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View Full Version : ?Should I buy 12inpb now or wait?


zarathrustra
Aug 7, 2003, 09:55 PM
I need a laptop for college, but can afford to wait 4-6 weeks before I really need to use one. I've been hearing rumors about the rev B 12in pb being released soon. My questions are:

1) Are the new models going to be alot more expensive? About how much more expensive?

2) What new features are we expecting? a thinner model? better chip? L3 Cache?


Most important
3) I've been hearing alot from people who are currenting waiting for their powerbooks to ship, and who are reporting that their shipments keep getting delayed. They go on to say that this indicates that the new powerbooks will soon be released. I don't quite understand this. Why would apple hold back orders of old powerbooks just because new powerbooks are being released? Do they mean that if I order the current powerbook now, and the new line comes out as I am waiting for my order, then I automatically get the new powerbook for the price of the old one?

Confused...

Hope someone out there can help me out...Thanks!

herrmill
Aug 7, 2003, 10:30 PM
I am in the same boat. I've been running my biz off of a 2-year old 500mz iBook & need to move up fast to either revB 12" or the Ai 15" when it ever shows up. I'd like to hav the DVI out & am concerned about heat buildup so I'll probably hold out for the 15".

mmoin
Aug 7, 2003, 11:49 PM
And it's absolutely perfect, with one exception- it does get pretty hot. Throttling down the processor (you can do this in Energy Saver) fixes the heat problem and doesn't seem to slow down the comp much at all.

This is a great machine.

herrmill
Aug 8, 2003, 12:16 AM
Yes, I read David Coursey's article from CNET yesterday which almost made me get in my car & drive to CompUSA to play again with the 12" demo. Of course, a lot of the windoze folks gave their typical put downs by seeing any mention of Apple, but it was great to see many of the responses to his column from ex-PC users who dumped their Dells & Compaqs & rave about the 12" PB.


THE LITTLE LAPTOP THAT'S BIG ON USABILITY
By David Coursey

HARDWARE: I've never been a fan of small notebooks. But recently I found one that suits even a ham-handed Texan
like me: Apple's 12-inch PowerBook G4. Here's what I like about it--and what could be improved.

Read More:
http://ct.com.com/click?q=3e-F51nIizQfo_tuqjtCKaBSByHX4iR

QCassidy352
Aug 8, 2003, 01:59 AM
we are expecting a faster G4 processor, *maybe* L3 cache, a faster optical drive (well, I'm expecting that anyway), the heat problem fixed, and probably best of all, a better graphics card.

No one knows what the new price will be. My personal bet is that prices will be the same since it's not a G5, just an updated G4.

Why would apple hold back orders of old powerbooks just because new powerbooks are being released? Do they mean that if I order the current powerbook now, and the new line comes out as I am waiting for my order, then I automatically get the new powerbook for the price of the old one?

My understanding is this: they would hold back your order because they don't have the old 12" powerbooks anymore, but the new ones aren't ready. I believe that you would get the new one for the old price if you order and they are out of the old one. But I'm not sure.

You say you have 4-6 weeks; you might as well wait. The only real risk is that the prices will go up on the new models... but IMHO, that won't happen (but don't blame me if it does - what do i know!). The gain is that you'll likely end up with a computer that is a lot faster, doesn't have the heat issue, and will last you longer.

plutnicki
Aug 8, 2003, 08:25 AM
Unfortunately, no one is really qualified to answer your questions except with guesses and speculation, two things that you should keep in mind when purchasing, but I don't believe they should be your motivators.

But, I'll give you my $0.02.

On Price, I think it was June when the prices were dropped on all the Powerbooks, I would expect the price to go back to where they were on a new revision.

On Specs, the 15" TiBook is really out of step, if a new PB is announced, it will get the most "royal" treatment I would expect. On the 12", there haven't really been any good rumors that I've read. I think you've probably read all the guesses already, so I won't repeat them.

As far as wait for systems... I mentioned in another thread that Best Buy is going to start selling PBs soon, so it could simply be that Apple has redirected stock to those stores. Also, BB is supposed to start selling them what, next week. Seems like that would be a BAD time to release new versions of those systems, right when Best Buy has sold a few...

Realistically, I'd take a look at the 12" PB as it stands today. If it meets your criteria today, it will continue to do so. If you miss an upgrade by a month or so, I don't think you'll be missing out on maybe a little speed, but if the 12" is fast enough for you today... I think the whole "speed" thing is blown way out of proportion anyway.

FWIW, I bought a 15" TiBook about 2.5 weeks ago and couldn't be happier with my purchase. I think this system will last me several years quite nicely.

Good luck!

...Jim

jxyama
Aug 8, 2003, 11:03 AM
my two cents:

faster processor = more heat.

unless apple has come up with some miracle material to wick away the heat, i don't see how they can make the next generation of 12" faster and cooler at the same time.

however, the current heat seems to occur when the machine is plugged into a poweroutlet. so perhaps there's some hope of a remedy...

i'm just cautioning that there's only so much apple can do: if you put a more powerful cpu in a cramped space like a 12", the heat must go somewhere...

jxyama
Aug 8, 2003, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
You say you have 4-6 weeks; you might as well wait. The only real risk is that the prices will go up on the new models... but IMHO, that won't happen (but don't blame me if it does - what do i know!). The gain is that you'll likely end up with a computer that is a lot faster, doesn't have the heat issue, and will last you longer.

just to comment on this...

1) even if the prices go back up, you will still be able to buy then "old" powerbooks at the current price. (there are some places still selling CRT iMacs at the "old" price...)

2) if l3 cache is added, it will drain the battery quicker

3) faster graphics card will also generate more heat and eat battery quicker

lastly,

4) the updated computer will certainly last you longer than the "old" one, but the difference will be minute. they will both be out of date in a year or two, unusable perhaps in 5 to 6. given new PB won't be a G5, 1+ GHz G4 will not "last" much longer than the current 867 MHz. in fact, i'd bet that the difference in cpu speed can be overcome by installing a 1 GB RAM when the prices come down to extend the "life."

in summary, if you are getting nervous you won't have a computer to start the school, just get one.

renman
Aug 8, 2003, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
My understanding is this: they would hold back your order because they don't have the old 12" powerbooks anymore, but the new ones aren't ready.

I really hope that isn't true. I ordered a 12" yesterday and I was told that it will ship out today to my house. I'm going to need it in two weeks, not six.

To the OP: If you can wait, do it. The upgrade should be worth the wait.

PixelFactory
Aug 8, 2003, 12:21 PM
I picked up my 12" yesterday. It's as fast as my 733 G4 and I do a lot of Photoshop work. I just got tired of hearing updates next week over and over.

Best buy in Chicago is already selling 12" Powerbooks. Unfortunately it is mixed in with all the PC laptops and I almost walked past it.

QCassidy352
Aug 8, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by renman
I really hope that isn't true. I ordered a 12" yesterday and I was told that it will ship out today to my house. I'm going to need it in two weeks, not six.


well, if you were told it would ship today, then that's when it will probably ship. My response was for cases when apple says something like "7-10 days" on a product that usually has immediate availability.

To comment again on the longer "life" of the new 12" powerbook: it's not only the processor (although going from an 867 to 1 or 1.1 Ghz G4 is not insignificant), but in large part the graphics card. The card in the 12" powerbook, like the one in the current ibooks, is ok by today's standards, but fading fast. 32 VRAM is not much anymore, and it's an old card. If you have any interest in playing games or doing graphics work, that card is already showing its age, and in a few years will be completely inadequate to run newer programs and games.

in summary, if you are getting nervous you won't have a computer to start the school, just get one.

While I agree with this, the original poster did say that he had 4-6 weeks. Since you can pick up a powerbook either online or retail any day of the week, there's really no worry that he'll be stranded without a computer. If you don't need the computer now... why *wouldn't* you wait for a newer one?

ima_pseudonym
Aug 8, 2003, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by jxyama
my two cents:

faster processor = more heat.

unless apple has come up with some miracle material to wick away the heat, i don't see how they can make the next generation of 12" faster and cooler at the same time.



Of course this is all based on speculation, but the new Moto 7457 G4 chips are due in the not too distant future, and these ues significantly less power (and produce significantly less heat) than the current breed of G4's. Rumor has it that the new pbooks will use the 7457's at higher speeds, with lower temps, and slightly longer battery life.

It is also possible Apple would switch to a different HD mechanism, since the hear in the left palm rest is at least partially due to the drive located directly underneath it.

As for buying advise - buy it when you absolutely need it. If prices go up, it will not likely be a dramatic rise, and should be more than offset by the improvements in the product and longer life-span/greater resale value.

renman
Aug 8, 2003, 11:19 PM
Update: My order was originally scheduled to be shipped today and it was changed to next Friday. Maybe this is on to something. I'll have to call tomorrow and find out what the deal is.

hacurio1
Aug 9, 2003, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by zarathrustra
I need a laptop for college, but can afford to wait 4-6 weeks before I really need to use one. I've been hearing rumors about the rev B 12in pb being released soon. My questions are:

1) Are the new models going to be alot more expensive? About how much more expensive?

2) What new features are we expecting? a thinner model? better chip? L3 Cache?


Most important
3) I've been hearing alot from people who are currenting waiting for their powerbooks to ship, and who are reporting that their shipments keep getting delayed. They go on to say that this indicates that the new powerbooks will soon be released. I don't quite understand this. Why would apple hold back orders of old powerbooks just because new powerbooks are being released? Do they mean that if I order the current powerbook now, and the new line comes out as I am waiting for my order, then I automatically get the new powerbook for the price of the old one?

Confused...

Hope someone out there can help me out...Thanks!

My advice…Wait until you can. The worst thing it could happened is that new more expensive PB are released and the price of the current model goes down because resellers will be trying to get rid of the old ones. Patience is an excellent virtue. Seriously, if they release new ones at a higher price, there will always be a reseller trying to get rid of the old model. Or suppose that nothing gets released, you’ll still be able to get the same deals Apple is offering until September.

QCassidy352
Aug 9, 2003, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by renman
Update: My order was originally scheduled to be shipped today and it was changed to next Friday. Maybe this is on to something. I'll have to call tomorrow and find out what the deal is.

ooh! be sure to tell us what they say! As someone who has actually ordered, they do owe you an explanation, and it seems entirely possible that if new ones are coming, they will say, at the least, that the old ones are out of stock. They may not admit that the new ones are here... but if they say the old ones are out of stock, that's more or less an admission of new ones. :)

zarathrustra
Aug 9, 2003, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by hacurio1
My advice…Wait until you can. The worst thing it could happened is that new more expensive PB are released and the price of the current model goes down because resellers will be trying to get rid of the old ones. Patience is an excellent virtue. Seriously, if they release new ones at a higher price, there will always be a reseller trying to get rid of the old model. Or suppose that nothing gets released, you’ll still be able to get the same deals Apple is offering until September.

Thanks for all your help guys. I guess waiting is my best option,

still, a part of me wants to take the risk and try to play the system by ordering now and betting that they'll be out of stock...
thereby getting the new model AND saving at least 300 dollars...

There are really only two things to consider, the degree of risk involved and my personal risk utility curve. I know the latter, but the former is rather problematic...

renman
Aug 10, 2003, 10:45 PM
Ok, so here's the deal. I called yesterday and asked why my PB was delayed. They told me that sometimes things just happen that way. It was shipped today from Taiwan. I've never ordered from apple.com, so I'm not sure if that is standard for computers or something they had to do, because the rest of my order came from Chicago. So, in the end, I have no real evidence to support any rumors.

Daveman Deluxe
Aug 10, 2003, 11:44 PM
If you order a stock Mac, it's already at Apple's shipping center in California. If you order a build-to-order computer, it gets assembled in Taiwan, shipped to California, and then shipped to you.

renzhizheng
Aug 12, 2003, 08:10 PM
I thought i would wait untill i offically switched to make my first post, but because of "unexpected delays" my first mac since my Macintosh II woln't be shipped.

So the story is, i have been looking it to rumors of powerbook updates since the 12" and 17" were announced in January. I was looking for a new laptop, like many out there, for my first year of college. But, unlike many out there, i'm going abroad (europe), and i'm leaving the 18th. I waited as long as i possibly could, and ordered my 12" powerbook last thursday (the 7th). I maxed out the RAM (i do graphics work with photoshop and some gaming, so the memory is nessicary). The original shipping date was "on or before 08.12.03, but i noticed today that my order wasn't shipped yet. I called the apple store and they said that my order wasn't shipped because i ordered a "custom built" mac. I thought this was odd, since they just had to open it up, throw in a superdrive and some extra memory. But then later that day, i checked my email, and, low and behold, i got a message from the apple store stating my shipping date has been changed from the 12th to the 19th, exactly a week from the origial shipping date, further confirming the rumors by french mac site stating that they ran out of the old stock of powerbooks, and are waiting for the updates.

Normally, i wouldn't jump to such conculsions, but when a shipping date changes from "one to three days" to "eight days", pinning the exact date that multiple rumor sites are estimating updates, it makes me wonder whats going on in those apple warehouses.

I ordered with a student discount. Now, does anyone out there have the experence of ordering with the mac store right before an update? Does the store often delay orders of the older models and update them to the newer model with minmal or no charge?

Sorry for the long post and your help would be appreciated.

renman
Aug 12, 2003, 09:56 PM
renzhizheng:
The exact same thing happened to me. Exact. I ordered The 5th. 12" PB max ram bigger harddrive, airport extreme and student discount. Original Due date for shipment, the 8th. Unexpectedly, I recieved an e-mail saying the due date had been pushed back a week. I got frantic over this and called and got a similar response. My computer left Taiwan the 10th and is expected to be at my doorstep tomorrow morning. Don't fret quite yet. And, if you ordered a printer, they originally quoted the 26th for shipping and that left today.

There still is hope!

Lori
Aug 13, 2003, 02:14 AM
I don't know if you'll be getting a new model or not, but my worries would lie with the fact that if the shipping has changed that drastically, will you get it before you need to leave for school?

(And, sorry for the OT, but good job choosing to go overseas for college! Lol, this coming from another person doing the same thing :))

amandine
Aug 13, 2003, 11:07 AM
I have some experience with getting an updated computer (or a friend does, actually.) My friend ordered a laptop some months ago, in january. They kept putting off his order without explanation. Finally a box came with a powerbook - but not the one he ordered. A newer, faster one! He called, thinking it was a mistake, but they said since he ordered right before the new ones came out (2 days before, in fact) that they went ahead and upgraded it for the original price!

It was my understanding though that this was a customer service issue, in that he might've been upset to pay full price only to have a newer one come out before he had even received his. I don't think they'll do this if you order, say, a month in advance - only if you unwittingly order a few days before.

However since I don't work at Apple I can't be sure on their policy.. just letting you know what happened with us. :)