Mucho help needed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MacVM, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. MacVM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #1
    You're all going to hate me for posting this, but you'll learn to forgive because I'm the newbie. :p I've been reading many of these threads on pbooks vs. ibooks and I still can't come to a conclusion. I have many questions, and not all of them pertain to laptops, so here goes:

    1) I've seen the updates on the ibooks and they seem really reasonable for the price, but I'm still debating the 14'' ibooks vs. the 12'' or 15'' powerbooks. Which option seems to be a better bang for your buck?

    2) What is the projected longevity for a powerbook vs. an ibook? Will they be able to last 4 years? (I'm going to college).

    3) Is applecare really worth it? Or should I go with computer insurance? If the insurance is a better option, who should I go with? (I read that really unfortunate story of the guy who dropped his pbook of a 2 story balcony ledge. Heartbreaking story...)

    4) As for ipods, I've been reading that there are some problems with the 30 gb and 60 gb ipods...I think that the new 60 gb seem to be worth more than the 20 gb ipod photos...true?

    5) Superdrive or external drive?

    6) What is this spanning of which everyone speaks?

    7) Any experiences with the HP psc 1610 printer? What about the canon 760 or whatever it's called...

    8) For all of you who just ordered comps from the Apple Store, how long did it take you guys to ship?


    Thank you for any help you all of you knowledgable folks can provide me with! Sorry with the disgustingly long post! :eek:
     
  2. Lazyhound macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    #2
    Probably. The general consensus seems to be that the iBooks are more durable than the Powerbooks because the polycarbonate casing is less prone to dents and warping.

    Spanning refers to being able to hook up a second monitor, and have the desktop "span" across both of them (as opposed to mirroring, where both screens show the same thing).
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    Okay, I'll give them an attempt. :)

    1. Opinions vary, but I'd say the best value for money comes from the 12 inch iBook.

    2. Both iBooks and PowerBook should last four years quite easily. Obviously, the higher specs of the latter making it last even longer.

    3. I didn't bother with AppleCare for either my iMac nor my iBook however most people around here swear by it for laptops. The guy who dropped his laptop from a ledge was probably making it up, I saw the thread too.

    4. I haven't read about any specific problems with the 30GB nor the 60GB iPods. And yes, the 60GB ones are worth more, as you would imagine. :confused:

    5. Do you mean external superdrive or external hard drive? I'd recommend getting the largest internal drive you can possibly afford because, for all intents and purposes, they are not upgradeable. Remember that the 12 inch iBook does not come with a Superdrive however you can get one retro-fitted at some cost. It's not worth it and if you go for this machine and still want to burn DVDs, I recommend an external DVD burner.

    6. Spanning is when you plug an external monitor into the Mac and let it "extend" or "span" your desktop. To do this with an iBook you must enable a hack because they do not natively support it. However, they will natively support display mirroring which is when you plug the monitor into the iBook and it shows you an exact copy of your native/actual desktop.

    7. Sorry, haven't used either of those printers.

    8. Sorry, no experience with actual Apple Stores either. However, I do know that when you order the iBook from the online store, it will tell you how long it will take to ship and this time depends on how much you alter your specifications. Anything you do to change the specs will increase the time taken to ship.

    In conclusion, I'd say the 12 inch iBook is the best bet for most college uses. It's cheap, relatively powerful and very robust. It'll serve you well. :)
     
  4. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    1) Best bang for your buck is the 12" iBook which is not on your list. I can only presume you need the superdrive and that's why it's off the list. I'd guess next up is the 14" iBook.

    2) Probably. The iBook may start cracking on the finer pieces. The outer shell should be plenty durable though. The PB should hold up in general better. This assumes you don't dent the hell out of it. Also, the PB has some better performance features which make it usable for longer.

    3) I'd say no. Others say yes. It's not going to cover anything stupid you may do like drop the laptop and crack the LCD. It will cover general failure. There are also lots of horror stories about things not being covered due to a small dent or something. That PB ledge story was also made up.

    4) Yes 60GB iPods are worth more than 20GB iPods.

    5) Depends. I'd get the internal if your model comes with it, but I'd also seriously consider the 12" iBook with an external. Aside from this particular model, I'd go internal. Just much more convenient.

    6) Plugging in a monitor to the video port. Then you have the main LCD on the laptop and also a second display on the external monitor. Both are totally independent (one is not a copy of the other). Go to the Apple Store and you can probably see this in action on one of the PB's.

    7) No clue.

    8) 2 days to ship. Still waiting to actually receive.
     
  5. MacVM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #5
    Wow, thanks for the speedy responses, guys! Ah, how I love this board and the people on it! :) I actually don't need the superdrive, technically, but I think I'd like the option of burning DVDs. I just figured that if I were to get an ibook, I would make it a 14''...now I'm not so sure. :confused: (And yes, I was talking about external DVD drive. Is the external hard drive a good idea?) Speaking of DVDs, which is better to watch movies/tv on: pbook or ibook? Thanks again, guys. I know my questions are numerous.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    The 12 inch PowerBook and iBook have the same screen, which is considered the worst of the Apple laptop range. Nevertheless, I have one and can safely say it's still great for DVDs.

    Only get an external hard drive if you need one (obviously) so in other words, if you have many large movie files or a massive song library etc.

    I'd seriously recommend the current 12 inch iBook. It's a great machine for its price. :)
     
  7. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    #7
    I'd say go with an external drive. That way if your DVD Burner goes out, you won't have to ship the whole computer in and not have a computer.
     
  8. public enemy macrumors regular

    public enemy

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    COLORADO
    #8
    go ibook!

    i had the same problem as you when choosing my apple laptop, and i went for the ibook which is bada$$ computer! i dont have the new updated one, but you'll get bluetooth built in, and the sensor that locks up everything inside (this you can find more about in threads) and the ibook is so easy to upgrade regarding software- for school which i bought this for, i threw on microsoft excel, powerpoint, and word. with aiport on it, college will provide wireless in buildings around campus. 12" is for sure your best bet money wise, but there so damn small, go for the 14". good luck
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #9

    I agree, but as the resident Devil's Advocate (capitalisation required :p ), it is nice to have the whole computer in a single, foldable chunk.
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    You didn't make a budget restriction in your post, so I'm going to take the dissenting position and say: Powerbook 15" or nothing.

    If you already have a G5, grand, then the l'il 12" jobs are nice toys. But if this is your only computer, here's what I wouldn't give up:

    Better screen
    2 Gb RAM
    Firewire 800
    2 Gb RAM
    better/easier to replace hard drive
    2 Gb RAM
    PCMCIA slot
    Faster

    Did I mention better screen and 2 Gb RAM. Sorry.

    Applecare yes if you want to have manufacturer-related component failure fixed relatively easily from anywhere in the world.
    Third party extended warranty with damage/theft protection only if you don't mind hassling with the rules and regs of claiming on it (you don't think they make it easy, do you? As soon as they cash your cheque, their objective becomes payout minimization)

    Statistically, you have only a majority chance of graduating without the 'book being stolen, so make sure you have it covered either alone or under renters insurance.
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    Nice post CanadaRAM. :)

    I'd say that most people will be content with the iBook's 1.5GB maximum though, assuming there is in fact a budget restriction. :p
     
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    May 1, 2005
    #12
    Another option is to purchase a previously loved PB. ;)
     
  13. MacVM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #13
    Doing a little advertising, are we, devilot? ;) Technically, I do not have a budget, but I would like to keep the cost down, as I will most likely not be using it for heavy-duty things. Does the graphics card just have to do with games, or does the quality of your movies increase as well? Has anyone tried watching TV on their ibook or powerbook? I originally started out looking at the 15'' powerbook (those things are freaking gorgeous!!!), but I was hesitant because I didn't like the idea of lugging it around campus (however rarely that may be) and I don't think that I wouldn't need that much power. I really like the powerbook, but the ibooks seem like a good deal for what they're capable of. I'm still torn, though. Can I just impart my gratitude once again? You guys rock at answering questions! I'm just waiting for someone to yell at me, "STOP WITH THE IRRITATING QUESTIONS ALREADY!"
     
  14. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    They're not irritating questions MacVM. We're all Mac zealots around here and love talking about them so to be honest, answering 'N00b" questions is a bit of fun.

    If the 15 inch PowerBook is a little too big or too expensive, don't bother with the 12 inch PowerBook since it represents no major benefits over an iBook. People here will undoubtedly disagree with that comment but to be honest, for general college use, an iBook is plenty.

    As for the graphics card, I'm pretty sure it'll help for watching movies but the iBook's 32MB card is fine for this. If you plan on working a lot with making movies or playing games, then a better GPU (graphics card) is commendable. :)
     
  15. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #15
    don't forget you'll get about one hour less of battery life realistically if you go with the powerbook.
     
  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #16
    I get 5 hours out of my 12" PowerBook. :D
     
  17. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #17
    I agree w/ MacVm in regards to the size of the 15" heck, that's why I opted for the smallest laptop, so that I could lug it around w/ as little hassle as possible. The other use for having a better graphics card is if you plan to span. If I have read other threads correctly, it seems that spanning essentially cuts your VRAM in half. The PB comes natively w/ the ability to span while the iBooks currently rely on a firmware hack. Not to mention, 32MB split in half... ;) Along the same line of thought, the PB can be closed (clamshell mode) while hooked up to an external display w/ extra keyboard and mouse, whereas the iBooks use that aforementioned hack. But these options, for a lot of people, are non-issues.
     
  18. MacVM thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #18
    So, I actually read past page 4, and I see now that the thread about the guy's powerbook drop was BS. Good to know! That was a fishy story though: I can afford to get a brand new powerbook, and yet I can't afford a digital camera to capture life's little mishaps. :rolleyes: Wouldn't spanning be annoying because you have the edges of both screens getting in the way? Or do the pros outweigh this? ACK! I hate being so indecisive! I thought I'd decided on an ibook, but Oh! The potential for power in the powerbook! I probably won't need it, but...and it's shiny!! :D
     
  19. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #19

    I don't like spanning for this reason, plus the un-centred dock and only one screen can have your menu bar. It looks a little unfinished, but that is purely my opinion. The main positive of screen spanning is a much larger viewable area (obviously). Do you plan on ever hooking the new laptop up to an external display?
     
  20. Lau Guest

    #20
    Good advice above - I will add a very late night tuppenceworth:

    I have a 12" 1.33 GHz PowerBook, and if I had to buy a new one today I'd get the 12" iBook. Hell, I'd have got the last revision iBook over mine. It's better value for money in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I love this chunk o metal to bits, and there are better things about the PowerBook, but when they upgraded the iBooks the time before last I thought, wow, if I was looking now that's a much better computer for the price. Now they've been upgraded again, I say the iBook's definitely the better deal.
     
  21. MacVM thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #21
    Thanks Lau, your sentiment seems to be the general consensus on these boards. Madjew, I was thinking that if I do indeed decide to go with the 12 inchers, an external monitor is a must. As many have said before, it's the best of both worlds! At this point, I'm pretty sure that I'll go with 12'' for whatever I decide.
     
  22. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #22
    So it's the iBook then? If so, give it about a month's use before splashing out on an external screen. I find that with Exposé, 12 inches is fine for me. :)
     
  23. D0ct0rteeth macrumors 65816

    D0ct0rteeth

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    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    #23
    Thats what She said :)
     
  24. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #24

    I just knew someone would bite. :D
     
  25. MacVM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #25
    Is it sad that I had to think about that for awhile? For now, I'm thinking the 12'' ibook, but I believe I'll wait to see if there are any updates to Powerbook in late August/early September. Does this sound like a good plan?
     

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