Those whove considered Apples amazing new PowerBook G4 series of portable computers but cant quite justify the expense would do well to explore its less expensive, slightly less capable sibling, the iBook G4. Available in three flavors, the iBook G4 doesnt sport PowerBook amenities such as DVD burning and massive widescreen displays, yet all three models feature superb connectivity, subcompact dimensions, and impressive battery life. This particular unit, the entry-level iBook G4 12-inch M9164LL/A, is the most affordable mobile computer in the entire Apple roster.
Featuring a spry power section consisting of an 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor and 256 MB RAM (expandable to 640 MB), the system packs enough raw muscle for most typical mobile computing tasks. However, the real surprise comes in its 3-D rendering capabilities. Unlike many comparably equipped notebooks, the iBook G4 12-inch features an ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 video chipset with 32 MB of dedicated DDR SDRAM memory. Thusly, it will efficiently handle demanding applications such as 3-D drawing and even some 3-D gaming.
At just 11.2 by 9.1 by 1.3 inches and a scant 4.9 pounds, the iBook G4 12-inch is downright tiny. Yet when you flip the lid youll find such desirable perks as a full-size 77-key keyboard with 12 function keys and four arrow keys, a trackpad with double-tap and drag capabilities, a smallish but crystal clear 12.1-inch display capable of 1024x768 resolution, and a combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive through which you can burn audio CDs, archive files and play the latest Hollywood blockbusters. For storing your files, Apple has installed a serviceable 30 GB hard disk -- enough space for general use but too little for serious multimedia archiving.
Connectivity options include an integrated 56K modem for dial-up communications, a 10/100BASE-T Ethernet port for LAN and high-speed Internet and email, and two high-speed USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port for external high-tech toys such as scanners, digital cameras and digital camcorders. Users can also purchase an Apple AirPort Extreme Card for wireless communication and an internal Bluetooth module to interact with future cordless Bluetooth devices such as cell phones and PDAs.
Bundled software includes Apples newest operating system, Mac OS X v.10.3 Panther, and a broad range of highly useable multimedia utilities. Under ideal conditions, battery life is estimated at a stunning six hours.
Details: The PowerPC G4 includes the AltiVec "Velocity Engine" vector processor.
System Bus Speed: 133 MHz Cache Bus Speed: 800 MHz (Built-in)
L1 Cache: 64k L2/L3 Cache: 256k (on chip)
RAM Type: PC2100 DDR SDRAM
RAM Speed: 266 MHz
Details: Supports a single 200-pin PC2100 DDR SDRAM SO-DIMM memory module.
Maximum RAM: 640 MB*
Video Card: Mobility Radeon 9200 VRAM Type: DDR SDRAM
Details: ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 (4X AGP) with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM.
12.1" TFT XGA active-matrix display with a 1024 by 768 native resolution. Apple reports that it also supports 640 by 480 and 800 by 600 when scaled.
Standard Hard Drive: 30.0 GB Int. HD Interface: Ultra ATA/100
Standard Optical: 8X/24X/24X/10X DVD-ROM/CD-RW "Combo" drive.
Standard Modem: 56k v.92 Standard Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
Standard AirPort: 802.11b/g (Optional, not installed) Standard Bluetooth: 1.1 (Optional, not installed)
Details: Internal support for AirPort Extreme (802.11g) and Bluetooth 1.1, although neither was pre-installed.
USB Ports: 2 (2.0) Firewire Ports: 1 (400)
Details: Two USB 2.0 ports and one Firewire "400" port.
Incl. Keyboard: Full-size Incl. Input: Trackpad
Details: Apple reports that the integrated keyboard has 77 (US) or 78 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys, 4 arrow keys, and an embedded numeric keypad. The trackpad supports tap, double tap, and drag capabilities.
Battery Type: 50 W/Hr LiIon Battery Life: 6 Hours
Details: 6 hours under "normal usage conditions" as estimated by Apple.
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.3 Maximum MacOS:
MacOS 9 Support: Classic Mode Only Windows Support: Emulation Only
Details: The iBook G4 models are capable of using Mac OS 9 applications within the MacOS X "Classic" environment. They cannot boot into MacOS 9.
Dimensions: 1.35 x 11.2 x 9.0.6 Avg. Weight: 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg)