12" iBook/12" AlBook/15" AlBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gwe, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. gwe macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2003
    the world is my home
    Hey guys
    thanks for reading

    I'm looking at getting a new notebook, but I can't decide on whether I should go iBook or Powerbook. I'm sure that you understand that the lines are blurred now that they sport the same processor. I'm also a student and don't have a TV for movies, but rather watch it on my notebook.

    I am considering the following machines:
    12" iBook
    12" AlBook w/ Superdrive
    15" AlBook w/ Superdrive & B/L Keyboard

    Reasons for the above are such:

    *KEEP IN MIND: Bluetooth and Airport Extreme are now built in so that is not an issue.

    12" iBook - Bang for buck! G4 for a grand. Cons: Build quality & screen resolution (only 1024x768)

    12" AlBook w/ Superdrive - Small. It's a powerbook. Cons: Is it really a powerbook? Same processor as the 12" iBook. Cost more than the iBook. Screen resolution (only 1024*768)

    15" AlBook w/ Superdrive & B/L Keyboard - Has a big screen for movies. Backlit keyboard is cool! Con: It's big and pricey.

    All help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    Wrong. Powerbooks have a different processor to the G4 iBooks, plus double the L2 cache which makes a LOT of difference.

    Bluetooth is an optional extra for the iBooks as far as I'm aware and Airport Extreme is only built in on the 1.25GHz 15" Powerbook.

    They each cater to a different kind of user - it really depends on what you want. If you just want something that will do the job and DVD burning isn't a priority then the G4 iBook is great value at the moment. If you want somethin ultraportable, with a bit more power and the option of DVD burning, then the 12" Powerbook is great. If you want a really powerful notebook with all the bells and whistles (and also have the money to burn) then the 1.25GHz 15" is definitely the way to go.

    Hope this helps - I've owned a 700MHz Ice 12" iBook and a rev A 12" Powerbook and now have a rev B 12" Powerbook and have loved the size and progressive power increases. Now that the iBook has a G4, I think it's by far the best value but the power difference with the Powerbook makes it worth the difference. Good luck!
  3. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Were I choosing between the 12" laptops, I'd decide whether I really needed the superdrive (you can always get an external burner later), and if not, I would get the iBook unless I really needed some of the extras that the PB offers. I don't think build quality is an issue with the iBook. The unit I tried at the store seemed more than fine in terms of build-quality, and the keyboard is much improved over the old iBooks. I have the 12" PB, but would have purchased the iBook had it been out when I made the purchase.

    Others may disagree, but I think it's ridiculous to spend $1,000+ over the iBook just to watch movies on a 15" PB. For that kind of cash, you could buy a dedicated 17" wide-screen, LCD TV and a DVD player, and you would have the iBook. As someone who has lugged laptops all over country, I would stay away from the 15" PB if you plan to carry it around constantly.
  4. gwe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2003
    the world is my home
    Another Important Consideration

    Thanks for reading this guys:

    One more important thing is that, although i don't move around a lot, I do every three months as I am in school. I value everyone's opinion very much! Thanks guys!

    Ciao Alex
  5. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    There's really a huge difference between the Powerbooks and the iBook. If you really want power, you've got to get a Powerbook. If you plan on burning DVDs at all, go straight for the Superdrive model (external DVD burners can't work with iDVD). The iBooks may have G4s, but that doesn't mean they're on the same level as the Powerbooks.
  6. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    After considering all the facts i got the 15" 1.25 PB. Why? First off, my mom has an iBook, it's kinda chincy looking. Second, it's 4:3, I want 16:9 because you can have more on the at one time. Not to mention you won't suffer any loss when it comes to DVDs, most of which are in 16:9.

    Also, at education pricing i got my PB for 2051, What does that mean? 300 dollar off retail as opposed to the lower 15" which gets 200, and when you equal the systems up you end up paying 11 dollars more for 250 more megahertz. I think it's the best performance/price balance out there for students.
  7. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Also a student and love my 12"PB. Used and iBook last year (albeit not the g4). It was a great machine and I would recommend it to any student, but I do love my PB. It's great for watching movies at least I think so. And considering the price (compared to the 15") and the portability meets power factor I say go for the 12" PB. One caveat: the iBook comes with students friendly apps like Appleworks and Quicken. Powerbook does not. I was able to purchase an iMac application cd off of eBay and got these programs for a reasonalble price. Actually a great price. But that was something that freaked me out when I had a my first paper due and found out the only word processor was TextEdit.
    If you have any other specific questions about the 12" PB let me know.
  8. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    iBook G4 is huge bang for buck

    I have a new iBook G4, BTO with maxed out memory and HD.

    From my perspective, there's little-to-no difference in performance between this and my RevA 12" PowerBook. Sorry guys. I know that there are some people who need to defend their purchase dollars by kneejerking "If you want power, you need a powerbook", but there's just not that much difference between the machines.

    I use the machine every day at home, and at my office - with the montior spanning hack to drive an external monitor at 1600x1200. It works like a charm.

    I know about the cache difference, but from an end user perspective, it just doesn't show up. My machine's always loaded pretty heavily, running Mail, iCal, Entourage, MySQL, Emacs, etc.

    The only caveat is that you can't have a built-in superdrive. I don't need one, as I have on on my desktop G4.
  9. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    well i got my i book last week....and its workin gr8...
    if fast enuf...and the screen is pretty good... i bought it coz i m a student n couldnt afford the power book....
    so if u hv the dough go fr the powerbook,
    (although u dont need it but still u shud get the best u cn afford)
    else it wont be wise to go fr a powerbook,,...instead get an ibook with upgraded ram and a bluetooth card ....

  10. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    Re: iBook G4 is huge bang for buck

    Well, I agree with the first part of your post. The G4 iBooks basically are rev A Powebooks. And having owned both revs, I can tell you that the cache difference and increased processor speed in the rev B do make a huge difference. Whilst I loved my old 12", it struggled with too many apps open, its video and image rendering power wasn't awesome and it's ripping/encoding speed on iTunes was nothing to write home about. On the rev B, all of these are non-issues - it really does feel like you're using a Powerbook, if there was any doubt on the rev A.

    Check out benchmarks if they will make you fell better, but no matter your feelings, the rev B 12" Powerbook really does pack more of a punch.

    The 15" on the other hand... mmm... 125 on Xbench...
  11. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
    hohoho young fellow,
    what about a bit of self-control when typing ?

    @gwe, if you can afford it go for the 12'' Pb. I actually think it is a rather big difference in speed, thought you wont probably remark it. Only if you are doing big compilations, dvd ripping or some other suff.
  12. i_wolf macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Just my opinion so go easy!
    i would go with the 933 G4 ibook and max it out on ram, bluetooth and airport extreme. And it will still be cheaper than powerbook. I think this is the sweat spot for price performance.
    Both the iBook and Powerbook are as attractive as each other IMO. Build quality on both is great. Either way you will have a stylish , well built laptop. Price/Performance wise, the new iBook has a huge amount going for it... great video card, its using the same G4 as the powerbook with half the cache albeit... so to my thinking it would be very close to Powerbook specs for a lot less moolah. It has a ddr motherboard like powerbook and is using ddr ram also. same speed hard drive etc.. and is very portable. I know thats what i would do with my money anyway. I just couldn't justify the extra for a powerbook.
    But then again i don't need a widescreen laptop, and i don't need a dvd burner built in... if you need this, and alot of professionals do the powerbook is your man. But i do a lot of programming and compilation work and i would imagine that the iBook and current powerbook would be very similar power wise for my needs.
    Also the battery life on the iBook is supposed to be better???? (anyone validate this??).
    I would definately go for iBook , near identical specs to powerbook for a lot LOT less. Why not get the iBook now and then get the G5 Powerbook when apple releases them next year????
    Then again, money no obstacle i would LOVE a powerbook now... !! :S

Share This Page