Yesterday I was at Apple Soho for about four hours that was split between both the 12 and 14" iBooks. I do make regular trips there for the purpose of gaining familiarity with assorted products and also for attending some workshops, but this time my eye was clearly focused on the other "i's." I am not a person who takes copious notes based upon my visits because I do not meet anybody's definition of an under-the-hood technical wizard. As a general user not into the more demanding activities such as photo editing and moviemaking, I found both systems to be responsive and screen resolution was better than I expected. The cumputers come preloaded with OS 10.4.2 and despite the raising of the installed RAM to 512, these had 1GB on them. One bit of reasonably good news to me at least was that ordering it with an extra 512 of memory added $150.00 to the price. Sure it is higher than 3rd party RAM, but for me I will gladly pay the asking price just to avoid self-installation (not my personal strength). My typical usage would likely be to have AOL, Safari, Word, iTunes and a few widgets open at the same time. While at the store, I also opened up Zinio Reader, iPhoto, Excel, Activity Monitor and about 3-4 other apps and, as expected, was not plagued by the spinning beachball. Since all store models have many bonus programs and utilities loaded so people can have access to them and practice, I asked an employee who proved to be enormously helpful how much true space on a 40 GB hard drive is utilized by OS 10.4.2 and all factory installed applications and utilities. He explained that any size drive basically ends up having approx. 3 GB less because of formatting, etc. So the advertised 40 is now reduced to 37. Space taken by Mac OS and all software is approximately 7-8 GB, which would leave buyers with 30 GB free for their music, photos, text files and the like. My current G3 iMac from late 2000 had a 20 GB drive and I still have 9 GB left ... and over 7 GB is taken by my iTunes music library of 1,750 songs. I would clearly be exceedingly well served by a 60 GB drive, but will probably go with 80. I went through several customizing changes with different icons and desktop images and everything looked wonderful on screen. The Apple employee then opened up eight windows in Safari and demonstrated how they looked scaled down when Expose was activated ... very nice results. One new feature taken from the Powerbook line that is a welcome addition to the iBook community is the scrolling trackpad with tap and drag features. I loved it when it was initially introduced and am very pleased to see it extended to the PB's lower cost cousin. My limited concerns with iBooks has revolved around keyboard quality and peeling paint from selected letters, screen brightness and whether I have a bonafide need for the extra speed afforded by the Powerbook line. I don't see a blazing speed differential that makes it hard for me to live without a PB. Let me be clear in that PB's are outstanding computers, but the price differential for users who will not capitalize on all they have to offer is fairly steep. There is more than enough zip in processors running at 1.33 and 1.42 Ghz, respectively. As to the KB, it had a good solid feel to it and, while impossible to speculate as to the life expectancy of the painted letters, I plan to use iSkin for added protection regardless of what I finally buy. I am still mulling over whether or not I want a SuperDrive, but that is not something that will preoccupy my time for long. For those potential switchers and others like myself just contemplating an update from a current Mac to a new one, I would urge them to minimize some of the blurriness many grapple with by doing the following. Compare key stats between the models you look at (speed, RAM, size and cost) and then distinguish between that and your actual typical daily usage, not your imagined usage which rarely comes into play. With all that iBooks offer, I know I would be challenged to steadily use more than 30-40 percent of the features. There is no need for purchase overkill unless you are naturally fond of partaking in that activity. The iBooks are definitely worthy of receiving full consideration from most prospective buyers. Based upon my enjoyable visit to Apple, I can unequivocally sum up my feelings towards the new iBook line by stating that you can easily ... color me impressed!