Apple has updated its iBook laptops with faster PowerPC G3 processors now running at up to 700MHz, double the on-chip level-2 cache running at full processor speed, a more powerful ATI Mobility Radeon graphics processor, and larger hard drives.

The DVD-ROM-only model - which survived in the UK longer than the US - has now been discontinued. Instead there are CD-ROM and DVD-ROM/CD-RW models of both the 12.1-inch and 14.1-inch iBooks.

“The iBook is our best selling consumer and education notebook ever,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior director of Hardware Product Marketing. “Now iBooks are even better for creating, organizing and sharing digital photos, movies and music on the go.”

According to Apple, the new iBook runs up to 35 per cent faster than previous models in CPU performance tests such as encoding a song from an audio CD into an MP3 file using iTunes. The iBook also now features a new video-out port that supports VGA output, as well as S-video and composite video with optional adapter.

The iBook is available with 12.1-inch (diagonal) or 14.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix 1,024-x-768-pixel displays. Models ships with either 128MB or 256MB RAM, with a maximum of 640MB.

The new ATI Mobility Radeon graphics controller features 16MB RAM and AGP 2X. Hard-drive capacities are 20GB or 30GB Ultra ATA hard drives, with a new 40GB option. Buyers still have a choice DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive or CD-ROM drive.

UK Pricing (including VAT) iBook with a suggested retail price of £1,599 includes: 700MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache.
14.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display.
256MB RAM.
30GB Ultra ATA hard drive.
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo optical drive.

iBook with a suggested retail price of £1,468 includes: 700MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache.
14.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display.
256MB RAM.
30GB Ultra ATA hard drive.
CD-ROM drive.

iBook with a suggested retail price of £1,299 includes: 700MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache.
12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display.
128MB RAM.
20GB Ultra ATA hard drive.
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo optical drive.

iBook with a suggested retail price of £999 includes: 600MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K on-chip level 2 cache.
12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display.
128MB RAM.
20GB Ultra ATA hard drive.
CD-ROM optical drive.