Laptop wars (again)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MacMyDay, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. MacMyDay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #1
    Howdy,

    3 weeks ago (yes, I've had to use Windows for 3 weeks - an experience never wanted to repeat again) my 12" 1.33GHz SuperDrive PowerBook was destroyed. After this that and the other, the insurance are paying out, so I now have a cheque for £1400 to spend on getting a new one (I upgraded the HD to 80GB 5200rpm). Obviously, my initial reaction is to buy another one immediately.....but then my eyes settled on the iBook and the price difference for what appeared to me as little difference was astonishing.
    Just like those people who wish for the PowerBook G5 every minute of the day, I'd wanted a PowerBook since day one of owning an Apple. But I can't say I'm particularly too bothered any more. What I was hoping would be that someone could explain in as much detail as possible the discrepancies between the two machines that constitutes the over £500 price difference.

    Here are the two models:

    iBook
    • 256MB DDR266 SDRAM
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive
    • DVD/CD-RW
    • Bluetooth Module
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • 1.2GHz PowerPC G4
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 9200

    Subtotal: £813.99

    PowerBook
    • 256MB DDR333 SDRAM (256MB built-in)
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive
    • SuperDrive
    • 1.33GHz PowerPC G4
    • 12.1-inch TFT display
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX GO 5200 - 64MB DDR

    Subtotal: £1,338.99

    As made apparent, there's only formally the graphics card, 133Mhz processor, RAM and SuperDrive difference. Surely there's more I'm missing? Although that kinda sounds like a lot when I think of it like that.

    The most major part is that I'm going to uni in September and have several thousand to spend on new computers, so it could be a complete waste of money getting the PowerBook once again
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    As well as your list, I think the Powerbooks also have better connectivity e.g. Firewire 800 + others and potentially a better upgrade potential... apparently they also have superior keyboards. I didn't like the keyboard on my friend's iBook...

    You could try looking here for a little more info.

    And also try www.everymac.com
     
  3. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Quick question ot start: how was your powerbook 'destroyed'?

    Anyway, personally, I think in essence you're right - there's no longer a vast difference between the powerbook and the ibook, and certainly not £500. There's the thing everyone always mentions about ibooks not being able to run dual monitors without some kind of firmware hack, but that's no biggy if you don't have a second monitor. Generally, the powerbook seems to be better made - the keyboard seems to be more solid and the speakers are definitely better quality. When I bought this 12" powerbook two years ago (for £450 more than they now cost), ibooks were still on G3 chips, so that was a reason in itself, but if I was going to make the same choice again now with the current lineup, I'd get an ibook - however, I might blow the same amount (your £1,400) on a 14" ibook with a super drive, more ram, etc....
     
  4. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #4
    Water leak in bathroom....went through to kitchen....PowerBook in kitchen. :( Everything but the hard drive was somehow destroyed, which was actually quite lucky as I hadn't backed it up that month.

    Thanks for the info so far. For the FireWire 800, my PowerBook never had it. I originally wanted to go for the 15" but was put off by the size, yet since then have converted. I'm gonna probably get one for going to uni with, but this thing will always be my kinda baby laptop that will be most portable.

    Just a quick question....when I got my PowerBook it came from Taiwan and took 2 weeks to arrive. Are they all built there or would it be built at the new London Store now? I'm so impatient. I have to get off this Windows machine immediately. And as much as people may stick up for them, I've formatted 3 times this week. In my 2 years on a Mac only once was it required and that was because I kinda mistyped a rm -rf command :)
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    The hack allows for dual monitors and "clamshell" mode. Though a recent posting said that even in "clamshell" mode with the hack you are splitting the VRAM.

    The big reason for me with the PB over the iB is the graphic cards in the PB are Core Image ready.

    I have the PB 12" too. And if it were to be replaced, I would still probably go with the PB. For me I would never buy another Mac without the SDD. Never thought I would use it, but do all the time now.
     
  6. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #6
    I kinda agree about the entire SuperDrive being important, but I could get an external 16x instead or get another Lacie HD.

    On another note, I don't suppose anyone could explain the Apple Education Discount. You have to be 18 or over, that's me, but have to have a valid student card....what is meant by that? I'm not going to university until September, so I'm guessing I don't get the discount. Could anyone confirm this?
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    As remarkable as the AppleStores are, I don't think they're building the machines out the back... :)

    They're just retail outlets although I use the word 'just' at my peril here.

    It may come from Cork, Ireland.
     
  8. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    #8
    The screens on the PB's have a much greater resolution, as well.
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    No, they don't.

    12" iB = 1024x768
    12" PB = 1024x768

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    I'd read the fine print, but I'd guess that a letter of acceptance would work. You're certainly going to be eligible in six months, and you might be able to get one now legitimately.

    And, FWIW, I agree that, as of today, the PBs are overpriced compared to the iBooks. The PBs are better, but, if it were my money and i had to buy today, I'd get an iBook.
     
  11. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #11
    Heh, I didn't mean it quite like that. I have mine customed with bluetooth built in and the 80GB HD. A job that I could actually fit myself, so something they could have done at the stores somewhere....possibly...maybe. Ok, I'll shut up now.
     
  12. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #12
    There is another difference that hasn't been mentioned yet. The PB has a DVI out while the iBook only has VGA out
     
  13. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #13
    I think I've pretty much made up my mind. The main thing is that come September I'll have enough money to buy an iMac + 15" PowerBook and then some. I reckon I can cope with the iBook until then. Appreciate everyone's thoughts on the matter, though.
     
  14. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #14
    The 15" PB has better Res than the 14" iB.
    The 17" PB has better Res than the .... um.... yeah 14" iB.
     
  15. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #15
    And are we talking about the 15" or 17" models? No.
     
  16. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    Nowheresville
    #16
    Can't say what I said previously. Still though. He's going to get a 15" model.
     
  17. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #17
    Maybe now, not when I posted those comments earlier though ;) :)
     
  18. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #18
    The 17" PowerBook is so large that you could probably see what I'd be doing on it from your house. You can't live much more than 50 miles from me in Essex.
     
  19. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #19

    No kiddin', you'll defenitely be able to more than "cope" come september. Anyway, since you're buying iMac and Powerbook come September, why not get the PB now? Are you going to have all 3 computers?
     
  20. justinshiding macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #20
    Hmmm you could always play the waiting game to see what the new powerbook updates (whenever they come) are all about. You might get a price drop out of waiting...but who knows.

    Justin
     
  21. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #21
    Yeah, I will. But saving the money would allow me to buy some other stuff which I wouldn't want. Besdies, which student actually needs 3 computers? I want a desktop + laptop, yet have no need at all for 2 - it'd just be me being greedy and wanting the G5 to....do the exact same things as a G4. This thing has always just been the gap between the PB G5, so it seems on that concept I don't really need a decent* computer anyway. Only thing that I played on it was Generals and that was rather sluggish anyway. Other than that I was doing programming and the general homework (I think I did some ;) ). My lowered social status as a result of owning a iBook instead of a PowerBook will be juuuust fine

    *the term 'decent' refers to nothing less than OS X 10.3. Windows is the biggest virus my Mac has ever had
     
  22. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #22
    My daughter has a 12" iBook that will be one year old next week. No major problems or crashes and she's still very happy with it.

    I think that the iBook line offers outstanding value for money while only being marginally behind the PB line in performance. FW800 is not as ubiquitous as USB2 or FW400 yet, so I don't see that as such an important option just yet.
     
  23. -i2i- macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    I got my iBook in the summer from ghc.co.uk (you could try that if you want it fast, good service) and have had no biggys.

    I can go on the internet, wi-fi, email and some games all with a 1Ghz processor. The 1.2 will be even better. The 14inch looks a little ugly with the keyboard not going up to the edges so I'd recommend getting an iBook 12 inch with the best specs you can afford. It will be way cheaper than the powerbook and properly as or even more powerful than the powerbook. The only thing that would make me buy the powerbook is the aluminium finish although that is not as strong as the bulletproof ibook.
     
  24. greatm31 macrumors member

    greatm31

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    #24
    I would also point out that several mac rumors sites have indicated that Apple may update the specs of the powerbook on Tuesday. So you should without a doubt wait at least until then.
     

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