Product Type: Apple computers
Newest Review: ... G4 or G5 desktop if you wanted to play games on an apple computer. I very highly recommend the iBook. I went for the 14.1" version b... more
Member Name: Tybalt348
Date: 03/03/03, updated on 10/09/03 (1192 review reads)
Advantages: Reliable, Easy to use, Excellent software
Disadvantages: Less software available, A little pricy
I recently bought an iBook to take away with me to university in September, wanting something different from a normal windows system. I briefly considered getting Linux, but then looked at the iBook and decided to give it a try. People tried to convince me it was a bad idea initially, saying that I'd have to get used to a new OS and there wasn't much software for it. Blah Blah Blah :)
Well, it took about a few days to get used to the new OS. I haven't had a problem with it. The only reason it feels odd at first is that I'm so used to Win 98. A total computer newbie would find learning to use Mac OSx much easier than Windows. The software that comes with it is excellent and feels very well thought out, unlike the utilities that come with windows, which can feel like something of an afterthought. There are a few little weirndnesses, but I'm sure that they result from my inexperience with the software and aren't the fault of the system.
There are some slight niggles with it though - you'll miss the windows taskbar at times when talking to 3 people on AIM or browsing multiple windows. It can also feel a little restrictive at times, but the flip side of that is that it's harder to mess things up without realising it. The single mouse button is a little annoying until you realise that if you plug in a 2 buttoned mouse, you can right click to your heart's content, just like in Windows.
What else? It all feels very well made, like it will last a long time. It's well specced, with 2 USB ports, Firewire, an Ethernet card and a modem as standard. The visual quality of the monitor is nothing short of phenomenal with an extremely clear, sharp picture. The compatibility problems aren't really that bad, because there is excellent software out for the mac and I haven't yet wanted to do something that I couldn't. If all you want is a games machine, this wouldn't be the one to go
for though. It will play games, there just aren't nearly enough around for it, and it is a little low on power. You'd be better off with a G4 or G5 desktop if you wanted to play games on an apple computer.
I very highly recommend the iBook. I went for the 14.1" version but the 12" version was just as impressive. Only a little smaller. It's a fantastic system for those who are looking for something a little different and for those who are new to computers. Give it a try.
UPDATE: I believe this review may be for the wrong "class' of iBook. Mine is the one currently on sale on www.apple.com. It's the 800Mhz, 256Mb, 14", DVD CD-RW version. The other reviews here seem to be for the older iBooks.
LONG TERM UPDATE: Ok, well I've had the iBook since late February now, so I have a good idea of what it's like owning one in the long term. I have to say that I haven't looked back once, or once regretted buying it. It's crashed once on me, in about 7 months. It doesn't get much better than that, and I don't know a single person who has a windows machine that matches my iBook's record.
I have friends with windows XP laptops that are, to be honest, a mess. One of them can only run about half the games he buys. Another of them has a problem with Windows media player which means it takes about 15 seconds to load an MP3. They ALL crash regularly. Looking at the software that comes with their machines, I'm happy I bought the apple. I love the way it all feels totally integrated, the way programs all just work together without problems and on the very rare occasion that a program has an error and needs to close, it doesn't affect the rest of the system. I've also tried out networking the machine, and it's extremely easy to connect to a windows system. I used it to play Quake 3, if you're interested.
The ONLY problem with it
is a slight lack of power. I put in another 256Mb RAM for it, which has given it a useful boost, but it's not a blazing fast system. It's more than adequate for what I want to use it for though, and still much faster than any 800Mhz windows system.
My best piece of advice to a new owner would be to learn all the keyboard shortcuts. They make life much easier and come in really handy. The problem I had in the past with multiple windows is no longer a concern. But I still rate it 5 stars and I'd give it 6 if I could.