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iBook v. PowerBook; 12" v. 14" v. 15"

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by donigian, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    I'm going to be a new freshman at college this fall and will be purchasing an Apple laptop next week (or so). My question is, which of the following would be best for longevity, power (I use PhotoShop), and price?

    14" iBook
    1.2 GHz G4
    512 MB RAM
    Bluetooth/Airport Extreme
    60 GB HDD


    12" PowerBook
    1.33 GHz G4
    512 MB RAM
    Bluetooth/Airport Extreme
    80 GB HDD, 5400 RPM


    15" PowerBook
    1.5 GHz G4 (The difference in this config for the 1.5 and the 1.33 15" PowerBooks' is $100, I think $100 warrants the 1.5 GHz processor.)
    512 MB RAM
    Bluetooth/Airport Extreme
    80 GB HDD, 5400 RPM
    Lighted Keyboard

    BTW: I will be using the computer as my primary computer and will use it for tasks ranging from email/typing papers up to PhotoShop and iMovie/iDVD work. If I had to guess, I'd estimate my usage of higher powered apps at around 1+ hours a day, FWIW.

    Thank you so much.
  2. macrumors Penryn


    The 15" PB. I say get the 15" because of the extra resolution you can get with the 15".

    Otherwise, it doesn't really matter if you get the 14" iBook or the 12" PB. I'd get the 12" PB because it comes with an Airport Extreme card and comes with the 5400rpm HDD option, but in terms of screen resolution, and processing power and such, it won't really matter either way.

    Get the 15" or 12".
  3. macrumors regular

    12" PowerBook. Period.

    The resolution is just the right amount for graphic/web design (using Photoshop/Imageready and GoLive). I would never sacrifice my portability for the 15" widescreen. Ever. The 12" PowerBook is really a full-featured ultralight. You can't ask for more.

    Mike LaRiviere
  4. macrumors 65816

    This topic has been asked numerous times before. So you coulda searched. But my vote is toward the Powerbook 15". I have one and i love it. It kills the iBook by far and passes the 12" PowerBook. Definatly worth the money.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Definatly one of the Powerbooks. The 14" isn't worth it, because it is the same resolution as a 12", but is less portable. I've got a 12" PB, and its great, but if you can afford a 15", thatd be good too (not saying I prefer the 15" over the 12" though).
  6. macrumors 6502


    I will say PowerBook over iBook. And if this isn't going to be your primary computer, go for the 12"PB, but if this is your only computer, you will want 15"PB.
    I guess I will recommend the combo drive over superdrive as well. I bought my 12"PB with superdrive and I realized I paid $200 for something I have on my desktop. I just figured it would be better in the future, but wasn't thinking when I rushed to the store and picked it up only 20 hours after seeing the PowerBook.
    You could get the 12" then the display if you want portability and comfort, but it is price in the end which defeats us all.
  7. macrumors newbie

    12" is TOO HOT to handle!

    Hi donigian,

    I hope I am not too late. hehe

    Here is the plain truth: Both 12" (iB/PB) gets too hot after intensive work for an hour in a room without A/C. Especially if you place it directly on the table (face it, you do not want to carry around a stand for your Mac) and you use Adobe programs (not removing your left hand from the keyboard, the left side being the HDD hotspot).

    The iB 14" and the PB 15" (my favorite) stays comfortable even during HDD intensive work in Adobe.

    I recommend you choose the iB 14" if you only use the computer a couple of hours each day (cause the screen will not bother you), and the PB 15" if you use it or plan to start using it for serious work several hours each day in the near future (the next couple of years;). If you use the computer only an hour at a time - or move around a lot - get the ultraportable and extremely hot 12" PB (it cools down fast though).

    And btw I have tried them all. :) Currently the PB 12", and I have to pad the hotspot with my passport when working! Damn! hehe

    Hope that helps.

  8. macrumors member

    Save $ for beer, go for the 14" iBook

    The 1.2 14" iBook also comes with Airport Extreme built in as well. The 14" iBook is the best performance for your $. Since photoshop is not 3D, the upgraded graphics card will not benefit you as well. Save your $600 for beer and fun money. You could always use the extra money you saved to upgrade beyond 512 of memory. Photoshop and OSX are both memory hogs. I'd run a mac for those things with no less than a gig. There's more to life than sitting in front of a computer. Oh and superdrives are over-rated unless you do lots of dvd movies. I'd say save the $ on the superdrive and buy an external if you end up really needing it. Externals can also burn at 8x and beyond...
  9. macrumors G4


    or you could get a refurb 15" powerbook and have money for beer.

    dont knock haveing the 64MB vram option the proformence boost from 128MB is very little (you cant get bto refurbs)
  10. macrumors regular

    If you don't buy your memory from apple but get it cheaper at crucial the price difference between the two machines is significantly more than $100 (assuming you don't want to waste a memory slot). Also bear in mind that the 1.5ghz hardrive needs upgrading from 4200 to 5400 to bring in line with a 80gb 5400 upgrade on the 1.33

    If I were in your position I'd go for either the 12" or 15" pb - depending on preference. If 15" then I'd go for the 1.33 which is signicantly less in the UK. I bought a 15" 1.33 a while back with 5400 80gb hd - fantastic machine and copes well with editing several 60mb photoshop files at the same time.

    The quality of build on the pb's is just too good to miss out on - in terms of industrial design they are the dogs bollocks - no contest against the ibook. If you are budget concious go for the ibook; they are still very competent machines.
  11. macrumors regular

    Ditto that! I had a superdrive in my powermac G4 - never used it, not once! Eventually ebay'd it and bought 15" powerbook with combo drive instead. No regrets and I'm planning on getting a fast external dvd burner when the need arises.
  12. macrumors regular

    Interesting but I totally disagree about the size of screen. I use the 15" widescreen which is just about big enough when photoshopping and illustrating. It's still pretty portable too - get a cumpler (very busy man) their perfect.

    I also find that I use my 17" apple flat panel as a second display often as I usually like to view photoshop along side illustrator or dreamweaver alongside photoshop etc. A 12" screen would be too small for me as I'd always want my second display hooked up.

    The 12" screen is also the same screen as is used in the 12" ibook and lacks the contrast and clarity of the 15". I compared the two side by side before buying because the screen is one of the most important elements for me.

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