Apple iBook G4 Processor: 1. 33 GHz PowerPC G4 RAM: 512 MB Hard drive: 40 GB Weight: 4. 9 lbs. (5. 3 lbs. with power adapter) Display: 12-inch...

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Processor: 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4

RAM: 512 MB

Hard drive: 40 GB

Weight: 4.9 lbs. (5.3 lbs. with power adapter)

Display: 12-inch LCD

Apple Computer’s hardware tends toward the cutting edge of industrial-design chic, with sleek, clean lines. Sometimes that style costs extra, sometimes it doesn’t.

Apple’s laptops exhibit that trend nicely. Most of them, especially the larger PowerBooks, sell at a premium over similarly equipped Windows portables. If you need DVD-burning capability, a PC Card slot or a larger screen, you’ll have to pay that extra price.

If, on the other hand, you just need an everyday machine that won’t weigh heavily on your shoulder, the entry-level iBook G4, at $999, stands out as a great deal.

Even with the power adapter, you’ll be hauling only 5.3 pounds of computer. It lasted for 3 ¼ hours of DVD playback and ran for just under 6 ½ hours with all its power-saving options activated.

The iBook’s sleek, white case houses a sharp, clear, 12-inch screen, easier to read than many larger displays. Its keyboard feels right, and the expansion ports line up in a row on the left side.

The only quirk is the slot-loading CD/DVD drive; ejecting a disc can be tricky if the laptop isn’t flat.

— Michael Tedeschi, Special to The Washington Post