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View Full Version : Help me decide what to purchase: iBook or Mac Mini




slooksterPSV
Oct 14, 2005, 06:51 PM
Ok here's what's going to happen. I'm going to purchase a brand new Mac, but what do I get? Here's what I can do:

Mac Mini - default configuration
Flat Panel Monitor
Keyboard and Mouse (Bluetooth?)

iBook - default configuration

Mac Mini I can only upgrade to 1GB of RAM
Monitor would be exceptionally nice to have
Keyboard and mouse would help if they are BT, then again I could go with the regular ones.

iBook can get upto 1.5GB of RAM - I use RAM intensive applications
It's portable, and I would use it daily
TrackPad has scrolling additions
SMS is on the Hard drive


Cons of Mac Mini: Mac Mini's power with RAM intensive programs
Heard some are dropping dead

Cons of iBook: Battery - I know they last long, and 6 hours is a lot, but I'd need to maintain the battery


Or you guys should help me decide. I want the iBook for portability so I'm leaning towards that, but then again the Mac Mini with the monitor would be nice too.



SummerBreeze
Oct 14, 2005, 07:03 PM
I'd go for the iBook. I have both a PowerBook and a windows/linux desktop, and I almost never use the desktop. Actually, the only thing I use my desktop for is plugging the monitor and speakers into the PowerBook when I'm doing design. At home, I would barely ever use our family's iMacs, because why would you want to sit up straight in a chair when you can lounge on the sofa, watch tv, and im over a wireless network? The notebook is a godsend when I type up papers, I've spent more than my fair share of time at the school's library or at Starbucks working on papers.

You can always buy a monitor for an iBook (although you have to use a hack if you want the monitor to be set at a different resolution), and you'd be much more satisfied with it.

As for the battery cons, I usually keep mine plugged into the wall when I'm home, and let it drain at school. If the battery stops holding a charge in a couple years, a new battery isn't too big an expense.

Happy shopping!

jaydon34
Oct 14, 2005, 07:05 PM
In my opinion Id get the Ibook. Check the facts

1. specs are very close
2. Neither one is a gaming machine

So portability makes the ibook a little bit better. Plus when i use skype with my bluetooth headset from a friends wifi they drool.

iDM
Oct 14, 2005, 07:05 PM
You can't beat the portableness of the iBook, hands down what i would go for between the two. Your not gonna lose any speed and as you even stated you can expand the ram further which is often the easiest/cheapest way to speed your Apple.

Did i mention it's portable?

Laser47
Oct 14, 2005, 07:08 PM
i'd suggest getting a ibook, its awesome and comes with everything, BT Airport Extreme, Superdrive, and also its got a max memory of 1.5gb. If you have the money get an ibook, its better than the mini except for the 5400rpm HD.

WillMak
Oct 14, 2005, 07:09 PM
if you need portability the ibook is the way to go. I also reccomend getting more HD space.

slooksterPSV
Oct 14, 2005, 07:13 PM
I have an external enclosure so I can always drop a 160GB HDD in that for whatever - music, photo's, movies, dvd's, etc.

I guess with all the posts, I'll go with the iBook

Bern
Oct 14, 2005, 07:14 PM
Get the iBook, you'll regret not having portability otherwise. The latest revision iBooks are sweet indeed.

As for the battery 6 hours is plenty good, heck if you really need to just buy an extra one later down the track as a spare.

TaKashMoney
Oct 14, 2005, 07:18 PM
another vote for ibook

AP_piano295
Oct 14, 2005, 07:33 PM
Youll love that ibook

slooksterPSV
Oct 14, 2005, 07:37 PM
I do love the ibook I have right now, so that iBook would be like love x Apple which doesn't even comprehend

AP_piano295
Oct 14, 2005, 08:17 PM
I do love the ibook I have right now, so that iBook would be like love x Apple which doesn't even comprehend

u mean you love the laptop you have right now? Or do you have one of the older ibooks

slooksterPSV
Oct 14, 2005, 09:47 PM
u mean you love the laptop you have right now? Or do you have one of the older ibooks
Read my siggy:
iBook G3, 500MHz, 320MB RAM, 20GB HDD, OS X Panther 10.3.9

jmufellow
Oct 15, 2005, 12:53 AM
Upgrade the harddrive to at least 60 gigs. 80 is better yet. when I got my ibook last week I was grateful for my 60 gig hard drive. The OS takes about 20 gigs so it left me with about 40.

slooksterPSV
Oct 15, 2005, 12:59 AM
The OS requires 4GB, and iLife and all those other apps take up that 16GB I know that for sure.

I'm just getting standard stuff. I talked with my dad about it and so far its a go.

Clix Pix
Oct 15, 2005, 02:12 AM
If portability is not a critical factor, and apparently it isn't, as you mention being willing to go with a Mac Mini and a monitor, etc., then why not consider a G5 iMac? This would give you the faster G5 processor and also the ability to max it out to 2 GB RAM, which is more than you can do with either the Mac Mini or the current crop of Power Books... With the recent announcement of new versions, you can get a Rev B G5 iMac for a few hundred dollars less than you could a couple of weeks ago.

Definitely hold off until this coming week's announcements to see what you'll be able to get in the way of a Power Book once the new versions are available. At that point you might choose to take advantage of reduced prices on the current models as the store clears out its inventory in preparation for whatever the new models will be, or you might want to just jump at the new offerings....

Good luck in making your decision!

OTB no more, instead a happy Mac Newbie!

shadowmoses
Oct 15, 2005, 02:18 AM
When you delete all the unnececary apps and bits you can get the OS down to taking only 6gb of space, this is after deleting iDVD,Garageband and a few other apps....

I would have gotten the 60gb HD if i had done BTO, but as i bought in store due to a time constraint as i couldnt afford to wait 2 weeks for the BTO to arrive....

Anyway the 40gb is enough as its not my main computer, but if i were using it as my main setup i would certainly upgrade the storage space,

Shadow

Oh and BTW as i haver both a mac mini and an iBook, from my personal experience if i had to ditch one it would be the mini, the iBook is a nicer overall machine and its portability is the main bonus.....

mpqtpie
Oct 15, 2005, 02:44 AM
I just got a 14" ibook two weeks ago and I love it! The white shell is beautiful (and doesn't show dirt/fingerprints like I thought it would) and everyone I've shown it to has acquired highly contagious ibook-envy.

I used to own an iMac but then switched to a powerbook and then most recently an ibook. I love the portability and I don't think I'd ever go back to sitting at a desk. A downside though is the possibility of losing it or dropping it, but if you get Apple Care (and/or maybe even a small insurance policy) then that won't matter. Also, you mentioned something about BT keyboard and mouse--you could still hook that up with an ibook if you prefer since ibook has bluetooth built in.

I have to agree though with someone else that the new iMacs are pretty amazing. If you don't care that much about portability then check those out. That new iMac is the first time in years I've even considered ever switching to a non-laptop.

My vote is still iBook, but check out apple's imacs before ordering.

FunkSpaceMonkey
Oct 15, 2005, 04:47 AM
Thanks for convincing me to get an iBook guys.. :)

slooksterPSV
Oct 15, 2005, 11:12 AM
I'm going to give this iBook to my sister (the one I'm on right now, 500MHz, etc, etc) and the one I'm getting. I'll get it like next week or the week after so YAY. Me and my dad talked about it.

super mini (mac
Oct 15, 2005, 05:15 PM
WAIT hold the press


buy a mac mini

that way if u have an lcd tv, you can make it anysoze you like and it will work great, ive had mine on a 43 inch pioneer plasma, dont tell me they make an imac that big

super mini (mac
Oct 15, 2005, 05:18 PM
but you should realy get a power book, an add an external monitor and use wireless key board and mouse

and when you like take it with you

that more powerfull than any of the mini or "i" systems

also you can have duel screening so some images on 1 screen and some on another

slooksterPSV
Oct 15, 2005, 06:11 PM
Nope I can only get either an iBook or Mac Mini w/Screen and Keyboard & Mouse

danny_w
Oct 15, 2005, 06:26 PM
I have a mini and also had a g3 iBook, but I found that I don't use or need a laptop, mostly because I hate the small keyboard and mouse/trackpad, and because of the battery; I usually ended up keeping the thing plugged in even on the couch, so what is the point? Laptops are never as portable in reality as I would like them to be. I sold my iBook and kept the mini, which is infinitely better for my kind of use. I know I'm in the minority here, but I vote for the mini!

super mini (mac
Oct 15, 2005, 06:29 PM
I have a mini and also had a g3 iBook, but I found that I don't use or need a laptop, mostly because I hate the small keyboard and mouse/trackpad, and because of the battery; I usually ended up keeping the thing plugged in even on the couch, so what is the point? Laptops are never as portable in reality as I would like them to be. I sold my iBook and kept the mini, which is infinitely better for my kind of use. I know I'm in the minority here, but I vote for the mini!


im with you on the mini, which is what i have, the possabilitys are endless and no that wasnt a quote.

i was only suguesting a powerbook because it is so much more, its like buying a small portable powermac, personly im gonna have both (when i ca afford a PB) and use it a great deal more then

slooksterPSV
Oct 15, 2005, 06:33 PM
I'm always on the go, so the iBook would be best for me, especially at school. I can buy Halo w/it and do something :P - I'm going to save up some $$$ and buy like Illustrator or Photoshop - I'm big into Graphics Design and Photos and that.

mpqtpie
Oct 16, 2005, 10:45 PM
I'm always on the go, so the iBook would be best for me, especially at school. I can buy Halo w/it and do something :P - I'm going to save up some $$$ and buy like Illustrator or Photoshop - I'm big into Graphics Design and Photos and that.

Cool, glad you decided on the iBook. :) Are you going with the 12" or 14"?
The 14" comes standard with a DVD-burner. The resolution is the same as the 12", but I'm typing on a 14" now and the resolution doesn't bother me. I don't even notice it.

Also, if you plan on using graphic programs either bump up your HD to 80 GB or buy an external HD to store all those photos, etc. It can fill you HD up pretty quickly.

The PB is generally better for using graphic programs but there is a diff in price. Also, the ibooks' specs are very competitive with the PBs right now. I used to own a PB and I personally like the iBook way better. (Not nearly as hot! I used to burn my wrists on my PB.)

mpqtpie
Oct 16, 2005, 10:52 PM
I'm going to save up some $$$ and buy like Illustrator or Photoshop - I'm big into Graphics Design and Photos and that.

Forgot to mention...

I just graduated with a graphic design degree and got a great deal on software and an iBook before I did so. If you're in school be sure to get education pricing. The deals they offer are pretty incredible.

If you buy through your computer store on campus or through Apple's Education web site you can get software and Apple products (including iBooks) for a lot less than in stores. Also, I believe the Apple stores will give you Education pricing if you show them a student ID.

You can get Adobe CS2 suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat Writer, etc.) for a package student price of less than $250. I think Photoshop by itself is that much. As far as I know Adobe includes everything in it that a non-education version would have. Also, QuarkXpress is handy to have for layout programs (except some companies are switching to InDesign) for $200. Then there's Macromedia package too (Flash, Freehand, Dreamweaver, etc.) for somewhere around $189.

Even though it's a lot, the savings are tremendous when you look at what it retails for in non-education arenas. You could also burn a copy from someone but it's usually better quality (and better karma) to have a bought copy.

slooksterPSV
Oct 16, 2005, 11:49 PM
Cool, glad you decided on the iBook. :) Are you going with the 12" or 14"?
The 14" comes standard with a DVD-burner. The resolution is the same as the 12", but I'm typing on a 14" now and the resolution doesn't bother me. I don't even notice it.

Also, if you plan on using graphic programs either bump up your HD to 80 GB or buy an external HD to store all those photos, etc. It can fill you HD up pretty quickly.

The PB is generally better for using graphic programs but there is a diff in price. Also, the ibooks' specs are very competitive with the PBs right now. I used to own a PB and I personally like the iBook way better. (Not nearly as hot! I used to burn my wrists on my PB.)

iBook 12"
Have an External Enclosure w/Firewire and USB 2.0 (I like firewire better, it's just that good, even though USB 2.0 is faster by 10 or 20 MB) - Also have a 30GB HDD, and a DVD+RW Drive
I'm going to use GIMP and probably InkScape to start off with till I save up $$$ to buy Photoshop and Illustrator, etc.
As for Web Editing - TextWrangler (free from barebones.com) and ... WYSIWYG Editor I haven't thought of.
iTunes for Music
QuickTime, WMPlayer, and DVD Player for Video's
iCal, Address Book - PIM
iPhoto - Photo Organizer although I'm thinking about getting another one. Can't think of what it's called.
Adium for Messengers
Planeshift as an MMORPG - I know its only 0.3.31
Have I forgot anything?
Onyx and Disk Utility as Maintenence.

gwimby
Oct 17, 2005, 11:45 AM
Spot on slooksterPSV! I was just about to reccomend inkscape and gimp.
I'm planning on the same thing- a 12" ibook for graphic design purposes.

I have to admit though, the 1680x1050 res on my Dell is pretty nice.
Thats what screen spanning hack is for though. Right now the 15.4" laptop is heavy and cumbersome for daily transporting.



On USB2/1394 - You may already know this:
1394 is very nice b/c it doesn't use very much of your CPU.
This means you can still be working while x-fering files.
USB2 uses a lot of CPU power to get it done.

lasuther
Oct 17, 2005, 11:55 AM
You'll be real happy with your iBook!

lasuther

slooksterPSV
Oct 17, 2005, 03:39 PM
Spot on slooksterPSV! I was just about to reccomend inkscape and gimp.
I'm planning on the same thing- a 12" ibook for graphic design purposes.

I have to admit though, the 1680x1050 res on my Dell is pretty nice.
Thats what screen spanning hack is for though. Right now the 15.4" laptop is heavy and cumbersome for daily transporting.



On USB2/1394 - You may already know this:
1394 is very nice b/c it doesn't use very much of your CPU.
This means you can still be working while x-fering files.
USB2 uses a lot of CPU power to get it done.

I did not know that about Firewire vs. USB2.0. No wonder I like FW better.