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Laptop of luxury

Apple iBook

Maybe they should have called it the meBook, because most of people who saw it responded with, "Me, me, me."

The iBook's no-compromise design puts Apple a league apart when it come to technology design. This upgraded iBook with its larger, 14-inch screen, has a deceptive capability that belies its sleek design. Straight from the box, it has software and hardware that can handle office applications, internet activities and audio and video authoring that can be burned straight to CD.

As PC enthusiasts are quick to point out, all this be done by PCs but rarely with such style and integration. And not with such impressive applications software thrown in - all with back-up on Apple websites through its iTools facility.

This machine runs Mac OS X software (with capability for Mac OS9) with a G3 (600MHz) processor and is one of the Apple offerings for the latest Computers for Teachers initiative. It did everything required with ease, right down to burning CDs. The only things missing were an infrared port and, important for digital camera users, a PC card slot. This latter omission showed up a speed issue of the iBook; copying digital photos from a memory card reader (USB) was noticeably slower on the iBook than the RM. However, Apple is upgrading the Laptop for Teachers iBook, with a faster chip (700MHz) and a bigger hard disk (30Gb).

As usual, Apple supplies a free game to demonstrate its multimedia superiority. This one is Otto, the adventures of a charming alien. Fred, aged two, was enchanted. Although he had no words to express it, he knew. If you don't believe me, ask his dad, Norman. He knew too, but he had bought something else.

Merlin John

Apple iBook

Fitness for purpose 5

Ease of use 5

Features 4

Design 4

Value for money 5

Price: pound;1,266

G3 (600MHz) processor

256Mb memory

20Gb hard disk

14.1-inch screen

CD-Rom driveburner

DVD drive

56K internal modem

FireWire port, 2 USB ports

10100mbs networking

Weight: 2.69kg

Software: Mac OSX, OS 9, AppleWorks 6.2, iMovie, iTunes iPix, QuickTime, Norton AntiVirus 8

Tel: 020 8218 1599

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