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View Full Version : 12" PowerBook - First Impressions


moby1
Jan 31, 2003, 02:49 AM
I received my new 12" PowerBook yesterday morning. I haven't spent much time with it but for those considering Apple's smallest PowerBook ever, here are my first impressions.

It's small. Yes, I knew it would be but until I got it on my desk, it's dimensions were only abstract to me. My last PowerBook was an Ti 800. Now my desk looks like a scene from "Honey I Shrunk The PowerBook". The T68i phone beside it reinforces the illusion.

It's quiet, really, really quiet. The noisy click-click of the TiBook is gone. Imagine a toothpick falling on a linoleum floor...in the next room. I really applaud Apple's efforts to engineer quieter machines. This thing is nearly completely silent. For those of you considering replacing the hard drive, I'd reconsider. It's very nice to have a machine that only makes music and only when you ask it to.

It can get hot. It shares the same trait I noticed on the iBook; the left area below the keyboard where you rest your left hand gets very warm. I don't think it gets quite as hot as the iBook. It may be that the Aluminium casing dissipates heat better. I noticed the bottom of the machine getting hot after playing a DVD but when I breifly lifted it, the case started to cool almost immediately. I use one of those tilt & swivel stands, this keeps the case elevated and out in the air. The left palm rest still gets warm though. It bothered me, others I talked to who used the iBooks said they didn't mind. I don't think it's and worse (and perhaps better) than on the iBooks. The fan never comes on. Is there a fan? I did hear a fan when I burned a CD.

It's fast. I posted benchmarks in another forum but I won't get into specifics. It will take me time to completely evaluate this new PowerBook but it's faster than an iBook. It feels only slightly less snappy than my last Ti 800 but I still have only the stock 256 MB. I just installed Photoshop and I'm pretty impressed. This thing is faster than it looks. The 12" PowerBook is no slouch!

It's solid. It feels built well. A step up from the iBook but not quite the sophistication of the TiBook. There are areas like the gap below the keyboard and the sharp edge on the clicker that remind me that this is a less expensive model than the TiBook. On the other hand, I don't feel like I have to handle the machine like eggs. I was always very carefull when I handled my TiBook. I don't think the finish will scratch but it will smudge from skin oils. I keep an eyeglass wipe cloth handy.

It's portable. Truly portable. If I had a TiBook beside it, I'd probably grab the lil' AlBook 9/10's of the time. There were plenty of times I thought about toting my 15" PowerBook somewhere but decided it'd be too much of a hassle. That won't be an issue with this little guy!

The screen isn't as nice as the one on the TiBook. Besides the extra real estate, the TiBook's screen seemed more vivid. I don't think the screen on the this AlBook is any better or worse than the iBook's screen. This little PowerBook might be a digital photographer's dream as far as portability but I think if placed beside the larger 15" PowerBook, serious photographers might have second thoughts about which screen they'd rather see their work on.

The keyboard isn't as pleasant to use as the TiBook's. I feel like my hands are too cramped together when I type. The touchpad also is shipped with the speed setting way too low. I noticed this in the Apple Store, I changed it almost immediately.

The ports on the left side can be annoying. I don't mind the power cable but the network cable is an eyesore. This thing screams for an Airport Card.

About the cost; I got the $1799 model bundled with a free battery, case & printer. I figure I got about $200 worth of free stuff, that brings the price down to $1599 - only $300 above the price of an iBook! Apple should have a hot seller here.

More about the heat issue; I moved 30 GB of data over from my PC, the hard drive was silent. The littlest PowerBook did get hot under my left palm but it seemed to reach a plateau and never exceeded it even though I kept the drive busy for over an hour.

The 12" PowerBook suits my needs right now. When the Al version of the 15" comes out, we'll see...

If you want the ultimate in portability and you're a power user - this might just be your next machine.


moby1

p.s. Other new 12" PowerBook owners, I'd welcome your comments.

occam
Jan 31, 2003, 02:56 AM
Thx, and good luck with it!

iAlan
Jan 31, 2003, 11:36 AM
Moby1, now I've got computer-envy....
Thanks for the update. I wish I had an excuse to get a 3rd Mac!!:p

jayscheuerle
Jan 31, 2003, 11:54 AM
This thing is soooooo much more solid than the TiBook though. The lightest touch on the back of the TiBooks screen distorts the images. You have to push HARD to get the 12"'s screen to distort.

It does look like a little metal iBook. Even down to the little round nubs that keep the screen off the keyboard.

My friend is trying to decide between the iBook and this new 12"'er. Powerwise, they're not that different, but the cool factor is definately swaying him. He's a bit of a klutz though, so it will be interesting to see what kind of abuse these things can take...

Das
Jan 31, 2003, 03:36 PM
What about Photohop benchmarks? Has anyone tried running it yet and comparing it to other pbs like the 800? Just wondering how it handles it since I'll be getting mine soon and since it is sans L3. Also, how would I go about getting the info off of my XP box and onto the pb? I've tried networking with my G4 450 in X and it was like child birth.

My main thing is the ammount of noise it make since both of my computers sound like they have turbine heatsyncs, my PC has 3 fans not to mention gfx card and heatsync (God bless overclocking).

Wren
Jan 31, 2003, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the review, Moby1! I am still waiting for my 17 inch AluPB. Now.. you mentioned a battery, case, and a printer with the purchase? Do you want to share the secret-- Where did you buy it??????????

pyrotoaster
Jan 31, 2003, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the info!
I used the 12" at an Apple Store recently, and was impressed by the compact look and solid feel.
Now if I can only get $1800...

MacFan25
Jan 31, 2003, 04:41 PM
Yeah, thanks for the info. I hope that you enjoy it! Sounds like a great little computer. :D

Liamcow
Feb 1, 2003, 12:23 AM
I'm picking mine up tomorrow the instant the store opens, at 10:30EST on the dot!!!! w00t!!! I hope it's nice, i've never got to see one in person, but after the apple store came back up- I told the store to contact me the minute they come in and that was 2 hours after the store closed yesterday :mad:
10:30 ON THE DOT!!!!!!!!!
ONLY NINE MORE HOURS!!!!

pnz999
Feb 1, 2003, 12:52 PM
how is the airport reception on the 12"PB? 150 ft?

like the ibook?

Liamcow
Feb 1, 2003, 11:27 PM
I'm no sure how good the reception is, i heard it's just as good as the ibook, i haven't gotten to try it yet on my 12", the store hasn't gotten the new airport base stations or cards yet

btw, this new powerbook ROX!!!!!

iJon
Feb 1, 2003, 11:59 PM
well i watched lord of the rings side by side with the 12 inch and the 15 inch. the 12 inch seemed much more crisp to me than the 15. i will have to investigate some more. as for the 15 feeling nicer than the 12 doesnt make any sense to me. to me the 15 inch is like the nice dining room table to you buy for the house but never use it because you want it to stay nice. the hinge on the new powerbook comapred to the 15 powerbook in much bette. it is a flawless hinge that is so smooth, no creaks our anything. as for the ports being on the side is a very smart move by apple. in my opinion the ports being on the back is just plain annoying and a terrible idea. it wouldnt be so bad if the 15 inch powerbook hinge didnt go over the ports. because of this it makes it difficult to unplug things like ethernet cables. i sure hope they move the ports to the side on new visions of the 15 inch. also the 12 inch has rubber grips so it never touches the screen (too bad apple didnt think of that 3 years ago). the only complaint i have about the new powerbook is that the lockdown is at the bottom of the computer. thats really not a problem though. its jsut at our store our laptops stay on a lockdown so you learn to hate it. but if you dont lockdown this will be a great computer. just ask me if you have anymore questions.

iJon

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 01:08 AM
I've been using the 12" PowerBook for a couple days now and I have some more thoughts on it.

I was worried about the lack of L3 cache on this thing. I've been using Photoshop, Bryce 5 and Keynote and I'm pleased with the performance. Rendering in Bryce was much faster than I expected. Editing my digital photos in Photoshop was no problem. The machine feels on par with my last Ti 800 model and the P4 1.8 ThinkPad I was using. I still have only 256 MB RAM! I'll order a 512 MB chip ASAP (the DDR RAM is more expensive). :(

Battery life seems good too. I brought the 12" AlBook to my local coffe shop today and spent about 3 hours translating my class notes into a Keynote presentation (Keynote rocks!). I got an extra battery free in my bundle from MacWarehouse but it hasn't arrived yet. When it does, I'll never carry an AC adapter.

This thing is so much easier to tote around than my 15" TiBook was but I do miss the nice 15.2 widescreen. I'm concerned about the eyestrain I might be experiencing with the smaller screen; it's not for everyone.

I may have found the 12" AlBook's Achille's heel. I don't think it's the L3 cache, I think it's the graphics chip. DVD's and Divx movies look great (MPlayer rocks!). However, I did have problems when I was editing my photos. Skin tones looked washed out and I had trouble getting the reds to look right. I think there may be an issue here for photographers or graphics users. I'd like to see some graphics professionals take a real close hard look at the 12" Al's display and report back.

I did hear the fan come on (I think). It's incredibly quiet, I might have heard it when I was playing a DVD.

I still like the Ti case better, I think more engineering (and cost) went into it. I do like the Al's keyboard better, the keys feel more solid than the iBooks I've used and the key travels feels better than the TiBooks - and the silver keys look cool. ;)

This is the first Apple computer to ship that will only boot OS X. That's still a bit scary for some of us. One thing I liked about dual booting is that I could resolve problems by booting into the other OS and running utilities from there. Now I may need to carry a bootable disk with the utilities on it.

Can anyone tell me how to build a bootable OS X disk with Norton Utilities, NAV and Drive 10 on it?

moby1

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by moby1
Can anyone tell me how to build a bootable OS X disk with Norton Utilities, NAV and Drive 10 on it?

moby1
personally iwould save your time and buy diskwarrior 3 which is suppose to come out this month. from working back in apple service, i have saved a bunch of peoples data and stuff (even my own stuff) with this program. i think they have put a lot of development into this new version. i would buy it. probably cost like 70 dollars but it will be worth every penny.....and then some.

iJon

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 01:39 AM
Will it defrag my drive? I'd like to have a CD with a bunch of tools on it.

How would I do this?


moby1

p.s. I love the 12" AlBooks keyboard. I thought it was too cramped at first but now that I'm getting used to it it feels great.

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by moby1
Will it defrag my drive? I'd like to have a CD with a bunch of tools on it.

How would I do this?


moby1

p.s. I love the 12" AlBooks keyboard. I thought it was too cramped at first but now that I'm getting used to it it feels great.
yeah it will defrag your drive. you just click a button and take a coffee break.

iJon

Abstract
Feb 2, 2003, 02:23 AM
the 12" PB isn't hotter than the iBook? I have read about heat being a problem on the 12" PB, but never a problem in the iBooks. That's just what I hear and read on this message board.

I would have also imagined that the lack of L3 would have made a large impact on performance when compared to a new 15" PB, or even your old 15.2" PB. I think its a bit odd for there to be no performance downside to this.

And did MacWarehouse bundle a battery, a case, and a printer with your 12" PB for free, or was it a small $100 additional fee or something? If its free, then its the best deal around. :)

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 02:35 AM
you guys also gotta remember, the ibook has double the l2 cache than the 12 inch powerbook. from the early tests, the powerbook barely beat out the ibook. and since you can do the spanning hack on the ibook, you really gotta think if the bluetooth, airport extreme, superdrive, slot load and looks is worth the extra cash. depends on how much a dollar is worth to some people. wait till the new ibooks come out, then we will really have to do some tests.

iJon

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 03:07 AM
Originally posted by Abstract
the 12" PB isn't hotter than the iBook? I have read about heat being a problem on the 12" PB, but never a problem in the iBooks. That's just what I hear and read on this message board.

I would have also imagined that the lack of L3 would have made a large impact on performance when compared to a new 15" PB, or even your old 15.2" PB. I think its a bit odd for there to be no performance downside to this.

And did MacWarehouse bundle a battery, a case, and a printer with your 12" PB for free, or was it a small $100 additional fee or something? If its free, then its the best deal around. :)

I worked on an iBook for a while some time ago. The area under my left palm rest would get very hot, I could never get used to it. The 12" Al doesn't seem to get any hotter - it may get 'as hot' but it seems to cool down very quickly.

I'm sure the lack of L3 cache does impact the performance, I'm just saying that it doesn't seem to be as big a deal as I'd expected it to be (and I'm comparing this 867 Al to my last Ti 800).

The MacWarehouse deal involves rebates - a total of 4 rebates I think. It's a great deal if you don't mind dealing with rebates - and waiting a while for the money. I think the battery alone is an awesome deal ($129 value!).

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 03:16 AM
Originally posted by iJon
you guys also gotta remember, the ibook has double the l2 cache than the 12 inch powerbook. from the early tests, the powerbook barely beat out the ibook. and since you can do the spanning hack on the ibook, you really gotta think if the bluetooth, airport extreme, superdrive, slot load and looks is worth the extra cash. depends on how much a dollar is worth to some people. wait till the new ibooks come out, then we will really have to do some tests.

iJon

I guess the real question is; "Does if feel like an iBook upgraded to PowerBook specs or does it feel like a PowerBook stuffed into iBook size?".

So far, I'd say it feels more like a PowerBook stuffed into iBook form factor - with a couple of exceptions; RAM limited to 640 MB (still good for most people) and the lesser graphics chip (NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go). It's the 420 that has me worried (see my above post about editing digital photos).

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 03:19 AM
I'm going to have alot of fun with this thing but I'm keeping my eye out for the next 15" PowerBook...

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 03:23 AM
i would do some benchmarks for you guys but all i have on display is the 12 inch powerbook and the low end ibook.

iJon

ibjoshua
Feb 2, 2003, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by iJon

yeah it will defrag your drive. you just click a button and take a coffee break.

iJon
A support guy once told me Unix drives didn't need to defrag. I had no reason to disbelieve him till now. Was he wrong?

i_b_joshua

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua

A support guy once told me Unix drives didn't need to defrag. I had no reason to disbelieve him till now. Was he wrong?

i_b_joshua
well im no expert, im just saying on the behalf of playing with dw3. it has an optimization button, which if im not mistaken, is the same as defrag. so to answer your question, i dont know if he was wrong, but someboyd on this forum will know.

iJon

kcmac
Feb 2, 2003, 12:49 PM
For some 12" PB performance comparisons check out this pdf by a guy on the macnn forums.

http://homepage.mac.com/danny_gasperini/FileSharing6.html

Some good info. The 12" holds its own and then some.

altair
Feb 2, 2003, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua

A support guy once told me Unix drives didn't need to defrag. I had no reason to disbelieve him till now. Was he wrong?

i_b_joshua

I *think* I found the problem. I don't *think* these are unix drives. I just errased my HD and started over, and one of the options, besides Mac OS Extended and Mac OS Standard, was Unix. And of course I chose Mac OS Extended. So I don't think these are Unix drives. Hope I cleared some stuff up.

-altair

markomarko
Feb 2, 2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by iJon
you guys also gotta remember, the ibook has double the l2 cache than the 12 inch powerbook. from the early tests, the powerbook barely beat out the ibook. and since you can do the spanning hack on the ibook, you really gotta think if the bluetooth, airport extreme, superdrive, slot load and looks is worth the extra cash. depends on how much a dollar is worth to some people. wait till the new ibooks come out, then we will really have to do some tests.

iJon

iJon, the ibook is SLOWER. xbench is still too new (just barely past beta) and doesn't demonstrate altivec advantages, so it shouldn't be considered the be-all of benchmarks.

PLUS, you should quit telling people to do the monitor-spanning hack on the iBook! That hack is unpredictable and has fuxored many an iBook as reported on xlr8yourmac. Try and be a little more responsible with these comments.

For those interested in hacking the iBook, read this page (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/ibook_dual_display_mods.html) before proceeding or risk having to buy a new ibook from iJon...

iJon
Feb 2, 2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by markomarko


iJon, the ibook is SLOWER. xbench is still too new (just barely past beta) and doesn't demonstrate altivec advantages, so it shouldn't be considered the be-all of benchmarks.

PLUS, you should quit telling people to do the monitor-spanning hack on the iBook! That hack is unpredictable and has fuxored many an iBook as reported on xlr8yourmac. Try and be a little more responsible with these comments.

For those interested in hacking the iBook, read this page (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/ibook_dual_display_mods.html) before proceeding or risk having to buy a new ibook from iJon...
first of all i never said the ibook was faster. i am not telling anyone to do the monitor spanning hack, i said it is possible. hell i even have people screw up their computers putting in ram but i dont tell them not to do it. I have NEVER told anyone to do the hack, i have always mentioned it as an option. and after all the comments to say about me, you turn around and post a DIRECT link on how to do it. so now your the one actually telling people how to do it. so why dont you be responsible and not talk that way to people.

iJon

rebscb
Feb 2, 2003, 02:59 PM
I was in an Apple Store yesterday and compared the 12" pb with a 15" tibook and a 12" ibook.

The pb 12" lcd was by far the most dim and lackluster screen of the three. My first impression was one of disappointment. I use the display controls to try to brighten it, but it was already to the max. I would not buy this machine due to the comparison that I did in the store.

Tom800
Feb 2, 2003, 03:33 PM
This 12" Al PB is essentially the new iBook G4 - they just can't call it that because the chips aren't fast enough for the PBs to go G5. I believe the iBook as it exists now will be gone in the next revision and replaced with a true sub-notebook (not with optical drives etc).

iBook needs to appeal to education and ultraportably essentials such as presentations, productivity tools (Word, Excels, etc), web, email, not much more. It needs a longer battery life and a smaller form factor, along with a cheaper price. They could sell some kind of docking station to add all the functionality they ditch from the machine itself; whatever, I believe this machine would be bliss for teachers and school kids, and would differentiate better between the iBook/PB lines. They can't continue crippling the iBook at G3 performance just to preserve PB sales: it will get a new form factor (and stay G3) in such a way that it is an alternative, not just a cheaper PB.

Abstract
Feb 2, 2003, 06:40 PM
I hate docking stations.


One year from now, when the 970's are in all Macs (hopefully), I'd rather see the PB's and PM's equipped with 1.8Ghz and up, and the iBook and iMac lines at 1.2 Ghz and up rather than see a docking station. The difference in cpu speed is enough of a divide between the pro and consumer lines for me. If they did this, I'd go for the iBook, but would definitely get a 12" PB if they were to add a docking station for the iBook.

Also, I believe that a docking station is expensive to implement, and that it may make the iBook extremely expensive to buy--- more expensive than a 12" PB.

jadam
Feb 2, 2003, 07:45 PM
i believe the ibook gets hot underneath the left side because thats where the battery is.

macktheknife
Feb 2, 2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by moby1
About the cost; I got the $1799 model bundled with a free battery, case & printer. I figure I got about $200 worth of free stuff, that brings the price down to $1599 - only $300 above the price of an iBook! Apple should have a hot seller here.

May I ask who you bought the PowerBook from? Which dealer gives away all this free stuff? Thanks.

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 08:00 PM
It get's hot on the left palm rest area. That area sits above the hard drive. I don't know if the heat is from the drive or channeled from the CPU unit.

It does get unfomfortably hot but it's no more an issue than it is on the iBook.

daniel77
Feb 2, 2003, 09:31 PM
i just tried the 12'' at the local compusa and thre thing was so damn hot i couldnt even touch it-yeah that hot. i put out a litle sign right next to it that says HOT!!! has been on all day!! hopefully people got the idea. talk about cooking the eggs and the bacon on ur lap

markomarko
Feb 2, 2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by iJon

first of all i never said the ibook was faster. i am not telling anyone to do the monitor spanning hack, i said it is possible. hell i even have people screw up their computers putting in ram but i dont tell them not to do it. I have NEVER told anyone to do the hack, i have always mentioned it as an option. and after all the comments to say about me, you turn around and post a DIRECT link on how to do it. so now your the one actually telling people how to do it. so why dont you be responsible and not talk that way to people.

iJon

I pointed out the page as a warning to those who considered the hack. I did not point it out as a feature. I'm the one actually telling people not to do it.

And I never said that you said the ibook was faster. I was just pointing out the fact that the benchmarks you refer to do not accurately represent the actual speed difference between the two machines.

Hhehehehe. Look at you getting all worked up.

:D

moby1
Feb 2, 2003, 11:30 PM
The 12" Al PB does have a fan - it's on right now.

It came on last night - sounded very strange because it's loud but it runs slow so it makes an almost 'grinding' noise - scared me at first.

The fan came on again now when I got home so perhaps it has to do with recharging the battery?

I've been using the Al12PB for 3 days straight and the fan has only come on twice (least at the higher, noisy speed). Most of the time the Al is nearly completely silent.

Again, the heat issue (left palm rest area) is no more or less a problem than with iBooks I've used.

moby1

bentmywookie
Feb 3, 2003, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by Tom800
This 12" Al PB is essentially the new iBook G4 - they just can't call it that because the chips aren't fast enough for the PBs to go G5. I believe the iBook as it exists now will be gone in the next revision and replaced with a true sub-notebook (not with optical drives etc).




Oooooh, I would love this (currently) fictional machine you speak of.

And just imagine they make it a tablet as well. One can only dream . . .

cb911
Feb 3, 2003, 01:02 AM
hey moby1, thanks for telling us your impressions of the 12" PowerBook. i'm thinking of selling my rev. C TiBook and getting a 12" AI PB with 60GB HD & superdrive.

i still need to do some more research though. any other 12" PB users - could you post your thoughts? i'm especially interested to see how the video card handles...

also, are there any test/benchmarks on some sites out there for the 12" PB yet?

Chuck
Feb 3, 2003, 01:15 AM
I know specs are what's important, but I'd like to see some pictures of your machines, Moby1 and iJon! How about doing some lowres images of the things you've been talking about to show us what you mean... (ie cords on left side, rubber mounts etc...).

Sorry - I'm a visual learner.

Chuck.
http://www.madebydesign.net

klapauzius
Feb 3, 2003, 03:44 AM
moby1: Is it possible to change the battery in sleep mode like with the previous PowerBooks? Or do you have to connect the 'Book to AC power to swap them, as with the iBook?

If your second battery hasn't arrived yet, you can still try it out: Just close the lid, wait until the sleep LED lights up and remove the battery. If the sleep LED stays on, all is well.

You'd better save all documents and close all programs beforehand, in case the PowerBook powers off when you remove the battery.

I'm asking because I'll order a 12" myself this week and I'm not sure if it makes sense to get a second battery with it.

moby1
Feb 3, 2003, 04:52 AM
Originally posted by cb911
hey moby1, thanks for telling us your impressions of the 12" PowerBook. i'm thinking of selling my rev. C TiBook and getting a 12" AI PB with 60GB HD & superdrive.

i still need to do some more research though. any other 12" PB users - could you post your thoughts? i'm especially interested to see how the video card handles...

also, are there any test/benchmarks on some sites out there for the 12" PB yet?

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

Note that in my original post I'm basically comparing this 12" 867 to my last Ti 800. Obviously the 1GB Ti is going to be a bit faster.

The more I use this 12" AlBook, the more I like it. It's a dream come true as far as portability.

cb911, you may want to hold onto your current PB until we see the new 15" Al show up. I posted my doubts about the graphics chip in this thing earlier.

I am geting a new digital camera this week. I have a project in mind involving the 12" AlBook that should be fun.

Another small observation, I love the keyboard except for the right arrow key seems flimsy (the rest are OK).

I'll try the battery swap when I get the new battery.

moby1

rt_brained
Feb 3, 2003, 05:23 AM
I'm impressed with the size of the 12" AlBook. But I wishthey could've figured out how to throw in a PCMCIA slot. I shoot digital from time to time and would love it if I could upload photos via PCMCIA, rather than through a card reader.

I'm also not a big fan of the plastic piece that runs around the base (keyboard) and the screen. I haven't seen the 17 in person, but the TiBook wasn't constructed that way. The iBook's old silver-colored keyboard frame looks much cleaner.

And I'm not a big fan of the new all-white look of the iBook. It's nasty. Perhaps they needed to cheapen it so it wouldn't bleed sales from the 12" PowerBook.

cb911
Feb 3, 2003, 06:56 AM
thanks for that link to Barefeats.

so you can use a adaptor to plug into a USB port and use a PC Card like that? that could be just what i'm looking for...

drastik
Feb 3, 2003, 08:57 AM
I'm curious about the RAM here. For instance, I still rock and old Pismo, but I might go for the 12 replacement. The Pismo is rated by apple, to this day, to only take 512 in RAM. I've had a gig in mine for over a year with no problem. Admittedly, there is no soldered ram in the PIsmo, so I got two 512 chips. So, theoretically, there will oneday be 1 gig DDR chips, couldn't you slap one of those in?

nptski
Feb 3, 2003, 10:34 AM
I picked up my 12" from my Apple store the day they arrived. I proudly pulled it out of my brief case at my office only to find a nice scratch on the case due to a paper clip I didn't know was there. Rats! New mercedes, first ding. So-o-o...I ran around looking for a nice sleeve, couldn't find somthing simple so I cafefully cleaned my brief case. Next morning, off I went only to hear a sickening clatter as my cool new machine hit the threshold of my door as my briefcase was unzipped from cleaning it, something I have never done before, so I didn't even look, double rats! Now I have a nice dent just where the battery meets the case and the lid doesn't close as tightly. Everything works fine, but so much for keeping it pristine. The case actuall bent a bit and it would rock on the desk. I put some palm pressure on the opposite corners and it now doesn't rock. Apple didn't know how much to fix it, I think I'll just punish myself and leave it alone. I couldn't be happier otherwise, lame battlescars and all.

hariya
Feb 3, 2003, 07:23 PM
I got my 12" PB this morning after spending an anxious weekend knowing that it was already at the FedEx center on Saturday.

It did not come with iLife so spent some time running software update and then putting it through its paces. Downloaded Safari, X11. Everything runs great. The only comparison I have is an old 400 PM (AGP Graphics) and all I can say is it feels 10 times faster. The accelerated X11 is nice since I run remote applications over SSH all the time. Then spent more time installing latex, emacs, ..., moving my mp3s over and generally getting rid of stuff I will never use (Office demo, Earthlink).

As I was listening to my music, I had to mute it which is when I encountered my first gripe. Through headphones, this sucker will pass every single noise into your ears. Not just the hard disk or the cd drive, even your fingers moving over the trackpad. It is very wierd, like listening to the internal workings of the machine with a stethoscope.

That is however minor. I dont plan to wear the headphones and not listen to music but if you want quiet, dont wear headphones.

I will be glad to run some tests if anyone is curious. We are also getting the new dual 1.25s at work and I can run some benches on that too.

moby1
Feb 4, 2003, 01:40 AM
Curious, I did notice noise when my headphone jack was pushed in as far as it would go. I was able to simply turn the jack a bit and no problem.

I do not usually get the noise you are talking about. I use the headphones quite often.

As far as a case goes, I bought one of the InCase iBook sleeves (weighs just a few oz.), seems to work quite well. This 12" is a joy to carry!

Digital photographers: why do you want a PC Card slot? Don't you use USB? Are you shooting in RAW mode then? Is USB too slow for you? I just use the USB cable - it saves the CF Card door on the Nikons I've used (a weak spot of the camera). I should have a new Nikon 4500 this week so pics ARE coming...

I'm still curious about how well the GeForce4 420 will work for serious photographers. Does anyone have access to one of those calibration devices, I seemed to be having a problem getting reds to look right (as in skin tones, etc).


moby1

yoyogi
Feb 4, 2003, 04:52 AM
hi,
i just read the posts about noise on the headphones.

I have a vaio505 and will purchase the 12 inch soon. The vaio sqeeks and hisses and makes all types of electical noises. Even if I mute the soundcard all weird stuff still comes out.

I was really looking forward to the powerbook have a decent sound output rather than the absolute crap on the vaio.

VAIO stands for Video Audio Input Output so you think it would have had something good... but the audio out was the absolute worst.

Can someone with a 12 inch elaborate more?

thanks
yoyogi

ibjoshua
Feb 4, 2003, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by hariya
As I was listening to my music, I had to mute it which is when I encountered my first gripe. Through headphones, this sucker will pass every single noise into your ears. Not just the hard disk or the cd drive, even your fingers moving over the trackpad. It is very wierd, like listening to the internal workings of the machine with a stethoscope.
Do you think it's possible you're getting a feed from your internal mic?

i_b_joshua

hariya
Feb 4, 2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua
Do you think it's possible you're getting a feed from your internal mic?

i_b_joshua

I tried twisting the headphone and the noise did go down a bit but you might be on the right track. Unfortunately, I am at work and the machine is at home. I will give it a try and report here later.

rkriheli
Feb 4, 2003, 11:47 AM
I have had my 12" Powerbook for close to two weeks now and I have to say that I am very happy with the product.

I had sold my 667mhz DVI powerbook 2 months ago in anticipation of some newer powerbooks (if no new ones were going to be announced in january, i was going to purchase the 867 model as an upgrade). But naturally when the 12" one came out, I was as excited as a dog in a hubcap factory. :D

Ok... on to my thoughts:

- regarding the comparisons to the ibook. yes, they are very similar in a lot of areas (both my sister and a close friend of mine have ibooks so i have handled them often) - and i always liked the machine. there are 2 reasons that i never considered buying an ibook. one of them was the fact that a G3 couldn't really hang with a G4. and more importantly, the keypad was white. i thought that was a poor decision by apple as those kind of things are prone to getting dirty, aren't they? so once the 12" powerbook came out with the silver keys... i was all over it.

- the portability is fantastic. don't get me wrong.... i loved the tibook i used to have but i always felt awkward with that thing when on the road. especially in public places... you look like a damn spy with that thing. the tibook was a very sexy notebook... but too big for portability in my sense of the word. i dunno how anyone would lug around the 17" one (no offense to those people who are getting one, but i hope you are doing so for a desktop replacement primarily)... do they even have notebook bags that can hold them? :rolleyes: the 12" one is more practical for road usage.

- it does get hot, but that is expected. i have never handled a powerbook that hasn't. i had a 333 lombard, 500 pismo, 667 tibook and now the 12"albook... and they have all been equally hot. i think the heat is at its peak when there is a dvd or cd playing.

- my screen is fantastic... crisp. beautiful. i don't know the deal with people talking about dim screens. in fact i had my powerbook open in the apple store during one of their workshops and some cat came up to me and was referring to that same issue saying that my screen looked so much more vivid than the display model downstairs. i think this has a lot to do with lighting and the contrast with the color of your desktop photo. very similar to ibook screens and i love their screens. the video resolution is great. dvd video, photos look wonderful. i am a graphic designer and can tell you that this powerbook is everything i can hope for in a portable.


my complaints (and i hesitate to even use that word on this piece of beauty):

- i don't like the soldered 128mb of ram. thats wack. i hope 1gb chips do indeed come out one day. but i think 640mb will be just fine for this machine for me. but i have to find a good deal for the 512mb chip because apple seems to rape people for memory prices. my machine is running at 256 right now. considering jaguar is a minimum 128, doesn't leave a lot of room for high-end applications running simultaneously.

- i usually have my powerbook (and the ones i had in the past) plugged into an ac adapter wherever i work. and i seldom use the battery unless i am in a remote location without a power outlet. with that said, i was at a flash workshop in the apple store in nyc (which ran about 1.5 hours long) and my battery ran off about 80% of its power. i though that was a little weak. during the workshop i did two things: 1-i converted 2 cds to mp3 in itunes while the guy was shooting his introduction speech... and 2-i ran macromedia flash as i followed the demonstration. so i guess those two combined to really juice out my battery. i have not tested the battery life on straight simple application usage like ms word. but when i do, i guess i will post about it.

:eek:

whew... that was a lot. and i am feeling quite unproductive today because of it. but i hope this helps someone make their decisions. overall - i am very happy with the powerbook and it surely meets my expectations for the most part.


Regards,

Richard Kriheli
Liquidboy, Inc.
-----------------------------------------------
G4 Dual 1ghz Mirror Door 1.25gb RAM
G4 Powerbook 12" 256mb RAM
Dell 1.3ghz Pentium 4 - 640gb RAM

Das
Feb 4, 2003, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by rkriheli

i dunno how anyone would lug around the 17" one (no offense to those people who are getting one, but i hope you are doing so for a desktop replacement primarily)... do they even have notebook bags that can hold them? :rolleyes:

Yah, I saw one here (http://www.tokesurf.com/ts/images/boogie-c.jpg) .;)

Anyhoo, have you run Photoshop 7 or illustrator 10 on it? I was wondering how well they ran sans L3 compared to an older tibook.

FlamDrag
Feb 4, 2003, 04:44 PM
Thanks for that comprehensive review! I hesitate to add my piddly comments...but I will. :)

I just got back from CompUSA where they finallly got one in. Sexy sexy sexy. The letters in the middle of the keyboard was stranger to see than I had imagined. It just looked off. No big deal.

However, I concurr with reports of the mouse button being up high. Very strange and indeed it seems unfinished.

Also, it was very hot under the left palm. Next to the iBooks, it did indeed seem small.

My Pismo here has the same size screen (I think...) but the Al12 seemed even smaller.

All in all it's a machine I'd recommend to anyone. Very solid well, assembled (with the above exception) machine.

markomarko
Feb 4, 2003, 05:36 PM
I had a Pismo once. And I think there is a good reason that the pismo's screen seemed larger: it is larger.

Pismo's is 14.1" I think.

iJon
Feb 4, 2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by markomarko
I had a Pismo once. And I think there is a good reason that the pismo's screen seemed larger: it is larger.

Pismo's is 14.1" I think.
your right,s same screen the 14 inch ibook has.

iJon

hedperocks
Feb 4, 2003, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua

A support guy once told me Unix drives didn't need to defrag. I had no reason to disbelieve him till now. Was he wrong?

i_b_joshua

Unix and Linux filesystems are implemented differently than FAT and NTFS (both Windows filesystems). Basically, you'll never need to defrag your drive provided that you have some space left on the drive.

moby1
Feb 5, 2003, 03:22 AM
www.18004memory.com

512MB DDR 2100 FOR POWERBOOK G4 12 inch
$136.99

Best price I've found. It says 10% discount for web orders but I didn't see that applied to my total. I guess I'll have tp call them tomorrow. :rolleyes:

mikeylebeau
Feb 5, 2003, 08:53 AM
Richard, usually using the optical drive will drain a lot of battery.. Another thing that helped me out a *TON* on my old 15" was to dim the screen as much as I could handle when I was using it portably; this seemed to save more battery life than I could have ever imagined. Try it with the 12".

-mikey

aryeh
Feb 5, 2003, 09:43 AM
First post,

Been visiting this site for a while now.

RE: the mareketing of the 12" powerbook

The 12" powerbook is new technology.

I don't see why they just didn't price it accordingly according to the screen size. Not everyone wants to shlep around a 17" powerbook to get the level 3 cache (needed for soft synth plug in performance and more). At home/studio, one can always hook up a second monitor to the 12" so...

(And the following is from a post by Paul on the Motu users board.
Motu makes the Digital Performer Mac sequencer as well as other audio products.)

Absolutely 100% agreed. It makes sense to move the old line down to move out existing stock (they're doing that with the 15" PowerBook, obviously), but I think Apple made a VERY bad move with the new 12" Powerbook. And it's not just the L3 cache--there are several ways in which the 12" is not up to par with the 17", and that simply makes it less desirably. The strange thing is that Apple is only marketing the 17" in its massive screen and the 12" on its portability. All the things the 17" has that the 12" doesn't are totally glossed-over and not marketed. Why then would they be afraid that the 12" would cannibalize 17" sales? Why not make a true high-end sub-compact? No one will buy the 12" if they want the 17" screen, and no one will buy the 17" if they want ultra-portability. The fact is, there's very little reason to buy the 12" PB over the 12" iBook--THAT is what they should be worrying about.

With the iMacs and eMacs and PowerMacs the line upgrade system makes sense because there's so little cross-over. But in the portable line, it's harder to position the iBooks and PowerBooks to be sufficiently different to merit SEVEN different configurations (four iBooks, three PowerBooks). Why Apple should make the situation worse bypositioning the 12" as a "low-end" PowerBook is beyond me--the iBook IS a low-end PowerBook. What they really need is a high-end sub-compact!

drastik
Feb 5, 2003, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by aryeh
First post,

Been visiting this site for a while now.

RE: the mareketing of the 12" powerbook

The 12" powerbook is new technology.

I don't see why they just didn't price it accordingly according to the screen size. Not everyone wants to shlep around a 17" powerbook to get the level 3 cache (needed for soft synth plug in performance and more). At home/studio, one can always hook up a second monitor to the 12" so...

(And the following is from a post by Paul on the Motu users board.
Motu makes the Digital Performer Mac sequencer as well as other audio products.)

Absolutely 100% agreed. It makes sense to move the old line down to move out existing stock (they're doing that with the 15" PowerBook, obviously), but I think Apple made a VERY bad move with the new 12" Powerbook. And it's not just the L3 cache--there are several ways in which the 12" is not up to par with the 17", and that simply makes it less desirably. The strange thing is that Apple is only marketing the 17" in its massive screen and the 12" on its portability. All the things the 17" has that the 12" doesn't are totally glossed-over and not marketed. Why then would they be afraid that the 12" would cannibalize 17" sales? Why not make a true high-end sub-compact? No one will buy the 12" if they want the 17" screen, and no one will buy the 17" if they want ultra-portability. The fact is, there's very little reason to buy the 12" PB over the 12" iBook--THAT is what they should be worrying about.

With the iMacs and eMacs and PowerMacs the line upgrade system makes sense because there's so little cross-over. But in the portable line, it's harder to position the iBooks and PowerBooks to be sufficiently different to merit SEVEN different configurations (four iBooks, three PowerBooks). Why Apple should make the situation worse bypositioning the 12" as a "low-end" PowerBook is beyond me--the iBook IS a low-end PowerBook. What they really need is a high-end sub-compact!

I see what you mean, but I disagree in a way. You are comming from the perspective of a very specific needs market: audio production. I think the 17 could fit your bill. The 12 inch can't and neither can any iBook. On the other hand, your probably better off with a tower in anycase, as you get faster hard drives for samplers and much less latency and ambient interference.

I think Apple's marketing makes alot of since. The 12 inch is for those of us who don't need all the rest of the stuff. The L3 is nice, but of no use in a business model that relies mainly on spreadsheets and presentations. High end ultra portables are a dead market. No one needs one, hence, no one makes one. The sad truth is, with the state of battery technology, any really high-end use is going to drain the crap right out. If your going to be tethered to the wall, get a 17 or 15. If you aren't going o be near an outlet, but still need to do regular work (not processor intensive) get a 12

mikeylebeau
Feb 5, 2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by drastik
If your going to be tethered to the wall, get a 17 or 15. If you aren't going o be near an outlet, but still need to do regular work (not processor intensive) get a 12

But also don't forget, it's not like we're talking about the world's slowest machine here. I ordered a 12" because I wanted portability (at least moreso than the 17", which is just ridiculously large for a laptop) with full features and a decent processor speed. Seems like some people call the 12" PowerBook just the same as an iBook but they forget that the processor speed is significantly better. For me, and for anyone who uses an OS as painfully slow (not to say I don't love it) as OSX, this is an important factor. I might have been an iBook customer had they been faster, but I went originally with a 15" TiBook because I needed more speed than they offered. I just can't handle the wait times in OSX; I could barely tolerate them on my 667 TiBook. So the 867 is exactly what I wanted.

-mikey

thegeek187
Feb 5, 2003, 11:07 AM
i just recived my 12 inch about 1 1/2 hrs ago.... so far i have played with it enough to give a full opinion..... so far its great....

JSRockit
Feb 5, 2003, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by thegeek187
i just recived my 12 inch about 1 1/2 hrs ago.... so far i have played with it enough to give a full opinion..... so far its great....

I've been using mine for 2 hours...and I love it. The keyboard feels very nice...and this aluminum case is dope. Now I have to test some software on it.

Wren
Feb 5, 2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by JSRockit


I've been using mine for 2 hours...and I love it. The keyboard feels very nice...and this aluminum case is dope. Now I have to test some software on it.

CONGRATUALTIONS! I know you have been wanting it.......i'll be looking forward to more feedbacks. Now I don't recall if you were using an iBook before.

JSRockit
Feb 5, 2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Wren


CONGRATUALTIONS! I know you have been wanting it.......i'll be looking forward to more feedbacks. Now I don't recall if you were using an iBook before.

Yes...I was using an iBook. First impressions of the pBook is that it is smoother to use than the iBook ie trackpad, keyboard etc. It is alot hotter than the iBook...by far. The sound is the best I have heard from laptop speakers. Slot-loading drive is nice. As far as speed...can't tell the difference yet...haven't done anything but e-mail, post to forums and install software.

moby1
Feb 6, 2003, 01:06 AM
I set the Energy Saver option to "Reduced Performance" on the Battery tab and dimmed my screen slightly.

I was able to get 4 hrs. while taking notes in class. I was only running BBEdit but I launched an OS 9 app' (and Classic) and Keynote, played my Keynote presentation.

The fan seldom comes on (at least on the high setting) but it has been coming on very sporadically. When it does, the fan runs slow but loud - sounds bad. Still, 99% time this is the quietest portable I've ever used.

My 512 RAM chip should be here this weekend, then we'll see more extensive tests.

I really don't think performance is the issue here. it won't be as good as the 1GHz but it'll hang with the 800 and 867's.

I played an iPhoto slide show and there is (to my eyes) an issue with this graphics chip. I don't see the kind of color depth and rich hues I expect after using the Ti 800 with ATI card. *This is my biggest gripe. *

moby1

moby1
Feb 6, 2003, 02:27 AM
Now I need some ultra-portable cool headphones. My old ones are too big to carry in my InCase case.

Has anyone tried the Bang & Olufsen A8 earbud style 'phones?

Where would I purchase iPod 'phones seperately?

klapauzius
Feb 6, 2003, 03:50 AM
moby1 - I found out that the PB 12" does *not* support hot swapping of the battery in sleep mode, as it does not have a backup battery.

It's mentioned in this KnowledgeBase article:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58445

So I'll order no second battery with my PB.

wolfywolfbits
Feb 6, 2003, 04:36 AM
Originally posted by moby1
I played an iPhoto slide show and there is (to my eyes) an issue with this graphics chip. I don't see the kind of color depth and rich hues I expect after using the Ti 800 with ATI card. *This is my biggest gripe. *
moby1

Is this problem likely to be the graphics card :confused: AFAIK all graphics cards display colors much the same these days. I haven't heard anyone compare color quality of graphics cards for the last 5 years.

What makes you discount the screen? Many people have said the screen doesn't compare to the Ti's screen?

moby1
Feb 6, 2003, 06:17 AM
...or screen/graphics chip combo. :rolleyes:

Anyway, for a machine touted as a digital photographer's dream, this is something which bears close scrutiny.

JSRockit
Feb 6, 2003, 07:01 AM
Wow...and I felt the screen/color was better than my iBook 12" combo which had 16MB VRAM... I guess it depends on what you are used to.

blogo
Feb 6, 2003, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by moby1
Now I need some ultra-portable cool headphones. My old ones are too big to carry in my InCase case.

Has anyone tried the Bang & Olufsen A8 earbud style 'phones?

Where would I purchase iPod 'phones seperately?

I would like to recommend the KOSS Porta Pro headset.


Here are also some comparisons of the iBook vs PB 12" found on the xbench page:


PB 12" 640mb ram, score: 75.08
CPU test: 91.72
Memory Test: 83.10
Quartz graphic test: 88.20
OpenGL test: 104.41 (73fps)
Disk Test: 62.30


iBook 12" 640mb ram, score: 54.87
CPU test: 85.12
Memory Test: 29.87
Quartz graphic test: 79.96
OpenGL test: 57.12 (40fps)
Disk Test: 49.76

blogo
Feb 6, 2003, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by klapauzius
moby1 - I found out that the PB 12" does *not* support hot swapping of the battery in sleep mode, as it does not have a backup battery.

It's mentioned in this KnowledgeBase article:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58445

So I'll order no second battery with my PB.

Maybe someone should test hot swapping on it when its asleep.

CrackedButter
Feb 6, 2003, 08:30 AM
Interesting that the 12" iBook does allow for hot swap. How much time do you have though to do the swap?

JSRockit
Feb 6, 2003, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Eple


I would like to recommend the KOSS Porta Pro headset.


Here are also some comparisons of the iBook vs PB 12" found on the xbench page:


PB 12" 640mb ram, score: 75.08
CPU test: 91.72
Memory Test: 83.10
Quartz graphic test: 88.20
OpenGL test: 104.41 (73fps)
Disk Test: 62.30


iBook 12" 640mb ram, score: 54.87
CPU test: 85.12
Memory Test: 29.87
Quartz graphic test: 79.96
OpenGL test: 57.12 (40fps)
Disk Test: 49.76

wow...not bad....those are the first scores that entirely favorable toward the pBook. I would recommend Grado Labs SR-60 headphones. They aren't earbuds, but they can swivel and lie flat in a bag...and they sound great.

aryeh
Feb 6, 2003, 10:09 AM
I think some of you might be missing the point. Apple is known as THE computer for audio, film and graphic folks. To say that the arts community is complaining about a specific need which the majority of users will not be concerned about is simply not the case. The G4 powerbook line IS the professional line. Currently, in your own word, the 12" is not a pro machine. For people who turly need a "pro portable", the 12" could have been ideal. In it's current state, it is not. Pros would rather pay more for an option to buy the 12" with the oomph for of the 17" model. Those who require less, can purchase the consumer model, the ibook. Here's hoping the 15" is identical to the 12" but just with a smaller screen making it a little more portable.

And regarding the need for the level three cache, I just received an email from John at Spectrasonics. THey make a wonderful soft synth. According to their tests, comparing machines, the level three cache blows away machines without the feature.

Peace,

Aryeh
www.Har-Even.com

re: the pooor marketing of the 12" powerbook

First post,

Been visiting this site for a while now.

RE: the mareketing of the 12" powerbook

The 12" powerbook is new technology.

I don't see why they just didn't price it accordingly according to the screen size. Not everyone wants to shlep around a 17" powerbook to get the level 3 cache (needed for soft synth plug in performance and more). At home/studio, one can always hook up a second monitor to the 12" so...

(And the following is from a post by Paul on the Motu users board.
Motu makes the Digital Performer Mac sequencer as well as other audio products.)

Absolutely 100% agreed. It makes sense to move the old line down to move out existing stock (they're doing that with the 15" PowerBook, obviously), but I think Apple made a VERY bad move with the new 12" Powerbook. And it's not just the L3 cache--there are several ways in which the 12" is not up to par with the 17", and that simply makes it less desirably. The strange thing is that Apple is only marketing the 17" in its massive screen and the 12" on its portability. All the things the 17" has that the 12" doesn't are totally glossed-over and not marketed. Why then would they be afraid that the 12" would cannibalize 17" sales? Why not make a true high-end sub-compact? No one will buy the 12" if they want the 17" screen, and no one will buy the 17" if they want ultra-portability. The fact is, there's very little reason to buy the 12" PB over the 12" iBook--THAT is what they should be worrying about.

With the iMacs and eMacs and PowerMacs the line upgrade system makes sense because there's so little cross-over. But in the portable line, it's harder to position the iBooks and PowerBooks to be sufficiently different to merit SEVEN different configurations (four iBooks, three PowerBooks). Why Apple should make the situation worse bypositioning the 12" as a "low-end" PowerBook is beyond me--the iBook IS a low-end PowerBook. What they really need is a high-end sub-compact!

hariya
Feb 6, 2003, 10:23 AM
Eple, Re: Swapping out batteries when asleep.

I tried it, the machine went off promptly, the reboot took longer than usual because the harddrive had to fscked before getting it back on. Of course, fsck ran in the background so I sat there looking at the grey apple and rotating clock face busy thingamajiggy wondering if I totally screwed it up. Luckily, everything came back up ok.

moby1: Re: Headphones

I would go with the koss portapros if portability is a bigger use since they fold real nice. I used to own one of those and replaced them with the grado sr-60s. For 50 USD, they sound like headphones 2-3 times their price. As someone else pointed out, they fold flat so if you are carrying it with your notebook, it is no problem.

In conclusion, porta pro if you want to replace ipod headphones (God knows why, since they are pretty nice) or grados if you want one for the notebook.

hariya
Feb 6, 2003, 10:31 AM
I think my PB 12 with my T68 is going to replace my antiquated palm pilot for all purposes. Everytime I sync, 1 weeks schedule is downloaded to my phone so it reminds me even when I am away from the machine. When I recieve a call on the phone, a caller id window pops up on the computer. Really useful before deciding to rummage through my bag looking for the phone. I also like sending SMS from the computer instead of the nasty thumb-typing I had to do.

I think the decision to bundle BT with the new PBs is one of the best decisions Apple has made.

Chuck
Feb 6, 2003, 03:44 PM
Does anyone know if the 17" PB allows you to change batteries in sleep mode?

Chuck
http://www.madebydesign.net

FlamDrag
Feb 6, 2003, 04:47 PM
Chuck,

I'm not holding my breath on that. My understanding is that the Pismo was the last hot-swapping (warm-swapping?) battery notebook. I could be wrong, but that was reported in an older thread.

Chuck
Feb 6, 2003, 04:52 PM
I wonder why? It seems like such a useful feature. The 17 will be my first ever laptop (desktop replacement) and I don't really know what it more useful that what, but this just seems from an outsider's perspective to be a great function! :confused:

MacCoaster
Feb 6, 2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by FlamDrag
Chuck,

I'm not holding my breath on that. My understanding is that the Pismo was the last hot-swapping (warm-swapping?) battery notebook. I could be wrong, but that was reported in an older thread.
Nope. A guy reported to me that the 15" TiBook can swap.

On the AppleCare page, I could only see the 12" PowerBook being the only PowerBook without hotswap.

Assuming 17" will have the hotswap.

iJon
Feb 6, 2003, 06:10 PM
the 15 inch can swap, because when the ti came out i watched apple reseller videos to learn more abouto it and they mentioned it could. all i know is that the 12 cant, already tried, ill let you guys know when we get our 17 in.

iJon

WorldMage
Feb 8, 2003, 03:46 PM
Hi all,

I was looking at getting a new desktop, but the 12"PB looks really nice. However, I'm concerned about the Graphics Card. Looking at it's siblings it seems to be a fairly low end graphics card (420 vs 440). Now I am actually not that interested in doing 3D games etc. but my current laptop (iBook dual usb - 500Mhz) can't run Quartz Extreme because it's graphics card isn't up to snuff.

For a bit less $$ I can get a 1Ghz PM with a much nicer graphics card and of course the possability to upgrade the card later - of course then I can't sit on the couch and surf with it.

The only computers I can see that have a 'lower' graphics cards are the 15" iMac, eMac, and iBook. So what are people's opinions, is the '420' just for suckers? What's the useful life
for a '420' 1yr, 2yr, 3yr?

JSRockit
Feb 8, 2003, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by WorldMage
The only computers I can see that have a 'lower' graphics cards are the 15" iMac, eMac, and iBook. So what are people's opinions, is the '420' just for suckers? What's the useful life
for a '420' 1yr, 2yr, 3yr?

It is 32MB of VRAM...so it will run QE...however, at this point 32MB of VRAM has to be considered the minimum. I have the 12" pBook and this is the best graphics card I have ever had...but that ain't saying much...since I've always been at 16 or less.

In regards to desktops...they are always going to be a better deal than laptops...however, portability is my main focus. What is yours?

As far as useful life of a graphics card...it really depends on what you use your computer for.

WorldMage
Feb 8, 2003, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by JSRockit


It is 32MB of VRAM...so it will run QE...however, at this point 32MB of VRAM has to be considered the minimum. I have the 12" pBook and this is the best graphics card I have ever had...but that ain't saying much...since I've always been at 16 or less.

In regards to desktops...they are always going to be a better deal than laptops...however, portability is my main focus. What is yours?

Portability is not my main focus, but I am willing to pay a bit more for it or compromise features... to a point. When I first saw the 12"PB it looked like a case of - have your cake and eat it to - which it would be (for me anyways) if it had the 440 & 64MB. As it is the compromise is getting a bit painful/worrysome.


As far as useful life of a graphics card...it really depends on what you use your computer for.

What I really don't want to have happen is what happened with my iBook, the OS to some extent has left it behind 1.5years after I bought it. At the time I really needed a portable so it made a lot of sense (and I'm still glad I bought it) but with my current desktop dying I need to replace it. Since I already have a workable portable I don't have a real need for a portable, but it would be nice to have my 'main machine' for holidays and trips.

I tend to do more programming than gaming but my programming is graphics oriented (2D not 3D) - I'm a little concerned that they will continue to offload graphics operations to the Graphics Card (like AntiAliasing) and that current cards might not be up to it.

JSRockit
Feb 8, 2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by WorldMage


Portability is not my main focus, but I am willing to pay a bit more for it or compromise features... to a point. When I first saw the 12"PB it looked like a case of - have your cake and eat it to - which it would be (for me anyways) if it had the 440 & 64MB. As it is the compromise is getting a bit painful/worrysome.



What I really don't want to have happen is what happened with my iBook, the OS to some extent has left it behind 1.5years after I bought it. At the time I really needed a portable so it made a lot of sense (and I'm still glad I bought it) but with my current desktop dying I need to replace it. Since I already have a workable portable I don't have a real need for a portable, but it would be nice to have my 'main machine' for holidays and trips.

I tend to do more programming than gaming but my programming is graphics oriented (2D not 3D) - I'm a little concerned that they will continue to offload graphics operations to the Graphics Card (like AntiAliasing) and that current cards might not be up to it.

Maybe you should wait for the 15.4" pBook...it seems like it'll be perfect for you...and should last more than 1.5 years.

macphoria
Feb 8, 2003, 11:49 PM
I read an article saying 15 and 17 inch PowerBooks can swap batteries while sleeping. I believe the article mentioned 15 and 17 inch has internal battery that allows battery to be swapped if done in 1 minute. 12 inch however cannot.

medicinehead
Feb 9, 2003, 01:59 AM
Does MacStumbler and KisMac still work with the new AirPort Extreme cards in the 12"PB?

menacefm
Feb 9, 2003, 07:32 AM
so will we be able to put a 1gig pc2100 in the 12" powerbook when these chips start being widely available. I know the published specs are max 640meg but is that just a bios/firmware constraint?

mfm

JSRockit
Feb 9, 2003, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by menacefm
so will we be able to put a 1gig pc2100 in the 12" powerbook when these chips start being widely available. I know the published specs are max 640meg but is that just a bios/firmware constraint?

mfm

I wouldn't mind 1156MB of Ram in my 12"-er.

mikeylebeau
Feb 9, 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by JSRockit


I wouldn't mind 1156MB of Ram in my 12"-er.

1128...
-mikey

JSRockit
Feb 9, 2003, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by mikeylebeau


1128...
-mikey

How does 1024 plus 128 = 1128? Yeah...I know it doesn't equal 1156 either...we both screwed up.

mikeylebeau
Feb 9, 2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by JSRockit


How does 1024 plus 128 = 1128? Yeah...I know it doesn't equal 1156 either...we both screwed up.

Haha.. good point. Never thought of DIMMs in sizes as large as a GB, so I immediately thought 1000. :)

-mikey

withnail
Feb 9, 2003, 04:39 PM
Don't know if this has been asked/addressed, but does anyone (maybe a MWSF attendee) know if the touchpad button on the 17" PB is as raised and "sharp-edged" as the one on the 12"? Not to offend new owners of this model, but I find the fit and finish of the 15" TiBook to be much easier to live with.

Also the sensitivity of the touchpad on the floor model of the 12" seemed kinda wack to me, but i may have been imagining it... Anybody else experience this?

JSRockit
Feb 9, 2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by withnail
Don't know if this has been asked/addressed, but does anyone (maybe a MWSF attendee) know if the touchpad button on the 17" PB is as raised and "sharp-edged" as the one on the 12"? Not to offend new owners of this model, but I find the fit and finish of the 15" TiBook to be much easier to live with.

Also the sensitivity of the touchpad on the floor model of the 12" seemed kinda wack to me, but i may have been imagining it... Anybody else experience this?

Yeah...it is the same...but alot bigger on the 17" screen. I have the 12" and has not been a problem.

moby1
Feb 12, 2003, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by withnail
Don't know if this has been asked/addressed, but does anyone (maybe a MWSF attendee) know if the touchpad button on the 17" PB is as raised and "sharp-edged" as the one on the 12"? Not to offend new owners of this model, but I find the fit and finish of the 15" TiBook to be much easier to live with.

Also the sensitivity of the touchpad on the floor model of the 12" seemed kinda wack to me, but i may have been imagining it... Anybody else experience this?

I had to go into System preferences and adjust the TrackPad settings; it's the first thing I did when I got it (It didn't seem 'right' in the store).

The TrackPad button does get better with time, it 'seats' itself a bit though it's not as nice as the Ti's.

That aside, I am beginning to like this 12" PB more and more. It has greally grown on me (no pun intended).

I was in an Apple Store yesterday and compared my 12" PB to the 12" iBook. The PB is definitely worth the extra money. If you place them side by side, I think you'll agree.

I may go for the 15.4" whenever it's released :rolleyes: but I sure am enjoying Apple's latest little wonder, especially with the 640 MB in it now.

moby1

JSRockit
Feb 12, 2003, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by moby1

It has really grown on me (no pun intended).


Yep...mine has too...I love it.

dcharris
Feb 12, 2003, 10:19 PM
New Math:
Have a 20 inch cinema display on your desk and a little AL with superdrive in your "pocket" for the same price as the 17 !!!

moby1
Feb 13, 2003, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by dcharris
New Math:
Have a 20 inch cinema display on your desk and a little AL with superdrive in your "pocket" for the same price as the 17 !!!

The 12" has VGA only so you'd need to buy a VGA-DV/ADC adapter ($$$).

Formac is supposed to come out with a nice 17" VGA display at around $600.

moby1
Feb 13, 2003, 12:25 AM
Well, my initial observations that this is a quiet machine seem valid - most of the time.

Playing iTunes with graphics on Full Screen or converting media will turn the fan on high - and it's *very* noticeable.

I think somebody used the term "leaf blower". Well not quite but "leaf blower down the street" loud it is. The rest of the time it's damn quiet.

The heat seems to be coming from the hard drive not the processor.

I wonder if the 60 GB HD is as hot?


moby1

dcharris
Feb 13, 2003, 12:58 AM
re: Doesn't quite work

Thanks, I stand corrected.

Apple fails to point out the AL12's failings in their promo for the CVI to ADC Adapter:

"The DVI to ADC Adapter is a compact device that enables you to use Apple?s all-digital, flat-panel displays, including the stunning new 23-inch Cinema HD Display, with the new PowerBook G4 via its integrated Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port. And it?s now just $99."

elsyco
Feb 13, 2003, 05:41 AM
Moby wonders if the 60GB is as hot
Yeh baby! Only had it three days (and only got the 60GB cos my local AppleStore couldn't deliver the 40GB I ordered)
Anyway seems to heat up lots as it charges, then cools down dramatically once fully juiced.
Almost too hot to handle.
As a Switcher I have to say I'm
a) v.impressed with the whole OS X thang
b) v.impressed with the Apps
c) happy I've finally bitten the Apple!

JSRockit
Feb 13, 2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by dcharris
New Math:
Have a 20 inch cinema display on your desk and a little AL with superdrive in your "pocket" for the same price as the 17 !!!

I'm old school...I use my laptop screen at home as well.

bellis1
Feb 13, 2003, 08:46 AM
I was amazed by how quick the setup was. Plugged in the ethernet and transferred 2gigs from a different hard drive all in about 5 minutes. And in another 5 minutes I put in an airport card and have that running. One complaint I have is the trackpad button. Maybe it is just mine but it seems to stick a lot. The reason for it is because it comes in contact with the area around it when you press it down. I think it just needs to be a fraction smaller. Has anyone else had this problem?

Anticipat3
Feb 13, 2003, 10:03 AM
The touchpad buttons seem to be in some ways a 'common' complaint... here's my experience/theory about them:

The first 12" AlBook I used was at a showroom in a local Apple Store, I immediately noticed that the touchpad was a little screwy, the button seemed to 'stick.' I was a little dismayed about it, and wondered if it was just a defect in this particular unit, but after looking on the 'net it seemed that there were several people mentioning it... however, a few minutes later I ran into Apple's regional sales guy, who had dropped off that AlBook at that store, and he also had one (a second one) and when I asked him about it, he let me play with the button on his... and his was just fine, it felt very similar to the button on the iBook.

My theory is that the 'sticky button' is a Rev A Problem, it seems like only the very earliest shipping and display model Powerbooks seem to have this defect... I just ordered my 12" a week ago, so I'm hoping to get a slighty 'later' model. If I do get a sticky button though, i fully intend to ship it back to apple and demand that it's fixed, or that I get a new AlBook.

So... don't worry about it too much if you're ordering now. Once my AlBook gets here I'll post the details about whether or not I got a stickybutton one.

mikeylebeau
Feb 13, 2003, 10:09 AM
The common consensus regarding the "sticky mouse button" on the 12" is not that they have already changed production specs, but that over a few days usage, the button seems to get better. That would explain why the one the Apple guy dropped off was harder to use than the one he had presumably been using for a while.. It's not that he has a 'newer' 12".

-mikey

bellis1
Feb 13, 2003, 02:47 PM
I've only had my computer for a couple days now and it is getting plenty of use so I hope it does wear down a little bit. It is rubbing by just a tiny fraction so I think you are probably right. It is frustrating enough that I want to buy a mouse. When is apple going to make a bluetooth aluminum mouse. I would buy one in a second. Thanks for the feedback.

JSRockit
Feb 13, 2003, 06:11 PM
I don't understand the problem with the trackpad...can someone explain it better? I've been using the 12" pBook for a week or so and it hasn't been annoying in any way.

bellis1
Feb 14, 2003, 05:06 PM
The problem with my trackpad is the button. If I press the button on the corners it will stick down. The friction between the button and the sides causes it to stay stuck for about 1 second. The only way I can avoid the problem is to press the trackpad button in the dead center. Press down the corner of your trackpad button and see if it sticks. The button only needs to a fraction smaller and it would not happen. It also seems like I am able to move the button around a little but from side to side which either improves or makes the sticking worse. I guess I'll just keep pressing it in the middle because I just got everything setup and cant imagine not having this thing around even for a day.

JSRockit
Feb 14, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by bellis1
The problem with my trackpad is the button. If I press the button on the corners it will stick down. The friction between the button and the sides causes it to stay stuck for about 1 second. The only way I can avoid the problem is to press the trackpad button in the dead center. Press down the corner of your trackpad button and see if it sticks. The button only needs to a fraction smaller and it would not happen. It also seems like I am able to move the button around a little but from side to side which either improves or makes the sticking worse. I guess I'll just keep pressing it in the middle because I just got everything setup and cant imagine not having this thing around even for a day.

Mine doesn't do it, but I can see how cheesy the button really is when I press it on the corners.

dcharris
Feb 14, 2003, 11:12 PM
Apple probably built the trackpad button glitch in on purpose. It really is a useless bit of extra hardware now that trackpad click, drag and drop are all so well implemented (setup on System Preferences>Mouse). It took a sticky button on my PB G3 to get me weaned off it for good. Make the switch - you won't look back!

iAndy
Feb 15, 2003, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by WorldMage
For a bit less $$ I can get a 1Ghz PM with a much nicer graphics card and of course the possability to upgrade the card later - of course then I can't sit on the couch and surf with it.Unless you have asbestos-lined trousers, you won't want to sit on a couch with a PB12" in your lap (for long). Sizzzzle...!

But there again you could always buy a Laptop Desk (http://www.lapworksinc.com/laptopdesk2f.html) I suppose...

MacBandit
Feb 15, 2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by iAndy
Unless you have asbestos-lined trousers, you won't want to sit on a couch with a PB12" in your lap (for long). Sizzzzle...!

But there again you could always buy a Laptop Desk (http://www.lapworksinc.com/laptopdesk2f.html) I suppose...

The thought of a warm powerbook on a cold night camping sure brings smiles to my face though.

JSRockit
Feb 15, 2003, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by iAndy
Unless you have asbestos-lined trousers, you won't want to sit on a couch with a PB12" in your lap (for long). Sizzzzle...!

But there again you could always buy a Laptop Desk (http://www.lapworksinc.com/laptopdesk2f.html) I suppose...

Do you own this laptop? I do...and I sit on my couch with it all of the time...it is hot, but it will not burn you. Apple could be sued if they make their laptops hot enough to burn I would imagine.

moby1
Feb 16, 2003, 05:31 AM
Details are at this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20201) .

I decided I needed the larger screen of the 15" PowerBook and grabbed a discounted TiBook. Obviously, I can't keep both (though it'd sure be nice!).

Questions are welcome but please wait until near when the listing starts (see link).


moby1

iAndy
Feb 16, 2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by JSRockit
Do you own this laptop? I do...and I sit on my couch with it all of the time...it is hot, but it will not burn you. Apple could be sued if they make their laptops hot enough to burn I would imagine. I'm truly pleased to hear that you can happily use the PB12 on your lap - this has been one of my biggest concerns about the PB12".
Although I unfortunately do not own a PB12" (waiting to compare specs to new PB15.4"), I have played around with a demo version on a number of occasions and found it VERY hot on my lap. :eek: In fairness the demo PB had been switched on for a few hours, but I often use my laptop for 6-8 hours at a time anyway. There again maybe I just have a lower pain threshhold than you..? ;)

JSRockit
Feb 17, 2003, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by iAndy
There again maybe I just have a lower pain threshhold than you..? ;)

I think that is what it comes down to...some people will get annoyed cause they are not used to the heat...some will be able to deal with it. I think it is annoying, but the laptop is so nice in every other way that I don't care. If it burned me, I'd be pissed.

Anticipat3
Feb 21, 2003, 10:13 AM
Report # 1: No Sticky Trackpad Button! Feels just like the one on the iBook.

Report # 2: Regarding heat: When in full performance mode, i.e. plugged in, the sucka gets VERY hot, but when the processor is in reduced performance mode (which it will be when you're mobile) it stays quite cool.

JSRockit
Feb 21, 2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Anticipat3
Report # 1: No Sticky Trackpad Button! Feels just like the one on the iBook.

Report # 2: Regarding heat: When in full performance mode, i.e. plugged in, the sucka gets VERY hot, but when the processor is in reduced performance mode (which it will be when you're mobile) it stays quite cool.

This is exactly how mine is as well. I guess we got the good ones.

beatle888
Feb 21, 2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by markomarko
I pointed out the page as a warning to those who considered the hack. I did not point it out as a feature. I'm the one actually telling people not to do it.

And I never said that you said the ibook was faster. I was just pointing out the fact that the benchmarks you refer to do not accurately represent the actual speed difference between the two machines.

Hhehehehe. Look at you getting all worked up.

:D

to ijons credit, your response was presumptuous, i even sort of thought you were a jerk.

moby1
Feb 21, 2003, 10:47 PM
Well, my 12" PowerBook is sold. I've gone back to a 15" TiBook. I thought it might be time to reflect on the 12" PowerBook and offer a few closing thoughts.

First of all, I think Apple has a hit here. I'm convinced that the littlest PowerBook will be forming a very loyal following of it's own once people see it in person and get to try it out for themselves. I bet Apple really will pick up some "switchers". I was a bit sceptical when I saw the photos from MWSF but I ordered one because I wanted a truly portable portable again and the price was very attractive. Once I got to hold the 12" PB in my hands and use it I could see that this was a quality offering from Apple. The trackpad button is the exception, it really lets down the overall design, I hope they modify it. Button aside, I didn't realize how nice the 12" PB was until I compared it to an iBook side by side. I really like the iBook but I'd have no problem paying a few hundred extra for the 12" PowerBook - the even more compact design and aluminium finish make it the sexiest portable out there. Without a doubt, if I got to choose which PowerBook to grab and walk out the door with, it'd be the 12" PowerBook. I'm sure the 17" would turn my head but the 12" is just built for portability.

At home, the tables start to turn a bit. The 12" PB's performance was on par with my previous TiBook 800 but after a while, I began to miss the screen of the 15" PB's I'd grown used to. There were also small details - like the trackpad button and the sharp edges on the vents in the aluminium case that didn't quite feel as well polished as the TiBook I'd remembered. I loved the new slot-loading drive, it worked to perfecttion and I prefer it on the side as opposed to ejecting a disk from the front. I also like being able to plug in cables on the left withou having to stand up and find the right port to plug a cable into the back of my TiBook. After I had the cables in, things began to look a bit messy and I noticed that the open ports looked less solid than the TiBook's rear ports with their more sophisticated cover that hides them when not in use. Remember now, I'm comparing an 1800-2000 dollar PowerBook with a 2300-2800 dollar PowerBook, and there is some difference in quality here. There's a difference in value too, I think the 12" PowerBook will stand out as the superior value to many people who want a high quality portable they can easily carry to work or school.

If I had both a 12" and a 15" PowerBook, nine times out of ten, I'd leave the house with the 12". Working at my desk, the 15" is all that I could want from a portable (except maybe a lighted keyoard ;) ).

The heat issue with the 12" PowerBooks is real but I doubt if it'd convice someone to give up their PowerBook if that's the model they've decided fits them.

So now we have several sizes of PowerBooks to choose from instead of the one-size-fits all approach. I think many people will find the 12" model to be the perfect fit for them, others like me will look lustfully at the petite model but be resigned to keeping our more robust, more homebound familiar 15" models.


moby1

p.s. I still have a 512 MB RAM upgrade and a Li-Ion battery for the 12" PowerBook for sale, as well as an InCase case. You can find them by looking for my original post for the 12" PB in the "For Sale" forum.

JSRockit
Feb 22, 2003, 06:49 AM
I have a 12" pBook and would love to have the 15" pBook as well. If the 12" didn't come to market, I would've been using a TiBook. I want both. I may buy an old 667mhz Ti once the new ones come out and the price drops.

Flowbee
Feb 22, 2003, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by JSRockit
I have a 12" pBook and would love to have the 15" pBook as well. If the 12" didn't come to market, I would've been using a TiBook. I want both. I may buy an old 667mhz Ti once the new ones come out and the price drops.

The price has dropped. As of today, you can get a 667 DVI (refurb) from the Apple Store site (US) for $1599. Click on 'special deals' at the bottom of the Store page. Quit waiting, start living. :D

JSRockit
Feb 22, 2003, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Flowbee
The price has dropped. As of today, you can get a 667 DVI (refurb) from the Apple Store site (US) for $1599. Click on 'special deals' at the bottom of the Store page. Quit waiting, start living. :D

I know this...thanks anyway.