12 inch as PRIMARY???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Peter Griffin, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Peter Griffin macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    I'm about to make the switch to one but hesitated between (like many others on here) the 12 or 14 ibook. Heres my question:

    Has anyone used a 12 inch lappy (ibook or PB) as their primary without external display? Do your eyes ever feel strained after say a good 3-4 hours of use? Any regrets?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Was concerned before purchase of 12" pb from using 15" iMac G4.

    Honestly, I love my 12" PB and have no regrets. It's just fine. I have no external and no other computer that is mine. 12" is my primary and I love it.
  3. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    I too love my 12"pb...
    I went from a PC w a 20" display to this and havent wanted to switch to another computer since (1.5yrs and running).

    That said, I use it mainly for surfing online, playing music, and viewing photos (read: nothing the really requires the extra desktop space).

    Its all a matter of personal preference, I think...
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    My fiancée uses her 12" iBook as her primary machine, never with an external display, and has a hard time understanding why I'm always saying, "NEED BIGGER MONITOR," with my machines.
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I used a 12" PB for my primary for about a year... I never thought it was a problem until I got my 20" iMac G5. ;) So honestly, it's not a bother... but given a choice, I'd still pick my iMac over my PB or iBook.
  6. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Well I had an 20'' Cinema display for use with my 12'' PB, and actually liked using the 12'' screen better. Ask around and youll find others who feel the same way. Expose is a huge plus.
  7. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    I have a 12 inch Ibook that I used as my primary for ahwile. I have it hooked up to a 19inch lcd now. the 12 inch screen is fine as it is. I just like things big big big!
  8. Gwendolyn macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2005
    You can add me to the list! I've never connected my 12" PB to an external monitor, and have never wanted to. I use it for hours on end daily, and don't wish it had a larger screen, and have never experienced eye strain as a result of using it. I have only booted up the old 15" Windows laptop maybe 3 times since getting the Powerbook, and only stay on the Windows machine as long as it takes to convert my files to PDF and get them off of there and onto my PB. My preference for my 12" PB is so high that when my husband's at work, I don't use his available 15" PB, since I prefer my machine instead. I use mainly iTunes, Mail, Pages, Safari, and iCal. I don't do any artwork, so I haven't used the machine with any type of Photoshop program. So for me, no regrets, and if I had the opportunity to go back in time, I'd still pick the 12" PB.

    It's a very personal decision, though--my husband definitely likes his 15" PB, likes connecting it to an external monitor (and the TV), and drools over the large ACD screens at the store. So while the 12" was right for me, I don't think he would have been as happy if he would have gone smaller. Have you had the opportunity to try both iBooks? Is your consideration of the 12" primarily because you are looking for something small and ultraportable, or primarily because of the price?
  9. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I don't use my 12" iBook as my PRIMARY computer, I use it as my ONLY computer, it's great.
  10. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2005
    Don't even look at the iBook 14", because the screen is the same resolution as the 12"... there's no real gain there. I use my PB 12" as my main computer and have to make some serious coding, since I'm majoring in computer engineering (sometimes over 12 hours straight); and I can tell you that the screen is very easy on the eyes. I was considering getting a 20" screen when I had just gotten the PB, but now I changed my mind, I like the PB's screen that much.
  11. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    My first mac was a 17" G4 iMac, fell in love, bought a 12" PB. Still have the iMac and still loving it but I use the PB much more, and screen size has never been an issue for me. Like others say it really depends on you. From my vantage I'm with everyone else on this thread and as Linkjeniero posted it's the same resolution as the 14" so you're not missing out on anything and just getting increased compactness and portability.
  12. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    Same here....was using a 15' sony lappy before.....I love my 12er PB though....absolutely....dont feel the need for larger dislplay at all....I can understand your concerns though....I was myself pretty caught up in this question....but now I love it so much that I dont know if I would like the bigger ones!!! The portability and ease is too enticing.....If you have trouble browsing, you can increase the font size in safari too....so not much of a problem with that......
  13. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    i had a 12" PB as my only machine for a long time when living in a tiny cramped apartment. it was all i had room for. my eyes never really bothered me much because i spent 90% of my time working on the couch with the thing close to my face. however the heat did get to me quite often.
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Exactly my thoughts. The resolution fits the same amount of stuff on your screen as the 14" so its no different.

    I have had my 12" iBook for about a week now, and MAN!! what a deal it was. $1075 (upgraded to 60gb HD), I'm so happy with it. Now if you want a Superdrive you will need to get the 14" iBook or a 12" PB BTO(Built to order).
    But my brother has a 14"iBook and describes it as "just big enough to be annoying" referring to when traveling. Save some money, and spend it on RAM. BUY A 12"!!!
  15. beatle888 macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002

    did you know you can save any document as a pdf through the print dialog box in osx? when the print dialog pops, click on the the "pdf" button or if that button doesnt show up then click on the "printer" button and it will open another dialog that should have the "pdf" button.
  16. Ignis macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2005
    It's the resolution, not the size that matters...


    you wrote:

    "Has anyone used a 12 inch lappy (ibook or PB) as their primary without external display? Do your eyes ever feel strained after say a good 3-4 hours of use? Any regrets?"

    I ordered my white 500mhz G3 iBook when it was announced and until last Spring I never felt needing any larger screen than the 12" it has. And I have used it 8-12 hrs per day for years. However last Spring after making finally the change into Mac OS X after hanging into 9.2.2 for years, I noticed that OS X really eats up a lot of space and that even for writing with AppleWorks the screen is too small.

    However it is not the size in inches that matters, but the poor 1024*768 resolution. That is why I'm buying Powerbook soon. Even surfing the net with 1024*768 is sometimes annoying, let alone using heavier apps.

    I'd recommend to buy iBook only if you are comfortable with low resolution. Unless of course you'll have external display hooked into it, but I have always felt that point of buying laptop is to keep away from external displays and keyboars and mice, but I know people who think exactly the opposite.

    The difference between 12" and 14" iBook is nonexistent as they both have the same resolution, in fact 12" the display is more readable because of this IMO.

    Just my thoughts after using 12" iBook as my only computer for years. Without the resolution issue I would probably be using this wonderful old machine for years to come, but I have had enough of the constant scrolling!
  17. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    I have a 12" powerbook that i moved over to from a 15" sony vaio. The screen has never been a problem for me although if i'm working in elements it can feel a little bit cramped, for everything else it just isn't something that i really notice. Plus the size makes the computer rexcessively portable - my fiance found that she could tuck it in a to quite a few of her hand bags (Orla Kieley (sp) etc) which she certainly appreciates.

    I would have no hesitation in saying don't worry because whilst i've dreamed on an ACD for a while i just can't justify the cost nor find the space - prefer to use my laptop on my lap! (infertility here i come)
  18. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I used a 12 inch iBook as my main machine for about a year and a half with no qualms. Now I have a 17 inch iMac as my main display but I still don't ever mind going back to the little iBook for long periods of time. If anything, I find my eyes getting sore more form the iMac than the iBook funnily enough.
  19. montom macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    I have done a lot with 12" PB as my only computer, not a problem. Still, there are a couple things to make it easier:

    1) Expose' with hot corners: fast and easy access to any open window or your desktop by dragging your mouse to a corner of the screen.

    2) Desktop Manager: switch between different screens using the mouse or a keyboard shortcut

    3) 'command +' to increase font size when browsing

    The only time it gets cramped is when you're using an app with lots of palettes which get in the way of your workspace -- that's when an external monitor comes in handy. However, the 12" PB can do video/photo/music editing when necessary without hassle.

    Seriously, get the PB...the portability is so awesome and with the above three tools the screen size should not be an issue.
  20. DeSnousa macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Ive been using my 12" iBook for nearly a year and im used to it. I get no strains or any thing and i use it for about 3-8 hours a day. Consider an iCurve though to place the iBook at eye level for viewing and your set.
  21. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    The G3 12" iBook in my sig was my first Apple and my only PC for three+ years until it died of HDD failure. Because there was nobody local willing to fix it I took the oppourtunity to replace it with my iMac G5.
    About a month ago my sister said she needed a laptop so I had a go at swapping the HDD and brought it back from the dead and added an Airport card (802.11b).
    Over the last month I've used the iBook more than the iMac and my sister's had to buy a new 12" iBook.

    I wish I'd bought a newer 12" iBook or PBook rather than the iMac, and there's nothing wrong with the iMac.

    I'd recommend an Apple USB keyboard, any multi-button mouse and an iCurve stand or similar.
  22. aspro macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    Hobart, Australia
    I use my 12" PB as my main and it is perfect for me. The iCurve I have is very nice, as it keeps my head from always looking downwards. I have the mighty mouse and apple keyboard aswell.
  23. javiercr macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2005
    I am happy with my 12" PB.

    a few years ago I had (like many other people) a P1 133Mhz with a 12" screen and only 800x600 resolution, i used it for 6 hours a day for 3 years (around 1997-2000) and I am still ok :)
  24. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    I use a 12" as my primary computer. I'm on about 3 hours a day with no problems. The 12" is much better value than the 14" iBook.

  25. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    12'' powerbook is my primary computer. I have never had a problem with the size or had eyestrain. I would sometimes like a higher resolution, though, because I'm the multitasking type, but expose handles that fine. Having an external display is a luxury but not a neccessity. This may be different depending on what type of work you do, though...

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