12" G4 book or EEE 1000HE?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by feflower, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. feflower macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    Hello folks,

    I bought a MacPro a few years ago, and it serves me well. But I want a portable to do some writing outside of my home when things get noisy/crazy or claustrophobic.

    I'm a grad student and I don't plan to do heavy internet usage, if at all, on the portable. I basically want a glorified typewriter where I can either email/transfer my daily writing/thoughts to my desktop.

    I'm trying to decide between a used G4 12" book or the EEE 1000HE (or similar netbook). I don't want something over 12" or less than 10".

    Again, I'm not looking at using any fancy word processor--even text-edit would suffice.

    The most important thing for me is comfortable typing experience--and I've heard good things about 1000HE keyboard.

    Another thing I'm worried about is the battery life of a G4 and its reliability at its age. The EEE boasts about 8-9 hours battery life.

    But it is always good to stay with Mac and also cool to be carrying around a retro Mac (I'm in music so almost all the students have a Macs...hehe)

    What would you suggest?

  2. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A400 Safari/528.16)

    You could hackintosh a netbook; they get better performance than the G4 iBooks....
  3. feflower thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009

    Thought about that, but, I'm not sure if I would ever follow through with the project. I really value convenience. One of the reasons I switched to Mac was for its low maintenance. If anyone should convince me that it is not a difficult as it seems (to do and to maintain) I might consider it--again.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Battery life on the high-life netbooks (1000HE, 1005HA, plus several others from Toshiba and other brands) is definitely much better than the iBook G4. For a 4.5 lb notebook from that era, it was great -- it got around 4.5-5.5 hours with Wifi off on a new battery and maybe even occasionally six, but that's not in the 8.5-10.5 range a few of these netbooks can provide.

    There are a few more recent netbooks that have chicklet keyboards that people really like, and I think there's even a 10" one that's closer to 100% size than the 1000HE is (although to be honest I can achieve 78wpm with low error rate on the 7" netbook I have... it really depends on your fingers and your typing skill).

    So ones to put on your shopping list might be the Samsung NC20 (review) and the Toshiba NB205 (which has chicklet keys).

    I loved my iBook G4 (which I owned from Dec 2003 until October 2007) but there's no way I would get one today. It's a happy memory, don't get me wrong at all.

    Also depending on your timing constraints, you might want to wait until you can get one with Win7 preinstalled.... (I have an EeePC 701 that I got in 2007 and I'm about done with; I kind of want a 1005HA or maybe that Toshiba after Win7 is being sold on them).
  5. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    I have an iBook G4. What mkrishnan says about 4-6 hours battery life on a new battery is about right. When mine was brand new I could get 6.5 hours without wifi (God I loved that) and it's a great laptop simply because it's a trooper. I've thrown mine about the place, dropped it, dragged it into uni and to my boyfriend's 5 times a week and it's absolutely fine. Runs as well as it did the day I bought it. (if it breaks on me instead of just being retired in a few years I will be SO surprised)

    Its keyboard is also lovely to type on. Sounds silly, but they keys are sort of springy.

    However, it's almost 4 years since the last rev of one of these was released and it's a good laptop (mine's a last rev) but if you're going to keep it for a while it seems silly not to buy a newer netbook. Apart from anything else, it'll come with a warranty.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Yeah, true. Probably the must sturdy / rugged notebook I've ever owned (I mean, not like an actual ruggedized notebook, but short of that...).
  7. feflower thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    Thanks for the prompt responses.

    After reading all your responses, I think I will get the netbook.

    The Toshiba sound great. One thing I forgot to mention is that I live in Canada and I think there is always a lag compared to the States. Windows 7 pre-installed would be a bonus.

    If possible I would prefer to get a 10" book because I've realized that I'm more likely to carry something with me if it is smaller.

    I was hoping to get it for the start of school, but I've lived this long without a portable, I think I can wait and see for a little longer.

  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I vote for the Lenovo S10-2 netbook ($350) and Jolicloud OS. OS X is NOT the best OS for a netbook at all.
  9. Eanair macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    I've owned a netbook and now I have a 12 inch iBook G4. Here are my opinions on the two:

    iBook G4:

    Battery life is not as good as a netbook
    No warranty if something breaks and needs fixing
    Heavier than a netbook
    Bigger screen
    I like the keyboard better
    I like the larger trackpad
    It's a Mac

    Netbook (I had one of the HP Minis):

    Great battery life
    Newer and current, so you can have a warranty/protection care plan
    Light (really really nice if you're carrying around a lot)
    Smaller screen (I thought the screens were too small for my preferences)
    Not as easy to type on keyboard (again, my preference)
    Couldn't stand the trackpad - used external mouse (my preference)
    Not a Mac

    You've mentioned that the two biggest things you're considering are battery life and typing ease.

    A netbook for sure gets better battery life (8+ hours depending on use)
    Typing ease is a personal thing. That I think you'll have to solve by testing out yourself. If you think you like typing on a netbook, then the choice is simpler. If you find you prefer typing on an iBook better, then you might have to decide if typing ease or battery life is more important.

    Just my 2 cents.
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    ^^ My suggestions above do suppose that you've seen a netbook and have a basic idea of what you're getting into sizewise. The size thing is pretty personal preference based, to be fair. Some people do hate it.

    Oh, I ran into both of these just now and they might be of interest. These two C|Net article discuss timing for the next iteration of the Atom chip and the suggestion that, as a result, netbook offerings may be largely static except for the upgrade to Win7 through the Christmas season.
  11. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    OP: Checkout the newly released HP Mini 5101, being marketed by HP as a "business class" netbook -- it has 95 percent sized keys, 7200 rpm drive, metal case, matte screen, and other desirable features. Currently, the "FM978UT" model offers the best bang for the buck @ $425 (suggested retail).


    Laptop Magazine recently published a rather comprehensive review of the 5101 that features a section that allows you to compare benchmarks for the 5101 with other netbooks.

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