iBook potential purchase...few questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by monty77, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. monty77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    UK, South Coast
    #1
    Thinking of selling the iMac and getting an iBook as a solution to lack of space and increased flexibility. These are my main uses for my Mac

    - Simple DV video importing/editing
    - Burning CDs/DVDs
    - Internet / Email
    - Light Dreamweaver/Photoshop work
    - iPhoto

    Is the 14" iBook up to these tasks? On paper specs put it on a par with, if not slightly ahead of, a Mac mini which I owned before the iMac and was pretty impressed of it's performance despite it's slow HDD.

    Another thing...would the iBook be able to drive a 26" LCD monitor? Or is that asking too much of the graphics card? Also is the HDD upgradable outside of Apple?

    Thanks!
    Adam
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The iBook will do all the things you want, but you may well find screen space a limiting factor (hence the 26" LCD I suppose). Be aware that the iBook only supports display mirroring out of the box. The famous spanning hack should enable it to drive external moitors at more than 1024 as well as enable spanning but it might be wise to wait till someone tries it on a new iBook to check.

    Also the iBook cannot operate in clamshell mode that means that the vram is split when driving an external monitor. This will probably result in a slowish display when driving large screens.

    The HDD is not user replaceable (unless you are willing to take your iBook apart), but should be upgradable by any Apple certified technician (there are guides on the web, it's not easy).

    If you are willing to put up with the size of the 14" iBook (and I realise to get a superdrive you have to) would a 15" PowerBook not be better. Or a 12" superdrive PowerBook giving you greater flexibility (true clamshell mode) and a smaller portable?
     
  3. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    UK, South Coast
    #3
    It's not so much portability that's an issue, it'll be on a desk with external keyboard and mouse 99% of the time, it's more the footprint and ability to put it away easily and take into the living room if required with zero hassle.

    Didn't know about the inability to run in clamshell mode..that could be an issue :(

    The 26" LCD is my TV, would only be hooked up occasionally, majority of the time would be using the std screen.

    Seeing as a 15" PB can be had new for ~£1200 on Ebay these days and the iBook with larger HDD coming in at £1000 maybe I should take a closer look at the powerbooks instead.

    Would love a 17" powerbook but my brain tells me that spending £2k on a laptop with major revisions due within a year due to intel switch is an unwise investment...maybe a cheapo iBook as a stopgap is the better option for now...decisions decisions.

    Thanks for the info!
    Cheers,
    Adam
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    With regards to the external screen I did not realise that it was a TV. The split vram is less likely to be a big issue as TVs tend to have much lower resolutions than their monitor counterparts. It's resolution, not size that matters when it comes to what the iBook will happily drive.
     

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