12" VS 15" Powerbook - dilemma.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Kinseek, May 15, 2005.

  1. Kinseek macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2005
    I intend to buy a new powerbook soon, but I`m unsure what model to go for. It`s either the 12" or 15" Powerbook. My main concern is how am I going to feel carrying the 15" Powerbook around? I don`t really want a monster that takes up a alot of place and feels dangerous to just put in your sack. I currenty have an 12" G3 600 iBook that feels very nice to just tuck away and pull up. It doesn`t feel super-expensive and fragile as an 15" might be. I looked at an 17" Powerbook at an neighbours, and while it certainly was nice and relatively light-weight, was quite too big for me.

    I`m going to use it "mainly" for university purposes, making notes and stuff in class. Though honestly it will more truthfully mainly be used for gaming, music and video. Of course the bigger the better for the later, and the 15" has a better graphics card then the 12", in addition to a faster processor, bigger HD and S-Video out (which sounds very nice).

    So is the extra 3" that much more of an ballast, or will I feel pretty much the same as I do know with my 12" iBook, ie not that much of a difference in terms of portability? I´m leaning in favour of the 15" since it has better specs, but what do any of you think?
  2. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    Well, before reading I can tell you I will not be of help you!!

    I owned a 15" Ti Powerbook. It felt like a lead weight.

    Now I own a 12" iBook, and wish I had a 15" powerbook!!

    I think you've got to trade off what you want. My main reason for wanting a new AL Powerbook is mainly the extra screen estate, and let me tell you, the quality of the 15" screen far suppasses the iBook on every level. It is heavier, more cumbersome and it feels like you're carrying a new born baby around with you ("PLEASE wash your hands before touching") but I would probably go with this.

    Like I say, thats only as I want one.

    The nature of the human being though, is that whatever model you choose, before long you'll probably be scooting to ebay to see what else is on offer.
  3. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I was in the same boat as you. I couldn't decide between a 12" + screen or a 15" (which was more expensive, by about $300, because it was the 1.67 ghz 128 VRAM one). Anyways, I ended up getting the 12" and I'm glad I did. A lot of people will tell you how horrible the screen was -- I would have too, seeing it at the Apple store -- but now that it's home and I'm using it, I think it's the perfect size. I do notice the screen size sometimes, but 3" won't make too much of a difference (and I had a 15" PC laptop before this). I compared the quality of the screen next to the PC WXGA, and it looks stunning next to it!

    The best thing is that I can carry this baby around ANYWHERE, and to me, that's what you're really looking for. Go for it -- I don't think you'll be disappointed. (if you decide you need the real estate, you can always buy a cheap LCD to hook it up to later on).
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Go for the 15 inch one simply because of the better specs. I don't think you'll really have all that much trouble lugging it 'round. Plus, the better GPU should really help with that gaming. :D
  5. Kinseek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2005
    Thanks for the input.

    I`ve decided to go for the 15" Powerbook. The extra power is worth it IMO, and I figure it won`t be that an hassle to carry around. I`m thinking that the iBook is already one of the smallest laptops out there, so a little bigger size for some more power is justifiable. And bigger screen is always nice to have when you are first using the mac, which I of course intend to do :cool:.

    Can`t wait to get my hands on it now...
  6. oriol macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2005
    right behind ya!
    if u already decided good for u, i decided to get a 12" because carring a monster to class (im going college) everyday NO THANKS, the specs are better but don't forget u r getting it because of the portabilily if u want power just get a PM. that's the way i see it.

    my 12" powerbook is perfect for everything, im glad i didn't get the 15" monster.

    my two cents
  7. brandon6684 Guest

    Dec 30, 2002
    I'm been having several similar problems deciding, although my decision is between high end/midrange and low end the laptop vs desktop so it' between the the iBook, iMac, PowerBook, Mac mini, and even the eMac with the new VRAM, but for the sake of this discussion I'll limit myself to the PowerBook portion.

    So if I go with highend/midrange(iMac vs PowerBook) and go with the PowerBook, I still have a dilemma, although I could easily decided if I picked anything else besides a PowerBook(12" iBook, cheapest mini, 2GHz 17" iMac, or $999 eMac). To carry it around, I would much prefer the 12". I used to have a 15" Dell, and it seemed to big(although the PowerBook would be much lighter and thinner) to carry around much, but the 12" is like carrying around book or something. On the other hand, if I got one, it would be to replace my current G3 iMac, so it would also be my primary desktop machine and 12" is smaller than what I'd like for a primary desktop screen(I've considered an iBook/mini duo, but PowerBooks are a bit to pricey for this), but the 15" would be adequate. Another problem is that the 12" is the crippled on of the PowerBooks line. It lacks many feature of it's big brothers such as the backlit keyboard(sure it's more of an ooh neat! feature for me), faster processors(if you go with 1.67 GHz, but not a huge increase), better video card with option for 128MB of VRAM(could help you survive and extra OS update or two if you keep it for a while), ability to hold more RAM(that 768MB gap could be a factor in the future, and could also help you get through an extra OS update too), gigabit ethernet(very useful to some, especially if you have two computers with GigE, and also see VRAM and RAM notes),DVI and S-Video(just gives you more video output options without and adapter), and FireWire 800(useful of you have a DV cam with FW800). While the 15" seems to outclass the 12" in nearly every area, the 12" does have a big card to play since we area talking about laptops, it is smaller and more portable, and that is a very big card and make it tougher to choose.

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