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Computing

Apple unveils portable iMac

ibook

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Low-cost laptop features wireless Internet access

July 21, 1999
Web posted at: 12:54 p.m. EDT (1654 GMT)

(CNN) - Apple unveiled a relatively low-cost, laptop version of its iMac personal computer on Wednesday at MacWorld. The iBook, a hybrid of the iMac and Apple PowerBook, can be configured for wireless networking.

The iBook, set to retail for $1,599 starting in September, features battery life of up to six hours and a 300-MHz G3 processor with 32MB of RAM in a notebook design in two of the trademark iMac colors - blueberry and tangerine.

The laptop also has built-in antennas and an internal slot for Apple's $99 AirPort wireless networking card. The wireless system uses radio frequencies and relies on a base station developed by Lucent Technologies. It is priced at $299 and also functions as a local area network.

airport
The AirPort Base Station houses a 56k modem and uses radio frequencies (much like a cordless phone) to allow wireless Internet connection   
The iBook screen is a 12.1" active-matrix, liquid-crystal color display. The machine also features an internal 56K modem and CD-ROM drive, as well as 10/100BASE-T Ethernet networking.

With the iMac design's rounded edges, the laptop looks like a giant clam, moreso than other PC laptops, but like its Apple desktop cousin lacks a floppy drive.

iBook's design innovations include a pullout handle for carrying and a latch-less closing mechanism for faster access.

"iBook is the 'iMac to Go' for both home and school," Apple interim Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said in a press release. "And iBook was designed right from the start to use Apple's revolutionary new AirPort wireless networking for cable-free Internet access."

Other features include:

  • a Lithium-ion battery;
  • 32MB RAM expandable to 160 MB;
  • 512K backside cache
  • a 3.2 GB hard drive;
  • a full-size keyboard;
  • one USB port;
  • the Mac 8.6 operating system and a collection of gaming and other software;
  • and a power cord that reels in like a yo-yo and built-in stereo headphone jack.


RELATED STORIES:
PowerBook G3: Thinner, faster, more efficient
July 20, 1999
Big Apple, small PCs
June 22, 1999
No surprises as Jobs talks up Apple product road map
May 11, 1999

RELATED SITES:
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