iBook or PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by calhobbes, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. calhobbes macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Cambridge, MA
    #1
    I am trying to decide between an iBook and a PowerBook. I'm not a professional user, but do like to dabble in programming and basic photo editing. I also will use this laptop while travelling (including plane trips) and at home in a wireless network. I would think an iBook would suit me just fine, especially with the G4 chip, but I do not want to be limited in the future. Also, for the iBook, is there a major difference in performance between the 800 MHz 12" and either 14" (either one) that I should consider for my uses?
     
  2. niter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    #2
    I have a 12" iBook G4 which is maxed out (Bluetooth, 640 RAM, 60 GB HD, airport extreme). From your description, your needs and my needs sound very similar. I use my iBook predominantly for Office X and internet, but on my free time I enjoy using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, adn Dreamweaver. By no mean do I know these programs to even know whether or not they are running optimally on my computer. However, the run pretty darn fast on my iBook, so I am pleased.

    The 12" is fantastically portable An additional bonus is the price is low allowing you to really max it out without breaking the back. I recently added the airport extreme card and the connection is amazing. I think you will be very happy with the iBook. If you want an extra boost in power and to be able to burn cds, maybe you should consider the PB 12" The PB 15" and 17" are perhaps too much computer for you.
     
  3. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2003
    #3
    iBook will do just fine

    Get the iBook, and stash the $1000 you save for your next mid-range laptop in 3-4 years that will fly compared to the present PBs. I'm using a 14" iBook as a temporary replacement for a PB Ti 400, and have been very pleased.

    As for the 12" versus 14", I read somewhere that the 14" is the sweet spot in price/performance, and that's seen in sales numbers as well. The units aren't THAT much different in size, you get the extra processor power, and the larger screen *same resolution) makes for easier reading. (I never have been one to drive monitors at huge resoluiotn, though).
     
  4. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #4
    if you have the spare cash just plop it for the powerbook, if not the ibook will suit you fine.
     
  5. cadethoerk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    #5
    Ibook logic board failure

    Anybody looking to buy an Ibook should be warned that there is a logic board defect. Google Ibook logic board failure and you will find petitions and a class action lawsuit pending. They last about 13 months and if you don't pay the apple care extortion fee for extended coverage you have a paper wieght. Powerbooks like mine, Al Book 1.25, seem ok so far, I hope time will not uncover any problems.:mad:
     
  6. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    Dec 28, 2002
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    Oak Park, IL
    #6
    The G4 iBook is a fine machine, but if you really want the most bang for your buck, you've got to go with the 12" Powerbook. The increased RAM and cache make for a noticeable boost in power (especially in running multiple apps at once).

    The Powerbook makes a great primary or secondary computer (if you've already got a desktop machine), and it'll probably last (as in not be very old and slow) a bit longer than the iBooks (from the RAM and cache). Plus (though you may or may not want one), you can get a Superdrive on a Powerbook (I've got a Superdrive on my iMac, and it's great).

    But really, either way you'll get a great machine.
     
  7. calhobbes thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Cambridge, MA
    #7
    Thanks all for your responses. I think I'll go with an iBook, as a PB would be overkill (but oh how I want to get one). As far as performance, how do the 3 G4 iBooks stack up against one another? I'd use it in a wireless environment, run Virtual PC (work requirements), watch DVDs (while travelling), and do some programming and basic photo editing. I like the size of the 12", but was wondering how its performance compares to its 14" cousins.
     
  8. niter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    #8
    My iBook 12" is a dream. Sure, I wanted the 1 GHz processor really badly, but I wanted the 12" screen even more. I have watched movies on it with headphones with no troubles.

    The ony concern I have is that I heard that Virtual PC is a system hog. It might be best to get a 12 PB for that if you must use it. However, as someone else about this because I do not know personally.
     
  9. badabing macrumors newbie

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    I recently bought a PB, but I want to do video editing and I can't do that with the iBook. If I didn't need a superdrive or more muscle for editing, I'd get an iBook.

    That said and all, the PB is awesome. If you can afford it, get it. You'll love it.
     
  10. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Sep 21, 2003
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    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    you can edit video with an iBook. I edited three hour-plus long movies with my old 12" G3 iBook 700MHz cd-rom.

    the G4 iBooks will handle video editing even better, and they'll run FCP 4, DVD Studio Pro 2 and all the extra associated apps (Compressor, LiveType, Soundtrack and Cinema Tools) with no trouble.

    the best thing about iBooks compared to PowerBooks is Airport reception.

    in the past two weeks I sold my second iBook (12" G3 900MHz combo) and bought an 867MHz 12" PowerBook G4. The PowerBook's Airport reception is decent, but the iBook's reception is amazing. I've compared my old iBook to my new PowerBook, and also to my friend's 1.25GHz 15" PowerBook, and the iBook pulls in neighbors' wireless networks while the PowerBooks can not even "see" them.

    the other huge advantage of the new 12" 800MHz iBook G4s is their battery life. Apple says 6 hours but if you can get 4 real hours out of that, well you've just outlasted every single-battery PowerBook in history.
     
  11. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #11
    I WAS facing the same dilemma as calhobbes. Apple solved the riddle for me with garage band and the new keyboard and pre-amp. With the money I save on the 12" ibook, I can get the keyboard, pre-amp, and an ipod mini. All I'll miss out on is the cache, as 640 is plenty of ram for my uses (music, dvd's, office, web).

    I plan to wait until the day the processor speeds are bumped and order a maxed out ibook.

    Get the 12 if portability is a big issue, but if sheer power and speed are your priority, get a powerbook. The difference in speed between the 800 and 1 gig ibook's will be negated by blinking once anyway.
     
  12. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    For general use, the iBook is a great machine.

    I am saving my $$ for the next ibook revision. Two more pay checks/months and I will be out of the hole and into the black. New iBooks should appear right about the time I get that tax return =)

    I don't want to buy the first effort at a G5 powerbook. And am happy to wait for another generation. Besides, I have always prefered to have my power in a desktop. I just feel that I get more bang for the buck that way.
     
  13. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    What I did was go to my local apple store and actually messed around with the machines....I was set on the 14" iBook, then went to the store and fell for the 12" pb- that was a month ago, now I'm on the 15" pb- (after pimping out the 12" it's only 200 more to get a pimped 15", with the gov disc I get anyway) after taking a look at both the iBook and the pb it was a no-brainer, pb all the way...I highly recommend going to the apple store in person and see which one calls your name..!!
     
  14. calhobbes thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Cambridge, MA
    #14
    I didn't realize I had left this thread hanging. Thank you all for your replies, and I wanted to let you know I went with the 12" PB and I love it!
     
  15. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Las Vegas, NV
    #15
    Congratulations. What's your favorite thing about the PowerBook? Mine is lid-closed operation.
     
  16. moot macrumors regular

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    Jun 30, 2004
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    in the great Asian wonderland
    #16
    I'm sure you wont regret your decision.

    I went the other way and got an iBook. Now every time I see a PB I regret not spending the extra cash. I love my iBook but just wish I had a PB :(
     
  17. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

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    May 3, 2004
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    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #17
    i didn't have time to see if anyone else replied to this but this only effects the G3 iBooks not G4 which is what he/she is looking at
     
  18. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #18
    Everytime your iBook slips out of your hands and hits the table a little hard, or you toss it into the back-seat, be thankful you don't have a PB. ;)
     
  19. calhobbes thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Cambridge, MA
    #19
    I love that. I made an IBM user jealous with that feature. One thing I'd love to see with that is that if shutdown has initiated, closing the lid wouldn't stop that.
    I really love the size of the computer. I take it everywhere throughout my apartment, and with a wireless network, it's great. I'm starting to get a groove going in the recliner.
     
  20. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

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  21. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

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    Aug 15, 2004
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    England
    #21
    Please could you explain "lid closed operation"... I don't quite get it...

    Thanks.
     
  22. erickg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    #22
    I think they are referring to the possibility of running the powerbook while the lid is closed, i.e. hooking it up to an external screen, mouse and keyboard and running it kind of like a desktop. I'm not quite sure, but this might even make it possible to run the external screen on the full memory of the video card (64/128mb).
     
  23. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #23
    Thats what I hoped... Itstead of this stupid screen spanning thing... If someone could confirm this... ;)

    Cheers. 12" PB seems likely for my next computer... Then a 20" display... :) :eek:
     
  24. phonic pol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Any of the apple laptops will be fine - their all very capable. I have the powerbook G4 15" and my partner uses an ibook G4. The powerbooks are more luxurious and more refined than the ibooks. There's nothing I do on my pb that I couldn't do on my partners ib, I just enjoy the pb more! :D
     
  25. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #25
    erickg is correct, so here's the confirmation. The external display runs with the full VRAM of your PowerBook's GPU when running with its lid closed.
     

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