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will an iBook be OK?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by Josh, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. macrumors 68000


    Hi Guys,

    I once had a dual 1.25 G4 but sold it to get away from the apple loan.

    I want another mac, but also a laptop for school next year, so I figured an iBook would be ideal.

    I am looking at the low-end 800mhz 12" iBook.

    I will upgrade the memory to max (not from apple, of course :D )

    What I will be doing is:

    iChat, iTunes, Photoshop, web surfing, Office v. X.

    I am just curious if the iBook will have enough to do some photoshop, and if anyone has any opinions or reccomendations??

    With the education discount, I can get it for around $950, so I will save up and pay it all at once.

  2. macrumors 68000

    I say go for it!

    If you can save up and pay for the iBook all at once, more power to you.

    The iBook will be fine for iChat, iTunes, and Office v.X, but you will see a small amout of lag with processor-heavy Photoshop tasks.

    On the other hand-
    I own a 12" PowerBook G4, and I swear by it. I, personally, am not an iBook fan. I feel that if you can pay $950.00 for the iBook, why not save up a little longer and pay $1399 for a 12" PowerBook? You'll get a snappier processor, more portability, no plastic, and (most importantly) more RAM capacity. In the end, if you go for the PowerBook, your computer will stay "up to date" longer than it will with the bottom-of-the-line iBook.

    Good luck, and let us know what you choose to do.
    Seth :)
  3. macrumors 68000


    I would like a powerbook for those reasons as well,

    the only reason I aim for the iBook is because being a student, thats all I can afford.

    $950 is a fortune to me (lol) and it takes me an eternity to save up that much.

    I was contemplating either the iBook, or saving up a little more and getting a 1.25ghz G4, but Im not sure.

    I loved my dual 1.25ghz, but it was way too loud for my liking, plus I will never, ever, go through apple loan....26% interest is not for me lol.


    my current computer that I have been used to for the last 3-4 years is an AMD Duron 757mhz PC with 384mb RAM and Windows XP.

    I imagine the iBook should be faster than this? I am very content with the speed of my current PC, but it is due time for something newer and faster :D
  4. macrumors 68000

    I am a student too, I had an Apple loan for my 12" PB, and believe me, it sucked.

    I know about the money crunch, but the higher you buy, the longer your computer will last.

    BTW, I checked out the webpage in your signature. Very nice! I'm not sure if you made the site, but that's a great idea (having Tiburon owners meet up).

    Is there a site like that out there for Civic owners?
  5. macrumors 68000

    The iBook will be a little faster than the Duron, but not by a whole heck of a lot. AMD Duron's are good processors. Heck, AMD's in general are.
  6. macrumors 601


    yeah, an iBook will be okay for you i'd say. :)

    i'm studying design and there are some people in my class that use iBooks. there's even an old model iMac being used. :p

    it'll handle things okay... shouldn't slow down too much if you're just doing basic stuff.

    but i'd only consider a PowerBook if you're woking with 300dpi images (or if you just want a PowerBook 'cause their so sweet!! :)
  7. macrumors 65816

    Why not consider getting a used or refurbished PowerBook? I personally think that the 12" IBook's specs are a bit of joke for a current model, 800 MHz 256 KB L2 Cache, 30 GB HD. If you spend almost $1000 on a new computer it should serve for the years to come. I seriously doubt that the 12in iBook is a good investment for that reason. It’s okay if you need a second (mobile) computer. (I'm a student myself and recently bought a 12in PB. Although it's a big investment, I don't regret the purchase at all.)
  8. macrumors 68000



    I used to have a civic too....a 98 EX (just sold it last year) but I didnt have as much into it as I do my tiburon.

    I made the site and started the whole thing. It was weird...I came up with the idea last summer, and we originaly planned to meet in Kansas - I dont know what we were thinking.

    But after a while, it really picked up and people got really interested, it got moved to vegas, and its really getting insane!! All kinds of plans are going into it, and there are a few people helping out with planning different types of events.

    I dont know about a national meet for civics, but you might wanna check out www.clubsi.com and possibly they would know.

    Thats a good idea - I'll have to consider that. Youre right about the money and that it should last a while...

    Hopefully I get a chance to go the apple store this weekend, and I'll look at both the iBooks and PB's.

    I'll be working full time this summer, so hopefully I will be able to save up enough to get something Im really happy with.

    Also, the photoshop work I'd be doing wouldnt be huge resolution professional printing or anything - just web banners, small graphics, and touching up 800x600 photos every now and then.

    I think the most compex it would get was image roll overs in image ready lol. No high-res stuff that I plan on printing (except burning the 800x600 photos to cd to be printed at the pharmecy).
  9. macrumors 603


    If you can wait until September, you should definitely wait. If new PBG5s come out by then, then maybe we'll see some serious upgrades all the way down the line. Maybe iBooks will have 1.25 GHz G4s by then, or maybe there'll be great deals on EOLed Powerbooks. If you can hold out till the end of the summer, you will probably be well rewarded.
  10. macrumors 68000


    I probably wont end up getting it until the end of october (throw in the birthday $$) lol.

    So I do hope upgrades / price-cuts will happen by then.

    I also wont be using it as my primary computer, just for when I want to take it somewhere, to class, or feel like using a mac - so I understand it wont be a power house super-computer, but I dont plan on using it like one either lol.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    I also recommend looking at refurbished PowerBooks. Currently they are about $300 more than the student discount, which is a lot of money to me. I disagree with the idea that the 12" iBook is significantly worse than the 12" PowerBook. For the work you are doing, they will be almost identical.

    Get Bluetooth, the most RAM you can afford, and the largest hard drive you can afford. I do a lot of iTunes, Office, adn iChat on my iBook. I like having a large external monitor set up when I'm at home, because the 12" can be small when you're running that many applications at the same time.

    Thats my recommendation.

  12. macrumors member

    I do all the stuff you are planning to do all with no problems at all. I am also a student.

    $950 for all that is awesome. I had to pay almost the same in pounds sterling for the same set up.

    Hope all goes well,
  13. macrumors 65816


    It should be fine for most tasks, especially w/maxed RAM
    as far as the iBook/PB debate, I would take a little trip to an Apple store (or COMPUSA etc) and fiddle. With the exception of the superdrive,line-in, DVI-out and better vid card(important features to some) they are comparable performance wise. The rest of the experience is tastes/aesthetics. Some like the iBook and its' plastic look (and resiliency), some like the PB. Some dislike the trackpad on the ibook, keyboard on the PB. etc. Check them out...and do wait to see what is updated as the spring/summer rolls by...might be able to afford an old TiBook (if you're into those-more screen, 1mb L3 cache etc)
  14. macrumors 65816

    Well, if you do Photoshop, import CDs into iTunes, the PB is definitely significantly faster because those apps make us of additional L2 Cache faster clockspeed as well as more RAM. But I agree for surfing, email and wordprocessing, the difference isn't as big.
  15. macrumors 68000

    Whatever computer you get, be sure to get Airport Extreme/Airport in it. I've noticed that most college campus's have wireless networks in several areas. Check with your campus to see if they have any (they most likely do), and seriously consider getting Airport Extreme.

    I agree with what's been said before, about using that $1000 of your hard earned money best. Consider refurbished PowerBooks. Here's a link:


    If that link doesn't work, the link to the refurbished site on www.apple.com/store is on the lower left column. It's titled "special deals." they are currently selling a 12" PowerBook G4/1Ghz for only $1249.00.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Up grade your hard drive. About 15gbs will be used up when you get it out of the box with garageband and everything. I got a 60gb hard drive and I only have 17gb left.

    I got the ibbok. Using them both, for most tasks the speed seems very similar, and the battery life is significantly better on the ibook if this is a concern. Real world 1.5 extra hours web browsing wirelessly, email and word processing. So if you are typing all day at school the ibook is actually the best bet.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    and 12" 867mhz for $1050. a steal!!!!

    my girlfriend has the 800mhz ibook and i have the 867mhz powerbook.
    in truth, i can hardly tell the difference as they both have the same cache.. but the fact is that ibook case scratches VERY easily. of course my girlfriend got the ibook because it was "prettier"
  18. macrumors regular

    damn it have all you people forgotten that this can be done on a LC575 (33 mhz 040 processor... thats slow)... granted it is much slower... but i have done it both professionally and for study purposes.

    You can do all you stated easily on a 12"ibook, no problems, no questions. At work i still do that (and more) on a imac DV, and at home have done it on an imac DV for years. Now i have a 12"ibook, i can do everything slightly faster and anywhere :)

    As the ibook is cheap, do what i did... tool it up
    get 640 ram, BT, APX, 60gb HD and its still cheap as. Get BT and upgraded HD cause they can only be got CTO and it makes it so damn useful for every situation in the future that it wont need to be upgraded for many years
  19. macrumors 6502a


    I recently took the plunge and purchased a 12" iBook, and am officially an iBook enthusiast now.

    I needed a laptop for essentially the same things you did, although add video editing to that list as I currently use my iBook as an on-the-go video editing solution so that I can wow clients with the speed at which I can throw their footage together. Thus far, the iBook has met or exceeded all my expectations. While I can't compare these activities directly to a 12" PowerBook, I can at least let you know why I prefer the iBook.

    1) $$$ -- for the money, I don't think it can be beat. Being a college student, about to move for grad school, I need a workhorse that wouldn't put me too far in the hole.

    2) Aesthetics -- Maybe I'm the only one, but the only PowerBook that I feel looks as good as it should is the 15. The 17" is just too huge, and the 12" looks funny to my eyes when the face is open--something about the way the keyboard sits in there. In general, I also think that the white plastic looks nicer than the aluminum, or whatever the powerbooks shell is made out of. This may not be a concern for you--it was for me, since I do occasionally have to meet with people. The iBook, in my opinion, is a real eyecatcher that draws attention in a conference room full of silver and black laptops.

    3) Feel -- Comparing the two side-by-side, I much preferred the trackpad and mouse button on the PowerBook. The iBook's mouse button doesn't have quite as soft a feel. That being said, I prefer the iBook's keyboard--in fact, I don't think I've ever typed on a better keyboard--I prefer it to my desktop's keyboard (an old P2 that I bought 4 years ago).

    4) Screen -- While the PowerBook has the better video card and the ability to do higher resolutions, I prefer the iBook's screen. My wife and I drove 3 hrs from Austin to Houston so that we could go to the Apple Store in the Galleria and compare the screens side by side. At maximum brightness, the iBook's screen looks brighter and more vibrant to my eye than the PowerBook.

    5) Durability -- I heard great things about the iBook's durability and portability. Someone earlier said the powerbook was more portable. While it is slightly smaller and lighter, I think that the iBook FEELS better in my hands. The iBook is the first laptop that I've picked up with one hand and did not feel like it was going to fall apart or like it was putting any strain on the computer itself. As I understand it, the iBook is made to be lugged around (in my case, inside a backpack all over campus).

    I don't know how heavy into PhotoShop you are going. I don't do too much that requires long render times....but I do quite a bit of video, and have even used After Effects on the iBook. It is definitely not a snappy process, but it's not even snappy on the G5 PowerMac at work (although, much better than the iBook, obviously).

    In the end, you get what you pay for. The PowerBook is definitely a better computer in terms of actual computing power. However, you need to way whether or not the extra cost is worth it--in my case, it definitely was not.

    Someday, when I land that cush job, I might switch over to a PowerBook (especially if they have G7s or something crazy like that in them). But for now, while I'm tromping around campus and jostling my computer about inside a backpack--I'll take the added durability of the iBook.

    Just my two cents...remember that in most cases I do not have a direct head-to-head comparison with the iBook. Also, it should be clear that I have an iBook bias!!! :D

    Either way--it's an apple and it will work...yea!
  20. macrumors 68000


    I went to CompUSA today to see the ibooks...

    They are pretty nice! I like them - only the 12" is a little too small and slow...theres no way I could handle the 12" screen.

    I really liked the 14" though, not too slow, and the screen is just right for a laptop - and for $100 more, it would definitely be the one.

    But then...I saw to my left a 15" imac that could be all mine for only $100 more than that!! $1299...not to bad, I dont think.

    besides, Ive never had a laptop before, and I didnt really have an excuse to get one other than I needed a mac, and I thought that would be a cheap way to get one. But now Im hooked on the idea of getting the imac.

    only the 15" though - I couldnt dare think of saving up any more - thats already $200 more than I planned so spend, and with having to buy office v. X as well, thats absolutely the highest I will go.

    What are your thoughts on the iMac? Upgrades/price cuts soon?
  21. macrumors 6502a


    i think iMac is a great way to go, and since you are overbudget already...
    check out the refurbished iMac's at http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP.../wo/ct3VSVOmWCEu3sCsWVN3hthJPoD/ 15" iMac for $999!

    if you read around these forums you will see multiple praise on the value of Apple Refurbished computers.

    Also, the iMac comes with Appleworks free (apple's version of Office)
    for most users, Appleworks does the job just as well as Office, i myself only need the word processing and find it to be just as adequate as MS Word, my mother uses it for Spreadsheets and it translates to and from Excel just fine. All the file types translate from pcs to mac fine 99% of the time. Try it out first before you splurge on Office X, you may not even need Officed at all.
  22. macrumors regular

    checkout page two rumors... new imacs soon if you go for hype
    12" ibook kicks the imac any day of the week, get back to the roots with the smaller screen and you wont regret that small is portable and in turn universal for down the track. :D
  23. macrumors 68000


    Thats a good point - I forgot about apple works.

    I just need a word processor - and infact, I'd type everything in notepad if it had formatting lol.

    But since I dont have a printer, what I do is email my office documents to work, then print them off there.

    So I'd need it to be compatible with office. But I think my girlfriend wants a printer, so she might buy one.... is it hard to find a printer that hooks to the imac??

    I work 26 hours a week now, and I have about $150 extra a month, and that usualy gets spent on taking my girlfriend out. Once I get out of school in May, I will be working fulltime, so I think if everything goes as planned, I should be able to come up with the cash in about 2 months. If Im lucky, I might be able to save up enough to get maybe a 17" with a superdrive and some extra ram.

    That reminds me - can I add ram to the imac later, or is that something that cannot be expanded upon after buying? Seems like it would be odd to do with everything in the little pod-shaped thing lol.
  24. macrumors 68000

    Also, remember past logic board problems with the iBook line.

    As to whether or not a 867Mhz PB is "the same" as a 800Mhz iBook, well, duh, they are essentially the same.

    But what is this rubbish about battery life?!?! The PB gets waaaaay better battery life (in my personal experience) than the iBook.

    Remember, the key to a good battery life is to properly train the battery when it is brand new (i.e.- when you first get the computer, plug it into power and leave it plugged in for at least 24 hours. Then unplug it, and drain the battery so completely that the computer won't even turn on. Repeat this process three times, and you'll have a stellar battery, mark my words.)
  25. macrumors 68000

    Yes! Stay away from desktops while you're in college. Laptops are the way to go.

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