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View Full Version : Considering a cheap ibook, need buying advice.




Baraqyal
Nov 11, 2006, 09:44 PM
I'm in grad school, and I need something to use for papers. It doesn't have to be a desktop replacement or anything - I'll only be using it for word and excel, no photoshop, internet, games, etc.

I'm seriously considering a Mac because of what I perceive to be superior battery life. I don't want to go buy a cheapy dell and have it die on me after an hour or two of work. What I need is something that will last for 4-5 hours, is fairly small and light. Speed is not important, but price is.

I've been looking at a G3 iBook. I could pick up a 500mhz shipped for $288 from geeks.com with 256mb ram/10gig/airport card. Just guessing, but it looks like a new battery would run in the $100 range, so I'd be looking at about $388 total.

I've also looked briefly at the clamshell G3s, but they seem slower, more expensive and seem sort of feminine.

I was originally thinking about picking up a basic refurb macbook, then reselling it next year, but I think I'd probably take a bigger loss on it than the cost of a 500mhz iBook.

Is there another option I should consider?



mick4394
Nov 11, 2006, 09:53 PM
For what you want it to do, that 500Mhz G3 should do the trick. I used to have one, and thought it was a great machine.

abbottpc.com
Nov 11, 2006, 10:26 PM
I agree that the iBook would be good for what you are looking to do. I would suggest that you try to get a 14 inch instead of a 12 inch. The bigger screen helps out when doing papers.

Reflow
Nov 11, 2006, 11:54 PM
I'm in grad school, and I need something to use for papers. It doesn't have to be a desktop replacement or anything - I'll only be using it for word and excel, no photoshop, internet, games, etc.

I'm seriously considering a Mac because of what I perceive to be superior battery life. I don't want to go buy a cheapy dell and have it die on me after an hour or two of work. What I need is something that will last for 4-5 hours, is fairly small and light. Speed is not important, but price is.

I've been looking at a G3 iBook. I could pick up a 500mhz shipped for $288 from geeks.com with 256mb ram/10gig/airport card. Just guessing, but it looks like a new battery would run in the $100 range, so I'd be looking at about $388 total.

I've also looked briefly at the clamshell G3s, but they seem slower, more expensive and seem sort of feminine.

I was originally thinking about picking up a basic refurb macbook, then reselling it next year, but I think I'd probably take a bigger loss on it than the cost of a 500mhz iBook.

Is there another option I should consider?

I would go with it. The G3 should suit you if that is the only thing you are going to do on it. I did have one and loved if just to use on the internet but got to be too slow for me

Flowbee
Nov 12, 2006, 12:25 AM
Agreeing with everyone else. I have an old G3/400 Powerbook that runs Tiger, Word, and Excel like a champ.

luminosity
Nov 12, 2006, 12:36 AM
The bigger screen helps out when doing papers.

ehhhhhhhhh.

i'm thankful i got a 12 and not a 14. the display isn't stretched, it's easier to carry around, it's very compact and you get used to the slightly smaller space.

mick4394
Nov 12, 2006, 07:17 PM
I agree that the iBook would be good for what you are looking to do. I would suggest that you try to get a 14 inch instead of a 12 inch. The bigger screen helps out when doing papers.

I don't agree with this. Part of the draw of the iBook is its portability. The 14 incher is too big to lug around on a day to day basis.

FFTT
Nov 12, 2006, 08:37 PM
I would be looking for a 1.33 GHz 12" G4 iBook which has all the latest features, scrolling trackpad, along with legal copies of Tiger and iLife.
you might need to spend a bit more, but you'll have a better machine overall.

Mernak
Nov 12, 2006, 09:26 PM
I have a G3/800 iBook and it will be fine with just doing papers. A G4 would be a nice improvement but not necessary. And gas much ram as your budget allows. And yes the clamshells are overpriced for what they were esp. with the 800 x 600 res, compared to the 1024 x 768. IMHO i like the 12 very light and easy to carry around (I use one at school for taking notes and doing some papers.

Flowbee
Nov 12, 2006, 10:09 PM
I would be looking for a 1.33 GHz 12" G4 iBook which has all the latest features, scrolling trackpad, along with legal copies of Tiger and iLife.
you might need to spend a bit more, but you'll have a better machine overall.

...and of course, if you spend a "bit more" than that, you can buy a new MacBook. :rolleyes:

Jakk
Nov 13, 2006, 03:12 AM
How about PowerBook G4 12"
Just pay a little more and you will get a better and more durable machine.

G4 1g is enough for you. Don't forget to have an airport in it.

FFTT
Nov 13, 2006, 03:59 AM
I would certainly pay extra for a G4 notebook with Airport these days especially around campus.

You might also consider a mini with a cheap display if portability is not too big of an issue.

luminosity
Nov 13, 2006, 11:35 AM
Just pay a little more and you will get a better and more durable machine.


i'm pretty sure that a 12 inch ibook is more durable than a 12 inch powerbook.

Xeem
Nov 13, 2006, 12:22 PM
If you're only going to use it for word processing and some internet use, the G3 iBook will suit you nicely. I'd get 512 MB RAM if you're looking to run Panther or Tiger, unless you want to run Jaguar (Mac OS 10.2) on it, which also would be fine for your purposes. I've heard that the G3 iBook had a nicer keyboard than the iBook G4 (which has a decent keyboard itself), and it is a very durable little machine with great battery life. As long as you aren't expecting this laptop to pull any performance miracles, I think you'll be happy. You didn't specify in your post, but I'd also spring for a DVD drive if it doesn't have one; a DVD drive alone can keep old laptops useful as portable players.