Apple's iBook range has been ramped-up to include faster PowerPC G3 processors that now run at up to 800Mhz with an entry-level price of just £849.

The 12.1-inch DVD/CD-RW Combo iBook was £1,299 - the equivalent model in the currnet range costs just £1,099. The 14.1-inch DVD/CD-RW Combo iBook in the previous range cost £1,599; today's equivalent is £1,349.

The Apple Store also sells a build-to-order version orf the 14.1-inch model for £1,638. This offers 384MB of RAM, 40GB hard drive and three years of service cover in the form of an AppleCare package.

All models now feature the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics card for 3D performance, equipped with 16MB DDR RAM (entry-level) or 23MB DDR RAM (the rest of the range).

The new models are built to take advantage of Quartz Extreme. This uses a supported graphics card built into the Mac to run graphics calculations, taking the load off the main processor. This improves overall system performance, making for a more responsive Mac when engaged in graphics-rich activity.

Apple's vice president of hardware product marketing Greg Joswiak said: "The iBook offers consumers and education customers cutting-edge technologies and a stunning design in a powerful and affordable package.

"With faster processors, incredible graphics and new prices, the iBook delivers value in a lightweight, fully-featured notebook unmatched in the industry."

The software bundle includes iPhoto, iMovie 2, iTunes 3 and Mac OS X 10.2. Third-party software includes Microsoft Internet Explorer, AOL Instant Messenger, Adobe Acrobat Reader, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, AppleWorks 6, Quicken 2003 Deluxe, Ambrosia Software's Deimos Rising, Pangea Software's Otto Matic and imaging application, PixelNhance.

Model Specifications

The entry-level iBook carries a 700Mhz PowerPC G3 processor, with 512K of on-chip level 2 cache. It comes with 128MB RAM pre-installed, a 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive, CD-ROM optical drive.

Next model up is the 800MHz G3 iBook, with 512K on-chip level 2 cache, 128MB RAM, a 30GB drive and Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive.

The 14.1-inch 800MHz model is also available. Other than the larger screen size this model's specifications are identical to the model described above.

All models offer 56K modems and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet. All are AirPort-ready.