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View Full Version : 17" Powerbook vs. New desktop and 20" monitor


StevenFW
Jan 29, 2003, 01:32 PM
I am curious for some opinions here, please. I know this is a tough question, but what do people think about a loaded 17 inch Powerbook vs. one of the new DP Power Macs with a 20 inch screen? Now I realize that the desktop will always have a bigger HD, more RAM, better graphics, faster optical, more expansion, etc., and I know this is a timeless question...it just seems harder for me to answer now...I lean towards a Powerbook (always wanted the larger screen, and this is the first time their offering fulfills this desire), and given that I don't do Photoshop, video, it seems more than adequate. However, whenever I'm about to pull the trigger, I think about the following:

1. Portability-very nice, but not an absolute necessity now...in the future, I don't know, but just having portability within my apt. is nice (with Airport)

2. 60 GB HD vs. 120 or 180 on PM

3. More RAM in desktop

4. Better graphics in desktop

5. Faster optical

6. DP vs. single 1 GHz

7. Finally, and most significantly, a larger, better screen than the 17 inch

Now I know this is a long list of things that make a desktop more powerful, but do people feel this is a significant tradeoff? I am agonizing over this decision...oh, yeah, I do know about the option to get the notebook and purchase a cinema display separately....

What do people think?

Thanks for the input...

GigaWire
Jan 29, 2003, 01:37 PM
if you are not doing the intensive video and image work, get the powerbook for sure

occam
Jan 29, 2003, 02:00 PM
Steven:

I think you need to do a pro/con analysis for yourself.

Personally, I think the desktop is the better all around machine, unless you *need* portability. However, if you need portability, I would weigh the (imminent) 15" versus the 17". The 17" is just huge but (do the numbers) offers very little in the way of additional resolution to justify the cumbersome size. Unless your eyes need larger text, I would recomment the normal size 15" for genuine portability. (To be clear, I like the 17" but, all things equal, would only recommend it when it has a much higher resolution screen to justify the oversized, cumbersome form factor. That would make it worth it.) So, default to PowerMac unless you need portability.

Also, the PowerMac is upgradable (PB is not).

OTOH, the portables are top of the class right now, whereas the PowerMac will likely get a serious overhaul within in a year (IBM 970), so the portable will hold its value better. Hmm...

It's really a personal decision. There are deciding factors for both form factors (power expandability versus portability convenience). The portable will be more expensive even after purchase with accessories (batteries, compact cables, etc.) plus it's wise to purchase an Apple extended service agreement for portables due to the expensive LCD screens which can accidentally break (as with any portable which gets lugged around). Factor that in.

Finally, the portable is a hella sexier when travelling.

Your call. I hope that helped. I suspect I missed a few issues, so others will fill in the blanks.

MacFan25
Jan 29, 2003, 03:13 PM
If I were you, I would go for the 17" PowerBook. It should be pretty portable.

maureen obrien
Jan 29, 2003, 03:15 PM
This is one of the things I thought about before I purchased my powerbook. One thing to bear in mind -- if you do go for the book, remember if it ever has an accident (is droped) the screen will cost a fortune to replace -- like around $1,500 or more (probably a lot more for the 17 inches). I had my power book for less than 2 months and it slid off a table -- it will cost around $1,300 to be fixed. A desktop with a 17" display will be cheaper to buy and not as prone to "accidents".

Foucault
Jan 29, 2003, 03:18 PM
I used to have a quicksilver G4, and loved its power and such. I recently traded it in to get the 15" Powerbook. And since I've had it, I haven't been able to turn off my preciousssss. Before I dreaded doing work on my G4 because I would be caught up and imprisoned in my room for hours without any light of day. Since I got my Powerbook, I've been able to station myself at the local Starbucks or the nearby Barnes and Noble, and become the center of attention. I have been more productive, and inspired since I got the Powerbook. I recommend going mobile.

Maclicious
Jan 29, 2003, 03:43 PM
I have the 17 inch powerbook on order. For me, the additional cost is worth the portability, having the ability to do all my work whether I am in the office or at home on the same machine. I ordered On January 7th or 8th.

BUT... I checked the order status today, and it notes that the AlBook will ship on "or before" March 20th. My god! Does anyone know what is up with that? With that kind of wait, I'm tempted to cancel the order and wait to see the reviews the machine gets when it finally becomes available. I mean, I'm already in for another 2 month wait, nearly, what's another month on top of that?

Does anyone have any analysis on this, you know, sort of talk me through a difficult time?
:-)

Wren
Jan 29, 2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Maclicious
I have the 17 inch powerbook on order. For me, the additional cost is worth the portability, having the ability to do all my work whether I am in the office or at home on the same machine. I ordered On January 7th or 8th.

BUT... I checked the order status today, and it notes that the AlBook will ship on "or before" March 20th. My god! Does anyone know what is up with that? With that kind of wait, I'm tempted to cancel the order and wait to see the reviews the machine gets when it finally becomes available. I mean, I'm already in for another 2 month wait, nearly, what's another month on top of that?

Does anyone have any analysis on this, you know, sort of talk me through a difficult time?
:-)

I am with you there. I have been waiting till Novermber! I was going to buy the Titanium Powerbook iGhz Superdrive I was going to buy it in December as a Christmas present and a tax write off but someone persuaded me to wait till MWSF. LUCKILY they did upgrade the Powerbook and I watied. What frustrates me is I placed my order a few days after the MWSF and i have to wait another month and a half before getting it. The closest thing I have was a full page ad at Wall Street Journal showing the ACTUAL size of the 17"AluPB.. and let me tell you , It's definitely worth the wait. That screen is just AWESOME!!

cr2sh
Jan 29, 2003, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by Maclicious
I have the 17 inch powerbook on order. For me, the additional cost is worth the portability...

Additional cost? PB is $3300, the new tower is $3800 plus LCD.

I'm getting ready to order mine but that wait does scare me.. might have to get a 15" and and new lcd (23" is looking mighty good.) :D

A 1GHz Powerbook will do everything you need, and you will love it. A desktop just doesn't have the charm, although it has more power than you'll ever need.
Powerbook!

littlejim
Jan 29, 2003, 06:35 PM
I've been forced into buying a new Mac as my beloved 1 year old Dual 1Ghz was stolen over Xmas.

I've decided to get a 1Ghz 17" powerbook instead of the new Dual 1.4 powerMac.

My logic is that I'll have a pretty powerful (as powerful as I'll need) machine for a year or so ... and when I replace it with one of the really nice new PowerMacs in a year or so (New Enclosures, Super Fast Processors, 300Gb HD, 1Gb RAM, Dual Firewire 800, Dual USB2, <insert dreams here>) ... the portable will still have a real world use, instead of becoming a print server or a games machine for the kids.

Oh ... And there's a chance I'll become a <SELF_EDITED> magnet </SELF_EDITED> overnight with a PowerBook :D

littlejim
--------------------------------
he's fallen in the water

PyroTurtle
Jan 29, 2003, 07:24 PM
i'm thinking that if you don't need the power, really want the mobility, and really want a big screen here's waht you do:
get the 12.1" PowerBook and hook it up to a 23" Cinema Display...

or be an idiot like me and have a tower and 2 powerbooks (the one joy of being school...), of cource i have no car...but that's what my roommates are for...

oh, can't forget the all important 20GB iPod, it saves my sanity in boring classes

stuckwithme247
Jan 29, 2003, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by PyroTurtle
i'm thinking that if you don't need the power, really want the mobility, and really want a big screen here's waht you do:
get the 12.1" PowerBook and hook it up to a 23" Cinema Display...

or be an idiot like me and have a tower and 2 powerbooks (the one joy of being school...), of cource i have no car...but that's what my roommates are for...

oh, can't forget the all important 20GB iPod, it saves my sanity in boring classes
and how would you accomplish using that 23 inch display on the 12.1 powerbook?

cr2sh
Jan 29, 2003, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by PyroTurtle
of cource i have no car...but that's what my roommates are for...

oh, can't forget the all important 20GB iPod, it saves my sanity in boring classes

Would that include an english class?

The 12" DOES have monitor spanning....

SoonToGetAMac
Jan 29, 2003, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by stuckwithme247

and how would you accomplish using that 23 inch display on the 12.1 powerbook?

On PowerMacs, you can hook up an external monitor and you will instantly have 2, count em 2, monitors...but they won't mirror, they will be dual displays!:D :cool:

PyroTurtle
Jan 29, 2003, 11:37 PM
the ADC->DVI->VGA adaptor....
we do it here at school, it really sucks cause you loose some of the quality....there's some company that makes a quicker way of doign it too...it's vga-adc....it is possible....

and yes, english, public comm, basically anything that doesn't pertain to science, math, or music....then my iPod and powerbooks come in handy...
so does quake 3 with my friends who have iBooks and are across campus! yay for wireless campus'

stealthelephant
Feb 24, 2004, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by maureen obrien
This is one of the things I thought about before I purchased my powerbook. One thing to bear in mind -- if you do go for the book, remember if it ever has an accident (is droped) the screen will cost a fortune to replace -- like around $1,500 or more (probably a lot more for the 17 inches). I had my power book for less than 2 months and it slid off a table -- it will cost around $1,300 to be fixed. A desktop with a 17" display will be cheaper to buy and not as prone to "accidents".
Ouch!!!
1 word, insurance

Grimace
Feb 24, 2004, 11:32 AM
i don't see why this is that difficult. They are very different computers. Assess your *needs* - both will likely take care of your wants.

if you need portability - get a powerbook
if you don't - get a powermac.

adamjay
Feb 24, 2004, 09:17 PM
one thing no one has mentioned is the fact that Apple owners are much like Volkswagen or Saturn automobile owners. We (they) are loyal and take pride in owning these computers. and we like to show this pride (hence every new apple comes with a couple stickers)

it's kind of hard showing your pride lugging your desktop around, and thats why i have 2 powerbooks.

get the powerbook, as much as Macintosh is about style and aesthetic... the PB really drives this point home.