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View Full Version : Buying a Powerbook now - 15"




KevAllen83
Dec 15, 2005, 05:31 PM
Hey guys, first time post, and I know my post has been discussed a lot.

I'm looking to buy my first Mac, a 15" Powerbook. This'll be a college graduation present and ~knock on wood~ a grad school entrance gift - so more for schoolwork, internet, mail, and maybe playing around with movie editing and such. I'll look at pictures, maybe watch movies, etc. etc. But I'm not looking for heavy photo editing or anything like that.

Now you may ask, with what I'm using the laptop for, why not an iBook? Well to be quite honest, I want my laptop to look nice. Yeah, an iBook can do what I want easily, but I feel like the Powerbook looks and feels LOADS better than an iBook does. Not dissing the iBook, it's just a personal preference on appearance.

So, main question - should I get the latest revision of the Powerbook? I hear so many things about this revision it almost makes me cringe about getting it. The display (who knows, maybe the newest ones dont have lines), issues with the wireless reception, noisy harddrives, sound looping in various programs, squeaky keyboards, spacebars not working, etc. etc. Of course, these issues may not be big issues in the overall scheme of things, just a few people having problems. My other idea was to either go through Apple and buy a Refurbished Rev D(?) or see if I could find a new old version somewhere.

I guess the problems with the laptop are hit or miss - may have the problems, may not, but how widespread are they? Will the Windows users in the room laugh at my inability to log on to the Wireless Network at school, or giggle when the music in my iTunes doesn't play correctly?

Thanks for any input you may have, and listening to my rant:p

Kevin



ortuno2k
Dec 15, 2005, 07:17 PM
I just purchased a 15" PB (still haven't received it) but have played with them A LOT at work.
I also own an iMac, so it's not my first Mac.
You can connect to any wireless network. Networking isn't really concerned what you connect with; the TCP/IP protocol is the same (or very similar) on both Windows and Mac.
At home I also have 2 PCs with a Linksys wireless router along with my Mac.
iTunes shouldn't crash on you out of nowhere.
Overall, Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is very stable, even though you will hear mixed comments from people.
I'm very happy with it, and look forward to getting my new PB.
I was also in your same situation - contemplating an iBook; but chose the powerbook. I just really like the way they feel and look much better.
Good luck with your decision.

KevAllen83
Dec 15, 2005, 07:25 PM
Well, it's not so much the crashing of iTunes - I've just heard of something happening with these new Powerbooks where audio will randomly start repeating itself and getting louder and louder, or something to that effect.

And my reference to the wireless was more of a concern regarding the airport card's reception. I've just heard that the new Powerbook's reception is even worse this time around....?

bousozoku
Dec 15, 2005, 07:35 PM
I've got a 15.2 inch 1.33 GHz model, which I got as a refurb because I was bothered by all the bad news. Refurbished units, by default, have been through a repair process and, as such, are less likely to be a problem.

I would suggest buying the latest revision as a refurb and buying AppleCare to make certain that the expensive and beautfiul new display has extended service.

khisayruou
Dec 15, 2005, 07:45 PM
If you don't need any of the new features that came along with the new revision, then get the rev. D

The looping sound issue is on new 17" and 15" powerbooks, so its not just a problem on the 15".

shdwsclan
Dec 15, 2005, 07:46 PM
Very true. The os is also good for just your basic school work, email, etc... It all depends what you need it for and how good your pc skills....If your a traditional pc operator(programmer and user) or a new age operator(user). Ususally basic apps are handled well by macintosh but when you start getting into more complex operations you see what happens with the passive exception handling when progs crash for no reason, then you need a windows system. If you do plan on doing heavy work, xp is very stable and if you look for sleekness, look up the panasonic toughbooks.

KevAllen83
Dec 15, 2005, 08:05 PM
Thanks for the input guys:) khisayruou, Has the sound issue been addressed as a hardware or software issue? Being that every program can suffer from it?

Seasought
Dec 16, 2005, 12:11 AM
This'll be a college graduation present and ~knock on wood~ a grad school entrance gift - so more for schoolwork, internet, mail, and maybe playing around with movie editing and such.

Congrats! :D

Now you may ask, with what I'm using the laptop for, why not an iBook? Well to be quite honest, I want my laptop to look nice. Yeah, an iBook can do what I want easily, but I feel like the Powerbook looks and feels LOADS better than an iBook does. Not dissing the iBook, it's just a personal preference on appearance.

I'm the same way. This is a shared sentiment believe me.

So, main question - should I get the latest revision of the Powerbook? I hear so many things about this revision it almost makes me cringe about getting it.

That's understandable. Here's my experience:

Lines on the display: If they're there I can't see them or they aren't there. I tend to think this issue is far too overblown.

Squeaky keys: Every once in awhile I hear a bit of squeaking when typing in Safari - it's not that loud and doesn't bother me when it does occur.

Music skipping: This I have encountered on occasion. However, I attribute this to my measly 512 MB of RAM. I'll be upgrading this Xmas with the cash I get from relatives. I only noticed this happening when I was doing heavy work (Photoshop and Illustrator open, playing with Audacity and Garageband at the same time, etc).

Battery: I have to get my Powerbook's battery replaced as it appears to be faulty (won't hold a charge longer than 20 minutes now). However, this is covered under my 1 yr of complimentary AppleCare.

Overall: I love it. It's worth it and no, you won't have problems connecting to your school's wireless network (most likely). I didn't have any problems doing so at my non-Mac company nor did I have issues with accessing shared folders on computers in the company.

I say go for it. :D

khisayruou
Dec 16, 2005, 12:27 AM
Thanks for the input guys:) khisayruou, Has the sound issue been addressed as a hardware or software issue? Being that every program can suffer from it?

There is currently no working remedy despite some users claiming certain things worked...and there has been no consensus on whether or not its software or hardware related. I have yet to hear the problem occur in any program other than itunes. The apple discussion boards would be the place to read up on it, there has been numerous posts on it.

Seasought
Dec 16, 2005, 12:32 AM
I have yet to hear the problem occur in any program other than itunes..

Same here (for what it's worth).

khisayruou
Dec 16, 2005, 12:38 AM
Music skipping: This I have encountered on occasion. However, I attribute this to my measly 512 MB of RAM. I'll be upgrading this Xmas with the cash I get from relatives. I only noticed this happening when I was doing heavy work (Photoshop and Illustrator open, playing with Audacity and Garageband at the same time, etc).

It doesn't sound like yours is the same problem alot of the new powerbook owners are experiencing. The sound glitch many are complaining about definitely is occuring no matter what ram there is. Take a listen and let us know if this is what you heard: http://s89317810.onlinehome.us/AudioStuttering.mov

KevAllen83: Here are some threads if you want to read about it.
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1185960
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=249634&tstart=0

Seasought
Dec 16, 2005, 12:42 AM
It doesn't sound like yours is the same problem alot of the new powerbook owners are experiencing. The sound glitch many are complaining about definitely is occuring no matter what ram there is. Take a listen and let us know if this is what you heard: http://s89317810.onlinehome.us/AudioStuttering.mov


That's exactly it. I had to cover my mouth at work to stop from laughing too loud when this happened during a MacVoices podcast. At first I thought it was a joke and then the volume kept increasing.

"So you do agree gree gree GREE GREE GREE!?"

It doesn't happen regularly though and again, only happens to me when I'm running a ton of apps...now that I think about it I've been running my Powerbook at 'Better Performance' and haven't had the problem yet. Who knows.

khisayruou
Dec 16, 2005, 12:49 AM
"So you do agree gree gree GREE GREE GREE!?"

LOL :D ;)

Yea, I remember when I heard it the first time...I actually thought it was some joke for the first...oh....ten times it happened!!! I really don't know what the heck I'm doing when it happens...it's just random and quick that I'm too busy to even care. But I am running 2gb of ram.

Seasought
Dec 16, 2005, 12:52 AM
LOL :D ;)

Yea, I remember when I heard it the first time...I actually thought it was some joke for the first...oh....ten times it happened!!! I really don't know what the heck I'm doing when it happens...it's just random and quick that I'm too busy to even care. But I am running 2gb of ram.

And you're also running on 'Better Performance' I take it? I'm probably about to beat a dead horse but I wanted to ask any way.

khisayruou
Dec 16, 2005, 01:01 AM
And you're also running on 'Better Performance' I take it? I'm probably about to beat a dead horse but I wanted to ask any way.

Yea, I am. :)

Seasought
Dec 16, 2005, 01:05 AM
Yea, I am. :)

I figured as much. :D