Finally Switching To A Mac: 12 inch iBook vs. Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bracki, May 10, 2004.

  1. bracki macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #1
    I've been on a PC for about the past 10 years and am finally making the switch to a Mac (got fed-up with my laptop's terrible battery life).

    I'm trying to decide between the 12" iBook and Powerbook. I'm currently a student and could get the 1Ghz iBook for $1000 and the 1.33Ghz Powerbook for $1400 (both without the Superdrive, but with wireless included). I believe the hard drive is also 30GB bigger on the Powerbook.

    For the most part I'm going to be doing the basics (e-mail, Excel, Word) and wanted to get the take from this group on whether it makese sense to spend the extra $400. I'm just getting started on a Mac, so I'm hesitant to drop that much extra, but will if it makes sense to do so. I'm not sure how much difference the extra 333 Mhz makes on a Mac....

    I'd also read that iDVD only works with Superdrive's. Is this the case? I've got a Windows desktop with a DVD burner already, so I was hesitant to spend an extra $200 if there was a way I could edit with iMovie on my Mac and use my Windows machine to actually make the DVD.

    I realize this is a lot of questions, but I want to make sure I get my Mac experience started on the right foot.

    Thanks for your help,

    Byron
     
  2. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    #2
    The big question is: are you going to upgrade the HD (30GB is pretty small) and get wireless for the iBook? If you are, it makes sense to spend the little extra money on the PB. Based on the configuration I was looking at, the PB was only $200 more (although I did spend another $200 to get the Superdrive model).

    As far as iDVD goes....I know you can save the project on one machine and burn it on another. But without iDVD on windows that won't work. So unless something like Toast will let you pretend to burn it on your Mac you're probably out of luck.
     
  3. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #3
    i found that i am not burning a whole lot of dvds with my superdrive. i am just a student like you. it is more of a novelity to have. what you might want to do is buy it with the combo and if you feel the need later on, get and external burner and use roxio toast, which is a pretty good program.
     
  4. bmelon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #4
    pros and cons

    I've owned both a recent ibook 12" (g4 800) and a recent powerbook !2" (g4 1.33). My girlfriend now owns the 800. I really like both computers, and I definitely think the 12" is the best choice of the apple laptops unless you really need lots of screen space. I'm very happy with my powerbook, but still not sure that it's worth the money over the ibook. The pbook is much cooler looking, and there are times when I appreciate the extra power. But the two models (ibook and pbook) share the same screen and combo drive. Lots of the basic functions (watching movies, typing papers, ripping cds, burning cds) are thus very similar experiences on the two machines. Also, although the powerbook definitely looks and feels sleeker, the ibook has a solidity and toughness to it that I sometimes miss. The pbook is a little bit delicate -feeling by comparison. Also, for what it's worth, I was able to burn dvds on the ibook with an external firewire burner at 4x with no problems (probably could have done 8x too, but never got that speed of discs). In short, the ibook 12" is an amazing computer for the price. If you're the type who needs to have the absolute top of the line, then you'll have to get the powerbook, but otherwise I'd go for the ibook.
     
  5. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    once you add wireless and upgrade the HD on the ibook you're only looking at an additional 200 bucks with edu discount to get 33% more processor, double video memory, line in, DVI out with spanning, 25% bus speed and memory speed boast

    pretty good of an upgrade unless you have no intention of using the wireless or extra HD space
     
  6. Darius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Not trying to thread jack but I'm at a similar place right now. I'm a CS major so I'm leaning toward a little more power but finding it hard to commit to the price of the 15" PB's.

    My big curiosity is heat. I have a thinkpad right now that gets quite warm on your lap after a few minutes. How are the ibook's and PB's for heat output?

    I've been tossing back and forth between the ibook and powerbooks. I know the powerbooks batteries don't last quite as long. How do they compare for wireless reception or are they same?

    I've also been told that RAM is really important and to get at least a gig. Is this true or is it more of a luxury nice thing to have if you can afford it?
     
  7. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #7
    ive heard they run quite cool, although there have been complaints of defects (from revision a thru c) with the fans. in stores i can only hear them if i get close. I'd get the 12" Powerbook but that's because i would USE the mini dvi output and prefer the look and feel of the Powerbook. I'd get an external superdrive, because when do you really want to burn a DVD on an airplane or on a road trip? you want to burn your buddy a copy of whatever, back when your sitting at home.

    1 gig is a luxury, 512 will run the OS as well as a decent amount of applications fine. If your seriously working with pretty large files, then you might want to be looking at the Power Mac G5 instead. For basic use and amateur/student level work, the Power Books are perfect, not to mention slim and sexy.
     
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #8
    let your first mac be an ibook, because it takes a year to really know the system well enough to see the real advantage of a powerbook. sure, it has a nice aluminum enclosure, but how much is one willing to pay for that?

    the current 12" G4 ibook is a killer, and performs better than a two-year old powerbook..
     
  9. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    Cool, very cool :)

    My daughter often watches movies on her 12" iBook, the recent one, not the latest one. It runs very cool and has exceptionally long battery life.

    Unless you're a power user, you probably won't notice any difference on most apps between the two. But your wallet will definitely feel the difference - it will be lighter!

    Not only is the PB a few hundred dollars more, but Apple Care costs more for it too. So at the end of the day you're probably looking at about $500 to $600 more for the PB, depending on what type of discount you get.

    Either way, good luck :)
     
  10. Darius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #10
    Jfreak, How would using a mac for a year unlock faster bus and processor speed?

    Thanks for the quick reply Brian, The heat issue has been bothering me. Its good to hear that it is fixed for the most part.
     
  11. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Tampere, Finland
    #11
    i'm not saying the mac would magically become better after one year of use, but i'm just telling the mac os x takes its time to get used to, and it almost always takes a year to really being able to use the system to its fullest. and that in mind, it'd be better to begin with an ibook (which is better than a 2yr old powerbook) and save the difference for a future purchase. when you really know what you need and how to use it, it'll be a money better spent.

    i'm speaking of my own switching experience here as i was also making a decision between ibook and powerbook. i bought the powerbook because i was able to, but later realized that the ibook would have also been enough at that time. i needed to buy more powerful laptop later on anyway, so i simply lost money by buying a powerbook as a first apple. naturally the difference between G3 and G4 helped me on the decision, but that difference is now nonexistent.
     
  12. denm316 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #12
    I agree with what JFreak said...I purchased a 900MHz G3 iBook about a year ago, I loved the look of the PowerBook, but it was my first Mac and I decided to take the cheaper route, in the beginning I just did normal things, web surf and e-mail, then I began actually really getting to know the O/S and the Apps, mainly iPhoto and iMovie, it made things so simple, and made me enjoy taking photos and stuff.

    Because of these apps I have bought a new MiniDV video camera, a new Digital Camera and even a new PowerMac G5. JFreak was so true in saying it takes some time...the more you sit and play the more you like it, my iBook G3 was plenty for me, but the more advanced I come the more I want more speed. Inever edited video bfore in my life, but now I just keep getting more and more advanced with Final Cut, I cant really do much on my G3 iBook, it kills me when I compare it to how Final Cut runs on my G5.

    I am also looking forward to getting a new PowerBook G4 this month.
     
  13. Hwnlocalgurl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #13
    Do any of you use the ibook for...

    Do any of you guys that have the new 12" ibook use it with Photoshop CS and Dreamweaver? Does it handle it good enough for someone who likes to webdesign?
     
  14. Darius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #14
    JFreak, thanks for the in depth reply. I can see your point about starting with an ibook. However since this will probably have to last me for 3-5 years I'm leaning toward the 15" powerbook. But in the event that it ends up out of my price range I'll have to settle with either the 12" powerbook or 14" ibook. Either way I'm looking at adding at least 512 mb of ram to the machine.

    What is the opinion on applecare? Is it a necessity or just a luxury.

    Thanks everyone for your good input.
     
  15. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #16
    if you plan on keeping the apple laptop for three years, applecare is a must.

    as you already knew, money is well spent on memory, and if you can make it a full gigabyte, you'll probably never have to worry about memory. i'd however advice against the 14" ibook, the 12" model is much better.
     
  16. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
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    UK
    #17
  17. PeteyKohut macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Earth
    #18
    I was considering an iBook too. With Airport...and Bluetooth....and a 60GB HD. And then, I said, this is stupid. I went with the 1.33 Ghz 12'' Powerbook with Combo Drive. I have an 867 Mhz Quicksilver G4 with a SuperDrive. So I can burn my DVDs there. Trust me, you will be much much much happier with the powerbook. All of the upgrades for the iBook are standard...better graphics..faster bus....faster CPU. It is worth the extra $300.
     
  18. PeteyKohut macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Earth
    #19
    I used to use a....(don't laugh)....Compaq Presaio 1700T laptop, P3 600Mhz. That thing is way way way way hotter than my new 1.33 Ghz Powerbook 12''. The Powerbooks are really not as hot as others make them out to be. No, they aren't ICE cold when doing rendering, but they are better than other notebooks I have used.
     

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