14" iBook vs. 12" Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rossjohn, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. rossjohn macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2006
    Buying my first Mac. I've narrowed my choice down to a 14" iBook, or a 12" Powerbook. If you were to assume that both machines were the same price (both spec'd just as the apple site shows them), is the Powermac always the winner?? Use will be for the normal email, web, photo stuff, along with garageband. Who knows what I'll want to do down the road, though. I want the laptop, because I'll be using it in the basement and garage. I know this isn't a lot of info, but I'm 50/50 on what to do, and am buying something, tomorrow night. Can't wait any longer. Was waiting for MWSF, to see what came out, but Macbook seems a little too much.

  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Welcome to Macs. I can assure you that you'll be happy with either machine.

    You don't want to wait for more (cheaper) MacBook releases? I'd recommend the PowerBook at the moment considering you want to play with Garageband. :)
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    ibook advantages:
    512 built in RAM/higher max RAM capacity
    better graphics card
    better wifi range
    better battery life
    bigger screen

    powerbook advantages:
    .08 Ghz faster
    twice the video memory (though on a worse card...)
    DVI out
    audio line in
    smaller and lighter

    As you can see, these are pretty small differences. I personally would go with the 12" ibook (and I did!) over either of these, or wait longer for more mactels (but you said you can't wait longer).

    So if you don't want the 12" ibook and can't wait... I'd get the powerbook. Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately I want a laptop to be small and light, and the 12" powerbook accomplishes that in a very attractive little package.
  4. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    I would say the PB if you want it to last a bit longer. Or you get the 12''iBook for the cheaper price then upgrade more easily when the MacBooks or whatever are released. ;) When I was looking at buying a laptop, I also considered the 14'', but it was way too chunky for my liking.
  5. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    That's interesting because those two machines are my current set-up.

    I like the 14" because of the height for seeing the full length of the writing page.

    And I like the little powerbook for backup and size and taking it with me. Seemed redundant to get a 12" ibook.

    Plus, I got a great deal on both. Really love both of them.
  6. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    the 14" iBook is pretty clunky as far as size goes. If you aren't gonna be on the go too much with it then it's okay. If you are gonna be recording, though, having audio-in is a big deal. Those USB audio in converters are a hassle and don't always give you the kind of quality you want.

    You ask most people on these forums and they'll tell you that right now the 12" iBook is apple's best value (not counting the new MacBook Pro's!!). This doesn't mean it suits your needs the best, but I think you should definitely consider it.

    Questions to ask yourself to help decide:
    1) Will i be taking this around with me regularly?

    If you answer yes to this, then I'd cross off the 14" ibook from your choices. I'd also add the 12" iBook in. The mhz difference is neglible and it is almost as small as the powerbook, more durable, less hot, and get's longer battery life.

    2) Will i be plugging this in to an external monitor? If so, what kind - DVI or VGA?

    This is relevant in a couple of ways. First if you are plugging it in to monitor at the desk, then the screen size of the laptop is less important. There's no point in having a 14" screen if you're only using it once in a while. Secondly, the iBook cannot connect to a DVI display and I believe the powerbook can do higher resolutions than the iBook when it is plugged in to a monitor.

    3) Do I have a very large appetite for digital media content - IE do I have an ever-growing and very large collection of digitized music, movies, photos, etc?
    It's worth noting that the powerbook comes with a larger hard drive, but all of these notebooks can be customized to have up to a 100 GB hard drive.

    4) What kind of recording am I doing? Does it need to sound really professional?

    Audio line in is only available on the powerbook. It's really important for audio recording...
  7. BlackDan macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2004
    iBook definitely. It's bigger screen is handy when working for longer periods and of better quality IMO than the 12" display. Speed is not very different, at least not so much as to justify the price difference.

    Anyway, if it's not urgent, I'd wait a couple of weeks, maybe see what's in store for february/march and make my decision from there... It's no secret that PowerPC will be considered EOL after 2006 and you never know when software will stop coming in universal binaries and be intel-only... But then, if you decide to never upgrade the software or replace the machine each year, these considerations might not be an issue for you
  8. skimaxpower Guest

    Jan 13, 2006
    go for the 12

    When it comes to notebooks, I always say go for the small form factor. You can always hook up an external monitor to the 12" powerbook when you're at home (thus giving you a spiffy dual-screen setup). But you can't always make your notebook lighter and smaller when you're carrying it around with you.

    Besides, if you decide to upgrade the notebook in 18 months, you won't have wasted all that money on the bigger LCD that's permanently attached to a dog of a computer. You can just plug your newer, better notebook into your existing external monitor.

    12" powerbook has very good DVI out capability - hot swappable too. I considered the same options that you are, and I'm very glad I went for the 12" powerbook.
  9. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I just sold my iBook.

    I already miss it.

    PB 12" running REALLY hot as full time machine (is this normal?)
    and it is only a month old but the hd got overheated and overtaxed with all the file swapping and trashing I had to do (3000 files plus) from iBook and

    it freaked out. I don't even know what happened to the hard drive.

    Now, I like this little machine but -- the FAN IS CONSTANTLY ON and I know this can't be good. IT is going into Apple next week for a new hard drive.

    Even though I know I "taxed" the drive with a lot of work -- I think it is the heat factor.

    I gently took some of those cooler blue packs from the freezer and covered them up with plastic and put them under the PB to cool it down! Worked!
    Lesson of story: get the Ibook

    it's faster, too. Even though this is suppsed to be 1.5ghz. The ram differnce is the key. ibook 14 can take 1.5gigs. pbs only take 1.25gbs. PBs 12" are slower.
  10. h0e0h macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    mom owns the 14" iBook and i own the 12" PB. We are both going to school... she takes here to school where she teaches and then takes it to night classes where she's going for her masters. I take mine back and forth from the house to school to work. She is probably less stressful on her machine, it stays in its case while in transport in a sleeve by itself. She carries a seperate bag for her school books and laptop accessories. I carry my PB, school books, and work files all in the same Booq bag. She's had her iBook approximately 15 months, where mine's 21 months old. Her machine, however, looks significantly more used than mine. It seems that her keys are a lot more worn and the casing is significantly scratched just like the average iPod... because of the white plastic. My ALBook, however... the keys are not near as worn and the casing isn't nearly as cosmetically unattractive, though one of my feet is missing. Obviously Mac users have more of an appearance phenom than other laptop users, so appearance is everything. If you plan to transport a lot... go for the PB IMHO. I love mine and will only upgrade to a MacBook when it becomes available in the 17".
  11. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    Personally I favour the 12" Powerbook. The only advantages of the 14" iBook are slightly better airport and a bigger screen -with the same resolution, so you can't fit more on, you only get a stretched view of everything, making text, etc a little easier to read.
  12. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004

    You both need to get Zeroshock sleeves and iSkins to protect the keyboards.
  13. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    If you're serious about recording much of anything, you're better off with an iMac.

    For basic portable needs a refurb 12" 1.33 GHz iBook would cover you well for $799.00 leaving you enough to add 1 GB of RAM.
    The limitation would mostly be the small 40 GB HD which won't cut it
    for any accumulative audio files without a backup drive.

    By the time you properly configure a 12" PowerBook with a larger HD and
    extra RAM, you've gone way over the cost of a 17" dual core Intel iMac.

    I would take a hard look at how much you really NEED a portable.

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