PowerBook 12" vs. 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by CoqRouge, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. CoqRouge macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2004
    I'm starting an MFA program in animation in a couple weeks. For the past three years I've been using a Dell inspiron laptop with a P3 and onboard graphics chip, and it wont do any more. Needless to say, I'm posting this message because I'm ready to make the switch. I have to go with the powerbook instead of a powermac because I need the portability, even though it's especially painful with the current gap of performance between the two.

    I'm having a tough time deciding between:
    12" combo drive with 5400 RPM hard drive - $1500
    15" super drive - $2000 (special purchase through school - but no cram & jam)

    I will be using this for Maya, C++, Motion / After Effects, & Photoshop, in that order, but not simultaneously :)

    I will also be buying a 20" cinema display, regardless of which powerbook I get. I know that many will frown at expecting that much out of a powerbook. However, this will be my first year with Maya, and I'm hoping that it will be able to handle student work until the G5 powerbook gets released.

    The main reasons for why I'm considering the 15" is the better graphics card and slightly better resolution. However, most reviews rate it better based on performance in games, and I only care about how well it handles Maya. The reason for considering the 12" (besides the $500 savings) is that I will be carrying this thing to school everyday.

    So which would you get?

    Also, although it's not a major issue, which of the two do you think will have a better resale value (less net loss) once the G5 is released?
  2. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    Well the best thing would be to go and see them for yourself in an apploe store or reseller if there is one close to you. I have the 17" and it is very portable, i have not had any problems with it in terms of taking it to where i am going. If screen size is not a major fact then go with the 12" PB, with the 15" it is easyer to do more then 1 thing on your screen and its a + when watching a DVD.

    The major diffrence is screen size and graphics crad, if you need the extra power go with the 15"
  3. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    Well, everyone asks this. It is really up to YOU. You know what you need, want, can handle, can afford, etc. You, and only you. What would I get it? It doesn't really matter. I got a 12''. Does that affect your decision? I sure hope not, as I got it for every reason that probably won't get one for. The facts are there..The 12 is smaller and more portable with a few less features while the 15 is a little bigger, still portable, and has those few missing features. So go sleep on it and decide, then get back to us with your followup decision, as then we will be interested in knowing what you decided to go with. Good luck.
  4. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    IMHO, the 15" is going to be better, with the apps you'll be using. You're going to have several toolbars open at the same time as the file you're working on, and the 15" will give you the room to have a full size image, as well as the toolbars. The 12" won't. That, combined with the slightly better performance/features, makes the difference.

    Having a DVD burner on board will be nice, too. You'll have lots of stuff to back up, and CD's just aren't big enough for my pics (never thought I'd say that...)

    The only downside to the 15" is the slightly greater fragility of the screen, due to the size of the thing. Just make sure you get a good bag to keep it in, with at least one fairly hard side for the screen to rest on, so it doesn't get pressure.

    I carry my 15" on the road 15-18 days/month, with no problems. Can't imagine having a square screen anymore.
  5. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    same dilema

    you are certainly facing the same dilema as me.

    i adore small things and i figured i'd get the 12" + ext monitor as well.

    i've used 12" ibooks for years as my main computer and they are fine for most work. but... whenever i use it for design, formz, quark, the screen seems cramped. and for archicad, well, really cramped. i'm just so used to the small screen, that somehow i make do and can't imagine what it would be like to work on a larger one.

    portability is great and i imagined with a new pb12" (smaller and lighter than the ibook), i would carry it everywhere, all the time, using it almost as a pda.

    well i got the pb12" and it is wonderfully small and super portable... but... it seemed such a pity to have 'so much' processing power and still a screen no bigger than the ibooks i'd been used to. apple store was real sweet and after trying it out for 10days, i returned it.

    now i am waiting for the (soon?) upcoming rev to the pb 15".

    i know i will be sacrificing portability, but i am hoping the pleasure of a larger screen will be a fair trade off. they do say however, as far as ergonomics go, that it is easier to go up in screen size than to downsize. so i hope once i make the step up, i will not regret it.

    the absolute BIGGEST PLEASURE i get out of a laptop, especially now with airport express, is to use it anywhere around my apartment. desk, sofa, bed, (even toilet!). so having a bigger screen with the benefit of not being tethered to a fixed monitor should be wonderful.

    we'll see.

    good luck to you on your choice, will be curious to hear how you decide.

  6. CoqRouge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2004
    any experiences with maya?

    Thanks for all the replies. Does anyone have any experience with running maya on either of these setups? I've heard that eventhough the ati cards are better for gaming, they don't get along so well with maya.

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