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tonybeyondo
May 7, 2008, 08:59 AM
Hey everyone! :D

For the past four or five months, I have been researching laptops. I have an aging Hackintosh PC that I've run Tiger/Leopard on since Feb. 2007, and I have completely fallen in love with OS X. The OSx86 Project is the gateway drug- but that's another story...

At first I wanted a desktop replacement, then an ultraportable. Then I wanted one of those gimmicky EEE pcs OR HP Mini-notes for the size- but they run Linux/Windows... I considered saving up for a MacBook, but after seeing the screen and the plastic case at the local Apple Store that was completely out of the question. I also considered the MacBook Pro- it's an awesome machine, but expensive, large, and doesn't come smaller than 15". I've also been in a holding pattern waiting to see what comes in June as far as the notebook refreshes.

About a month ago, I was surfing the web and doing a lot of mobile computing on my Jailbroken 16gb iPod touch, and came across a decent deal on a 12" PowerBook on Craigslist:

12" PowerBook G4
1.5ghz, 1.25gb RAM
5400rpm 100gb HD
Superdrive
Incase neoprene sleeve
New Topcase, keyboard, battery and logic board mid-2007
Original box/All packaging

I lowballed the guy at first with $400. I knew it was worth at least $600 on eBay, but I figured that my mind wasn't fully made up, so ***** it. He replied and said that he couldn't take less than $600, so I said no.

Yesterday, he emailed me back and offered to sell at $500. After careful consideration, I accepted gratefully! I picked it up yesterday- it was a local deal so no shipping/tax!

Spent last night setting up Leopard on it, it's an awesome computer. I know this was the one to get- the specs are pretty much (except for the 1.67) the best 12" PowerBook you can get. This has been an extremely hard process, and I've finally got my perfect ratio of cheap and portable, and it's a real Mac! I love the screen and the size, and since it's used, I don't have to baby it at all. It's got a dent or two but the screen and keyboard/trackpad are brand new. The RAM makes Leopard run really well too. I couldn't be happier. I know the G4 is old tech, but it feels great and in tandem with my desktop it will suit all my computing needs.

Without this forum it would have been hard to make up my mind- THANK YOU EVERYONE! Now that my bank account isn't drained, I can consider upgrading again once the MacBook Pro comes out in 13" and has a few refreshes... :)



Adokimus
May 7, 2008, 09:07 AM
<snip>

12" PowerBook G4
1.5ghz, 1.25gb RAM
5400rpm 100gb HD
Superdrive
Incase neoprene sleeve
New Topcase, keyboard, battery and logic board mid-2007
Original box/All packaging

<snip>

Yesterday, he emailed me back and offered to sell at $500. After careful consideration, I accepted gratefully! I picked it up yesterday- it was a local deal so no shipping/tax!

Spent last night setting up Leopard on it, it's an awesome computer. I know this was the one to get- the specs are pretty much (except for the 1.67) the best 12" PowerBook you can get. This has been an extremely hard process, and I've finally got my perfect ratio of cheap and portable, and it's a real Mac! I love the screen and the size, and since it's used, I don't have to baby it at all. It's got a dent or two but the screen and keyboard/trackpad are brand new. The RAM makes Leopard run really well too. I couldn't be happier. I know the G4 is old tech, but it feels great and in tandem with my desktop it will suit all my computing needs.

Without this forum it would have been hard to make up my mind- THANK YOU EVERYONE! Now that my bank account isn't drained, I can consider upgrading again once the MacBook Pro comes out in 13" and has a few refreshes... :)

Congrats and welcome to the 12-incher club. I think you got a pretty good deal. Not crap-your-pants good, but good nonetheless. Just to let you know, 1.5 GHz is the highest the 12" PB ever made it. There was never a 1.67 GHz 12" PB. The only hardware that could be maxed out any further is the hard drive. Though 100GB was the max produced by Apple at the time, there are now 250GB drives that are compatible.

teiresias
May 7, 2008, 11:52 AM
Sounds good! I'm looking to get a 12" Powerbook as well. I've been scouting Craigslist locally and ebay. I'm going to mainly use it for writing (Scrivener), email, web surfing, so nothing heavy duty. I'm looking to replace a Dell 700m which is great for running Ubuntu, but I'd really like to have an apple laptop to be a companion to my iMac desktop.

For that reason, I'm contemplating just buying an 867MHz version for like $430 from a vendor listed on lowendmac.com and saving the hassle. I'm a little worried about how Tiger would perform on that though (I'm guessing the RAM is the major issue in that regard though). I'm not sure what the usual prices are on the different models of the 12" PB yet, so I've got some more reading to do before I decide.

tonybeyondo
May 7, 2008, 11:58 AM
Sounds good! I'm looking to get a 12" Powerbook as well. I've been scouting Craigslist locally and ebay. I'm going to mainly use it for writing (Scrivener), email, web surfing, so nothing heavy duty. I'm looking to replace a Dell 700m which is great for running Ubuntu, but I'd really like to have an apple laptop to be a companion to my iMac desktop.

For that reason, I'm contemplating just buying an 867MHz version for like $430 from a vendor listed on lowendmac.com and saving the hassle. I'm a little worried about how Tiger would perform on that though (I'm guessing the RAM is the major issue in that regard though). I'm not sure what the usual prices are on the different models of the 12" PB yet, so I've got some more reading to do before I decide.

I'm pleasantly suprised by the speed of this little thing. Tried to install iLife '08 and it flat out didn't install iMovie though because of specs. I'll use it mainly for VNC, Firefox, iTunes, iWork, iPhoto, and Reason. If you can go for the 1.5- although it runs ok, I couldn't imagine it being any slower. And I've heard there were some issues with the lower end earlier models. :D:apple:

Oh, and for pricing, try http://www.mac2sell.net/ - I checked any used mac specs I came across on Craigslist and they're usually spot on with eBay.

cazlar
May 7, 2008, 01:38 PM
For that reason, I'm contemplating just buying an 867MHz version for like $430 from a vendor listed on lowendmac.com and saving the hassle.

I'm the proud owner of a 12" 1Ghz (although I've recently been using a MB, I still browse on the 12" regularly). Congrats to the OP on joining the club.

As for buying a 867, in my opinion, if possible, you should try get the 1Ghz revB (or higher) rather than the revA. As well as the extra speed which may not be that noticeable, you get DVI out rather than just VGA (via the same miniDVI plug used in the current MB), but most importantly, you get USB 2.0. Assuming you ever want to plug an iPod/iPhone/HDD/etc into it, having USB2 rather than 1.1 is a fairly major difference.

leodavinci0
May 7, 2008, 02:01 PM
I'm the proud owner of a 12" 1Ghz (although I've recently been using a MB, I still browse on the 12" regularly). Congrats to the OP on joining the club.

As for buying a 867, in my opinion, if possible, you should try get the 1Ghz revB (or higher) rather than the revA. As well as the extra speed which may not be that noticeable, you get DVI out rather than just VGA (via the same miniDVI plug used in the current MB), but most importantly, you get USB 2.0. Assuming you ever want to plug an iPod/iPhone/HDD/etc into it, having USB2 rather than 1.1 is a fairly major difference.

I agree, even though I own a 867MHz 12" PB running Leopard and an iPhone. I wish it transferred data to the iPhone faster, but it ain't bad after the first overnight sync. So if you can only get an 867, it will actually do the job.

aajeev
May 7, 2008, 02:54 PM
This little thing is great. My sister got it about 4 years ago, after I told my parents that I refuse to come home every weekend to reinstall her virus invested windows PC. Ever since then the only thing we replaced on the 12inch was the battery. About one month ago I realized I had enough with windows machine, so I told my sister that I would give her both of my tablet PC (worth about $3400). Now I'm totally happy with the PPC and I'm also getting ready to get a Mac pro...Apple rules..haha

teiresias
May 7, 2008, 08:41 PM
Meh, now I'm questioning my idea, LOL!!! Looking at auctions and stuff it seems I'll be in the $500-$600 range for an at least 1Ghz model. Depending on what's included with that particular auction I may need to buy a RAM upgrade and/or a replacement battery. Add $100 or $200 to that and suddenly I may as well shell out like $100-$200 more and just get the baseline Macbook.

Ugh, I hate buying computers nowadays. Haha.

CJRhoades
May 7, 2008, 08:50 PM
Sounds good! I'm looking to get a 12" Powerbook as well. I've been scouting Craigslist locally and ebay. I'm going to mainly use it for writing (Scrivener), email, web surfing, so nothing heavy duty. I'm looking to replace a Dell 700m which is great for running Ubuntu, but I'd really like to have an apple laptop to be a companion to my iMac desktop.

For that reason, I'm contemplating just buying an 867MHz version for like $430 from a vendor listed on lowendmac.com and saving the hassle. I'm a little worried about how Tiger would perform on that though (I'm guessing the RAM is the major issue in that regard though). I'm not sure what the usual prices are on the different models of the 12" PB yet, so I've got some more reading to do before I decide.

As for how it will run tiger, my 667MHz TiBook runs it surprisingly well. Just make sure you have a gig of RAM and you'll be fine.

jjahshik32
May 7, 2008, 10:21 PM
Congrats man! I've owned the 12" powerbook in the past and its a great machine!

peacenik
May 8, 2008, 07:15 PM
Wow, reading the first post in this thread just about freaked me out. Sounds exactly like my story. Started thinking about an iPod Touch, figured out quickly that I'd never really be able to use the keyboard on that thing for anything more than really brief things (I'm rarely brief), moved on to thinking about Eee PCs and came VERY close to buying an HP Mini-Note, incredibly close...

...and then I found a 12" PB. Perfect form factor for me. I can't imagine why Apple doesn't make a 10" or 12" notebook. The MacBook Air is sexy, but it still has a large footprint.

Anyway, mine is due to be in my hands tomorrow, and I'm jazzed. I returned to this forum for the first time in years to share the joy, but to also connect with folks in case I run into any need for help, given the age of the thing.

Digital Skunk
May 8, 2008, 07:39 PM
I wish I could find a brighter display for the 12" PowerBook. That would have me using one more often then not for those short trips and personal vacations. The original one is SO DIM now that I have been spoiled by the 17" Penryn MBP hi rez model. :)

iMpathetic
May 8, 2008, 07:46 PM
Ah, I've been thinking about buying one if I build a desktop... I've had such good times working on my English teacher's PB during lunch last year.

The iBook G4 is perfectly good, yes, but it doesn't have that semi-professional look I crave. *says the ThinkPad owner:D*

dcjr321
May 9, 2008, 10:20 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

I have a 12inch PowerBook in mint condition. My brother bought the very last revision and it sat in his closet all boxed up. I gave him 700 dollars for it about a year ago, and he currently has a MacBook. I use my new iMac for more power but the PowerBook is always on the go with me. I baby the he'll out of it it still looks new, people go crazy in the apple store when they see one of these things still.

cloudnine
May 9, 2008, 12:02 PM
About a month ago, I was surfing the web and doing a lot of mobile computing on my Jailbroken 16gb iPod touch, and came across a decent deal on a 12" PowerBook on Craigslist:

Congrats! I've had my 12" PowerBook G4 for almost 3 years now (AppleCare expires in September or October of this year, I think), and it's been the best computer I've had to date. Of course, I just got a 2.8ghz iMac 24" about a month ago, so that story might change in a bit... hehe :)

But yeah, it's a great machine, and if it's out of warranty, you can replace the harddrive with something better by going to http://www.macservice.com/powerbookg412.html (http://www.macservice.com) ... they're a little pricey, but it's a great company :)

I'm actually psyched about mine because when I bought it, I got it maxed out... 1.25gb RAM, 1.5ghz processor, superdrive, bluetooth, 100gb harddrive... and I had to send it in for repair a little while ago, and they basically replaced everything and gave me a 120gb harddrive replacement :) hehe :)

Anyway, I'm rambling... enjoy your new PB! You're gonna love it! :)

tonybeyondo
May 9, 2008, 12:53 PM
I am so enjoying this thing- it is awesome. Always wanted one, since the Mini-me plane ad on TV! :D

With all the praise around the web for 12" PowerBooks, it seems like Apple should definitely come out with some kind of updated small-footprint MacBook soon. PowerBook G5? :p I hope for a Pro model, but it'll probably be a 11" Air with an Atom or something with 1/2 a usb port. :eek:

peacenik
May 9, 2008, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the replies to my bump of this thread.

Say, while I have some attention, has anyone experienced problems with the gray plastic binding that goes around the top edge of the base?

While I was shopping for mine, I saw quite a few that had this binding separating from the aluminum in spots, creating small bulges.

I know it's purely cosmetic, and I didn't care enough about one such very small budge to not pull the trigger on the one I bought (arrives today!!!), but I'm wondering if there's a way to fix this. The seller didn't think it would be possible without replacing the whole bottom case.

Digital Skunk
May 9, 2008, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the replies to my bump of this thread.

Say, while I have some attention, has anyone experienced problems with the gray plastic binding that goes around the top edge of the base?

While I was shopping for mine, I saw quite a few that had this binding separating from the aluminum in spots, creating small bulges.

I know it's purely cosmetic, and I didn't care enough about one such very small budge to not pull the trigger on the one I bought (arrives today!!!), but I'm wondering if there's a way to fix this. The seller didn't think it would be possible without replacing the whole bottom case.

That is an issue for just about every Pro book there is. I hope that my current one doesn't start doing that anytime soon. And the only way to get it fixed is have the entire top case replaced.

iToaster
May 9, 2008, 05:57 PM
Congrats OP, the 12" PowerBooks will rock on for a long time to come. Mine's been treating me well, butI'm a little bummed with my HD crashing recently, but given the age of the machine and the use it's seen over the last 2 years or so it was certain to happen sometime (good thing I keep important data on my MP), it will live on when my new HD arrives.