12" notebooks

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Tahko, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Tahko macrumors regular

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    #1
    Isn't it surprising, that every other computer company which offers 12" notebooks sells them at very expensive prices when compared to rest of their notebook line? Apple makes a terrific exception on the rule and surely explains why people in need of a handy carry-all-around-laptop pick apple more and more often.

    Just my thouhts, nothing important.
     
  2. otter-boy macrumors regular

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    #2
    Agreed

    While much of my decision to buy a 12" powerbook was that I was fed up with MS, I was glad to see that I could get a top of the line 12" with everything included for under $2000 easy. Most other companies that offer something at this size either cut the features to get the price down (use a super-slow proc or leave the CD/DVD, disk drives, etc in a dock which doubles the weight and cuts battery time in half) or they charge a lot of money for the small computer and still charge extra for useful RAM, hard disk, processor upgrades.

    I know the G4 is old-tech to some, but it seems to suit my computing needs just fine, especially b/c I can regularly get over 3hrs off of a charge even when using WiFi and BT. And it runs Photoshop very quickly for a laptop.
     
  3. NeoDevIL macrumors newbie

    NeoDevIL

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    #3
    Biggest problem is that most 12'' have intel graphics with shared memory, and that sucks!

    go go go gf5200 64MB :D :D
     
  4. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #4
    I picked the 12" mainly because of the price. If the 15" and 12" were the same price, I would've gone for the bigger screen. That being said, I love my power book! :D
     
  5. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Like others have said I love that Apple uses their top-end stuff even in their 12" instead of cutting performance to decrease size. Although some of the specs are not as awesome as the 15" it is still probably one of the best 12" computers available at this price. I hate how M$ portables have low-power 1.0-1.2 procs, and lower ram (same as Apple sadly :( ) and lower graphics especially.

    Although I prefer ATI to nVidia, a dedicated 64Mb card is pretty nice in a compact portable.
     
  6. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #6
    To be honest, most other 12" notebooks are superior to the 12" PB. All of the 12" PC notebooks I've seen are much lighter, use Pentium M processors (faster), and get much better battery life. They also have screens that put the PB to shame. That's why they cost more.

    I have a 12" PB, and my aunt just bought some Toshiba 12". I was very impressed with it. It totally blows my PB out of the water. The only thing the PB has which the Toshiba does not is DVI out, which I consider to be important, and something that should not be missing from a $2000 machine. But, like most ignorant PC users, she doesn't even know what that means and could care less.

    Point is, the 12" PB (and all the PB's) are dated, slow, heavy, and get very poor battery life.

    No, I am not a troll, I'm just stating the truth.
     
  7. Fredstar macrumors 6502a

    Fredstar

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    #7
    I agree, i am in the market for a 12" Powerbook. I could go second hand but they hold their value so well i might as well get a new one...
    Thing is Dell (sigh) do a quite nice 12" for the same price which is less than half the weight, although doesn't have dvi out or a dvd drive and has better battery life.
    While the Powerbook is 'good' as it has a ok gfx, full size keyboard and is quite compact there are so many better and more mobile machines and of course with much faster processors and much better screen, they are so dim. If Apple don't release a new G4 Powerbook, which they probs won't, they should drop the prices across the line.
     
  8. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Some of the arguements are valid for a 12" and I fully agree (increased battery life mainly, better performance is hard to guage on XP vs OSX) but the screen arguement is where I draw the line personally. I hate how PC 12" laptops have 1280x1024 or higher! Can anyone effectively see that? Do you type a document in word at 200% or what? With Expose fully functioning and effectively adding double or more...hard to even put a value to it....screenspace, how can you argue more pixels in a smaller area is better?
    I also don't think the 12"PB is too heavy, it feels like it should to be made of quality. The reason the 12"PC ones are so light is because they use plastic, and cheap plastic to boot. Worthless construction and build quality, save for a few exceptions.
     
  9. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #9
    My issue is not with the resolution. I agree that 1024x768 is the largest easily viewable resolution on a 12" screen. I'm talking actual screen quality. Apple's laptop screens are very dim and poorly saturated compared to almost any other companies' laptop screens I've seen. I'm embarrased when I pull out my PB in the presence of other laptop users. Even my dad's 15" PB (brand new) is not very impressive, although it is better than the 12"s screen.

    As far as weight, I agree that making the computer out of metal is nice, but Apple really has to do something differently. I don't have the answer, but there must be a way to engineer a quality laptop that is light while still being affordable. While I don't like plastic, for a very small portable such as the 12" PB, I wouldn't mind if it meant half the current weight. The 12" is aimed at ultra-portability (in respect to the rest of the PB lineup), so I think whatever weight savings measures are required would be appropriate.
     
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #10
    mopar, I notice in your sig that you have a 1Ghz 12". I just think I should point out that the screens on the rev. C and D 12" PBs are brighter and sharper than they were on the rev. A and B, when they used the same screens as the ibooks.
     
  11. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #11
    Yeah, I know the newer screens are better. But, having seen them in person several times, I am still dissapointed. Go take a look at Sony's Xbrite screens, or the screens on HP's or Toshiba's. You'll see that the difference in quality is amazing.

    I'm not totally ragging on the PB. I know it offers many features others don't, as the aforementioned graphics card and DVI. But, these are not excuses for the absence of better technologies, ones which seem to be included on many PC laptops.

    Aside from incremental processor upgrades, nothing has really changed in the PowerBook lineup since the introduction of the AlBooks back in January 2003. I guess I'm just frustrated since Apple seems to have done nothing for two and half years. I understand speed is Moto's fault, and I don't necessarily blame Apple. But, instead of letting the PB line stagnate for over two years, they could have spiced things up with a few nice features, if for no other reason, to keep in line with the rest of the industry.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    XBrite screens are reflective, right? Sorry, maybe I'm getting screen tech terminology mixed up again, but the XBrite, or its equivalent, provides a brighter screen that just happens to be reflective as well, meaning you'll see your head's reflection on the screen if a light source is behind you.

    But generally, I agree with you about the screen. However, they don't need to use XBrite. They just need better screens.

    So a higher priced notebook has better specs? Whoa!

    And I don't think the 12" PBs are in any way poor in comparison with the competition. Battery life in similar 12" notebooks isn't really much better (or they're not better at all!) than the 12" PBs. I have the same 12" PB as you, and the battery that came with our PB isn't as good as the battery in the newer models. 4 hours of battery life is competitive.

    The only reference I have with 12" laptops are the Dell widescreen one (700m, I think?), and the Toshiba 12". Neither of them are better than the PB, and they both cost more. Its just that the competition finally followed Apple's route and offered a NORMAL 12" laptop with all the features intact. Its not that Apple's 12" is bad.

    Weight isn't an issue. The thing is light. Its not light when compared to the plastic Dells, but hey, I didn't BUY a plastic Dell. Its that 0.3 lbs isn't a big deal for anyone over 8 years of age and has 2 working arms.

    The only thing you're right about, IMO, is the screen. It has to be better. I'd also like it to be widescreen.

    A better resolution would be an idiotic idea, but widescreen would solve a lot of my problems. That, or make it a 13.3".
     
  13. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #13
    Abstract, yes, the screens I'm talking about are the reflective ones. While I understand their drawbacks, they look very impressive, as good as desktop LCDs IMO. I suppose the finish (reflective vs. matte) is really a subjective choice.

    My remark about the competition costing more, while offering superior features, was in response to a statement by the OP. Basically, I'm saying you get what you pay for. I think it's great that Apple's PB's are cheaper, and per my argument, that's the way it should be.

    My argument about weight basically stems from my experiences with my aunt's Toshiba laptop I referenced earlier in this thread. I've tried to find it online, but it's a Japanese-only model (Toshiba Dynabook, she bought it in Japan two months ago). Regardless, it weighs little over three pounds. While it is plastic, it is very solid and feels like a very high quality computer. The top lid is aluminum. I suppose the point of my weight argument is that the smallest, hence "most portable" laptop should be ridiculously light. I'm not expecting a four pound 15" laptop, but I don't think a three pound 12" laptop is unreasonable.

    As far as battery life, I understand our PB's are getting very poor battery life now, because of age and probably some sort of defect with the rev. B's. Even when my PB was brand new, I'd only get about three and a half hours of battery life when actually "working" on the machine. I could get a little over four hours if I had the screen turned down all the way and was only listening to music. While acceptable, I think Apple could do better (and they do, with the iBooks). I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a standard higher capacity battery.

    While I have heavily criticized the PowerBooks in this thread, I still think they are great machines. But, they are not cutting edge. I don't mean from a speed perspective, but from an overall package point of view. Apple was the first company to offer a truly mobile computer. Throughout the years, their designs and features in the mobile segment have set the course of the industry. Where is Apple now? I think my frustrations center around the fact that Apple has been asleep at the wheel. Good looks only go so far.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    Just a note: Apple changed the 12" PBs battery from a 4200 mAh capacity battery to a 4800 mAh battery, I think. That's why rev C and D 12" PBs last longer on battery life.

    Also, I don't think the Toshiba is THAT nice, although it is noticeably lighter than the PB. However, you need to think about where they're shedding the weight from. Surely they don't have magical hard-drives that weigh less than the rest of the industry. Surely their motherboards aren't too much lighter. Nor are their DVD/CD drives. Their CPU? LCD panel? Battery? They're shedding weight not just from the exterior panels, but probably from the frame. I'd rather have the weight of my 12" PB if that's the way it's going to be.
     
  15. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #15
    The whole discussion of which pc lappie is better than the PowerBook is moot because at the end of the day you're talking windows versus OS X and there really is no comparison.

    That's my argument anyway :D
     
  16. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #16
    What problems would widescreen solve? and the comment of "that, or make it a 13.3" ", isn't that widescreen? (so basically I just don't understanding the wording there I guess.

    I see your point about 'lower' quality screens however I find it null and personally quite void. I do not see the PB screens as being of a lower quality at all, rather the PC screens are marketed to have you think and feel they are better. I have been to BB or CC to look at recent notebook offerings and I find all of the new x-brite/hp whatever/etc etc screens to be quite hideous and unusable with certain (common daily) lighting conditions. I HATE have reflections on my screen, and to me that is far worse a crime than a slightly less bright screen. I can comfortably use my screen on the very lowest setting in low-light, and even during sunny days (indoors with windows open letting light in) I still can comfortably view at only 4 or 5 bars, less than half still.
    I have only once turned my screen ALL the way up, and that was simply to see how high it would go. I found it to be far to bright and unusable at that setting solely because everything was too profoundly 'highlighted'.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    Sorry, sometimes I forget to check my grammar before I hit post, so the wording in my posts do lead to confusion and/or misunderstanding.

    What I meant was that widescreen would allow me to view more on my desktop, as the resolution is inherently a bit higher. Also, I'd like a higher resolution in order to fit more on my desktop, which means having 2 documents (eg: a Word doc and a PDF) side by side. Having a widescreen would allow me to have 2 docs side by side, but not make all the writing on the screen too small, as this would be the case if they simply cranked up the resolution on the current 12", which is a bad idea.

    The 13.3" Sony lappie has a larger screen (duh!), and yet still appears to be around the same size as my 12" PB, so you could probably increase the resolution on that larger screen and still have all the text readable.

    So the solution is to either give me a widescreen (ie: like the Dell 12"), or give me a 12" screen with a higher resolution (something I DON'T want), or increase the size to 13.3" and give me higher resolution, since that 13.3" has an inherently higher res anyway.
     
  18. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Gotcha. Personally I prefer the standard appearnce that a classic 12" layout produces. I have seen the Sony offerings of 13.3" and they are alright, however I prefer the more classic appearance of the more square standard 12. I guess they cannot keep everyone happy, but oh well.

    If you wanted two documents side by side, you either get an external monitor or a 15" PB. I realize it would be nice to have all features in all products, but personally I prefer the 12 and the fact that it can *only* have one app at full-size doesn't bother me with the features of Expose at my control.
     

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