Backlit keyboard and which model 15" PB

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Vlade, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Vlade macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #1
    I am in the market for a powerbook somewhat. I have narrowed it down to either the low end 12" powerbook (but I am almost ready to take it off the list), and both of the 15" ones. I have a brother in college, so I think I am going to sign him up for the ADC Student program, which comes with 1 hardware discount per year (and before anyone starts bitching about me taking advantage, click the link in my signature and see that I am a developer... just only 17 years old). Here are the specs

    Note : Add 100 dollars to each price because of the developer program

    12" $1279 - 1.33GHZ, 256MB, 60GB, Combo, GeForce FX 5200
    15" $1599 - 1.33GHZ, 256MB, 60GB, Combo, Radeon 9700
    15" $1840 - 1.50GHZ, 512MB, 80GB, Combo, Radeon 9700, Backlit Keyboard

    I have a few questions, Who has the backlit keyboard, is it worth the 55 dollar upgrade on the second model? If it is, there would be a 190 dollar upgrade for 166MHZ, 20GB, and 256 more megs of RAM. I plan on upgrading the 256 megs anyway on either model 1 or 2. Which one do you recommend, right now I am leaning towards number 2 with a backlit keyboard.

    Also, I am not waiting for a G5... I want the powerbook this summer, and I will have the money to buy a G5 powerbook in a year if I want to.
     
  2. Godfather macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #2
    it's a very cool feature, but if I tell you that it sometimes make keys harder to read, would you take it?

    I have it, and I love it. It's worth it, but because of it's usefullness, purely because it's another finishing touch Apple made on the book. Get it if you're into features, don't get it for it's 'use'.
     
  3. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    #3
    Yeah the Aluminum keys are somewhat reflective. When you use the powerbook at night, the keys do get backlit but because of the glare from the screen the contrast for the backlighting isn't that great.

    This said I love the backlighting and think its the coolest thing. Get it anyway.

    The top end 15" is BAD ASS.
     
  4. Vlade thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #4
    Hum... right now I can't justify paying 55 bucks for it until I see it, I am leaning more towards the 1.33 GHZ model because I don't see 166MHZ making that much of a difference, and RAM will get cheaper, its at a high point now kind of.
     
  5. unregbaron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #5
    Yeah I'm in the same position:

    Currently using (or trying to use) a G3 400Mhz pismo with Studio programs... trying to decide whether worth doing the BTO 15" (5400 speed hd, 128 vram) which I wouldn't have to wait for as my local store has already ...

    or settle for either of the standard 15" models.. I like the superdrive as i want to be able to burn dvd's to make artwork.. plus my girlfriend would find it useful with her work..

    sounds bad that the alu keyboard seems to render the backlight useless if it always has glare from the screen

    I have a new credit card waiting to be used just for this purchase




     
  6. Jovian9 macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #6
    I have a 17" PowerBook and I find the backlit keyboard to be a great feature. I wouldn't want to be without it now that I've gotten used to using it.
     
  7. Vlade thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #7
    As of now I am opting out of the backlit keyboard, that 55 bucks could be better spent on some more RAM (I think I want the stock 256 + a new 512MB Stick). I was wondering, there was an add in staples for a 512 MB stick of Notebook DDR2700, will that work in a powerbook, it just said notebook memory.
     
  8. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    you will realize a 166 MHz difference. try a 1.33 ghz and a 1.5 ghz powerbook out at the apple store. do benchmarks on them, or just try to open basic programs and see which is faster.

    i think apple is cheap in not making the backlit keyboard standard on ALL models (12, 15, and 17 inch pbooks). i dont see what the problem is.
     
  9. Vlade thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #9
    I know the benchmarks will show a 10% increase, but me and my brother each have athlon machines, he decided to spend 16 bucks more to get 200 extra MHZ, and both machines seam to have the exact same speed. Anyways, even if I did notice it, it probably wouldnt be worth the extra cash.
     
  10. Anticipat3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    #10
    I think a lot of folks are "in this boat..."

    I'm deciding between the same 3 models, but I've had some different conclusions.

    First, the Backlit keyboard is worthless. Purly for glamour, unless you can't touch type. If you can, anytime you need to glance down, the screen lights the keyboard up anyway. If I could get the 15" 1.5 w/o the backlit keyboard, I would.

    Next, NOTE just how crappy the Graphics chip in the 12" powerbook is -- A GeForce FX 5200 is AWFUL; actually slower than the chip in the iBook, the Radeon 9200. The Radeon 9700, however, is VERY powerful -- It's actually probably faster than a stock 9600XT, which ship with the G5s. If you have ANY intent to do graphic-intensive things... ok, if you have ANY hope of playing ANY games, get the 15". The extra VRAM isn't going to make much of a difference, but then again - for a $40 upgrade, it probably doesn't hurt, either.

    I've decided to hold out just a little while longer and see what comes about at WWDC... I certainly don't expect much, but one never knows with apple. If we don't see a G5 iMac, and there's nothing else extraordinary (tablet, blah blah blah) then I'm going to pick up a 1.5 Ghz model with all the options and a Gig of RAM. I've decided that for the few extra bucks, it's worth it in lifespan and resale value. This may be the fastest G4 Powerbook ever made -- think about it. Pismos are worth a lot more than Wallstreets...
     

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