Sydney Morning Herald: Apple iBook offers ‘a lot more dash for your dollar’ – 4.5 stars out of 5

“While there are several brand-name notebooks cheaper than Apple’s iBook, few are better. This was never more so than with the latest version of Apple’s laptop, which is essentially last season’s model with every ‘optional upgrade’ box ticked. The result is a lot more dash for your dollar,” David Flynn writes for The Sydney Morning Herald. “Previous iBooks were rightly criticised for their meagre 256MB of memory which seriously hobbled the notebook’s performance in even day-to-day tasks, but with this now doubled to 512MB, the new machines turn zzzz into zoom.”

“The fatter 60GB hard drive also makes sense, especially once you’re hooked by the delightfully easy to use iPhoto and iTunes software and start loading digital snaps and music tracks. The hard disk is also fitted with a motion sensor to protect it from damage if you drop the iBook – think of it as a ‘digital airbag’ for the hard disk,” Flynn writes.

Flynn gives the iBook 4.5 stars out 5 in his full article/review here.

iBook G4. Live Wirelessly. Spend Wisely. Starting at $999. Free shipping.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Boston Globe: Apple iBook ‘a high-grade notebook at a mid-grade price’ – September 26, 2005
iPod Halo Effect strikes tech columnist, gets new Apple iBook after fifteen years of Windows – August 23, 2005
Apple unveils faster iBooks: 1.42GHz G4, 512MB RAM, Sudden Motion Sensor, scrolling TrackPad – July 26, 2005


  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if “Mac journalists” who write these flowery articles that amount to promotional material had to disclose if they are invested in Apple. I almost always assume they are and discount their opinions significantly.

  2. Really Charlie? I always just assume they are Macheads and have drunk the koolaid. There are Tons and Tons of Macfans not invested in Apple who will sing the praises of the Mac far and wide to anybody who will listen so I don’t find it unusual at all that a Journalist who uses a Mac should want to write positively about them. Do they own Apple stock? some may but a lot don’t. Would they write the same article even if they didn’t own stock. I think chances are very very high that they would.

  3. “Wouldn’t it be nice if “Mac journalists” who write these flowery articles that amount to promotional material had to disclose if they are invested in Apple. I almost always assume they are and discount their opinions significantly.”

    Speaking as a professional editor by trade (though not for a Mac publication), all I can assume is that you, Charlie, are not a journalist, nor know any… It is a VERY RARE journalist indeed that can afford a new car, let alone buying stock. Those few who do own Apple stock almost certainly own it as part of an investment fund, and there is no way to know how much of that fund is in Apple, per se, if any of it.

    It always makes me wonder why people create all these baseless fear and biases against things. Because one person is an ass in one field, doesn’t make everyone in that field an ass.

  4. What’s so “flowery” about it Charlie? More features, same price. In my world that equals good value. The iBook is nicely beefed up a bit (without a price increase) to match “cool” features on the pricier PowerBook. As a consumer I want a jornalist to alert me to deals like that–I was surprise to see that.

    You imply journalist is announcing the upgrade because he’s invested in Apple. The “Mac Journalist” was doing his job by bringing that change to the attention of people who are too busy to surf the Apple Stores themselves checking for changes in products. A different article somewhere brought these facts to my attention a few weeks ago, it was enough to move me to finally buy an iBook.

    Nothing “flowery” about it. That’s any journalists job.

  5. I think it’s largely due to an erosion in faith in journalists in general. I’ve been in a newspaper family all my life. We buy and use Macs for all the newspapers we own. We pay attention to reviews but we also read reviews for other equipment. If you assume that every time something gets a positive review the writer must have some financial connection to the thing being reviewed you are pre-supposing quite a web of intrigue. Every movie reviewer must have stock in the movie studio, every book reviewer must have stock in the publisher, and every restaurant reviewer must be part owner of the restaurant. It’s ridiculous on the face of it. Though in the case of Rob Enderle I have to assume he DOES have stock in Apple and does his best to drive the stock price DOWN so he can buy more!

  6. My godfather has just turned into 66, and he never touches a computer by himself alone; he learnt how to use computer by just observing over others shoulder… That means, he is less than novice, until he got his OWN iBook a month ago.

    I spend only 2 hours in total, IN TOTAL, to teach him how to check email (of course, I set up the account for him) using Mail, surf and Google the Net using Safari, watch DVD using DVD player, and watch VCD using my online-purchased MacVCD X player. 2 HOURS IN TOTAL, and he is already being familiar with his daily digital life operation.

    Other apps he also uses are Preview and iTunes (he is not fond of listening to music)

    Even more, he knows how and when to use the 2-finger trackpad action, to scroll over those scrollable web pages and images (in Preview). He can also easily change network settings according to his locations (his Japanese restaurant, his Chinese restaurant, and his homes).

    Thanks to iBook! Imagine if he got himself a laptop running Windoze. 2 Months might not be enough for him to learn how to get connected in different locations.

  7. Now let’s see… where do I go to buy one of these here newfangled iBooks? Let’s try Nope, that’s just the iPod & iTunes store. If I were a clueless person that is the conclusion I would come to, because for the first time, THERE ARE NO PICTURES OR EVEN LINKS TO APPLE’S HARDWARE ON THEIR HOME PAGE! You have to click on the hardware or store tab to find one. The only things they have there are the iPod, ROKR, iTunes and .mac.

    So, not only is Apple not advertising their systems & software on TV, etc, they aren’t even advertising on their own home page. Ridiculous.

  8. Wingsy… I agree with you… when you say

    “So, not only is Apple not advertising their systems & software on TV, etc, they aren’t even advertising on their own home page. Ridiculous.”

    BUT…I think you are about to see that change. No point in having a huge amount of hype going out at a time when the distribution channels have little or no product. As has been pointed out in other places on MDN the paucity of PowerMacs and Powerbooks likely points to a system refresh. If I had to guess it will happen near Mid-October to coincide with the release of 10.4.3… the recent builds of which have references to as yet unreleased versions of both systems. I’d say these will be the last of the PPC driven Macs..likely the dual core 970 chips (which offer performance enhancements of between 50% to 80% increased speed according to reliable reports) for the Power Macs and a reasonable speed bump and faster, bigger hard drives for the Powerbooks. They just quietly introduced faster, better mac mini’s with 5400 rpm drives and slightly better video cards (though still not good enough to support Core Image). That will be the time to feature the hardware on the Apple home page.

  9. Hope you’re right PR, cause I’ve been waiting for over a year for a Quad G5 (2 duals). I figure it’ll be top dog on the planet for 3 years or so, maybe even more. I don’t think what Intel is brewing will smoke a quad G5 for some time. What they’re going for is Gigaflops per watt, and I got all the power I need from this outlet over here, so I’d be happy to feed 4 G5s all day & all night. And with Apple’s stock the way it is, it’ll almost be like Apple buying it for me.

    But still… zero advertising?

  10. Wingsy: If you click the “Store” tab, you do get all the hardware/software/accessories on the front page of the store. The Apple main page should be used exactly how it’s used right now, to advertise their latest news/addition. That’s how a webpage should be structured. The store should be separate.

  11. I’m actually sorry that I bought a PowerBook G4 instead of an iBook, because the iBook is so much more rugged. I’ve bumped my PowerBook a couple of times and now the aluminum is kind of bent.

    It’s also nice that, unlike many budget Wintel computers, there is no such thing as an Apple computer with “integrated video” — you know, where the some of the main CPU’s processing power and 64MB of the main memory are used to drive the display.

    That said, I am very disappointed that Apple doesn’t sell any laptops with a “brite” or high resolution display for less than $2,000 USD. I think that this is the next big improvement that I would like to see in the iBook and 12-inch PowerBook lines.

  12. I work at a Staples in Canada, and Apple has said they would like to sell their product in our stores, but they cannot not manufacture enough! You advertise to increase demand. Thanks to IBM, apple can’t even meet the demand that is already present. All that advertising will do is create agitated customers who cannot get the product. (Though increasing mind share is not a bad idea) Once the change to Intel is made hopefully this situation will be taken care of and the ads will begin.

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