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Differences in US and UK Powerbooks?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by cheekyspanky, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Hi, can someone tell me if there are any differences in the Powerbook 12" between the US and UK spec?

    I'm looking at getting one, but have the possibility to get one from the states, but I wonder if the keyboard, power supply, phone line connectors etc are the same?

  2. macrumors regular

    Keyboard in the uk have the pound sign and euro. US only has us dollar sign. power supply is different from the ac/dc convert to the wall socket cord. (I am not sure if you can buy just this part section of the power cord though. The whole thing is quite expensive. You can maybe buy a cheap shape converter though?) If you buy the pb in america, just get a british phone socket converter at dixons - maybe 3 or 4 pounds. (This is what apple uk does.) The modem socket are the same shape in the US and UK powerbooks.

    But other than the keyboard difference, its significantly cheaper to buy a powerbook in the US. The 12" combo is $400 cheaper.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the info, I assume that I could just reassign the $ key to be a £ key?

    Also, are the power adaptors the same except for the plug, as I could use my iPod plug if that was the case?
  4. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Double check the warranty with regard to international service.
  5. macrumors newbie

    The power adaptor is the same worldwide. The only difference will be the plug that is included. The U.S. version will (obviously) come with a U.S. style plug. Purchase a World Travel Adaptor Kit with the laptop. Said kit is a collection of interchangable "Duckheads" that physically adapt the power adaptor to foreign outlets (including the UK)

    Alternatively, buy a UK power adaptor when you go home. As for warranty, buy your Applecare when you get home. Applecare provides worldwide service on laptops, but you have to be a resident of the country you bought it in. Thus an American Applecare contract would be so much kindling.
  6. macrumors regular

    I don't know anything about the warranty, apple care, etc... I manage without it .. I had no choice. I bought it then I had to move due to the company... :(

    but you can buy a cable from the ac/dc converter (adaptor) to the wall seperatly but not by apple (not sure). you have to go to an electronics shop which has a large selection of cables. PC world definetly has it.

    And the ipod plug does not work. The powerbook adaptors have a clip like thing which the ipod conveters don't have. (well.. not at least for mine)
  7. macrumors regular

    I bought a PB in May this year while on holiday in the US and brought it home to the UK, so:

    Your iPod plug - at least the three prong part that seperates from the main power adaptor - will fit the PB power adaptor and you can safely use it. The supplied extension cord will only have a 2-prong US plug, but I read on another PB thread that any figure-8 shaped power lead will work. Alternatively you can buy a 3-prong adaptor to use with the supplied extension cord.

    The standard 1 year Apple warranties are international, so if you buy a PB in the US and have a problem with it back in the UK you shouldn't have any problems getting it repaired. If you want to buy AppleCare buy it in the UK though.

    You can get a £ sign on a US PB keyboard without remapping a key - in International Preferences set your input menu to British and this will replace the # key for a £ (shift+3). To get a # press alt+3 (or maybe ctl+3 ... I'm not on my PB at the moment but it's one of those key combinations). I haven't tried to get a Euro sign yet.

    It's well worth buying a PB in the US. I bought a stock 12" combo drive, 1.33 GHz, 60GB, 256MB, and with the local sales tax paid about £950, a saving of £200. And it felt so good to walk into an Apple Store and say "One of those please." I also got a .Mac account for $69.95, Sims Making Magic for my daughter for $30, MoH Breakthrough for $30, Call of Duty for $40. Now I just have to pay the credit card bill :(

    Obviously you have to take into account import duty and VAT if you declare it to UK customs on the way back in ...
  8. Guest


    The only things you need to buy are a) a US to UK phone adaptor (£3) & b) a Fig 8 to UK 3 Pin Mains Lead (same as off a portable radio) for about £1.50 from B&Q (5 amp fuse)

    The apple keyboards are not proper UK keyboards anyway even if you buy them from the UK, they are US layout with a Sterling Pound Sign (£) its very annoying.
  9. macrumors 6502


    The cool thing with a laptop is you dont have to pay the VAT when returning to the UK. I mean you just leave the box in the states and you take your laptop with you on the plane. You can always justify carrying a laptop with you on your holidays and if it was a buisness trip its even better.

    I wanted to buy my powermac in the states. Make a little trip to NY and pay the flight with the money saved on the mac. But its just impossible getting past "customs" with a desktop.

    Like : " Common MR. I always travel with my G5. I just plug it in the hotelroom, rent a screen, an I can browse the web and check my mails, just like that." :eek:

    My brother bought his 17 inch powerbook in NY when he was studying at NYU. And he had to buy the applecare to get the students discount. Now that he's back in europe applecare wont work. But the mac is doing just fine. All you need for the power supply is the small head that you can replace on the powerplug.
  10. macrumors 68030


    The US keyboard is slightly different. The return key is a horizontal rectangle along one row of keys rather than the usual L-shaped international return key. Personally i prefer the UK keyboard to the US.

    Also, it's sad to think that even if you did declare your purchase and pay import duty, it still works out cheaper than buying it in the UK!!!
  11. macrumors 6502a

    anyone know if the dvd is multi region? Can i play us dvd's on my uk powerbook nd could i send a uk dvd to a friend in america if they have a powerbook too?
  12. macrumors 6502a



    Yeah the UK and US keyboards are a fair bit different in terms of the shape return key, if you are used to using one or the other. I'm sure if you arn't used to using one then you won't notice it or you will soon adapt quickly. It is definitely worth buying in the US for the savings you make despite keyboard and plug differences.
  13. macrumors 68030


    I think you get to change the region up to a max of about 5 times, before it locks. However, some clever terminal tinkering can probably remove this. I think it will ask you to change every time you insert a DVD of another region.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Hi there,

    I bought one of the original Rev A 12" powerbooks form the NY store whilst on business.

    [1] The power adaptor is universal. on my return to blighty I simply cut of the moulded US plug from the cable tail and rewired a standard 3 pin UK plug (the US has the same colour coding for wiring) and i threw away the snap on adaptor and used the one from my Ipod (although the world adaptor kit that Apple sells is simply a whole collection of these snap on plugs)

    [2]The "3" key was by default a # instead of a £ so I simply spoke to a friendly repair shop who gave me a replacement £ key (they just snap on). Remember that Mac OS x will reassign the keyboard layout for the country you specify.

    [3] I even managed to find a superdrive (DVD) on ebay and upgraded that also....finally I swapped the Hard Drive for the Hitachi 80Giger......all for less than the cost of a new Powerbook in the UK.....

    [4] Or you could of course save your pennies and go to the opening of the new Apple Store on Regents Street in London at the end of the year......
  15. macrumors regular

    I am not sure if there is multi-region firmware out yet for the pb 15". If you do find one, you can use region x to change the region settings.

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