Apple Speeds Up iBooks, Beefs Up Mac Mini Memory

The iBook series now sports either 1.33GHz or 1.42GHz PowerPC G4 processors, 512MB of memory across the board, and built-in Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme, the last Apple's name for its 802-11g wireless technology.

Previously, only the more expensive Apple PowerBooks came standard with wireless and Bluetooth.

The new iBooks -- available with 12.1- or 14.1-inch screens -- also now feature two other technologies once limited to the PowerBook family: Apple's scrolling TrackPad, and its Sudden Motion Sensor. The first speeds up scrolling of long documents or Web pages, while the second locks down the hard drive if quick movement, such as a fall, is detected.

The iBooks come pre-loaded with Mac OS X 10.4 ("Tiger") and are priced at $999 for the 12.1-inch model and $1,299 for the 14.1-inch display.

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The Mac mini line-up, meanwhile, has a new model, a 1.42GHz-powered box with built-in CD-RW/DVD-RW SuperDrive, priced at $699. The SuperDrive was previously available only as an option.

All the mini models now include 512MB of RAM and Mac OS X 10.4, with the top two boasting both Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless.

The prices of the low and middle models remains the same: $499 for a mini with a 1.25GHz PowerPC G4, and $599 for the 1.42GHz unit.

All new iBooks and Mac mini systems are available immediately in retail and direct from Apple through its online store.