Apple Intros New iBook Notebook, G5 DesktopBy Sean Gallagher | Print
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Company unveils new lower-cost notebook line and entry-level PowerPC G5 desktop. Official says new video card in the works for 30-inch LCD.Just in time for holiday shopping, Apple released on Tuesday a new line of its entry-level iBook notebook computers. The latest version of the iBook line packs more processing power than its predecessors and comes with 801.11g wireless networking as a standard feature. But it's slimmed-down price tag will no doubt appeal to its targeted education and consumer and customers.
While the new iBook line is aimed at consumers, the top-end iBook's features now come close to those of the current 15-inch PowerBook that Apple considers part of its professional lineup. Priced at $1,499, the top-of-the-line iBook comes with a 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 14-inch LCD as well as Apple's slot-loading "SuperDrive," a combination CD-R and DVD-R drivefeatures once reserved for the PowerBook line.
The entry-level 12-inch iBook, which previously featured a 1Ghz processor, has been bumped up to a 1.2 GHz G4 processor.
"With the iBook announcements today, this is our notebook line going into the holidays," he told eWEEK.com. "With the combination of the price point, and built-in wireless networking (of the new iBooks), we think we've got a great holiday lineup."
That won't do much to stop speculation about what happens just past the holidays. The improved iBooks are fueling speculation about an impending upgrade to Apple's PowerBook notebook line. A portable version of the PowerPC G5 processor is anticipated early next year, however, upgraded G4 processor-based PowerBooks were widely expected to be announced before the G5's arrival.
Meanwhile, Apple's price-cutting wasn't limited to the iBook line. The company on Tuesday announced the immediate availability of a new, single-processor PowerMac G5 desktop system running a 1.8GHz CPU. The model is an "entry-level" version of the other three configurations with dual processors from 1.8GHz to 2.5GHz. The new single-processor model costs $1,499$500 less than its siblings..
"This gives customers a more-affordable entry point [to the PowerMac line]," said Tom Boger, director of Apple's worldwide product marketing.
In addition, Boger said that a new NVIDIA GeForce graphics card for the PowerMac would be available in November. The new card, he said, would provide "90 percent of the functionality of the NVIDIA Ultra card"the current display adapter shipping with new PowerMacs"for $100 less." The new card will include the "dual-dual" digital video interface technology required to drive two of Apple's 30-inch flat panel displays, currently supported only by the Ultra card.
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