Trying to decide on iBook or Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by buzlink, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. buzlink macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    #1
    I've been debating an iBook or Powerbook for a good 6 months now.
    Your site states that the iBook is at the end of its production run.
    Powerbook is a tad out of my price range.

    I'm wanting one of the two as a desktop machine and portable enough so I can take it on campus and do work, and possibly take notes with.

    What is the better option to go with?
    What is the best screen size?
    When will new iBooks be coming out, and will they be a diffrent design or will the stick with the current white outer shell?

    If I go with customizing one of the two, what are the best options to add on?


    Thanks
     
  2. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    If you were going to customize, I would go with Bluetooth and Airport Extreme, as well as a bigger hard drive. You can get these on the iBook and not spend more than you would on a fairly stock powerbook. The only way I would get a powerbook for what you are going to do is if you feel you might want to have a superdrive built in to your laptop, if that is the case, then the powerbook is the only way to go.
     
  3. brhmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #3
    Go with the iBook

    Hi,

    I faced the same decision -- Powerbook or iBook. I went with the iBook - the 12-inch G4 - because it does everything I need it to and because I could fully load it out (60 gb hard drive, 640 mb ram, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth) for less than the starting price of the Powerbook.

    The 12-inch form factor is tremendous. 1024x768 screen resolution leaves plenty of real estate for routine tasks, yet the machine is light and very portable. MacWorld rates the 12-inch as its pick of the iBooks.

    Given the state of Apple updates right now, predicting how long until the next revision is anyone's guess. I bought my iBook about 2 months ago when the updates were supposedly going to happen at any millisecond. That tenor hasn't changed, so if I'd waited, I still wouldn't have a computer.

    The only option that I might not get again is the Bluetooth.

    Happy shopping.
     
  4. soccerstarj14 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    #4
    Having used both

    Having used both of these computers a good deal, I definitely recommend the powerbook. I'm a college student, and decided to get a powerbook for school. My Dad has an iBook, and I also did alot of work with ibooks in High School. Having had my Powerbook for over a year, it is vastly superior to the iBook. My dad's ibook is newer, and I would never ever take it over the powerbook. While the powerbook is definitely more expensive, it has been worth every penny. The extra screen space is downright amazing, especially compared to the 12 inch powerbook. And the resolution on the screen is also great. I can display two pages side by side on my powerbook, try that on an ibook. Remember that the powerbook is designed as a Pro computer, it will be able to take anything you can throw at it. The ibook is a consumer laptop, cheaper parts, less design, not as capable, all for a lower end price. If you can get the powerbook, you will not regret it. Also, at least in my experience Powerbooks are far more reliable than ibooks. The ibooks i used to work with had issues all the time, and I have yet to talk to anyone who has had issues with a powerbook (except for a guy who dropped his). Hope this helped.

    As for what custom options, I'm am a power used with Bluetooth, airport, external hard drive, the whole works. I would highly recommended getting the internal airport card, but the bluetooth is optional (get it if you have a planned used for it, IE a cell phone), don't get it just to have it. You can always add the bluetooth later cheaply. Also remember you can pick up an external Firewire hard drives these days for about $1 a gig, so don't get too worry about filling your hard drive. As always, more memory is a good thing.

    Thanks my take, hope it helps.
     
  5. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #5
    I would wait as long as you can on purchasing a new book, either way you go. The best time to buy is right after new models are introduced. Since you intend to use it as a main computer I'd suggest the 15" model. If you are a student take advantage of discounts.

    If you go with the standard discount available to students you can get a 15" pBook for $1,799.

    You can actually save even more if you shell out $99 for the student development program. You get a one time hardware discount and you can get a PowerBook 15" for $1,599. Nets you a $100 savings. Plus you can get things like the iPod for less if you order it together.
     
  6. nargot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Get a 12" ibook

    its the most portable daemon of a machine. max out ram to 640 mb, upgrade HD to 60gig, add APX and BT... and if you are eligible for education pricing this makes it cheaper and you get extended applecare (3years). Mine goes everywhere and does everything that most people would need and more as i run specific science based software also.
     
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #7
    current ibook is basically the same as 2-year-old powerbook, but with a standard screen resolution of 1024x768. this statements is based on the real-world experience having my older tibook (667mhz dvi) on the same table with my co-worker's G4 ibook 12" and they really equal in performance.

    buy powerbook if you really need the screen or the best speed today. or superdrive. if you cannot find any real reason to buy the more expensive model, buy the cheaper. and i'd say wait for the next upgrade and buy the day apple announces them.
     
  8. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #8
    At the end of the day, it is about what you will use the laptop for and how much you want (got) to spend. I would have said that you want a portable machine to go on the campus with to take notes, you want something robust, light, best battery life. The 12" iBook is the machine for you. You can connect the iBook to a separate monitor if you need more desktop real estate when you are home, but I would see how you get on first. I would recommend upping the hard disk to 60GB. For a small amount of money you can double you hard disk space. I would also suggest getting more memory at least 256 MB, but an additional 512 MB would be ideal, although don't buy from Apple as they charge too much (www.cruicial.com). I know two people at work that have recently purchased the 12" iBook and they both love it.
     
  9. buzlink thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2004
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    Kansas
    #9
    Thanks

    Thanks for the input.

    Any idea when the models will be getting updated?
     
  10. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
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    #10
    Well the eMacs were just updated so it is possible that more updates are on the way.
     
  11. wickster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #11
    I use a 500 mhz iBook 12" with 192 mb ram and I get by i do quite a bit of iMovie and photoshop and the only other thing i need is an external HD. Now i know this isn't practical for buying a new computer and i don't reccomend a lowend iBook but if you are just into saving the money I haven't had any problems with mine besides a dead modem a week after i got it (warranty). I don't use a case and it has alot of pressure on it from books so the iBooks are indeed tuff. I actually take them apart because i'm a certified tech and they are built pretty well for being all externally plastic. Unless you drop them they usually keep on going strong.
    Being a tech i get to use alot of high end powerbooks when they are purchased for people around our district and the new powerbooks are the best laptops i have ever used. With the right mix of memory and HD space you can't go wrong with a powerbook. A family member also got a new iBook 14" G4 and it is also a good product if you don't need the steel case a superdrive the iBook G4's are awesome. If you want to do a HD upgrade don't get the apple upgrade one. They aren't worth the money. If you want a HD upgrade buy a 60 GB 7200 RPM drive, if you think your low Ram is a bottleneck you have no idea what a 7200 rpm drive can do for you.
    Really it all comes down to money and what you will use it for. Like someone else said PRO or Consumer. I'd go consumer if I didn't love the new powerbooks.
     
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
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    #12
    i definetely agree with you on this one, the boost is HUGE! but for ibook it's kind of pricey...
     
  13. Ozi macrumors regular

    Ozi

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia.
    #13
    I am also on the brink of purchasing either a new iBook or PBook. From reading this article, I will go with the iBook. But some interesting points were made. I was already going to upgrade to the max 640mb of memory, and 60gb hard disk through apple. I will now buy the ram myself (www.crucial.com/ the link a few posts above is wrong) but whats this talk of different RPM hard-disks?

    What is the speed of the 60gb Ultra ATA hard disk on the apple website, and how does it compare to the aforementioned 7200 RPM hard disk?

    Does anyone know the price difference between these two? And will apple install it for you, or do you have to do it yourself?

    thanks...

    ~ozi
     
  14. kaylee macrumors regular

    kaylee

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    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    while crucial does ship to australia, it is based in the US - so a bit of hassle if anything goes wrong and you have to send it back. what i have found is that some apple resellers here (australia) offer genuine apple ram installed and tested (so you know it definitely works when you get it) for cheaper than what australian apple online store sells it for.

    http://store.apple.com.au/buy/reseller/ - you can search here for resellers in your area.
     
  15. Danrose1977 macrumors regular

    Danrose1977

    #15
    I find that the main benefit of the original disk that came with my iBook is the amount of heat produced, just enough to keep my left hand warm....
     
  16. dieselg4 macrumors regular

    dieselg4

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    Location:
    Rockin' Pittsburgh!
    #16
    iBook revision?

    I thought I read somewhere, maybe appleinsider or macosrumors (sorry I can't remember) that potentially ibooks would be updated at the same time as powerbooks, with the low end being 1Ghz 12" for $999. Again, that's just a RUMOR i READ soemplace, so who knows if its true. If it IS true, its probably not goign to happen untill WWDC at the earliest.
     
  17. Zaty macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #17
    I guess it is possible Apple releases PBs and iBooks at the same time. If they do it or not might depend on stock levels of (especially) the 12"PB as those wouldn't sell anymore if Apple released a 12" iBook with the same or even better specs for much less. From what I've read PB stocks seem depleted, so there is a chance we might see new iBooks really soon.
     
  18. lasuther macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #18
    The 12" iBook is a great machine. The resolution is the same and the 14" screen, so you are better off saving some money with the 12". Make sure to get bluetooth as you can't add it later. Max out the RAM. Many people have talked about upgrading the hard drive to a 7200 RPM, but it can be expensive as you have to find a technician to do it. I personally went with the cheapest hard drive and will buy a 7200 RPM when I get close to filling it up. Don't forget about MS Office coming out next month.

    lasuther
     
  19. dieselg4 macrumors regular

    dieselg4

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    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Rockin' Pittsburgh!
    #19
    I'd buy the 12" iBook also. If you're going to buy a stock configured model, consider buying it through MacMall or something like that becasue often you can get a printer, carrying case, and maxxed out ram for free (usually after rebates). There might even be free shipping.
     
  20. Ozi macrumors regular

    Ozi

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia.
    #20
    OK but does anyone know the RPM of the current hard disks in the iBooks? Also, i was pretty sure you could add a BT module later if you wanted. Anyway, if someone has upgraded to a faster RPM on their computer, how much does this speed it up? was it worth it?
     
  21. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #21
    You can only add an internal Bluetooth module at the time of purchase. You can of course add an external module at any time, but not quite so elegant for a notebook.
     
  22. buzlink thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    #22
    Thanks for the input

    The new updates make it even more tempting.
    While this be the last revision?
    Any idea when a totally new iBoook will be out?

    Thanks
     
  23. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #23
    The current iBook's are at 4200rpm. From what others have said, upgrading does make a noticeable difference...it's too bad the new iBook's don't have the BTO option of the 5400rpm HD like the new PowerBooks do. Oh well.
     

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