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Powerbook vs. Imac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by the_insider, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular


    Last thursday my powerbook was stolen from me. Therefore i am in the market for a new computer. (the insurance is paying for it)

    Im having a hard time deciding between getting a powerbook again, or getting a 20 inch imac. This is the second time that this powerbook was stolen, and i really dont want to have another on stolen from me again. Next year i am going off to college, and my parents are insiting that i buy a laptop. So, my big worry is, do you highly reccomend having a laptop in college, or could i survive with an imac in my dorm? and lastly should i wait for a miracle in jan, or should I buy now?
  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    That sucks. :(

    What do you use the machine for? Do you need the extra power of the iMac? Could you get away with an iMac now and a new Intel iBook when they come out (probably available March but it's anyone's guess) because I bought my two Macs for about the same price as a 15 inch PowerBook.

    I enjoy having a laptop at uni but I could get away with just the desktop quite easily. :)
  3. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Clearly if you can wait then you should as January could be interesting. Does it have to be a single machine? Could you not stretch to a bottom of the range iBook to carry arround and a Mac Mini + big Dell screen?
  4. macrumors 65816


    Well i would recommend you wait till jan, i like desktops more then laptops but thats just me. If you will just use word, browse the web and use an email service then go with an ibook. If you need more power then go with the PB, but i will still recommend you go with the iMac. Get all the notes you need in class then go home and get it done.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Aww, that truly sucks. My pb was stolen in August and I bought a new one, my insurance only payed for half the price. Actually I want to erase this from my memory, so I didn't change my sig.

    I went with a powerbook again because it's more or less the only choice for me, as I'm working at different places very much. An advantage of having only one machine is that you don't have to transfer files from desktop to laptop. Sounds odd but a friend of mine has a pb and a powermac and sometimes he forgets a font or a picture or the latest version of a document on the desktop when he's in a hurry. I think it all depends on how well organized you are. The main advantage of 2 machines on the other hand is that you'll still have a computer left if one machine is having troubles/needs repairs etc.
  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    That and the fact that if you are always having the laptop stolen but your desktop is safe you won't loose all your data either. No matter how good your backups are you'll probably be loosing something and it will turn out to be the one thing you need!
  7. macrumors G4


    I'm assuming you get high speed net access in your dorm?

    If you do then I'd go for the iMac. It would be faster, safer, more fun with Front Row etc (parties and movie nights would rock in your room with Front Row) and it would mean that you would have to take notes in class and then type them up into something you can read = best way to learn - repetition.

    Nice big bright screen, capacious HDD, still more portable than most desktop PC's.

    I was told to get a laptop by my folks when I went off to Uni but could only afford a desktop (in my pre-Mac days). I never, ever needed a laptop whilst I was living in my college. Now that I've moved out and only have dial-up in my apartment, a laptop is a good thing to have.

    You'll probably get more use out of an iMac than a PowerBook in my opinion.
  8. macrumors 65816


    That sucks. Sorry to hear. Personally I would go for a laptop. Sooo handy when you want to get the hell out of the cramped place you live (presumable).
    But instead of a power book, you could try the combo version people have mentioned. An cheap(ish) ibook + iMac ( or Mini if money is tight).

    good luck with your decision
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Unless you really need the extra power/hard drive space, I suggest you guy a PB with an external LCD. It's the best setup for college.
  10. Moderator emeritus


    Did you use your PB at other locations much? If not, then why not consider a desktop more earnestly? Especially because it's a little more difficult to tote an iMac away vs. a PB. ;)

    I love my iMac. I love my iBook. I love yoak's suggestion. And why are your parents set on a portable? Do they realize that for their $$$, you get much better value with desktops? If you can try; ask them to get an older iBook and if money is an issue, an older iMac G5 as well. If money isn't an issue, why not an older iBook + the new iSight iMac?
  11. macrumors 68000


    With 2 stolen powerbooks I hope you have used up all your bad luck! Otherwise maybe your home will be broken into 1 week after you get the iMac.

    Too bad nothing is really safe. :(
  12. macrumors 68000

    I suggest getting the low-end iBook (after the update in January) and an iMac. I bought an iBook when I started graduate school in 2001, and I really wish I had spent the money on a desktop instead. My wife ended up using it for law school, and it served her well. But for my needs, a desktop would have been better.

    Lucky thing was, my wife orignally had a Thinkpad for law school, and it broke down 1 week in, so she took my iBook and we got an iMac for home. Its still in regular use, while the iBook is now an email machine.

    Sorry for the rambling, but you need to really think about whether a laptop is right for you. You get a lot more in a desktop.
  13. macrumors G5

    I find laptops in class to just be a distraction. I used to take mine to class to take notes, but a laptop and WiFi all over campus means you won't be taking notes ;) I have a PowerMac and PowerBook, and now I never take mine to class. I take it to the library or a study room occasionally when I want to get away from the noisy dorms. It was with me last week when I was with a group and had to do a Java project. Other than that, I never really use it except for when I go home for weekends and don't want to lug my giant PowerMac and monitor home. I am using my PowerBook right now though since the PMG5's packed up and ready to go home with me for winter break (and when your roommate is still sleeping, the lighted keyboard is awesome!). Anyways, you'd probably be fine with just a desktop, especially if you're worried about theft.
  14. Demi-God (Moderator emeritus)


    You are either unlucky or careless. It doesn't matter which one, so the first thing you should purchase is a lock. Then get the computer.
  15. adk
    macrumors 68000


    Laptops are something you need for college. If you don't take my advice, have fun fighting over the 5 computers in the library when you have to do a report using books you can't check out.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    i think you should tell me where you'll be when you get the new powerbook so i can come steal it :)

    how could you have possibly had a laptop stolen TWICE???:mad: :eek:
    did you leave your house door open and go on vacation?:D :D
  17. macrumors 65816

    Sorry, but my experience was the exact opposite. I had a laptop, but it never left my dorm room. I had no problems getting a computer in the lab for the few occassions when i needed to check my email on campus.
  18. macrumors 68000


    I agree, got myself a iBook mainly for college but it sits in my dorm all the time, there are always free PC's in the library that are hooked up to printers so it makes doing work much easier than a laptop, and you dont have to worry about carrying it about getting it stolen etc....

    Go for a nice iMac g5 the front row in your dorm will be awesome,

  19. macrumors 6502

    I'm a sophomore at the University of Florida, which has an extremely large campus. I had a desktop my freshman year, and this summer purchased a 12" iBook. It has changed my life. Wireless is abundant, and it becomes increasingly difficult to steady in a dorm, or even my current apt. for that matter. Like people have mentioned before. I would totally go iMac for your room, and a 12 ibook for portability if you can afford it. Getting even a 15" pb, to me seems like you are getting the worst of both worlds for a higher pricetag. Less power than the iMac, less portability than the iBook. But by all means at least wait till jan 10th!
  20. macrumors 6502a


    yeah,i think you should go for the small ibook as well,if you're not gonna do much heavy duty stuff with it,you know.less money and more portability.:cool:
  21. macrumors 6502a


    I actually HAVE an iMac and an iBook as lots of people are suggesting - but with my recent logic board problems as soon as it's repaired i'm sticking it on eBay!

    The other thing is that my iBook, with 1.25 Ram and an external screen actually does itself justice - it's a very nippy machine indeed...this was not something I was aware of until I was forced to use it. The other aspect was that I enjoyed having ALL of my files with me, and not some on the "other system"

    How do other people combat the files being on two systems? I would go for the Powerbook and a screen, or even an iBook and a screen to save money. With screen-spanning mode, it's a great steal.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    I bought a PB for college and hardly ever take it to class. I would recommend getting the iMac, and then maybe down the line picking up a used ~800 mhz iBook or something, just for basic note-taking.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    sorry, don't you guys use paper to take notes?
  24. Retired


    i did most of my college in pre laptop days, so i would definitely see way more power in an imac, g5 processor and all, and it would be much harder to steal

    do you have any classes that require a laptop right there?

    the last class i took in college in 2003 was for fun but it was before the widespread wi-fi/hotspots, and that didn't require a laptop and neither did any classes i took before that dating way back...i used a laptop in my programming classes in 2001-02 but it wasn't really necessary and i was either the only one there or there might have been one other student with a laptop

    go for the imac

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