External Display + 12 or 14 inch???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Peter Griffin, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Peter Griffin macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    I know that I'll be getting an external display for sure. I'm just split on a 12 or 14 inch iBook.

    A question to the 12 inch users out there- how small is the screen? Do you find it straining on the eyes after a few hours of good use.

    I tend to spend anywhere from 3-6 hours in front of a computer everyday. If the 12 inch doesn't look all that small then I'll probably go for it. ALso, is there any way I can increase the 12 inch so the text/pictures and everything would be the same size as a 14? How much do external dvd burners go for? Would it be better to get a 14 since there is a superdrive option?

    This will be my only computer by the way. Thanks for reading and any advice is welcome. :)
  2. zeeko macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2005
    i have the 12" and i have ZERO problem with looking at it for long periods of time, i think a lot of people on here are just extremely picky. Don't worry about it. Get the 12, it is a pound lighter than the 14 and is a nice size.
  3. mikemodena macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    The 12" and 14" have the same resolution, but because the 14" has a bigger screen the pixels are stretched a little. The next resolution down on the iBook to make things bigger is 800x600, but trust me.. you don't want that. I used to have a 12" iBook, and it was great for most things.. just not web design because the screen was too small to do all that work so I sold it and bought a mini.
  4. Sttesuhc macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2005
    Your question is probably best answered by a first-hand experiment with both. If you don't live near an Apple Store (or any other store that might have them) then I would just recommend reading everyone's opinions to see if one factor sways you either way.

    I spent about 5 minutes using both computers before deciding to go for the 12". Granted, I'd read lots of threads on these forums, so I had already heard the pros and cons. Basically, the 12" screen looked fine to me, and I like the portability that comes with the 12" model.

    I'm planning to plug-in at home to a 17" CRT.
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I use the computers way too much these days and a lot of that time is spent in front of a 12 inch iBook. I actually find it easier on the eyes than my 17 inch iMac's screen funnily enough. Maybe it's just because that's what I'm used to, but I have no problems with the iBook.

    Having said that, the iMac has a brighter screen, but we're not comparing iMacs and iBooks so that's kind of irrelevant. :)
  6. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    if youre gettinng an external monitor then deffinitly get the 12" its more portable plus youll have the external monitor for when you want the extra space. ive had both the 12" iBook and 12" PB (which i use now) both with an external monitor. its totally worth it!
  7. verozov macrumors regular


    Jan 8, 2005
    Columbia, SC
    i got a 14" since i wanted to see things a little bigger and didn't mind the extra weight.... but if your getting an external monitor i don't see any reason not to go with a 12" (plus you save a little $$$)...
  8. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    this is what i do with my powerbook, which is a 12inch display. I use the pb screen mainly to chat on adium and use safari and itunes on the big screen. No problems @ all with the 12inch screen, it is so portable plus i have my ext. monitor so it's basically like a desktop too.

  9. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    I personally have a 12'' PB and its fine for me. Its definately "big"" enough.

    I hear alot of people reasoning more towards the 15'' because the 12'' doesnt give alot of desktop "real estate." However given that this is true, Expose does a real nice job on fixing that problem, namely the f9 feature. I swear if expose was not around I would have probably returned my system, forked over a restocking fee and got the 15''.

    I definately find that I can also use my system for hours and not feel any fatigue in my eyes. Most of the time when Im on my laptop I am surfing. When i had first gotten the laptop I thought I would need to be scrolling around everywhere. However this is definately not the case. Most websites are actually made for the resolution of 800x600 or 1024x768, which works just fine for the 12'' laptops. Also the trackpad also makes scrolling much easier.

    I see no real reason for you to be worrying about which screen to get though. The 12 seem like it would be just fine though, since you are hooking it to a external monitor, so it isnt much off of anything to worry about if that was the case.
  10. Sttesuhc macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2005
    After reading another thread and being informed....I thought I would simply mention that you'll have to keep your iBook open even if you're using a second display. The computer's heat is dissipated through the keyboard, so if you have the comp running, you need the lid open to manage the heat.

    I wasn't aware of this until recently...so,....not sure how I'm going to feel about connecting to an external display if I have to leave the lid open.

  11. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Do what i do and use it as dual screen, leave mail and your adium over there or anything you don't need on your main screen. Watcha movie on the big screen while you can check your mail :)
  12. Sttesuhc macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2005

    I very well might try this advice. Just to be sure, this means using the "screen spanning hack" or whatever? I'm sure I can search and find plenty of threads advising how to set it up, but is this what people are speaking of when they mention that hack?

    (And if so, the hack can easily be undone by resetting PRAM?)
  13. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    The hack is simplicity itself and on the main page it tells you how to get rid of it either using the program or resetting the PRAM.

    Run the program, click enable screen spanning and reboot. Although watch out as the next reboot seems to take forever (at least in my case, probably because i was so worried) but after that everything is back to normal.
  14. Peter Griffin thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    Thanks for all the input guys. I've decided on the 14+superdrive
  15. persianpunisher macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2005
    EXCELLENT CHOICE. I was trying to decide between the 12 and 14 as well, but i needed a DVD writer, so I got the 14"

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