The 'Book Review

Widescreen iBook Rumors Gain Weight, 12" iBook G4 Reviewed, Ultralight Laptops, Rugged Laptops, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.06.24

This Week's PowerBook, iBook, and Notebook News

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review. News about Apple's transition to Intel CPUs and other Intel developments is covered in The Macintel Report.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Intel Transition


Windows Watch

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

From Mac Plus to 17" PowerBook G4

hyku's Josh Hallett says:

"Unpacking my new PowerBook 17" got me thinking about my Macintosh history. It has spanned 18 years and seen 12 different machines starting with a Macintosh Plus in 1987 and continuing today with a new G4 PowerBook 17".

"Let's take a look back, shall we."

Widescreen iBook Rumors Gain Weight

The Register's Tony Smith says:

"Asustek, not Quanta, will produce Apple's upcoming widescreen iBook laptop Mac.

"So claims a report in Taiwan's Economic Daily News, which adds weight to rumours published in April that the Mac maker is preparing a consumer-oriented widescreen notebook."

Taiwan's Asustek Snatches iBook Order from Quanta

AFX News Limited (via Forbes) reports:

"Asustek Computer Inc (2357.TW) has signed a contract with Apple Computer Inc to make 14-inch 'iBooks' for the American computer giant, the Economic Daily News reported, quoting unnamed market sources."'s Jessie Shen reports:

"Asustek Computer recently beat out Quanta Computer to grab orders from Apple Computer for a 14.1-inch widescreen iBook model, with shipments to total about 500,000 notebooks, according to the Economic Daily News.

"Last year, Asustek shipped more than one million notebooks to Apple, the paper indicated. According to sources, the company produced Apple's 12.1-inch iBook and 12.1-inch PowerBook. Asustek also secured orders for the 15.4-inch iBook, which will be launched in 2006, the sources added."


12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz Reviewed

MacUser says:

"When the iBook range was launched, there was a wide performance gap between this new consumer portable and the existing PowerBook models. Now, though, it's a different story. Both portable lines feature G4 processors and, despite the PowerBooks having more megahertz, their performance is similar. And the iBooks are nipping at the PowerBooks' heels in other respects, too."

Windows Watch

Carbon Fibre Used in Ultralight Laptops reports:

"The never-ending quest for lighter, more powerful notebooks appears to have a new trend, at least if you can call two carbon fibre notebooks a trend. A fortnight ago Acer showed its Ferrari 4000 Carbon Fiber notebook, now MPC has joined with its own high-powered notebook with carbon fibre lid. The sad part is that unlike the sleek and sexy Acer, which shows the carbon fibre weave, MPC has elected to paint theirs. Designed to offer an ultra-sleek notebook with exceptional performance in a lightweight form factor, the TransPort U1000 ultra-portable notebook computer weighs less than four pounds, an Intel Pentium M processor for high-performance mobile computing, and 12.1" display integrated into a carbon-fiber lid. At US$1,900, it's a lot of performance in an incredibly light package, but someone should tell them about the attractiveness of the carbon weave."

Laptops Built for Abuse

Forbes' Arik Hesseldahl says:

"Occasionally I have a nightmare about bad things happening to my laptop. A drink gets spilled in the keyboard, or it goes crashing to the ground. Either would be enough to give me a real start in the real world and would be certainly enough to shatter an otherwise peaceful night's sleep....

"With these fears in mind, I've always wanted to try out some of the so-called 'ruggedized' notebooks I've heard so much about over the years. The opportunity finally presented itself when I got samples from two manufacturers of rugged notebooks: Panasonic, a unit of Japan's Matsushita, and the privately held Itronix, based in Spokane, Wash.

"These are the machines that utility companies buy for their field service personnel, that police departments buy for cops and that the military buys for soldiers in dangerous places around the world.

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.


Apple Store

Wegener Media

Baucom Computers

Small Dog Electronics

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals, Best iBook G4 Deals, Best PowerBook G3 Deals, and Best iBook G3 Deals.

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