iBook 14" or PB 12"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by reaper, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. reaper macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Okay, so I've decided that I really want a G5 PB when they come out - if that day ever comes. :( I was originally going to buy a G4 PB, but the prospect of having a 64-bit compatible OS without a computer to run it to its full capacity, especially when I just payed close to $3K on it, makes me want to wait.

    That being said, I can't really make due with the Dull laptop I have now (P3 800) and so I have to make a decision about what I can do to make sure that I have a decent laptop without spending too much money, and one that I would be able to sell in a year or so and not take too much of a hit on resale value when I sell it to to partially pay for a new G5 PB (difficult scenario, I know ;) ). I am mainly looking at usability for everyday tasks because I am going to law school and will need to do lots of wordprocessing, presentations and the like.

    So my question is this, would you recommend a 14" iBook to fit the bill or a 12" PB? Both would be the sd-less models, since I have a MDD Dual 1.25 at home with a sd. Also, both would have AE, but the iBook would probably not have bluetooth, although I don't really have any use for that anyway, other than possibly getting a wireless keyboard and mouse.

    I am concerned that the PB screen size will be too small for multi-tasking (like if I wanted to check e-mail during class :) or surf the web or anything like that while I was taking notes). However, I am slightly turned off by the iBook's white plastic and slightly worse screen quality (I think... correct me if I'm wrong here).

    All-in-all I don't think the processor speeds would be noticeably different, since I will mainly use them both to do everyday-type tasks and not hardcore gaming or anything like that (that's why I got an Xbox).

    I think I am leaning towards the iBook because it has a larger screen, better battery life, and a tougher skin, but I am really not sure about the decision. Also, I am a pretty big guy, and I am wondering what I would look like with a 12" computer sitting in front of me! :eek: Anyway, thanks in advance for the advice.
     
  2. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #2
    I'd go with the iBook. I couldn't stand a screen that small as it is on the powerbook...
     
  3. jbrjake macrumors member

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    If you want a larger screen so that you can keep it further away from you yet still see it clearly, the 14" iBook is the way to go. It's like looking at the 12" through a magnifying glass. Sorta like those phones for the elderly with extra-large buttons.

    If the reason you want a larger screen is so you can do more multi-tasking, you will be extremely disappointed with the 14" iBook. It has the same resolution as the PB you are hesitant about, so you'll have just as much trouble trying to surf the web while also being able to see your notes. The only way is to use Expose and the Dock a lot. Both iBooks have a max native resolution of 1024x768, just like the 12" Powerbook. So you'll be getting the same amount of screen real estate with the 14" in a package that's significantly larger than the 12" iBook.

    Oh yeah--as far as screen quality goes, the 12" PB and 12" iBook have the same screen since April. It's very pretty and clear. The 14" iBook's screen is somewhat blurrier, since the pixels are larger. Both pale in comparison to the high-rez screens on the 15" and 17" PBs.
     
  4. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Thanks for the advice. I would be all for the 15" or 17", which is actually the PB I was going to get until Tiger was announced, but I just can't see spending that much money for a laptop that I will definitely want to replace in about a year.

    I think I am going to the Apple store tonight to see exactly how "big" the 12" is and what type of screen it has so that I can figure out what I'm going to do.

    And thanks for the info on the screen resolutions. I just looked at that on the Apple site and saw that too. So I guess the multi-tasking rationale doesn't really work since they both have the same relative amount of space. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
     
  5. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    That's my biggest fear, whether it be the iBook or the PB now (since the resolutions are the same). Don't know what to do.
     
  6. turbodub macrumors regular

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    May 25, 2004
    #6
    I was in the same boat a few days ago. Long story short, I ordered my 12" ibook last night. I'm a junior in college, and my 14" G3 ibook fell off the table and busted its LCD. (it fell like 3 feet onto tile, open)

    Anyways, I chose the 12" ibook for a few reasons. I originally wanted a 12" pb sooo bad ('cause we all know it's sweet), but I just couldn't let myself pony up the dough for it. I figured that for my purposes (email, net, office, iphoto and a bit of imovie) the ibook was more than enough. Especially considering that I would have had no problems with my G3 for a another couple of years. Also, battery life is a big factor for me, and although I hear the 12" pb gets pretty good life, my 14" ibook would never run out of power. And I mean never. AE reception, I've heard, is better on the ibooks too.

    Anyways, I chose the 12" ibook over the 14" because the screen is so much nicer. I had no complaints about my 14" when I had it as far as portibility, but smaller is always more portable. The problem is, the ibook would also be my all-time system, so I didn't want to be too brutal on my eyes. Well, after seeing the two screens side by side, the decision was easy. The 14" just looks blurry compared to the 12". And after playing on the 12" for a bit, I knew I could handle it all the time. Worst case scenario, I'll pick up an external for when I get back to my apartment.

    So, in a few weeks, I should receive my 12" ibook. I'm going to use the money I saved to buy some ram and maybe a cheap digital camera; gotta save those college memories.

    Hope this helps your decision a bit.

    Cheers

    Roger
     
  7. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I wasn't aware the screens were so much better on the smaller 'books. I'm definitely going to have to look at the 12" iBook also.

    The only thing I am concerned with about the 12" iBook is the resale value. I not only have to be concerned with power, which is about equal between the two systems (as far as I can tell and for what I'm going to be doing on it), but also resale value and what is going to hold up better since I will be flipping it in a year for the new G5. Any thoughts?
     
  8. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Also, one more quick question. If you have had a chance to try out the 12" iBook, what did you think about the screen size? Particularly, since like me you are at school, how easy is it to switch between applications without having to resort to expose or the dock?

    Thanks.
     
  9. netytan macrumors 6502

    netytan

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    #9
    Expose and Dock are the main or, in my oppion best ways to switch between Applications. Why would you not want to use the tools the OS provides? I saw the 12" PowerBook the other day and it looked quite a bit bigger than i had expected.

    I went with the 12" Ibook :). Which should come with all the software a student could need i.e. Appleworks etc.

    Let us know ur final choice,

    Mark.
     
  10. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Congrats on the iBook! :)

    I'm not concerned with software as I already have Office V.X and my school has Office 2004 for $50, so that's not a really big deal in terms of initial value for me (although it may play into resale value).

    In terms of expose and the dock, I agree that they are both valid choices for app switching, but I am used to the 17" apple display I have now and that I can have multiple windows visible at any one time and just click to switch apps. I don't know/doubt if you can do this with a 12" screen. It'll just take some used to, I guess, but I'm still sort of worried about screen real estate and quickly switching between apps while in a lecture.

    I am definitely going to the Apple store this evening to try them all out. I'll keep you all posted.
     
  11. turbodub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    #11
    I can't speak too much for resale value. Although, I'm pretty shocked by how well apples hold their value in general. If you look in the classifieds section of this site, a 12" G4 800 Mhz ibook just sold for $1000-ish. That's how much a new one costs! It's actually really puzzling to me, but I think because we get edu pricing, everything is a little off-kilter when it comes to buying/selling used. Anyways, I think a 12" pb will probably be more sought after in the market, but you also have to think about the opportunity cost of that extra $400 you'd be paying.

    Anyways, I actually have lingering thoughts about flipping my ibook for a G5 pb after I graduate (and have real money hopefully). What sealed the ibook for me is that I know its a rugged system (I'm not too hard on it, but I definitely throw it onto the couch and stuff). Also, when I looked at the final prices, the pb just didn't "fit" into my needs. Take a couple things into account though; as students, we get a $200 discount on pbs and $100 on ibooks. That will factor into your "profit" (or lack of loss) when you go to sell to the general public. Also, applecare costs more for a pb than an ibook. Also, I'd think about waiting it out for this alleged ipod promotion. You could get the close-to-free ipod and sell it for a good price. That would fetch some cash back for you.

    I haven't got to actually play with my 12" ibook yet. It's in the process of shipping right now, and my expected delivery date isn't until Aug 3, which means I won't get my hands on it until Aug 12 (long story). Anyways, I can tell you about my previous 14" ibook and the 17" CRT emac I'm using right now, because they have the same resolutions as the 12". Basically, I use expose (or the dock) to switch applications every time. I think that's the most convenient way period. Also, then my open apps get as much screen real-estate as possible.

    I think the 12" will be nice to take to class and such, and I'm hoping it won't be too bad at home as well. Again, I found the screen so much more sharp and vibrant than the 14", I couldn't resist. Also, as a relatively frequent flyer, the smaller laptop should be nice to watch DVD's on the airplanes and such.

    I can't speak about how the 12" is for everyday life, because I haven't got to experience yet. I know a friend of mine has a g3 12", and she loves it. No complaints about screen size. But she's also just over 5 feet tall. I'm over 6 feet, but I think the 12" will be a good fit for me.

    Okay, sorry for the long post. Let me know if I can help some more.

    Cheers

    Roger
     
  12. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Okay, so I may have gone a little wacky at the Apple store last night. :D

    I went in there to look at the 12" PB and the 12" iBook (like we have been discussing here), but I just couldn't help myself from being drawn to the that big laptop just 10 feet away. That's right, I'm talking about the 17" monster that only a 6'6" guy like myself could love.

    So I started mucking around with it and I fell in love all over again (this is the machine I was set on buying before Tiger was introduced as a 64-bit OS). Then I started to ask myself, "would you really want a Rev. A G5 PB?" The answer was emphatically no, since I have heard of all the problems usually associated with the Apple's first crack at a product. Then I said (mind you, I think I said this to myself, but I was so dumbfounded by the huge expanse of metal before me that I quite possibly could have been talking outloud :D ), "and you can have a Rev. C of one of the most coveted laptops on the planet right now if you want to." I also reasoned out that anything they get into a PB shortly will most probably not be much faster than the current G4 lineup since they may have to underclock or reduce FSB to reduce heat.

    Well, long story short... I am now patiently awaiting my new 17" PB to ship. :D I thank you all for your advice, and I can only hope that it gets here before I chew my arm off in anticipation. :p
     

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