Just received new 15" Rev. D Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Chrispy, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #1
    Hello all! I just received my Rev. D 15” Powerbook this morning so figured I would give my opinion here.

    This entire process started with a 12” Powerbook that had a bad pixel in the display. I argued with apple about it for some time and eventually got them to see my side of it. They let me return it and then in the middle of the entire thing the new Powerbooks came out. I decided to go with the 15” combo model instead so that is what was officially ordered on Monday the 31st. Even coming from China, the thing came this morning! I was amazed considering the estimated delivery date was 2-7-05.

    The screen is free of any dead pixels (there was one dead one at the top but I tried the rubbing trick and it worked YAY!) and looks great. The increased stock RAM made a difference right away for it seems much more snappy. The faster HD has increased my office program startup times considerably which is nice. The backlit keyboard is very bright and does a good job of adjusting to the brightness levels in the room. The faster process has not really had a chance to show off considering it is not really that much faster anyways.

    My favorite feature so far, however, has been the two finger scrolling on the touchpad. This feature works just as apple advertised. You scroll two fingers over the touchpad and it scrolls up and down or left and right in the window. It is like having a scroll wheel on the touchpad. This will be a very nice timesaver down the road for sure. Another thing I noticed right away was the airport card is able to pick up weaker signals. On my old 12” Powerbook and my girlfriends 12” Powerbook I have trouble picking up a connection in my dorm room that someone down the wing has setup. With this Powerbook I have had no trouble with the connection at all today.

    Overall, I am extremely pleased with my new computer. Apple hit a home run for me with this machine. It will hopefully be my baby for a long time to come ?

    Let me know if you guys are curious about anything else and I will be happy to answer your questions. I will post about battery time when I actually run it down (I’m charging it for the first time right now).
     
  2. shane-o-mac macrumors regular

    shane-o-mac

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    #2
    Congrats!

    I look forward to ording the same set up next month. Keep us posted with your reviews. P.S. How do you think the screen resolution compares with other lap tops out there? Def let me know about the battery time.......happy computing.
     
  3. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Let us know how the battery life is. I imagaine it should be around 2.5-3. But, I am just curious, still waiting on mine to ship...
     
  4. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #4
    Battery and screen resolution.

    Thanks for the replies. I took the laptop with me to classes today to give it a run for its money. The battery looks like it will pull about 2.75 hours with screen dimmed down halfway and airport disabled. This was with microsoft word 2004 in use the entire time. I imagine I could have gotten 3 hours from it but I didn't push it.

    In response to the screen resolution. Personally, I really enjoy the resolution of the 15". I know there has been some debate over the resolution being too low, but I feel it is perfect. It allows everything I need to fit on the screen (something I could not do with my 12") and I can actually raed the text. I had an IBM Thinkpad 42 with a 14" display and a resolution of 1600x1200. I could not read the darn thing if it was more than two feet from my face a lot of the time so I am glad apple is not going nuts and trying to fit as much onto the screen as they can at once. And in case you didn't know already, the resolution is 1280x854. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will be happy to attempt to give an informed answer.
     
  5. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Is this your first 15" Powerbook? If not, how does the screen compare? I assume it is the same screen, but I was hoping it may be a little better.
     
  6. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
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    Avon, IN
    #6
    Screen

    I owned a Rev. C 15" for a short period of time before my 12" (long story why I went from a 15" to a 12"). The screen seems the same to me except that there are no dead pixels (when I was buying my other 15" in a actual apple store the first two I looked at had a bad pixel). There have been arguments on this forum about if the screen in the 15" is better than the 12". I think so because, while it may be the same screen technology at work, the screen is larger and in my opinion much brighter and more crisp. It is not that apple puts cheaper displays in the 12" but rather the 15" screen size just helps it achieve a better look and feel. This is, of course, my personal opinion. I have only seen the TiBook 15" for a brief period of time and to me both the Rev. C and Rev. D screen is better than the one I saw. However, it was old so that may mean nothing. In the end, if you have or have used a Al Powerbook 15" you probably will not see a difference.
     
  7. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    Oct 7, 2004
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    somewhere between here and there.
    #7
    Battery life seems like a bummer. :(


    3 hours is just not enough. :p :)
     
  8. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
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    #8
    Haha. Yeah, I agree that it is not much compared to the G3 iBook I used to own. Good thing is I don't need the battery for more than 2 and a half hours at a time. But that is def something people should consider when purchasing a powerbook. Especially a 15" or more.
     
  9. TheSith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    #9
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    Tell me, when did it say that it was shipped? Mine said it today, the 3rd. I hope it comes tomorrow (haha).
     
  10. khammack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Would you perform a calibration cycle and try again? I'm really curious about the battery life on this laptop. Here are the instructions:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86284

    thanks
    -kev
     
  11. khammack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Also, I wonder about this:

    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/batteryupdate.html

    It's been available since 2003 so I assume that any new powerbook will already have this patch. Can anyone confirm this?

    The apple website doesn't mention any machines that ship with this update; it only says what products the update supports (the G4 PB is one of them). Kind of confusing.

    -kev
     
  12. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    Feb 6, 2004
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    Hell@HighAltitude
    #12
    You used a 'rubbing' trick to free the dead pixel? Could you tell me this technique in detail? I've got a dead pixel on my 20" LCD.

    Also, i would like to know how this laptop performs in newer 3d games. I'm more than willing to listen to anything you've got to say about this and gaming... so please fess-up :)
     
  13. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    Jan 23, 2005
  14. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    Oct 7, 2004
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    somewhere between here and there.
    #14
    Run the Apple Hardware Test CD that came with your Mac, it will do a video scan with different colours on screen, any pixel that does not register as the same colour displayed is a dead pixel. :)
     
  15. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

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  16. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #16
    Answers

    Lots to answer haha. Ok I will try to break everything down here.

    Becuase I got this computer as an exchange it was hard for me to get apple to even tell me when it shipped. I called them on Monday afternoon and they said it had not shipped yet and would not until my old one got back to them. Well, I called again later that night and I was informed the laptop had shipped earlier that day and I "should" have gotten an e-mail or an update under my old web order number on the online order status system. So the short answer to your question is the laptop would have shown as shipped on Monday the 31st. Also, it was sent 2-3 day instead of standard 5 day for some reason free of charge so maybe they will do the same for you. :)

    Second, on the issue of the battery. I would be more than happy to calibrate the battery to see exaclty how much power I get. I have it hooked up to an external monitor at the moment but I will be sure to do it tomorrow when I am working on my Peecee on Access. Then I should be able to give a definite number on how many hours and min I get before the computer goes into emergency reserve power. I checked into that patch and it will not let me install it on my computer. I guess it must already be installed or something.

    Third, on the dead pixel issue. I must warn that I have had/seen too many apple computers with a dead pixel before this one (owned 2 12" powerbooks that had to be exchanged over a dead pixel and saw 2 15" powerbooks with dead pixels in the Apple store in Indianapolis) and I tried this trick on the 2 that I owned before with no luck. However, of the 2 that I had before they were technically "stuck pixels" meaning they would only display as white. The rubbing trick did not work because they were technically not dead but rather the resistor for that pixel had gone bad. On this one, the pixel was actually dead so I took the soft screen protecter that Apple puts between the keyboard and screen when they ship their computers and used it as a buffer between my finger and the display. I then LIGHTLY rubbed the stop that had the dead pixel for about 3-5 seconds and then BAM much to my excitement and glee the pixel came back to life. If your pixel is actually dead you may want to try this trick.

    As far as detecting a dead pixel, if you cannot see the dead pixel then it can't be that much of a problem ;), but if you do want to try to hunt one down head here for the mac version..
    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/21747
    and here for a similar program for windows..
    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/win/35187
    Once you download the program you can then use it to help you spot any dead/stuck pixels.

    Last, for games I do not have much to base anything off of at the moment. I don't play too many computer games (I'm more of a Final Fantasy person) other than so FPS and Simcity 2000 haha (thinking of getting Simcity 4). I fired up the demo of Unreal Tournament 2003 today just to check out the performance. With graphic settings up pretty high and at a resolution of 800x600x32 I had smooth as silk gameplay. If I ever get a title more demanding or if someone has a link to a demo you want me to try out send em my way and I will gladly try them out for you :D

    If there are anymore questions let me know and I will be happy to answer them. I will post again tomorrow afternoon/evening on the battery life. Thanks!
     
  17. wizz0bang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Germany
    #17
    Could you give your insights into the 12" vs 15" debate? Portability, display size, etc... what made you go from a 15" to a 12" then back to a 15"? I like the 12" for size, but the 15" for its' screen...

    My current plans include buying the 12" powerbook, then if I end up using it mostly at my desk like my current desktop, hook it up to my current 19" CRT or eventually buy a 19"+ LCD. But I really want a "notebook" sized computer, grab and go, you know. The 15" just seems a bit to unwieldy to me to use in an airplane or in the passenger seat of a car for instance.

    Thanks...
     
  18. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #18
    At max even with a calibrated battery you will get 3.5-4 hours. Though the advertised run time on the battery is 5 hours. I know you can get 4.5 hours if you turn off BT and WiFi, put the screen brightness on the lowest setting, same with the volume, have enough ram so the HDD hardly spins, no disc in the optical drive, nothing else plugged into the ports. ;) :)

    Hey those are Apple Lab tests, I didn't make up the guide line(s). ;) :)
     
  19. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #19
    Sure thing. I went with the 15" because I just like having a bigger display for when I am not at my desk with it hooked up to my LCD monitor. I had a 12" before and at times the screen seemed cramped to me (not often but from time to time). I decided since I really could not make the screen larger after I bought it that I would just go for the 15" and be done with it. It is larger but not by much. Only about a pound heavier which with all my books with me too I don't really even notice. If you are going to be on planes a lot (and I'm assuming you would be flying coach) I would go with the 12". When I used to take my 12" with me over the summer at my job on business trips even that seemed like a tight squeeze at times. If it is going to be at your desk most of the time when you are not travelling then I say go with the 12" and an external monitor. The speed with the new updates is basically exaclty the same (other than a slightly faster graphics card in the 15" and 17" models). It is really just a matter of preference more than anything so if you can check them out in person that would be the best thing to do. Again, from my experience planes + larger laptops = cramped space. I hope this helped your decision at least a little :) Either way, you will probably be pleased with what you get :) Also, keep in mind what MAYA pointed out earlier in this thread about battery life. You will get longer battery life from a 12" simply because the screen is smaller. How much of a difference exaclty I do not know, but I would bet at least a half an hour or more.
     
  20. khammack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Purportedly so, but that's a full 1+ hours more than Chrispy reported from his first experiment. By my extremely loose calculations 4 hours is around 1/3 more life, which is nothing to sneeze at.

    That extra hour can make a big difference if you are carrying your laptop around to hour long meetings.

    Actually, for the 15" it's only advertised as "up to 4.5 hours".

    That's really what I'm hoping to characterize. There is so much hearsay about battery life, some people are adamant that you can't get more than 2-3 hours on a powerbook, others claim to get the advertised 4.5 hours. I suspect (and hope) the disparity is caused by people who have not calibrated their battery and people who have. Before I take the plunge, I'd like to hear from someone actually using the 15" PB to confirm my suspicion.

    I'm buying this 15" powerbook in 1 month in lieu of an HP zt3000 centrino with identical specs that gets 5+ hours easily, costs $500 less, and is likely to have slightly better performance. I'm hoping to avoid buyer's remorse with my first apple ever; if it won't do the job I want it to do, I'd be better off saving my first apple purchase for a more appropriate machine.

    Thanks for your help Chrispy.

    -kev
     
  21. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #21
    A) Congrats dude!!! Enjoy!

    B) I have owned 3 powerbooks, and have NEVER gotten 4 hours of battery life out of any of them in day to day use. 2.75 seems about right for real time usage (forget what Apple says).

    C) To the person who asked how to detect a stuck or dead pixel... don't! If you have one on a new LCD screen you will notice it pretty quick. If you have been using your machine for a while and haven't noticed one, why worry about it?
     
  22. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #22
    just one general question:
    Does the casing seem any different from previous revs, ie, improved hinges, fixes on the hatch bulge, etc.
     
  23. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Dec 27, 2004
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    Avon, IN
    #23
    The case seems exaclty the same as the Rev. C I used. Hinge works perfectly and all fits together very nicely. No scractes or anything from the factory.
     
  24. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #24
    Actually, the 15" Powerbook today is rev c. Apple introed the 12" and 17" AL Powerbooks in MWSF '03. Leaving the 15" still at ti. Then at Paris '03, apple brought the 15" Alpbook out and makng the 12" and 17" pbook rev b. Then in April the 15" went rev b and 17" and 12' went rev c. Now it is the rev d for the 12" and 17" Powerbooks and rev c for 15" Powerbook. Congrats on buying it though.
     
  25. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
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    #25
    Just to tell you guys, i get about 4 hours on my 1ghz 12" powerbook. Keep the screen at full brightness too.... So i am not sure what you are doing wrong (doubt anything) Maybe i just have an insane battery.

    kyle
     

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