Powerbook or iBook for college....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rocky3478, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Rocky3478 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #1
    I need to get a laptop for college in the first part of this year. My college requires this hardware at least for my major.

    Processor Pentium 4 2.0 GHZ or Macintosh G4 867 MHz
    512 MB RAM
    Hard Disk 40 GB
    CD-ROM CD-RW/DVD Combo
    Ethernet Card 10/100 Network Card Built in
    Ports: USB, Infrared, Firewire
    Video Capabilities 1024x768
    Display 14.1" Color Active
    Wireless Card 802.11g (prefered) or 802.11b card
    Windows XP Pro or OS X

    I'm thinking now would be a great time to switch, since I have been looking for a chance to for some time. I came up with these two systems from the Apple website. Keep in mind that I need to add a case ($50), and Office 2004 Mac S&T Edition ($150) to this as well. Would I notice a big difference between these two? And what is the estimated battery life on the Powerbook, compared to the iBook, doing basic web surfing and iTunes, word processing , etc., after calibration? And is the Powerbook worth the extra money? Oh, and I'm not bothered by the 14" display on the iBook, I've seen it at Fry's.

    15.2" Powerbook -
    1.67 Ghz G4
    64 Mb VRAM Radeon 9700
    1 Gb RAM
    Superdrive
    80Gb HD
    Applecare
    - $2,423

    14" iBook -
    1.33 Ghz G4
    32 Mb VRAM Radeon 9200
    1.256 Gb RAM
    Combo Drive
    60 Gb HD
    Applecare
    - $1,384
     
  2. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #2
    well, what is your major and what are you going to do with it? I mean, is there going to be any photoshop or video editing or anything? Will you need to be doing anything that you NEED the powerbook for over the iBook? I mean, would the iBook be powerful enough for you? I went with the Powerbook over the iBook without any questions... so I guess I'd be a little bias...
     
  3. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #3
    Theres about a million threads about this. No matter what anyone tells you, it really comes down to your budget, and how much it's worth to you to have a nice computer.

    I know you said the 14'' display doesn't bother you, just keep in mind the 14'' display uses 1024x768 resolution, which is the same as the 12'' display.
     
  4. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
  5. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816

    buryyourbrideau

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    i just bought a 14 ibook with 80gb superdrive 768 ram and Bt, the powerbook in my opinion dosnt really do anything leaps and bounds above an ibook except for the ability to upgrade video and more ram.. at least i havent noticed anything much diff from using my friends PB and my ibook and yea i ordered mine for college as well :)
     
  6. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #6
    It'll be a Comp Science major. I don't think that I'll be doing major Photoshop, video editing, gaming, etc. on it. Again, mostly just productivity apps. So it seems you guys think that the iBook is the better choice? I'm leaning that way ATM. It doesn't feel like the PB is worth the additional $1k to me. Any thought?
     
  7. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #7
    The nice thing about spending $1000 less on a computer, is then when a new one comes out in a couple of years that you want, you can be like "I can afford this since I saved a thousand lass time" :D
     
  8. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #8
    Consider this machine:

    15.2" Powerbook -
    1.5 Ghz G4
    64 Mb VRAM Radeon 9700
    1 Gb RAM
    Combo
    80Gb HD
    Applecare
    - $2,173 edu price

    It's right between the two. I would not recommend the 14" iBook. The 12" offers a better value and has the same screen resolution. If you can, wait for Tiger.

    lasuther
     
  9. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #9
    I heard elsewhere on this forum that the 14" iBook will look the same at 21.5" away as the 12" iBook will at 18" away. I measured and 21.5" is about my normal distance away, so the screen res really isn't a problem, I think. are there any other issues with the 14" iBook (or iBooks in general) that I should now about before I spring on it?
     
  10. walkerIV macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    Seems that you don't really need the powerbook.
    iBook should be plenty enough and a smart choice.
    Then again, if you can wait until just before college some back to school deals might be available as well as better hardware.
     
  11. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #11
    Looks like I'm going for the 14"iBook. :D I may wait, but I probably will need it in May, so we'll see. Thanks for all the help, guys and gals!!! I'll let you know when I get it. :cool:
     
  12. sinisterdesign macrumors 6502

    sinisterdesign

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    atlanta
    #12
    iBook

    yeah, i've always been a powerbook fan (graphic designer. y'know), but i just couldn't justify the extra $900+ for slightly better processor, bus, video card & screen. until PB's REALLY see a jump in performance over the iBooks, i just couldn't see paying the huge difference in price.

    which sucks, b/c my old PB just died and i really want a new one (apart from the specs, i just like the silver), but i'm holding off for that price to b/c worth it...
     
  13. lordmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #13
    BUt wait you aren't counting in the sexyness factor i mean if you were a computer which would you like to make love too more a powerbook or an iBook? I ask you to just consider it at least. :D :p :D
     
  14. grubber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #14
    Rocky,

    I'm in a similar situation. I'm a student looking to leave my beloved linux behind and jump into OSX.

    After playing with both at an Apple Store, I'm going with the 12" Powerbook over the 14" iBook. The Powerbook will let you do dual screens with an external LCD (iBook doesnt, according to the Apple guy), which as a comp sci major you will probably *REALLY* appreciate. And it has Bluetooth, larger hard drive, and more memory (which once added to the 14" iBook make it more expensive). Plus, faster hard drive, smaller profile (smaller than any of my textbooks), cooler-looking, and has dual-finger scrolling. The only thing you lose is 2" screen space, but since the resolutions are identical you really arent losing anything but dpi.

    Now if the damn apple store would get them in stock I'll have it to play with next week over spring break!

    - Jared
    PS. Check with your school about MS Office pricing. My school has an agreement whereby I can get MS programs for really cheap (office=$15, visual studio=$35, etc). Yours may or may not have something similar.
     
  15. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #15
    If you can afford the PowerBook, probably you best bet. Better graphics and a Superdrive.
     
  16. grubber macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #16
    Heh, I think I'm gonna grab one with a Superdrive. With the student discount, I the price diff is only $100 on the PowerBook. (I think you get $100 off the combo drive version but $200 off the superdrive version, so the price differential is then only $100). Plus it's cool. :)
     
  17. pigbrain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    #17
    My school provides software licensing service including M$ office 2004 for Mac. Maybe you should check with your school and save some money.
     
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    If you go with the iBook, check this site out: iScroll 2

    I use it with my Rev. C 12" PowerBook (damn good machine-- power of a 15" or 17" but small and with a 5 hour battery life!) and it is really amazing. Just pure freaking amazing.


    Anyone with an iBook G4 can try it and a fair amount of the recent Aluminum PowerBooks can, too.
     
  19. therevolution macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    #19
    It's pretty nice, but it doesn't beat the built-in scrolling on the new PowerBooks. I find iScroll 2 to be a little jumpy at times, especially with horizontal scrolling.

    Still, it's much better than nothing. It's already instinctive for me to try using two fingers to scroll on any trackpad I use, and it sucks when it's not there.
     
  20. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #20

    Great idea. I can't fault your logic, and the only reason that I am not considering the 12" Powerbook is that I need at least a 14" screen. :( Oh, well. The iBook isn't that bad either. ;)

    Thanks for the link!!! I'll be sure to try it out!! :)
     
  21. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #21
    I'll be sure to check. Thanks for the info!!!!
     
  22. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #22
    True, it is a tad bit jumpy but after playing with the settings it isn't that bad. A hell of a lot nicer than the HP/Dell/Toshiba/Whatever scrolling trackpads you get on the x86 side. I haven't had the chance to try the scrolling on the new PowerBooks... but something that I like a lot about iScroll 2 that I am using a LOT: Press two fingers onto the trackpad and then click. Instant right-click! :D That makes it worth the occasional jump.

    Did I mention that it gets updated at least once a week? Thats pretty nice, too. :)
     
  23. lordmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #23
    Thats too bad the 12 inch is a great machine. I wonder why on earth they say you have to have a 14 inch screen, thats seems a bit odd plus you get the same amount of working space on the screen because its the same resolution. Weird :rolleyes:
     
  24. Rocky3478 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #24
    Sadly, that's their decision, not mine. :rolleyes:
     
  25. Kirbdog macrumors regular

    Kirbdog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    #25
    That is odd about the 14" screen. I was in the iBook vs. Powerbook boat for a while, until the Rev. D Powerbooks came out. My 12" superdrive model with 100 Gig HD and 768 Mb of RAM was actually cheaper than a 14" iBook with 80 Gig HD and 768 Mb of RAM. That was with Bluetooth added to the iBook. I am a college student so I priced with the student discount, the student discount is twice as much on the Powerbook vs. the iBook. My recommendation is the keep up the research and keep a close I eye on the prices so you will recognize a good deal when you find it.
     

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