Apple has updated its iBook range of consumer portable computers, by adding a new 14.1-inch iBook to the previously 12.1-inch line-up. The new larger screen iBook costs £1,599. Now that the new consumer desktop iMac is powered by a PowerPC G4 chip, the iBook is the only current Mac to still ship with a G3 processor.

"The iBook is the best consumer and education notebook on the market and our most popular portable ever," said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing.

During his keynote address at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2002, Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the iBook as "a huge success". He revealed that the US state of Maine had just ordered 36,000 iBooks for its schools.

Clarity costs weight The iBook's 1,024-x-768-pixel resolution remains the same, but the 14.1-inch screen allows for larger icons and clearer text.

The 5.9-lb 14.1-inch iBook weighs a pound more than the 12.1-inch model. Apple claims that the top-end iBook has a six-hour battery life, compared to the 12.1-inch models' five hours.

Like all Apple's Macs as of today, the iBook now comes with Apple’s next-generation Mac OS X pre-installed as the default operating system – Mac OS 9.2.2 is also available.

Pricing and availability The new iBook is available immediately in three standard configurations. (A fourth configuration remains available in the UK, but is likely to be dropped when stocks run dry.)

The 500MHz iBook costs £1,049 including VAT (£893 excluding VAT) and includes: a 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display; 128MB RAM; a 15GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and a CD-ROM optical drive.

The 600MHz iBook costs £1,299 including VAT (£1,105 excluding VAT) and includes: a 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display; 128MB RAM; a 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo optical drive.

The 600MHz iBook costs £1,599 including VAT (£1,360 excluding VAT) and includes: a 14.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display; 256MB RAM; a 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo optical drive.

The fourth iBook model that is still available while stocks last runs at 600MHz, costs £1,139 including VAT (£969 excluding VAT), and includes: a 12.1-inch (diagonal) active-matrix TFT display; 128MB RAM; a 15GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and a DVD-ROM optical drive.

Software bundle The new iBook bundles include: AppleWorks 6, Apple Developer Tools X, iMovie 2, iTunes 2, iPhoto (available as a free download at www.apple.com/uk), Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0, James Thompson PCalc 2, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5.1, Pangea’s OttoMatic, Smith Micro FAXstf X Preview, and Software Kiev WorldBook for Mac OS X.

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