Powerbook 12.1 Buying Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Celeron, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #1
    I'm seriously considering picking up the 12.1'' Powerbook with a combo drive and the airport card. I noticed the buying guide says don't buy because updates are "coming soon." I have a few questions:

    1. How long after Apple updates their product line are the old products still available?

    2. I'm a bit wary of buying the first revision of a new product. The Titantium Powerbooks initially had that craptastic paint that came off, etc.. etc... Is it better to wait until the update after this forth coming update, in which case it would just be better to buy now?

    3. Is it possible to buy the Airport extreme card from anyone other than apple? $89 for a internal 802.11g card is pretty steep.

    4. I've been a long time windows guy, never really used an apple product unless I had to for a class. Now I'm considering picking one up for taking notes and such. Is there any reasons I should avoid buying the powerbook and get say a Dell laptop instead?

    5. How critical is the applecare protection?

    6. Does the Apple online store charge tax? I configured an entire machine yesterday, created an account, go all the way to the pay screen and saw _no_ mention what-so-ever of tax. I assume Apple can't charge my charge for more than I agree to, which doesn't include tax.

    Thanks!
     
  2. odditie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    1. How long after Apple updates their product line are the old products still available?

    Normally, from what I understand, when they do an update like this, they warn resellers and they sell them out before releasing them.

    2. I'm a bit wary of buying the first revision of a new product. The Titantium Powerbooks initially had that craptastic paint that came off, etc.. etc... Is it better to wait until the update after this forth coming update, in which case it would just be better to buy now?

    I'm not sure what you mean by this, I think it's best to wait if you can wait...either way you will end up with a nice Powerbook although

    3. Is it possible to buy the Airport extreme card from anyone other than apple? $89 for a internal 802.11g card is pretty steep.

    Only other places you will find them are off of eBay or resellers, to my knowledge at least...

    4. I've been a long time windows guy, never really used an apple product unless I had to for a class. Now I'm considering picking one up for taking notes and such. Is there any reasons I should avoid buying the powerbook and get say a Dell laptop instead?

    No, I am about 7 months removed from buying my first apple, and I am 100% sold, I was in the same boat as you, and I got a Powerbook as well, and now all I can think about is getting a G5.

    5. How critical is the applecare protection?

    You can get it within the first year, so don't be too worried about it initially, but defiantly get it, especially for a laptop you will want it, since they are the one type of computer you are picking up, and walking around with on a daily basis...

    6. Does the Apple online store charge tax? I configured an entire machine yesterday, created an account, go all the way to the pay screen and saw _no_ mention what-so-ever of tax. I assume Apple can't charge my charge for more than I agree to, which doesn't include tax.

    This I'm not sure on...I know I get charged tax on my items, but I am told semi-early about the charging...
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    yes, sales tax is charged if you reside in a state where there's sales tax.

    apple.com gives you good edu. discount so if you are a student, it's worth getting it through them despite the tax because you'll end up saving money most of the time... (i assumed you are a student since you talk about taking notes in classes...)

    btw, although the actual amount is not mentioned (dunno why, it *is* annoying...), they tell you right from the beginning that the subtotal does not include tax. so i don't think you can use that "but i was never told about the tax" argument...
     
  4. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #4
    Yah, I'm a student, and I am looking at the edu discounts. A 12.1 PowerBook starts at $1399 for the base model, which is what I'm considering purchasing. The AE card runs $89. If they do indeed charge tax, its going to cost me $1610.76. Ieee, thats expensive...
     
  5. switchingGeek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    They do charge tax IFF you have an apple retail store in your state >:)... Getting it delivered to another state, and then forwarded to you is an option, but that is an ethics issue.

    I've heard that some online mac resellers offer student discounts, and do not charge sales tax either. So you might look them up. Sorry, read this a long time ago, don't remember who.

    I switched to a PB 12" in August with the back to school promo. Never used a mac before and am absolutely happy with it!! So go for it!!

    Have fun!!
     
  6. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #6
    Consider getting a iBook. It costs $1000 and with the money you save you can get more RAM for you're iBook. I recommend getting the Bluetooth upgrade ($45) and the largest hard drive you can afford. In my opinion, there isn't much of a power difference between the two.

    lasuther
     
  7. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #7
    i forgot to address one of your questions... with the next update, it will be rev. C for 12" PB. it was introduced jan. 2003 (867 MHz, rev. A), then upped to the current specs in sept. 2003 (rev. B). 15" Al was introduced in sept. 2003, so that one can still be considered rev. A, but 12" Al has been around longer than the 15" Al.
     
  8. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #8
    I was a long time windows guy as well. I looked at the Dell D400 (the 300 wasn't out yet) I also purchased a Dell 600m, but ended up sending it back because I wan't happy with it. The Dell will not give you as good of specs as a Powerbook. Mainly in the video card (Shared memory...) and the CD drive. The PB is also much sleeker and built better IMHO. Plus OSX is just awesome, and you'll have the benefit on knowing both OS.
     
  9. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #9
    Koodauw, it's interesting that you mentioned the 600m, that's the Dell laptop I've been looking at. What were you particularly disappointed with? Does the PowerBook seem quicker/faster than the Dell machine? Was the Dell cheaply constructed?
     
  10. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #10
    Thanks to everyone that replied so far!

    I forgot to mention this before. Is there any speculation when the next update to the PowerBook is likely to hit the streets, and what updates can we expect? A classmate of mine just recently picked up the 12'' PowerBook and he mentioned the new one will likely have a 1.25ghz G4 w/ a lighted kbd. He didn't have any sources, just his speculation.

    Anyone know?
     
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    your friend's guess is as good as anyone's... since the last update was sept. '03 and the one before was a price drop sometime in may/june '03, 12" PB is up for an update "any day now," i'd say, but no one knows for sure.

    given the compactness of the 12", adding gigabit ethernet or lit keyboard might be require a bit of remodeling, but of course, apple added mini-DVI in the last update, so anything is possible... only FW800 seems unlikely just because there isn't much space left to put the port!

    lit keyboard would be another distinguishing point for the PB, away from iBook. right now, they are very similar and for most people, the difference is not worth the extra price - the only major exception being availability of the SuperDrive... (by the way, for some, like me, the appearance counts quite a bit. i love my PB and it's sleek aluminum finish. and i knew i wasn't going to buy another laptop for a good 3 to 4 years - so i wanted to make sure i'd really like what i get, even if it's a bit more expensive. and the PB is just lovely... i'm not so sure if i would have felt the same had i gotten an iBook.)

    my guess is 1.25 GHz G4, optional lit keyboard, gigabit ethernet, a little bump in the video card and little bumps in optional HD? i wouldn't expect anything so different that you'd regret not waiting, should you decide to purchase the current models...

    (but i'm sure someone will come up with "G5 PB expected on next update" post right after this... :p )

    (when i bought my PB, it was between G3 iBook and G4 PB, and there were many (popular) programs out there that used G4 velocity engine. so there was genuine reason to think G4 would last "longer" than G3... i am not sure if the same can be said for G5. many people automatically assume G5 will last longer - and it will - but given the lack of 64-bit/G5 optimized programs out there, i'm not sure if it will make as much difference as people believe. by the time G5 optimized programs are out and popular, it's possible that G5 you purchase now will be just as obsolete as a G4 you purchase now...?)
     
  12. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #12
    Ugh, this is driving me nuts! I don't know if I should wait or if I should just get one now. I went over to CompUsa to tinker with the 12'' PB. It seems like such a nice unit, and I can think of all sorts of things I would use it for but I just can't bring myself to spend the money.

    I hate making big purchasing. Buying a home will certainly kill me...
     
  13. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #13
    I purchased the 12" PB (rev. B, 1GHz, Combo Drive) in November. Since I have always used Macs, I can't say I didn't look back. However, this machine has been really good for the light stuff (email, web surfing, word processing) all the way up to limited power use (some Photoshop, some video compression, etc.). I'm not a professional in those fields so my description may be severely lacking. What I am saying, however, is this machine has not yet disappointed me. How's that? :)
     
  14. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #14
    The 600m was a decent computer, but what bugged me most was the fact that I couldn't get the screen resolution right. I wanted to set it at 1600x1200, and the max I could get was 1024x768. Why this may sound like the most stupid reason to return a computer, it was the reason I did so. Everything looked too big on the screen and it just made me mad to look at it. This is no way to live with your computer. So it went back. And I am so much happier that I have the PB. It's smaller, built better, sleeker design, OSX, the list goes and on. I really really like the size & design of the PB. Plus I wanted something different, something the everyday joe does not have. This may sound lame but when you see someone working from behind that glowing Apple logo, its just cool. My PB is special & I love it.
     
  15. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #15
    Thanks for all your help fellas. I went ahead and placed an order for a 12'' Powerbook, with a combo drive and the airport extreme card. It came to $1488 with the academic discount. Free shipping, but I have to pay tax :( Total with tax is $1611.

    Should be here sometime this week I hope. The wait just might kill me :)

    This is going to be my first Mac after being a long time Windows guy. I will post my experience in the coming days.
     
  16. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #16
    *sigh* The wait continues. My ram from crucial.com arrived today, but I haven't got a Powerbook to install it in. FedEx tracking says it won't be here until Tuesday, doh! Figures, Tuesday is my busiest day so I may not even be here to receive it. Damn.
     
  17. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #17
    conratulations... i'm sure you'll love the machine.

    (heck, i paid $1800 total without AE for rev. A, edu. discounted!)

    one thing i'd do... pay attention to the rubber feet. they come off after a while and get lost. if you can, after a few months, pry those off and super glue them yourself. three of mine came off and i almost lost them but after gluing it myself, they haven't come close to being loose.
     
  18. mattroberts macrumors regular

    mattroberts

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    I think this problem has been rectified on Rev B's I haven't had this problem and it hasn't occurred on two others i know of.

    cheers
    m
     
  19. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #19
    Woohoo! The Powerbook came this morning at 8:45am courtesy of Fedex Home Delivery. I'm writing this message on it right now and I must say I'm pretty pleased with my purchase. I already installed my 512meg sodimm so now I'm humming along on 768 megs. One thing I did notice is that I appear to have a dead/stuck pixel a little off center, about 1'' from the bottom of the screen. Doh! Its slightly above the dock so its not terribly noticable, but a little disappointing on a $1500 machine. Not much I can do about it really, so I'm going to stop worrying about it.

    Overall everything is running great. I've installed Mozilla FireFox (I don't care for Safari) and Mozilla Thunderbird for mail. I got my settings imported from my PC using a usb stick with no problems.

    I already ran all of the Software Updates to get everything updated before I did any serious customization. I have a few questions however, I'm hoping you guys can answer for me:

    1. On my Airport Extreme card theres an option for "Use Interface Robustness." I looked at the little manual that came with it and I didn't find any mention of it.

    I had another question, but it has left my mind. When I remember I'll fire it out later.

    One thing I noticed, which I thought was strange, was that font smoothing was NOT turned on by default. It was set for standard, which is the setting for a CRT, which is clearly not the display on my laptop.
     
  20. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #20
    I remembered my other questions.

    How do I change the hostname of my computer?

    How do I make FireFox my default browser so links clicked on open in FireFox.
     
  21. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #21
    Change of hostname: go to system preferences/Sharing. There's a field on top where you can change your hostname.

    default browser: Open Safari, go to preferences. First option on top is default browser.
     
  22. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004

Share This Page