12" powerbook or ibook??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Nybombers142, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Nybombers142 macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2004
    #1
    I'm torn between buying an iBook or a powerbook. I'm taking it to school so i only need it for net, papers, and a little gaming (Civ 3, mabey Sim City 4) i LOVE how the PB looks :cool: and I know 2 months down the line i wont care about spending an extra $300 for one. But are there any other drawbacks? Can a PB take a beating as good as an iBook? Will i have to "baby" it? And how about boot times? I hate waiting for computers to boot up! By the way, im ALSO a ex-windork, glad to FINALLY make the switch.
     
  2. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #2
    PBs will go G5 this year we think, so a G4 PB will quickly fall in value if thats an issue.

    iBooks are unlikely to get a radical overhaul for sometime so if you buy whats around now the next release isn't likely to make you regret your decision...at least thats what I guess.

    iBook should do everything you mention...I don't see anything that demands a PB...use the extra money to max out the ram to 640, get bluetooth etc.

    I hear iBooks are a bit tougher, more resistant to scratches and knocks, and definetly cooler in operation.

    The 933 is regarded as the best of the bunch, the 1Ghz is a bit pricey for a small performance improvement.

    A PB will of course be faster and has things like Screen Spanning, a very cool feature that allows you to add a monitor and use both as though they were one desktop environment. There's a "hack" for the ibook to do this but its at your own risk... This is one of the main reasons I immediately held off on the iBook, plus the slow bus.

    In the end get what you desire most and can afford.
     
  3. Phillip macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2003
    #3
    right now, if u need a mac notebook 12", it would be the ibook 12". the $1000 (i live in oz) is too much for the extra stuff imo. so unit apple released the g5 pb 12" i wouldn't buy a g4 powerbook

    just my 2c...
     
  4. Zaty macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2004
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    Switzerland
    #4
    Get the PowerBook!

    If you can afford the PowerBook, forget about the iBook. You said you would use it for gaming; the extra 20% raw cpu speed as well as the bigger L2 cache will improve the performance of any current game title. Secondly, the iBook is, performance wise, at the bottom end of the entire product line. Everyone looking into buying a new computer should consider that it can only be a good investment if the new machine is capable of serving you well in the years to come. I seriously doubt that the iBook is a good investment for that matter. It's a great value, yes, but you get what you pay for, therefore, once again, go for the PB, not mention all the extra features such as mini-DVI monitor spanning, twice as much onboard RAM, built-in Bluetooth, better keyboard!

    Edit: As for which laptop can take the beat better, definitely the iBook 'cause it was engineered for students who don't take as much care as a professional user. But you don't have to be more cautious with your PowerBook than with any other laptop, just keep in mind that it has an aluminium case and can therefore dent.

    Boot time: Depending on what kind of Windows machine you are using, the PowerBook might take a bit longer to boot than a Windows machine but the wait is absolutely worthwhile as MacOS X is so much better than Windows. (I’m a recent switcher, too) Just make sure you install the 10.3.3 update, it will decrease your booting time significantly.
     
  5. lasuther macrumors 6502a

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    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #5
    If the extra money doesn't matter, get the PowerBook. For me, the extra money did matter. That $300 went to RAM, case, headphones, AirPort Extreme, and other small stuff.

    lasuther
     
  6. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #6
    get the PB. . . i am a student and have had both (well the older G3 iBook) and they both stand up to day-to-day abuse pretty well. the PB seems a little stronger b/c of the al instead of plastic (the plastic always seemed 'cheap' to me)

    . . . as for boot time. . . unlike haveing to re-boot a peecee every 10 min or so, you dont need to re-boot a mac. . . just shut the lid and it will be asleep. my average uptime for a mac is about 14 days (with NO re-booting!!!) and the only reason i ever re-boot is for the latest software update. . . if you skip the update (like i do on my older iBook) i have had uptimes as much as 40 or 50 days (before i finally gave in and updated the software)

    if you want a *really* good deal on an iBook G3 (which will do everything you want and then some) i am selling mine. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=65404

    otherwise go with the PB!
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    The games you cite will play just fine on either. I wouldn't worry about raw CPU differences. You can hack the iBook (simple AppleScript) to allow it to use the monitor out to show a separate display (as opposed to mirroring) - see here, so there goes that PB advantage. iBook max RAM of 640MB is a bit weak, but I expect they'll be able to use 1GB sticks and so have a max RAM of 1GB + 128 MB. Bluetooth is an option on both.

    The PB has a nicer feel to the keyboard.

    The iBook is easier to fix if scratched - use one of the iPod scratch fixing solutions. The PB scrathces are pretty much there for life. The iBook will hold up better. The PB is definitely cooler (appearance-wise, not heat-wise).

    If it were me, given your uses, I'd spend the extra $$ on an iPod or more RAM or, well, lots of other stuff.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    i'm sorry but this is just not true. when G5 PB is released, the value of G4 iBook will fall just as much as G4 PB. just because it's the PB getting updated doesn't make iBook immune from the loss of value due to the progress of overall lineup.
     
  9. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

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    Jan 14, 2004
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    Wisconsin
    #9
    If I was deciding between the PB and the iBook, I'd look at the refurbed PB.

    They are currently out of stock but Apple has been offering 12" PB's (867MHz as I recall) for $1050.

    I personally wouldn't pay the full price for the PB, but for $50 more than the iBook, I'd take that. The only drawback as far as I'm concerned is the refurb not having USB 2.0.
     
  10. belf8st macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #10
    I was in the same boat as you. I had been waiting since January to see if any updates were going to happen. As you know, nothing. I needed a laptop now, but didn't want to get burned with the updates that will happen in the future. I decided to purchase a refurb 12" PB. I figure for the price tag, it would definately hold me over until the rev b g5's. :)

    the ibook seemed like it was capable of doing everything I needed, but after comparing the two in person the powerbook won hands down. there really is a big difference between the keyboards and the added 20% performance was enough for me to spend the extra $300. It was also tough for me to spend money on the 800MHz processor that was released 2 years ago.
     
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #11

    If you can hold out for like 5 weeks, I would wait and see if the powerbook line gets a revamp. I, unlike some, don't expect a G5 int he PB until late Dec '04 or Jan '05, so an improved G4 PB in the next month makes so much sense.

    I have a string feeling that by early June the choice between an iBook and a PB won't be any choice at all...

    But, like everyone always says, if you need a system now, get the best you can within your budget, and you won't be disapointed.

    Rob
     
  12. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    54140
    #12
    I've been doing research for several months I do the same tasks as you, plus some more processor intensive stuff (photoshop, illustrator, indesign, quark, etc) and I decided on the 12in iBook (see sig for specs). The ibook is all you need. It runs fast and smooth, looks great, the keyboard is great (I've used a trad. keyboard forever, and the iBook keyboard is just as good). It runs warm (not hot) and the scratches can be fixed instantly with some polising cream(www.ratech.us).

    But here's something that nobody has mentioned (that i found out before purchase): battery life! My ibook gets 4+ hours with screen at full brightness, AE on, and hard drive spinning (iTunes). You cannot beat that. Plus, this computer is the cheapest apple laptop!

    You WILL NOT regret the purchase of a 12in iBook
     
  13. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #13
    Well sure both will fall, indeed everythign falls with time, but I think the introduction of the PBG5 will hurt the price of the PBG4 far more than the iBooks. G5 represents a technology leap that we won't see in the iBook for some time, perhaps years...
     
  14. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #14
    but what difference does it make that G5 won't be in the iBook line anytime soon? iBook, PB, it's just a product designation. the components and technologies inside are directly comparable.

    following your argument, are you saying a G4 iBook will suddenly become a better value than a G4 PB when G5 PB is released? (saying G4 PB's value will be hurt more than G4 iBook's is the same thing as saying G4 iBook's value will improve in relative to G4 PB's.) (keyword being relative here...)

    the only thing is, because PB is more expensive than iBook, there's more to depreciate. but their values will be determined by the specs, not because of iBook/PB designation.
     
  15. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #15
    Ok, car analogy. When a new model car comes out the old models in that line all suffer in $value, but the same companies other lines do not do so as much.
    Because PB buyers are largely likely to be interested in the "power" they will be being the new technology (g5 etc) rather than the G4, and so the G4 PBs will be not only end of line but really end of model, because the G5PB is goign to be a significantly new machine.

    If you are talking value in terms of performance, then sure the PBG4s are a better buy now and latter, or at least until the iBooks get bumped.

    But if you look at the posters original requirements

    I don't see a real need for a powerbook and so I find it hard to recommend something that runs hotter and for less time, when that grunt won't be needed, and when we mostly expect the model to be revamped. Why pay for more than you need?

    If the original poster wants a powerbook, thats fine (like I originally said) but the model will take a beating in $ value when the new rather reviolutionary powerbooks appear (whenever that might be). If they want to resell or upgrade to get the newer PB when that happens, because I am sure it will be a very fine machine, then an ibook would be a better buy now...maybe I wasn't super clear about that reasoning :(

    Glad to see another switcher...
     
  16. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #16
    it doesn't matter that the old "Power" Book is no longer that "power"ful. it's just a name. its relative value in the used computer market will not suddenly change in relation to any of the iBooks even when G5 PB comes out.

    car analogy: used honda accord and civic. say accord is a standard one while civic is well equipped with less milage so that they have the same price used right now. are you telling me that the accord will suddenly be priced less than the civic when a new accord is introduced with a fuel cell engine? i don't think it matters at all, both cars are used and have the same relative value.
     
  17. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #17

    Well I disagree, so lets wait and watch what happens...
     
  18. g30ffr3y macrumors 6502a

    g30ffr3y

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    buffalo ny
    #18
    i want to chime in to this depreciation of the powerbook vs. ibook once the g5 hits the powerbook...

    the ibook has just gone to g4 and will surely stay there for a few years... therefore the ibook g4 will only follow its normal depreciation as speed bumps and spec increases happen... the value of the g3 ibook certainly plummeted once the g4 ibooks hit... people who buy ibooks dont even necessarily bother to watch what the powerbooks are up to...

    just as civic owners dont necessarily care whats going on with the accords... a fuel cell accord will do nothing to change the percieved value of someone who is only looking for a civic... while a major overhaul on a civic would certainly change the percieved value of the old [body style? drivetrain? whatever] civic and therefore hurt resale value...

    nobody wants the old one!!!

    the powerbook has been at g4 for a while... the tibooks had there normal depreciation until the albooks hit... then the percieved value of a tibook kinda fell off thanks to the redesign... once the g5 its... my poor tibook will be a percieved dinosaur and the albooks will just be the last of the g4 powerbooks...

    once the g5 hits there will be tons of threads about whether to get a g4 powerbook [maybe refurbed or closed out] vs. a Rev. A powerbook g5... the members of these forums will sing the praises of the new model and the g4 powerbook will meet its grizzly end... sad... but true...

    nobody wants the old one...

    so to the thread starter... if the ibook will suit your needs... its the best thing you can do right now...
     
  19. Nybombers142 thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2004
    #19
    I wasnt really talking about getting a G5 powerbook. What i was wondering is, when the next PB version( rev C) comes out how much will the price drop for a new rev B, should i choose to take that over an iBook.

    Also, will the rev C price be HIGHER the the rev Bs' is now ($1599)?
     
  20. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #20
    Ok, price drop should be signficant unless they bring in the G5s at a higher price point, then not so much. But Apple resellers won't want to keep the old PBs on their shelves for long, and other G4PB owners will be unloading their current machines for the new ones, which puts a far few second hand PBs on the market. This in turn brings down the price of the new but now outdated G4PBs... if you wait, of course it will be cheaper...

    We hope not. Apple should try and maintain its price points. G5 chip is cheaper. Cooling it will be more expensive. Upgrades of graphics card, ram, screens etc may push things up a little. Hard to say.
     
  21. nargot macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2004
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    Australia
    #21
    ibook is a bit plasticy, but most laptops (all???) don't take a beating

    my ibook boots in 10 secs (not actually timed, but you get my drift)

    ibook is way cheaper and plays the games you stated well. I don't believe in paying powerbook prices for a machine but if you do buy one if you think ibooks are a better price for your budget, then get a ibook
     
  22. admiraldennis macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #22
    iBook

    I say go for the 12" iBook.

    I don't know why people think the PowerBook looks cooler. The iBook's normal keyboard feel is definitley superior. I'm not a fan of oversized, metal coated keys. Plus, the iBook G4 doesn't scratch at all the way the PowerBook G4s do. The PB G4 may look more professional when you first get it, but after 9 months of heavy use, it probably won't. My iBook G3 looks practically new after 3 years of heavy use (every day in school).

    The plastic on the G3 iBooks *did* seem a little cheap, but the iBook G4s don't feel that way at all. The 200mhz of 'raw' power seriously won't matter much in games, especially the ones you're playing. Even more so, the Radeon 9200 in the current G4 iBook is virtually always considered to be superior to the GeForce Go 5200 in the 12" PowerBook, which easily evens out the 200mhz difference.

    Monitor spanning works fine, as it's just hacked by Apple to be removed for marketing purposes. 1GB DIMMs are reported to work fine in the iBook G4s, so the max ram is really ~1.2GB. iBooks also get slightly better AirPort range the Powerbooks (my iBook always bests my friends new 12" PowerBook). The iBook is also more durable, runs cooler (my friend PowerBook burns after a few hours, my iBook just gets warmish), and gets about an hour more battery life.

    The value of the iBooks also can't be beat.

    If you *need* DVI out, I'd say go for the PowerBook. Otherwise, go for the iBook.
     
  23. dudeami macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    It seems to me, that because you stated a $300 difference, that you are comparing the 933 Mhz 14" iBook to the 12" Powerbook. If this is the case, I would go for the iBook. I really don't think that the slightly better graphics card, 7% processor speed boost and double the level 2 cache are really what you are looking for. I think Sim City and many other games will be easier to play on a larger screen, and I think the iBook will meet your processing needs.

    If you want your laptop to last longer as a gaming machine or play the high-end games better right now then the 15" powerbook may be a better choice, faster RAM and a better graphics card (9600 w/ 64 MB RAM). However, it would cost $700 more which is a good deal of money just for games.

    But given your needs, and the choice between those two models 933 MHz 14" iBook, and 1 GHz 12" Powerbook, I would think you would be happy with the iBook.
     
  24. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #24
    i think most people will think PB looks cooler because there aren't many laptops around made of metal casing. yes, iBook casing may be different kind of plastic, but it's still plastic...

    i've played with both iBook and PB keyboards and to me, there's no comparison. PB keyboard is far superior - iBook keyboard was a bit too springy for my taste. also, the keys are the same size. there's nothing "oversized" about PB keys.

    if anything, iBook is the one that scratches more easily because it's made of plastic. PB's Al is hard to scratch - though more prone to dents. but i was under the impression iBook casing is sturdier overall but prone to small scratches...

    anyway, there's nothing wrong with either one and iBook is a great value, no question.
     
  25. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #25
    i just purchased an iBook after doing research for months. and as stated above, the PB's dent that cannot be fixed on your own w/o voiding your warranty however, the ibook scratches can be removed easily (see my previous post).

    the thing is that the iBook is apple's best value in portables. the 12in PB and the 12/14in iBooks are SO SIMILAR in specs, that you may just as well save your money and go for the iBook. I did, and i'm VERY VERY happy that I didn't waste my money. Also, as stated above, the ONLY thing that you can't do with the iBook is DVI out. Everything else is virtually the same (including dual monitors, and clamshell modes).

    What's more, the 12in iBook is a better value than the 14in because they have the same max LCD resolution (1024x768). So you may just as well upgrade the 12 and save yourself the size and weight of the larger iBook (because the clockspeed isn't going to make all that much difference)

    get the iBook, get the 12in. unless you've got money to spare, you should get a great computer, and still have money left over for extras.
     

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