April 30th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Unless there's a Snowy iMac in your corner of the AppleStore, the iBook now remains the only G3 Apple actively markets and promotes.
Last week, IGM concluded that the iMac G4 beat the iBook hands down. Except in the portability stakes, obviously.
So why is your iBook now a second-class citizen?
With the TiBook getting faster and faster G4s, the market is now wide open for a 500 or 550MHz low-power G4 for the iBook. Call it eBook for Education if you like. Give it AppleEd prices.
But just for crissakes dump the G3 already.
Yes, the G3 was/is a great CPU. But Arthur, the PowerPC 750, is five (5) - yes, count them - five years old already. And going from a 250MHz PowerBook G3 Kanga to 500MHz in five years - and let's face it, the majority of iBooks have a 500MHz CPU inside - just doesn't cut the mustard anymore.
Apple has a reputation for hanging onto processors too long, mostly due to its excessive dependence upon Motorola and, latterly, IBM, who are really both interested in embedded chips and the odd server. The '040 was great, but it hung around for too long, as even the stinkin' early Pentiums sold in crates around it. And let's not even mention the appallingly ancient and hobbled '030s in the IIvi and IIvx.
A G4 eBook (or iBook, if you prefer) makes absolute sense when you consider that the G3 is inappropriate for OS X. Yes, it runs X adequately, but X should be a showcase of Unix power and the elegance of the Mac GUI, combined with the unbeatable plug-and-play nature of the hardware.
If Apple is serious about making consumers DVD movie burners, it has to make it at least possible for e/iBook owners to use iDVD on their machines. And, if it wants that great mass of G3 Series users to make a once-and-for-all jump to OS X (not part-timing in OS 9.2), then it has to give them compelling hardware. When you own a G3/500 Pismo, a 500 or 600MHz iBook is not in the least compelling.
A TiBook is one solution, but it's too pricey for consumers and too fragile for school laptop programs (and did I mention too pricey?). G4 eMacs and iMacs are great.
But they're not portables.We want a G4. We want it at a consumer price point. And we want it now.
There are no G4 upgrades for Pismos. Apple, give them one.
A G4 iBook.