Powerbook 12" - Missing Features

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by srobert, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. srobert macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #1
    Hello everyone.

    I will soon be in the market for a new powerbook (after considering and ruling out the iBook). since I'm not in a hurry, I decided to wait for the next revision. I was aiming for the 12 incher because of portability and price issues. It looks like a very swell little machine but I find myself hoping for more features... what a spoiled peep I am.

    Here is a short wish list. I'd like to hear your opinions on this. Do you guys think some of those items are realistic? Is there any chances some of those features could make it in the next 12" Powerbook?

    [ ] 1 Firewire 800 port - (for a better usefull lifespan and expandability)
    [ ] Illuminated keyboard with ambiant light sensor - (seems appropriate)
    [ ] Gigabit Ethernet - (for a better usefull lifespan and expandability)
    [ ] Slightly higher resolution - (not necessary thanks to external displays)
    [ ] 64 MB Graphic Card - (Ok, not a gaming machine but a man can dream)
    [ ] Widescreen Aspect Ratio - (Not sure if it's really a good idea on a 12")
    [ ] Better battery life - (Could be possible with less power hungry procs)

    Yeah, I could go for the 15 inchers and benefit from most of those features... but I'm on a budget. I understand that some, if not most of these features did'nt make it in the 12" Pbook so the price would be kept low. But, with each revisions, I expect the price innerant to implementing those technologies to go down.
     
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    gigabit internet wouldn't be that useful since the HD is the limiting factor, though it wouldn't cost too much to add over the 10/100
    it would be nice when they went G5 to maybe go 14 15 17 inch widescreens with 64MB graphics and 128MB for the upper end 15 inch and the 17 inch

     
  3. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #3
    So, we would need a faster HD. I assume that faster HD are more power hungry and run hotter? Not good for a laptop, especially one with very little free internal space for air flow (i.e. Powerbook 12")

    Does that means that the 15" and 17" have faster HDs or is the gigabit ethernet in those laptops only for show?
     
  4. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    #4
    Not sure what the link with gigabit ethernet and HD is.

    However, in my experience on the PC side (I am switching soon), on many pcs (apart from 875 chipsets) the gigabit ethernet controller is plugged into standard PCI, where it has to share bandwidth with everything else. The PCI bus is the bottleneck. On Macs I have no idea how they are set up.

    Anyway, to sroberts, I agree with your list. I am in the market for a PB12 (as soon as HR dept approve my salary repackaging). The only thing I am not sure about is wide screen. I like the PB12 for its size, I don't think they can change the dimensions of the screen that much. I wouldn't mind a G5 1.6 as well but I'm sure there are enough threads on that!!!!!
     
  5. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Why did you rule out the iBook? What was missing that made it a no-go? There is a monitor span hack you know. (Line in on my PB 12" is very useful though).

    FW800 may appear in the future but it is not that important to me. It appears that, while FireWire 400 tends to get near its max speed, FireWire 800 devices suffer from the USB2 problem - i.e. they don't tend to get near their max theoretical limit. I might be talking rubbish though.

    Gigabit internet is probably not that useful for most people, but toss it in there anyway - it may happen in a rev or two.

    I think the most likely changes will be a 64Meg graphics card, possibly the illuminated keyboard (I would have paid if it had been a BTO option). It's not inconceivable that they could be a 5400rpm HD in there to improve performance but, knowing Apple, never. It's currently only an expensive option on the 15/17" and has a lot to do with heat issues with the current line of chips.
     
  6. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #6
    The real no-go was that there is no way for me to output a digital signal to an external ADC LCD at more than 1024x768.

    I also wanted the superdrive.

    Otherwise, I would have gone for the iBook.
     
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #7
    next revision mihght see fw800 and better graphics adapter, but don't expect anything else mentioned in your list. they might however put illuminated keyboard in it, but without light sensor (you'd have to adjust keyb brightness manually). the big brothers have the sensor under speaker grille, but 12" has speaker directly towards display so it might not be good place for the sensor.

    i hope they would get rid of the square 12" and introduce us a 13" widescreen powerbook, or they could just drop the 12" and let the ibook line be "the small one".

    better battery life? oh yeah, really. for 15-incher that's actually needed, but 12-incher is doing fine.

    for what would you use the gigabit for? i have had that option in two powerbooks and have actually used it twice in two years when i have visited the server room. that option is useful only when there are no 10/100/1000 nodes available and the only speed the switch accetps is the gigabit. performance-wise there's no difference at all, because hard drive doesn't put any more data through than it physically can - be it a gigabit or a terabit interface next to it.
     
  8. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #8
    It seems to me that the 12" Peebee is a logical candidate for the illuminated keyboard. After all, it's really portable and likely to be used in dark places... but I have to admit, I mostly want it for the wow factor *guilty*. After all, I guess we all know our keyboard layout by heart.

    13" widescreen? I like that ^_^ They could do it without making it much bigger. I would'nt mind if it stayed 12" though. It just needs to be smaller than the 15 incher.

    Better battery life is always good, even if it's already satidfactory.

    Gigabit? I don't really need it but I like when Apple puts the top as a standard in all it's machine. Kinda like when Apple included firewire ports in all its line up when it was still a rare, luxury feature on PCs.
     
  9. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Antwerp-Belgium
    #9
    about the 5400rpm drives

    you can allso add tha 60gb 7200 rmp drive in there it runs a little hotter so it seems, but its faster and from some people I've heared that it doesn't use more power than all the others so your battery life will remain the same...

    I'm considering buying one form my TiBook G4 400mhz because its the only thing I can add to make it faster since I put in 1GB ram... I found out that when I'm scanning the speed of the harddive is the only thing that can make it faster since the scanprog doens't need more ram like Photoshop does, this just asks for more speed on the drive (and I think this speed can add upt o higer perfomance overall...)

    about Gigabit ethernet, well you would think they add it standard to all the 'power' series en leave it out on the i or e series but they didn't with the 12" pb, just like FW800... why? ask steve :p

    better battery performance should come up when they start with the new ibm G5 chips on Pbooks wich use less power...

    and widescreen... well you buy the 12" for its size... and portability and off course at home you can plug in any monitor as you like...

    64mb graphics would be nice because its needed to get nice high resolutions on an external monitor...

    greets J
     
  10. fussball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    #10

    Funny that I am typing this on an iBook with an external display hooked up running 1280x960 ;-) The display hack mentioned above does indeed work. As for a superdrive... get an external... as you probably won't be burning while connected to battery power? that way your internal CD burner is faster (the cd-r for the superdrive is slower than that for the combo drive) also, you can get an external dvd-r drive that is faster than the super in dvd burning, along with having dual drives, which is a nice thing.
     
  11. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #11
    Nice. I'd like to hear more. Could you explain me how you set it up? (Cables, adaptors, costs). I once read that using the display hack voided the warrenty. Can all traces of the hack be removed by zapping p-ram or such? Is your signal still digital? Maybe that's not that big of an issue anyway.

    About the external drive. Anyone got good suggestions for a $200.00 (price Apple is charging for upgrading the internal drive to superdrive)
     
  12. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    illuminated keyboard would be cool. if i was a gozillionaire i would buy a 15" PB yank they keyboard and cram it onto my 12" PB. though i think it would be a little easier than that, afterall if anyone has noticed the letters are already transparent on the 12" pb . . . there is just no back light. (thats right, hit your caps lock key and watch the words 'caps lock' light up green, num lock will also light up and so will F5 when you hit num lock) i dont know what the good of gigabit ethernet would be. . . i much prefer wireless. but i guess i dont push a lot of data over the network. a faster HD would be cool. its something you would notice to make your computer faster. which of these will actually occur i dont know. im sure most will make it to the 12" except the aspect ratio. the screen is small to start with and changing it wont do much good unless you make it bigger. . . but then you lose the portability. just get one now. . there will always be newer cooler things on the next revision you will want.
     
  13. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    The iBook only has a mini-VGA port so the signal will be analogue. All PowerBooks have DVI (even the 12" PB - mini-DVI) so it will be pure digital.
     
  14. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #14
    but...


    The 14 15 17 kinda ruins the small, reg, large aspect that IMHO has helped the PB G4s sell so well. Remember that PB commercial with Yao Ming and MiniMe with the two laptops? I think that they should keep the 12". I love its portability. I've tried the 15, but I j thought that the screen was IMHO too wide for use by me. So of course the 17 would be too big, too, for me.
     
  15. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #15
    I've added another item to my list since I read how a fster HD with bigger buffer could give a decent overall speed boost (even on boot time). The 12 incher is the only Powerbook you can't upgrade to a 5400 RPH HD, making it look more, yet again, as a high-end iBook rather than a Powerbook. (I love it anyway) At first I tought that Higher RPM, equals higher power drain, equals lower battery life but it seems that some manufacturers have built 7200 RPM mobile drives with bigger buffers that use even less power than popular 4200 RPM drives. I'd love to have the option to add one of these to a Powerbook. A man can dream.


    [ ] Faster HDs with bigger buffers (5400, 7200)

    [ ] 1 Firewire 800 port - (for a better usefull lifespan and expandability)
    [ ] Illuminated keyboard with ambiant light sensor - (seems appropriate)
    [ ] Gigabit Ethernet - (for a better usefull lifespan and expandability)
    [ ] Slightly higher resolution - (not necessary thanks to external displays)
    [ ] 64 MB Graphic Card - (Ok, not a gaming machine but a man can dream)
    [ ] Widescreen Aspect Ratio - (Not sure if it's really a good idea on a 12")
    [ ] Better battery life - (Could be possible with less power hungry procs)
     
  16. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    I think the 12" has no 5200RPM option due to heat issues with the small form factor. There is more space to breath in the other ones and faster drives do run slightly hotter.
     

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