Pros: Screen clarity, DVD/CD player, iTunes, virus free, bulletproof OS, quiet keyboard, silent computer
Cons: battery charge, OSX compatibility, sporatic internet connection, dual function F-keys
I have had my iBook since the last quarter of 2003, and I have been using the internet with it for the past year and a half. This computer has done what I want it to do with very few exceptions, despite those exceptions being pretty annoying.
Let's get to the exceptions first. One thing is the battery. Since it is now my main form of computing, I have the computer almost constantly plugged in, but due to the way it was built, the iBook is running on both the battery and wire, resulting in my battery gradually weakening. At this time, I cannot use my iBook without it's powercord for longer than 30 minutes without the battery level reaching critical. I guess these batteries weren't made to live forever, but I atleast expected something like this to be bypassed, ya know, when it is plugged in, use the power cord and "trickle charge" the battery to keep it up to spec. Instead it uses both powersources. Oh well.
My next peeve is that many websites are not built for Safari, Mac OSX native browser. Although I do have Mozilla Firefox installed, due to it's hokey performance, I use Safari more often. My bank's website does not show up correctly on Safari and some other websites I visit, load weird, resulting in longer load times. This issue is bound to be fixed up over time when Macs start to become more prevalent, but surely, something as simple as browser compatibility should be implemented in virtually all websites. Also, OSX does seem to have a problem when it comes to certain programs. Some games or other programs I try to load pop up as a folder with some of the various files. I do prefer putting in the disc and then clicking on install rather than searching though one of two folders for the install command(although this is at the extreme).
Another dislike is the capability of the internet connection via wireless. Sure, it might be the home network causing the slow performance issues, but an 11Mbps wireless card is certainly fast enough to handle a cable internet wireless network. My iBook seems to handle my parents DSL wireless network better than the Cable one here at my apartment, but who knows, I might have some moochers on our line at some times, hence the slow performance.
My final dislike is the setup for some of the keys. The volume and brightness controls, along with numlock and the eject button are integrated into the F1 through F12 keys, resulting in the need for an addition key, labelled the "fn" key. I play Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction on my iBook some times, and I need access to the F keys to play my best. I can get a USB keyboard, but I to lazy to go out and buy one just for the sake of a single video game. I can't play WarCraft 3 for the same reasons as well. I need easy access to the F keys, but due to this unusual quirk, what I need and when I want it isn't there. Under all other circumstances though, it is just fine.
Now for the positive things!
First off, is the screen clarity. The extra thin, bright LCD screen brings all the colors and shadows out to great the viewer. I have never seen anything to clear and beautiful as some pictures of Yellowstone or Outerspace panning and zooming on my desktop for a screen saver. The resolution on this monitor, although small by modern standards, is still very exceptional.
Another benefit on this Mac is the combination DVD/CD player. Now I can play DVD movies, listen to CD's, play video games AND burn CD's all on the same drive! I have done each many times over the past 3 years with this computer and it has yet to give up the ghost. In addition to listening to music, I think iTunes it probably one of the best, if not, THE best music storage and playback program currently available. I can edit songs to my every whim and storage is only limited to how big my harddrive is.
One of the main strengths of Mac computers has and still is the Operating System (OS). I've ran adaware programs and virus check programs to find no issues what soever. I do not have a virus protection program, i.e. Norton Anti-Virus, on this computer and I have yet to see or experience any indication of a system compromise.
One thing I also do love is the lack of times I have had to reboot the computer. To this date, the only times I have had to reboot was when I installed Diablo 2 without the new install patches, and reboot when my computer found and updated certain system parameters. Other than that, I almost never have to reboot due to system errors.
Another thing I love about this computer is that it is silent, no only on the keyboard, but also when running. The only time I notice any form of noise coming from this device is when a CD is playing or when the computer is being taxed pretty high, i.e. video games.
I have had this computer for nearly three years and I can't recommend an iBook highly enough for anyone looking for a simple, reliable, stable and user friendly laptop. Go to your nearest Apple Store and give em a look. I heard the new Intel Powered laptops are supposed to be even better than this!