’s weakest link is the speakers, which were cheap and tinny and belied the style of the rest of the unit. If you?re going to listen to MP3s on it you?ll want a good set of headphones.)

An inch and a half thick and the dimensions of a piece of typing paper, the 4.9 pound iBook is simple and rugged, a knockabout notebook for those on the go.

Just don’t be too seduced if you need a new laptop for a non-Apple setting. This little Mac does a lot — but it doesn’t do Windows.

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