Is this the right time to buy a PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SolidGun, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. SolidGun macrumors 6502

    SolidGun

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #1
    My eyesight is getting blurry after reading almost 1000 different information on PowerBook and iBook and misc info on why Mac is a way to go.
    I have been using PC all my life and I will never switch my desktop for a number of reasons(including customizability), but I went into get my 4G iPod for servicing (yeah, it was a defective HDD after getting it overnighted :mad: ), and the supposed "Genius" used his PowerBook to probe my iPod and the application load up time facinated me and since then I have been considering my portable computers to a PowerBook. Also, reading through many posts here further convinced me that PowerBook over iBook is a way to go. That and I do more than Office stuff and misc simple stuff on my laptops. I will leave hardcore modding to my PC....anyway....

    I wanted to know if this is the right time to buy a PowerBook or if I should wait for the next version? When did the last PB come out and when is the prediction on the next one?

    I am considering buying a stock 12" with superdrive to replace my ultraportable Sony. I don't need anything larger since I leave anything that needs more to my powerful desktop. Is it better to upgrade the HDD to 5400rpm or better to do it myself. I have read recommendations, but should I get 5400rpm or 7200rpm? I know the heat factor comes into play here, but if you have replaced your stock drive, you opinion would be most appreciated.

    Is it cheaper to buy the superdrive seperately and to upgrade it?

    Someone mentioned getting MS office 2004 for mac for free through their school. Can you elaborate on how this works? Do I have to purchase through the school to do that?

    Can someone recommend me a book on Mac OS? Last Mac OS I used was like 6 years ago and I am Windows/Linux user and Mac retarded. Will I need a book to learn ALL the stuff. I can use the basics, but I want to know if a book on the OS would help me get into it further. Or should I just post all the questions and probe through the past posts?

    Is it difficult to share files between Mac and PC? I know this is a broad question, but if you do this, please share your issues.

    I know this is a lot and have been asked quite a few times, but this would really help me out with the transition into the Macworld. I never thought I would consider switching to Mac, but I am ready to buy the PB in like 10 hours. I just got approved for $2000 in AppleCredit and I can take advantage of the $200 iPod rebate and Student discount.

    Thx a lot people and I will be here more often now that you will feed me with answers. Once you feed me, it is difficult to get rid of me :D
     
  2. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    England
    #2
    The buyer's guide tab at the top right of this page is a good place to start. It will tell you when it was last updated, average tiem to next update etc. It also links to past news stories on Powerbook releases.
     
  3. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #4
    As a G5 PB certainly won't be released this year (and as it would be a very good idea to wait for the Rev. B of such a "hot" beast...) now is the perfect time to buy a PowerBook IMO! These are very refined products right now, no bugs or problems whatsoever, fast, light, sleek and beautiful. What more could you ask? :D
     
  4. ecche macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    a very kiwi place
    #5
    Exactly! I ordered mine a couple of days ago. Surely I am not waiting for a G5 PB to be among the first ones to have problems with it. I had enough of that with my iMac TFT. Anyway, my new PB will be more than good enough for the work I intend to use it for...
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    Best guess based on history is a revision in the Sept or Oct timeframe.
     
  6. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #7
    The number of Mac books in my local bookstore seemed to have tripled in recent months. I picked this book up for a switcher that seemed very easy to follow called "Teach Yourself Visually Mac OS X v. 10.3 Panther". Every page focused on one feature and it was well organized. It covers the iLife programs too. I have "50 Fast Mac OS X Techniques" and it has some information that isn't in the normal beginner books.

    I just purchased my PB 15 ' and I love it. I am planning to upgrade past 512 MB so that I can run virtual PC and Oracle 10g. I predict the hard drive upgraded to 100mb on the next revision around November with a minor update. I predict they will have another update when Tiger comes out later in '05. I hope they keep it as a G4 because I like the battery life and having it not get so hot.

    Don't go beyond 5400rpm because it's more compact than a PC laptop with those huge fans with the 7200 rpm. Just use Apple's 5400 rpm drive or you may run into problems with components overheating.

    Go for the superdrive model. You can get a faster external DVD burner but iDVD won't work with it. But you can use it with the Pro version. It also makes a effective backup drive for photos and music. Ipods are also good for backing up your data.

    Some schools give you incredible deals with Office. My school doesn't so I got my Office 2004 at CompUSA for $150.
     
  7. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Buy it now. The revision just happened back in April. No G5's are scheduled to come out this year. Possibly the beginning of next year but it is not certain. Buy now.
     
  8. Dave the Great macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    #10
    Do you think they might possibly do one last revision of the g4 PB, if the g5 PB is not due until Jan. of 2005?

    The reason I ask is that I was at a store today and was floored by the display on a HP. The sales guy said it was some new HiDef BrightView technology HP was using. I was thinking maybe Apple would do another update, but update some other things like a better display, offer a 7200 rpm HD, etc. etc.

    I thought it was rumored, too, for awhile, that Apple was going to go to 15.4, instead of the 15.2?
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    I don't think there will be a single PB cpu upgrade until the G5 PB comes out, whenever that is. I think this is one of those situations where Apple may actually NOT update the PB line for a year. They did this with the 1GHz 15" Titanium Powerbook, so don't doubt that they won't do it again. They're not going G5 any time soon (probably some time in 2005), and there simply aren't many more possible updates to the G4 by Motorola. They may go to 1.6 or 1.7GHz if Moto will produce them, but I wouldn't bother waiting for them. They probably won't come until X-mas.... before MWSF in January. Or maybe they won't come at all.

    Anyway, even if new procs were to come out, the 12" never gets the fastest proc anyway. The most it would get is the 1.5GHz G4, and that proc doesn't provide much better performance over the 1.33GHz G4, so forget it.

    I'd get a 12" PB now with a 512MB RAM chip from Crucial.com to get your total RAM to 768 MB, along with the upgraded HDD from Apple. The faster HDD gives significant performance boost, much more so than getting a 1GB stick of RAM. The 7200rpm HDD really isn't necessary, and may void your Applecare warranty, although some say it won't if you get it done by an authorized Apple reseller.
     
  10. SolidGun thread starter macrumors 6502

    SolidGun

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #12
    Many thx to all that encouraged the purchase. I picked up the stock powerbook from Apple store that had a grand opening today. I figured that 1.25GB memory in the end would be more than enough and I could easily upgrade the HDD to 5400rpm drive from tips here on best HDD for Powerbook.
    I already had to replace the first one because of a stuck pixel and the manager was kind enough to replace it for me.
    BTW, for people that have already purchased iPod and are looking to get the deal on the $200 rebate, you should know that you have to have the both items on the same receipt. I didn't read the small print until later and had some tough time getting that settled at the Apple store, but they were kind enough to help.
    I have been looking at some books on Mac OS to get a quick start on Mac, and thx for recommending those books up there Bornagainmac. I never needed a book for PC because I have been using it so long, but I only have a month before school starts and I want to know a lot more about Macs to help out Freshmen chicks with Macs. I got the PC help covered, but Macs seem to be the choice of the blondes on my campus.

    Could someone post a suitable HDD at a reasonable price here for quick reference, I will look at other posts, but if you have the knowledge just give me a name and place to purchase a 5400rpm 60GBto80GB HDD.
    Thank you in advance.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #13
    Sorry, forgot to mention a book.

    The bible for new OSX users is OSX Panther: The Missing Manual. The Missing Manual is a series of books by David Pogue. It is THE book.
     
  12. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #14
    Buy now.

    I totally agree with everyone that it is a good time to buy a PB. Even if a new revison came out later this year, it would only be a minor revision, i. e. slightly faster processor, perhaps bigger HD, too (100 Gigs). A small price drop is also possible but if you need a new laptop now, buy. The next revision is not worth the wait. As for a book, as a recent switcher (Jan 04), I can vouch for the "Missing Manual" by David Pogue. In fact, it's the best book covering any OS I've ever seen. I even ended up buying the missing manual on iPhoto 4 by the same author.
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #15
    January is the earliest that the PB G5 will be out. After the issues with the iMac G5, Apple will be more careful about production times. I think that even money is on another bump in specs on the current G4 PB's
     
  14. lha72 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Hawaii
    #16
    Buy only if you absolutely need one, and then consider getting a used one at a discount. Reasons - G4 Powerbooks and Ibooks are slow, old technology which will soon be less and less compatible with the newer operating systems (tigger and updates); displays are dull compared to HP, Sony, etc.; drives are slow; the machies pricey.

    Hold off until apple decides whether it wants to be a music distributor, a computer company, or a software company.

    It is not my intent to start a flame war - I've been a computer user/engineer/scientist for about 32 years, everything from big iron to portables, and have owned Apple machies since the early 80's. Apple makes nice clean machines, and OSX is one of the best operating systems ever released. However, as far as laptops are concerned, Apple is falling dismally behind in the value/performance arena.

    There is absolutely no technological reason why the G5 could not be in a laptop today. The reasons given, and repeated over and over again by the masses, are the same as those used in the PC world when marketeers claimed there will never be "a 386/486/Pentium laptop because the processor is just too big and it draws too much power", or "monochrome displays are more than sufficient in a laptop, and besides color displays draw too much power."
     
  15. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #17
    The right time to buy one is when you really need one. I just bought a 12in PB and love it. I decided against a Rev A iMac G5. Portability rulz.
     
  16. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    SolidGun... I guess you already made your decision, but I figured I chime in anyways since I went through a similar predicament.

    Iha72 has a really good point. I finally decided on a PB 17", but when I was shopping around, I couldn't help but notice the screens on the new HPs and Sonys. Literally to die for. Mind you, the font and icons were getting a bit on the small side on the superfine screens, so I don't know if that's for you. Also, some of the newer screens have a very high reflectivity: you can pick up on lights on in the background or overhead. Only you can decide out if that's annoying or not. But yes, being a long time PC user, yes, they are superior in terms of speed.

    However, I found that the general design of any similarly spec'd PC laptop couldn't quite match a PB. For example, an HP7000 or Toshiba P25 also had a 17" screen - and a better one almost - but they would be 0.5" (at least) thicker and 2 to 3 pounds heavier. And, the more expensive the laptop, the less the difference between the features offered until it seemed that the PB offered the best overall value for the price. If I went down in price, then I started losing features in a PC laptop (e.g., DVD-R). And smaller screened PC laptops (15", 14") still weighed almost the same as a 17" PB. So, it came down to tradeoffs.

    The way I view it in terms of purchasing tradeoffs ... no the PBs no longer have the fastest processor, but it's still a great processor; they no longer have the absolute best screen, but they still have a great screen; they don't have the absolute best keyboard, but they have a great keyboard; and admittedly, the PBs are still the best looking cases around!

    I'm sure you've already heard this argument... how fast do you really need to open an MS Word document? Or email? Only you can tell if you have a specialized program that requires raw speed.

    In my opinion, the best time to buy is JUST BEFORE you need absolutely need it. Once you critically need it, you won't have as much time or flexibility in purchasing options. And as advised by my purchasing department, you can never predict when the next best thing will come out. There will always be something better. My purchaser cited one case where a prof kept asking about Dells and holding off for years, working (and probably losing time and productivity) with his old machines. He finally bought a new one - and he hated it! Finally, other Mac users have been saying that the G4 laptops are at least mature machines with many problems worked out. I bought a Tablet PC about a half year after they came out: looking back, I should have waited until the second round of tablets came out.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #19
    Some good arguments there. Though till the software catches up with the Tiger OS, there is little need for most other than bragging rights for a G5 in a PB. Also if the rumors are true about the G5 iMac, then heat issues are bigger than we think in a smaller form factor.
     
  18. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #20
    Heat issues aren't the main problem - supply of appropriate chips in volume is the problem. Heat is mostly just an excuse for production problems that are not directly related to heat issues. At 1.4 to 1.6GHz the G5 is perfectly acceptable for use in the Powerbook without radical new cooling technology. The faster bus would be quite helpful for many applications even if the cpu frequency stayed about the same as the current G4. However, I think we also could be waiting because of dramatic improvements to the supporting chipset on the motherboard.

    Regardless, it is going to be at least four to six months before we see a G5 Powerbook. The current Powerbook is a very highly evolved and stable design while the G5 Powerbook will be an unkown quantity and in very short supply when released. The G4 Powerbook will still be good enough for most people even after the G5 version becomes available. If you need a Powerbook now then now is the time to buy.
     

Share This Page