Purchasing Advice For a Potential Switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Kingloo, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Kingloo macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2005
    Schuttrange, Luxembourg
    Hello all. I am a newcomer to Mac Rumors and the Mac scene in general. And I would really appreciate a little advice. In September I will be off to University and am thinking of a Mac instead of a PC laptop. Up to now I have been considering a PowerBook, however, whilst idly browsing the iMacs I noticed how surprisingly small they are (no "brain" box), basically just a screen. As a longtime PC user, that still blows my mind; my current PC is spread over several desks.

    That got me thinking. My portability needs would probably only involve going back and forth from University by plane every 8-10 weeks. Even with the added keyboard, speakers and mouse, this wouldn't be much bigger, and so could probably be carried without much more trouble than the 15" PB. Also, the price seems better, an equivalent/better iMac for plenty less. :D

    Does any of this reasoning seem sound? Does anyone have any other advice? Sorry to ask, in just a few weeks I have seen loads of threads on this same subject. :)

    And also, do iMacs come with speakers as standard? Probably a stupid question but it doesn't mention them in the specs list at the Store pages.
    :) :)
  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    The iMac comes with speakers built into the area below the screen facing downward. This is supposed to help the unusually small speakers have a much fuller sound. I don't have one of the G5 iMacs, so I cannot comment on the quality of the sound. I have only noticed that many people on these threads have purchased external speakers. I guess it depends on your listening habits/preference.

    As far as the portability question goes, you will be saving some money and getting arguable a better computer by sticking with the iMac. Since you are only going to be going home every 1.5 to 2 months, I don't think that it would be that hard to pack up the iMac. However, regardless of how hard or easy it is to pack up, it will always be much easier to just close the Powerbook and go. It will be a lot safer, too, because chances are, you'll get a sleeve and/or bag for the notebook, whereas the iMac is harder to transport safely.

    It's a tough call, and one that I'm dealing with at the moment as well, but I'd go with the iMac for various reasons, including the added power and screen size.
  3. Kingloo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2005
    Schuttrange, Luxembourg
    Thanks for the advice. Would one of the bags for a 17" PB be able to hold the iMac?

    The iMac would certainly be a little thicker, but it might still fit. The mouse and keyboard should be robust enough to just go in a normal rucksack.
  4. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I could be wrong, but I don't see how you could ever fit a 17" iMac into a case made for a 17" PowerBook... what's more, how do you plan on getting it on the plane!?

    The iMac has a faster front side bus... that's about it. Less standard memory and now the PowerBooks have a faster/nearly as fast processor.

    Keep in mind, this is only my opinion, for all I know you're a linebacker who can carry 20 lbs. computers around an airport... but this sounds nuts to me. :)
  5. Kingloo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2005
    Schuttrange, Luxembourg
    Well, I'm certainly no linebacker, and 9-11 kilos does seem a lot. Especially compared to the 2-4 kilos of a PB.

    Hmmm, questions questions...........
  6. MentalFabric macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2004
    I have a 20" G5 iMac which I occasionally move from room to room easily enough, I'd imagine with protective-enough packaging a 17" model would be easy enough to carry in a backpack... I'm pretty sure the stand comes off the back, but not certain, if so it should be fine really. But you should think about how useful it would be to be able to take a powerbooks around campus with you, to class and to 'net cafés or whatever. If your current laptop is so huge maybe you haven't realised how nice portability can be :D
  7. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp

    They actually make a carrying case for the iMac G5 which should make it pretty easy to pack up and carry around:


    I think there are some other variations out there, but that one looks pretty cool. I don't have an iMac, so I can't speak for its portability, but if you're going to carry it around frequently, I'd get a case.
  8. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    That case is awesome, I recommend the iMac over powerbooks. I have seen 3 people (including myself) who have gotten powerbooks and are now (in my case already have) turned them into desktops. If all the portability you need is to move it from location to location without using it in-between then that bag looks like it would work well. Just don't let them take it down below the airplane, even that bag doesn't look good enough to survive that trip.
  9. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    From an iMac owner

    Well, I recently upgraded from my Pismo (which is now my permanent home computer) to an iMac G5 17 inch that stays at work but travels home with me on weekends when I have projects that the Pismo can't handle.

    The iLuggers bag gets the job done, but it still kind of scares me every time I lug it around. It's not quite as sturdy as it appears (and I've yet to figure out why the put the soft foam where the lcd screen is - that's where the stiffer foam would really help.) I miss the ease of portability that the Pismo had when it was my travel buddy. And I never had to worry about being rough with my bag - I knew my Pismo could handle it.

    That said, I *love* the iMac. It's much more beautiful in person than the pictures make it out to be. And I like knowing that, when the OS and apps begin to take advantage of the G5, I'll be ready for them. After being behind the hardware curve for so long, it's nice to be ahead of it.
  10. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    They are a LOT heavier than you'd imagine, and not exacly portable. Are you SURE it's 8-10 weeks between moves? Think hard on that. You might consider the 14" iBook. Why that over the PB? Price, and BATTERY life. I have many laptops, and the PB batter drives me nutz, where as the iBook truly lasts over 5 hours.
    Hop to an Apple store to see what we all mean. My guess is when you see and feel the Imac G5, your tune will change! Another idea: Get two WESA mounts and drop the leg. That would make moving it easier by a bit.
    Oh, and welcome (almost) to the world of Mac... and just in time for Tiger. It will BLOW your mind.
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    You might be surprised at the difference between an iMac and a PowerBook or iBook.

    Go to an AppleStore and play with them. You may decide that and iBook will suffice-- and it probably could, with enough RAM.

    The iMac... just isn't a traveling computer. It isn't designed to move. And a flight home might be straining it a bit more than it was designed.

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