The clamshell iBook was an inexpensive notebook for the consumer market, which was offered for a reasonable 1599 US dollars and therefore initially did not include many features that were reserved for the PowerBook line for professional users:
- no stereo speakers
- no PC card slots
- no infrared port
- no built-in microphone
- no SCSI connection
- no sound-in connection
- no Firewire port (available since 2000, Second Edition)
- no video out (available since 2000, Second Edition)
- no DVD drive (since 2000 in the 466MHZ models)
Neither the processor nor the built-in graphics card could be exchanged or upgraded.
From today's point of view, the screen resolution of 800x600 pixels is the most annoying - although the installation of a high-quality TFT screen in a consumer notebook was an absolute novelty in 1999; The poorer quality passive matrix screens were common at the time.