Groovy In Graphite (2/15/00)

Manly men rejoice! Now you, too, can own an iBook without stirring up that pesky insecurity in your own masculinity. To the surprise of many and the delight of John Dvorak wannabes the world over, Apple announced the arrival of the iBook Special Edition, available in "stunning Graphite." A mere $1799 gets you the swanky grey-and-white laptop, packed to the gills with a 366 MHz G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, and a 6 GB hard disk. If you're relieved that the color issue's been resolved but you're still worried that the iBook's handle makes the thing look too much like a purse, well, you don't have to use it. Carry it like a textbook, if it puts to rest your fears of dredging up latent girly tendencies from the depths of your outwardly manly soul. (Sorry, folks; no FireWire, no DVD.)

Now, for you colorful souls who care not one whit about this whole "girly" issue, you're in luck: Tangerine and Blueberry are still available. Better yet, they're still just $1599, so you can save a couple hundred bucks by not paying the premium for monochromaticity. And on top of that, other than the color, Apple's refreshed "classic" iBooks share most of the Special Edition's advances; they inherit the 64 MB of RAM and the 6 GB hard disk, though their processor speed remains clocked at the original 300 MHz.

Is anyone thinking what we're thinking? The iBook Special Edition isn't just a nod to the Dvoraks of the world; it's an obvious attempt to duplicate the outstanding and surprising success of the iMac DV Special Edition. Will it work? It's a bit too soon to tell, but we're mildly concerned. See, whereas the iMac DV Special Edition gives you the premium Graphite case, twice the RAM, and a bigger hard disk for an extra $200, the iBook Special Edition only gives you Graphite and a faster processor. Not that we're pooh-poohing the G3/366-- it sounds nice and zippy. But the iMac Special Edition was pretty much a no-brainer, since at the height of its sales, the extra RAM alone was almost worth the $200. There's also the matter of $1499 versus $1299 for the iMac looks a little less daunting than $1799 versus $1599 for the iBook; in our opinion, even $1599 was pushing the consumer spending limit, so we're thinking most iBook SE sales may actually be to stylish professionals, not consumers. (And, of course, closet iBook fans who can't stomach blue or orange.)

SceneLink (2099)
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The above scene was taken from the 2/15/00 episode:

February 15, 2000: Pismo's here at last, with last year's look but a slew of new gadgets under the hood. Meanwhile, the iBook gains a Graphite sibling for those who don't dig Blueberry or Tangerine, and Apple admits defeat at last, finally unveiling faster G4s...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2098: Late But Running Fast (2/15/00)   The rumors sites which have been holding their collective breath until Macworld Expo Tokyo can now heave a mighty sigh of relief; Steve has left the building, and he left behind a slew of new Apple hardware in his wake...

  • 2100: Mourning The Speed Dump (2/15/00)   It was perhaps the most stunning innovation ever to emerge from Apple's labs, but alas, it proved not to be sustainable. In mid-October of last year, Apple unveiled the Great G4 Speed Dump, in which the company thought way "outside the box."...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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