Apple’s entry-level laptop family received a minor refreshing this week, picking up a speed bump and larger hard drives but not much else. The basic $1,000 12-inch iBook configuration now includes an 800 MHz PowerPC G3 processor (up from 700 MHz) and a 30 GB hard drive. For $1,300, you can move up to a 12-inch iBook with a 900 MHz processor and a 40 GB hard drive. The larger 14-inch model, at $1,500, also sports a 900 MHz processor and 40 GB drive; a custom-built option offers a 60 GB drive, 640 MB of RAM, and an AirPort card built-in. The big surprise with this update is that these models don’t support AirPort Extreme, especially since this revision is likely to be the one that students and school districts will be considering for the next school year. However, with school budgets tightening, perhaps Apple is attempting to keep costs down until AirPort Extreme is more widely adopted. The new iBooks are available now.
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