12" powerbook too small after a while?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Southbridge, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Southbridge macrumors regular

    Southbridge

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    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Astoria, NY
    #1
    choosing between the "15 and the "12 powerbook... what should I go with?
     
  2. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #2
    15" defnetly if you can afford it :rolleyes:
    Because it has the 3" more screen + it is a widescreen.
    2 RAM slot's vs one solderd to the board.
    Better GPU and option for 128MB VRAM
    80GB HDD standard
    Gigabit ethernet
    Illuminated keyboard
    DVI vs mini DVI port (you have to have an adaptor=clutter)

    Can't think of any more ;)
     
  3. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #3
    I agree with Platform. The only reasons to prefer the 12" are if you really want something smaller than the 15" to carry around, better battery life, and of course to save money. Those can be good reasons, but by the specs the 15" is nicer.

    As for the title of this thread, I have been pleased with my 12" screen. I have a 17" monitor to go with it, but I have used it far less than I thought I would. I guess it depends on what you do. Exposé helps.
     
  4. anotherjeff macrumors regular

    anotherjeff

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    Honolulu
    #4
    I'm glad that I didn't get the 15

    I've had my 12 for about 4-5 months now and I was worried that it would be too small. I'm really happy with the size. I carry it with me to law school everyday and I'm probably using it for about 4-6 hours a day. The small weight and size is really important for me. When you do need a portable computer, you will probably want one that's really portable (the 12). No buyer's remorse here.

    However, if you are going to be doing a lot of photoshop or FCP I would consider a bigger more powerful computer or at least another monitor to enjoy the benefits of the dual screen. I do the occasional dreamweaver and photoshop work but it's not enough to need more screen.

    The 12" rev. C also runs Halo really well.
     
  5. hechacker1 macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    UCSD, LA Jolla, CA, USA
    #5
    yeah, i've been debatting the same thing. I have 4+ years of college ahead of me and I see a lot of use out of my next laptop. My campus is huge, it takes me about 30 minuets of fast walking (the speed of jogging for some people) to get across the campus.

    The 12" seems nice, but the 15 has more options, and the lit keyboard is a really cool feature (especially in class rooms that are dimmed for presentations). When I was in the store trying them out, it seemed like the 12" could even fit easily in a backpack. I doubt you can do the same with the 15"

    This will be my first mac, i hope. But I think I am going to wait for Tiger to come out because i don't feel like paying $69 (student discount) for a service pack/update. Yes, I know it adds features, but I don't see it worth the $129 that some people will have to pay.

    Does any body else have input on the size of the machine?
     
  6. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #6
    Go with the 12"

    I've actually owned a 15" Ti Powerbook, and am now selling it because I want somthing smaller to carry around with me while I am at uni.

    It's not so much the weight (The Al Powerbooks are much lighter nowadays) but the sheer size of it in a bag! The 12" is much more compact, and at the end of the day you can always link it to a nice 23" Cinema Display if you're prepared to re-mortgage the house to get one!

    Go with the 12" if size is the issue. The build quality is literally second to none, and it's portable, stunning and lightweight little machine along with a fantastic battery life.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    If you decide on a 12 inch screen size, have a look at the iBooks too, they're heaps better value. However, the 15 inch PowerBook is much much better than the 12 inch spec-wise.
     
  8. Santaduck macrumors 6502a

    Santaduck

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    Honolulu
    #8
    Remember that even if you think size isn't your top priority, you almost certainly will bring it with you much much more often just because it is that much more portable. People on the go (professionals as well as students) will often love the 12" for that very reason, and would never use the larger ones. A desktop replacement, it is not, and you can't really have it both ways (uberlight/small + top specs), whether Win or Apple.
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #9
    The 12" is a good balance between size and power IMO. I have a rev. B that I ran PS and InDesign on for business purposes. Add an external monitor (I am driving a Dell 2001FP on mine) and keyboard/mouse and you are set (the Dell have a USB hub - 4 ports).
     
  10. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    Dec 30, 2004
    #10
    So are you using your 12" as a desktop replacement or 2nd computer
     
  11. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

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    #11
    I've got the 12" and am a big fan. It's easy to transport, which was a big consideration for me, and when I'm not using it on the go I plug in an external monitor/external keyboard/external mouse and use it like a dual screen desktop. That ability alone is why I'd recommend the PB over the iBook, even with the hack.

    Basically it comes down to how important portability is too you (those extra 3" make a surprising difference) and how much screen real estate you need whilst on the go. The other benefits are nice, such as backlit keyboard, but can hardly be considered a deal breaker.
     
  12. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #12
    it all depends on how your going to be using it. if it your main computer then there is no real point getting a 12 inch, a 15 is amazing - fantastic screen, however - if youve got a desktop then a 12 is perfect
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    Sort of both.

    It was a desktop replacement before my other half gave up on the eMac that we bought as a backup for my PB 12" (since I did DTP, I could not "afford" any downtime). The PB was the first and only computer for about 6 months or so. So I connected it to an "old" 17" and did the spanning.

    I then added a 20" Dell to the PB and was using that pretty exclusively till I was given a VGA adapter for the eMac. With the Dell I can switch between VGA/DVI. Now that I have had a job change, the eMac is now primary and the PB is secondary.
     

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  14. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #14
    I've had a 12" (iBook, but still...) for more than a year, before that I used a Pismo with a 14" (same resolution as the current 12"). The screen hasn't felt too small, ever. The only thing too small is the HD, which seems to shrink... ;) I got the 60 GB BTO and even after some serious house cleaning I just have ~7 GB free (was down under 2 for a while). The screen is just fine, Expose makes it very easy to work on "small surfaces"... :)
     
  15. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #15
    You know how you got the dock on the 2nd screen as well as the apple bar thingy? if you unplug the PowerBook does it go on the 1st screen?

    ---

    I think the 12" is the better deal, this is why:

    If you have a 19" monitor like i do and many other people do, you can use that externally. The mini DVI actually takes LESS clutter, as it is a smaller cable.

    It is less expensive for a great computer

    It is very portable.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
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    Northern Virginia
    #16
    I set up the 20" as the "primary" and then "arranged" the PB screen to be on the bottom. The dock just seemed to follow.

    Note: I just tried it on the eMac setup I am using, and the dock moved to the bottom.
     
  17. Rubin421 macrumors member

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    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #17
    If you're going to be carrying it around, don't hesitate a single second: go for the 12". That's the one I got. It's not that small, and it's so light!
    If you want a bigger screen, you can always plug it to an external monitor when at home...
    In my view, the 12" PB is just the best laptop available on the market.
     
  18. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #18
    Well guy, to be honest with you most undergrads don't take their laptops to class anyway... from my observation, so the backlit keyboard would not really be much of a factor. Besides, the screen provides ample light on the keys to see them, and if you know how to type you don't look at them anyway.

    As far as it fitting in a backpack, i got a PowerSleeve from Radtech.US and i slide my 12" in that sleeve and then into my backpack and i'm rollin out the door. It's the perfect size. Now if you're going to be doing video work like me, I recommend the superdrive, plenty of DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs, maybe an external HD, and a CRT monitor if you have the space (because its better for video editing). Right now i have a 17" LCD hooked up to a KVM switch to go between my 12" and my PC and I use that CRT to finalize my video stuff.

    I hope this helps... and welcome aboard.
     
  19. morkintosh macrumors regular

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    Nov 25, 2003
    #19
    It's not too small until you sit down and work on a 15", then you wonder how you ever used it. Go with the 15".
     
  20. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    Aug 10, 2004
    #20

    What will you be using it for?

    I have a 12" that I love, you get to be a good expose user! but it just fits the area I use it (kitchen) and is mostly for iTunes (wireless to stero) mail, internet. and occassional iPhoto. I also have an eMac that is mostly for the kids, but I use on occassion, but prefer the 12" over the emac, I don't normally need the extra screenestate.

    If you are campus bound, not heavy photoshoper, the 12" will make you happier, you also get more room on the desk in class.
     
  21. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #21
    I'll disagree with the "heaps" part. This comparison was recently discussed at great length here among other places (continues over many pages). In short, the 20% retail price difference is well-justified in many if not most cases, unless price is of supreme concern. Especially in terms of FSB speed, HD speed, true clamshell mode, and VRAM, I'm pretty sure that "much much better" applies more to the 12"-12" comparison than 12"-15".

    Above I said the 15" is a better computer by the specs, and it is, but I will chime in for the portability of the 12" PB. If supreme portability is a concern, the 12" is the obvious choice. It does fit in almost anything (I use a Tucano second skin to make any bag a laptop bag) and goes almost anywhere with relative ease. Although personally I can't imagine the size of the 15" being that much of a disincentive to take it places, I do not speak from experience.

    Again, it all just comes down to your needs/desires: more powerful/more expensive vs. more portable/cheaper.
     
  22. Southbridge thread starter macrumors regular

    Southbridge

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    Feb 12, 2005
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    Astoria, NY
    #22
    ok... so we're all agreed then!

    um... well... I hope to be using photoshop, but at the same time I dont want a desktop replacement, but I dont plan on plugging it into a monitor... Really I'm looking at the 1.5 Ghz "15 vs. the 1.5 Ghz "12 so... I dunno... the specs would be comparable... same HD space... same RAM...

    it's really my brother who is like you might feel kinda cramped on the "12 after a while because he himself has a "15...

    ...then again is it worth the extra $400? (I'm not getting the superdrive...)
     
  23. Southbridge thread starter macrumors regular

    Southbridge

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    Astoria, NY
    #23
  24. Southbridge thread starter macrumors regular

    Southbridge

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    Feb 12, 2005
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    Astoria, NY
    #24
    ok... I figured it out... it's measured on the diagonal...

    sorry... talking to myself... :(
     
  25. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #25
    I was just about to respond ;)
     

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