Jumping Ship

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by VanMac, May 28, 2005.

  1. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    Hey All.

    So, I've been shopping for a Mac for almost 5 years now (yes...slow to move). I do software development, so compatibilty was a concern. With OSX however, I'm fully sold. I also have 4 wintel :eek: computers in the house, so if I ever have to do something, I can.

    I have an older Dell 7500 laptop that I will be farming out to my son(9). I would like to replace this with a PB of some sort. Weight is not an issue, as anything will be lighter then this pig I've been lugging around (weighs 9.4lbs on my digital scale...way more with power brick and case).

    I like the idea of a 12", but think I might be frustrated by screen realestate, as well an no lighted keyboard. I'm often fiddling around late at night in front of the TV with lights off, and I cant see the keys on my dell.

    15" PB seems very nice. I've been in the new Apple Store at Yorkdale mall (I'm from Ontario Canada). I was pretty sure that this would be the one for me, as I figured the 17" looked like a bit of a monster. The 15" looks nicely proportioned, and way lighter then my dell. Very nice machine.

    Spent some time with the 17" just for kicks, and I was really impressed. The screen is wonderful. Its like I just fell right into it. Wasnt aware of anything else in my peripheral vision. It was awesome. Went back to the 15", and it seemed like a laptop....hard to explain, but then back to the 17", and I was in 'mac world'. :)

    Anywho, just kinda rambling on here. I'm sure I will be happy with any one of the three. Just looking for some real world experiences out there that I can factor into the equation. I'm aware of the WWDC, and I will be waiting till then before I make any purchase decisions.

    I will be using this PB for email, surfing, documents, etc.

    I will also want to get into photo and movie stuff. I have both a digital camera and digital movie camera(with firewire). Are the PBs powerfull enough to do some basic video editing, etc?

    Lastly, I will want to do software development. Mostly Java/J2EE, but I will need to load on databases(oracle, or whatever), and application servers(weblogic/websphere), etc. I does not need to 'scream' with the development software, as I have a big Intel box at home if I need it.

    Regarding the 17"...anyone purchase this and find the size just too unwieldly? Any regrets??

    Thanks in advance for your comments. This is an excellant board, and I've learned a great deal here already.

  2. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    Let's see...as far as screen size, I would get the 12" just because of the following:

    If you are going to carry it around, the 15" and 17" are much to big. If you're going to use it on your desk, you can plug it into a nice 17" LCD and mirror it and have more screen space than a 15 or 17. That's just my opinion, as I like to move things around.

    I have seen alot of people in the marketplace trying to trade 15" PBs for 12" PBs.
  3. nightdweller25 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
    And the PowerBooks are way more than enough for some basic video and photo editing, Power=Professional, i=Consumer. Well at least for a laptop. :p
  4. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    The 17" is great!

    I carry my PB with me to school, on trips, etc. I think it has the best value if you can get an EDU discount, not much price difference from a pimped out 15" and the 17" model. I would recommend that you get a good bag to carry it in though. I use the crumpler team player.

    You will be happy with what ever you get though :D

  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If the 17" is more comfy for you, and price isn't a great issue, get the 17". :)

    I personally don't think the 17" seems much bigger than the 15", although I own neither of them so I don't know what it feels like to use them or carry them around long term (although I have carried them both before). But they're both light. The 17" is about as light as the 15" laptops offered by other companies.

    You should be able to do most of your editing work with no trouble whatsoever. You are buying a new Mac, not one that's 3 years old. ;) Any new laptop (Apple and non-Apple) would serve your needs, I'd think. Make sure to have 1GB of RAM on your system, minimum, for what you're doing. I'd actually recommend more, but you say you have a decent PC to work on, so 1GB is fine.

    You can do a lot of programming in XCode 2. It pretty much comes with Apple's OS, although many people choose not to install it if they have no intention of programming. Don't know if you've looked into that or not.

    However, a 17" PB can't really fit comfortably on your lap, while a 15" PB is much better for that. I have a 12" PB that you'd think would fit great on my lap, but alas, that's not the case. I'm always afraid that it'll fall in between my legs if I put it on my lap. :eek:

    Also note that the 15" PB doesn't have the best battery life.....maybe 2.5-3 hours. That's because it uses the same battery as the 12" PB, and yet the 15" uses more power. So obviously, the 12" will offer better life than the 15", but since the 17" uses a higher capacity battery, it can operate for 3.5 to 4 hours with ease, like the 12".
  6. ScottCFrancis macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2003
    17" PowerBook

    I have a 17" PowerBook and a Dell Latitude D610 (14" screen, thin and light). I use the PB for personal projects and the Dell is my work machine (I'm an IT consultant -- I have to use Windows).

    I use the PB primarily for video editing (Final Cut), page layout (InDesign), and music and photos (iLife). I like being able to do these things on-the-fly instead of being tied to a desk, and to do this the 17" PB is the only way to go.

    The PB is certainly not as portable as the Dell (or as a 15" PB, which my roommate has and which I agree feels more like a "real laptop" than the 17"). Some people say it's heavy, but my assumption is most of these people have never carried around a Windows laptop like the 7500 you mentioned. If they had, they wouldn't be complaining. The machine is very wide, which does make it a bit awkward, but it's not distracting and I'm used to it. I've used it on airplanes (it's tight, but it can be done), in airports, in coffee shops, in front of the TV -- basically anywhere you'd think to take and use a laptop. I carry it around in the Brenthaven 17" PB backpack.

    I use my Dell differently. If Dell made a 17" screen laptop that was as thin and light as the PowerBook I would have seriously considered it, but since they don't (and since even their 15" models are bricks) I went with the D610 and a docking station for my desk, which is attached to a 17" LCD, mouse, and keyboard. If I were using the PowerBook the for work I might have gone for the 15" and purchased a 20" LCD for my desk, but the 17" in close enough in weight that it would have been a difficult decision.

    Bottom line: If you love the 17" PB screen and you're used to the 7500 (I had a 7000 a few years back, so I know what it's like), I think you'll be happy with the 17" PB.
  7. kasei macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have had my 17" PowerBook for over a year and I love it. As far as it being portable, I recently completed a 21-month Executive MBA program, which involved me jumping on an airplane every other week with my 17" PowerBook in tow. The first thing I did was spend money on a Brenthaven backpack and I believe it made carrying the PowerBook much easier than a shoulder bag.

    My PowerBook has been to China, Mexico, Europe and Japan and I have not had any problems using it. Sure it doesn't fit on a coach class tray, but that is why it is called a laptop. As a matter of fact I have seen more Dells and IBMs get crushed because the owner had their system on a tray and the person in the seat in front of the tray reclined their seat. I normally keep the PowerBook on my lap unless I am sitting in Business or First class.

    When I see a 15" PowerBook, it looks small compared to what I am use to seeing on a daily bases. So, many people say the 17" PowerBook is too big or too heavy without having the experience of carrying one. I always live by one rule: Get what you want and not what everyone else wants.
  8. mukansa monkey macrumors newbie

    mukansa monkey

    May 21, 2005
    Powerbook and video editing

    If you plan to do any serious video editing (a bunch of splicing, dissolves, overlays, playing with timing) you really want Final Cut, which takes up enough screen real estate that the 17" would definitely be preferable. My brother does a lot of editing work on his 17" PB, it's about a year and a half old. While it takes him longer to get things done in Final Cut than it takes me on a 1.8 G5, he can mess around with it wherever he wants. You don't need a G5 to take some home movie footage, cut out the bit where Grandpa Joe throws up, and add some music or something. On the other hand, the 2Ghz and up G5s come with that dual layer drive, and they do make video work faster. :D
  9. VanMac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    Hey Abstract.
    Just looked at XCode 2 on apple's website. Looks pretty interesting. Have you used it at all?

    On another note, is there much of a market out there for mac developers? I typically do the corporate stuff, Java/J2EE for large corporations, but it would be nice to branch out into some OSX specific stuff if there was a market.

    Thanks for your input.
  10. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Get the 17" if price isn't an issue and you don't mind the size. Regardless, congrats on your decision to Switch To A Mac
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    I've got a 12" and I love it mainly because it is super portable and light weight enough for my 1.5 miles walk to campus every day. I watch movies, do light video editing and it's fine for me. When portability becomes less of an issue, I'll definitely go up to the 15" The 17", while beautiful would be overkill for me.
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero

    I understand that you like the extra screen real estate of the 17" PB,
    but the sweet spot for features, price and portability goes to a 15" PB,
    especially if the money you save goes to extra RAM or other BTO options.
    Or... just maybe a 20" WS display on the side.

    If you've been following the Mac community for 5 years, then you have the benefit of knowing more than most new purchasers.

    All three PowerBooks are fantastic reliable performers, but you may want to consider how much you're honestly willing to spend on G4 technology this late in the game.

    Best of luck on your decision
  13. strydr macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2005
    PowerBook questions

    I went through this same issue the first year for the 17" PB. In the end, I had to have the biggest, baddest machine for my $$. I will never regret it. There are a few disadvantages, like if you fly coach, it's hard to watch a movie, and it's a little unweidly to cary without a bag. I do see the advantage of having a smaller laptop, but only if I had a 23" or bigger display to use @ the desk. I use my laptop for everything- having the space to have many windows open, and viewable is key. I would never give up my 17", although I wouldn't mind complimenting it with a 15".... :D

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