Powerbook Wireless - How good is it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bannor, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. bannor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    #1
    Hi there. I'm looking to get either the 12" Powerbook, or 12" IBook (who isn't?) From reading through posts on various forums I've heard that the Powerbook has poor Airport reception. Is this a past problem or something that is prevalent on the newest revision of the 12" PBooks? Ideally, I'd like to have my wireless router (Netgear, not Airport Basestation) in my basement, and be able to have good wireless reception up on my deck, or even in my backyard (perhaps 50' away from the router, and through 2 walls). Will the Powerbook be able to establish a reliable connection under these conditions, or would the IBook be the only option?

    Thanks,
    Dennis
     
  2. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    AL is a great electronic shield. great for preventing interfierence b/w various electronic devices. unfortunatly the PB is surrounded by AL . . . except for two plastic pieces on either side of the screen. the airport antena are under these plastic pieces. to an extent though the AL still shields the signal and from my experience (i had a 12" iBook and now have a 12" PB) the PB works fine, but it has a slightly shorter range. i can work through 2 walls and about 50' to my backyard from my d-link router. much further than that the 12" probably wont work. but the iBook will work a little further (i had an older iBook with standard airport, not airport extreme) . . . what i would recomend though is the airport express! i have been using a d-link range extendor to get a larger range for my PB . . .but the airport extreme sounds 50 times cooler with many more advantages. i mean its really small you can take it out with you and instantly extend your range! so i would go for the PB and the airport express!!!!
     
  3. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #3
    okay i can compare ibook and powerbooks first hand

    because i have a pb and my sister an ibook

    when hers has full signal mine has 3 bars. im always 1 less than hers when we go far from the base station; i drop sooner than she does, but its still acceptable range.
     
  4. bannor thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2004
    #4
    Do you and your sister have the latest revisions of the Powerbook and Ibook? How do you find the battery life compares between the two of them?
     
  5. winwintoo macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #5
    Hi Dennis, I'm writing this from the lobby of my apartment building. A steel and cement hi-rise structure in the middle of the city surrounded by office buildings, satellite receivers, and so-on. There are at least 6 networks in this building that I know of besides mine, everybody has a cordless phone, a cell phone and a microwave etc. and here I am happily surfing the web, reading my email and writing to you 6 floors below my router.

    The signal looks kind of wimpy, only one bar, so I won't be expecting any speed but it gets the job done.

    The router is a Linksys that I just got the other day, can't remember the specs.

    Margaret
     
  6. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #6
    i dont have the latest revision

    i have rev a 17 pbook
    and she has i think the 800 mhz ibook

    her battery life whoops mine by about an hour
     
  7. MrSugar macrumors 6502a

    MrSugar

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #7
    Ditto, I had a bud with an Ibook at school and he always had better range when we were in various locations. That being said, I had VERY good reception and have no complaints. I owned almost every PC laptop I saw when it came to wireless signal.
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #8
    My PB 12" rev. B is better than my Toshiba 15" 515.
     
  9. Elbeano macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2004
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    PA
    #9
    Unfortunately the airport express is only going to act as a repeater for an actual airport extreme basestation. However, I can't imagine someone isn't going to figure out a way to rig up other routers or repeaters to be used as a repeater while using the airport express as the primary router. It's still not going to keep me from getting one, but I was really looking forward to using that as a repeater with my linksys.
     
  10. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #10
    Can anyone tell me how the newer aluminum PowerBooks compare to the old TiBook for wireless reception? Personally, I can't seem to get more than two bars of signal outside the same room as the base station, three bars if I'm lucky or the wireless gods are smiling on me. This is with the snow base station, prior to the Extreme or Express products, so bridging isn't going to do me any good.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    Many of us are waiting for shipping units. Then we'll know if it works with any other routers. I know what Apple says, but they want to sell their own gear, and they don't want the support issues of other brand routers.
     
  12. Elbeano macrumors regular

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    PA
    #12
    That's a pretty good point, but I didn't want to even let that thought in my head lest the irony God's smash that possibility.
     
  13. Gherkin macrumors 6502

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    Apr 9, 2004
    #13
    I just got my 15" AlBook. I get 3 to 4 bars throughout my whole house. I'm extremely pleased. The internet never feels slow or anything either.
     
  14. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    sitting on your shoulder
    #14
    The new ones should have much better reception, seeing that the antennas are one the edge of the display and covered by plastic, rather than around the base and surround by titanium.
     
  15. winwintoo macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #15
    I posted earlier that I was sitting in the lobby of my apartment building surfing the net over my network that was located in my apartment on the 6th floor. I was using my new 12" PowerBook 1 Ghz. - that's pretty good reception in my mind. I used to have an Airport Express and it was so flakey I ditched it for a Linksys. Much better reception.

    Take care, Margaret
     
  16. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    winwintoo, I'm assuming you meant AirPort Extreme not Express. :)

    Still, I recently bought an AE card for my 12" rev B PB and get good signal in our uni library (they use D-Link routers).

    I'm thinking about getting the new AirPort Express thing for our home. I'm hoping my parents will upgrade from dial-up to broadband and I like the idea of AirTunes. Someone said, you still need a primary router for internet. If I get broadband, my ISP will provide and free modem and router. Does that mean, I can just connect the output cable to AirPort Express? Please don't say I need to get another base station to be able to use it as internet! :confused:
     
  17. winwintoo macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #17
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    OOOPSS!!


    Sorry, Yes it was an Airport Extreme. I'm still very impressed that I could pick up my network down in the lobby, that seems like a long way to go through all that steel and concrete and with all the downtown interference.

    m
     
  18. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #18
    The Airport Express will act as a router for up to 10 wireless computers, so you do not need to buy another one.
     
  19. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #19
    NOOOO not the fine print!!!!! i guess i skipped over the fine print on apple's site that says, "AirPort Express can extend the range only of an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express wireless network." im guessing there will be a way around it, might not be mentioned by apple but someone will find a way. i dont know anyone that actually owns an airport basestation. but. . . it says it can extend the range of an airport express base station, so you could just get two, have one sitting by your DSL/cable modem as your primary router and the second one elsewhere to extend your range.
     
  20. johng723 macrumors member

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    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #20
    I think that the possiblity that the airport express will act as a bridge between other routers is pretty high. On the apple website, it states that that you can add the airport express to play on your existing network. If that's the case then obviously the express detects other networks and is in one way or another compatible with other networks and other wireless routers so I would think and hope at the same time that it will also act as a bridge between the two
     
  21. StrangeQuark macrumors member

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    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    #21
    I have a Powerbook 12". I get 3 bars in my bedroom, 1 story above and 60ft away from the basestation with the door closed. I'm typing this right now on a swing in my backyard which is a good 100ft from the basestation, penetrating through a concrete block house. I show two bars right now.

    Note: Rev C Powerbook
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    In another thread it was mentioned that there are two chip-set makers for wi-fi bases. So it is likely that the Express will work with another third party. But Apple won't provide any support issues.
     
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #23
    I'm disappointed with the airport on my rev. B 12" powerbook. I only get 3 bars, and my basestation is one room away.
     

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