powerbook owners: 15 inch vs. 12 inch

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kuyu, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #1
    Hello all. I am definately buying a pbook soon, and i have some questions for pbook owners.

    Is the faster ram, better graphics card, faster processor, and bigger screen worth the extra $500 - $700? I will be carrying the laptop in my backpack most of the time, so is the 15 too big for this? Also, anyone with a 12 annoyed by the 1024 X 768 res.? I think that would bother me after a while, as I usually run 1280 X 960 on my emac. But I figured actual owners would know better than I.

    Please, only owners of the new pbooks need respond. thanks.
     
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #2
    i value portability much, much more than other specs. i've gotten used to 1024x768 on my 12" PB - more pixels is always better, of course. but after using my friend's 15" Al, i came to the conclusion that TO ME portability will always put the 12" PB over hthe 15", even though mine is 867 and his was the newest 1.25GHz.

    the keyword above is "to me." i can't decide for you what you like. i don't think 15" is too big to carry around - it's about the same size as any other popular laptops. but i got used to 12" and i doubt i will buy anything bigger.

    one last point: it's my play laptop, it's not my "work" laptop. so i don't spend enough time in front of it to make the small screen a big deal. if you intend on working quite a lot on your new PB, the benefit of a bigger screen may outweigh the portability.

    why not run your eMac at 1024x768 and see how you feel?
     
  3. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #3
    I had the opportunity to play with a 12inch powerbook. Great machine. Ultimately it will depend on what you want to do. I chose to upgrade my tibook to the 15" alboook because i need the extra real estate but had I not i probably would have gotten the super portable 12inch model.
     
  4. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    #4
    I think size is the big difference

    I have the new 12"PB (stock combo model, but now with 768MB of RAM), and it is wonderful. I'm certain that the 15" PB would be even better for the reasons you mention IF it simply stayed in one spot (or even in my house). However, I bought the machine to carry places, and after 3 years of using a TP 240 (2.6 lbs), the size and weight of the 15" PB (not to mention the cost) would have been too much. (I'm talking about carrying the computer and a briefcase full of papers. If all you do is carry a computer, then maybe even the 17" isn't too much!) I'm sure others will disagree about the portability of the 15", but that was why I only considered the 12" PB. As for resolution, I doubt you'd want higher resolution on the 12" screen. The resolution is fine, but I don't have a zillion windows opened, either.

    All that said, if I had known that the G4 iBook was going to be released 3 days after I bought my PB, I'd own a G4 iBook. The PB is jewel-like, but gives the impression that it may break/dent/scratch easily. I wouldn't care as much with a $1,000 machine, plus I think that the iBook is more durable (even if the innards are basically the same as the PB). For my purposes, it would have been perfect. At least I can pretend that I'm a pro user...
     
  5. farmboy macrumors 6502a

    farmboy

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    15 inch all the way

    I just purchased the 1.25 GHz Powerbook, and it is fantastic. I've used a 600 MHz 12" iBook for a while now, and bigger is better. The speed makes a difference, and the screen won't make your eyes tired. That said, both the 12 and the 15 are great machines, and I debated over the cost. I decided I would follow the old maxim "Get the best/fastest computer you can afford." Works for me!
     
  6. thekaiser macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    #6
    I have the 15" AlBook. I bought it over the 12" as it will be used as my primary machine. I love the extra screen space, but I would imagine the 12" to be slightly more portable. Mine fits fine into my bag. I really think you will be happy with whatever you choose. Good luck!
     
  7. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #7
    Other than the screen, consider the FW800 plug if you think that you will eventualy need a fast external HD (video editing).

    I have a 12" and really like it, only problem is the video card which will probably wont be enough to play halo at a decent frame rate. But I took it for work so it doesnt bother me that much.

    Good luck with your purchase!
     
  8. kuyu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #8
    amendment: I am a student, so price is a consideration, but I'll be paying cash, so the better the pbook, the longer I'll have to wait. Also, I usually have at least 7 apps open all the time
    (mail, itunes, safari, word, excel, stickies, calculator). I think the 15 will probably be better for this many apps.

    My real query regards the speed. I will use the pbook for the next 4 years, so it's gotta smoke by todays standards. Is the 15 really faster than the 12?
     
  9. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    #9
    In all honesty, based on the programs you listed, I'd get the 12" G4 iBook were I you. It could easily handle all those programs, and then some (with enough RAM, of course). My philosphy until I had purchased my PB has been to buy the best $1,000 machine available (ususually a recently discontinued model) because I'm not a power user and because rather than buying a $2,000 machine, I'd rather save the extra $1,000 and buy a new $1,000 machine (which will match or be better than the current $2,000 machine) in 2-3 years time.

    If the new 12" iBook had been out when I bought my PB, I'd still be following that philosophy, but the cost difference between the old 900MHz G3 iBook and the 12" PB was too little to justify not going with the better machine. That's out the window with the new G4 iBook.

    It's too bad that Apple is not dumping the old G3 iBooks for less than what they are asking. The $100 difference doesn't make sense compared to the edu/gov't price of the new model. If Apple were blowing them out at $700, I'd have picked one up no matter what. Of course, that kind of pricing would have driven recent purchasers crazy.
     
  10. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I have the new 12" PB and I love it. It is my primary machine and I have NO problems with the 1024x768 screen res. And I am fine with Final Cut Express and Photoshop Elements. I could do with more RAM but that's going to be my next purchase. That said though, I can still happily have all those apps you listed open and it is still responsive with 256MB, and I'm not even running Panther yet.

    However, I am coming from a 800x600 Windows PC (monitor couldn't hack a higher res) so the screen res was like extra!

    I love the portability of this machine and the keyboard. Yes, I now admit that the iBook may be more what you're looking for but I wanted the superdrive and better power and keyboard so I'm happy with my purchase.

    You may find the res drop from your eMac a little disturbing at first but the LCD screen will make up for that. When I went back to a CRT monitor it was just so fuzzy it did my eyes in! I don't think you notice it until you're used to an LCD screen.

    One thing to remember, if you still need a higher screen res you can buy an external monitor for your PB 12" with the money you would have saved from not getting the 15" - you could even get an Apple LCD! The iBook can't output at a higher res unless you somehow hack it...

    One last thing. Everyone moans on about the video card in the PB 12", unjustly in my opinion. Yes, the ATI9600 in the 15" is probably much better but it still has to drive a higher res display. I have had no problems however with my 12". And I have Sim City 4 and can play at full detail with a decent frame rate. Even some FPS demos I have are not bad (including Unreal Tournament), but again you'll want a games console or a PC if you want to play games seriously.

    Sorry, bit of a mouthful there. But i'm guessing i'm saying I really love the new 12" PB!
     
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    if you are really, really worried about the longevity of your computer, follow JulesK's advice and buy two computers two years apart rather than one now and another in 4 years.

    this is, of course, assuming that the apps you listed are the ones you will use the most. heck, those apps will run fine on a G3 iBook, simultaneously, provided with enough RAM. you can get brand new discounted G3 iBooks for quite a bit under a grand.

    to be really honest, the difference in specs between 12 and 15 PB will not make much difference in the long term usability of your laptop. a few months, perhaps. but i highly doubt it will be the case where 15 PB is usable but 12 PB is not. either both will be very usable or both will pretty much be obsolete.
     
  12. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    Jxyama does have a good point. My PB 12" did cost a lot (more than I would normally spend to be honest - £1350 with Superdrive) so i am praying that nothing goes wrong and it will last me a long time. I would never spend more than £2000 on a laptop (basically the price of the low end 15" model). You would never be as worried with an iBook because it cost less.

    I don't intend to ever sell my computer but Apples do seem to retain value very well on Ebay!!!

    Regarding durability, I have heard that the iBooks do scratch very easily but the aluminium finish on the PowerBooks is very scratch-resistant. I have no marks whatsoever on my PB, and the 15" shouldn't be any different. Yes, they probably feel more fragile (I wouldn't like to drop any of them!) but very scratch-resistant and solid.
     
  13. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    The iBooks do scratch easily, but for $30 you can protect the only part that scratches, the back, with a mac skin, http://www.macskinz.com/
     

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