Hands-On Apple's iBook
When we first received our tangerine iBook from Apple, we were as giddy as schoolkids. Its bright, translucent color and ergonomic design were pleasing to both the eyes and hands, and turning it on and seeing the familiar Macintosh logo was like seeing an old friend.
With a soft-to-the-touch exterior that is up to four times thicker than the plastic covering traditional notebooks, the iBook is great for students of all ages. Although Apple touts the iBook as designed with the thought that it might spend much of its life in a backpack, we doubt most parents would want their kids burdening their already overloaded backpacks with another 6.6 lbs., not including any accessories. Luckily, the iBook comes with a sculpted-in handle for easy transport.
Other school-friendly features include the lack of a noisy cooling fan, 16-bit stereo out for headphones, one USB port for accessories and an RJ-11 connector for the built-in 56Kbps modem. The iBooks 300MHz PowerPC G3 processor makes short work of demanding applications, and handles most tasks with aplomb. A 3.2GB hard disk offers adequate storage (unless youre working with large graphics or video files) and its ATI RAGE Mobility graphics processor enables fast and smooth animation. Another useful feature for students is the six-hour charge offered by its lithium-ion batteries just enough for a full day on campus.
For schools with AppleTalk networks, the user-friendly iBook may be just the ticket for getting those technophobic stalwarts to embrace technology. With its built-in RJ-45 Ethernet port, they can easily plug into the school network, expanding both their computing power and curriculum possibilities.
Apple Computer, Inc.
This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.