iBook Dual USB – How did the Icebook get so Hot?

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Date: Sunday, August 12th, 2001, 20:50
Category: Archive

Apple put the world on its ear with the introduction of the new iBook. Gone is the ridiculous proportions of the old iBook, as well as the dayglow colors. Instead, Apple has delivered a mega-machine, one that appeals to all sorts of folks. Students and schools like the price, professionals like the size and style, and everyone likes the bundled CDRW. This computer is most certainly a real step forward for Apple.


Apple put the world on its ear with the introduction of the new iBook. Gone is the ridiculous proportions of the old iBook, as well as the dayglow colors. Instead, Apple has delivered a mega-machine, one that appeals to all sorts of folks. Students and schools like the price, professionals like the size and style, and everyone likes the bundled CDRW. This computer is most certainly a real step forward for Apple.

First up is the size. It feels heavier than its listed weight, a function of having mass in a small shape. The Icebook looks like it might weigh as little as a pound. Pick it up, though, and you can see where Apple came by its claims of improved strength over the old iBook. Although the surface is VERY easily scratched, you would have to throw this thing off of the Empire State building to hurt it. Yet it tucks away in a tiny little bag and goes where you go. Perfect for a portable.

Also, the built in CDRW means less to carry around. This combo drive is a great performer, although the write speed lags far below currently available Firewire external drives. However, who wants to lug around a drive and power adapter that weigh as much as your laptop? Or lug anything extra around for that matter. I have burned a few CDs with this thing and it is what I have come to expect from Apple internal drives: easy to use and fast enough to get the job done.

There are a few things wrong, however. I will start with the small stuff. The yo-yo power adapter to be precise. First, the color change of the cord from a clear gray to opaque white makes it look cheaper. Sure, the white matches the iBook, but it looks like something you would pick up at the bargain bin of a local Radio Shack. Secondly, the new-style clip of the plug leaves the plug dangling out away from the yo-yo when you have it all rolled up. Thus it catches on things and unrolls, leaving a mess on occasion. How hard would it have been to leave a nodule on the plug like the old style? I hope 3rd parties are working on small Icebrick power adapters to replace the included Apple product. It just doesn’t measure up.

Another problem is heat. I thought my Pismo would smoke under heavy use. The Icebook, especially when plugged in but still in lap use gets way too hot for comfort. I had to move it off of my lap and onto a couch. This is the price you pay for the small size. It is basically a Pismo squished down into a smaller area. Things are bound to get a little smoky.

My final complaint involves the placement of the power plug receptacle vs. the CD door. Sorry, but unless you have the cord carefully pinned back, if you are opening and closing the door you will eventually get the cable stuck in it. Why couldn?t the power be over by the rest of the ports? It would be a more elegant solution as well as more useful.

However, for anyone sitting on the fence about the Icebook I have only one thing to say: BUY! And treat yourself to the combo drive. It will come in handy, especially the first time you are in an office with only Windows machines and a stubborn network. Just put a blank CD in there and write all the data you need. Viola. Give to PC people and you are done. Treat yourself to a DVD on the plane ride home. You’ve earned it. And you?ll save on the chiropractor bills from not having any extra equipment to carry around.

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