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View Full Version : Buying an ibook or powerbook 12 for wife




liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 09:50 AM
I've recently converted to mac and don't ever plan on going back. I have a macbook pro and love it. My wife has been wanting a small laptop. She thinks netbooks are cute. So I had the idea of getting her a powerbook or ibook 12. They have about the same specs and I can get one for 200-300 on ebay. She uses her computer for itunes, syncing her iphone, web, facebook and games like farmville. Would an ibook handle that? Is there any downside in choosing this route over a netbook? Are there any known problems with the ibooks or powerbooks that I should know about? thanks alot.



ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 10:05 AM
If you do go with a PPC Mac laptop, make sure you get at least a G4 857Mhz or faster. That is the minimum requirement for OS X 10.5 Leopard. Not sure if you can get a decent iBook G4 for your price range. Also, keep in mind that white iBooks have a reputation of being very unreliable and very difficult to work on.

Personally, I would limit my purchases to Intel Macs only ... but that's just me. And it certainly bumps up the budgetary requirments as well.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 10:15 AM
Here is one I found on ebay for 300 buy it now.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-PowerBook-PowerPC-G4-1-5GHz-12-1-Laptop-/370425284722?pt=Apple_Laptops&hash=item563f114872#ht_1844wt_982
were the powerbooks more reliable then the ibooks?

d88co88
Sep 1, 2010, 10:18 AM
Here is one I found on ebay for 300 buy it now.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-PowerBook-PowerPC-G4-1-5GHz-12-1-Laptop-/370425284722?pt=Apple_Laptops&hash=item563f114872#ht_1844wt_982
were the powerbooks more reliable then the ibooks?

I have had both, and IMO, both were VERY reliable. If she's looking a lot of durability, go with the ibook. If not, definitely go with a PowerBook that is at least 1.0 GHz in processor speed and then max out the ram yourself.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 10:21 AM
I dont quite understand are you saying the ibook is more durable than the powerbook?

d88co88
Sep 1, 2010, 10:28 AM
I dont quite understand are you saying the ibook is more durable than the powerbook?

The 12" PowerBook I owned was well taken care of but as it aged, the bottom case started to pry off in places, which didn't affect the performance at all. My school's iBook G4's (yes, they still have iBooks, mostly G3's :mad:) who have been beaten the heck out of are still in good condition and run fine. Overall I do recommend the PowerBook because IMO, it feels more comfortable and spacious.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 10:35 AM
oh I understand. So if I get a powerbook with the 1.5 ghz processor and max out the ram would it be able to do everything my wife will want while running leopard?

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 10:35 AM
Here is one I found on ebay for 300 buy it now.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-PowerBook-PowerPC-G4-1-5GHz-12-1-Laptop-/370425284722?pt=Apple_Laptops&hash=item563f114872#ht_1844wt_982
were the powerbooks more reliable then the ibooks?

I would think that the 12" PBs were more reliable than the 12/14 ibooks. iBook logic boards had a nasty habit of going bad. Apple had a repair program institued for iBooks that covered a boatload of machines. I'm not aware of a similar program for the 12" PBs.

I have had both, and IMO, both were VERY reliable. If she's looking a lot of durability, go with the ibook. If not, definitely go with a PowerBook that is at least 1.0 GHz in processor speed and then max out the ram yourself.

If you didn't have problems with your iBook, then you were lucky. Earlier ibooks had issues with the screen due to the hinge design. Apple changed the design later to remedy this. The logic board issue was probably (my theory) due to flexing. A lot of folks would hold the iBook in a manner that allowed the logic board to flex. Over time, I surmise that the wear/tear would be too much and you'd get symptoms.

When buying used, you really have no idea how the previous user cared for the device. My suggestion, buy a Macbook. I've compared the size of the Macbook to the size of the 12" ibook and they're very similar. The Macbook is thinner, the same depth, and only slightly wider. Neither will be mistaken for a netbook.

If price is an issue, then I'd go with the Powerbook.

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 10:39 AM
oh I understand. So if I get a powerbook with the 1.5 ghz processor and max out the ram would it be able to do everything my wife will want while running leopard?

Farmville might not run to well since it runs on Flash. Flash is crappy even on recent Macs. All of the other stuff will run OK for the next year or two. G4's are limited to 10.5 Leopard, so any of the new stuff that requires 10.6 and above won't work. Not sure if that's a big deal or not.

d88co88
Sep 1, 2010, 10:53 AM
oh I understand. So if I get a powerbook with the 1.5 ghz processor and max out the ram would it be able to do everything my wife will want while running leopard?

Flash ran great on my PowerBook running leopard and it had 1.25 gb of ram. It should be the same for you. Go with the 1.5 GHz PowerBook and max out the ram like you said and it will be a great machine even today.

ahm
Sep 1, 2010, 10:54 AM
Don't be so mean. Maybe look for a used Intel Core Duo at least. Or find a Dell Mini 10v and install Snow Leopard on it. A 12" iBook? What a mean guy. :)

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 10:56 AM
If I'm going to buy her a netbook I would think a powerbook with almost the same specs for almost the same money would be better. for mac os if nothing else.

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 11:06 AM
If I'm going to buy her a netbook I would think a powerbook with almost the same specs for almost the same money would be better. for mac os if nothing else.

I actually think a fast G4 PB would perform better than a typical netbook. The thing is, if your wife wants a small laptop, then a 12" PB isn't it. Sure, it's smaller than most laptops, but it's nowhere near as small as a netbook.

Like I said above, the current Macbooks are about the same size as the 12" PBs and iBs.

As for Flash performance, d88 says it works fine. So I'll amend my concern that Farmville may not run too well. It's good to have info from actual users.

Quick comment. The PB you linked on eBay is on 10.4 Tiger. Finding a copy of 10.5 Leopard can be an expensive proposition. I've seen them go as high as $250. But I also see them on Craigslist for $40.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 11:11 AM
I didn't realize they were the same size as the macbooks. May have to think about it. I have about five powerbooks in my watch list on ebay I'll double check that they're running leopard. I know one that ends in five hours is running leopard. Besides the size maybe being an issue any other concerns or things I should think about?

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 11:12 AM
here is one that watching right now.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320579824347&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_500wt_967

max••
Sep 1, 2010, 11:21 AM
I actually think a fast G4 PB would perform better than a typical netbook. The thing is, if your wife wants a small laptop, then a 12" PB isn't it. Sure, it's smaller than most laptops, but it's nowhere near as small as a netbookwhile i agree the ibooks are bigger IMO the are better as the as i find alot of web pages are too big for the screens on netbooks, i went from a hackintosh netbook to a ibook g3 as i hated usng the web on the netbook

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 11:29 AM
I didn't realize they were the same size as the macbooks. May have to think about it. I have about five powerbooks in my watch list on ebay I'll double check that they're running leopard. I know one that ends in five hours is running leopard. Besides the size maybe being an issue any other concerns or things I should think about?

Just checked on size.

The PB is 8.6x10.9x1.2
The MB is 8.9x12.8x1.1

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 11:31 AM
well right now she is using a 15 inch toshiba laptop with 1.73ghz processor and 2 gigs of ram on vista. This thing is huge. it weighs 6.5 lbs. so even if it's not as small as a netbook it is a lot smaller than what she has now. Plus it's metal as apposed to plastic on a net book.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 11:35 AM
I measured her toshiba it's 14.25 X 10.5 and 1.75 thick.

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 11:42 AM
I measured her toshiba it's 14.25 X 10.5 and 1.75 thick.

Well, going from that to a 12" PB would be a huge improvement.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 11:46 AM
Yeah thats kind of what I was thinking. She's not really a techie she just wants a smaller computer. But it really bothers me to buy a netbook when I can get her a mac with similar specs and better build quality for the same price. So should I pull the trigger on a powerbook over a netbook or is there anything else I should consider?

ftaok
Sep 1, 2010, 01:37 PM
Yeah thats kind of what I was thinking. She's not really a techie she just wants a smaller computer. But it really bothers me to buy a netbook when I can get her a mac with similar specs and better build quality for the same price. So should I pull the trigger on a powerbook over a netbook or is there anything else I should consider?

Well, other than getting her a Macbook (new or used), there really is nothing in your original price range.

If you want to spend even more cash, give her your MBP and buy yourself a new MBP, provided you have a 13" MBP.

iBlue
Sep 1, 2010, 01:43 PM
I write this to you today with a 1.5 GHz PPC G4 Powerbook. I love it and use it like a netbook but I have to be honest, there are times it really struggles with heavy webpages, particularly flash-based ones. For not a lot more money you could get a macbook with an intel processor and the machine will be much more capable on the net. Whenever I have to do anything of substance I have to head for the Mac Pro. ;)

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 01:49 PM
When you say "anything of substance" what do you mean? I know it won't be a powerhouse. That's what my mbp is for. The powerbook would just be for my wife. The most intensive thing she would use it for would be farmville. Have you ever run farmville on your powerbook? How did it do?

MacHamster68
Sep 1, 2010, 02:15 PM
i had (still have but not working)a iBook G4 1.42 told the story in other posts but to make it short it will play farmville , fishville and all the others but the processor gets a heavy load to work means constant 100% when you play , mine was (still is) in pristine condition , not a single sign of wear when i bought it a couple month ago (payed higher end of your price range , but in british pound near the 300 mark )
but sadly one day it just blew up , logicboard looked like after a nuclear blast ,

i will get one again as i just love the old ppc Macs and to complete my collection i neeed a G4 iBook but until i find one again on ebay where i can say "thats the one "(without cracks and scratches ,which are a good indication most of the time about how well it was looked after)

but for the time until that magic iBook turns up on ebay
i bought a MSI wind netbook in my signature its running OSX snow leopard so is a hackintosh and everything works under snow leopard and plays all the flashgames and plays even youtube without stutter at 480p , and 720p some with a little stutter so yes it is better in that aspect ,the iBook will only manage 360P ,
the wind comes closer to a MacBook Air 1.66 in therms of performance and looks like the little sister of the 13" macbook apart from the hunch on the bottom now as i fitted the 9cell battery which gives a good 5 hours+ and acts as a grab handle (really a handy feature )and makes it quiet comfortable to write on now that its in that angle on the table and gives better cooling too due to more space underneath

but i still would prefer a iBook G4 despite the little drawbacks , just cant help it i love the design of the iBook

iBlue
Sep 1, 2010, 02:56 PM
When you say "anything of substance" what do you mean? I know it won't be a powerhouse. That's what my mbp is for. The powerbook would just be for my wife. The most intensive thing she would use it for would be farmville. Have you ever run farmville on your powerbook? How did it do?

Farmville?! haha! No, can't say that I have but I've had my browser crash just because I was watching a youtube video that hadn't fully loaded. PPC just really struggles with any CPU intensive tasks.

raysfan81
Sep 1, 2010, 03:07 PM
i bought a MSI wind netbook in my signature its running OSX snow leopard so is a hackintosh and everything works under snow leopard and plays all the flashgames and plays even youtube without stutter at 480p , and 720p some with a little stutter so yes it is better in that aspect ,the iBook will only manage 360P ,
the wind comes closer to a MacBook Air 1.66 in therms of performance and looks like the little sister of the 13" macbook

Would you recommend the u100? I hear that you can overclock the processor to 1.9ghz in the bios. Can you update osx 86 (haven't used it in a while).

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 04:49 PM
So I just won this auction.
1gig processor for 190 plus shipping. I checked at crucial and a 1gig stick of ram is 50 bucks. So thats nettbook specs for a little cheaper plus it's a mac. Well we'll see how it performs. Worst case I'll just put it back up on ebay. What do you think?

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 04:55 PM
Here's the link.http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320579824347

No ice please
Sep 1, 2010, 06:40 PM
The 12" PowerBook I owned was well taken care of but as it aged, the bottom case started to pry off in places, which didn't affect the performance at all. My school's iBook G4's (yes, they still have iBooks, mostly G3's :mad:) who have been beaten the heck out of are still in good condition and run fine. Overall I do recommend the PowerBook because IMO, it feels more comfortable and spacious.
My school has a cart of unopened G4 ibooks. I wish that they would sell them.

molala
Sep 1, 2010, 07:15 PM
If all works with the laptop, I think it's a good choice. Just check if it will need a new battery or even a new PRAM battery (if the date resets to 1970 when you unplug it). These you can buy on eBay.

liquid85
Sep 1, 2010, 07:48 PM
i figured a battery will be needed. I'll be sure to check if the date resets as well. I found some on ebay for only 30$. And crucial has the ram upgrade to 1gig for 50$ if 768mb isn't enough. I'm excited to get it and see how it performs as a netbook replacement. Do you think it would be worth it to upgrade the ram?

MacHamster68
Sep 1, 2010, 08:34 PM
Would you recommend the u100? I hear that you can overclock the processor to 1.9ghz in the bios. Can you update osx 86 (haven't used it in a while).

yes actually i can , i was well surprised about its performance and there are drivers now for everything really ,and for updates that depends on which way you install in first place but i dont want to discuss that here as thats a Mac forum really , just think INSANELY and WIND ;)


to come back to the iBook with all the problems that can come with one eg. bad solder and other logicboard problems , not to mention that most used ones come with half dead batteries , and i don't want to mention the cracks and scratches either ,
the PowerBooks come with dents and half dead batteries too , on the 15" you find often that the airportcard is dead , and is a pain to replace and there is the dead ram slot problem on them

so buying either of the two makes it a gamble that hugely depends on how well they had been cared for by the previous owners , Apple did for example offer all sorts of repair schemes , and the good news there are good ones out there that are well worth the Money , its only a matter of finding them :rolleyes:

Sixtafoua
Sep 1, 2010, 10:22 PM
I have a 12-inch PowerBook, and love it, it's so cute.
I noticed with youtube it is kind of glitchy, like it isn't very smooth, so the facebook games may be a problem, but I have a slower model without much ram, so maybe faster models are different.
For iTunes and web surfing, It's a great computer.
I hope you enjoy your PowerBook, It's a great little computer.:)

joefix413
Sep 4, 2010, 12:57 PM
Liquid, I did the exact same thing a year and a half ago, found a teacher selling her 12"PB 1.33G ppc with 1.25G of ram for my wife( for $600). It runs OSX 10.5.8 beautifully and does everything really well! Not the fastest at video rendering( she does small clips for her website), handles web pages easily and has been a joy to learn Mac on. She is non-technical and has had an easy time switching the little that she does know over to the Mac world. Find a clean machine and enjoy!

g4 powerbookboy
Sep 4, 2010, 07:39 PM
actually i would make my wife buy me a new macbook pro and then maybe give her the old one. course that is why im not married and never will be. dont want a female around, a dog is a better companion. but a nice powerbook will work just fine for her if you really want to buy her something.

liquid85
Sep 4, 2010, 11:33 PM
Well usually she gets my tech hand-me-downs because she just really doesn't care that much, but I just a brand new MBP so...
But I decided to to resell the powerbook I bought when it arrives because I bought a better one. I won this auction tonight- http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170535891562&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSA:US:1123#ht_556wt_726

I didn't know that only the 1.5ghz Powerbooks had two finger scrolling. So I bought this one. It has the faster processor, a bigger hardrive and it's in a little bit better shape. Plus it has office installed. I also ordered a 1 gig ram upgrade.
So she'll have the best powerbook 12 you could get for 250$. I can't wait till it all gets here. I'll post pictures and impressions when it arrives.