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Portables (Apple) Hardware

Apple Announces New iBooks 678

vasqzr writes "Apple has announced new iBooks. New features include G4 processor up to 1.33GHz, built-in wireless networking capability, a DVD-burning SuperDrive and up to 1.25GB of memory. G5 PowerBooks can only be closer...They also show a single processor 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac desktop for $1,499"
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Apple Announces New iBooks

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  • Price Matching now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ack154 ( 591432 ) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:13AM (#10564644)
    I'm not sure if I'm the only one to notice this now, but I haven't seen it before. While I was browsing the store, I saw an Apple Price Matching ad... Apple is now going to Price Match all resellers on hardware and software.

    Price Match details and FAQ []

    I usually only see the resellers selling for $3 or $4 less on most products though, so not sure how much this will help sales. Where Apple seems to maybe get bitten on this is when resellers are bundling printers and other items with big hardware purchases.
    • Not for bundles.

      From the price match faq:

      "Bundled, used, refurbished, discontinued, demonstration or exhibit products, and products from other manufacturers are not eligible."
      • by ack154 ( 591432 ) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:32AM (#10564847)
        Right... but it's not a price thing for that. People are buying from resellers BECAUSE OF the bundles. Not because of a lower price with bundles. So there is usually little price difference, it's just that resellers offer more with the purchase than Apple does.
        • by vasqzr ( 619165 ) <vasqzr AT netscape DOT net> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:00AM (#10565179)
          Do you know what you get from Dell at the $999 price point? (Inspiron 1150 or 1100)

          90-day warranty on some models.
          7lb, 2-inch thick 'portable'
          1.5 hour battery life!
          2.2 GHz Celeron processor (1100), or a 2.8GHz P4 (115)
          No CD-RW (1150)
          Integrated graphics adapter

          Let me tell you what you don't get:

          AirPort wireless networking
          S-VIDEO/Composite output

          You can't even get a 12.1" notebook from Dell unless you pay $1,159
    • by jxyama ( 821091 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:18AM (#10564692)
      Price matching is usually for those who made the purchase right before an update like this. If you, for example, bought a stock 12" iBook three days ago for $1099 (now $999), Apple will match and give you $100 back or upgrade your machine to the newer one for free.
    • I usually only see the resellers selling for $3 or $4 less on most products though, so not sure how much this will help sales.

      I bought an iBook from Small Dog Electronics [] a few months ago for several hundred dollars less than everywhere else was charging. I'm not sure why they were the only ones that seemed to be substantially cheaper than buying direct from Apple, but I was quite happy with the purchase.

      • by Samus ( 1382 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @12:48PM (#10566612) Journal
        I just checked out the site and found this message when browsing the iBook listings:

        Small Dog Electronics is an Authorized Apple Reseller and Service Provider. Due to contract limitations imposed by Apple, sales of New Apple Products on the internet is limited to current customers of Small Dog Electronics. If you aren't a current customer with a user name & log-on password, please visit our Waitsfield, Vermont location.

        So the only way I can buy a new iBook from them is to drive 8+ hours to Vermont and register? Apple is definitely not reseller friendly and only consumer friendly if you buy from them. I'd like to own some Apple hardware one day but I can never justify the premium I'd have to pay when on a limited budget.
        • by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @04:13PM (#10568808) Journal
          So the only way I can buy a new iBook from them is to drive 8+ hours to Vermont and register?

          Actually, you can buy a refurbished or used or non-Apple product from Small Dog. Buy a third-party mouse or something. Then you'll be a customer. Then order whatever the heck you want. So, no driving to Vermont is not the only way.

          In general, it's true that, excepting 'closeout special' offers and refurbs, you'll not get much of a better deal from Small Dog than Apple directly, excluding perhaps sales tax. That fact aside, Small Dog and several other small Apple Resellers do quite well by purchasing and selling the discontinued or soon-to-be discontinued stuff Apple has sitting around in warehouses, though that doesn't tend to happen often, thus 'small' businesses. And you can often get that stuff from them at a pretty decent discount.

          And yea, I'm a happy Small Dog customer, glad to recommend these guys. Getting in on their offers is definitely worth buying something small and random before ordering new computer systems. Actually, I bought a refubished iMac... which was very like new, except several hundred dollars cheaper. With full warranty.

          Yea, so Apple would rather have your business directly... I'm no fan of their reseller practices, but it's easy to work around and a hell of a lot more competition-friendly than Microsoft's ( or Dell's ) practices...

    • by fupeg ( 653970 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:06AM (#10565276)
      Price matching is a classic price fixing mechanism. It is often done by stores like Best Buy. They make some ad like "Get a Blah Blah Blah for only $999, and if you find it cheaper anywhere, we'll match the price!" That tells all your compettitors what you are chargin and lets them know that there is no point in charging less because you will just match. As a reslt, everyone charges The Same High Price.
    • by HeghmoH ( 13204 )
      The hilarious thing is that Apple absolutely forbids its resellers from selling below the price they set. That's why you never see any resellers with big sales. They all have prices that are at most $3 or $4 less than Apple's official prices, because that's as low as Apple will allow them to go. So this "price matching" thing is just a feel-good thing that won't actually be used for anything.
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:14AM (#10564649)
    Apple has also introduced a new Xserve RAID [], with storage up to 5.6TB with throughput up to 380MBps at a cost of just over US$2/GB. Apple also expanded the Xserve RAID compatibility certifications []. See the press releases [] for more information.

    Also, with the new 1.2GHz iBook with 256MB RAM, 30GB drive, and 802.11g wireless coming in at $899 (education), and the eMacs and iMac G5s coming in at $599 and $1099 (education), respectively, I fail to see how people continue to say Macs are too expensive. Even Walt Mossberg notes [] "If you tried to match the specs of the base iMac G5 in a traditional Dell tower, you'd also pay more. A Dell Dimension 4600, with the best processor, Windows XP Pro, the best 17-inch flat-panel monitor, a CD recorder and the same graphics card, costs $7 more than the 17-inch iMac. And it's much bulkier and uglier."

  • by Power Everywhere ( 778645 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:16AM (#10564675) Homepage
    These new G4 chips have support for 200 MHz busses. Why does Apple not let those of us still browsing back in the G4 section have that little bitmore performance? iBooks and PowerBooks should have 200 MHz busses all thw way across the board.
    • by prototypical ( 817329 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:44AM (#10564993)
      Actually, unless I missed a press release somewhere, the 200mhz bus isn't a factor until Freescale rolls out the MPC7448 chip sometime in the near future. That's the one that's ridiculously low power (Freescale claims 10 watts at 1.8ghz), with pin-compatibility to the older parts and the upgraded bus. These are likely MPC7445 or MPC7447A parts, which are slower, hotter, and not manufactured at 90nm like the new offerings will be.

      I expect to see the 7448 as an incremental update to the PowerBooks, until apple can stick the MPC8461D dual-cores in their place later next year. Apple is, as usual, playing their cards close to their chest, but anyone that's been paying attention to Freescale's moves knows that Crolles2 is online and rolling out parts from the production lines. They've got functional 90nm production, the last I heard, and are working on tooling for samples at 65nm in 2005.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:17AM (#10564683)
    I bet a revision of the PB line can't be far off: the 12" PB now looks way overpriced next to the 12" iBook.
  • by spoonyfork ( 23307 ) <spoonyfork&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:19AM (#10564704) Journal
    Apple: going out of business since 1984.
  • Even though... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Killjoy_NL ( 719667 ) <slashdot@remco.palli . n l> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:20AM (#10564710)
    Even though I'm more of a PC guy, I have always liked Apple computers, since I don't know a LOT about them (I only fixed them now and then at a dutch apple reseller), I find them to be generally userfriendly and appealing to the eye (Except for the first I-Mac design).

    From what I've seen, Apple is not really afraid to take risks (hence the IMac design, 2nd IMac design and the latest IMac, OSX). I've also been quite impressed by their network/server solutions, they do seem to have a lot of horsepower for their intended job.

    Even though I'm not buying one (I'm more of a PC gamer/tech than an Apple one), I hope they will do well in the future :)
  • by rollthelosindice ( 635783 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:20AM (#10564720) Homepage
    This is awesome news about the strength of the G4 iBook. Really continuing to be a strong product, and exceeding what many thought the limitations of the G4 in a notebook would be.

    However, There really is no correlation between improved iBooks and the problems that apple face in getting the G5 to stay cool enough for use in the powerbook design. It's just wishful thinking.

  • by JimBobJoe ( 2758 ) <swiftheart&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:24AM (#10564778)
    I'm actually helping a close friend purchase a new 12" apple laptop...we had more or less settled on the powerbook (she's a new college student studying film, the thinking being that the powerbook's more robust bus would help with video editing, if she decided to do that) but now I wonder again...what should one know in comparing the ibook to the powerbook, now that the ibook has the new speed increases?
    • You basically *need* a PowerBook for video work. The video-card and bus difference is too big to contemplate using an iBook, even this updated one, for video editing. Go with the PowerBook.
      • by gobbo ( 567674 ) <> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:28AM (#10565600) Journal
        You basically *need* a PowerBook for video work.

        Yes. Wait, No.

        "Need" is one of those funny bendable words. I just helped someone who's fairly broke get a low-end iBook in order to finish postproduction on a major project (12 one-hour training videos). It's working fine, just a little slow switching in and out of Photoshop and FCP (needs more RAM and hasn't started the dual monitor hack yet).

        I have friends who are getting short (20+ mins.) films into major festivals using souped-up G3 450's, and I'm busy (ahem, /. aside) running a 1hr. feature through a dual 450. Yes, faster machines make for better render times, but you need to take a break anyway (and need to respect your deadlines well). The real speed comes with knowing what you're doing, and that's wetware not hardware.

        Don't believe the hype. Rendering speed is only a major issue when you have to cycle stuff out the door quickly to make the bucks. Otherwise, the interface is responsive enough, and I generally get just as much done on the G4 dual450 as I do on the spanky fast dualG5, if it's basic editing.

    • by pkhuong ( 686673 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:38AM (#10564928) Homepage
      Lighter, more professional looking*, better FSB, possibility to go and haggle for a lower price due to the new ibook being so close in perf?
      More built-ins: 802.11g, BT, larger HD. More video RAM, which i guess is more important with Quartz. Better case (aluminium > plastic :). Oh, and the PB is slightly smaller in every dimension. Note that i only made the comparison for the 12.1" models, some points may not apply on larger ones.

      *That was actually important for my Corpo sister. She can't go on a board meeting with a shiny, cutesy iBook.
      • The new iBooks have 802.11g built in. The additional VRAM will be important with Tiger, as Core Image only works with 64 or more, which you don't get on the iBooks. The iBooks supposedly take more abuse than the PBs. Just some points that you should also consider.
    • by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#10565060)
      a a recently graduated film student, I can attest that the Powerbook is the way to go. Much faster, more robust, larger screen area, and the ability to have monitor spanning really make the Powerbook the way to go. I've seen and used both in action, and while the iBook functions for stuff like iMovie, When you get into Final Cut Pro, Motion, After Effects, and Photoshop (all needed in film school) the Powerbook really is the only useable solution. Editing a movie on Final Cut Pro on an iBook is an exercise in tedium and patience.
    • by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:10AM (#10565338) Journal
      The main thing stopping me from running out and buying one of these iBooks is that they still don't support a DVI monitor, as does my 15" PB. The 15" screen is just barely passable for editing; when I really want to work, I connect my cinema display.

      I really want a 12" though! I've been eyeing the refurb 12" PBs on Apple's special deals page for quite a while now.

      With this refresh of the iBook line, however, I think I can wait a bit longer and see what they do with the PBs in the next few months. I'd be shocked to see G5 PBs, but there's a lot they could do to make the PB line more appealing, better graphics being one.

      Anyway, if they haven't released or announced anything by MWSF, I might just settle.
    • The iBook and Powerbook use the same processor with the same bus speed. The G4 has a relatively slow bus speed, but it is quite up to the task of student video editing. I wouldn't use that as a limiting factor. Just about any computer with a dedicated video card is more than up to the task. Essentially the difference comes down to video card. The PowerBook has a wonderful ability to span the video to an external monitor or composite monitor/TV. The native 1024x768 12" iBook/Powerbook screen is the bar
    • by buckhead_buddy ( 186384 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:13AM (#10565386)
      I live near a big college campus. The coffee houses are packed with Apple gear both iBook and PowerBooks of all varieties. I'm actually guessing that the two factors that help the sales here are the popularity of the iPod and the ease of hookup to a wireless network. The current styles of white 14" iBook and 12" PowerBooks are the most popular. Maybe because of price, maybe because of portability (the 17" PowerBooks are great but they are bulky).

      While I haven't looked in a while, I recall some points about the PowerBook seemed better than the iBook for video uses. The ability to plug in a second monitor at home was one (Final Cut loves screen space).

      Powerbooks have their downside though. The metal case on mine has become very scratched and ugly (definitely get a case designed for a PowerBook to carry it in if you get a PB). The thin DVD drive right below the palm rest seems succeptible to skipping when I have my hand on the rest and typing away. The metal case does seem to offer slightly worse WiFi reception that the iBook (not by much, but it is noticable). And the plastic feet just never, ever stay on (which probably leads to more scratches on its bottom). None of these are horrible defects, but that tough, shiny motorcycle plastic body on the iBook is actually a very good thing if your machine is constantly on the move.

      Honestly, I think either iBook or PowerBook will work well for college tasks of writing papers and so forth. I think the iBook is better constructed for the rough college life, but the PowerBook has a bit more oomf and video versatility that may make video editing more comfortable. Both seem quite fashionable on my campus though.
  • Also Xserve RAID (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sometwo ( 53041 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:32AM (#10564849)
    Apple also updated its Xserve RAID system, which starts at $5999, "to deliver a massive 5.6 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity at the industry's most aggressive price for storage of just over $2 per GB. Apple has also expanded support for heterogeneous environments with certification from Cisco and SUSE Linux and optimized the system to work with its Xsan Storage Area Network file system." ml []
  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:36AM (#10564894)
    Nowadays all but the absolute lowest-end PC laptops have dual-headed display support with separate "screens" on the built-in display and the video out port. It's in the $1000 Compaq/HPs, the eMachines and Medions and so on. About the only major-brand PC laptop you can now buy withour dual-head support is Dell's 1100-series Celeron laptop.

    Apple still cripples the iBook with mirrored-only video. No desktop spanning. The Radeon chipsets they use do support it, but Apple reserves that feature for the Powerbooks.

    Should $1800 really be the cost of entry for a dual-head capable laptop in 2004? And if Apple really wants to make Bluetooth ubiquitous it's probably time to make it standard equipment on every machine like they did with USB and 1394.
    • by BMonger ( 68213 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:45AM (#10564999)
      Unless you do this:

      This works well, is incredibly easy to do, and can be reverted at any time.
    • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:47AM (#10565025) Homepage
      Apple still cripples the iBook with mirrored-only video. No desktop spanning. The Radeon chipsets they use do support it, but Apple reserves that feature for the Powerbooks.

      I've no idea why they continue do it, but it's easily worked around []. :-)
    • Apple still cripples the iBook with mirrored-only video. No desktop spanning. The Radeon chipsets they use do support it, but Apple reserves that feature for the Powerbooks.

      You can update the flash memory on the iBook to allow dual screen support. I was torn between a powerbook and my iBook but in the end I decided that the difference in price for the dual screen capability wasn't worth it. Then I found you could patch the iBook to support the feature and I have been extremely happy as a result.

      My iBo

  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:40AM (#10564946) Journal
    I like my iBook's hardware; it's survived enough abuse over the past 3 (or is it 4?) years to make replacing the expensive battery earlier this year worth it, rather than the sort of reluctant decision that it would be if I ever decided to replace the battery in my Toshiba, in which the PCMCIA slots have grown flaky ... and Yes, I know my iBook doesn't even have PCMCIA slots to *go* flaky ;)

    When I travel, I prefer the iBook because it's small/light, has a better keyboard than most laptops (though nothing like an IBM's, sadly), and gets good battery life.

    However, when I'm near an outlet at least, I prefer my Toshiba laptop or other intel-type machine just because I like the gigantic rafts of software that come with a typical Linux distro, I like auto-raise windows (is there any way to do this with OS X?) and virtual desktops (again -- maybe they exist for OS X, but I don't see built-in to the OS ...), and I happen to like blackbox/fluxbox, WindowMaker, Gnome and KDE a lot, and I use all of them as my mood dictates. (Others, too.) OS X is nice, and familiarity is nice, but since there's change going on in different directions aesthetically and in supposedly well-reasoned user-interface decisions, I like to switch around and see what's up in the free-GUI world.

    Also, though I understand it to be a nice application, I don't use iTunes (though I have used it) and don't at this date own an iPod (though I might one day). I am not a big fan of the iTunes interface -- many people like it, and I'll call it better than most interfaces but just not my thing. When I pop in a CD, it used to annoy me that iTunes would load rather than a simpler CD player app. So I'm perhaps not the typical OS X users :)


    Is there any current live Linux CD that will a) work spiffily - wireless, sound, sleep, keyboard controls for brightness and sound - on all current macs, or even all G3/G4 current macs? and b) serve as an easy installer, the way Knoppix or Mepis (or a bunch of others) will on x86?

    Something that comes with OpenOffice (with good fonts), AbiWord, The GIMP, XMMS, mplayer / vlc / firefox / gaim / several window managers would be good. Yes, I know some if not all of these are available for OS X, but only piecemeal afaik.

    I'm not knocking OS X: it's a very nice OS. I like it. However, I'd rather have a Linux desktop in general (I like the underlying software as well as the application software to be Free, for one thing, and for another thing, there's no accounting for taste), and I'm lazy. I've tried -- last year sometime -- the Gentoo PPC live CD, which was slow and IMO buggy on my iBook, and took googling just to find out how to reach X. There's been a PPC knoppix version, but I don't see any versions newer than July 2003. (Which might be OK, I have not yet tried that on my iBook.)

    Since the iBook hardware (and Apple hardware in general) is pretty stable (not to say "limited" :)), I'd think it would be easier to find a good Live CD-installer than it is, esp. considering how very well Mepis/Knoppix work.


    p.s. Really, I've read the flames on this topic before, so you can just say "FLAME" if you want; I'll get your meaning, and you'll save your wrists. I like OS X and do not demand that Live CD-Installers exist, but I am hopeful and curious.

    • is there any way to do this with OS X?

      Yes. Try out CodeTek Virtual Desktop... not only will it give you virtual desktops, more than you can shake a stick at... but it also gives you the option of 'Focus-Follows-Mouse'... check it out here: []

    • by Spyky ( 58290 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:53AM (#10565928)
      Why not just run ALL of the software you want ("OpenOffice (with good fonts), AbiWord, The GIMP, XMMS, mplayer / vlc / firefox / gaim / several window managers") in OS X itself?

      Install the X11 server from apple. Then go to Install fink.

      Then type things like "fink install bundle-gnome", "fink install gimp". "fink install windowmaker". OpenOffice distributes a binary for OSX

      In X11 preferences menu, set to Full Screen. Now you can run any window manager you like, full screen, command-option-A will swap you back to your normal OS X desktop. Set your xinitrc files to load the wm you want, and/or start gnome, etc...

      Another handy hint: add the line "export DISPLAY=:0.0" to your .bashrc so you can start X apps from the Apple Terminal application.

      Best of both worlds!

  • by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <.moc.x-nai. .ta. .nai.> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:12AM (#10565377) Homepage
    Apple made three releases today.

    1.) They released a new iBook, at a lower price point, with more included than before. A fully useful Mac laptop is now $999.

    2.) They released a new XServe RAID. They are competing at $2 a gig. This is much more aggressive pricing than their competitors, allowing them to edge into the enterprise based both on price and performance.

    3.) They now offer a single processor low-end G5. This lowers the price of entry into their pro-range. It helps keep up with demand, given that supply of G5 processors is an issue.

    What is this all about? Well, it lowers the price of entry for the platform. That is good for average consumers, and wooing people to the platform.

    However, look at which units these are. The low-end G5 is a great office machine. This is the computer you put under your desk. The iBook is a great laptop for someone who already has a desktop. The XServe RAID gets Macs into the server room. This is all about the Enterprise. Go for the solid midrange, and they will come.

  • by aarku ( 151823 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:24AM (#10565551) Journal
    This graphics card is soon very obsolete by Apple's standards, because it won't support the upcoming Core Image [] technology which is part of 10.4 Tiger [], scheduled to be out pretty soon as far as the lifetime of the iBook is concerned. Core Image is damn cool, and this little puppy will be left in the dust.
    • by prototypical ( 817329 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:50AM (#10565882)
      As has been pointed out numerous times, Core Image will support any machine that has even a remotely modern GPU. It will turn off the prettier eye candy so that it will still run, but the system won't at all be made unusable.

      Core Image, like Core Audio, is an optional toolset for people who feel like adding on to their programs. It's not at all a requirement to use the enhancements in Tiger. Hell, if Apple keeps up their delivery on performance, Tiger will probably be even faster than previous iterations, depending on how they handle Spotlight and the other new features.
  • 1024? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by famebait ( 450028 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:34AM (#10565691)
    Even the 14-inch has only 1024, which is simply below par IMO. Apart from that it looks like a very nice contender in the low-end portable market, but that screen would probably make me avoid it if I were shopping today. Shame; I do like that iPod-look.
    • Re:1024? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jcbphi ( 235355 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:34PM (#10571109) Homepage
      Of the handful of people I know who bought the 14", the lower resolution was a positive deciding factor. It seems that for older people with poorer vision, having bigger pixels is just wonderful.

      What's the use of more pixels if you can't see any of them?
  • by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @04:19PM (#10568856) Journal
    $54.00. It'll run GeOS, which everyone knows is just as good as OSX. It'll be cool.
  • Rest assured... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xenex ( 97062 ) <> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @05:13PM (#10569400) Journal
    ...that I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world. []

    Here's a little maths for you:

    A 17-inch 1.8GHz iMac is $US1,499, or $AU2,499.
    A 1.8GHz Power Mac is $US1,499, or $AU2,699.

    So, why the $200?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell