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Apple debuts iBook

Steve Jobs takes Register's suggestion for consumer notebook's name

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Apple today announced its long-awaited consumer portable, formerly known by the codename P1 but now officially dubbed the iBook, as predicted by The Register back in April. Looking like a cross between Apple's earlier education-oriented portable, the eMate 300, and the iMac, the clamshell iBook will ship with a 12.1in TFT screen, full-size keyboard, 300MHz PowerPC 750 CPU, CD-ROM drive, 32MB RAM (expandable to 160MB), 3.2GB hard disk, two USB ports, and built-in 56kbps modem and 10/100 Ethernet adaptor. The notebook will also be Apple's first machine to sport an AGP graphics bus, through a 4MB AGP 2x ATI Rage Mobility graphics card. Like the iMac, the iBook has a built-in carry handle, and, like a cellphone, activates when the case is opened. And the power cable rolls up into the machine on a ratchet mechanism. The new "iMac unplugged" will ship in the US in volume in September (again as predicted here) in two iMac-style colours: tangerine and blueberry. Apple claimed the machine has a six-hour battery life. The pricing is good too. "The iBook contains features you'd find in a portable costing over $2000," claimed interim CEO Steve Jobs. "And we knew we could sell a bucket load of machines at that price," he boasted. Instead, the company will charge just $1599 for the machine. The machine also features optional wireless networking -- the so called AirPort technology, co-developed with Lucent. The AirPort add-in card connects to a built-in antenna and hooks the machine up to a base station via an 11Mbps RF link. AirPort cards will cost $99, the base station, which can connect up to ten iBooks, $299. A CardBus version of the AirPort card will be made available for existing PowerBooks. ®

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