View Full Version : 12" PowerBook vs. MacBook

Jun 25, 2006, 01:21 AM
Hey all,

I need some advice here. I currently have a late gen 12" AlBook - 1.5GHz G4, maxed RAM (1.25GB), combo drive. Its a very nice machine and I am overall quite happy with it. At the same time, I have inevitable "tech lust" over the new MacBooks. In particular, I love the screen size. I love my little 12, but at times its just a bit small. By the same token, the 15" MacBook Pro is simply too bulky in my opinion, at least for my uses. So with that intro, I've got a few questions of MacBook users:

* What's the deal with the heat problems? Is this just a hot running machine, or is there something that will likely be fixed in the next rev?

* How fast is it, comparatively speaking? I know the benchmark numbers, but I mean from actual experience. If you were using a computer similar to mine prior to the MacBook, all the better!

* How do you feel the build quality is? At the apple store it seemed not quite as solid as my PB... but it could just be the machines are beat to death by people playing with them all the time.

Anyway I think the answer to these questions will help me with my decision. I don't do anything terribly intensive with my computer (I'd like to game a bit when I'm away from my game PC, but with integrated graphics, the Macbook will be no better than the PB). That said, I'm taking my G5 to work when I start my job, so my laptop will become my primary computer so I feel "entitled" to more power :). My thought right now is to wait for the next revision - hopefully by then the heat issues will be resolved, and maybe Merom will be on the scene. Any thoughts?

Jun 25, 2006, 01:46 AM
What do you plan to do with your PB. If you plan to sell it you should check out much you can get for it. It might not worth selling it, and you should keep it.

Would you use the built in Isight? Widescreen is the way to go, My friend has the 12" PB it just looks so boxy now compared to everything else.

But not sure its worth $600+ loss to sell the pb now.I doubt it will go much lower in 5-6 monthes. It should hold steady now

Jun 25, 2006, 01:48 AM
The machine in general is warm. If you begin to intensify what you are doing on the system it does get hot. I will definately be getting AppleCare soley on because of heat, because I have had some PCs of mine that overheated something and made the whole system crap out.

In my opinion the heat issue is something that wont be fixed in the next revision. In general I think the form factor is mostly to be blamed here. The system is simply too small and there are not enough vents. To top it off, the vent is even blocked by the screen. Like many PC counterparts with the same CPU, chipset, etc, it doesnt have this issue because the vent is much larger, not blocked, and on some, the vent is a two way vent. One sucks in air, the other blows out. The PowerBook, iBook, MacBook and Pros all ahve the same form factor more or less, where the vent is blocked by the screen and is the only vent. The CPUs arent to be blamed because many PCs notebooks/laptops have delt with heat issues. Apple simply hasnt. Im not complaining though, because I rather have my ports on the side then on the back of the laptop. :)

Speed, is excellent. The first boot up I was like, "WTF? Fast my ass." After the first boot up it just really takes off. Boot time is amazing. I never actually timed it but now I dont mind turning it off, unlike my former PowerBook (the same one you got). Apps pretty much open and close instantly. Typically I dont find any apps hopping on the dock bar anymore when I open apps. Office:Mac applications still do, but that is simply because it is using Rosetta.

With just 512mb, I was able to see apps open faster than my PowerBook. Upgraded to 2gb and its more or less the same. The apps that use Rosetta just doesnt feel sluggish anymore. That is the biggest difference I see which is definately worth it.

I definately agree that the general feel doesnt feel as full and complete as the Aluminum casing on the PowerBook. However, that is not to say the damn thing isnt a tank. The polycarbonate plastic definately wont feel as tough as a metal but it definately probably wont break or dent if you dropped it.

Jun 25, 2006, 02:00 AM
The 2Ghz MacBook is considerably faster than your PowerBook (I had the exact same one as you). The battery lasts longer as well, 5 hours on mine.

There is nothing you can't do on the MacBook I even play the Sims 2 with all the EPs and it runs better than it did on my Powerbook.

As for build quality, well IMO the MacBook is far more robust than the PowerBook. I was always frightened of denting my PowerBook (I did once with a Rev C model) whereas the MacBook won't suffer that of course.

My MacBook has a "click" sound in the hdd, I haven't worked out what is causing it yet but that's not to say you will get that.

In all I'd say the 2Ghz MacBook is far better than the 12" Powerbook.

Jun 25, 2006, 02:09 AM

Sorry to disagree but I made a post today about how I was disappointed with the macbooks when I visited the apple store with the intention of buying a macbook. I actually had my 12" powerbook for me.

Here's the link to my thread:http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=211733

Basically, I thought the white ones, which looked very much like the older ibooks that always felt and looked just a bit cheap because of the plastic that would get stained, were running hotter than the powerbook with no major applications running. The black ones (which is what I planned to buy) had that slick shiny trackpad, and actually had some clearcoat finish come off of some of the keys.

For what I use, the powerbook has been fine, so I decided not to upgrade, especially seeing how slow office was, and how hot they would get.

I decided to keep my powerbook, at least for now, and look either for an imac, but first wait to see what they do to the powermac line.

So I think the 12" is the keeper. Put them side to side with macbook (which is what I did). While the screen is gorgeous on the macbook, I think you'll definitely say the powerbook looks better. Good Luck!

Jun 25, 2006, 02:41 AM
I have to disagree with you there :) When I saw the Macbook beside an iBook I was pleasantly surprised how much better it looked. The MacBook is definitely sleeker and brighter.

I cannot see how anything can come off the keys as the plastic is black not coloured or coated. As for running hotter I often have a lot running on my MacBook and it never gets too hot. The one thing about my 12" Powerbook was that it felt too hot to sit on my lap, in comparison my MacBook rests on my lap without causing me discomfort.

Jun 25, 2006, 03:32 AM

With the black keys, I'm just reporting what I saw. If any of you happen to stop by the soho store, please look at the black macbooks in the front. Again, it really looked as if there was a clearcoat on top of the black keys and lettering that seemed to be chipping off. I was actually chipping at it with my fingernails.

I definitely think the white macbook looks much better than the ibook, i'm just saying compared to the aluminum of the powerbook, it just didn't look as good. But I'm sure others would disagree also.

Jun 25, 2006, 05:41 AM
I love my MB:) It never gets excessively hot, just a little warm, and I don't have any of the "mooing" issues or any other weird noises coming from my MB either. The screen is BRIGHT!!! Even brighter than the MBP, and the glossy screen is beautiful;) I am just in love with the screen! It is also extremely fast, and sometimes even feels faster than my friend's MBP, for some reason:eek: The integrated graphics is not bad at all, and I play DOOM 3 on it, on medium - high settings perfectly:cool: I say get it, its the best computer I've ever had:D

Jun 25, 2006, 07:40 AM
I just yesterday purchased a white macbook and came from a 12" powerbook. I have used the 12" powerbook every day - all day for over a year. I love it and will not sell it. That said, it won't be used much now. I am in awe of my new macbook. The screen is incredible - I can't get over how much more I like the wide screen.
I can't give you details such as battery life but I can say you will be happy if you get a macbook coming from a powerbook.
btw-I went in looking at a macbook pro but the size won me over. I don't think Apple could have made a better notebook - I love it!!!

Jun 25, 2006, 12:14 PM
Hey all, thanks for the replies! It sounds like most of you have had very positive experiences, with a few negatives here and there. I liked just about everything about the Macbook when I tried them over at the apple store. As for the look, personally I really like it - especially the black. Yeah, I know DELLs are black too.. but its different. Its muted, sleek, and while its plastic, it *looks* like black metal to me. The white, I never really cared for even back in the ibook days, its just not my look. I think though ultimately, I'm going to go ahead and wait for the next revision. A lot of you have mentioned things I would call "quirks." Apple has a history of working these quirks out in a second revision. Further, while the heat may never change, it could get better - always a possibility! Finally, Merom is on the horizon and this 12" is the last gen model so its quite perfect and serving me well for now. Sure, the bigger screen would be a boon.. but I think ultimately its better to hold off.

PS: I can always dream that apple will release a 13.3" MacBook pro.. even though I know its not gonna happen :p

Jun 25, 2006, 12:49 PM
but I think ultimately its better to hold off.

That's the conclusion that I came to after yesterday. At least we're stuck with a nice machine for now!!