Powerbooks are my Nightmare!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by carbonmotion, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    I'm a student at the University of Michigan and I've been having problems with my laptop life. Right now I'm using my friend 's 12" 867mhz G4 powerbook as a loaner until I can buy mine... he doesn't use a computer for college (yeah, I don't know how either) ...To me it kinda feels like my VW '01 Jetta VR6... Nice product, but enough minor issues for the aggressive user to notice (Although I am not an aggressive user of my Jetta, I drive it once a week, if that)... like the case of the 867 12" Powerbook getting hot when you use firewire transfer. Well, anyways, last night I get a call from guess who? Yes, my good friend who's like "dude, you gotta stop bumming my computer, I need it now." Ok, reality check, I need to buy a brand new powerbook ... first I look at the 12" and I read some messageboards... old problems are gone! So I'm like, SWEET! And the battery life is pretty good... but then I see the Powerbook 15" and I think to my self, poop...I want that! But message boards are saying that its got some production issues as well as some battery issues. I read many posts where under normal usage people are only getting 1:40! That to me is far below acceptable as I need it to last 3:30-4hrs (an entire Sociology Lecture) (don't recommend that I get a iBook, I need display extenstion like I need water) ...ok after calculating the student discounts it feels like both are within my finacial striking range ...the 12"powerbook and the 15" 1ghz powerbook... I also need one yesterday as my friend is about to kill me because I have been using his 867 for almost a month now... As far as screen real estate goes, 15" would be optimal for me, but I can life with a 12" inch. I do alot of photoshop and go live as well as Flash stuff (although i'm not poweruser) I also play quake 3 alot , but both machines can run it at max rez so it doesnt matter. I can live with the 15" awkward size and heavier weight but I'd perfer the 12" 's protability. What should I do?! I need lots and lots of feedbacks...and no I am not going to get a G4 iBook, refurb TiPowerbook (with the educational discount, its not really worth it), or a old 867 12" powerbook (its behaves ironically like my ex girl friend, beautiful and cute but just enough irritating flaws to keep you from focusing 100% on its virtures)... ok anyways, please begin flowing advice to me. thank you in advance, you guys should charge for this, but I'm glad that you dont. Btw, I am a polysci-sociology dual major and I will be carrying this new computer EVERYWHERE.... oh yeah , sorry about this bad wrting form, I am running low on sleep as I just got back from alot of schooling and my eyelids are being taped open so I can write this....konk.....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
     
  2. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    I just thought of another solution... I can just never give my friend's 867 back... lol Ok, I'm done... I really need to sleep.
     
  3. techne1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Location:
    Highland, IN
    #3
    I was having the same indecision. Theres some good advice under my post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=59313)... but I'm still undecided. I think I want the 15". My reasoning is that it'll last me longer for a number of reasons such as: I'll be able to add more ram to it than the 12", the widescreen lets you have two things visable and workable at once, and of course the backlit keyboard would make it seem "cooler" longer. ;) I know that the computer showcase thing at University of Michigan has a deal where you get a 15" 1.25 PB w/ Superdrive and Apple Care for $2300... not a bad deal, but still $500 more than the 12".
     
  4. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    DC Metropolitan Area
    #4
    12" PowerBook + 19" CRT monitor + keyboard + mouse = ultra portable, plus even huger screen than any laptop for when you really need to work on large scale stuff for cheaper than a 15" PB.
     
  5. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #5
    Here's a little info that may help with battery life. My 17" PB will get almost 2 hours of battery life with screen brightness set to full. If I lower it to 4 bars, I can get 4.5 hours! Of course, the screen is darker, but that's fine by me as I want the longer battery life.
     
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #6
    I've got the 1.25GHz 15" and my battery life is pretty damn good. I can get about 2:30-3 hours while watching a DivX movie/TV episode. I've managed 4 hours, but that was with just iTunes and the Finder running and the screen backlight off. If you just need typing for 4 hours (that's a long lecture! :eek:), I think the 12" should be fine, as they have the same keyboard, with the exception of the backlighting. Just add an external monitor for PS/Flash and that should be good for you.
     
  7. spencecb macrumors 6502a

    spencecb

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #7
    To me personally, the 12" PowerBook is just too small. You can effectively work on one thing at a time. So, if you are a multitasker, this PowerBook is not for you. I have a TiBook (15")...and I have no portability issues with it. I don't see how you could...its only 1" and weighs about 5 lbs...hardly noticeable. I just think anything less than 15" on any screen is not really usable. Plus, you have th option to get a little more processor performance on the 15" if you get the 1.25 GHz G4...probably worth the money. Oh, and the backlit keyboard...I've been wanting this..would be a great feature, especially in college living situations. I share a room with someone, and this feature would be great when he wants to go to bed and I have to turn off my desk lamp...even though I dont look at the keyboard when I type, its different in the dark for some reason...just my two cents!
     
  8. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #8
    if you're fine with a 12 inch, want battery life, and want dual monitors, then i still say go for the ibook - i've heard more about it's battery life than any other 'book... and with a small hack, you can have your dual monitors. which brings it down to one small question - dvi or vga?


    matt
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #9
    That is the best situation to realize how much a backlight keyboard rocks. :D That and early in the morning when I almost always wake up before my roommates. I just wish my screen could get darker...
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    If you need to haul it around, nothing beats the 12" PB, though I'd get a sleeve or a good bag for it -- the aluminum does scratch pretty easily. No problems with multitasking here. Switching applications is just a matter of cmd-tab. I'd like to have a cover for the receptacles on the side, though. If somebody came up with a plastic insert to cover them, that would be brilliant.
     
  11. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    DC Metropolitan Area
    #11
    If you really need to see the keyboard in the dark and you have a 12" PB, ioGear makes a neat 8 LED USB light. Just plug it into a USB port and turn it on, either 4 or all 8 LEDs on. Works well, not as ubercool as a backlit keyboard, but it's only $11.99 retail. Got mine on sale for $9.
     
  12. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    I am hungry

    Well I dont need that much battery life from the iBook... (whats this display hack spanning hack for the iBook? Can you link me?) ...and I like the brushed aluminm body of the powerbooks. Also, I need approx 3 hours from the titanium when i set the display to half and start typing word documents. .. but when I start running out, I guess I could just plug it in. I'm also thinking about the 12" because it is cheaper and my only deal with is the small lcd... and even thats not that big of an issue because i have a 17" CRT somewhere. Here is my budget (i dont use superdrives, if i needed one i can bum it off my friend) ...with the educational dicount I can either get....

    15" Powerbook

    • 1GHz PowerPC G4
    • 256MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
    • 60GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200 rpm
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • 15.2-inch TFT Display

    *will by 512 ram indept of applestore

    for $1888 with EDU DISCOUNT
    +113 Tax = $2001

    or

    12" Powerbook

    • 1GHz PowerPC G4
    • 256MB DDR266 (256MB built-in)
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200rpm
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • 12.1-inch TFT Display

    *will by 512 ram indept of applestore

    for $1601 with EDU DISCOUNT
    +$96 Tax = $1697
    -------------------------------------
    Total $ Difference = $304
    -------------------------------------
    also, some say the current rev of powerbooks are comming to the end of their product cycle... if so, how long do I have to wait?
     
  13. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #13
    My 15" battery lasts for 3-4 hours usually, when I watch a DVD it is about 2 1/2-2 3/4 maybe. I even have the upgraded HD and everything, so I don't see what issues the battery is supposed to have. I have been more than happy with my laptop and haven't experienced all of these latch problems, brightness problems, and everything else that people seem to think plague these things. Just realize that people usually complain when they have problems and don't say anything at all when their computer is working perfectly. When my car starts up everyday and never gives me problems, I never go to the Ford dealer to complain, but if I have a lemon, I will go in every day to complain. So if all you do all day is hang out at the Ford dealer, you'll think the car you are interested in is the biggest pile of crap on four wheels because the only people who come are those who have issues and you never hear about the millions out there that work every day.
     
  14. jasylonian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    sacramento
    #14
    how about a 12" with a spare battery? i'm hoping that somewhere in that lecture you would get a break. you might not need it, but batteries have this funny habit of not functioning uniformly. i feel like the difference between the 12" and the 15" in terms of size is actually significant, but that might be because i'm not the largest man in the world. go blue and try to actually learn the school song before you graduate (and i'm not talking about hail to the victors).
     
  15. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #15
    get a 15". my battery lasts just < 3.5 hours with the screen at half, airport and bluetooth on.

    i had a 12" ibook that got almost the exact same battery life.
     
  16. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #16
    backlighting kills the battery!!! in terms of battery life, that can't be stressed enough!
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #17
    I would actually recommend the 14" iBook with the hack. Do a search on this site, or google. It works great. Battery life is supposed to be good, but I don't have the new G4 model (yet). Use the money you saved on extra RAM and an external battery - like one from a compnay called Electrovaya. I think PowerMax was selling them. Or just get another battery.

    Most of the problems with the 15 are fixed now, but you can always get the 1 GHz model and take it back if the battery life is unacceptable.
     
  18. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #18
    PB choices...

    just in regards to the battery life situation, MCE or OWC (can't remember which) sells high-capacity baterries for PB (and iBooks too, i think) about 25-60% extension in battery life...plus you'd have your stock battery...cost about $125-150. In regrds to laptop, I would look at an refrbished 15" Cheaper, usually at least as dependable as new...between the 12" models, I would go for the iBook, the spanning hack can be found @ macosxhints.com i believe...(been a long time...). Good luck, whatever you decide.
     
  19. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #19
    Wait isnt it true that the 12" ibook is slower then the 12" pbook accordign to bare feats by alot? and it lacks Bluetooth and DVI
     
  20. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #20
    Wow, my 'ol skool 667 tibook lasts 5 hours no problem. If I do the ctl+opt+cmd+8 trick, it somestimes jumps to 6.5 hrs. No kidding! Of course, usually I am just reading PDFs or something like that.
     
  21. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #21
    Yeah, and when you just let it sleep it can last nearly a week! Hell, just turn it off and the battery life is over a month!
     
  22. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #22
    does anyone have an arguemtn for the 12" 1ghz powerbook over the ibooks? all i hear is how much of a bad deal it is :(
     
  23. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #23
    I'd be all about the 12" PowerBook, I don't see how you couldn't get one over the iBook since it has:

    1 GHz 7457 G4 compared to the 800 MHz 7450 G4 with lower heat output, larger cache, and faster clock per clock, plus I hear that the Altivec unit in the iBook G4s are crippled to make sure they don't complete in the same league as the PowerBook

    DVI, a bigger HD, BT built in instead of just an option, higher RAM ceiling, beautiful aluminum case

    And I am not sure which is better, the nVidia in the PowerBook or the Radeon in the iBook, but overall, the PowerBook has more bang feature for feature than the iBook.

    Plus, I think the iBook just looks less "high end" with its plastic case and the keyboard just isn't as nice as the keyboard on the PowerBook, even if it is sturdier than the older G3 version.

    Overall, if you can afford the PowerBook, I'd say go for it. I also believe it would be a bit cooler as well since the 7457 is supposedly cooler than the older G4 that is in the iBook. I am sure that makes a slight difference in battery efficiency, as well.

    edit: I almost forgot, the 12" and 15" PowerBooks both have a third midrange speaker that the iBook and 17" PowerBooks do not.
     
  24. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #24
    in terms of feeling. the 12" will be tiny, quick, rugged and cutting-edge. The 15" will feel a bit more regal, as if you actually have a system in front of you-- not just an almost ultraportable. i have the feeling that with the 12", you will find yourself connecting to external displays on a regular basis at your desk, which is fine if that's what you're after (as posted above)... the 15" will be enough real estate to use for most of your personal needs, leaving you with video out for whatever you need it (i'm guessing projector).

    Truth is, some people are just more comfortable in front of a raised LCD and separate keyboard, and some are perfectly content with a tiny package that combines everything. It's all in what you're looking for besides necessity.

    Put it another way: Buying a new car, would you opt for the leather seats/amenities or the sport suspension?

    paul
     
  25. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #25
    Try getting into your car when it is 100 outside and tell me if you'll get the leather seat package for your next car :p

    I would go for a 15", but I am biased since that is the PowerBook that I waited for so long to get. I just think it is the perfect model as far as size/performance/price. It's got everything from every single port you could put on a laptop including FW 800 and full DVI out, backlit keyboard which is just beyond cool while also being useful, ambient light sensor which is great when your roommate turns the lights off and it lowers the brightness to keep the room from being lit up from your LCD, it's got a huge RAM ceiling, an awesome video chip, a really nice G4, a huge 80 gig HD, and the screen is wonderful in all its widescreen glory, 3 speakers, nice battery life, light and thin, and the fan never comes on nor does it ever get too hot. It's definitely a fully sufficient full time desktop level mainstay computer system all in a 1 inch package weighing just 5 1/2 lbs. Can I get an amen? ;)
     

Share This Page