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View Full Version : In Steve's Shoes: Powerbooks & iBooks


will
Jul 26, 2003, 04:43 AM
Introduction
The following are my thoughts on Apple laptops. These are not predictions, but rather some ideas on what I'd realistically like to see Apple doing in the next few months. Suggested specs/prices are obviously only rough.

iBook
The iBook already has most things right, and we can't really expect massive processor speed increases until the Powerbooks have the G5. However all models should get Airport Extreme support and built-in bluetooth, and ideally USB2. I think Apple should discontinue the 14" models, as there are too many models, and confusion between PB and iBook lines. This leaves two models, and with limited scope for processor speed increases, I think there's room for quite agressive price cuts.

CDROM 12" iBook, keep spec similar (CDROM and 128M RAM), but increase CPU to 900Mhz G3 and lower price to $899.

Combo 12" iBook, 1Ghz G3, 256M RAM, Combo Drive. The current combo 12" model is too expensive, with a $300 hike over the entry-level for a combo drive and 100Mhz. It should have more RAM and take a price cut to $1099.

Powerbooks
Until the G5 arrives there can only be realtively modest performance improvements for PB, however using Radeon 9600 on high-end models would be a good step. All models should get DDR RAM, USB2, Airport Extreme, built-in Bluetooth and backlit keyboard. With the G5 on the horizon, developing duel G4 PB doesn't make sense. Instead, I'd like to see further modest price cuts.

12" PB, 1.1GHz G4, 256M RAM, 1M L3 cache, DVI connector, 32M Radeon 9000. Would be good to have a redesign to make it 1" thick and reduce screen bezel, like other PB. L3 cache would improve performance and bring 12" in line with other PB. Price cut to $1499 for Combo, $1649 for 1xSuperdrive.

15" PB, 1.1/1.3GHz G4 256/512MB RAM, 1M L3 cache, Mobility Radeon 9000/9600. For most users the 15" model represents a good balance between size and functionality. Apple should continue to keep this model strong. Graphics should be updated for high-end model to 64M 9600, while the cheaper model would stay with have 32M 9000. 15" should get new Al design. 1.1GHz/256MB/Combo model $1849. 1.3GHz/512MB/1xSuperdrive model $2499.

17" PB 1.3 GHz G4, 512M RAM, 2M L3 cache (if possible), 64M Radeon 9600, 2xSuperdrive, Airport Extreme card installed. Not a huge change from current model, but until G5 arrives about the best that can be done is faster graphics and, if possible, 2M L3 cache. With such a large case it would be good to squeeze in a larger battery to increase battery life. Price $2999.

In summary, I think these changes are realistic, and would help Apple improve sales and marketshare. Once G5s are ready for laptop use then we can see G5 PB and Gobi iBooks.

tazo
Jul 26, 2003, 05:15 AM
those are very good ideas and should be heeded by apple. hopefully they understand that there needs to be speed boosts across the pbook and ibook line. I especially like your thoughts on the 12'' pb, my current fave apple ;) One can only hope for a 1.1 ghz 12'' pb :)

benixau
Jul 26, 2003, 07:26 AM
about the batteries - think of the 71" pb like this - it is a 17" iMac in a laptop.

Features are identical really;
-Same no. of RAM slots - same Max RAM
-Same screen (as said by his majesty himself)
-Same with wireless (AP-X + BT built-in)
-Same in opticals (SuperDrive)
-Same Processor

Now where they differ and the effect of battery life;
-Light up KB (~)
-Slower spinning HDD (^)
-Built-in 3 Speaker(~)
-Non-Constant Fan (^)
-Internal KB and Trackpad (no mouse) (^)
-Power Saving features in hardware (^)
-Power saving features available in software (*)

In all the powerbook is probably getting the best life it can considering that it is running a 17" screen. i didnt count software power savers cause they can be turned off. But really - you dont think that Apple wouldn't put a bigger battery in if it they could
a) physically, and
b) keep a reasonable price

Abstract
Jul 26, 2003, 07:38 AM
This thread is like deja vu all over again!!

And I'll ask the obligatory "Where did the 14" iBook go? Its just a cheap alternative to having a full-sized laptop for those who don't need, or can't afford, a 15" PB. Apple needs it. There's no reason why they should rid of the 14 incher."

And then you say.....

Capt Underpants
Jul 26, 2003, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by Abstract

And then you say.....

hehehe... I guess he says nothing. Seriously, though. I agree with alot of what you are saying. I don't know if the 12" PB will get DVI or not. I hope it does. Also, the price cuts on the PBs are (IMO) not going to happen.

iJon
Jul 26, 2003, 10:46 AM
i hardly see anyone getting the 14 inch ibook. its huge and has no advantage over the 12 inch. i think they also need to work out heat issues with the 12" powerbook. maybe moving the hard drive somewhere else.

iJon

Rezet
Jul 26, 2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by iJon
i hardly see anyone getting the 14 inch ibook. its huge and has no advantage over the 12 inch. i think they also need to work out heat issues with the 12" powerbook. maybe moving the hard drive somewhere else.

iJon

yeah, 12" is a stove. It get so hot you can't hold it on your "lap" for a long time.

This is what i call taking out LAP out of LAPTOP

will
Jul 26, 2003, 03:13 PM
Yeah, the 12" heat issue needs to be resolved, I should have mentioned it. As for the 14" iBook I didn't want to start a debate on that all over again! We can agree to disagree.

herr_neumann
Jul 26, 2003, 03:33 PM
I have the 14 and wish i had just got the 12. when i bought it I thought i was gonna get more real estate, but did not. The 14 has absolutly no reason to be around.

Abstract
Jul 26, 2003, 04:00 PM
Except the larger screen. Some people just don't want to look at a 12" because of the small screen size. I'd be fine with a 12", but whatever. My 17" monitor is set at 1024 x 768 resolution, and its obviously bigger than the 14". It's fine for me. Personally, I wouldn't want to go a 12", or even a 15" monitor just because my resolution isn't high. But again, I'm a 12" iBook fan.

I just hope they get the PB's cleared up, and make the 12" PB clearly different from the 12" iBook. Making the 12" PB more expensive is fine, as long as there is a reason to pay the extra money for it. They made the 12" PB pricing very close to that of the 12" iBook, probably because nobody thought the difference in pricing was worth it.

Freg3000
Jul 26, 2003, 06:33 PM
The easy solution to the 14" iBook problem is not to drop it, but boast the resolution up a bit. Not that much, but just enough to make it worth it.

MacAztec
Jul 26, 2003, 06:48 PM
My dad is getting a 14" iBook really soon. He is selling his Pismo, and selling some other thing, and will have enough for one. He is doing this because he COULD buy a new Alu. book (when it comes out), but he doesnt think its worth it. He will just sell the iBook when the G5 PowerBook comes out. It will be pretty good.

He is getting the 14" because the 12" is too hard on his eyes, and its currently a pretty good deal compared to a 15" PowerBook.

tazo
Jul 26, 2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by Abstract
Except the larger screen. Some people just don't want to look at a 12" because of the small screen size. I'd be fine with a 12", but whatever. My 17" monitor is set at 1024 x 768 resolution, and its obviously bigger than the 14". It's fine for me. Personally, I wouldn't want to go a 12", or even a 15" monitor just because my resolution isn't high. But again, I'm a 12" iBook fan.

I just hope they get the PB's cleared up, and make the 12" PB clearly different from the 12" iBook. Making the 12" PB more expensive is fine, as long as there is a reason to pay the extra money for it. They made the 12" PB pricing very close to that of the 12" iBook, probably because nobody thought the difference in pricing was worth it.

IMO the price of the ibook and pbook combo models need to be lowered by like $100 so that they still remain competitive with the pricing of similarly specced pc laptops. Even dell's 4lb laptops cost less than what Apple is dishing out. Not to say that 1599 isn't better than 1799 :) ;)

QCassidy352
Jul 26, 2003, 08:58 PM
I think it would be pretty weak to have any next gen powerbook with a 32 mb radeon 9000. I would hope for a 64 mb radeon 9000 on the low end and a radeon 9600 on the high end.

as for the 14" ibook... do you people who don't like them know why they exist? I mean, they didn't when icebooks first came in to being... Apple added them to the line up because they were a very common user request. I have an ibook as my sole computer. I used to have a 12" ibook, and it got too hard on my eyes. Would I like a 15" powerbook? Sure, but I can't afford it. The 14" ibook was the perfect choice for me. (and the battery really does last a lot longer!) If you don't like it, don't buy it. But apple created it because of popular demand.

ZildjianKX
Jul 26, 2003, 09:01 PM
The PB has been delayed so long that if it doesn't have a radeon 9600 and a 15.4" screen for the wow factor, I'm passing it up... *yawn*

Steradian
Jul 26, 2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
yeah, 12" is a stove. It get so hot you can't hold it on your "lap" for a long time.

This is what i call taking out LAP out of LAPTOP

Heh you have never had a Area 51m in your lap huh, o my you have no idea, the 12" is a pleasure cruise...

beefcake
Jul 26, 2003, 11:01 PM
Area 51-m laptop? Those things should come with a warning. Seriously, the kind of heat those things generate it's not your legs you have to worry about.

I have a question that I'm sure anyone who has replied to this thread can answer. Whenever the topic of the fabled 15" AlBook comes up, it's almost a given that when it comes it will sport a 15.4" screen. Where are these extra two tenths of an inch coming from?

jzieske
Jul 26, 2003, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by beefcake
I have a question that I'm sure anyone who has replied to this thread can answer. Whenever the topic of the fabled 15" AlBook comes up, it's almost a given that when it comes it will sport a 15.4" screen. Where are these extra two tenths of an inch coming from?

I think they are mainly coming from a rumor before WWDC that an Asian company was building 15.4" Alu cases for Apple.