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View Full Version : Why I bought an iMac when I went to buy a powerbook




anthonys
Nov 28, 2005, 08:02 AM
Finally an end to my 4-month computer purchase saga, I took home a new 17” G5 iSight iMac on Sunday from the Apple store at Shinsaibashi in Osaka. For those thinking of buying a new Mac I’ll briefly explain my story, it may help you decide.

From the start I had planned on buying a powerbook but after looking at their specs and price decided to wait for a new model. After the new model was released last month the specs didn’t look that much better but the price did, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted the 15” or 17”. I went to a local reseller but they didn’t have them on display, so started reading other people opinions. It was there I discovered many complaints about the new powerbooks. The 15” model had horizontal lines 1 pixel high running through the display and the 17” had an uneven illumination problem that brought back bad memories of my last 15” powerbook. I finally got to the Apple store to check them out, and sure enough every 17” (about 7) had a glow from the bottom and varying degrees of darkened edges. Every 15” also had horizontal lines but in my opinion didn’t look as bad as the 17” problems.

I decided to use the 15” for an hour and see if the problem annoyed me, the 17” problems annoyed me instantly and therefore ruled out any chance of purchase. At first I could only see the lines on the 15” if I got really close to the screen. Though after doing some photo editing the lines were really obvious on skin tones and speaking to the Genius bar staff they told me Apple is stating the lines are within spec and they won’t be replacing screens. It would be silly to buy a computer already with a problem, and it is a problem if you view photos often and want them to appear clear and sharp.

Then I saw the iMacs and there wasn’t really any comparison. Sure, the iMac is heavier, I may have to courier it back to Australia when I leave Japan and Apple won’t let me purchase an International extended warranty (because it’s a desktop) – but I figure if something is going to go wrong it will happen in the first year anyway. But the iMac is significantly faster in CPU, bus and memory; has a larger, faster hard drive; a newer graphics card and as a bonus gets a built in web camera and remote control; it makes the powerbook screen look like something is wrong with it in clarity and brightness and most importantly cost me 80,000 yen less than the 15” powerbook.

I bought the 17” over the 20” for the following reasons, but keep in mind the 20” screen is significantly bigger and brighter than the 17” and it also performs better when it comes to games - given its slightly faster graphics card.
1) I will most likely take the computer back to Australia with me so the smaller and lighter the better.
2) I can’t extend the warranty and if something goes wrong with the screen the 20” costs a lot more to replace.
3) I owned a 20” iMac for 7 months and the novelty of having a big screen wore off, I got used to it and it didn’t seem that big after a while.
4) I’d prefer to put the 40,000 yen that I saved towards a bigger screen on my next computer, rather than lose it with the iMac – as the iMac is an all in one computer you can’t hang on to the screen when you upgrade.
If these points aren't a concern to you definitely go for the 20”!

My conclusion? Avoid the powerbooks! I feel the latest powerbook model was rushed through, as they didn’t even include the latest G4 CPU in it and most of the powerbook team have been assigned to the upcoming intel powerbook. Because of this it suffers from quality control with the newest component, that is, the screen. I thought I had to get a powerbook because I am living overseas but really think whether you need one, and if you just want portability consider an iMac and iBook instead, as the iBook isn’t that much different to the current powerbook. If you still think you really need a powerbook ask yourself if you need it now, or if you can wait. I’m pretty sure Apple will release the new, faster, intel powerbook early next year, given the problems with the current range. The new ones will be significantly faster but whether they’ll suffer revision A quality problems is yet to be seen. I’m happy with my small iMac, the G5 should carry me through until the intel transition is complete and hopefully that means there will be more options for me when it’s time to purchase my next computer. I’d love to see OSX supported on non-Apple hardware so I had the option of not buying Apple if I want to run OSX. This is all jmho by the way :cool:



rosalindavenue
Nov 28, 2005, 08:56 AM
Thanks for a great post. If a buyer is on the fence at all about a desktop v. laptop, I would advise them to read your post. The iSight iMac is one of the best deals going; the screen is beautiful, it is fast, etc. Personally, I decided a couple of years ago to never get another desktop-- portability is way too important to me-- so I got an ibook this summer; I suspect I'll wait for the Rev 2 powerbook. But for anyone who wants a great desktop, the iSight iMac is the way to go.

CmdrLaForge
Nov 28, 2005, 09:17 AM
Ditto. I ended up with a 20" iMac instead of a Powerbook as well. Couldn't be happier.

Diatribe
Nov 28, 2005, 09:24 AM
I agree, the new iMac defintely is a great deal and well worth the money. If I were to get a desktop computer now this would be it. For now, I guess I will be waiting for the new PBs as I am just not sure where I'll live in the next 2 years.
So congrats on your purchase and enjoy it. I know I would. :D

Kimi
Nov 28, 2005, 10:09 AM
My input would be if you're looking for an Apple laptop, but portability isn't a need, look at how much better the 17" iMac is next to the 14" iBook for the same cost.

Kobushi
Nov 28, 2005, 10:19 AM
Yup, I did pretty much the same thing and it took me just as long to decide (4 months). Of course, most of this was patiently waiting for some kind of powerbook update. I seriously considered the iMac and came just short of buying. The fact remained that I needed something more portable. I finally had to decide on the last day of MacExpo which coincided with the last of the iPod mini promotion. I ended up with the ibook simply because I couldn't justify the extra $$$ it would have cost me to get the powerbook. I was almost miffed when they (finally) upgraded the PB a couple weeks later, but after seeing the infinitessimal difference I just shrugged it off.

I'm pleased with my decision, but nothing makes you realize how much you shed, or how grubby your hands get, than a white computer.