12 Inch too Small?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ColdFlame87, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. ColdFlame87 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2004
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Im planning on buying a 12 inch ibook and i was wondering if it will be able to run all the games my 17" imac currently runs or if some/most require bigger screens because ive heard around a lot about games especially graphic intensive ones requiring at least a 15" screen. I would appreciate if anyone could clear this up for me :confused:
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Remember, it's not so much the screen size as it is the resolution.

    The 12" iBook (as well as the 14") has a resolution of 1024x768.

    The 15" PB has a resolution of 1280x854. Roughly 40% more pixels.

    However, many games look just fine at 1024x768. And fewer pixels means less work for the computer and a better frame rate.

    However, the 15" screen has 56% more area (9"x12" as opposed to 7.2"x9.6"), so its pixels are a bit bigger (40% more pixels, 56% more area = more area per pixel), hence a bit more readable. But a LOT more money.

    Edit: your 17" iMac has a 1440x900 resolution, 65% more pixels than the 12" iBook. However, note that you can connect the iBook to an external monitor (via a hack that lets you run it at a higher resolution).

    However, the iBook isn't exactly a graphics powerhouse, and that, not the screen resolution, might lead you to maybe be a bit disappointed, depending on which games you play. If you can, try an iBook out at a local Apple Store or other Apple retailer.
  3. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.
  4. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    12" is Great

    The 12" is great. I do graphic and web design at work on a 12" PowerBook. I can't say that it's good for gaming when compared with a maxed out PC, but I don't use it for gaming. In terms of raw screen size, I only find it "small" after using my boss's 23" Cinema Display, and even then, I adjust back to the 12" screen size immediately.

    And I've got to be honest: the portability of the 12" is in no way matched by the 14" iBook or 15" PowerBook. Owners of these notebooks will tell you they're as portable as a 12", but the 12" is the size of a school paper notebook and more versatile than anything I've seen.

    Mike LaRiviere
  5. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would feel like the 12" is too small for games and movies. Unless you have an external moniter but i don't think the iBook comes with the adapter or even does that at all.
  6. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    I haven't used my 12" powerbook for games but, it is perfect for movies.
  7. josepho macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2004
    Surrey, England
    I'm not a big gamer so I won't tackle your first point, but for movies I don't see what is possibly wrong with the 12". Obviously if you're gonna be watching it with a group of 20 friends you're gonna have some problems but if there's just a couple, or if you're by yourself you can get close to the screen and see perfectly. I would definitely say that any screen size you lose out on is compensated by the portability, meaning that you can watch your DVDs in more places, more easily.

  8. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    That will be exactly what I am doing. Do you ever find yourself too cramped in Photoshop and such?
  9. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    i use a powerbook when i'm out and about to do graphic design, and its actually not so bad now you can use expose to switch things around quicky.

    but you can never have too much screen real estate! :D you have to compromise somewhere along the line.
  10. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004

    Dav, sometimes I feel that I am cramped. I may have posted this statement in this forum, or in a few others, but I especially feel cramped after using my boss's 23" Cinema display. When I'm prepping photos for web at 100%, I generally have more than enough space (i.e., the canvas size is about 400-500% of the image size). However, when I'm working on web pages in PhotoShop and GoLive, I feel like I could benefit from some more space, simply because the toolbars and palettes get in the way. But I should clarify; when I have the window positioned correctly, I have the perfect amount of space - none needed, none wasted. If I move the window, however, I find that the toolbars and palettes obstruct my view.

    That said, if you find that having two documents side-by-side (GoLive web page vs. Photoshop/ImageReady web page, perhaps) is more important than having complete portability, then I'd have to concede my argument for the 12" and suggest that you go with a widescreen 15" or 17". I myself just print out documents that I need to view while working on something else, and this is what I'd do in any situation as I've only owned standard aspect screens. If I had a widescreen display, I might place documents side-by-side, but my workflow works for me.

    Dav, exactly what kind of work are you doing? (We can perhaps begin another post about this kind of thing, as I think it applies to many members.)

    Mike LaRiviere
  11. cabal68 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2004
    12 inch i book vs 12 inch powerbook

    Getting ready to be a switcher and buy first mac. I do quark and photoshop. Which is right for me? ibook or powerbook
  12. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    The 12" iBook will have roughly the same game performance as your iMac or slightly worse depending upon which model you have. Many recent demanding games will not run very well unless you turn the graphics detail way down. Older games, strategy games and RPGs run okay for the most part. Upgrade the RAM if you plan on playing games on the iBook. The 12" screen size is less of an issue for most games in my opinion. I find the screen size too small for doing real work but others don't mind it so that probably depends upon the person.

    The Powerbook is a better choice due to somewhat better features and performance. The iBook is a decent low-cost and low-performance option if you do most of your other work on another computer and just desire to become more familiar with Macs before you commit to switching.
  13. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    I use a 17" Apple LCD with my 12" PB and I think that arrangement is fantastic. When you're on the go, you get the benefits of portability. When you're at home (or at the office, as the case may be), you get the benefits of a larger screen.
  14. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    Besides the student/typical things (typing papers, web surfing, etc. which I know the 12" is fine for) I would be mainly doing web design and small web graphics. Typically, I don't work with images larger than 800px (H or W). I don't do any print either. Just coding (PHP, XHTML, CSS) and small web graphics. I know sometimes it feels cramped with the toolbars, but the portability greatly outweighs this minor setback (my thoughts).

    Usually when designing on windows (Resolution: 1280 x 1024) I only have the following Apps running:

    TopStyle Lite (Just a small css program)
    An explorer window or two

    I figure on OSX using 1024 x 768 is easier than windows because of things like Expose, etc. I also try to use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible.


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