iBook: "Quite simply the notebook I'd want if I were back in college."


It's back-to-school time again. And at the $1,500 price point, the iBook stacks up well against its PC notebook competitors, says a USAToday Personal Tech article.

The 700MHz iBook scores three stars out of four, although it's clear the author favors the iBook over the Dell and Thinkpad he also scores at three. Despite a stated preference for the Thinkpad's keyboard, it's the software that makes the iBook what it is.

The 12.1" XGA display is no handicap, says the article and, of course, gives the iBook a light weight and a small footprint [at the $1,499 price quoted, I'm assuming it's the DVD/CDRW Combo model, although it's not stated].

The 128MB base RAM comes in for some criticism, as the PC notebooks come better equipped in the memory department. However, the iBook's three-plus hours of real working/DVD time under battery power topped the field.

USAToday praises OS X's "elegant and stable" OS X, while also giving special mention to the bundled iApps. But iBook's speakers are still nothing to write home about, something which has plagued the iBook since it was released with its single mixed-sterep speaker on the original iBook in 1999.

Of the other competitors (including a Winbook, which scores only 2 stars), the PCs come in for some flack because of the power-hungry mobile P4s. The Winbook's basic CD-ROM dirve also drives its score down for cheapness. At the same time, Dell's Smartstep 200N is criticised for its weight and noise.

Analysis: I would've thought that a lot more would have been made of the iBooks Combo drive, while the others feature only DVD-ROMs. Disc Burner and iTunes' burning capabilities should have been mentioned as well, along with iPod integration. But, then again, the author prefers Thinkpad keyboard and pointers to anything else. Having owned a Thinkpad at one point, and used a few others, he won't get me nodding my head in agreement.