Loaded iBook or bare bones PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by sethwerkheiser, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #1
    I'm about ready to purchase my first Mac (well, like 13 years after my parents bought an Apple //c) and I'm stuck.

    I'm willing to spend about $1800 or so. About the only things I'll be doing with this computer is general internet use and web site maintence, email, writing papers for school, playing The Sims (my wife likes that game), maybe some small scale music production down the road (using Reason MAYBE)...

    So yea, I'm not some power user by any means. My main intrest is maintaining my website, checking my email from the porch, and playing The Sims on the couch.

    So.

    Should I get a nicely loaded iBook with the 14" screen.
    OR
    A base model of the new 12" PowerBook. I couldn't really afford to modify it from the get go as far as RAM and HD space.

    Your opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    The iBook comes with some consumer software like AppleWorks, Quicken, and some games. The PB will not have those, so you have to add them to the cost. However, if you decide to buy MS Office, then for both you will shell out that additional $200 or so.

    I am in the same boat, I can't decide which one to go for. If you get a chance go to an Apple Store, CompUSA, or CDW and take a look at the machines and compare the displays/weight/comfrot and good old fasioned looks. Find out which one seems to be more comfortable for you to use.

    What I am wondering though is why you are comparing the 14" iBook with the 12" PowerBook. The 12" iBook seems to be closer in size and screen to the PB than the 14".
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    12" Loaded iBook

    OSX really like RAM, so a fully loaded (640Mb) iBook 800 is probably the best way to go (I've got one and love it to bits). The 14" screen really isn't worth it. It just makes the iBook larger and heavier without making the keyboard any bigger ir increasing the screen resolution.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    I wouldn't go for either. I'd go for the 12" iBook, it is far better value than the 14", and with the money you save you could probably get an iPod!

    [edit]
    hehe, looks like people already beat me to recomending the 12" iBook :)
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #5
    I can't speak for the ibooks, but my first
    mac was a 1GHz Tibook w/SuperDrive.

    Her and I are inseperable. If I were you
    I would save a little bit longer and get
    what you really long for. I would
    recommend saving a bit longer to see
    if the release a 15.x" powerbook. It will
    then have DDR, Bluetooth, AirportX, and
    hopefully a backlit keyboard. I looked at the
    12" powerbooks and the screen is too
    small for regular usage.

    Something else to think about is the
    resolution on the 14" ibook. Unless I'm mistaken,
    it's the same res as the
    12"version. That's not gaining too
    much screen real estate.

    My powerbook is amazing.



    -jeff
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #6
    thanks all

    Thanks guys for the input. I don't know why I compared the 12" PowerBook and the 14" iBook. I probably WOULD go for the 12" iBook now that I think about it. And getting plenty of RAM is something I'd really want to do.

    I guess I've been "scared" of the processor thing (dang Intel has brainwashed me). WHat I mean is I don't want to be "bogged down" with the G3 when I could spend a few hundred more and get the G4 - but will I really need to? I hope you guys understand what I'm saying.

    Basically I don't want to be unhappy with a pimped out iBook. From the looks of things though I doubt I'll be let down! :)
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #7
    Re: thanks all

    Good choice! The 12.1" 800 is fast, mobile, and rugged. You'll be happy with it.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #8
    By 'loaded' i assume you mean largest hard drive, airport card, and 640MB ram.

    First off i would agree with everyone else here saying forget the 14" ibook. the resolution on the 14" is the same as the 12" (1024x768). I do quite a bit of web design and 1024x768 screens are very difficult to work with. A powerbook allows you to connect a second monitor while the ibook does not (the ibook can mirror its screen to another device but can not support dual monitors).

    Also no matter which you buy, buy as little ram as possible. Apple over charges for ram. currently you can but a 512MB chip for the ibook for $89. Apple charges $200. Apple allows you to go as low as 128MB on the ibook (that chip is soldered in and can never be upgraded).

    So a maxed out 12" ibook would be $1478 Apple + $78 Ram = $1556. You might want to throw in an airport base station as well.

    The powerbook (apple's price on the powerbook's ram looks decent actually) comes out to $2048 with 640MB Ram and airport (extreme) card. Again through in some extra for the base station.

    So the powerbooks offers support for a seconed monitor if/when you get fed up with 1024x768. it offers altivec (g4). it offers DDR (double data rate) ram. it offers the option of upgrading the hard drive down the road (the ibook can not be upgraded). it offers airport extreme over airport (for faster network connections). it offers 67mhz more. bluetooth. more compact design (though stronger). better graphics card. all for an extra $500 (give or take).

    So will you really need/use any of those extras? are they worth the extra money and going over your $1800 price cap? It is up to you really. Also bear in mind the ibooks will be updated by march (if we believe rumors). so if you go that route can you hold out another month?

    basically the powerbook is faster and more upgradable. its offers a better form factor and the option of more monitor space. but it ain't cheap. the ibook is a steal at that price. the 12" ibook is apple's best deal on a computer ever. great price. if you dont mind the small screen and can stomach upgrading to another computer in 2 years its perfectly fine. the powerbook may be a bit longer lived.

    i would suggest waiting til march if you are leaning towards the ibook. but definitely visit your local apple retailer and set your hands on both models before deciding.

    before i wrote this i would have thought the ibook was the best deal. but i think the fact that the powerbook allows you to connect a second monitor makes me lean in its favor. i just sold my powerbook so i've been thinking about a new laptop as well so writing this helps a little (but since mine should be free the price issues means less to me).
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Ambrose Chapel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    OS X and AltiVec

    When I was laptop shopping this past Spring I had the same dillemma (although there was no 12" PB to tempt me!). What really swung me over to the G4 is that OS X itself is optimized for that chip/AltiVec. And since I wanted the laptop to last me 3 years or maybe more, I decided that a G3 iBook would become obsolete much more quickly than a G4 TiBook, and so I went with the Ti. One of my friends has an iBook and she uses it for what you will use it for, and she's very happy. But looking down the road a year or two, I don't know. Just something to keep in mind...
     
  10. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #10
    Re: thanks all

    Before deciding on 12" vs 14" go look at the iBooks in person. some people think 12" is too small for 1027*768. You may not. But checking it out first is a wise idea.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #11
    i would say to get the powerbook and not the iBook. first of all the power of a g4 is worth the extra expense. second, you have airport extreme capabilities built in. third, the powerbook is smaller in profile AND weight. finally, the powerbook also has bluetooth.

    the combo drive is essentially the same unit, altho it is slot loading. everything else is basically identical.

    $350 (matching specs) for those 5 benefits in my mind is a steal.

    edit: btw memory aint all that expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    12" PowerBook, baby.

    iBooks are old school. G4s are shaolicious. Aluminum shell with AirPort Extreme? I dunno, man... you can always upgrade RAM and the wireless card later...

    867 G4 with DDRAM and GeForce and lighter weight is going to give you a little longer lifetime than an 800 G3... probably also earn you some more $$$ later down the road if you choose to sell it.

    IMHO. :cool:
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #13
    portablilty

    It all depends on what you want... heres my 2 Cents

    if you want portablility for for the 12' iBook... its a better value

    if not.. go for the PowerBook, the other iBooks are just a poor mans Powerbook. You can always beef up the Powerbook with RAM later on. And get it some place other than Apple!!! You can save a ton of cash.

    I have worked with the 12" and 14" iBooks, the thing that impressed me most about the iBooks was the size.. go 12"

    The powerBooks ... are a work of art!
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #14
    Re: portablilty

    the powerbooks are smaller.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #15
    Re: portablilty

    That's what I've been thinking. While I might have a bare bones PowerBook it's still a freaking PowerBook! Hehe... and the thing that scares the crap out of me is buying the G3 iBook and then seeing them offer a newer version in March. I don't want to wait that long for something that might not appear. I need something very soon.

    Hmmmmm...
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #16
    I have a hard time buying the first release of any new hardware. That would make me lean towards the iBook 800 instead of the PB 12".

    If you are going to be doing memory intensive tasks (games, online videos etc.) I think the G4 is the way to be.

    As I have said in other threads... I just played with me g/f iBook 800 with 640MB RAM 40GB hdd and the combo drive... pretty to look at, but not quick.

    The big killer... it you are going to use Virtual PC 6.0 I hope it would be nicer on the G4. Performance on said G3 is very poor. :(

    Do you want to give... or take? Both???
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #17
    Loaded iBook - 12"

    First, skip the 14" iBook. Small is good. Trust me here.

    Second, unless you plan on doing video or heavy graphics work, there aren't a horde of Altivec-optimized apps out there. Regardless of what people tell you, the G4 is a great thing to have but not necessary to surf the web, develop web pages, have a digital hub, etc. The caveat is of course graphics-intense apps. If you're a graphics person, get the Powerbook.

    Next, let's address this whole Airport Extreme thing. It only runs at the higher speeds within 50 feet of the base station. Second, there's quite a good possibility that standard Airport cards will run these higher speeds with a software upgrade Apple is working on. Further, there's a good chance that you're home connection is a heck of a lot slower than even the original Airport speeds. My point is that Airport Extreme shouldn't drive the decision.

    Finally, take some of the good advice others have posted and buy lots of RAM. Don't buy it from Apple. You can get it elsewhere for much less money.

    So deck out your iBook and enjoy it. I enjoy mine.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    #18
    LOL! for some reason, there is always something wrong with first rev. Apple products.

    For example,

    G4 MDD tower (first Rev with DDR RAM).. some claims it doesnt take full advantage of DDR and fan noise is just too LOUD (www.g4noise.com)

    eMac .. are well pretty much are defective. bad screens.

    TiBook (400 MHz) when it first came out... there are problems with the LCD.

    iMac G4 ... the Flat Panel swing arm problems that cause the LCD to be tilted. (to go to Apple's own forums Discussions > iMac > iMac (Flat Panel) > Displays > iMac G4 screen -- it's TILTED .. http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?50@165.Jh5qaEzXg6a.2@.f026f13)


    please.. Apple make the Albook perfect.. cuz its going to be my first Apple laptop for college.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #19
    pnz999:

    It does suck that most companies can not make something reliably their first time out...

    Even something done right like the iPod gets redone (wheel) enough to make purchase of the first version lamentable :(
     
  20. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #20
    Are you more upset about the wheel style or the capacity. There is nothing wrong with the first wheel style.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #21
    get the PB. unless you need OS9.

    the PB has something that the ibook dont. a G4. a better way to look at things is like so. the 12" PB is a ibook with a g4.

    now do you want a g3 or g4???
    (g3 is the wrong answer)
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    Hmm...tough decision, but I think that if I were you, I would go for the 12" iBook. It would be cheaper, and like a poster above said, with the money you can save from buying an iBook, you could get an iPod also. Also, I wouldn't get the 14", because I think that the 12" is better value. Plus, it the 12" is probably more portable.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #23
    Edit: Sorry, posted twice on accident.:confused: Moderator, plaese delete this.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    JSRockit

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #25
    Re: Loaded iBook or bare bones PowerBook?

    You are a Classic Steriotypical iBook Customer. When doing those tasks on my 400 G3 and my Dual 867 G4, the speed difference Is minimal (excepting the sims, but it would be no issue for the iBook, it still is a nice game machene.) A 233 Bondi can do all those things just fine, dispite the mollasses GUI speed. I think youd be perfect for a decked 800 12". Sure, the G4 will always feel faster, but the 800 G3 is bad by no means.
     

Share This Page