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sethwerkheiser
Jan 24, 2003, 12:40 PM
I'm about ready to purchase my first Mac (well, like 13 years after my parents bought an Apple //c) and I'm stuck.

I'm willing to spend about $1800 or so. About the only things I'll be doing with this computer is general internet use and web site maintence, email, writing papers for school, playing The Sims (my wife likes that game), maybe some small scale music production down the road (using Reason MAYBE)...

So yea, I'm not some power user by any means. My main intrest is maintaining my website, checking my email from the porch, and playing The Sims on the couch.

So.

Should I get a nicely loaded iBook with the 14" screen.
OR
A base model of the new 12" PowerBook. I couldn't really afford to modify it from the get go as far as RAM and HD space.

Your opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks.

iShater
Jan 24, 2003, 12:51 PM
The iBook comes with some consumer software like AppleWorks, Quicken, and some games. The PB will not have those, so you have to add them to the cost. However, if you decide to buy MS Office, then for both you will shell out that additional $200 or so.

I am in the same boat, I can't decide which one to go for. If you get a chance go to an Apple Store, CompUSA, or CDW and take a look at the machines and compare the displays/weight/comfrot and good old fasioned looks. Find out which one seems to be more comfortable for you to use.

What I am wondering though is why you are comparing the 14" iBook with the 12" PowerBook. The 12" iBook seems to be closer in size and screen to the PB than the 14".

robbieduncan
Jan 24, 2003, 12:51 PM
OSX really like RAM, so a fully loaded (640Mb) iBook 800 is probably the best way to go (I've got one and love it to bits). The 14" screen really isn't worth it. It just makes the iBook larger and heavier without making the keyboard any bigger ir increasing the screen resolution.

edesignuk
Jan 24, 2003, 12:52 PM
I wouldn't go for either. I'd go for the 12" iBook, it is far better value than the 14", and with the money you save you could probably get an iPod!

[edit]
hehe, looks like people already beat me to recomending the 12" iBook :)

monkeydo_jb
Jan 24, 2003, 12:52 PM
I can't speak for the ibooks, but my first
mac was a 1GHz Tibook w/SuperDrive.

Her and I are inseperable. If I were you
I would save a little bit longer and get
what you really long for. I would
recommend saving a bit longer to see
if the release a 15.x" powerbook. It will
then have DDR, Bluetooth, AirportX, and
hopefully a backlit keyboard. I looked at the
12" powerbooks and the screen is too
small for regular usage.

Something else to think about is the
resolution on the 14" ibook. Unless I'm mistaken,
it's the same res as the
12"version. That's not gaining too
much screen real estate.

My powerbook is amazing.



-jeff

sethwerkheiser
Jan 24, 2003, 01:11 PM
Thanks guys for the input. I don't know why I compared the 12" PowerBook and the 14" iBook. I probably WOULD go for the 12" iBook now that I think about it. And getting plenty of RAM is something I'd really want to do.

I guess I've been "scared" of the processor thing (dang Intel has brainwashed me). WHat I mean is I don't want to be "bogged down" with the G3 when I could spend a few hundred more and get the G4 - but will I really need to? I hope you guys understand what I'm saying.

Basically I don't want to be unhappy with a pimped out iBook. From the looks of things though I doubt I'll be let down! :)

lmalave
Jan 24, 2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by sethwerkheiser
Thanks guys for the input. I don't know why I compared the 12" PowerBook and the 14" iBook. I probably WOULD go for the 12" iBook now that I think about it. And getting plenty of RAM is something I'd really want to do.

I guess I've been "scared" of the processor thing (dang Intel has brainwashed me). WHat I mean is I don't want to be "bogged down" with the G3 when I could spend a few hundred more and get the G4 - but will I really need to? I hope you guys understand what I'm saying.

Basically I don't want to be unhappy with a pimped out iBook. From the looks of things though I doubt I'll be let down! :)

Good choice! The 12.1" 800 is fast, mobile, and rugged. You'll be happy with it.

AmbitiousLemon
Jan 24, 2003, 01:24 PM
By 'loaded' i assume you mean largest hard drive, airport card, and 640MB ram.

First off i would agree with everyone else here saying forget the 14" ibook. the resolution on the 14" is the same as the 12" (1024x768). I do quite a bit of web design and 1024x768 screens are very difficult to work with. A powerbook allows you to connect a second monitor while the ibook does not (the ibook can mirror its screen to another device but can not support dual monitors).

Also no matter which you buy, buy as little ram as possible. Apple over charges for ram. currently you can but a 512MB chip for the ibook for $89. Apple charges $200. Apple allows you to go as low as 128MB on the ibook (that chip is soldered in and can never be upgraded).

So a maxed out 12" ibook would be $1478 Apple + $78 Ram = $1556. You might want to throw in an airport base station as well.

The powerbook (apple's price on the powerbook's ram looks decent actually) comes out to $2048 with 640MB Ram and airport (extreme) card. Again through in some extra for the base station.

So the powerbooks offers support for a seconed monitor if/when you get fed up with 1024x768. it offers altivec (g4). it offers DDR (double data rate) ram. it offers the option of upgrading the hard drive down the road (the ibook can not be upgraded). it offers airport extreme over airport (for faster network connections). it offers 67mhz more. bluetooth. more compact design (though stronger). better graphics card. all for an extra $500 (give or take).

So will you really need/use any of those extras? are they worth the extra money and going over your $1800 price cap? It is up to you really. Also bear in mind the ibooks will be updated by march (if we believe rumors). so if you go that route can you hold out another month?

basically the powerbook is faster and more upgradable. its offers a better form factor and the option of more monitor space. but it ain't cheap. the ibook is a steal at that price. the 12" ibook is apple's best deal on a computer ever. great price. if you dont mind the small screen and can stomach upgrading to another computer in 2 years its perfectly fine. the powerbook may be a bit longer lived.

i would suggest waiting til march if you are leaning towards the ibook. but definitely visit your local apple retailer and set your hands on both models before deciding.

before i wrote this i would have thought the ibook was the best deal. but i think the fact that the powerbook allows you to connect a second monitor makes me lean in its favor. i just sold my powerbook so i've been thinking about a new laptop as well so writing this helps a little (but since mine should be free the price issues means less to me).

Ambrose Chapel
Jan 24, 2003, 01:33 PM
When I was laptop shopping this past Spring I had the same dillemma (although there was no 12" PB to tempt me!). What really swung me over to the G4 is that OS X itself is optimized for that chip/AltiVec. And since I wanted the laptop to last me 3 years or maybe more, I decided that a G3 iBook would become obsolete much more quickly than a G4 TiBook, and so I went with the Ti. One of my friends has an iBook and she uses it for what you will use it for, and she's very happy. But looking down the road a year or two, I don't know. Just something to keep in mind...

Bear
Jan 24, 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by sethwerkheiser
Thanks guys for the input. I don't know why I compared the 12" PowerBook and the 14" iBook. I probably WOULD go for the 12" iBook now that I think about it. And getting plenty of RAM is something I'd really want to do.


Before deciding on 12" vs 14" go look at the iBooks in person. some people think 12" is too small for 1027*768. You may not. But checking it out first is a wise idea.

sparkleytone
Jan 24, 2003, 01:50 PM
i would say to get the powerbook and not the iBook. first of all the power of a g4 is worth the extra expense. second, you have airport extreme capabilities built in. third, the powerbook is smaller in profile AND weight. finally, the powerbook also has bluetooth.

the combo drive is essentially the same unit, altho it is slot loading. everything else is basically identical.

$350 (matching specs) for those 5 benefits in my mind is a steal.

edit: btw memory aint all that expensive.

http://homepage.mac.com/alanbrent/.Pictures/memory.png (http://www.18004memory.com/category.asp?catid=9&subcatid=901)

Skandranon
Jan 24, 2003, 01:53 PM
iBooks are old school. G4s are shaolicious. Aluminum shell with AirPort Extreme? I dunno, man... you can always upgrade RAM and the wireless card later...

867 G4 with DDRAM and GeForce and lighter weight is going to give you a little longer lifetime than an 800 G3... probably also earn you some more $$$ later down the road if you choose to sell it.

IMHO. :cool:

evildead
Jan 24, 2003, 01:55 PM
It all depends on what you want... heres my 2 Cents

if you want portablility for for the 12' iBook... its a better value

if not.. go for the PowerBook, the other iBooks are just a poor mans Powerbook. You can always beef up the Powerbook with RAM later on. And get it some place other than Apple!!! You can save a ton of cash.

I have worked with the 12" and 14" iBooks, the thing that impressed me most about the iBooks was the size.. go 12"

The powerBooks ... are a work of art!

sparkleytone
Jan 24, 2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by evildead
It all depends on what you want... heres my 2 Cents

if you want portablility for for the 12' iBook... its a better value

if not.. go for the PowerBook, the other iBooks are just a poor mans Powerbook. You can always beef up the Powerbook with RAM later on. And get it some place other than Apple!!! You can save a ton of cash.

I have worked with the 12" and 14" iBooks, the thing that impressed me most about the iBooks was the size.. go 12"

The powerBooks ... are a work of art!

the powerbooks are smaller.

sethwerkheiser
Jan 24, 2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by evildead
You can always beef up the Powerbook with RAM later on.

That's what I've been thinking. While I might have a bare bones PowerBook it's still a freaking PowerBook! Hehe... and the thing that scares the crap out of me is buying the G3 iBook and then seeing them offer a newer version in March. I don't want to wait that long for something that might not appear. I need something very soon.

Hmmmmm...

yzedf
Jan 24, 2003, 02:17 PM
I have a hard time buying the first release of any new hardware. That would make me lean towards the iBook 800 instead of the PB 12".

If you are going to be doing memory intensive tasks (games, online videos etc.) I think the G4 is the way to be.

As I have said in other threads... I just played with me g/f iBook 800 with 640MB RAM 40GB hdd and the combo drive... pretty to look at, but not quick.

The big killer... it you are going to use Virtual PC 6.0 I hope it would be nicer on the G4. Performance on said G3 is very poor. :(

Do you want to give... or take? Both???

weez75
Jan 24, 2003, 02:35 PM
First, skip the 14" iBook. Small is good. Trust me here.

Second, unless you plan on doing video or heavy graphics work, there aren't a horde of Altivec-optimized apps out there. Regardless of what people tell you, the G4 is a great thing to have but not necessary to surf the web, develop web pages, have a digital hub, etc. The caveat is of course graphics-intense apps. If you're a graphics person, get the Powerbook.

Next, let's address this whole Airport Extreme thing. It only runs at the higher speeds within 50 feet of the base station. Second, there's quite a good possibility that standard Airport cards will run these higher speeds with a software upgrade Apple is working on. Further, there's a good chance that you're home connection is a heck of a lot slower than even the original Airport speeds. My point is that Airport Extreme shouldn't drive the decision.

Finally, take some of the good advice others have posted and buy lots of RAM. Don't buy it from Apple. You can get it elsewhere for much less money.

So deck out your iBook and enjoy it. I enjoy mine.

pnz999
Jan 24, 2003, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by yzedf
I have a hard time buying the first release of any new hardware. That would make me lean towards the iBook 800 instead of the PB 12".

LOL! for some reason, there is always something wrong with first rev. Apple products.

For example,

G4 MDD tower (first Rev with DDR RAM).. some claims it doesnt take full advantage of DDR and fan noise is just too LOUD (www.g4noise.com)

eMac .. are well pretty much are defective. bad screens.

TiBook (400 MHz) when it first came out... there are problems with the LCD.

iMac G4 ... the Flat Panel swing arm problems that cause the LCD to be tilted. (to go to Apple's own forums Discussions > iMac > iMac (Flat Panel) > Displays > iMac G4 screen -- it's TILTED .. http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?50@165.Jh5qaEzXg6a.2@.f026f13)


please.. Apple make the Albook perfect.. cuz its going to be my first Apple laptop for college.

yzedf
Jan 24, 2003, 10:00 PM
pnz999:

It does suck that most companies can not make something reliably their first time out...

Even something done right like the iPod gets redone (wheel) enough to make purchase of the first version lamentable :(

Bear
Jan 24, 2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by yzedf
pnz999:

It does suck that most companies can not make something reliably their first time out...

Even something done right like the iPod gets redone (wheel) enough to make purchase of the first version lamentable :(

Are you more upset about the wheel style or the capacity. There is nothing wrong with the first wheel style.

benixau
Jan 24, 2003, 11:20 PM
get the PB. unless you need OS9.

the PB has something that the ibook dont. a G4. a better way to look at things is like so. the 12" PB is a ibook with a g4.

now do you want a g3 or g4???
(g3 is the wrong answer)

MacFan25
Jan 25, 2003, 03:23 PM
Hmm...tough decision, but I think that if I were you, I would go for the 12" iBook. It would be cheaper, and like a poster above said, with the money you can save from buying an iBook, you could get an iPod also. Also, I wouldn't get the 14", because I think that the 12" is better value. Plus, it the 12" is probably more portable.

MacFan25
Jan 25, 2003, 03:24 PM
Edit: Sorry, posted twice on accident.:confused: Moderator, plaese delete this.

JSRockit
Jan 25, 2003, 06:11 PM
12" pBook all the way.

Jimong5
Jan 25, 2003, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by sethwerkheiser
About the only things I'll be doing with this computer is general internet use and web site maintence, email, writing papers for school, playing The Sims (my wife likes that game), maybe some small scale music production down the road (using Reason MAYBE)...

So yea, I'm not some power user by any means. My main intrest is maintaining my website, checking my email from the porch, and playing The Sims on the couch.

You are a Classic Steriotypical iBook Customer. When doing those tasks on my 400 G3 and my Dual 867 G4, the speed difference Is minimal (excepting the sims, but it would be no issue for the iBook, it still is a nice game machene.) A 233 Bondi can do all those things just fine, dispite the mollasses GUI speed. I think youd be perfect for a decked 800 12". Sure, the G4 will always feel faster, but the 800 G3 is bad by no means.

JSRockit
Jan 25, 2003, 07:13 PM
If you are going to use Reason...you might as well go for the G4. Of course the iBook will run it fine, but why not buy something that will last a little longer?

Unclej78
Jan 25, 2003, 07:33 PM
This is one of the hardest choices to make.

I need to get a notebook but I'm stuck on which one to get. (It has to have DVD, some of my artwork is on it.)

I use three different Macs a week and they all have their strengths.

I work 8+ hours a day on a G3 266 w/20 CRT at 1024x768, handling large files (up to 150-200mb) with no problem.

I use a G4 867 Tower w/22" flat panel at my part time job.

And at home a G3 400 iMac w/DVD which I do side work.

My problem is that my iMac screen size isn't large enough. I use Illustrator quite alot. I love having the 22" but their is no way I can afford that. So the 12, 14 & 15 inch screen is an issue. Processor speed is 2nd on my list, since anything is going to an upgrade to my home use. I've noticed that some redraws on my iMac is faster than the loaded G4.

Most of you think that the 12" is a better option than the 14".

I thinking that I could use the 12" as a portable device and hook up a bigger LCD screen. I've never used dual monitor setup, which might help my situation. If I hook up a 17" LCD to the 12" ibook or PB will I get any resolution higher than the 1024x768 listed on the specs? Also, I'll probably will use a notebook for about 6-12 months before getting a tower to handle large work hooked up to whatever external monitor I can get.

So basically I need to get a notebook as cheap as possible and I need to be able to use it everyday as well.

JSRockit
Jan 25, 2003, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Unclej78
This is one of the hardest choices to make.

I need to get a notebook but I'm stuck on which one to get. (It has to have DVD, some of my artwork is on it.)

I use three different Macs a week and they all have their strengths.

I work 8+ hours a day on a G3 266 w/20 CRT at 1024x768, handling large files (up to 150-200mb) with no problem.

I use a G4 867 Tower w/22" flat panel at my part time job.

And at home a G3 400 iMac w/DVD which I do side work.

My problem is that my iMac screen size isn't large enough. I use Illustrator quite alot. I love having the 22" but their is no way I can afford that. So the 12, 14 & 15 inch screen is an issue. Processor speed is 2nd on my list, since anything is going to an upgrade to my home use. I've noticed that some redraws on my iMac is faster than the loaded G4.

Most of you think that the 12" is a better option than the 14".

I thinking that I could use the 12" as a portable device and hook up a bigger LCD screen. I've never used dual monitor setup, which might help my situation. If I hook up a 17" LCD to the 12" ibook or PB will I get any resolution higher than the 1024x768 listed on the specs? Also, I'll probably will use a notebook for about 6-12 months before getting a tower to handle large work hooked up to whatever external monitor I can get.

So basically I need to get a notebook as cheap as possible and I need to be able to use it everyday as well.

I would get a used 15" TiBook then.

jefhatfield
Jan 25, 2003, 07:58 PM
huge things will most likely hit the ibook in the next 24 months...which is a reasonable time to own and use the g3 powered ibook

the ibook will definitely get ddr ram and a g4 in the next two years for sure

right now, the powerbook g4, 12 inch model, has those things, and like everyone said, you can always buy the added ram later

the aluminum casing will give you more strength and if you get applecare, you will use the laptop for three years much more likely than a g3 ibook which you may easily outgrow way before the three years is up

to me, right now, the powerbook 12 inch model is the best deal for now and the long term up to two years or more

jefhatfield
Jan 25, 2003, 08:04 PM
..and airport extreme, bluetooth, 10 GB more space, and slightly lighter by 3/10 of a pound..every bit counts

bentmywookie
Jan 25, 2003, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by yzedf
I have a hard time buying the first release of any new hardware. That would make me lean towards the iBook 800 instead of the PB 12".

If you are going to be doing memory intensive tasks (games, online videos etc.) I think the G4 is the way to be.




I belive it was Barefeats.com that managed to get a copy of XBench onto the 12" powerbook at Macworld. The 12" powerbook was not blowing away the iBook and in some tests, the iBook was better.

Like you said, you will be using it for everyday tasks and the Sims. My vote goes for the 12" iBook then. (maxed out w/ 640 megs of ram). Plus, I read a few posts from people saying the 12" powerbook gets really hot, whereas the iBook won't be that way.

Not sure what to say regarding Airport Extreme - I would think that AE isn't a bad thing to have but it doesn't matter right now to not have it either. I do think the built-in bluetooth is cool if you think you will be using bluetooth stuff, so maybe that could be a consideration.

bentmywookie
Jan 25, 2003, 09:48 PM
Sorry, I forgot to put the link to the Barefeats tests:

http://www.barefeats.com/pb17.html

AmbitiousLemon
Jan 25, 2003, 09:52 PM
the biggest advantages of the 12" powerbook over the ibook is that the powerbook can support multiple monitors while the ibook can only mirror.

if screen real estate is an issue (and it will be for most people if all they have is 1024x768) then being able to connect the powerbook to a second screen is a huge benefit.

Also powerbooks have much higher resale value than ibooks. i just sold my 4 year old powerbook (lombard g3) for $900. 3 year old ibooks (the oldest ibooks) sell for about $100.

neonart
Jan 25, 2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by sethwerkheiser
Thanks guys for the input. I don't know why I compared the 12" PowerBook and the 14" iBook. I probably WOULD go for the 12" iBook now that I think about it. And getting plenty of RAM is something I'd really want to do.

I guess I've been "scared" of the processor thing (dang Intel has brainwashed me). WHat I mean is I don't want to be "bogged down" with the G3 when I could spend a few hundred more and get the G4 - but will I really need to? I hope you guys understand what I'm saying.

Basically I don't want to be unhappy with a pimped out iBook. From the looks of things though I doubt I'll be let down! :)
While I think both are great, I rather have a $25,000 Mercedes than a $25,000 Toyota. Both good, but definitely you'll be happier and more proud to own the classier machine. SAme goes for this comparison. Besides, lots of places are giving free 512MB Ram chips with Pbooks. Get a 12 w/640 MB Ram>>>SCHWEET! (My 2)

yada88
Jan 25, 2003, 11:03 PM
I just went to CompUSA and checked out the 12" Powerbook. Damn it was nice. It was sleek looking, and looked nice and slick, because it is much more rounded than the ibook. The new powerbook from the outside is the 12" ibook, with the clear plastic ripped off. It's that size. It is tiny, and it looks much cuter than the 12" ibook.

Now, I have already ordered a 12" PBook w/an educational discount, or else I would have bought it on the spot. So obviously, I am more biased towards the Pbook. It was really nice. There are only two negative things I can say after my experience with the ibook. The first is that the mouse button on the one i played with felt EXTREMELY flimsy. This may have just been individual laptop i was using, but the guy took it fresh out of the box right in front of me, so it wasn't because of previous use. The other problem I had with it was on this same machine, the rubber that is the airport antenna was kinda seperated from the case, and cheapened the look a tiny bit. Despite both these things, I have maintained my order from the apple store, and eagerly await my first mac.

All that said, I'm gonna tell you what I loved about it. It was REALLY cute. It has no obtruding surfaces. It really sleak. I love the fact that it has a slot loading drive. The laptop seemed very solid, and the aluminum looks great. They keys seemed nice, and very responsive to presses. I don't think I'll have any problems typing on them for hours.

I was also a bit worried because unlike the ibook, the speakers seem to be hidden. They are on the back of the laptop, in the form of little slots, one on each side. I couldn't listen to much, as it was fresh out of the box, but from what I could hear, they didn't sound that bad. The screen looked very nice and sharp.

Overall, the laptop looked twice as classy, and much more stylish than the ibook. I really enjoyed fondling it for a while.