12" PowerBook G4 queries

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Samberino, May 29, 2004.

  1. Samberino macrumors newbie

    Samberino

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    #1
    hi all,

    i am a self confessed apple/mac lover for the past 2 years and an unfortunate pc user for as long as i can remember. i have been meaning to make the switch a while back but haven't coz of financial reasons. i absolutely love everything about apple (hardware, software, os interface, and everything that goes behind what the company itself stands for). i cant tell you how disgusted i am using my pc. i visit the apple website everyday religiously and macrumors.com even more than that.

    finally now i am in a position to make the switch and have been meaning to buy the 12" powerbook G4 (it looks way to sleek to b legal)- want to get the 12" model with the combo drive, 1.33 GHz G4 processor, 768 MB of RAM(do you reckon that will be enough). i have used mac os x (jaguar & panther) in my aunt's office on their dual ppc 1 GHz G4 (1 GB RAM) mac and so know what to expect by making the switch from pc to mac. i do have a few minor concerns tho (yes, more powerbook queries, sorry guys), which i would like to share with your'll hoping perhaps you'all could put my mind at ease.

    1.) hard drive: would opting for the 80 GB 5400 RPM hard drive over the 60 GB 4200 RPM hard drive make a noticable difference to me (other than the obvious difference in capacity and spin speed). i mean will i be able to actually make out the difference in speed as an average user (internet, word processing, some games perhaps, a bit of website designing; oh and i would like to use virtual pc 7 with windows xp professional when its out and available). also how badly will that affect the battery?

    2.) virtual pc 7: would like to have virtual pc 7 as i mentioned running windows xp professional. from what i have read it will have native graphics support which is great to hear and that means that i couldnt be making the switch at a better or more exciting time. want to know if using virtual pc/win xp is the same as using xp on a regular pc. as in terms of updating windows via the windows update website, applying patches, anti-virus software etc. besides gaming can i use virtual pc as i would a normal pc. is it possible for me to use an norton anti-virus on virtual pc for win xp and norton anti-virus for the mac on OS X?

    3.) screen: last but not least, the screen. 12". what do you guys think. i know it means ultra portability and i like small, sleek and minimalistic and knowing i can take it just about anywhere and everywhere (tho i am not that likely to be moving around alot with it, so i guess you could say its going to be my desktop replacement). i have had a look at pc laptops with 12" screens so i can get an idea of the actual size, but i just cant visualize OS X on it for some reason and so therefore hard to imagine how it will be for me to use.

    as apple is **** expensive here (in Dubai, in the UAE - United Arab Emirates, middle east), only large graphic designing companies use macs and its virtually unheard of for an average home user to be using a mac (i aim to be the first :). so was planning on buying the powerbook online from the apple store and as its only shipped within the US having it delivered to my friends place in D.C. and he would then ship it to me. it would still fall cheaper that way then buying it outright from here.

    either way i love apple and am just crazy bout the powerbooks (and iBooks, iMacs, Power PCs, the whole line up to be honest). thanking you guys in advance.

    from a future powerbook owner.
     
  2. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502

    thirteen1031

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #2
    The one message I can give you about the 12": don't be scared of the 12" screen!

    I'm saying this because there will be people who will shout, "get the 15"! The 12" is too small!" and they'll make you panic. Don't. Because what they're saying is not necessarily true. What they're saying is, "The 12" was too small for me." We 12" lovers (and there are a lot of us) have no problem with the screen. It's sharp and clear and beautiful. I wouldn't trade in my 12" for a 15" if you paid me.

    As for OS X, it's PERFECTLY suited for the small screen because it has Expose. The other day I had something like six windows up, cluttering the little screen. A touch of a key and they all shrunk and flew apart so I was able to find what I wanted. Easy.

    Regarding home use as a desktop: just can plug the 12" into a larger monitor at home. Time to go? Unplug your little 12", slip it into a nice padded bag and off you go. You say, by the way, that you're not going to be moving around a lot with it, but once you have one of these 12" powerbooks, you start taking it everywhere. Where before you thought, "I can't go out, I have to stay here and finish this...." you now think, "I can finish this over coffee or while eating lunch at a café or in the backyard or resting in bed or at my friend's house...." A portable computer is a whole different mindset. :D

    One note: If you're buying a U.S. computer, check that the wall plug is compatable. You may need a cheap adapter, but only to plug the computer into the wall. Everything else will be fine. Also take a look at the U.S. keyboard. European computers have different keyboards than the U.S.--not radically different, just a few side keys with different symbols or shapes. So if you've been using a European keyboard up till now you may find the U.S. keyboard a little different. Only a little. Then again, I don't know what kind of keyboard or outlets are used where you are, so neither of these might be an issue.

    The 12" is so protable, so light, so charming and so beautiful a machine, you are going to LOVE it. Do not let the size of the screen make you hesitate. If you're really worried, try to get a look at both 12" and the 15" close up. But if you can't, don't fret, you will be more than satisfied and you will have no regrets. Promise.
     
  3. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    I would hold on the RAM and buy a 512 MB stick from Crucial, and get the 80 GB 5400 RPM hard drive. You should notice better performance, especially with gaming and web design. I don't think it will affect the battery. Actually, because the 4200 RPM battery has to spin more to obtain the files from the HD, you might get better battery life with the 5400 RPM. I think some tests showed that on www.barefeats.com, but I might be thinking of something else.

    You can run pretty much every app for a PC w/ VPC7, but its speed (nor native graphics support) is guaranteed to be fast. You might want to expect an 800 MHZ PC at best :(, but it really depends on how VPC7 is architectured. It would run faster on your aunt's computer, because it has dual processors and more RAM.

    I think a 12" inch screen shouldn't be too bad on OS X. With Windows, the Start menu is a really obtrusive thing, and you can expand it infinitely just to access one single program. The dock on OS X is much neater and cleaner, and you can't expand it (to my knowledge)--and that is a really good thing. That way you aren't forced to browse through readmes and uninstall .exes when you want to open Call of Duty or Adobe Photoshop.

    Congratulations on your choice! I wish I could get a Mac sooner :(
     
  4. Samberino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Samberino

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    #4
    Thankx

    hi guys,

    thankx alot for your help. i am even more sure now of what i want (and that ofcourse if the 12" PowerBook *DROOL*). i can hardly wait. have decided to pick up the additional ram from crucial and i suppose it should be relatively easy to install in the powerbook right? am not worried about the keyboard on the powerBook as US layout keyboards here are the standard and am currently using a microsoft natural elite keyboard. will pick up adapters here tho for the powerbook, so thats not a problem.

    thankx once again.
     
  5. netytan macrumors 6502

    netytan

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    #5
    Personally i don't think theres a huge difference between the 12" powerbook and the iBooks - if i had to go for either then the price difference says it all for me.

    Save yourself some money and max out an Ibook's RAM and get up the HD size etc. Don't hate me for this, thats just my too cent. I'm a huge Powerbook fan but if you want a powerbook, be smart and get the 15" model! You'll thank me in the long run :).

    Mark.
     
  6. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502

    thirteen1031

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #6
    There is perhaps not a "huge" difference between the current 12" ibook and 12" powerbook, but there are differences. (1) superior video card and (2) keyboard just to name two. Also the powerbook price includes airport. And the powerbook is still more expandable, and will have a better resale value than an iBook.

    It really depends on what he likes (aluminum vs. white plastic) and wants to do. What decided me on Powerbook, beyond it's sleek, beautiful looks, was the keyboard. The iBook keyboard cannot even come close to the responsivness of the powerbook keyboard. Take it from a touch typist and a writer. The powerbook keyboard is a whole different experience.

    As for 12" vs. 15" powerbook...you're assuming he can afford a 15". But even if he can, well, once again, I wouldn't exchange a 12" for a 15" powerbook if you paid me. Portable as the 15" is, it's not nearly so portable as the 12". I've no problem sacrificing an extra 3" of screen size in order to lose a pound of weight--and be able to fit my little computer on airline tray tables, tiny Starbuck's coffee tables, and undersized school desks. The less weight I have to carry, the smaller the backpack I have to haul around, the better, so far as I'm concerned.

    Put it another way, I would NOT thank you in the short or long run if you'd talked me into buying a 15" powerbook rather than a 12" powerbook. I, frankly, would resent you for talking me into getting something that, to me, was cumbersome and more than I needed or wanted. Now perhaps Samberino feels different. Perhaps he would go for the 15" if he had the money. But perhaps not. My point: there are plenty of us 12" powerbook users who chose the 12" powerbook, love the 12" powerbook, are completely satisfied with the 12" powerbook and never considered nor would consider either a cheaper iBook or a bigger 15" powerbook. It's a wonderful, wonderful little machine.
     
  7. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    The 12" PowerBook is a thing of beauty. Put it next to an iBook and I know which one I'd choose - it's in a completely different league (not that I don't like the iBooks mind ;) ).

    I love my 1GHz PB and the new ones are much better with more video RAM, AirPort Extreme built in, not to mention much faster processor, etc. Get the 80GB 5200RPM and it'll fly. That is definitely something to do. Get crucial.com RAM (later if necessary) and you'll be sorted. That's all you need.

    This machine is beautiful. There will be some who swear by their 15" screens, but this laptop is small, the nicest looking laptop in the world, light, functional (more than in fact), fast, fun, and will be having everyone who sees it drooling over it. It's also lovely and scratch-resistant and, despite what others might say, very well made and built. (You'll always hear from people with horror stories but don't let a few or may have problems put you off).

    Go get.
     
  8. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    #8
    Just because this Johnny bloke has said everything that I was going to say doesn't mean I won't say it. Humph :rolleyes:

    I have a 1.33GHz 12" with 768MB RAM (a Crucial Upgrade) and the fast hard drive - it is probably the nicest computer I've ever had - Buy One!
     
  9. Samberino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Samberino

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    #9
    well guys, have done endless research and many a sleepless night debating over a 14" iBook G4 or a 12" PowerBook G4, for a long time and so its say to say i have done my homework when considering which laptop to get and the PowerBook wins hands down, for a number of reasons: lets go with the obvious: sleek looks, faster processor, double the amount of VRAM, DVI-out (or mini-DVI out at least, but it still runs on a pure digital signal), built-in bluetooth, APX.

    and tho i am not exactly going to be carrying it around with me everywhere, the portability factor is turn on and just knowing that i could take it just about anywhere and everwhere if i so wished, is a plus point.

    while i get what your saying about the iBook being a decent machine as well, and tho i am not going to be doing any hardcore, graphic intense work on my new mac, its nice to know that i can should i need to throw something its way; as well as extend its life, by having a higher spec'd machine. plus i would like to use VPC 7 when its out and am sure it will require alot of processing power and faster ram as well.

    i beleive the keyboards on the powerBooks are far superior as well when compared with the iBook. matter of fact having read many a review for the powerBooks, it has been said by many, that the PB keyboards are the best keyboards they have come across on any laptop (PC or MAC).

    and for the price, well, i cant afford a 15" PB, and even if i could, i am not too sure really if would go ahead and buy it. not saying i wouldnt, just saying i am not sure. there is just something about the 12" PB, that i wish i could put in words.

    one more question, powerbooks in the US with either the combo or super-drive: will they be allowed to watch DVDs just from region 1 which is the US. i currently have a philips DVD-ROM kit on my pc, using a hardware mpreg 2 decoding card and a philips DVD-ROM drive, and can change the region on it up to 6 times, depending on which DVD i want to watch or rather which region its from (as i get both US and European region DVDs).

    thankx once again.



    bullGod: Samberino
    KoS

    (..its a satanic drug thing; you wouldn't understand!!)
     
  10. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    A US PowerBook will be set to watch region 1 films. But you can change the region up to about 5 times. I'm not sure if it's actually a small chip or whether it's done in software. If so, you may be able to download a different DVD player for your Mac to run multi-region DVDs. I like Apple's DVD player software though.

    About 14" iBook vs 12" PowerBook: I personally would go with the PowerBook as the 14" iBook doesn't look half as nice as even the 12" iBook let alone the 12" PowerBook and is bigger, heavier and bulkier for no real benefit. Although the screen is bigger, you just get slightly bigger pixels but the same resolution. And the 12" PowerBooks have mini-DVI which is pure digital for display spanning (and don't require a hack to enable proper dual display) - all the adaptors (apart from one for the TV which is sold separately) are included in the box.
     
  11. kelvinz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    #11
    I hear 12" PB's and 12" ibook share the same screen. Is this true?
     
  12. netytan macrumors 6502

    netytan

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    #12
    Each to there own of course though i have a hard time believing that 3" extra (if that) makes such a massive impact on portability :). I may be mistaken of course.

    But it may be worth mentioning that the 12" PowerBook is no more extensable than the Ibook in the fact that they can both only support 1.25GB RAM etc. Have nearly the same I/O. The 15" on the other had can support 2GB of RAM, has a faster ethanet card and empty PC card slot. Look at the spec's; well worth the money, or more so compared to the 12" model. This is where i think the PowerBooks shine IMO :).

    There doesn't seem to be a huge difference in it for me, and i'd much rather max out the ram and get all addons (BTO and APX) for less than pay much more for a few improvments, most of which are unnoticable anyway :). I'm a 15" man what can i say ;).

    As for the 12", ill take the Ibook every time and not complain one bit, best price this year :D. Though if i had the money i'd head right for the 15" PowerBook.

    Just my point of view guys dont hang me,

    Mark.
     

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