12" or 15" PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jknight8907, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #1
    I'm going to be getting a PowerBook for travelling with :D but I can't decide between the 12 and 15. I like the extreme portability of the 12, but I wonder if I will need the extra real estate of the 15. I do web design and games mostly, and at home I will be able to hook up to an external montor. What do you think I should get?
     
  2. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #2
    Also, I would have to justify the extra for the 15, so I need good reasons.

    Thanks
     
  3. sgtlmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #3
    I was in a similar quandry not too long ago.

    I just "switched" a couple of months ago (has it been that long already?) to a 12"PB and couldn't be happier. I was used to a 17" LCD on my PC, and the PB screen is so crisp that I don't feel like I'm missing out.

    Besides, if I want more room, I just hook the 17" Planar up to the PB via the mini DVI and span the screens. Very cool, but I just don't do it that often because the 12"PB screen is just that good!

    Your keyword is travelling. Go with the 12" for that definitely. I also bought a Booq bag which holds everything nicely and is as slick as owl shiznit.
     
  4. StrangeQuark macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    I am another proud Powerbook 12" owner. Exposé makes dealing with multiple windows a breeze, so for that application I do not want for extra screen real estate. The portability is lovely. I played with all three models in an Apple Store before deciding, and found the 15" to be too bulky for my tastes. My 12" is light enough to toss in a backpack and not notice the additional weight. It's also small enough to hold in one hand while typing with the other. In the week I've had it, I've taken it with me almost everywhere. Add to that the fact that you have an external monitor, get the 12", you won't be disappointed.
     
  5. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #5
    I love my 12" AlBook. Portability is the key word!

    If you are really going to be out and about that much, every pound and every sqare inch makes a difference.

    Use your savings to help pay for the 5400 RPM drive, a nice 17" CRT, and a bunch of RAM for gaming!
     
  6. iKwak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #6
    Invest on a 15" inch notebook. You won't regret it.
     
  7. pxlshftr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    #7
    I was in the same predicament only 2 weeks ago. I finally decided on the 12 inch and i couldn't be happier. The 15 inch used to look good to me, but after carrying around and using my 12 inch pb for a couple weeks, everytime i look at the 15 inch at the store i work at, i feel like i weigh 100 pounds heavier. The 12 inch is so nice and compact, and soooooo much cheaper, that you wont go back to a 15 inch. Expose really helps out dealing with the smallish screen, so don't worry about that. As far as power is concerned, i'd take the money saved on the 12 inch and at least invest in 256 more megs of ram, you'll notice the difference.

    If gaming is important to you though, i have to let you know, the 12 inch runs games horribly. I can't compare to the 15 inch, i don't know how well games run on that, but on the 12 inch, nothing new runs well on it. I've tested America's Army and Command and Conquer Generals. Based on the performance of those, i do'nt even want to try any other games. Gaming aside, the computer runs everything nice and fast. Some of the things i regularly use it for include websurfing, email, Microsoft Office 2004 (which is great btw), some light photoshopping watching movies (dvd and *.avi) and light programming. I'm as happy as anyone with my 12 incher, its GREAT. You will not regret it.
     
  8. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    #8
    Don't diss the 15"

    Seems this is a 12" love-in, so I guess I should play Devil's advocate.

    Don't get me wrong - I owned two 12"s and loved them too - but as far as portability goes the 15" is extremely roadworthy. It may feel more like carrying a folder than a novel, but for the power and screen space it packs, it is remarkably compact.

    And that being the point - compared to the 12", the desktop is luxurious. You can actually pages/windows side by side rather than cramming it all in. And if you're a fan of having all your apps conveniently located, it allows you to have a much bigger (longer/larger) dock (yes, that's dOck :p). Power-wise, whilst the 12" has improved substantially in this third revision, the 15" now holds the mantle of Apple's most powerful processor. If as much power as possible is important to you, then the 5400 hard drive combined with the 128 VRAM and the 1.5Ghz processor (and nearly double the expandible RAM of the 12") sets it right apart from the 12". It also has a PCMCIA slot (which may not be of as much use nowadays, but who knows) and FW800 (which definitely will be), and the awesome backlit keyboard. Having said that, I hate to say I barely use this machine to its limits. But at least when I do, it will totally rip.

    Another improtant factor is the battery life - the rev C 12" seems pretty good, getting 4 to 4.5 hours for many people. Since I received my 15" I have had XCharge on continuously, and have put a decent power management strategy in place (screen brightness lower for better lit areas, display and hard drive sleeps within 3 and 5 minutes, bluetooth off but Airport on) that gives me 3.5 hours regularly. I find this is more than enough for me, and even if it weren't, the extra hour would probably not make that much difference - others may find they need to squeeze every minute they can out of the battery, so that's somethign else to consider (though you could simply buy a spare).

    But that's just me - given your circumstances (since you feel that you need to justify the 15" to yourself), you should probably just get the 12". The danger is you may pine for the 15" anyway, so have a long hard think about whether you can afford it and whether the usability advantages of it outweigh the small portability advantage of the 12".

    I tell you, it's a tough dilemma - no right choice, just the right choice for you (if there's even that!).

    Good luck - let us know how you go.
     
  9. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #9
    Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it. I guess I will get the 12", I agree with what you all said about it. Also, I can't really justify spending that much more for just some more screen room, since I've got an external monitor.
     
  10. netytan macrumors 6502

    netytan

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    #10
    If you can afford it and go for the upper teir 15" model since you get a lot more than you would in the basic 12" model. For instance a faster CPU and better graphics card.

    As a gamer you're really going to love that one. You also get the GB Ethernet, which means you can enjoy all the speed of the fastest networks; always useful for LAN parties.

    Add to that you're getting much more in the way of Vidio out capabilites, a very powerful piece of tech. and Apple will though in a sweet backlit keyboard and sensors to ajust screen brightness for you :cool:. And finally, your getting double the RAM. Just goes to show that you only get what you pay for! And the 15" PowerBook is a bargan when you consider everything Apple have packed into such a small case.

    If your going to go for the 12" the you'd be better off with the IBook and saving yourelf a lot of money IMO. Just make sure you consider all the angles before you reach for the plastic and you wont regret it :).

    Mark.
     
  11. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #11
    Well, I won't ever go for the iBook because it is a total step in the wrong direction. Not good graphics, slow processor, plastic, etc. I wish i could get double the RAM [2 gigs] but that would be way too expensive.

    Thanks for the opinions.
     
  12. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #12
    Take the 12"

    I got the 12" because I am in New York and I know I have to keep my things "mobile" because of my work. I rather go to a clients with the 12" sometimes if we really have to take a look at something.

    I'm editing in Final Cut Pro and After Effects full resolution.

    The reason why I took the 12" was because I have 2 G3 Pismo Powerbooks as well and those are 14" screen and you can tell the difference... when traveling. A 15" would be something to worry about in my bagpack.

    The 12" fits in my folder as a regular book.

    I got the 1Ghz version with 32MB of Video Ram and I got the 20" Cinema Display + the wireless mouse and keyboard. I do not recomend you the wireless M&K but the rest works just fine. I have an extra external 160 GB Hard Drive.

    Go for the 12" with the super drive. Get the extra ram memory from Crusial to save big money.

    Now, the 12" may be slow because Apple is using "state of the crap" internal hard drives, that makes everything running so slow. I may change mine some day.

    Now, the 15" is good, you can even get a PCMCI card for extra 32 MB of Video ram and you can hook up 2 20" cinema displays, one from the card and another one from the built in video output. That way you can have up to 3 screens with full video ram if you want. That set up would be good for some state of the art video editor or something like that.

    Any way, those are my 2 cents.
     

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  13. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #13
    Looks like I'm in the same boat as you with the portability issue. I can't afford the upper-level 15" so I was thinking this:

    12", 1.33GHZ
    768mb ram, 256 from apple and 512 for $100 online
    5400rpm drive
    Combo drive since I don't burn DVDs and Super slows down the cd burning

    How's that sound?

    BTW, nice setup with the 23" monitor. Thats next on the list.
     
  14. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #14
    Well, it looks to me like you have one great machine in mind. I have that exact machine (and as a matter of fact, i am typing on it right now). It is truly awesome. You will enjoy it, guaranteed.
     
  15. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
  16. budaapple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Ill.
    #16
    12" all the way

    I used to travel quite abit and I always noticed that everyone that wanted to watch a movie or work on their larger laptop had to slouch. The way plane seats are now if the person in front of you puts his seat all the way back and you have a large screen it is hard to view what is going let alone do some work. Not a problem with my 12" PB.
     

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