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View Full Version : Considering an iBook 12"...


furui
May 4, 2003, 10:02 PM
I currently own a Toshiba Pentium 4 2 GHz 15 inch notebook that is quite beefy and powerful. However, I only own it because I am overseas and having a desktop replacement notebook lends well to my lifestyle here. I currently live in Taiwan where space is something that is sparce. My stay here is about to end and I will go back to California in exactly one month.

When I am back home, I will sell my notebook. It has suited my needs, but I would rather have one smaller notebook and a big powerhouse machine for development and gaming needs. The smaller notebook will be for word processing, tax use (TurboTax), occasional movie viewing, and doing these things on the run (wireless internet would also be nice to do). This is why I have considered the new iBook 12 inchers. My powerhouse machine will continue to be a x86 PC.

The iBook will do mostly what I want it to do. If I ever get sick of MacOSX for whatever reason, I can stick Gentoo Linux on the machine. If I do purchase an iBook, I would select the 60 GB hard drive and then upgrade the RAM to the max via an upgrade from Crucial. However, I have some questions first:

How is the battery life on the new iBooks (800/900)? How great of an impact does using the airport card have on the battery life? I live in a very yuppy area (in fact I live one city away from Apple headquarters), so taking the machine to a coffee shop and tapping away at a report or browsing the net should not be a less than 2 hour experience if possible.

I cannot part without XViD/3iVX/DiVX support. Do these play on the iBook 800/900MHz models? Via MPlayerOSX? How well?

How are the displays? How bright are they? Do they have good viewing angles? My Toshiba laptop had one of the best screens out on the market during the time I bought it at 500:1 contrast ratio, 25 ms refresh, very wide viewing angle, and 1600x1200 resolution. It also did not invert colors when viewing it from the side. Obviously, I don't expect the iBook to come anywhere near this, but how does it fare?

Are there any other issues I should know about? Should I be considering the PowerBook 12 inch instead?

Thank you all for taking your time to read this.

lmalave
May 7, 2003, 09:36 PM
I love my iBook. With Airport I get a battery life of about 4 hours, based on the fact that when I used it for my 3 hour night class it was still at about 25% at the end. In terms of the screen, it is bright and sharp but I wouldn't say it has a great viewing angle. And of course it only has 1024x768 resolution, but you probably wouldn't want to go higher on a 12" screen anyway. In terms of iBook vs. Powerbook, iBook is plenty fast for me, but if you do video editing you're going to want the G4 PowerBook. As far as Divx, I'm not the person to ask - I don't use my iBook for that. Hope this helped.

vniow
May 7, 2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by furui
I cannot part without XViD/3iVX/DiVX support. Do these play on the iBook 800/900MHz models? Via MPlayerOSX? How well?



They play OK on my iBook, then again its also only 300Mhz so....

When I had my Powermac I used MPlayer and VLC (also a good Divx app, get it at www.videolan.org ) and both played fine and a new iBook is going to be way faster than anything I've owned so I believe they would play quite nicely.

mim
May 7, 2003, 11:21 PM
I don't own an iBook, but I'm in a kind of similar situation to you. My laptop is currently a Dell with the the huge screen (an old P3 700 though..). I was living in London in a tiny flat - there was no way I had room for a desktop so I bought the Dell. I'm an architect and so at the time I needed the bigger screen. But now I'm going to ditch the Dell (it's getting old, and breaking down too - terrible design). I'm going to get a mac laptop (probably an iBook - and probably a second hand one too) and then wait till June to see if the 970's arrive. If that happens I'll make do with the iBook until a 970 laptop comes out.

I've been playing with a friend's iBook, and have used the older G3 powerbooks quite a lot through work. I've also been playing with the new ones at the store. They've all been a joy to use.

So, some observations then: The iBooks are great for day to day use. If you've never owned a Mac before, you'll never look back (that's true for the desktops as well). The new ones are very snappy for surfing/mail/word - that kind of thing. I was originally very suspicious of the small screen and low resolution, but you'll never notice it - everything is quite clear & sharp. The older iBook seems to handle a largish iPhoto & iTunes library pretty well.

It has been very very tempting to get a 12" powerbook though. The big thing for me is that I do use Photoshop etc etc, and have a huge collection of digital images. Now most of that I can handle at work - but there are times I have to do things at home (also private work). I'm also wary of not being able to get a built in dvd-burner. You need the G4 for this, and photoshop is about 3x faster.

But like I said - the iBook should suffice for present! Another reason to by the iBook rather than the PB is (if you don't already have one) you can get an iPod with the savings. You will want one. I bought mine back in London and kept using the macs at work to upload music. I eventually switched it over to PC....but I can't wait to get it back on a mac to use with iTunes again. It is a pretty perfect setup. So do get that huge hard drive, because I guarentee your music library will be on the iBook, not the PC.

a.

cwedl
Jun 5, 2003, 04:17 PM
I know exactly what you are going through, I to am stuck between a ibook and a powerbook. I think I will go for a powerbook. According to this site, the 970 powerbooks may well be on thier way, I have a dell latitude P3 1Ghz, and I am going to wait to see what happens in the near future before I switch.

zebell1
Jun 10, 2003, 10:28 AM
I like the Powerbooks but there to expensive for me, the iBook works great, this thing is fast, blows away the competition!

rhpenguin
Jun 12, 2003, 04:29 PM
Dude, get the iBook. I just got mine a few weeks ago and seriously I need to smack myself for not switching sooner.

The iBook is a healthy platform. It runs most everything but it doesnt game at all. I have the base model and I also sugest getting a more powerful book.

Thats my two cents worth.

RHPeNgUiN

nagromme
Jun 19, 2003, 01:33 AM
Wait a week or two to compare prices/features on the iBook vs. the 12" PowerBook update that's expected soon. I'd always recommend the PowerBook (especially now the price has dropped) but if the iBook is more in your budget I wouldn't hesitate on that model either.

Either way you get Jaguar... and then Panther!

(If we get told a ship-date on Panther--the next Mac OS--next Monday, you might want to buy after that so you get it free.)