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New PB G4 now or wait?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by wowoah, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    After using my Dell Inspiron for 2 years, it's starting to totally fall apart on me, so I've decided to make the switch to a Mac. I've saved up enough money for a PB G4 15", but now all these rumors are pointing to a new update being released sometime really soon. The dilemma comes in 'cuz my student store is offering an awesome deal on the current 15"s (another thing indicating to me that new ones will replace them too) - G4 15" 1 GHz with SuperDrive + 3 years AppleCare plan for $2200, which i think is a crazy awesome deal.

    The question: Should I just go for this deal or stick it out for the new PBs, in hopes they'll come before September when the school year starts?

    Also, I usually use my computer for schoolwork and web browsing and listening to music (+ occassional games of WC3 :p). However, I also use my laptop for taking notes in class, which means I drag it with me to class everyday. Should I be looking at a 15" or a 12" for that? Right now I have a Dell Inspiron 4000, and part of the reason I'm looking at Macs anyway is cuz they're lighter and sleeker. Realistically (and not just what Apple says), is the PB G4 15" significantly lighter than the Dell Inspiron?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. macrumors 65816

    Re: New PB G4 now or wait?

    5.4 lbs is significantly lighter considering all the battery power, and all the features built-in to the 1" thick Powerbook.

    Secondly, don't let these rumor sites stop you from making the decision to buy a machine. Even if a new one gets released, it will likely be several months before they get shipping in volume, and with all the bugs worked out. There is an old aphorism:

    "A bird in hand is worth more than two in the bush."
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nobody knows for sure when the new PBs will be released. If you buy the current 15", you will fall in love with it. A superdrive and AppleCare for $2200? that's an awesome deal. You probably won't find that kind of a deal if they are updated. Maybe with the money you "save" you can buy an iPod ;) Or, if that's not a possibility, you could use that extra money to buy software or hardware you need to make your switch successful (MS Office, any games you may want, external mouse/keyboard, etc).

    Of course, there is always the possibility of the new PBs coming out any day now (well, any Tuesday .. because that's usually when Apple upgrades their hardware), so if you do purchase it now, be prepared to accept the fact that a newer, better one will come out soon (although, anyone who has bought a windows-based PC is already used to this).

    Realistically, if Apple says their comptuers weigh 5.4 pounds with the battery, that's how much it weighs. The 15" powerbooks are light and thin, and only the less-than-full-featured Dell laptops can compare in size and weight.

    About the 12" - I have "lugged" around the 15" to class for notes and such, and I find it the perfect blend of portability and power. You lose the L3 cache with the 12", and so you appropriately lose a lot of power. It appears that you like to play games - the 15" is better suited (IMO), simply because of its L3 cache (I think some modern games coming out have system requirements of "Powerbook G4 (except 12")" because of this fact). The bigger screen and ability to hold more RAM is a big plus. (and watching DVDs on that wide screen on a plane, yummy!)

    Hope this helps :)

    [edit: some of the best advice that you will hear on these forums is that you should go to an Apple store (or compusa) and play with both the 15" and 12", and find out which one is better for you. I could tell you a million reasons why I think the 15" is better, but without seeing them for yourself, you may not realize that you have a million reasons why the 12" is better than the 15. It's all relative. good luck]
  4. macrumors 6502a


    go ahead, get the 15. I have a Tibook (though I bought the same w/o AC for 2934 *grrrrr*) and I can ply Warcraft 3 without skipping anything. Though I hate Warcraft3 and promptly removed it from my HD, but that's how life goes (it was the demo btw).
  5. macrumors 6502


    I say go for it. It's never bad to have a Mac one release back at a great price.

    However, just keep in mind the following things about the TiBook...

    It's painted...and the paint can scratch get a good sleeve for it and ALWAYS carry it in the sleeve.

    Invest in a keyboard cover, pretty cheap at OWC because of it's thinness (is that a word LOL) when the screen touches the key, it etches the screen, but it can be easily avoided with a good screen cover. I had bought a suede cover from Acme Made bags (http://acmemade.com) that covered the screen and the top of the case.

    Also, the AirPort reception on TiBooks isn't the greatest, but you can get around that by a few methods, let me know if you run into that.

    I had a TiBook and i loved it. It was a great machine. I dragged it around too much tho and was worried abt it getting broken or damaged so I traded down to an iBook, I also own an G4 iMac so it's not a big deal but if I had to have only one Mac it'd be a 15" PB.

    At 2200 you can't beat it and I echo Gopher's commments...get an iPod or Memory or Office with the left over cash u'll save that's a big savings.

  6. macrumors 68020


    I say wait. You can't feel good about a purchase when waiting a week would have given you more for the same price.

  7. macrumors 65816

    P-Worm, how much longer than a week? Can you be certain that it will only be a week? Given the rebate schedule and availability of the systems, I would say October is the earliest new Powerbooks will be announced. Not to mention Apple has in the past taken up to 11 months to release new Powerbooks. Also give the 7457 availability October release is that much more likely. With a release date in October, and realisticly shipping in volume by December, your week suddenly turns into 6 months. That kind of wait isn't worth it.
  8. macrumors 604


    I think any Mac user would be super impressed if they release the new system at the same price point as the deal Wowoah is getting. Remember, 2200 with a SuperDrive AND AppleCare!!!

    There is no way they will find a deal that good on the new machines. :eek:
  9. macrumors 603


    I agree. Even if new ones are introduced, it will be a minor update and more expensive than that. At that price, it's a great deal. Just buy more RAM, and definitely AppleCare. I was telling people to wait too, but you could be waiting awhile.

    Don't forget, you can return it within, like, 10 days if a new model comes out. Or get the difference back. Although at that price, even if they lower prices on the new one, that's still a good price.

    Buy now, you won't be disappointed.

    You can always resell it if you have to have the newest model.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    I just got finished ordering my 17"

    ain't gonna wait any longer

    if you're ordering from Apple, the good news is that, if a new product is released within 3 weeks of purchasing an old one, then they'll give you a reimbursement

    which is cool
  11. macrumors regular

    Can you point me to where it says that on the Apple site?
  12. macrumors regular

    Not that anyone cares

    But I just finished my order for a 15" PowerBook. I feel confident that it will be more than a week before a new one comes out and that I won't be all that bummed by the new one's specifications. This book will be just fine, great even, for the next 2/3 years while Apple works on getting the G5s in the Powerbook.

    I would recommend anyone who is on the fence do the same. The 15" is a great notebook computer, runs all the current apps and will run Panther just fine (if I decide to upgrade). Better to enjoy the next year or so working on your new TiBook (or 12/17" al books if they are more to your liking) than to sit in agony for the next few months waiting for a minor update. And then spend another enjoyable year being a little behind the times while Apple runs the bugs out of the G5s and cools them off for the Powerbooks...

    Just my $0.02.

  13. macrumors regular

    Re: Not that anyone cares

    It is so hard for me not to order now but I figure I might give Apple at least one more tuesday to update it, if they dont I will look at buying one of the Ti's but I have waited this long then why not wait a little more and hope?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    I'm in the same boat.
    I've been looking at the Moto PR and it says the 7457 or whatever has been shipped as of June 2. Right about now seems about a reasonable time frame for them to be released. However as the MacWorld Expo comes and goes and no new annoucement of PB comes. How much longer should I expect to wait or just go with the 15"?
    With the bottleneck of data that the G4 has, does the DDR ram really make that big of a difference? And what about the other specs, when compared to the 17" Do all of them added up results in great performance differences?
    I plan on using Dreameweaver, Photoshop, and Quark 4 or 5. Which can hit the system hard sometimes. Esp when they all run at the same time.
    Now school starts in Mid August, and I need it before school starts. What should I do/ expect?
  15. macrumors 601


    i've been waiting for ages as well. at least two months now i think... and it's starting to get out of hand. but if you only need in in September, then there's no harm in waiting a bit more.
  16. macrumors regular

    2 months! that is nothing! I have been waiting since January with every couple of weeks a new rumor saying it is coming soon!
  17. macrumors Penryn


    I haven't read the entire thread, but I'd just get one now. :cool: If you can wait until late September, you may as well in case there actually IS an update, but I still say get one now.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Now or later..?

    Hey guys. I am currently in the market for a PowerBook myself, and I am looking to get a 12" one to last me until the 15" G5 version comes out, after which I will put the 12" up on eBay. I am heading to college in late August (classes start 3 September) as a mathematics major, and I will mainly be using Office, iApps, LaTeX, and Mathematica/Matlab/Maple. I also like to game some as well, mainly WC3. I am really just curious as to whether or not it would be a better idea to go ahead and get one now or wait another month.

    What do you guys think?

  19. macrumors 68000


    Man, I'd totally wait on buying a 15"... the computer is 8 months old! I'm sure the reason apple didn't update them is that their excess stock would fall in price and it would hurt their financial statement with their inventory's market value. Anyways... the new 1.3 GHz G4 is suppose to be 40% faster... so I'd definately wait.
  20. macrumors G3


    Re: Updates

    no, the DDR RAM doesn't do much for a computer with such a slow bus. It's more of a bragging right. If the new powerbooks have 200 mhz buses, however, the DDR will be worth more.

    there should be very little overall difference in performance between the 15" 1 Ghz and the 17" 'book.
  21. macrumors G3


    Re: Now or later..?

    If you are set on eventually having a G5 powerbook, then I say get a 12" now. It will be more than fine for the year that it may take to get a G5 powerbook.
    But, the 15" is likely to be updated with a better G4 (and other things) long before G5 comes to the powerbook. So if an updated G4 powerbook will be enough for you long term, then I say wait.
    I have a 900 mhz ibook (which benchmarks say performs very similar to the 12" PB for gaming) and I find war 3 to be pretty good on it. It's not the fastest gaming machine out there, but war 3 isn't the most demanding game, and you'll be able to run it quite acceptably.

    btw, I saw in your profile that you're going to college in Boston, which is where I'm from (school in Philly tho). Mind if I ask what school you're going to?
  22. macrumors newbie

    I'll be at MIT.

  23. macrumors G3


    ah, so you'll be in Cambridge, not Boston. You'll understand when you get here. :p ;)
  24. macrumors regular

    Buy now


    I can't say where my confidence comes from, but I feel very good about MY purchase of a current 15" powerbook. I think the rumors are largely inaccurate about what is coming in the next revision, and I feel comfortable that the next revision isn't soon (i.e. don't hold your breath until next week).

    I certainly don't expect anyone to buy on MY recommendation, but I just put my money where my mouth is and ordered my PowerBook.

    Think of all the fun you can have in the 2,3, or 4 months you'd otherwise spend waiting for the new powerbook. And then to have the update not really be all that impressive, and then STILL want to upgrade to a G5 powerbook when they come out (which is bound to be the really impressive upgrade)/

    Good luck at school you kids!

  25. macrumors newbie

    To add similar sentiments to this thread, I've been waiting a while too for some updated PB's and maybe a new 15".

    I'm not a Mac fanatic, but I need a laptop and I'd like to get a setup to do some intermediate level video editing, as well as open source web-design (PHP, etc). I say this because I think a computer is a means to an end, and I did explore the PC end of laptops capable of video editing, but the only decent software on the PC block for it is about $1000 (Avid Xpress DV) and the laptops are huge!

    The way I see it is you can buy now and get some good deals through Apple, or you could wait... This is all speculation but I could see a faster bus speed coming in the next PB revision, maybe faster processors (no G5, though, don't kid yourself) as well as upgrades to the ancient USB 1.1 ports and maybe even Firewire 800 on the 15" since Apple seems to like to stick high end features on their products if possible. I would be ecstatic if they busted out the first SATA HD containing laptops, but I'm not holding my breath ;) The possibility of any of these things make it worth me sticking it out and paying a bit more if they are included because I could get a FW800 HD to supplement the internal notebook HD for video editing, and I'd have a nice laptop to bring to work and handle my personal business on.

    One thing that really surprises me is that in all the talk of new PBs on this site, no one has taken into account the offers Apple has on their site right now which may hint to a release time frame. Yesterday they started offering Final Cut Express for $99 with the purchase of any system, and for a while now, they have been doing an educational bundle package for laptops/ipods/printers. Both of these promotions end in the September timeframe (Sept. 20th on FCE, and 27th on the edu promo), which you could argue coincid with school starting, but I also think that it is within the reasonable timeframe for new PB releases. By the end of September the G5 hype will probably be dying down (comps will be shipping by then) and to stay in the limelight for the holiday season I could see them releasing the new PBs.

    In any case, unless you're really worried about that first month of school, or you just absolutely need to be 1500-2000 bucks poorer I would say stick it out at least through August to see what happens. Technology does come and go in the blink of an eye, but there's no sense in spending a bunch of cash if you KNOW the product you're buying is being replaced by a newer better one in the course of a couple months if not weeks. Guess this is just my 2 cents.

    By the way, does anyone remember what the occasion was that marked the introduction of the new iPod a few months ago? Was there anything or was it just a press release and website update? Also, how much do people around here believe macosrumors.com? They had a lengthy post yesterday about the PBs that seemed fairly informed. Just wondering if they know what they are talking about.


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