When to buy PB, need it by Oct

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Bear35, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Bear35 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #1
    Ok I am new here and also a switcher-to-be. Here is my problem. I am going abroad early Oct. and I need a laptop by then. If I don't have one, I'll kind of be SOL and have to use the highly competitive comp. lab at the research facility (ie type stuff at 2am :-( ). Should I buy a G4 PB now, or wait for the G5 PBs to supposedly come out this summer? I am leery of buying a first gen G5 PB, so how fast does Apple update its products (once problems are reported)? Could it be updated by Sep? My main concerns are: New G5: Although faster, I may have to get a first gen, so liable to problems, heat, etc. Long wait is also probable, and it'll be more expensive than G4 PB. The G4: I could buy it now, and get the extra use out of it for another quarter. But G5 batt life is supposed to be longer, which I need, and it'll be faster, etc.... So should I buy now and get the use out of the lappy for that much longer, or wait till the last minute? I can wait, I don't hate my PC that much. Thanks!
     
  2. switchingGeek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #2
    The rule with computers - If you can afford to wait to buy, then do so.

    If you are going to get good immediate use out of it, then buy immediately.

    If new powerbooks come out by Oct., then the price of the old ones will drop. You can buy the new ones or cheaper old ones. Either way you gain.

    If you think delivery might take a long while, consider that as soon as apple announces a new one, there are typically resellers still clearing out a few pieces of the old kit at a reduced rate. So you can wait till say Aug., then order whatever is available.
     
  3. fussball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    #3
    I am in a similar situation (going abroad in jan.. not oct.) but I would say wait it out. if anything, the PB's will defintely be updated between now and aug (when you should probably order by) then you can pick up the current gen's for less $$ or pick up a newer one for the current price. As stated above, either way, you win.
     
  4. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #4
    Yep, me in December. I will have to buy. I want a G5 PB but if Apple are mucking around I might be forced to buy whats in the market now. Hopefully that won't come close to happening.
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    i'd order right after the next update. (by or at WWDC?) that will allow enough time for the machine to become available and shipped and you can get used to the machine, learn the ropes and also, give enough time for any bugs to come up (and have it fixed), all by December.

    after the next update, there may be a price drop before Dec. but i think it's worth some $$$ to have enough time to make sure all is well with you new machine before you really need it in Dec.
     
  6. modifier macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    xiamen, china
    #6
    totally understand the situation. since you're going abroad, you probably shouldn't get a first revision, depending on where you're going. having some sort of problem with your machine while overseas can really wreck your s**t. it's fargin' expensive to mail the thing anywhere, and you may have to pay taxes on it to get it back into the country where your new lab is (as is the case in China: 30-effing-percent). if your employers are paying for the thing, then the only thing you'd lose is time if it needed to be shipped for repair, but that can be even more costly in the overall scheme of things.

    i'd wait for an update and take advantage of price drops on the G4s- you can be rest-assured that little will go wrong with the unit, and it'll still be speedy. use the saved money for either more ram or a nice fw backup drive (always nice while traveling or temporarily living abroad).

    i have a similar situation, except much more pressing. i'll be coming back home for a couple weeks in mid-late april and am hoping to get an updated pb. if they're not available by then, well, i'm not sure what i'm going to do... by then it will be mere days until an update, and having one shipped to me is out of the question.
     
  7. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #7
    I'm in almost the same situation as you. I'm going to NYC at Easter, and buying a pb when I'm there. Unfortunately, we're going mid April, coming home on the 17th - just before the 'scheduled' pb updates. I can only afford the pb while I'm in NYC, thanks to the exchange rates. Dunno what to do now, since if I don't buy, I can't afford one back home in the UK, and if I do buy, I'll be faced with an updated machine just days later.

    Any ideas?

    peace.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    having a wonderful computer in your hands (and seeing an update with slight and mostly irrelevant improvements)

    vs.

    drolling over an "updated" computer you do not have and cannot afford anyway.

    hmm, sounds like a no brainer to me...
     
  9. josepho macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #9
    Important changes?

    So, will the updates to the Powerbook be fairly banal, from the point of view from an every-day user, who isn't in to any high-tech 3D rendering or anything like that. My situation is that I'm looking to buy a PowerBook 12" fairly soon (certainly by June), and I don't know whether I should hold off to wait and see what comes out...

    If the changes which are gonna take place aren't gonna be all that major then I'll probably just get it some time in May.

    Cheers!
     
  10. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    i just think for every-day user, even G5 PB won't mean *that* much. i cannot think of any popular, every day type programs that take advantage of the G5 architecture. it's one thing to opt for G4 over G3 because there were ample programs that took advantage of velocity engine, like PS, but i don't think the same is true for G5 at this point. 64-bit? does it matter when the OS is not yet true 64-bit? fast FSB? does it matter when you are only using the machine for Office, email, iPhoto?

    it's one thing to long for G5 PB if you are a creative professional who needs to render or use FCP to edit movies on the go. but for "most of us," it's just longing for the "ha ha, i got the top of the line laptop" feeling - which goes away rather quickly anyway. in my opinion, it's not worth waiting around and drolling over an imaginary updated computer. it's far better to get one and get going - computers are a LOT more fun when you are actually using one.

    and, finally, yes, i believe the next update will be fairly modest. a modest combination of speed bump and price drop, perhaps?
     
  11. josepho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #11
    My day-to-day computing really just comprises: web-browsing (with Mozilla at present - love it!), email (with Eudora - not bad at all), music (WinAmp 2.81 - didn't like the newer versions), word processing (Word 2000), web design (notepad - hand-coding rocks), light graphics (FireWorks), DVD-watching (PowerDVD), IM (ICQ, MSN -although I hate it -, AIM sometimes). I also do quite a bit of mobile email & web access on my PocketPC (well, XDA II) & SE P900 (through which I am gonna connect to the internet with my PowerBook - Bluetooth yeay!).

    All of this would be comfortably handled by a PowerBook G4 12" - n'est pas? Considering it's alright (-ish) on a 700Mhz Duron, 192MB, 20GB, Windows ME (AHHHHHHH!) just now, I think we'll manage ;)

    Cheers!
     
  12. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #12
    Jxyama - the G5 pb when it comes out, I couldn't afford. This update, if it came out in time to coincide with my visit, I could afford - hence, the confusion :) This update won't be much more expensive - if at all - seeing as the revisions will be fairly minor. Possibly a speed bump-up, from what I've heard. [edit: just noticed you said that too, Jxyama - the Apple resellers I did work experience with said the same thing]. Also, totally agree with you about the "top of the line laptop feeling" - it doesn't last, and tbh, the pb 12in is a killer machine anyway, and will be this time next year - just upgrade if its needed :)

    This update won't be major. And don't bother waiting for the G5, if you're aiming to get it by June anyways - word at the Apple resellers I worked at is the G5 pb won't be out until next year. Sure, they don't know for sure, but I'd take their word over some person who just has a hunch or whatever.

    Also, don't even hesitate about buying the pb 12in for what you wanna do - it's a powerful machine, imho much more so than many give it credit for. It's worth considering the size, especially since mobile net access is so important - this thing is SMALL! That alone sells me, for net access with BT through my SE Z600.

    peace.
     
  13. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #13
    I think you'd be best waiting and buying it in September. Either via online at a place like MacMall because you can get free ram etc, or physically at your local Apple store. If you are going to do any BTO stuff you may want to order it sooner however as that can cause delays. Just keep an eye out on shipping times, etc. I think you can afford to wait until August at least.
     
  14. josepho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #14
    @_pb_boi: Are you using a Powerbook 12" at present? How do you find the Bt connectivity is for web access? This is crucial because I'm going away to Spain to study during the summer and am gonna have to get a local SIM-card (Telefonica), and hook up my P900 over BT to use GPRS to email and browse. Sure, GPRS isn't cheap (€8/MB), but I'm willing to pay for the convenience.

    Any input appreciated. Cheers!


     
  15. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #15
    Josepho - I don't have a pb 12in atm, I'm getting one a month from tomorrow. But, I can't see a problem - Bluetooth is bluetooth! Sure, the implementation differs between computers, just like it does between phones (which is where SE owns, their phones kick ass)>

    Sorry I couldn't be of any more help - I do know that connecting to a 17in pb caused no problems for my phone, though.

    peace.
     
  16. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #16
    iBook wouldn't have any problems handling that, even...
     
  17. josepho macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #17
    Yeah, I know... A few days ago I was thinking the same thing, but I went to PCWorld to see them... and I prefer the Powerbook. It's partly that it's more powerful (future uses?) and partly because I didn't really like the aesthetics of the iBook - too white for my liking - though I think it works for the iMac. The way I look at it, it's only gonna be another month or two to pay off the difference... and the PB is a better computer.

    Thanks!
     
  18. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #18
    I like the white of the iBook, but looking at it in PCworld (UK), the white surface was covered in finger prints! OK, I know they get a lot of use, but my laptop would get a lot of use also, and although I'd be careful, I don't wanna wash my hands before every single use.

    Speaking of payment - I'm stretching myself to afford this thing - some of it is wages, some (most) is an (early) 18th birthday present and the rest is a £200 loan from my wee brother. All this from a guy who, at the start of the year, thought Macs were for creative types - only work experience in an Apple resellers changed my mind.

    peace.
     
  19. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #19
    hey, i totally understand. i opted for a PB myself, although this was back when iBook came in tray-loading optical drive and G3, so there were more technical reasons to choose one over the other. but after having used PB for a while and comparing to an iBook, to me, there's no comparison. PB keyboard is much better, imo, and smooth Al finish is incomparable.
     
  20. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #20
    I think you are overlooking a few things.

    Firstly, if you plan to keep this baby for 3-4 years or longer, every little speed improvement by way of later optomised 64 bit programs and operating system will be appreciated. Think about a 4 year old powerbook (circa 1999-2000) and tell me that its fineto run Panther and all the iApps etc...

    Secondly, I think you'll find that iLife will get allot more use over the next 3-4 years. Digital cameras are booming, and soon video will as well as still cameras support full 640X480 by 30fps (just happening now in the consumer/prosumer market) and when Digital Video tape shifts more to solid state memory, harddisks and direct write dvds. iPhoto will be a staple, with thousands to tens of thousands of photos not being too uncommon. Video though will really become mainstream with iMovie and iDVD being worked overtime to review and prepare holiday movies and special events for archivign and distribution to famaily and friends.

    Thirdly, games, never underestimate the desire for games and the wish to be able to play them on laptops. Sure we can't expect perfect performance but I think we can expect to be able to actually play them. Optomised for 64 bit might be a factor as well...although typically its the graphics card...

    Fourthly, the next upgrade cycle. If I start buying software that is optomised for 64bit alone in a few years (I assume this is likely) then I know I can carry it over to my next machine.

    Fifthly, as you said, that latest gadget, top of the line "feel". Never under esteimate it - just look at the mini-ipod phenomenom

    :p
     
  21. josepho macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #21
    The difference is gonna be about £300 (USD$500) between the iBook and Powerbook (both with BT & Airport Extreme), which I admit isn't a small amount, but I think it'll be worth it - it is a POWERbook after all. Of course, it'll be another £60 for another 512MB RAM from Crucial, £60/70 for a WiFi router (not bothered about getting the Apple one, as long as it's 802.11g) and £40 for a 802.11g adaptor for my current PC (which'll go in my sisters room). Not a cheap venture, but what are part-time jobs for? :)

    Cheers!
     
  22. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #22
    aswitcher:

    many of your points are good, but in general, i don't really agree with the spirit of them... because technology is changing so rapidly, the waiting game is silly. if you are going to "waste" time right now worrying about what's coming up in the future, then you will never stop waiting. i find it far better use of my time if i pull the trigger and purchase what i need for what i want to do when i want and get going rather than waiting for the next best thing. and trust me, as soon as G4 PB gets updated, some of us will be posting how pissed they are that they've been waiting since sept. '03 and it's not G5 yet. in the mean time, i've gotten so much use out of my PB that i have absolutely no remorse.

    btw, do you really think there's much difference in the current usability of Pismo (released 2/2000) and G4 Ti (released 1/2001) now? is the difference so great that it was worth waiting for almost a year back then? and we are talking about G3 vs. G4 here, not just speed bumps... many people are still happy with their Pismo or the Ti, but i doubt any of those Pismo users are always thinking back that they should have waited a year longer for the Ti.

    iApps will derive benefits from many things in addition to processing power. bigger HD, RAM, etc. i see no reason iApps will be updated to the point where G5 is practically a requirement between now and the time my current machine would be almost obsolete.

    iPod mini is a bit different matter as the only thing that can change is the capacity in the near future. it's unlikely that we'll see form factor/technical capability changes as often as computers go through.

    in general, most of us purchase computers to gain usefulness out of them, not just to hold in our arms and to be able to say "i've got this great processor." and you can't get any use out of computers you don't have...
     
  23. josepho macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #23
    @jxyama: Well written. You're so right about the "waiting game" - computing, just like my other passion - mobile phones - evolve so quickly that you can NEVER have the latest technology.

    That's it... I'm gonna get my Powerbook ASAP. Just got to speak to my dad about a loan of some money - namely the whole amount. Lol ;)

    Cheers!
     
  24. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #24
    Aswitcher, Jxyama was referring to the benefits of the G5 for the everyday user, and gave josepho his advice based on that. Josepho's projected usage was basically everyday tasks, with no multimedia. You were talking about the consumer/prosumer camera market et al, but josepho doesn't plan - atm, at least - on utilising his iBook that way.:)

    Just a point :)

    It's certainly what my part time job is for anyways, Josepho :) Expensive, but it'll be worth it when you get it!

    peace.
     
  25. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #25
    good luck, but don't blame me if PB does get G5 next month! :D :p
     

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