CUPERTINO, CALIF. — Apple Computer took what it called a step toward reclaiming the education market from Dell last week when the company unveiled a new inexpensive iBook notebook computer line.
The three new iBooks, which do not have a specific name, will start shipping in about two weeks with a starting suggested retail price of $1,299. The entry-level model is powered by a 500MHz G3 processor, has a 12.2-inch TFT LCD, 10GB hard drive, FireWire ports, 64MB of RAM, a CD-ROM drive and is network ready. The step-up model, with a $1,499 suggested retail price, has 128MB of RAM and a DVD-ROM drive. The top-end version adds a CD-RW drive and carries a $1,599 suggested retail price. Slightly different configurations are available through Apple's build-to-order program, including a combination DVD/CD-RW drive and 20GB hard drive. All weigh in at 4.9 pounds.
Special pricing will be available for schools.
Keeping in line with Apple's stylistic approach to computer design, the new iBooks has the same basic lines as the company's high-end G4 notebooks, but replaces the G4's titanium case with one of white plastic.
Apple hopes retailers will embrace its move, since many have complained that the company has done nothing of late to regain its former standing as the most favored computer among educators.