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View Full Version : 12" PB as a desktop replacement?


Gherkin
Apr 26, 2004, 07:24 AM
I've almost totally convinced myself to get the 15" Powerbook as this laptop will be my desktop replacement. I am a little worried that the 12" being slightly underpowered may make quite the difference 3 years down the road. I intend to keep this laptop for at least 4 years.

Are most of you that buy the 12" buying with the intention to upgrade earlier than every 4 or so years? Am I really going to see that much of a difference between the 1.33 GHz and 1.5 GHz processors 3 years from now? Screen size isn't that big of a deal, for if I go with the 12", I am going to keep my 15" LCD as an external monitor at home.

I would save around $500 going with the 12", but I still can't seem to convince myself off of the 15". I am going to Comp USA today to finally see a Powerbook in person for the first time. Hopefully this will help my decision. If anyone has any input, please give me anything.

gekko513
Apr 26, 2004, 07:47 AM
The main difference between the 12" and the 15" will be sceen-size vs portability.

Since it's supposed to be a desktop replacement, you'll either be better off with a 15" or you'll have to get an external monitor+mouse+keyboard for the 12".

PlaceofDis
Apr 26, 2004, 07:49 AM
i have the rev. a 12" powerbook, mine is almost a year old now, but i plan on keeping it for a looong time, but its longevity is really based upon what you plan to use the machine for. Just wordprocessing and surfing the web, basic tasks like that it will definately last you, but if you want to have the best graphics for games then you will need a better machine because games always need higher specs.....

Diatribe
Apr 26, 2004, 08:01 AM
I'm in the same dilemma right now. Things you have to consider are
1. Do you move around a lot? 1 pound does make a difference.
2. Do you want to play a lot of games?
3. Do you care for battery life? It has yet to be confirmed by some more people but it seems like the 12" gets about 1 hour more battery life.
There is other stuff to consider but it's a tough decision anyway. I know. ;)

Gherkin
Apr 26, 2004, 08:22 AM
No, I do not intend to do any gaming on this laptop, but I do want programs like Garageband and Photoshop to run smoothly.

As far as I see it, here are my pros and cons for the 12":

12" Powerbook:
+Smaller/More Portable
+Better battery life
+$500 cheaper
+Hook up to 15" LCD when at home (two screens at once would be cool)
-Screen not as bright/sharp/large as 15"
-slower processor/weaker graphics card compared to 15"
-built in 256 MB ram

denm316
Apr 26, 2004, 11:07 AM
No, I do not intend to do any gaming on this laptop, but I do want programs like Garageband and Photoshop to run smoothly.

As far as I see it, here are my pros and cons for the 12":

12" Powerbook:
+Smaller/More Portable
+Better battery life
+$500 cheaper
+Hook up to 15" LCD when at home (two screens at once would be cool)
-Screen not as bright/sharp/large as 15"
-slower processor/weaker graphics card compared to 15"
-built in 256 MB ram

Dont know if you are doing video editing or not, but the larger screen will really help. I had a 12 inch iBook and it was OK to do video editing, but then to be able to do it on a 15, it was much easier, especially using final cut express.

I loved the 12 inch screen on my iBook, but everything including daily tasks are alot easier with the 15. You give up a little portability but its not alot.

CrackedButter
Apr 26, 2004, 11:11 AM
I am in the process of buying a 12" PB as a desktop replacement, it'll be faster than my old AluBook and I know it will be good enough.

Gherkin
Apr 26, 2004, 05:00 PM
Well I went to Comp USA today. They had a 12" and a 15" sitting right next to each other, and I could not tell any difference between the two screens (brightness/sharpness-wise). It also seemed like the 15" was rather large, bigger than I expected.

So I've pretty much decided to go with the 12" PB. I mean if you are gonna get a laptop, might as well get the most portable. I'll still have my 15" Samsung 152t LCD flat panel to hook up to at home. Plus, the 12" right now has better specs than the 15" had just two weeks ago, so I think I'll be fine in the power department.

mactastic
Apr 26, 2004, 05:06 PM
+Hook up to 15" LCD when at home (two screens at once would be cool)

You'll only ever get one external monitor out of a laptop.

Gherkin
Apr 26, 2004, 05:14 PM
You'll only ever get one external monitor out of a laptop.

What I meant was "Laptop screen + External Monitor = 2 Screens to work with."

mactastic
Apr 26, 2004, 05:22 PM
What I meant was "Laptop screen + External Monitor = 2 Screens to work with."

Oh, ok. Just making sure you wern't having visions of a laptop with 2 23" CDs attached. ;)

Dual screen is wonderful.

tdhurst
Apr 26, 2004, 05:30 PM
You CAN hook up two external monitors to a powerbook that has a cardbus slot (yes, I know this rules out the 12"). It was on a thread a few months ago. It's basically a video card in card bus form. Could you imagine a 17" pbook with two 23" displays attached to it? WOW.

7on
Apr 26, 2004, 11:17 PM
or you could hook up a tv to the s-video out (yet again excludes the 12") and run a computer monitor and a TV from the powerbook. W00t!!!

chasingapple
Apr 27, 2004, 01:27 AM
Enjoy the Powerbook! When I go for a notebook, the 12" is the way im going ass well, right now I will have to suffer with my 17" ;)

tjwett
Apr 27, 2004, 11:44 AM
my Rev A 12" has served as my main machine for just under one year now. sadly, i feel like it is showing it's age already. i am saving up to purchase the next top of the line G5 and will keep this machine as my "personal" machine; web, email, paper work, etc. the G5 will be a studio machine only. if i was smart, i would sell my 12" PowerBook right now and use the money to buy a new iBook, which has already surpassed mine in specs, and still have a few hundred left over. but, i'm knot smart.

wPod
Apr 27, 2004, 12:18 PM
or you could hook up a tv to the s-video out (yet again excludes the 12") and run a computer monitor and a TV from the powerbook. W00t!!!

NOPE!! you can get an s-video to mini DVI adapter for the 12" . . . wait no, on second thought i have one of those, and it came with my 12" pb. . . yeah its cool. .. if you like the crap resolution of a tv monitor. i always use the vga adapter to an external monitor. it rocks! pus i get the portability of the 12"!!! as for the power im using a rev a. (867mhz) and i dont see that as being much different than the 1ghz (havent seen the 1.3s at the store yet) so i think the 1.3 will last a long time. (ive had mine for almost a year) and i better get 2 or 3 more years out of it.

7on
Apr 27, 2004, 12:41 PM
NOPE!! you can get an s-video to mini DVI adapter for the 12" . . . wait no, on second thought i have one of those, and it came with my 12" pb. . . yeah its cool. .. if you like the crap resolution of a tv monitor. i always use the vga adapter to an external monitor. it rocks! pus i get the portability of the 12"!!! as for the power im using a rev a. (867mhz) and i dont see that as being much different than the 1ghz (havent seen the 1.3s at the store yet) so i think the 1.3 will last a long time. (ive had mine for almost a year) and i better get 2 or 3 more years out of it.

I was referring to you can only use VGA/DVI/S-Video one at a time. larger pbs have a DVI an a separate port for s-video.

tdhurst
Apr 27, 2004, 12:49 PM
The only way to get TWO external monitors is the PMCIA card I mentioned earlier.

Flickta
Apr 27, 2004, 01:35 PM
I am a little worried that the 12" being slightly underpowered may make quite the difference 3 years down the road. I intend to keep this laptop for at least 4 years.

Are most of you that buy the 12" buying with the intention to upgrade earlier than every 4 or so years? Am I really going to see that much of a difference between the 1.33 GHz and 1.5 GHz processors 3 years from now?

3 years from now :D

1.33 Ghz = an average PDA speed
Well, anyway you'll have a hard time running GarageBand 2007. And iDVD 6 (or 7) won't run on your computer at all. And Quartz Ultra Extreme will demand 128 Megs of Video Ram minimum. And base install of Mac OS X.6 will require 10 Gigs of Hard Drive Space...

Buy a 12"PB now, play games (some) type and design, compose, draw... Forget about the future. It doesn't exist. It is today that counts. ;)

parrothead
Apr 27, 2004, 01:50 PM
What I meant was "Laptop screen + External Monitor = 2 Screens to work with."

Make sure you get the adaptor that allows the 12' to connect to external monitors

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 27, 2004, 02:57 PM
Make sure you get the adaptor that allows the 12' to connect to external monitors

My PB 12" 1ghz came with the mini DVI to VGA adapter.

I could not be happier with my 12" PB. Keep in mind the original Mac had i think a 9" screen.

IJ Reilly
Apr 27, 2004, 03:36 PM
I was forced to adopt my 12" PB as my primary desktop when my Cube went in for service a couple of weeks ago. I could have switched back to the Cube a week ago, but I haven't seen the need yet. Sure, the screen is small, but the keyboard is so much nicer. So I'm here to testify, you can get by with a 12" PB. And if you ever need to travel with it, well...