12'' or 15'' powerbook ???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Tymmz, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    I know,

    there are a lot of threads around the powerbook, but i couldn't find a topic about 12'' or 15'' powerbook.

    I'm about to get myself a PB and a 12'' would do it. The speed is not so important, but how does the "mini" DVI make a difference or the firewire 400. Is there any magnificant difference in speed.

    When I upgrade a 12'' to a faster and bigger HD (80/5400) and give it 1,25 GB of RAM it would cost around €2600, when I upgrade a 15'' to 1GB of RAM and take the 80/5400 HD and a 128 MB ATI it costs around €2900.

    for a larger screen and better grafic card I would pay €300 more, except the mini DVI and firewire 400 make no big difference.

    What would you suggest. May I stick to the 12'' (very small and portable,1,2 GB of RAM) or should I pay €300 more and get the 15'' (bigger, but really better? 1GB of RAM).

    Thanks a lot

  2. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Hello. I have acutally used both 12" and 15" powerbooks so here is what I found in my opinion while using them.

    Longer battery life than 15" model
    More portable
    Mini-DVI adapter makes me cringe when I plug it in because it makes an unpleasant sound.
    Screen seems small after using 15"

    Beautiful screen
    DVI built into unit (no adapter)
    Firewire 800 (I never actually used this tho)
    Battery not as good as 12" (becuase of larger screen)
    Larger to carry around (after using 12" for awhile)

    Overall, if you are going to be at your desk most of the time then go with the 15". The screen is really nice and if you do design work worth the extra 300 bucks. Just my 2 cents.
  3. Floop macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2003
    How much less good is the 15" battery than the 12"?

    I thought the battery was physically bigger on the 15" which would compensate for it's larger screen.

    I had a G4 iBook and loved the battery life (about 5 hours).

    Then I got a G4 12" PowerBook and that only had about 4 hours battery life.

    Now I'm considering a G4 15" PowerBook but am disturbed to find the battery life on this product might be even less...

  4. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2004
    Apples stats are:

    17-inch PowerBook G4
    Maximum Up to 4 hours, 30 minutes
    Wireless networking Up to 3 hours, 45 minutes
    DVD playback

    15-inch PowerBook G4
    Maximum Up to 4 hours, 30 minutes
    Wireless networking Up to 3 hours
    DVD playback Up to 2 hours, 15 minutes

    12-inch PowerBook G4
    Maximum Up to 5 hours
    Wireless networking Up to 3 hours, 45 minutes
    DVD playback Up to 2 hours, 45 minutes

    I think I have been getting better numbers with my 12" PB with airport on and bluetooth off off, but that was with the screen down low.
  5. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    Thanks a lot.

    I have a nice backpack for a 15'' powerbook (burton amp pack, very nice, if you have an ipod, get this backpack), so I might get the 15'' PB, because the more I think about it, a 12'' could be too small.

    Again, thanks a lot,

    I might figure that out on my own.

  6. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    A 15-incher will give you about 3 hours of normal use, the 12-inch will give you 4.
    Textediting only, with a slightly dimmed screen, will give you 4:30 on the 12-inch. Textediting with display turned down to 1/10th will give you 4:50..

    The mini dvi isn't an issue at all for me. I have the adapter connected to my screens dvi cable, it's actually easier to plug in the midi-dvi to the 12-inch than a dvi to the 15-inch.
  7. sjpetry macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2004
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    The portability of the 12" can't be beat. Get a monitor for desktop use. I love the 20" Dell 2001FP on my PB 12".
  9. hcuar macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2004
    This has been beaten to death... However, I think it merits an answer.

    If you want superior protability, get the 12" PB. If you want a home only system that you will use on a desk, get the 15" PB.

    That being said, I get 3 hours and 45 minutes on average with my 12" PB listed in my sig. That is with the screen turned to max illumination, BT and WiFi both turned on.
  10. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    For me it the choice allways was between the 12" or the 17" - but thats just me.... :) and I needed the extra cpu power!
  11. 3Memos macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    I would definitely go with the 15" as I own the 12". I was concerned with battery life and portability, but I find myself using the 12" mostly at home and connected to the wall.

    The strengths of the 15" is a larger resolution screen. 1024x768 on 12" is just too small to use most modern OSX apps like FCP and even Photoshop. 12" also lacks a PC card slot, so you can't add additional FW ports, like for my purposes of video editing.

    If you get the 15", go with the backlit keyboard as well. That is a must for me had I known better. But that being said, I love my 12" for what it does (I bought the optional SuperDrive, and I cant be happier).
  12. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    no one can really tell you what to do here. the tradeoffs are personal.

    Most have already stated the obvious differences. the 15" also has a better graphics card and the option to go to 128MB VRAM (I'm not sure if the 12" can have the VRAM upgraded). Also, the 15" has s-video out.

    I've worked on both a 12 and 15 often (I own a 15) and I don't find the 15 any less portable than the 12. The screen on the 15 is larger and widescreen. That and you have a faster CPU, faster graphics, more VRAM (I think) and a backlit keyboard.

    It depends on individual needs. I travel long haul (international flights) a lot and thus the backlit keyboard on its own was the must-have for me. (I hate those USB light stalks).

    The 12s are a beautiful little package too.

    So, look at the feature differences and see if there's any must-haves for you. If not, go to a store and try both a 12 and a 15 on for size.
  13. brandon6684 Guest

    Dec 30, 2002
    When I'm looking for a laptop, I'd rather go with more portability, but it's really up to you and what you are going to do with it. For me it'd be basic stuff liek web browsing e-mail and light productivity. If you are into photo or video editing that much, you may want a bigger screen. Personally, my extent of photo editing is just importing them off the camera and maybe touching them up if there is something more than a little wrong with them(like red eye or too dark), so a 12" would be fine for me.
  14. 3Memos macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    The OP didnt exactly specify what he planned on using his PowerBook for. For educational purposes, the 12" PowerBook is suitable. For any professional use involving graphics, audio or video, then the 15" is best.
  15. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2004
    Moorlough Shore
    Just do what I did... My decision was made on paper for the 12" PB but when I passed by the Apple store and messed around with the 15" PB for half an hour, there was no looking back, 15" it is and ready to order as soon as updates are out. Good luck nevertheless with your choice.
  16. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    Regardless of which PB you buy get the 5400 rpm drive. Barefeats tests show a nice performacne increase. http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html\
    The extra storage is nice too.
  17. ephex macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    same here! that 15" powerbook is just perfect, if a little outdated [but that deserves a different thread, and updates on the way will help :)]. I was originally looking at an iBook 12" or a powerbook 12" or 15", and 15" is just the right size with a beautiful screen. iBook and 12" pb are great for portability, though honestly I would rather have the iBook than the 12" powerbook.

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