14" iBook - good buy?

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
768
15
CA
Well, I decided I wanted to get an iBook, and I was pondering my options between a 12" iBook/Powerbook or a 14" iBook. I figured that since I wanted the computer to last me for a while (maybe 4 years tops), I thought a 14" would be better than a 12" since I'd want to use it also at home and not strictly as a "on-the-go" notebook. I figured I'd upgrade the RAM to 512 MB as well.

Opinions? Thanks for all your comments too btw.
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
They're all good machines that should last you 4 years. I had an iBook G4 933 mhz before I got my current PowerBook, and as much as I like the little bit of extra power this machine offers, I really miss having the 14" display, even if it is the same resolution. The PowerBook also gets much warmer, another reason why I miss my iBook. Whatever you decide, you should opt for the largest possible hard drive and get as much RAM as you can afford.
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
MUCKYFINGERS said:
Well, I decided I wanted to get an iBook, and I was pondering my options between a 12" iBook/Powerbook or a 14" iBook. I figured that since I wanted the computer to last me for a while (maybe 4 years tops), I thought a 14" would be better than a 12" since I'd want to use it also at home and not strictly as a "on-the-go" notebook. I figured I'd upgrade the RAM to 512 MB as well.

Opinions? Thanks for all your comments too btw.
I'd personally go 12". The 12" and 14" have the same resolution, so unless you're old and your vision sucks :), the 14" has no real advantage. If you plan to hook up a monitor to it, the PB might make more sense unless you plan on doing the spanning hack on the iBook.
 

pna

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2005
318
0
MUCKYFINGERS said:
Well, I decided I wanted to get an iBook, and I was pondering my options between a 12" iBook/Powerbook or a 14" iBook. I figured that since I wanted the computer to last me for a while (maybe 4 years tops), I thought a 14" would be better than a 12" since I'd want to use it also at home and not strictly as a "on-the-go" notebook. I figured I'd upgrade the RAM to 512 MB as well.

Opinions? Thanks for all your comments too btw.
I recently helped an ex-girlfriend make exactly this choice...

Honestly, the 12" powerbook vs. 12" ibook I feel like is a tough choice given the price differential, but the 14" ibook is basically the same price as a 12" powerbook once you upgrade the ram, and in my opinion is a totally inferior machine. The 14" ibook is heavy (more than 6 pounds, I think), so it's not great for lugging around. The monitor is bigger, but has the same resolution as the 12" powerbook, so you see just as much, even though it's smaller on the powerbook. It's slower, you have to do the spanning hack to plug an external monitor into it and do anything but mirror, and it has no DVI out, so the image quality on an external LCD is inferior. It also has less video ram, so if you do plug in a big monitor to it, expose gets all jerky (like with the mac mini). I just don't see any advantage, aside from a marginally bigger built in monitor.

If you're comfortable at the price point of the 14" ibook, then I'd really suggest getting the 12" powerbook instead. Use it for everything, and then if you really find the display too small for home use, wait until the floor drops out of the prices on those dell 20" widescreen LCD's ($325 a while ago vs. $800 for the apple version), and plug the dvi out of the powerbook into it. Best of all worlds -- totally portable, great battery life, and a monster great looking display at home.

You asked for opinions... ;)

I have a feeling I'm about to get flamed by everyone with a 14" iBook... Let me be clear that I like the machines a lot, I just think the 12" powerbook is superior at the same price point.
 

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
768
15
CA
Okay, pardon my ignorance, but what do you all mean when you say you're seeing the same amount on the 12" as the 14"?
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
pna said:
I recently helped an ex-girlfriend make exactly this choice...

Honestly, the 12" powerbook vs. 12" ibook I feel like is a tough choice given the price differential, but the 14" ibook is basically the same price as a 12" powerbook once you upgrade the ram, and in my opinion is a totally inferior machine. The 14" ibook is heavy (more than 6 pounds, I think), so it's not great for lugging around. The monitor is bigger, but has the same resolution as the 12" powerbook, so you see just as much, even though it's smaller on the powerbook. It's slower, you have to do the spanning hack to plug an external monitor into it and do anything but mirror, and it has no DVI out, so the image quality on an external LCD is inferior. It also has less video ram, so if you do plug in a big monitor to it, expose gets all jerky (like with the mac mini). I just don't see any advantage, aside from a marginally bigger built in monitor.

If you're comfortable at the price point of the 14" ibook, then I'd really suggest getting the 12" powerbook instead. Use it for everything, and then if you really find the display too small for home use, wait until the floor drops out of the prices on those dell 20" widescreen LCD's ($325 a while ago vs. $800 for the apple version), and plug the dvi out of the powerbook into it. Best of all worlds -- totally portable, great battery life, and a monster great looking display at home.

You asked for opinions... ;)

I have a feeling I'm about to get flamed by everyone with a 14" iBook... Let me be clear that I like the machines a lot, I just think the 12" powerbook is superior at the same price point.
i have a 12 inch clamshell ibook (which i have had for over five years and still adore) and when i first saw the 14 inch ibook i really liked how big the screen looked to me

i guess i could be categorized as older with diminishing vision and i found the 14 inch ibook very easy to look at

and having the original clamshell ibook at 6.3 pounds or so and quite thick, the 14 inch ibook at 5.9 pounds and a much thinner form factor seemed quite easy for carrying around

of course, the current 12 inch powerbook or 12 inch ibook are both under 5 pounds so they must feel really light and portable

basically both ibook sizes and the 12 inch powerbook all seem like excellent deals
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Today (the 25th) is the last day for the $100 education rebate,

so if you're not buying directly at your local Apple Store , you've missed any benefit of getting a current iBook.

I would either get a 12" PowerBook tomorrow or wait another 30 days
for the long over due iBook revision.

If you wait, you'll have the option of a new revision or a price drop on
closeout iBook models.
 

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
768
15
CA
Would I have to actually buy the Powerbook and receive it tomorrow at my local Applestore if I wanted the $100 education rebate?

And can anyone answer my question about the 12" vs 14" display? why are they the same (according to everyone)?
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
MUCKYFINGERS said:
Would I have to actually buy the Powerbook and receive it tomorrow at my local Applestore if I wanted the $100 education rebate?

And can anyone answer my question about the 12" vs 14" display? why are they the same (according to everyone)?
As far as I understand you MUST be in possesion of your purchase by 6/25

The rebate subcontractor is hard line on the rules of the rebate.

I would get clarification from the Apple Store manager just to be sure.

The resolution of the 12 and 14" iBooks being the same gives you a bit crisper display in the 12".

If you're a bit short on a PowerBook, but have good credit, Apple does 90 days same as cash, but be sure you pay it off before the 90 days are over
or you'll get slammed with interest.

The 12 " PowerBook really is a superior machine

BTW you can get 12" 1.5 GHz PB refurb for $1499 OR
a DUAL G5 1.8 for the same price. both excellent choices in your price range.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PowerBook 12-inch 1.5GHz SuperDrive - Apple Certified Refurbished
512MB DDR333 SDRAM
80GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 (64MB DDR)
AirPort Extreme
Bluetooth 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rates
Learn More
Price: $1,499.00
Estimated Ship:
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Power Mac G5 DUAL 1.8GHz/ 256MB/ 80G/ SuperDrive/ PCI/ GeFr5200/ GigE/ 56K - Apple Certified Refurbished
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Power Mac G5 DUAL 1.8GHz 512MB/ 160GB/ SuperDrive/ GigE/ 56K - Apple Certified
Learn More
Price: $1,599.00
Estimated Ship:
3-5 business days
Free Shipping
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
MUCKYFINGERS said:
And can anyone answer my question about the 12" vs 14" display? why are they the same (according to everyone)?
They both run at 1024x768 resolution. So you have the same number of pixels on each. Going with the 14" doesn't get you any more screen to work with. If you open an app on either system, it will look the same. Hence no real advantage with the 14".
 

johan_tanying

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2004
38
0
Gothenburg
It may also be worth noticing that the 12" iBook and the 12" PowerBook have exactly the same screen resolution (768x1024) as well as all other specs. From what I have heard arethey actually of the same model from the same manufacturer (and when comparing my iBook with my collegue's PB at work we could not see any difference - but we were not doing any scientific test, just a general impression). However, all other things are to the PB's favour.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
The PowerBooks offer a better processor and graphics card and are far better suited for supporting an external display.

This is really the way to go for the user on the go.

By the time you put together a decent 12" iBook configuration
with 512RAM, 60GB HD and Bluetooth, you're most of the way to a 12" Powerbook anyway.

A 12" iBook is essentially a mini with a 12" display.
 

Sam I Am

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2005
112
0
Ann Arbor, MI
Yes, the 12" and 14" have the same resolution. I personally like the 14" better. It's the same as TVs: people get a bigger screen because they like to see it bigger. So when you are watching DVDs, it's just like having a portable DVD player with a larger screen. It's not quite as light, but I personally think it's nicer.