Will a new Powerbook serve me well in the following setup?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Marc the Mac, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Marc the Mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi,
    I currentlly have a small network of G4 466mhz minitower with 15" LCD, Beige G3 266mhz minitower, G3 Powerbook 333mhz, Compaq laptop.

    My business is web design and development so I spend most of my time in Dreamweaver MX or Photoshop 7 (but not often working on very high res images).

    I am wondering whether to ditch the old Beige G3 minitower (probably be a nice upgrade for my Mother-in-law's 8500) and get a new Powerbook either 12" or 15". I'd plug the new powerbook into my Apple LCD and use it on a daily basis. I would have it backing up to my G4 minitower as a backup machine that the kids would also use.

    Does anyone have useful experience of using a 12" or 15" powerbook as a desktop environment. I guess it would also make it easy for me to just pick up the powerbook when I go to see clients etc. - everything is on it. (I already use GPRS via my T68i for mobile internet).

    Also the idea of having two LCD's running as my desktop appeals - that is the 15" LCD connected to the powerbooks connector and maybe also use the powerbooks screen too as necessary.

    Any thoughts guys - I like the portability of the 12" but is the 15" the way to go if my above setup is workable?

    Thanks.
     
  2. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #2
    I'm not an expert on Dreamweaver, but it looks like either the 12" or 15" would work in your setup. Are you sure you wouldn't be more productive with the larger PB or a larger external display? I'd go with the 15"PB and use it in dual display mode if I was in your shoes. Only you can know what is best for you, though.:)
     
  3. Marc the Mac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks yamabush,, I had thought of a new G5, maybe the 1.8ghz but the idea of gettign a 15" Powerbook appeals because I then get extra LCD space to use if, as you say, I use it in dual mode connected to my 15" LCD.

    I think my new setup is taking shape in my mind now.

    Powerbook 15" 1.25ghz, superdrive working in dual mode with my 15' LCD (which at some point I might update to a 20" when new ones come out). Apple wireless keyboard and mouse (much nicer to use than the powerbook one if using all day).

    I do have one question about the powerbook though. can the battery be charged when removed from the powerbook? If I had an extra battery it might be nice to charge it independently.
     
  4. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #4
    Well, VST used to make chargers for powerbooks but it appears that a company called Smartdisk is now supporting their products. For some reason, the G4 powerbook battery charger doesn't appear to be currently available on their web site. You might be able to pick one up used or refurbished from a vendor that supports Mac products.

    In the meantime, if you want to get a second battery, check out Powermax. http://www.powermax.com/periph/pbook_acc.html
    They offer powerbook batteries that provide more charge for a little bit extra. These appear to have far more energy available than the batteries shipping with the newest model of powerbooks, however you may wish to confirm that they are compatible.
     
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #5
    I dont think anyone makes battery chargers for the new AlBooks, since its a different battery. However, i find the need for a second battery in my TiBook very minimal since i bought a car charger for it. You can plug it in just like the regular charger and charge the battery/use the powerbook while youre driving around.
     
  6. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Just a little information from my experience. Sounds like you have already made up your mind, but I thought that I would throw in my two cents....

    I have the revision A 12" Powerbook and it is a great little computer. But when you connect it to an external monitor, its performance slows considerably. This should be allieviated somewhat by the better graphics card in the new model, but it is still not great. The card in the 15" is much better. And allthough you can fix it with build to order, the hard drive is much more spacious on the 15.
     
  7. Marc the Mac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    Thanks yoda13, I'm in the UK and was going to give the new powerbooks a serious check over in November at MacExpo in London. I like the portability of the 12" but I did wonder about its performance with an external monitor. Thanks for the update.
     
  8. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Bay of Fundy
    #8
    i have a 17" powerbook hooked up to an 15" CRT monitor and use it in dual monitor mode. besides the fact it is odd having an external display bigger than the one in my laptop, I find this great for photoshop and studio MX apps so I can spread this out. having expose from panther also helps make more use of screen space if you are worried about that. as for performance it is only marginally slower in dual mode, and i don;t notice the difference often at all.

    as you suggest, I just unplug the monitor, grab the powerbook and I am off to work on the road while having all my files with me. I think you have a great idea. go for it!
     
  9. crenz macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #9
    I love the 15"!

    I got the 15" (1.25 GHz BTO) a few days ago and I love it. I immediately pointed friends to my website to look at the pictures :). It is my first laptop, and I already think that it is indeed a very good desktop replacement. I'm using Virtual PC for Windows software development, and it replaces my old PC completely. I also plan to use Logic, although I haven't been able to give it a test-drive on the PowerBook yet.

    YMMV, but I think that the PowerBook would fit your setup just fine. I love the bigger screen of the 15", and the size is just right to be portable. The 12" would probably have been too small. I don't have a second monitor, though.
     
  10. Marc the Mac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    thanks for your experiences, it is good to hear from some of you who already work with a smililar setup. Just out of interest have any of you with the new 12" or 15" been bothered by any problems related to the latch or gap between the lid and base when closed - I have read quite a few threads on here about the movement of the lid when closed and the gaps being bigger than expected?
     

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