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View Full Version : When will the 15 catch up to the 12/17?


movmkr
Jan 7, 2003, 07:49 PM
Well this update had almost everything I've been waiting for in a powerbook:

Firewire 800, new Airport w/better antenna, Bluetooth, DDR, faster superdrive, new casing with no paint and illuminated keyboard

Unfortunately, the 17" powerbook is a little excessive...and the 12" isn't widescreen (or fully featured).

Any random thoughts as to when they might update the 15" to match the other two? I hope they don't wait a whole product cycle to do it. I was looking at January to buy a Powerbook, but I guess it's so obvious that the 15 will be updated I'll wait.

- Matt

Lz0
Jan 7, 2003, 07:54 PM
I bet the 15 inch Powerbook takes over the spot currently held by the iBook, and the iBook line is discontinued. After all who wants a G3 these days?

MacAztec
Jan 7, 2003, 08:02 PM
And that would mean a 15" Powerbook would be 999?:rolleyes:

Ben Sheehan
Jan 7, 2003, 08:07 PM
I don't see how it can be suggested that the 15" will replace the ibook - the new 12" specs are near identical to the ibook sans G3, and the size is the same. It's pretty much the G4 ibook everyone has been hankering for without the name.

The 15" is still a far superior computer - for starters there's no DVI ports, or no L3 cache on the 12".

movmkr
Jan 7, 2003, 08:12 PM
Um...I highly doubt they would discontinue the 15" and drop the price to bargain levels.

They never did that to the 12" iBook or the 15" iMac.

- Matt

Macpoops
Jan 7, 2003, 08:17 PM
How exactly is the 12 inch not fully featured? The only difference is the size of the display. Given that is an issue.

Ben Sheehan
Jan 7, 2003, 08:31 PM
Haven't had a real close look at the specs - but the most obvious would seem to be:

No DVI

No L3 cache

640 meg. ram max


The more I think about it, the more this thing looks like a G4 ibook.

movmkr
Jan 7, 2003, 09:10 PM
Yeah, Ben Sheehan pretty much answered that one. - Matt

Sherman
Jan 7, 2003, 09:27 PM
I'm just going to refer to it as a G4 iBook from now on, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Another thing it has up on the iBook, is that the drive is slot-loading, none of this tray crap that is so easy to break with the whole laser assembly on it...

iJon
Jan 7, 2003, 09:32 PM
plus the 12inch powerbook has a less capable video card, only does vga, no backlight keyboard, no firewire800, no ddr, yada yada, still a very nice machine though.

iJon

davidc2182
Jan 7, 2003, 09:47 PM
what in the hell is a pristmatic li-ion battery? it comes with the powerbook g4 17 inch and i wonder what the new patent has to do with anything

vniow
Jan 7, 2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by iJon
plus the 12inch powerbook......no ddr,

Ummmmmm.... (http://www.apple.com/powerbook/specs.html)


256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM

topicolo
Jan 7, 2003, 10:01 PM
owned

macktheknife
Jan 7, 2003, 10:11 PM
Given that Apple released the current 15 inch TiBooks in October, I'd say we'll see the new 15 inch TiBooks sometime in March or April. This is not an unreasonable assumption, given Apple's typical 6-month product cycles.

movmkr: I agree with you completely. The 17 inch model is a bit excessive to me and the 12 inch TiBook is really nothing more than a souped-up G4 iBook. I got my 550 Mhz TiBook almost a year ago (Rev. B), and I am personally going to hold off getting a new PowerBook until Apple releases a new one with the Power-4 processors.

Wyrm
Jan 7, 2003, 10:22 PM
Does anyone have an idea of how the Radeon 9000 (15") compares to the GeForce Go MX4 440 (17")? I was under the impression that the ATI Radeon 9000 was the best mobile graphics chip out there.

Wano
Jan 7, 2003, 10:27 PM
When Steve Jobs first announced the 12" PowerBook it sounded like it had all the features of the 17" cause he said something like it's full featured, giving me the impresion and hype that it's power i can afford. But, no, after looking on the site it didn't even match up to the old 15", like a few already said it's like a iBook with a G4.

arainert
Jan 7, 2003, 10:30 PM
I just got a 800 TiBook a week ago and quickly felt deep pangs of geek envy when I saw the 12 inch iBook during the keynote (not to take anything away from the 17 incher but I have a powermac at home and although breathtaking, seems a little large for those wanting a portable solution)...

Back to the 12"...

The durable case...the audio in ports... I guess essentially those are the only two things that seem better that I would get good use out of (since I do not have any Bluetooth devices, Firewire 800 devices) in addition to the fact that its the new, fresh gear...

Back to my TiBook...

I really appreciate the extra screen real estate, the video card and everything else others have mentioned.

I've now begun to convince myself that the 15 inch TiBook presents a good sweet spot between the ginormous 17" and the G4 ibook.

Is this crazy talk?

springscansing
Jan 7, 2003, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by Wyrm
Does anyone have an idea of how the Radeon 9000 (15") compares to the GeForce Go MX4 440 (17")? I was under the impression that the ATI Radeon 9000 was the best mobile graphics chip out there.

Yes... I also am curious about this issue. Someone have the answer?

jaguarx
Jan 7, 2003, 11:33 PM
To the best of my knowledge - slightly better.
I'm taking the plunge and getting a 17". I want the extra power the 17" offers, but i want it in a 15" form factor. Sadly though i cannot afford to wait.

Goatman21
Jan 8, 2003, 12:53 AM
The ATI radeon 9000 and the ge force 4 440 are comprable to each other if the perfomance of both processors are eqil to there desktop then the radeon 9000 has a slight performance advantage both processors are the first mibile video systums to have hardware T&L(transform and lighting) this is a technology that both the radeon 7500 and the geforce 2 mobile did not have

The 12'' power book has DDR ram and a fully functional 3d accelerator witch makes it for supierior to any pc notebook of the same size i cant wait to get one

Wyrm
Jan 8, 2003, 02:33 AM
From the nVidia website:

GeForce4 4200 Go
Fill Rate: 1.6 billion texels/sec.
GPU Core Clock: 200 MHz
Memory Clock: 200 MHz
Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec.

GeForce4 460 Go
Fill Rate: 1 billion texels/sec.
GPU Core Clock: 250 MHz
Memory Clock: 250 MHz
Memory Bandwidth: 8GB/sec.

GeForce4 440 Go
Fill Rate: 880 million texels/sec.
GPU Core Clock: 220 MHz
Memory Clock: 220 MHz
Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec.

GeForce4 420 Go
Fill Rate: 760 million texels/sec.
GPU Core Clock: 190 MHz
Memory Clock: 200 MHz
Memory Bandwidth: 3.2GB/sec.

So Apple is using the 2 lowest versions (maybe power use is better?)

It looks like the BEST is the 4200 from nVidia,
"...highest performance mobile GPU available—the GeForce4 4200 Go. The first mobile GPU to support programmable vertex and pixel shaders, GeForce4 4200 Go delivers ferocious graphics power on the go. And GeForce 4200 Go supports AGP 8X, for double the bandwidth of AGP 4X."

Looks like they have room to grow in the graphics department soon?

ddtlm
Jan 8, 2003, 03:28 AM
Wyrm:

Does anyone have an idea of how the Radeon 9000 (15") compares to the GeForce Go MX4 440 (17")? I was under the impression that the ATI Radeon 9000 was the best mobile graphics chip out there.
The Radeon 9000 Mobility is the best available graphics chip, although as you saw in your later post nVidia has announced a chip that offers higher performance (but at a significant cost in heat/power). However, there is a wrinkle here: the clock speeds of the ATI Mobility chips (and possibly of the nVidia chips) are configuable by the computer maker. Unless Apple tells us what their clock speeds are, we can't say which is theoretically faster. A second tricky issue is that we don't know how the quality of drivers for nVidia and ATI on OSX compare to their qualities on PC platforms, where there are certainly benchmarks comparing all sorts of laptop chips (Anandtech and Tomshardware have done such reviews).

Goatman21:

...both processors are the first mibile video systums to have hardware T&L(transform and lighting) this is a technology that both the radeon 7500 and the geforce 2 mobile did not have
No, the GF4MX/GF4Go has no graphics abilities that the GF2MX/GF2Go do not, they are essentially the same chip with different memory systems and different clock speeds, despite the names. ATI's Radeon 7500 Mobility is graphics-feature-wise on-par with the GF2Go/GF4Go/GF2MX/GF4MX. ATI's Radeon Mobility is inferior to this, and ATI's Radeon 9000 Mobility is superior. In Windows-speak, the 9000 is the only graphics chip for laptops that offers full DirectX 8 support in hardware (nVidia's unavailable 4200 has these features as well).

Anandtech.com can detail all of this that I have said, if anyone wants to read more.

Soma_Addict
Jan 8, 2003, 06:58 AM
look at them before you order either of the new powerbooks. i thought they sounded really cool and i was really interested in purchasing one. i currently have a 500mhz TiBook and i have been looking to upgrade for some time. i wanted to wait for some innovation and not just speed bumps. this seemed like it was it so i was readying my credit card. but first i went down to macworld today and did some hands on.

neither of the new ones look nice or even feel nice. the 12 inch looks exactly like a spray painted ibook, no joke the battery is identical and so are all the curves and such. the 17 inch looks really odd too. the speakers look like some sort of sewer grates or something, they are huge. the keyboard plane is massive, like some sort of metalic desert on an alien planet. the material is very plastic feeling, not at all like the current titanium casing. the keyboards look like plastic buttons that are painted a silver color.

it sounds wierd i know, and it should be the hardware that speaks over the casing but even still the 17inch is huge. if you ever crash land in an ocean you could use it to sail home. the hardware is great, except for the split usb ports. the kinda bothers me. when i plug usb into my computer i usually use both ports, now you have to have wires coming out of both sides of the computer, things could get messy. but other then that i like what is offered.

the 12inch is abit lackluster. no Firewire800, no backlite keyboard, and not L3 cache.

right now i think the 15inch is the best size/form factor because it is the most practical. once it gets firewire800 and that backlite then i am ordering a new powerbook. i can wait and i think the it is really worth it.

hvfsl
Jan 8, 2003, 07:12 AM
The Radeon 9000 mobity is a lot faster than the Geforce 4 420 go. In some tests on the PC the 9000 is over twice the speed of a 420. The 9000 can also run Doom 3 with all the settings set to max, the 420 can't. I was going to get one of these until I realised they used a slow graphics chip. The 420 is only a bit faster than the Radeon Mobility 7500, and the 7500 can even beat the 420 in some tests on the PC. Go to www.tomshardware.com for details.

Apple would have to really overclock the 420 to make it anyway near the speed of a 9000.

By the way I am using the new Safari browser which is just SOOOOOOOOOO good.

NicoMan
Jan 8, 2003, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by Soma_Addict
neither of the new ones look nice or even feel nice.
Maybe it is that you are so used to the feel of your own TiBook that it makes the AlBook feel very weird.


On a different note, I think the 15" is going to be updated rather soon. I know both of the 15" and the iBook were updated in November, but I feel Apple had to produce some new stuff for the holiday season to get their sales going. Thinking about it, those updates were more like speedbumps (Ok we got a superdrive in the TiBook, but that's about it) and produced nothing revolutionary in terms of technology. Now we have got some real UPDATES to the laptop line and as soon as the production lines are rolling full speed on the 12" and 17" AlBook, we will see an update on the 15". Then I guess the iBook will retreat to a single model configuration (Combo Drive) to finish its life cycle as the equivalent to today's iMac CRT on the desktop line : so cheap, especially when production lines are proven and tested, and yet so efficient (especially for schools).

For all those reasons, I'd say the 15" will be updated before the end of february as opposed to the end of its normal 5-6 months cycle, which would make it happen in april/may.

Just a thought...

NicoMan

Soma_Addict
Jan 8, 2003, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by NicoMan

Maybe it is that you are so used to the feel of your own TiBook that it makes the AlBook feel very weird.

i thought of that but i do not think that is it. my gf has an ibook that i as much as i use my tibook. the material used doesnt really feel like metal, it is more slippery, like the ibook, but it is a dull metal coloring. it just feels wierd. sorry to pull this on you cause it is a reply cheap reply but...you have to feel it and see it in person in order to understand.

is there anyone else who has handled one of these things? i would like to hear from other people and what they think of the new powerbooks based on first hand experience.

Soma_Addict
Jan 8, 2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by NicoMan

Maybe it is that you are so used to the feel of your own TiBook that it makes the AlBook feel very weird.

i thought of that but i do not think that is it. my gf has an ibook that i as much as i use my tibook. the material used doesnt really feel like metal, it is more slippery, like the ibook, but it is a dull metal coloring. it just feels wierd. sorry to pull this on you cause it is a reply cheap reply but...you have to feel it and see it in person in order to understand.

is there anyone else who has handled one of these things? i would like to hear from other people and what they think of the new powerbooks based on first hand experience.

Wyrm
Jan 8, 2003, 08:15 AM
Not owning a TiBook (only a PISMO!), I was unaware of the fact there is paint on it? I thought the whole reason for using Titanium was the fact that the material didn't have to be painted (like an American Airlines plane or something). Aluminium on the other hand is even stranger when you consider that Aluminum and Water (sweaty palms) will naturally form a Aluminum ion solution... with a positive voltage. Aluminium, although light, is also incredibly brittle. Now it is an aluminium alloy, so I'm not sure how this changes things, but hearing that it looks like plastic is not re-assuring. The titanium enclosure is very classy - and fixing the airport range seemed to be more of putting the antenna in the lid rather than in the base than a choice of materials.

Anyone have any clues as to why they changed the material?

-----------------------------
Wyrm

TheMightyG
Jan 8, 2003, 09:18 AM
I have a TiBook....it is painted: white on the sides and a silver color on the top, bottom, back and palmrest. How do I know? Scratch city on both.

I think the change from Ti to Al had something to do with the poor Airport reception with titanium.

kmac
Jan 8, 2003, 10:16 AM
It's rather sad that after the initial excitement over the 12" powerbook, it's rather low on the spec as many of you have mentioned above. The 17" is excellent but it's a little too big for my need.

So I guess that leaves me with the 15", hopefully it would be updated with the excellent features of the 17", but let's say 'if' it gets updated in a couple of months, it will probably not be in stock for additional month or so, that will mean April or May at the earliest.

I really can't wait that long. Do you guys think if I go ahead with the current 867 and sell it later when the new one is available, will I take a big hit? But honestly though, I don't mind if I lose half the cost, but more than that is just too much.

What do you guys think? Thanks for any input.


PS. By the way, I'm using Safari and it rocks big time.

D*I*S_Frontman
Jan 8, 2003, 10:17 AM
It will be interesting to find out just how durable and scratch resistant the new AlBooks will be. If they prove to be tough, you can bet the 15.2" model will get the same treatment.

I really hope they got it right this time. Apple has a reputation of late for creating the aesthetically gorgeous system with that one fatal cosmetic flaw that ruins it. Ti paint blistering/scratching, hairline cracks in the otherwise stunning Cube casing, etc. I hope Apple has REALLY done their homework this time. When you sell a $3,000 US computer to someone and market it as an expression of artful design, you'd better make sure it doesn't crap out three months down the road or ship with flaws.

Some people have more corrosive skin/sweat than others. I am a guitarist whose fingers can eat through strings like crazy. I worked with a guy at a music store who was even worse--if he demoed the same instrument more than 10 times the strings were noticably tarnished. Others can keep the same strings for months or years and they show almost no wear. I bet if I owned an AlBook there would be tarnished stains where my palms rest within a year.

But this is an alloy. Maybe they have created a very ph-resistant blend in addition to making it tough without being too brittle. And actually, if some tarnishing occurred where I hold it on the outside or type with it when open, I wouldn't be completely devastated--it would just show how many hours I had spent on the thing, like breaking in the sweet spot of a baseball glove...

Sun Baked
Jan 8, 2003, 10:28 AM
Anodized Aluminum - Aluminum is anodized for corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance and esthetic reasons. Electricity and chemicals are used jointly to produce a hard, transparent surface that is integral with base aluminum. The result is a surface that is hard (comparable to a sapphire), transparent (similar to glass), and non-flaking, with a wide variety of colors and finishes.

The strength of the anodized finish is resultant primarily from the type of pre-treatment, the coating thickness, and the type of anodizing. Hard coat anodizing (Type III), for example, is about 33% thicker than conventional anodizing, giving it greater resistance against corrosion and abrasion. Sulfuric, or conventional, anodizing (Type II) adds corrosion and abrasion resistance and dielectric strength to aluminum. Chromic anodizing (Type I) is primarily for corrosion resistance.

Anodized aluminum, like most metals, can be scratched or gouged. Damaging the surface of anodized metals in this way will remove the anodized coating in that spot.

NicoMan
Jan 8, 2003, 10:50 AM
So Sunbaked, which alloy is used on the new AlBooks? Any idea ?

NicoMan

eallison
Jan 8, 2003, 11:22 AM
Steve said in the Keynote that they tested a bunch of stuff, and found that a high-performance aircraft Aluminum is the best material. If that's indeed true, the alloy will be a 7000 series aluminum, but as someone above said, the key is that it's anodized. It's much harder to scratch off an anodized surface than paint - that's why it's used in many cases.

I too played with both computers at Macworld yesterday, and I had a far different impression. I thought the fit and finish was amazing. The surfaces feel different than normal because they are metal, but the whole thing is put together very well - tight seams, etc...

Another thing to note - the 12" pb supports monitor spanning. And as far as the no L3 cash goes - remember when the MDD powermacs came out, and the old dual 1GHz (QS) was benched as about the same speed as the new dual 1GHz? The key was that the L3 on the new one was reduced, but the addition of the faster bus, DDR, and the new mb architecture made up for that. I suspect that for the same reason, the performance of the 12" pb will be similar to the 15" 867. But just a guess.

eallison
Jan 8, 2003, 11:30 AM
forgot something...

in the new powerbooks, when you press on the back of the screen, it does not show up on the front as the "rainbow" effect on the LCD. So it's much more rigid.

Also, as far as the alloy goes, I'm fairly sure that it will be 7075 aluminum, the typical "aircraft aluminum" alloy. Specifically, the alloy has zinc and copper in it, but is not used widely because 7075 is hard to get, and almost impossible to weld. Fitting with this theory, it anodizes really well though.

For a really basic overview of aluminum alloys, see this link (http://www.nlites.com/article_aircraftaluminum.htm).

DrGonzo
Jan 8, 2003, 11:44 AM
Like some of you have already been saying, I too am waiting for a 15" UPDATED powerbook, i see no reason for them to leave out this 'mid' ground market so hopefully in the next few (sooner than later hopefully) we'll see an updated version.

cubist
Jan 8, 2003, 11:57 AM
Glad to hear that the Al is more rigid than the Ti. That had me worried. My TiBook feels very fragile, and also like it's flexing all the time, that's disturbing.

kmac, I doubt you'll lose more than 50% unless you wait two years or more. Laptops keep their value longer than desktops. The 867 is $2299. If you want to sell it in 6 months for $1150, call me!

Personally, I'm awestruck over the 17". It is just plain enormous. I can't decide if I think it's terrific or just too big.

BTW, SJ never said that the 12" was made of aluminum like the big one... he never said what it was made of. Maybe it IS a painted iBook.

Flowbee
Jan 8, 2003, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by cubist


BTW, SJ never said that the 12" was made of aluminum like the big one... he never said what it was made of. Maybe it IS a painted iBook.

Perhaps you were joking, but for the doubters...

From the Apple website:
" You’ll love the high-resolution 12.1-inch TFT XGA active-matrix display with brilliant 1024-by-768-pixel resolution. And you’ll marvel at the way we’ve fitted this supersharp display into such a remarkably small frame — just 10.9 inches wide, 8.6 inches deep, 1.18 inches thin and weighing a mere 4.6 pounds. Housed in a lightweight and durable aluminum alloy enclosure, the PowerBook G4 is resistant to stains and scratches. It’s also perfectly smooth on all surfaces, with no doors, protruding latches or levers to break, no external buttons to accidentally press, and no sharp edges to catch on your clothing."

I was at Macworld yesterday and played with the new books as well. Yes, the new 12" resembles the iBook, but I'm not sure how anybody who's handled one could come away thinking it was a painted iBook. I especially appreciated the new keyboard on this machine. It's very solid and easy to type on. Much more similar to a desktop keyboard feel than Apple's previous notebooks. I forgot to check to see if the keys would leave marks on the screen when closed... maybe I'll go back today.