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Powerbook Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cadester, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Need a little help. I recently sold my QS 733MHz tower with the intent of purchasing a new Powerbook. I had always wanted a 15" and set out to buy one about a month ago. Then I was sucked into the 'revisions coming soon' drama. Maybe they're coming soon (Paris) or maybe they're not. Point is, I've started my last semester of grad school and I really need a computer--NOW. I had convinced myself I'd wait until the revisions, but I have assingments due and about a month's worth of thesis notes to type up.

    I don't really care about a speed bump (especially the rumored .25 GHz) as I will only be using the computer for word processing, internet/email, playing music, etc. However, I would like to have some of the bells and whistles of the Albook, and I like the fact that the 12/17" AlBooks seem to be able to take a bit more wear and tear than the TiBooks. And then there's Airport Extreme and Bluetooth.

    I convinced myself I'd bite the bullet and buy a 17" AlBook...with the education bundle it's a pretty good deal. However, I've also flirted with the idea of buying a 15" TiBook, use it for a year or so and then make the move to a G5 Powerbook whenever they come out.

    So, I'm wondering...buy a 17" AlBook now or go with the 15" TiBook and upgrade later...

    Advice would be appreciated.
  2. macrumors newbie

    Having a similar dilema. Currently use a G3 pbook but want G4/OSX etc. Cant really justify a 17incher (would love one) so I was about to buy a 12 inch with superdrive. Then I heard the rumors about upgrades to the 15inch.

    Completely threw my rationale for a 12".

    If I was between a rock and a hard place (as you are) I would be tempted to go for the 12" for the poratbility as I do a lot of lugging around. As it is I can continue with my G3 for a few more weeks and see what is announced. Probably just make my decision harder!
  3. macrumors member

    One suggestion to cadester might be to try renting a computer for 3 weeks until the Paris expo, to see what announcements come out. If all you need to do in the meantime is type up notes, you can just type them up, and e-mail them to yourself on a web-based account, and pick them up when you get your new Al 15" or 17". It might be worth the cost to see if you can get the improved 15in.

    You also might be able to rent a mac, in which case you can test drive the 17in.

    As for advice on 17in now or 15 in now and upgrade later, I don't really have a good recommendation -- depends on your bank acct. I would imagine that whenever the G5 powerbooks come out, they would come out across the whole line, so the 17in would be improved too. So if you are dying for a G5 (I know I am!), if you get a 17in now, you may be anxious to upgrade the 17in too, in a year or so! (Although either G4 powerbook would surely still be good in a few years.)
  4. big
    macrumors 65816


    I was in the same situation, I went with a 1GHZ 15" PB, and was amazed at how extremely fast that thing runs, its like greased lightning compared to my 800mhz tower at the ofice.

    so when Panther comes out (should speed things up too!)

    and then upgrade to a G5 15" PB in a year and a half (when they actually come out)
  5. macrumors member

    how about buying an ibook or a 12" to use for a while, and then selling it for a new pb when the new ones come out or after their prices drop a bit.

    Assuming you are buying at the education price (though also look into apple student developer pricing if you are interested in learning to program), you should be able to sell it a few months down the road for only a very small loss.
  6. macrumors 68040


    i'd get the 12" and an external monitor, if needed. i don't see why you need the 17"... and you might appreciate the portability more.

    if you are going to be typing a thesis, i'd get the 12" instead of iBook or 15" Ti just because of the keyboard. you should go try them all out, but i'm convinced 12" PB's got one of the best portable keyboard...

    i realize you can't use DVI/ADC monitor with 12", but there are some nice (and cheap) VGA LCD monitors out there...
  7. macrumors member

    Oh, BTW, one other thing to be aware of, if you are considering a "buy now, upgrade later" option. Many universities have a policy limiting students to one educational discount every two years (some have every three years). I am not sure if this is an Apple policy or a university policy, but you should check that out before automatically going for the upgrade in-a-year idea... If they have that policy, save the discount for the better computer next year, and buy a less expensive ibook now....
  8. macrumors newbie

    I also picked up at 12" powerbook to write my thesis on (It will arrive on Sept.4-5 <fingers crossed>). One thing to consider (in looking at the 15" and 17") is the portability. For myself, the powerbook allows me to not be stuck in my basement (which is ugly and unfinished!).

    As for the University Policies, I was unaware of any protocol in terms of student pricing... Mind you, in terms of the 12", there was only a $200 CDN difference (which is great, but not extreme).

  9. macrumors 6502

    Re: Powerbook Advice

    Given the edu pricing scheme, I would honestly go with the 15" TiBook, and then upgrade later. It's basically comparable to the 17" in every way except for the screen, no Firewire 800 (unlikely to matter to you), and no internal Bluetooth. And of course the aluminum. But it costs an extra $700 ($3000 vs. $2300). If you are not planning to burn a lot of DVDs, you should even consider the Combo drive model, since that is A LOT cheaper than the 17" ($1800 vs. $3000), and the speed differential is not great (867 Mhz vs. 1 Ghz). I would probably buy the Combo drive for $1800, then sell it next year for like $1500 or whatever the going rate is, and upgrade to a new 15" Al book. Who knows, if you wait long enough you might even be able to buy a 15" G5 Powerbook, and not end up spending any more money in total than if you just bought the 17" Al right now.

    You should also keep in mind the iPod edu deal (get $200 off an iPod, i.e. 10 GB iPod for $69). Even if you already have one or don't want one (gasp!), you can still easily sell a brand new 10 GB iPod on Ebay for well over $200. So that could lower the ultimate cost of the Combo drive model to below $1700.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the feedback...

    I appreciate the advice...

    After schlepping down to the campus computer store, I decided on the 12"...the 17" is beautiful, but I can't imagine really using it as a portable laptop...(they didn't even have a 15" on display). The 12" has all the features I wanted and with the more reasonable price, I'll be able to add some really nice upgrades.

    For the record, my school's discount policy runs on a yearly June to June cycle...so I'll be able to use my discount next fall. :)
  11. macrumors newbie

    Id be interested to see how you get on with the 12".

    Although Im waiting for the new 15" announcements, Im still very keen on the 12 because of the portability.

    The only thing that worries me is teh size of the screen, although in the office I use an external monitor anyway, which is where I do most of my work. However its important that I can work on the road and be able to give effective presentations.
  12. macrumors 65816


    I grew sick of waiting for revisions and just bought a 15" 1GHz TiBook. I would reccommend the same to you. This has been an incredible machine. It's not as bulky or heavy as the 17", which is a definite plus, but the screen is perfectly sized, the SuperDrive works like a charm (I found a firmware hack that doubles the burning speeds and enables DVD-RAM and DVD-RW burning as well). Anyhow, point is, this is a great computer that's going to last for quite a long time. Unless the upcoming (hopefully) revisions bring something spectacular, like a G5, I'm just going to stick with this guy.
  13. big
    macrumors 65816


    I bought the same machine, very impressed... though what/where is this "hack"

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