12" Powerbook or not ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by queshy, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #1
    Hi, I'm going to college next year and I need a notebook to replace my 9-10 pound windows notebook.
    I've never used a Mac since the early 90's...those really really old ones.
    I have all my PCsoftware at home running on a very powerful box with all the amenities ,scanner, printer...etc. The laptop will "supplement" it. I don't need it for games - I have my PC for that. I want a laptop that is extremely portable so I can bring it back in forth. I'll be using it for word processing, making powerpoints (So I'd have to buy office for Mac), listening to music, watching dvd's, viewing some photos, doing some light print shop for projects, websurfing, MSN chat...pretty basic stuff, nothign intensive (like video editing/ games) but I do like a lot of muscle in teh system and don't want it to be slow at all. I'll also be viewing PDF files. So I'll be using it to handle all my school work when I'm on break - I have a Pocket PC but I have my PC to sync it with. I have about 10 gb of music, also.

    I've really considered getting the 12" powerbook , as a graduation present :D Hopefully Tiger will be out by then. Or should I wait even mroe ( i'll be getting it in May/June)?

    Also, will I have some compatibility issues?

    I'm also concerned about the size, as some people have said it is too big! :S

    Comments? Thanks a lot !
     
  2. ZenNerd macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    I'm a recent switcher and just got my first Apple. I got one of the new 12" powerbooks with a superdrive. I went with the 12" pb for specific reasons. Part was price. The 12" pb with SD was kinda pushing the budget so a similar equiped 15" was out the question but more importantly I was looking for something with a small size and light weight and the 12" fit my needs perfectly. I think you need to ask yourself what exactly your needs are going to be and if the extra cost of say a 15" or a 15" with the 128vram is worth it to you or would you rather spend the difference on extra ram or an external HD... or maybe the stock config will serve you just fine
     
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #3
    The 12" is a pretty good balance of power and portability... yeah, it's not as ultra-slim as those 10" widescreen PC notebooks that are like 3 lbs., but the PowerBook more than makes up for it with looks and power. And it's only 4.6 lbs. anyway. :)

    My advice: hold out until 1 or 2 months before you start college. Then don't look back. Hopefully they will update by then and certainly Tiger will be out by then. These few weeks will let you play with your Mac and get to know it... but they may not release new models by then, so it's your call.
     
  4. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    Dec 30, 2004
    #4
    12" PB too big :eek:

    Well how small do you need it to be :confused:
     
  5. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #5
    hi- you make some good points - but about those 10 inch 3 lb laptops..- those don't have optical drives so they cant be comparad. i care more about the form factor than weight- i want it to fit in my bag and be able to carry it around with ease. Does it look way way bigger than the windows ones? so i shouldnt get it in may-june? thanks and sorry about typing using ppc recognition!
     
  6. ZenNerd macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Well looking at mine I think it's pretty compact. It might not be the smallest laptop around but I don't think you're going to mind carrying it around. I also like how solid and well constructed it feels.
     
  7. DrEasy macrumors member

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #7
    Why not an iBook?

    An iBook would be cheaper and still fullfill all your needs. Not to mention better battery life. Use the money saved on maxing your memory! ;)
     
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #8
    You should also consider the 12" iBook. If this is going to be a secondary machine, you can easily do without the extra power, and the iBook DOES offer some things over the PBook... first is price ($500 less); you can get an iBook and max out the RAM and up the HD size and have money to spend on software (Office, etc) for the price of a base PBook. Second is the durability, the iBook will probably hold up better to daily travel and being tossed in a bag than the PBook will. Third an extra hour of battery life (5hrs vs 6hrs). Lastly is better wireless reception. At least prior to the current generations, the iBook has better wireless internet reception, which will be important trekking around campus. Maybe they fixed that, tho.

    The cons are less overall power (1.2 vs 1.5ghz), weaker GPU (9200 32mb vs 5200 64mb), slower HD (4200 vs 5400), and no FW800. If this is to be a secondary machine, then to me the pros would outweigh the cons.

    Oh, wait until right before school starts and get one of those iBook + iPod deals Apple's been doing in recent years.
     
  9. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #9
    I wouldn't say it looks any bigger than similar laptops in its class... and it's as easy to carry around as a textbook. :) It fits just right on an airplane and on those little desks they use in college.
     
  10. Balin64 macrumors 6502a

    Balin64

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    #10
    I second the iBook

    Good processor for what you need, good price range and it is very tough, especially for a student. I went through college with a PowerBook 140 and I abused the thing: dropped it, lent it to cute girls, spilled beer on it... you get my drift. Choose the least expensive Apple laptop to get you through your college years. When you graduate, get a G5 (G6 by then?). Wait until you enroll to get the MS suite: then you can use your edu discount. Believe it or not, I am still using my edu Adobe stuff to upgrade... I am very persuasive.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Yeah, I'll back the iBook suggestion.

    The new iBooks are cheaper and will give you the same performance for what you plan on doing.

    If you doubt that, look at the specs of both systems. Seriously, a 12" iBook isn't that much different than a 12" PB except for in some areas.

    Another thing is that I own a 12" 1GHz Powerbook, and I do all the things you plan on doing with your laptop. The new iBook is faster than my system, and since I do the things you listed on my slower PB with ease, you'll be even better off than I am currently with a new iBook.

    The only thing is that graphics card that doesn't support CoreImage when Tiger comes out. Its not a big deal at all, but I say wait as late as you can to see if the iBooks get a CoreImage compatible video card.
     
  12. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #12
    ROTF, I laughed at that comment as well. Some people here would love a 13" WS PB instead of a 12" SS.

    The 12" or 13" (if so down the road) would be great indeed. :)
     
  13. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 18, 2003
    #13
    I have a 12" iBook and it's very easy to carry around at the university -- I even use it to take notes in class and to run Lotus Notes.

    The only thing I regret is not getting AppleCare.

    As for CoreImage, I bet they'll upgrade the graphics card on the iBook soon. I'm planning on getting another one around July (when my academic discount is available again and I can save $50+ just for saying where I go to school), after Tiger has been hopefully out a while.

    I have been thinking a bit about PowerBook 12" combodrive, but they cost too much more to be worth it for the keyboard and whatnot -- RAM is a better investment.
     
  14. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #14
    THanks guys...About the edu discount, I am already eligible for one, since I am accepted into the school. Right ? I tried entering my ID and it worked.

    I've compared the dimensions of the ibook , and it's bigger than the powerbooks :eek:

    The iBook is also noticeably slower (CPU Speed, FSB, hard drive...) so that's why I think the powerbook is the better choice.
     
  15. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    Mar 11, 2005
    #15
    Hey there,

    Congratulations on switching! Now, my advice is that PowerBooks are a little too expensive. I would recommend the 12" or even 14" iBook, which does all of what you want for less money than the PowerBooks. When you do buy your computer, consider buying extra RAM. More RAM means more multitasking power and a faster computer. I do not recommend desktops for college. My sister bought an iMac G3 (about 4 years ago) and she couldn't go to the library with it or anything. All in all, I would recommend an iBook 12" or 14" Combo Drive with 512 MB RAM.

    One more thing: Be sure to buy from the Apple Education Store online. You usually save about $50 on laptops. In the Apple Store online, look for "Education" on the right column.

    Good luck in college!
     
  16. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #16
    Thanks :

    Well , it's CEGEP ( I n Canada, 5 years of high shcool, two years of CEGEP after that.) I'll be coming home everyday so I have a desktop at home.

    I've customized the 12" powerbook with 768 mb ram, cost 1700 $ Canadian with student discount. The iBook is only a little cheaaper; besides , I much prefer the look of the powerbook
     
  17. ZenNerd macrumors member

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    Atlanta, GA
    #17
    I would consider NOT getting the ram upgrade through Apple. They usually charge nearly twice the going rate for any given ram size. There are cheaper sources for ram.
     
  18. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #18
    The upgrade to 768 is like 80 $ around. Is that too much? Also, I've heard of 3rd party ram not workign well. But I did hear Crucial is good.
     
  19. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 18, 2003
    #19
    I'd suggest biting the bullet to get the RAM installed at the factory, if you can afford it.

    You aren't just buying the RAM; you're also paying to have it put in.
     
  20. mgargan1 macrumors 65816

    mgargan1

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    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    #20
    no, $80 for an extra 512MB is not too much at all. Infact, for this occasion, I would recommend that you buy the apple ram. This is because, just incase something happens to the 3rd party ram... apple wont support it. But $80 is not bad at all. Also make sure you buy the Student Teacher Edition of office, it's US$150. You can also use it on 3 computers...
     
  21. mgargan1 macrumors 65816

    mgargan1

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    #21
    also consider the applecare... it's highly worth it!! You won't have to learn to speak Indian.
     
  22. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #22
    Q,

    the ibook is due for a revision any day now and that might make up some of thte power issues you are concerned about. On the otherhand, I love my 12in PB even though the trackpad is a little flakey. Currently Apple is showing a ship time of several days for the 12in PB so that tells me they are working on the trackpad issue that has been widely written about.

    The 12in PB will meet all of your needs and then some. If you don't buy your Ram from apple, at least get a quality brand like Crucial.

    Good luck
     
  23. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #23
    Thanks - Do you know if the 12" ibook (revised one you say is soon coming out) will be smaller than the 12" pb ?
     
  24. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #24
    I would highly doubt that we will be seeing iBooks smaller than Powerbooks anytime soon.
     
  25. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #25
    Chrispy:

    The powerbook you have is the exact same configuration as the one I want to get ! How is it? Is that enough ram ?
     

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