Help a Soon-to-be-Switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Mitchfor3, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Mitchfor3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    #1
    I'm heading off for college in the fall and I am unbelievably intrigued by the 15" Powerbook. I'm also considering the IBM Thinkpad T42 and Thinkpad R41.

    So tell me honestly. Is the 15" Powerbook the ULTIMATE college laptop? I'm not an art or graphics major, so I probably won't require those types of features. I'm more likely to be a business or biology major.

    Keep in mind that this would be my first Mac. Is this a good time to switch? Are there any disadvantages?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Mitchfor3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    #2
    Oh an one more important question.

    Is now the right time to buy? Will there be a significant upgrade of the Powerbook in the forseeable future? What is the timetable on that?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  3. Joeytpg macrumors 6502

    Joeytpg

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #3
    cool budy....let me answer this questions for ya............ i guess you're in the same place as i am...... (but i'm a step ahead of you hehehe)

    i'm living to spain in two month (i'll be taking a master's degree) so i needed a portable computer..........i started looking a few PC's but then i hit me........I'M REALLY TIRED OF WINDOWS and its inestability!.....so i started to look at apples..............i've never owned or USED an apple before....so i was a NEWBIE!

    i liked the ibook,but after making a little comparison with the pbook, i decided to put some extra cash and get the pbook....... so igot the 15" 1.33 combo pbook...................and let me tell you......I COULDn'T BE HAPPIER!...this computer is SOOO MUCH superior to any windows PC (Desktop or laptop) IN MY OPINION, you know why?....because of the OS.......

    there's the trick.....OS X is so so much better and EASY than windows.........but just wait till you get the pbook (i hope you buy the 15") i've been a apple user for 4 weeks now.......and buddy........let me tell you that so far, there ain't a thing i (A COMPLETE APPLE IGNORANT) i haven't been able to do!.......so dude...HURRY, go buy the pbook!.....


    and NO, there won't be any more upgrades to the pbook line anytime soon.........they were just updated in march i believe.......so go buy it NOW!....don't think about it any longer!..... :D :D.......i got an ipod 15 too.....i couldn't love it MORE! :D

    anymore question......just feel free to ask!


    oh one more thing........even tho the 256 stock ram stick it comes with is enough to to basic things (i was very impressed with how many applications i was able to use with only 256 ram) but buy an extra 512 ram from crucial or corsair.com...............DON'T BUY THE APPLE MEMORY.....it's too expensive.................get a third party memory that's compatible with apple!
     
  4. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #4
    All depends really on how much you got to burn. If you are on a budget I say grab an iBook or a 12" Powerbook.

    If not, go for the 15" A lot of my friends have them and they are perfectly mobile. They have no trouble lugging it around with them. However, the battery life is not as good as a smaller one would be.

    Mike
     
  5. Mitchfor3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2004
    #5
    One big concern that I have with Apple is the service. Is it as crappy as it seems?
     
  6. Joeytpg macrumors 6502

    Joeytpg

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #6
    it's definitely mobile.......and the battery live.........hmmm....i've used mine for almost 4 hours and still had charge.....some people say they can squeeze 4.5 hours other say 5 hours other complain they can barely get 2.5 hours out or their pbook..........

    im MY opinion (i did what the manual said: Calibrate the battery.......charge it completely, then let it dry completely.....to the point where it goes to sleep mode by itself.....then charge it to the fullest AGAIN) so....so far like i've said, i've used mine for 4 hours and still had some power left.........so i'll asume it can give me 4.5 hours..........and in those 4 hours i watched a dvd movie, so 2 hours there.


    Apple service.....hmmm i haven't used it (*knocks on wood* i hope i don't have to! hehehehe.......but some people complain......and some other don't so......i really don't know what/who to believe in
     
  7. Mitchfor3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2004
    #7
    Another question... what is this "Global repair coverage" that they speak of in Applecare? What does it entail?
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    I've had good experiences with Apple service over the years. You have to remember that what you're going to hear about Apple service in this forum is mainly going to be people complaining. People who had good experiences don't tend to start threads about it.
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Probably nothing significant for a minimum of, say, nine months. It's anyone's guess as to when the G5 will come out, but no one really expects it before spring, if then.

    Before then - and remember, no one outside of Apple really knows - my guess is a faster HD option (7200RPM), maybe better screen res to play catch-up with makers like Dell (15", 1900x1200 screen) and others, but no one knows.
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    So, really, it's OS X vs Windows XP. The Thinkpads are well-put-together systems. I prefer the PBs, but the Thinkpads are worthy adversaries.

    In my opinion, yes. The 17" is really just too big - but many would disagree. Big, heavy to lug around - but a beautiful screen. The 12" is actually a fantastic system. If the screen res does it for you, that little thing will go anywhere. Small, good battery life, catchy.

    But the 15" is, I think, the best compromise. Not too big, enough screen real estate, etc.

    It's always a good time to switch. ;)

    I use Windows boxes all day at work and have a nice Dell laptop with a 1900x1200 resolution widescreen 15" LCD. Nice system. However...

    Like I said, it comes down to OS X vs WinXP. To me, OS X wins handily.

    XP plusses:

    * World standard. you're rarely going to find a place that won't use Windows.
    * Windows can be resized from all edges and corners.
    * Cheaper low-end systems.
    * More applications

    As a user, that's about it for me.

    Mac/OS X plusses:

    * zero viruses. yes, that's zero, as in none.
    * no DLL hell. none.
    * no Registry (delete an application by - get this - selecting it and dragging it to the Trash... SO much easier!)
    * wicked good bundled apps (iLife, etc.)
    * very scriptable, flexible OS
    * the very best videoconferencing software out there
    * more productive (I use both - OS X does make you more productive)
    * better average application quality
    * more stable (not perfectly stable, not stunningly more stable, but yes, more stable)

    Seriously, man, if you get one, you will not regret it. Spend a few hours playing with it. Get a couple of decent tip books. You will not regret it. A stock Thinkpad is great hardware, but what they hell can you do with it until you load apps? Nothing. A Mac comes preloaded with enough stuff that many people never even need to install anything else.
     
  11. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #11
    I'm not sure where you get the notion that Apple service is crappy. All ConsumerReports last reports list Apple as the computer manufacturer with least repairs ... ahead of Dell, HP, IBM and the others. Here's one that I found by seaching for 'consumer reports apple dell' on google. You'll find several links like this if you enter the same search terms.

    Hm ... on second thought ... the repairs just indicates that Apple makes quality products that don't break as often. Which isn't bad in itself, but doesn't say much about the service ... I don't think Apple's service is any worse than other companies. I suppose the reason why we see more Apple service complaints here is because it's an Apple forum ... I'm not aware of any IBM hardware forums, so we have nothing to compare with.
     
  12. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #12

    I can answer this one. Well, i've NEVER had to send in an apple computer because of hardware issues in the 11 years i've used them...im not lying to you. I did send my laptop in once because the paint was coming off along the edge so i sent it in to apple. The process was painless and they not only replaced what i asked them to but just like apple they went beyond what was expected of them and they replaced the keyboard too. Thats my experience with apple service.

    The tech support is helpful but really, you get the best support from forums like this. Macs are pretty easy to keep going....you dont really have to do anything to them. They just run.....you may have to repair permissions (a simple task) but usually thats about it.

    Now in contrast....my girlfriends pc is a nightmare. Driver issues, virus issues, hardware issues...i feel bad. I want to get her a mac but i cant right now.

    anyway good luck.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    The IBM Thinkpad T40 and it's variants (ie: the T42 you mentioned) are amazing laptops.... the best Windows laptops available, and maybe the best overall laptops in the world. Seriously. The build quality = solid like a tank, the battery life is so great it's scary (6 hours of real-world use, plus the high capacity battery extends it to something like 10 hours), and the overall design is very functional. The only issue is using WinXP, of course. It's also BARE ASS FUGLY!! ;)

    I have never had any qualms regarding WinXP, but I still prefer OSX. If you don't have an issue with WinXP, then the ThinkPad is a great option, but now is an amazing time to switch to Apple. They just have so much momentum, and their machines are so beautiful.

    I'm not saying that you're lying, but I'd say 99.999% of 15" Powerbook users will tell you that the 15" PB lasts for around 3 hours and under, and would probably get 2 to 2h15min of battery life if watching a movie. Otherwise, it'll last for 2.5 to 3 hours if you're just using MS Word and not using iTunes.

    A new 12" would last for 4 to 4.5 hours. :) The 12" and 15" uses the same battery as the 15" PB, which is why the 15" doesn't last as long as the 12" (its bigger!). ;)
     
  14. Mitchfor3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    #14
    Thanks for the input! I love the look of the T42. I really like the idea of OSX and Apple's awesome technology and beauty, I'm just not sure if that quite justifies switching...i'm still trying to figure it out :)

    Any more comments would be most helpful.
     
  15. wowoah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #15
    My younger brother is going off to college in the fall and he is facing the exact same dilemma: the ThinkPad T41 or the PowerBook 15?

    When I went to college, I got a Dell Inspiron. However, after two years of dealing with spyware, viruses, and an altogether inelegant operating system, I sold my Inspiron and took advantage of a sale my campus computer store was having on PowerBooks. I'm glad to say I haven't looked back once, and there's not a day that I think to myself, "Man, I wish I had my Dell back." The beauty, stability, and ease-of-use of the Mac make it completely worth the hassle and expense of switching.

    That being said, my brother has decided to go with the ThinkPad. His reasoning is perfectly logical: he decided that he would rather grapple with the spyware and virus issues than take the time to relearn a new operating system. I personally don't think that the Mac OS is a steep learning curve (my girlfriend is horrible with computers and she made the switch in a week), but it's all a matter of personal preference.

    Obviously, if you're asking for advice in a Mac forum, you're gonna get people who favor the Mac. I can see very compelling reasons for the ThinkPad, and it ultimately comes down to whether you prefer Windows or the Mac. I personally love my Mac and will never go back, but I'm sure there have been some switcher horror stories.

    It's your call.
     
  16. Mitchfor3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2004
    #16
    Thanks for the insight!

    I frankly favor the Thinkpad's hardware...barely, but I do. I also am very proficient with XP and I'd love for that to carry over. The ONLY reason that I'm really considering switching at this point is the avoid the problems that PCs often have on large networks.

    Is there any chance that worms and viruses and spyware will ultimately be created for Macs?
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    Well I decided to go to the IBM website to check the T42 out, and why are there so many damn T42's that seem almost identical!!!!!

    Anyway, what are the specs of the model you want? You said that you like the hardware of the IBM a bit more, but why? Unless you're getting one of the high end T42's, you're stuck with 1024 x 768 resolution, a very basic video card, and a combo drive. It sounds like a 12" iBook with a 1.5 to 1.7 GHz Centrino at double or triple the cost! Yes, I still think the T42 is probably the best Windows laptop you can get, and I was going to get one for myself (before I got my Powerbook 10 months ago), but I really don't think the hardware specs are better, with the exception of the processor, and even then, the 1.5GHz G4 isn't much slower than the procs available in the T42.
     
  18. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #18
    A centrino processor is better that what you get with the PB? I thought the centrinos were slow due to make it more energy efficient. Wouldnt it take a 3Ghz processor to be comparable to a PB 1.5Ghz processor? Thats crazy i didnt know centrinos were faster that the PBs processor. Im gonna look into this.


    ok i just looked it up. its not the centrino its a Pentium M thats a 90nm code name Dothan running at around 1.7Ghz. So isnt the Powerbook more powerful? Doesnt it take a PC processor twice the Ghz rating to equal the power of the mac? For instance, i thought a 1.5Ghz mac would be just as fast as a 3Ghz PC due to the way the processor handles instruction sets. So wouldnt the PowerBook be faster, like twice as fast as the T42? Also, i heard that it costs $300 more for the super drive (i think thats right) but at apple you can get it for $200...check that out if you want to burn DVD's.
     
  19. iBert macrumors regular

    iBert

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #19
    Is not that different...

    I did the swicth this past Xmas. I will never look back to Windows again unless they really do improve a lot. Currently I'm trying to sell my 10 month old gaming rig so i can get a G5. I like OS X better than WinXP, just like someone has mentioned you'll have software bundles that are great. And if you want other that come with more features you'll be able to find them. I'm a CS major graduate sutdent, and I have found a lot of programs either open source or commercial that are just awesome. From personal experiencie, I have a 12" PBook and I have been able to use it without turning it off for almost 2 months. As of battery life, to get the most out of it you'll need to turn off devices, like airport, bluetooth, have less programs open and the likes.. I have been able to get 4 hrs and probably 4.5hrs

    I would suggest, review what type of user you'll be and decide from that what you'll buy. Also, if you think you don't need a PBook, I think an iBook will do the job.
     
  20. hkriffraff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #20
    I switched and bought my 15" Powerbook last October. OS X is a delight
    after years of using Windows and I'm generally happy with my purchase
    (except that it runs hot, has shorter battery life than most Centrinos
    and could be a bit lighter).

    But I'm not sure that now is a good time to purchase the pricey 15" powerbook
    that still features a G4 processor, since it'll be a relatively dated machine
    midway into college. I'd get a cheaper iBook or the 12", or if you have the money, get a cheap Centrino laptop for portability and the new iMac when it's out in the fall.
     

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