12" iBook vs. 14" iBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by chameeeleon, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. chameeeleon macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2004
    To 12" iBook users:
    Do you find the 12" screen to be a strain on the eyes at all? Text too small?

    To 14" iBook users:
    Does the laptop feel too clunky or heavy for every-day portability?

    All help appreciated! Thanks.
  2. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    12-inch a-ok for me


    From what I recall, the 12-inch iBook and the 14-inch iBook have the same screen resolution, so there should be no difference.

    Can somebody verify? :confused:

    That said, I own a 12-inch iBook and find it easy to use - even for extended periods. I love the form factor of the smaller model.

    I think the real question may be whether you want the SuperDrive - an option with the 14-inch that is not available as a BTO from Apple.
  3. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    My $0.02 -

    As you said, same resolution screens - so the only advantage of the screen size of the 14" is the fact that it is bigger, if that is what you need - things will otherwise look the same on the 12", and more crisp if that's what you prefer.

    I've had two 12" Powerbooks and never had a problem with anything being too small, and they were awesome for portability. Having said that, I now have a 15", and the luxury of more screen space is awesome - the portabilty sacrifice is not that great, though I do carry it around with kidder gloves than I did the 12", and still not too sure where it's centre of gravity is for carrying.

    Having said that, the 14" shouldn't be too much bigger than the 12" to affect these things - but I think the 12" is an unreal package for the price, holds its own any day against the 14". If you want a superdrive, then get an external or a Powerbook - the total price will probably end up being similar.
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    The 12" screen is just fine, and I have no trouble reading any text. If you do, however, fint the text a bit on the small side on some websites it's no problem to use the "Make Text Bigger" (Cmd +) to read that page and then use "Make text Smaller" (Cmd -) when going to another site. Most Browsers (including Safari) also has an option to "Never show fonts smaller then XX", and setting this to 10 or 11 should help you. Most other programs you may use normally have some sort of zoom function to help you...

    When it comes to portability the 12" iBook is awsome, it's small, fairly light and takes a beating (within reason of course - I've only actually dropped it once ;)). I used to have a 14" Pismo, not very unlike the 14" iBook in size and weight and that was much less portable. I'm still in attanding University and taking the 12" iBook around campus (which here in Bergen streches for several kilometers) is no problem.

    The Superdrive was not available in the iBooks when I bought my 12" Rev A iBook G4 800, and even if it would have been an option I don't think I would have used it. I'm waiting for a Dual-layer superdrive, and don't mind an external firewire/usb2 one, that would actually be an advantage for me as my girlfriend and I could share it...

    Go for the 12" - I'm really happy with mine... :)
  5. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    Get the 12" for sure, there is really no difference between the low end 14" apart from the screen size which as people have mentioned shares the same resolusion as the 12", this is true of the full Ibook range!

    Now if your talking about the high end 14" model then there are a few more differences, and by a few i mean two! You get a slightly faster processor and the option to pay to have a superdrive over the standard combo drive.

    What thsi means for you is that you're shelling out for first, a bigger screen.. sounds good yes. But theres no real gain to you since the resolusion is the same. Next your shelling out for a slightly faster CPU, nice, but for the extra money your paying here is it really worth it! And finally, do you want to fork out the rest of the money in your bank account for a superdrive?

    If you ask me, get the 12". you can use the money you will save to get yourself some nice applications and or max out the memory :).

    What do you think, makes sence doesn't it?

  6. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    There's no advantage of the larger 14" screen with the same resolution if you're editing graphics. There is an advantage if you're doing other things, such as writing text. If you set the text at the same physical size on both the 12" and the 14" iBook, you will be able to see more of the page on the 14".

    Of course wanting to see more text on screen is just a personal preference.
  7. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon

    I think the best way to answer your first question is to visit an Apple Store or university bookstore and compare the 12" and 14" iBooks. I can tell you that for my eyes, the image on the 12" is not too small for comfort, but every individual's eyesight and visual acuity and simple preferences are different. You should trust your eyes more than our impressions.

    Good luck with your iBook!

  8. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    The 14" screen isn't actually able to display more stuff than the 12". Instead, it displays the same amount of stuff, but displays it larger.
  9. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    "The 14" screen isn't actually able to display more stuff than the 12". Instead, it displays the same amount of stuff, but displays it larger."

    I see your point, but practically it doesn't matter to someone like me who does a ton of writing on an iBook.

    Try this experiment. Go to an Applestore (if you have one nearby!) Make the text the exactly same size on the 14" and the 12". Physically, the letters must be the same, the minimum size your eyes can see it comfortably. Then count the lines of text that fit on the page. You can see many more lines of text on the 14".

    For somebody like me, "resolution" doesn't matter. All that really matters is the amount of useably large text you can see comfortably on the screen at once. I appreciate and respect that other people may have other criteria.
  10. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    Surly, if the font size is the same size, and the resultion is the same. Then the pixel's on the 14" are just bigger, so the same text size would seem smaller on the 12", so you can only fit the same amount of info on each... is that logical?

  11. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    I've heard this said before, am I wrong in thinking, then, that if you shrink everything on the screen down to the smallest size possible on a 12 inch and a 14 inch, you would end up with more left over space on the 14 inch? If this is the case, then you also end up with extra screen space and more room for, say, another palette, icon, or whatever. Does the 14 inch simply not shrink to the same (actual) size as the 12 inch? Golly...this is hurting my brain...my eyes are doing great, though, as I've got a 14incher...which, by the way, I appreciate a great deal...whenever I read extended bits of text (which is not infrequently!) I supersize the letters and stretch back in my chair...if I've got a friend in the room, he can sit on the other side of the room and read the text easily, without my having to be constantly scrolling down...I think there is a lot to be said for the extra screen size! Again...it is a personal preference, depending on how you use your laptop.
  12. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000


    May 18, 2003
    There are the same number of pixels on both the 12" and 14", just the pixels happen to be slightly larger on the 14" screen, so there is no "left over space" ... if I'm reading what you wrote correctly.
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yes, the resolution between the 12" and 14" is the same, but if you want text to appear larger, then it's worth it to get the 14". That and the faster proc are the only differences, but the processor isn't worth the price difference between it and the 12". No way.

    Despite not having any trouble reading text on websites, text size using MS Word at 100% isn't so hot. Setting the view/zoom at 125% in Word definitely works though, so there are always ways around text size issues. Its not a big deal to set my view to 150%. The text is very very large at this setting, just as I like it. If you bought a 14", the physically larger screen will be the only advantage, not desktop space.

    I say get the 12" iBook, but if you need things to look larger on the screen, then get the 14". You won't have trouble seeing things on the 12", but I can understand it if you have bad eyes. My stepfather doesn't like using my 12" much.

    Portability of my 12" Powerbook is amazing.
  14. chameeeleon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2004
    Alright guys, thanks for all your suggestions. I'd actually started this thread because I was assisting my friend whose getting a laptop for University, and I'd been leaning towards the 12" too, but she's only ever used a 15" laptop and thought that might be too small. When I found out the screen resolutions were the same, she decided instead to go for an entirely different ball game - the 15" Powerbook (hey, go big or go home I guess). Hope you guys can help her (or help me help her) with any setup! :) When I snab my laptop later this summer though I'm diffinately going for a 12 incher.
  15. iKwak macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2003

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