Powerbooks UK & USA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by RickT, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. RickT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    #1
    I am a "newbie", a potential switcher and will relocate from USA to UK in next six months. I am going to buy either a Powerbook (17", 1.67) - more portable, warranty is worldwide and power supply is universal - or an iMac. - cheaper but warranty and power supply are country specific.
    I have a coupler of questions I hope you can help me with:

    1. Is the screen on the Powerbook as good as the screen on the 17" iMac in terms of clarity and brightness etc?

    2. It seems from what I have read on this forum and tests elsewhere that the PBook is not much slower than the iMac for regular tasks - iLife and web browsing etc. Anyone any real life experience?

    3. Anyone recommend a Broadband provider in UK? I have checked the BT website and they offer a free router - but do I need one if I have an Airport Extreme base station etc?

    4. Does Mac browser access all sites as well as IE?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #2
    As you are aware the US iMac power supply only works in 110V countries - so you'll need a transformer to use it in the UK. On the other hand the 17" powerbook is rather expensive and you could get a nice Powermac and display for that much....or and ibook AND an imac.

    3. Don't bother with a free router if it's a USB one as they're rubbish. Best off with a ethernet router. Yes, you'll need a router even if you have Airport Extreme. Over here we have ADSL which is supplied on BT phone lines by BT and other companies. BT is not necessarily the best or best value. If you're in a cable TV area (NTL and Telewest) you could also get broadband through a cable modem.

    4. Some companies check for specific browsers - even to the extent of excluding anything other than IE on Windows (like argos.co.uk). Ironically these sites would work fine if the user agent was spoofed. Generally I find few problems. I generally use Safari but if there's any problems go back to IE on Mac. If a site only wants windows browsers, they can sod off. ;)
     
  3. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #3
    I can't say how it compares to the 17" iMac screen, but it's definitely lower quality than the 20" screen. It feels like it's got a lower response rate, and doesn't have as wide a viewing angle. It's still a bright screen, and good quality, just as usable.

    The 1.67GHz Powerbook should be faster than a 1.6GHz iMac in most cases, and faster (yes, faster) than the 1.8GHz iMac in certain tasks (photoshop for one) and a little slower in others. They're pretty close matched overall. Disk usage is quite a bit slower on the Powerbook, but it really only means waiting a second or two extra when handling large files.

    If you can, get Cable instead of DSL, they offer better deals, and generally faster service.

    IE does not access sites that well actually; it has awful CSS support, which is where web design is heading. I would recommend using Mozilla Firefox on OSX, or Safari (a better browser, but a worse rendering engine) IE5/Mac is discontinued, and will not display most pages properly, so I would stay away from that.
     
  4. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    With regards a UK Broadband provider I can personally recommend Zen for ADSL connection.

    They are not the cheapest by any means but they are very, very reliable, consistent speeds, great uptime (no disconnections/access issues in a year and half of use) and with great telephone support as and when you need them.

    As for the 17" screen, I used to own one (now since moved to a 15") and I felt - and certainly everyone who peered over my shoulder felt - it was a fantastic screen; bright, vibrant colours, good clear resolution, real wide-screen format.

    Unfortunately I cannot compare against an iMac as I do not as yet own one, so it could be argued that my experience is biased. However I must say that if you want a desktop experience with a semblance of portability then the 17" is a great machine, in my opinion.

    cheers
    Vanilla
     
  5. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #5
    Why would the powerbook be faster than the imac? It's G5 vs. G4. If a 1.67GHz G4 is faster than a 1.6GHz G5 (and maybe even the 1.8GHz G5, as you say), then why is everyone bitching about G5 powerbooks?

    EDIT: in regards to the OP, I agree with what was said earlier. If you're willing to shell out the money for the 17" powerbook, I'd say get an imac (which should provide more power) and a cheap ibook for portability.
     
  6. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #6
    Because people assume that there's no way a G4 could be faster than a G5 without any actual knowledge. They just look at the bigger numbers and assume it's faster. Not only have I got experience with both systems, but Barefeats seems to back me up:

    [​IMG]

    The 1.5GHz Powerbook is about on par with the iMac, and a 1.67GHz G4 Powerbook is 10-12% faster than that.

    The G5 is faster in some tests, and the G4 in others, but from my experience they're about the same. (I'd say the G4 is faster for me, as I use Photoshop a lot)

    It all depends on what you're needing really. Personally I prefer my Powerbook to the iMac, as it's a smaller, quieter and (for my use) faster system.

    The iMac / iBook combination is a nice idea, but I would prefer to keep everything on one machine. (I don't know if OSX can sync accounts or something though?)
     
  7. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #7
    I wasn't just looking at bigger numbers, it just seemed backwards that the older processor would be faster than the new one even at the same clock speed.

    I wasn't attacking you, I was honestly asking ;)
     
  8. RickT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    #8
    With regards a UK Broadband provider I can personally recommend Zen for ADSL connection.

    Vanilla - what hardware do you have to connect to Zen? I want to use an Airport Exreme base station if possible so I can have my printer connected to the base station and have a wireless experience with the PBook!
     
  9. Loki.Mephisto macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Germany / Austria - Mozart, no Kangaroos!
    #9
    Well, the CPUs are on par. G5 has better bus-speeds, but most of all:
    iMac´s got that miserable GeForce FX 5200, PB ´s got the Radeon 9700, which is a lot faster than the 5200
     
  10. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    Hi
    I use a Draytek Vigor 2600 combined ADSL Modem/4-port router with a Netgear ME102 802.11B WAP hanging off it. Actually Draytek now have a version of the 2600 with a built-in 802.11g WAP, which may be of interest to you. They're not particularly cheap but very solid units, with some great features, including a good firewall. Check out the Draytek website for info.

    Personally I aim to upgrade this setup by replacing the ME102 with a couple of Airport Express units. Just need to convince my iWife first.....

    Hope that helps
    Vanilla
     

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