Advice for Apple portables

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Kedisar, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Kedisar macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I'm looking into Apple portables, and let me say this right now: I only have a budget of around $1500 USD, so please, no Powerbook 15". The only models available to me are 12" iBook, 14" iBook, and 12" Powerbook.

    The only thing I want to do is some basic Photoshop work, minor video editing (iMovie, FCE), and maybe some audio stuff. I already have an Athlon tower, which I can use for major editing and gaming, so those are not necessary. What I want is a fun computer to bring with me and play around with. Also, I sure want OSX, too. :D

    I really have no idea which one to buy, or if I should wait for MWSF '04. Any advice?

    Right now my gut is saying iBook... >_>
     
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #2
    if you are not caught on the Al profile and don't need to burn dvds, get the 12" ibook.
     
  3. waitingforG5 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 17, 2003
    #3
    In my opinion the 14" ibook cominbed with a top res of 1024 just does not equate to enough screen real estate. If you can stretch your budget a little more Expercom is currently selling the 15" 867 powerbook for about $1600.
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #4
    didnt think serious editing and pc's came in the same sentence, haha. anyways i would go with the powerbook, its a really nice machine but the ibooks are tempting as well. if you really are gonna keep your serious editing on your athlon then maybe the ibook will do you just fine.

    iJon
     
  5. Flickta macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Well, 12" PB will be better for Halo network games (PB+Athlon+Halo=fun) than an iBook, eh?
    Seriously though, PB is a bit more advanced in terms of technology. iBook reminds me of my 800Mhz Titanium without fancy stuff. And that was more than a year ago.
     
  6. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #6
    I'd say spring for the 12" PB. It's more of a "pro" machine than the iBook, and from the sounds of what you'll be doing, the extra performance will come in handy. As for the screen size, it's actually not that bad. I'd suggest picking up a cheap CRT you can use for when you're at home, then you have the best of both worlds. I've had my 12" PB for about a month now, and could not be happier.
     
  7. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #7
    Hmm have you tried both the ibook and the 12" PB? Certainly you can be rest assured that you'll make your decision when you actually get to use them first hand. I wonder if the ibook gets as hot as the 12" pb. That would be my primary concern.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #8
    try looking frequently at http://dealmac.com

    they have some great deals. if you don't mind rev. A, you can have 12" PB for a lot less.
     
  9. ac2102 macrumors member

    ac2102

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    #9
    I am using an iBook G4 just for what you said and i am more than happy. Maybe not so much gaming, but it seems to cope fine with what i do throw at it!

    Whatever you choose, enjoy OSX. You never know, you might find yourself moving all you serious editing to the mac.

    ac2102
     
  10. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Well, the nearest store that sells Apples is 3+ hours away, so I really don't have much oppertunity to see or use them. (I'm not really *allowed* to drive, either.) So, I'd have to base this on opinions only. =/

    Just having a lot of worry about MWSF, don't want to buy a PB and have revisions announced.

    iBook 14" is looking pretty good, but I'm concerned about its lack of monitor support, low cache, and screen. (I heard the screen had bad color.) I plan on using an external CRT, and I don't know if that would work with the iBook.
     
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #11
    get it a few days before MWSF from apple. that way, if updates are announced, you can either an upgrade or a price drop. if nothing is announced, you will get it a few days earlier than if you had waited until after MWSF.

    AFAIK, only apple give you that 10 day window thing so i'd stick with official apple stores. (online or retail)

    btw, you don't even have a compusa nearby? they carry macs...
     
  12. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    The nearest store that carries Apples IS Compusa. It's 3 hours away. >_>

    What's this deal where you can buy a few days before MWSF? Why would I want to do that? What if a new product is released...

    Also, can you plug an iBook into a monitor, close the lid, and use it? I don't want to use the iBook's monitor 100% of the time.
     
  13. gemio17 macrumors regular

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    #13
    I was in the same position for a while-floundering btwn ibook and pb-and let me tell you that 12" pb is one hot little number- Luckily I went to my local Apple store where the clever folks there put an iBook next to the 12" pb and my analysis is that there is NO comparison-the pb is so much smoother, the screen is a million times better, and the overall aethetics just blow you away (It just makes you happier :). It made me think.... iBook? what was I thinking...eww....can't wait for my little pb....
     
  14. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #14
    sorry to hear that you won't be able to try it out... (dang, you must live pretty far out in middle of nowhere!)

    apple gives you 10 days after you order (or receive, maybe) for sort of "price protection." if an update or a price drop occurs within 10 days, then they will give you some sort of a benefit, i've heard of free upgrade (if it hadn't been shipped yet) and a return credit... i suggested ordering a bit before MWSF because you have a strict deadline to get the computer. i thought this would be a good way to get best of both earlier order (and thus more time for the delivery to take place) and waiting for any updates at MWSF. (EDIT: oh sorry, you are not the one going off to college in late Jan... too many posts on similar topics! :D)

    to use the iBook with its lid closed, you'd need an ext. keyboard and a mouse. i think this works for PB but i'm not sure about iBook... search around the forums...
     
  15. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Well, this is what I'm thinking: The iBook 14" looks pretty nice. The only defecit is that it can't store as much ram and has half the cache. However, it has a larger screen, larger Hard Drive, good video card, and is cheaper.

    There are three things I want to know:

    1: Are there any iBook docks? I want to close the lid on the iBook and use it with an external monitor. (I have a keyboard already.)

    2: I hear that the iBook 14" has a lame display. How is it lame? Are the colors bad? Is it blurry? A 12" screen doesn't seem like much real estate to me.

    3: The iBook just got updated, but the Powerbook seems due. That's only a minor thing, though.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  16. legion macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2003
    #16
    1) Nope, you just plug in everything directly.

    2) The real estate on the 12" and 14" is the same (real estate usually refers to the number of pixels and therefore the most desktop space that can be seen.) Everyone's complaint about the 14" is, since the real estate is the same, the pixels on the 14" are just bigger. Therefore, with the same image on the two, the 12" will look more precise than the 14" (which will have a more pixelated image.) It's a matter of pixel density. Larger surface area and same pixels means less density (RE: 14" ibook)

    3) Anyone's guess.. but if you wait it out each time you think there's going to be an update, you'll never end up getting a laptop. At least were not in the pre-AL15" state where it was practically a year and everyone would jump at every possible Apple Corporate siteing for an update...
     
  17. jtown macrumors 6502

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    Jul 3, 2003
    #17
    Max out a 12" ibook. You say your budget is $1500. The 12" powerbook starts at $1599 plus tax and shipping. And that's with no extras. You're going to be about a couple hundred bucks over budget before you even get out the door with a powerbook. You can get 640 megs of RAM, 60 gig hard drive, airport extreme, and bluetooth in the 12" ibook and your price is still over a hundred bucks less than the cheapest powerbook. And you can save another $70 by buying your ram elsewhere and getting a refurbished airport extreme card.

    Don't bother with the 14" ibook unless you really, really, really need that little speed bump. The graphics don't get any better (same video chipset, same video memory, same resolution) and you can't put in more system memory.

    As for a dock, there is one but it's not what one generally thinks of when talking about a laptop dock. You just shove it against the side with the ports. It saves you from having to plug and unplug half a dozen cables every time you move but it doesn't really save any wear and tear on the ports and it doesn't give you any type of connectivity that doesn't already exist. The ibook has a port for an external monitor on the left side next to all the other ports. Just plug in the adapter (included with the ibook) and hook up a monitor.

    As for using an external monitor as the primary display, it won't work out of the box. The ibook goes to sleep if you close the lid. There's a way to change this behavior but it's not recommended by some because it requires patching the kernel. Also, the ibook is configured to only allow mirroring on the external monitor. This can be changed to allow standard monitor spanning. I've done this on my G3 ibook and it's very handy. No problems at all. I heard reports of this being done on G4 ibooks within days of their release.

    So, basically, the ibook can be modified slightly to do most of what the powerbook can do and you can get a maxed G4 ibook for less money than a stock powerbook. If you're really on a $1500 budget, the 12" ibook is your answer.
     
  18. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Well, I'll adress a few things.

    The real estate *isnt* the same. Would you use a computer with a postage stamp-sized monitor, if it had 1024x768 resolution? No. 12" is quite small. It's sharp, but I've seen laptops with 15" 1024x768 screens that look perfectly fine.

    Not being able to close the lid is a bad thing for me. I didn't really plan on having to use the laptop's internal monitor 100% of the time.

    Also, I can get an education discount, so everything I'm looking at is no more than $1400.

    Eh, maybe I should just get a PC? o_O
     
  19. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #19
    i see your point, but "real estate" is usually not defined by the physical size of the screen. it's by the virtual size - by the number of pixels.

    if you wanted to tile four windows sized 256x192, it will fill up the entire 1024x768 screen regardless of whether the screen is 12" or 14", but will not fill up, say 15" PB with greater than 1024x768 resolution. hence 15" has more "real estate" because you can put more stuff on the screen.

    15" screen with 1024x768 will look fine, no question. but what many of us are saying is that if you can tolerate the smaller pixel size of 12", there's no reason to pay more to get the 14" screen because you won't be able to fit more stuff on the screen at all, even though the screen is physically bigger. it'll be easier on your eyes, perhaps, but you don't gain "real estate."

    somewhat related analogy:

    let's say you live in city X and make $50,000. you are offered 10% increase in salary to $60,000 if you move to city Y, but you have to pay for moving. would you move if everything in city Y cost 10% more than they do in city X? you sure will have more dollars... but does it matter?
     
  20. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I see what you mean. The main reason I don't want a 12" screen is they seem to hurt my eyes. I have seen 12" Powerbooks, but it was a long time ago. (1st generation ones.)

    I don't know, maybe they are different now. I really need to see all of these up close, but I won't be able to do that anytime soon. x_x
     
  21. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #21
    i know what you were getting at, i just wanted you to use the correct words for it.

    if 12" pixels are too small and hurts your eyes, by all means, you should get the 14" iBook. that is a very important consideration - you don't want to be hurting using your computer!

    however, you can also scale everything larger in 12" PB as well. and if you get the 15" PB, you will need to do the same because pixel pitch for 12" and 15" PB are the same.

    the screen hasn't changed much between rev. A and B 12" PB. so if rev. A wasn't good for you, chances are, rev. B won't be either...
     
  22. sigamy macrumors 65816

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    #22
    If you don't need a DVI port you can get a refurb prior gen 12" PB w/ Superdrive from Apple's Special Deals page. $1399.

    But I think this model is also limited to 640MB RAM.
     
  23. zcar86 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2003
    #23
    Name one thing that makes your MAC better in EDITING then my Athlon 2.5 gig with ATI 9800, and 1 gig of ram...

    Also, name one that that makes your MAC better in editing then my Athlon 1.6g with Geforece 4 ti, and 512mb of ram..
     
  24. Kedisar thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Well, there is a SLIGHT possibility I could get a 15" Powerbook, but only the 1ghz model. Is this a good buy, or should I wait? With tax, it's still $1944. That's a LOT of money.

    Oh, and Zcar, it's Mac, not MAC. Not an acronym, don't capitalize it.
     
  25. zcar86 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2003
    #25
    Oh, and Kedisar, it's slight, not SLIGHT. Not an acronym, don't capitalize it.

    Oh, and Kedisar, it's lot, not LOT. Not an acronym, don't capitalize it.

    Oh, and Kedisar, it's mac, not Mac. it's not a name, don't capitalize the first letter.
     

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