Apple gives iBooks a step up

Apple Computer on Wednesday turned up the performance of its iBook portable computers and turned down the prices on its eMac desktops.

The company updated its iBook by adding the PowerPC G4 processor, its OS X version 10.3 operating system, faster memory and improved graphics technology from ATI Technologies. In addition, Apple's new iBook models now include a minimum of 256MB of RAM and a CD burner. The iBook revamp, which comes in time for the holiday season, is designed to help Apple compete more effectively in the notebook market--a hot segment of the computer market in which price competition is becoming stiffer, as most portable computers now come with at least 256MB of RAM and a CD burner. The new iBooks complement the latest PowerBook portables Apple launched in September.

As a result of the update, Apple's new entry-level iBook now sells for $1,099, $100 more than its previous model. But the latest iBook comes with an 800MHz G4 processor, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive, a 12.1-inch screen and a CD burner/DVD-ROM combination drive. The earlier machine came with an 800MHz G3 processor, 128MB of RAM and a CD-ROM drive, for $999. Apple is now selling the remaining G3 iBooks for $899, according to its Web site. Apple said the new iBook lineup offers better features, including more memory and a slot-loading CD burner, with a smaller price tag. Customers can now find features in its $1,099 iBook that were previously only available in a model that cost $1,299, said Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Apple.

News source: C|Net News.com

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