New reviews on recently updated Powerbooks?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by DJY, May 21, 2004.

  1. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #1
    Hello
    I have been watching, reading, learning, researching in here for a few months now (and other places).

    First I guess I should start with "Hi my name is DJY and I'm a PC user" :rolleyes: ;)

    I am contemplating switching - and have been learning alot in here - so thanks. I also have been scouring the net for all reviews, forums, sites, articles, opinions on Apple, but particularly, Powerbooks, OS X, and the upcoming Office 2004.
    Initially I wanted to avoid Office - as I thought it defeated the purpose of switching if I had to resort to still using "their" products.

    Anyway, I'm still wrestling with the issue, and hoping to go visit a couple more people I know who either have switched, or are Mac users.

    I am keen to see / read reviews on the recently released Powerbooks?
    I have found reviews on the older releases - but does anyone know of any reviews on the newest releases?
    I am leaning towards a loaded 17" Powerbook, maybe a loaded 15" - but am hoping to read some independent / computer / mag / net reviews before I do...
    sounds like now is a good a time as any to contemplate switching, and as much as I'd love a G5 Powerbook - several forums / sites / rumours seem to suggest they will be some time off yet... and I'm back in a "sick of Microsoft faze again".

    Anyway - thanks to all, I am learning alor by searching the forums, and reading threads, but if anyone knows of where I can read some reviews on the newest release of the Powerbooks I'g appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
  2. zach007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #2
    I am a switcher and my new 15" 1.5ghz stock powerbook came in monday. As you probably know thats superdrive, backlit keyboard, 512 ram and so on..

    This is my first Mac and I cant say anything negative at all. From the packaging to the actual product I couldn't be happier. I have no dead pixels, no white spots on the screen, and the latch works perfectly. OS X is probably the easiest operating system I've ever used. Coming from windows it's easy to see so many things that microsoft just plain "missed" and apple picked up on. It's probably 10 times more organized, as in the way it puts all your files where they belong and where you would expect to find them. Or, you can tell them where to put it. It's just way easier. I have MS Office student and teacher ed. I can't say much about it because school is out and haven't had the urge to type any papers, but from what I've fooled around with it it seems very easy. The dl was also smooth and painless. The backlit keyboard is a big plus also. The light sensors work so well that while walking to different rooms in my house it comes off and on with the ambient light. You can also adjust the brightness of it if you want. I like it as bright as it will go just becuase it looks cool. Haven't burned any dvd's yet but the cd burner is smooth and fast. iTunes rocks.

    Overall two thumbs up.. highly reccomend for looks, ease of use, and the fast processor.

    hope it helps. :D
     
  3. MacMan314 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #3
    In my opinion Macs are great, but not everybody who tries to switch likes them. If you haven't used macs much and you don't want to risk wasting so much money you could considder the iBook. I have a 14" and I really like it. They are great computers depending on what you use them for. If you plan on spenging your day using photoshop, final cut, etc, you should get a PB.

    As for OS X, don't waste your time looking for reviews. Take my word on it. 10.3 is the best operating system in existence.
     
  4. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #4
    A loaded 17" PB involves a pretty serious outlay of cash. I switched a few months back and bought what was then a top of the line (SuperDrive model) 15" PB. Before doing so, though, I went to my local Apple retailer and played around on one for a while before deciding.

    I can say that I'm quite happy with my purchase. The latest PBs, while not G5, offer quite a bit of performance. I don't think you'll be disapointed in that regard.

    One thing I will recommend, that I wish I had done, is to go for the faster HD. It's relatively cheap and makes a noticable difference.

    Oh, and I have Office and hardly ever use it. Probably because of my dislike for anything Microsoft. I picked up AppleWorks and have been using that quite a bit. Unfortunately, it doesn't come standard with the PBs; though it does with the iBooks...go figure.
     
  5. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #5
    I can help you out there.

    The screen is simply dazzling. I am amazed I was ever able to get by with a CRT and no widescreen. There were no dead pixels on arrival.

    The computer looks amazing. (No explanation needed)

    On performance the machine is screaming fast and is comparable to a 1.6 G5. My computer beats my brother's G5 (768ram) in loading and FPS for most games and apps. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE 5400RPM HARD DRIVE. THIS PROVIDES THE BIGGEST BOOST IN PERFORMANCE.

    Originally, I was going to buy a powermac G5. I'm glad I got this baby instead... :)
     
  6. Teronke macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    #6
    I noticed a number of you in this post have cited the improved performance of the 5400rpm drives.

    I have a question on this issue. I recently received an email from Apple HK offering to upgrade my 12' Powerbook Rev A harddrive (a 40Gb 4200rpm) to an 80Gb 5400rpm for HK$2000 (approx US$256). This price includes installation and is covered by my Apple Care plan.

    Is the performance hike (via the increased speed, buffer, space) hike noticeable?? Are there real world improvements as opposed to a few point increase in a benchmark??

    Also I only recently purchased a 120Gb 7200rpm external so storage isn't really an issue. I more concerned about the upgrade price versus the increased performance????

    I suppose theses new 5400rpm drives don't impact too much on the battery life????

    Cheers
     
  7. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #7
    Check out www.barefeats.com

    They answered all your questions just recently.
     
  8. zach007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    I got MS office because what you save on your mac can be opened on a pc too. You can run compatability reports to make sure that it will open on windows. Another reason I got it is because I am a college student and am already familiar with the way MS word works. If the professor doesnt want the paper, and wants it on a disk, it would open no problem on his pc.
     
  9. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #9
    The reason I have Office is basically the same; so that I can work with others at school. I've had to use Word and PPT a couple of times in group projects. Thank goodness I got the edu discount and paid less than $100 for it. If I'd had to pay full retail for it I would have been not too happy.
     
  10. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #10

    I've gone the 17. I aint that much bigger or heavier and you get a far amount of extra screen space (~+1.75"s wide, ~+1" high).

    I went for both the HDD upgrade and VRAM upgrade because they cost little more and whilst the VRAM doesn't seem now to have the boost that the faster HDD, I think Apple will make more use of VRAM with Quartz in Tiger and their Apps in the future.

    I went to a gig of ram as well to make sure that lots of open apps, DV editing etc wouldn't be a problem.
     
  11. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    AppleWorks 6 is horrible...

    As long as you plan on writing 5+ documents per week, I assure that Microsoft Office is essential. Apple has not <I>really</I> upgraded their AppleWorks suite for a long time...it looks the same on OS X as it did in OS 9 (Classic). Microsoft Office has style to it...for some reason, the Mac version of it looks better than the PC version.

    Also, AppleWorks costs around 70 dollars, and you can order the Student and Teacher edition of Microsoft Office for only 150. And that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage--four of the best word processing programs out there.

    Please, do yourself a favor and get Microsoft Office and not AppleWorks. If you really hate Microsoft, go for a Corel or WordPerfect (those may be the same things) office suite.
     
  12. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #12
    I don't know about that. I just used it to write a research paper (I'm a grad student) and it came out fine.

    Can you list specific reasons that AW can't handle document production? :confused:
     
  13. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #13
    The only thing I regret about the 17 inch powerbook is that there is no option for a combo drive. I prefer the combos because I don't burn DVDs and the combo provides extra speed for the DVD and CD read and CD write.
     
  14. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #14

    Well the Super was a selling point for me.

    I want to backup to DVD not CD, so I can fit whole collections of related files on one disk like music, photos, and os backup.

    I also want to play with DV later this year which will the go onto dvd.
     
  15. DJY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #15
    Thanks for this link! I hadn't seen this site before!
    It has a range of really good comparison / speed tests...
    whether it be battery life vs different programs vs different machines vs different options and bits of hardware I have been considering in any BTO Powerbook.

    Thanks mate - that one has been bookmarked!
     
  16. josepho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #16
    I certainly agree with you about AppleWorks' aesthetics. I remember using it when it was ClarisWorks, when I was starting out ClarisWorks and we were using old Performas... I must say it looks exactly the same now! :(

    I don't absolutely love Office X, but at the same time I do think it's better than AW.

    Just my 0,02€ ;)
     
  17. locopano macrumors member

    locopano

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #17
    Powerbook 17" with BTO 5400rpm and 128VRAM

    I recently came back to mac after a 2 year absence from computers as a whole. I got the 17". I have had a 12" iBook, 15" PB and now 2 17" PB's, (i had the 1.33GHZ before Upgrading the 1.5GHZ 17".

    Firstly GET THE 5400RPM HDD, even if you get a 12",15".

    I wouldnt get anyhting BUT a 17" after owning 2 of them and i doubt anyone who has owned one would either. If you have the cash to get a loaded 15" then put in the extra $100 or whatever it is over there and get a 17".

    SUMMARY
    - Get 17"
    _ Get 5400RPM HDD upgrade no matter what model

    Also i would highly recommend the 128VRAM upgrade...but not 100% neccisary but it does make working with the machine alot better. and the video playback of DV footage seems alot clearer , and the digital photos seem VERY NOTICABLY clearer, not just a little but heaps...

    In my case..
     
  18. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #18
    Yup. Those are four of my favorite word processing programs. :confused: :D
     
  19. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #19
    Sure, no prob. ;)
     
  20. josepho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #20
    Surely increased video RAM would not increase the clarity of digital photographs? Presumably only a better screen could do that?

    The VRAM will come into play when you're performing taxing video applications, such as high-res video playback, video editing, high-res games... but not just displaying photos?

    Of course, I could be wrong... but I don't think so :confused:
     
  21. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #21
    i have a loaded 15in and i really like it. it serves may needs very well. i bought it, though, only because i had to. if you can, try to wait till the g5 makes it into the PB, but no one exactly knows when that will be, so you might as well get the present PB for it is still rather good.
     
  22. astray macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    uk
    #22
    Hi there,
    10months ago i was in exactly your position, id spent the past year edging my way towards getting a mac for when i went to university, id been lurking on every forum i could find, sniffing after all the latest rumours and trying out every mac i could find. I can gladly say that having had my loaded PB 17 1.33Ghz for 8 months or so i have no regrets. BUT before you go off taking my word for it theres a few things you need to decide,

    1) What do you use a computer for? For me i used to love messing about on pc's windows/linux doing all the fiddly things and playing the latest games, but i grew out of it. What i wanted was a computer which just worked when i needed it, no missing dll's or crashing (not so common on xp but used to be a problem). I identified my computing habits as revolving around listening to music, watching dvd's, divx etc, doing work, browsing the net and my hobby digital graphics. All of these can be done on mac, with ease and quite often better than on a pc in my opinion.

    2) Before you buy a loaded PB, decide can you really lay out that much money on something you don't really know you like, i risked it and lucked out, but theres no guarantee youll become a machead.

    3) Try out a mac, find someone who has os x and pester them until they let you touch their precious mac.

    As far as office goes, it's smilar to office 2003 on the pc, but it's also better in some way. Unfortunately i am yet to find a product which can compete with word as a word processing app, especially if you have to use the microsoft file format. It's not so bad though.

    As far as the PB goes, most of the time for me it's perfect, the screen is great better than most of my friends new laptops (pc's), it has almost everything you need come with it. I find it surprisingly portable, yes i know it's 17". There are annoying things, I find mine does get quite warm to touch underneath, though the fan doesnt turn aon as much as my friends laptops, battery life is quite good, i get 3.5 hours when just doing work. Another slightly annoying thing is that if you are typing alot and your palms get a little sweaty they leave marks on the beautiful aluminium surface. Fianlly the pb does make a few little noises like (very quiet) squeals but i dont notice them most of the time. Well i hope thats been useful, i dont normally have time to post here to often,

    astray
     
  23. furrina macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    In tha 212
    #23

    That alone would make me want one! :p
     
  24. locopano macrumors member

    locopano

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #24

    yeah well to tell you the truth when i bought it i had no real idea of what extra it gave me, i jsut upgraded cos it was basically free in my case when i got the HDD upgrade..

    I have noticed better graphics performance in my new 1.5GHZ 17" as opposed to my last 1.33GHZ.

    I dont know whether its attributed to the graphics card upgrade or what as i dont know what it does... .. but the pictures seem alot clearer as does the video playback.... maybe apple is using new lcd's or one from a different supplier now.. who knows, BUT i assumed it was from the graphics card upgrade..'
     

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