There's something peculiar about unpacking Apple products. Where the average laptop is clad in nothing but some mouldy clumps of packing foam and a wedge of cardboard, Apple wraps its products in an opulent series of anti-chambers that contain translucent plastic and attractive origami-style inserts. This is the Tutankhamen of laptops -- we felt like we were excavating a lost boy prince, not unwrapping a new 1.33GHz 12-inch iBook G4.
In some ways, the ostentation of its packaging is justified, because this iBook is a delight to behold. When someone asked if we could see anything inside the box, we could do little to stop ourselves uttering Howard Carter's immortal words, "Yes, wonderful things."
Differentiating itself from the even more delicious-looking PowerBook range, the iBook ditches titanium for a pure, glossy white. As with the rest of the Apple line-up, the 12-inch iBook runs the UNIX-based OSX Tiger operating system, notable both for its current absence of any known viruses and for its extensive feature set -- Microsoft is still playing catch-up with Apple on this front.
Not just a pretty face, the iBook gallops through hardcore computing tasks such as video in Final Cut Pro like a stallion with its tail on fire. This thing is swift. Expect a full review soon. -- CS