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Old Dec 1, 2004, 05:52 PM   #1
abrooks
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Northamptonshire, UK
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Powerbook 15" Review

Powerbook Review

Iíve owned my new Powerbook 15Ē for around 3 months now, I think itís a little short of that but no need to be precise. I will be breaking the traditions of a standard review by putting my negative views first, thus anyone reading the review will finish on a good note.

And finally, Enjoy.

Negative Views
Fortunately my Powerbook has given me very little quibbles and has generally gave a very good impression, first of all the usual complaint, it gets a little too hot for comfort and by that I mean the comfort of my legs, work these things hard and they get really hot! Moving on from that which I consider very insignificant, the standard RAM of 256mb was a little less than I would have liked to see for the price and as we all know buying memory from Apple is hard on the credit cards but a simple purchase from Crucial managed to get me a nice 1GB. Lastly on negative points, the price, I think it could be a little bit lower for what your getting its difficult to justify the price but Iím not complaining!

The Packaging
In usual Apple fashion the packaging is impressive, the box was sturdy on the long traipse home and it has a little handle although I didnít take the risk and use it. On opening it is clear that this has been design well and everything is neatly arranged for convenience and protection. I must note that it comes with a polystyrene keyboard cover; I think this is worth keeping for future use.

The Powerbook
Now weíre onto the good stuff, too be a little more exact on my specs I bought it on 80GB 5200 rpm hard drive, 256mb RAM, and itís the 1.33Ghz model, unfortunately I opted out of having a backlit keyboard. After a few days I decided it needed more memory for what I wanted to do with it so I purchased two 512mb sticks from Crucial.
The main use for my Powerbook is graphics and print, so I use the standard programs, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, usually all running at the same time, the Powerbook performs very well and isnít sluggish at all although the rendering of large InDesign documents can be a little slow. Along with those programs iChat and Adium are always running and I have never experienced a problem with any of them.
Boot up times are quick, and just for the record it is yet to Kernel panic on me and I have never had to force quit and application, but the Finder has crashed a few times but this seems to be a problem with Illustrator saving into an open folder.
I know a few issues that I wanted covered when I was looking to purchase so Iím going to try and cover them now, firstly the battery, I personally believe that the battery in my Powerbook is very good and with Airport on, brightness full, Bluetooth off and running iChat, iTunes, Safari and Adium I can easily get 3.5 hours out of it and even run over the 4 hour mark. Things that are a little more processor intensive can severely knock the battery life but it has never been an inconvenience to me and I do travel around a lot and use my Powerbook.
Wireless signal, I use my wireless connection almost all the time and on a second note at home my wireless base station is an Airport Express, I heard rumour that the signal in the PowerBooks was quite poor but I find it to be the exact opposite, it is absolutely excellent and through several walls I can easily have full or close to full signal from my Airport Express.
Other little niggles, I read about it being a G4 processor, I purchased my Powerbook being confident that a G5 Powerbook is a long way off and any revision would be in January 2005 and that didnít bother me, I also know that Tiger will run well on my system.
In terms of size and weight I cannot commend Apple enough on this one, it is truly amazing how thin my 15Ē Powerbook is and the screen size is perfect although I will be purchasing an external monitor to help with those large graphics and more important work colour wise.

Conclusion
This was easily the best computer I have ever owned and certainly best Mac, if you are a design, musician or general computer use I highly recommend this too you, it performs well and with enough RAM can churn through almost anything you throw at it.
Well Iíve finished this review in record time and its quite late so Iím sure Iíve missed a large amount of stuff out, if you are looking to purchase I hope this review has been helpful if you need to know anything else I will happily add to the review, send me a note or mail me at abrooks@spymac.com. Finally thank you very much and good day to you all.
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