15" PB as desktop replacement?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by munckee, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    I'm looking getting a 15" PB in the near future as a portable desktop replacement.

    Will it be able to:
    -run my scanner (a cannon lide 30) which is powered through its USB cable?
    -run multiple external drives (can I connect 2 or 3 external HD's to a USB hub and then connect the hub to the PB?)
    -run both of those items and an external monitor at the same time, while plugged in (I've read that PB's need to be plugged in to power an external monitor)?

    I'm sure I'll come up with a couple more, but those are a good start.
  2. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
  3. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks, but I'm pretty set on the 15". I really didn't mean this to be a "which one should I get" thread. Just a checkpoint for me to make sure that the 15" will do everything that I need it to do.

    Now if the 17" will do something that the 15" can't handle, please let me know. But I was under the impression that they were pretty similar in capability.
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I'd suggest getting a powered hub. Then all those things are possible. The USB ports on a PB don't offer much power. I think it is not true that you need to be plugged in to power the monitor -- the monitor has its own power source.
  5. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Nice. Didn't know they made powered hubs. Is there a brand or style or anything that you'd recommend?
  6. cplusd macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    I've owned a 17 and a 2 15's, between the 2 PowerBooks you're only gaining screen real estate. I ended up going back to a 15 mainly because of the portability reasons. Now this is purely subjective but here are the reasons I'd take the 15 over the 17 any day of the week.

    1. For myself it's a much more portable notebook.
    2. The size/weight ratio just feels more rugged.
    3. It fits with a sleeve in my booq packback.
    4. Working on a small table I also have room for a mouse.
    5. Easier to carry around from meeting to meeting.

    There are a few more but those come to mind first..

    I'm a designer/flash dev and I use this as a desktop replacement without any complaints.
  7. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks. Again, I'm already sold on the 15"; don't really need convincing between the 15" and the 17" (I was debating between the 15 and the 12, but couldn't justify the expenditure on the 12"). I really just wanted to know if I'd be able to plug all my crap into it and have it work.

  8. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    I've used a 15" for 4 years as my DT replacement, and can tell you that in my opinion, they should only make Laptops. It is so much more convenient, easier to setup, and requires less space. It will do everything a tower does, the only drawback is expandability, most especially with the video card, but that shouldn't be much of a problem anymore.

  9. deermatt macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2005
    im using a 15in 1.5ghz , 1gb ram, 80gb hd, 8x superdrive as my desktop right now, and loving it , but i might go back to a desktop just for the fact that i could get a bigger screen, higher resolution, and more computer for the money
  10. pubwvj macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    I've been using a notebook computer for my main computer, e.g., desktop replacement, for well over a decade. My current one, a PowerBook Pismo is no five years old and still doing a fine job.

    The only reason I see for wanting to have a 'desktop' machine is for bleeding edge speed and the PCI internal expansion slots. You don't need either to do any of the things you asked about.

    I use Firewire for external drives and USB for my scanner/printer/fax/copier (HPOJ7130aoi). Prior to that I used SCSI on my older PowerBooks for and Wallaby (MacCompatible) for all of this and more.

    Mine doesn't need to be plugged in to wall power to run an external monitor. We have used it to watch DVD's on our large screen video monitor with the PowerBook Pismo on battery. Works fine.

    Notebook computers use a lot less electrical power, take up less space and are mobile so they can be taken with you for work or simply to keep them safe or to put them away. PowerBooks are also built more ruggedly than desktop units.

    The only down side is the screen is not quite as good as a top quality CRT, but no LCD display is that good. The current LCD displays, and even the ones as old as in my Pismo, are excellent. Life just keeps getting better and better. :)
  11. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2005
    except for expandability, you won't miss much. I have a 12" PB with a 20" display for those times I need more screen real estate (illustrator, sketch book). For me it's plenty. by the way, scanner, external HD's, etc.. will all work.
  12. cplusd macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    I've debated in the past about that same combo (12 PB and 20 LCD). You really have to put all the options into perspective. If you're going to be doing a lot of work with the PowerBook's LCD then the 15 would be be the way to go. If you're machine has to be a workhorse and need tons of ram, then the 15 a winner (15 = 2gb ram, 12 = 1.25gb ram). I do a lot of After Effects and Photoshop work and the extra ram helps huge. But having the 20 ACD is a nice option too if you're going to be doing a lot of work on it. Just remember with the 12 you lose gigabit networking, less capable ram, mediocre video card that can't run the 30 (for you true players), no pcmcia slot, less resolution, no backlick keyboard, mini dvi port (misplace cable and you're screwed, would have to reorder one) and last but not lest the 12 I believe shares the same LCD as the 12 iBook, or at least it appears.
  13. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I use my 15" Al PB as a desktop replacement as it is almost permanently perched on an iCurve at the center of my computer desk. It is hooked up with HK sound stick speakers, Powered USB2.0 hub, Powered Firewire hub, Powered Firewire 800 hub, and 23" ACD. I use it as a clamshell mode as a 23" screen is big enough to do CS2 jobs and other computing duties. It's optical slot is located at the front which comes in handy if you use it as a desktop replacment (you don't want to move it sideway to put in DVD or CD each time). Those powered hubs are good way to protect PB's internal ports as "wear and tear" will done on the hubs not the PB's internal port.

    When I need to update the OS with Software Update, I inplug those hubs before the update to be on the safe side. I also use external HDs (250 GB Lacie triple interface, 160 GB Acomdata, 250 GB Maxtor, and 100 GB Lacie mobile HD). My PB still has over 60 GB of free space because I store most of the heavy data/files on the external drives.

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