Replacing my Desktop with a Powerbook

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Caspa, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. Caspa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
    Well I'm thinking of making a switch from my win XP desktop to a 12" powerbook (for portability reasons).

    But I have a few questions about my possible setup for when I am at home. I plan to plug into my powerbook my existing 17" monitor (and mirror the display), my existing USB intellimouse, and buy an apple keyboard to go with it all, plus plugin my existing speakers. If I do this, is there some way that I'm able to shut the lid on the latop without it going to sleep?

    Does anyone else use a setup similar to this? Does it work ok or are there any disadvantages? Are there any docking stations available for this purpose or would I have to plug/unplug all cables whenever I remove the laptop to take it with me somewhere.

    A final question, If I choose not to mirror the display and use the powerbook with my monitor attached for a dual monitor setup, am I able to make my 17" monitor the primary display? (Eg, have the dock, desktop and everything on it, and have an extended desktop with nothing on it on the actual powerbook - an inverse of how it currently operates with 2 monitors). Also, is the external display quality through the vga adaptor as good as the powerbook display or would there be some quality loss?

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  2. The Shadow macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    I use a PM, not a PB, so I can only answer the question about the docking station - I have seen beautiful metallic ones advertised in MacWorld mags.

    The other questions, I'd only be guessing.
     
  3. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #3
    I am using a setup VERY close to that!! (except with a 19" CRT).. I'm also coming from a Win XP desktop (though I'm keeping that too!)

    [​IMG]

    To answer some of your questions... yes, you can have the PB closed while running off an external monitor.

    if you look at my setup, you'll notice the dock, menu bar etc on the 19" crt.

    There are 3rd party docking stations, but they look pricey. it's actually not too bad plugging everything in. the ports are all on the left side, and easily accessible.

    the quality looks pretty good to me through the external adapter.
     
  4. Caspa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney
    #4
    Thanks for the reply

    Heh, that is basically the setup I intend to have! How's the performance in that setup, is it basically like using a desktop? Do you prefer using the PB than the win system?
     
  5. Caspa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney
    #5
    Oh and another question, anyone who has used both a PB and a PM, do the performance between the two vary heaps? despite the processor speed, is the PB12 still quote zippy and powerful in comparison to do a desktop mac?
     
  6. dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    #6
    Or more importantly, what resolution can the 19" external monitor get? if it's 1024 like the actual ibook, forget it=p
     
  7. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #7
    Re: Replacing my Desktop with a Powerbook


    I only have experience with the 15" PowerBook, but it should behave mostly the same I think. It works just fine. When you shut the lid, the computer will go to sleep, but all you have to do is press a key or click a mouse button or plug in / unplug a USB device to make it wake up, automatically detect the external monitor, and use only that. In other words, the machine will run with the lid closed, but you have to put it to sleep and then wake it up first. There may be a workaround for the 12", but I'm not familiar with that.

    The 12" PowerBook is able to drive an external monitor at greater than 1600x1200, with or without the lid open, so you shouldn't have any resolution problems.

    Docking stations should be available for the 12" Powerbook soon if they aren't already, but they cost $150+. An iBook dock might work, since I think the port layout on the side is the same...

    Yup, just drag the menu bar over to the other monitor in your Display prefs and that will become your new primary display.

    If it's a CRT monitor you have, the Powerbook will give you display quality as good as any other computer (unless you're a graphic designer or someone who is very anal about the RAMDAC of your video card). If it's an LCD, no, it won't give you as much quality as DVI or ADC will, because of the analog signal needing to be converted to digital.
     
  8. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #8
    It seems to slow down just a touch, understandable as the graphics chip needs to drive two screens, but still pretty good! The built-in keyboard is great, but I still prefer to have afull sized keyboard with keypad etc.

    The PB is now my main machine - my old athlon 1.2GHz still feels a tiny bit faster, but the Mac is twice as nice to use, if that makes sense.
     
  9. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #9
    my external screen is 1280 x 1024. It'll do 1600 x 1200 as well , but I have a cruddy screen that will only do it in 60hz, ie: flickers too much.
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #10
    The 12' AluBook packs a powerful punch and will be a true portable desktop. The Dual processor Powermacs are obviously going to do some applications better - however, most programs that people use won't see too much varience. The second processor doesn't make it 2x faster.
     
  11. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
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    #11
    2x procs does make it 2x as fast. just ask apple .... :D
     
  12. maradong macrumors 65816

    maradong

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    Mar 7, 2003
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    Luxembourg
    #12
    second cpu is a gain of about 85 %, the 15 % left aare used to let the 2 cpus interact between each other.
     
  13. mogrefy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego
    #13
    Similar

    I'm a computer science major with a new 12" PB on the way, should be here monday. Im currently running a wintel machine with a 21" monitor and a p3 linux box. I plan on running the pb on my monitor also - multitasking between the systems.

    Right now my 21" is with the P4 and i have no monitor on the linux box. When I can afford it after the pb, i plan on getting a kvm switch to share the monitor amongst all 3 systems easily switching - you might look into that if you still want to use that windows system on the side.
     

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