It is not yet a done deal, but there is a good chance that I might be buying a brand new iBook soon. I’d be getting it at a little break from retail and this is the newly upgraded higher end iBook – 14″ screen, 1 GHz processor, 40MB hard drive, etc. Apple is really clever with their pricing scales, particularly for laptops. Say you start out looking at the very bottom end iBook. For only another $200 you can get a significantly bigger screen with more HD and a faster CPU. OK, you decide to move a step up. Another few hundred and you can get into the Powerbook line with the metal case and such, etc. Before you know it, you have walked up $900 from where you started at, each step feeling perfectly rational and like it was worth the extra money for the increased value. When I really think about it, though, the difference in specs between the high end Powerbook that I had been lusting for and this iBook isn’t that great. It is a 1.5 GHz CPU vs 1.0 GHz, bigger HD and more ram, but then the price different is more than twice what I will be paying for iBook. With the extra $1400 I save, I can buy another iBook in a year or two when the specs will be just like the Powerbook I didn’t buy now. I’m still tickled crazy about the 350 MHz blue and white G3 that I bought used from a friend for $350 last year.
What I am most looking forward to is the battery life. The Apples have battery life hours longer than my Thinkpad, even years ago before the battery had been through so many charge/discharge cycles. My wife gets 4 hours on her Powerbook, I’m lucky to get 90 minutes on the Thinkpad. I also like the thought of getting OS 10.3 on this laptop. I can set it up with Eclipse for Java development, XCode for Mac development and the Zaurus cross compiler I put on my desktop Mac. That would be one badassed mobile development machine!