15" Powerbook for College vs. 12"

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I'm off to College in the fall. I hate to start another big 12" vs" 15" discussion, but I just have a quick question about how suitable the 15" is for school. My concern is notetaking in class. Anyone have experience doing that? That is the only thing I'm not sure about with the 15".

I noticed a lot of college students do have the 15, but do you/they use them for notetaking/carrying around on a daily basis?

Thanks for the help!
 

kant

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2004
337
0
crazydreaming said:
I noticed a lot of college students do have the 15, but do you/they use them for notetaking/carrying around on a daily basis?

Thanks for the help!
Get the 12" AND an external monitor. Gives you plenty of screen space in your room and the fantastic portability of the 12" for carrying around.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
Well Im about to go buy a 12'' Powerbook for college like you.


I chose 12 over the 15 which i originally wanted was because recently after going to orientation, I found out there isnt alot of room on the desks provided int he lecture hall. Hell those "desks" are more like an arm rest with a little area barely fitting a regular sized piece of paper.

I figured if I had gotten the 15 I would have to make a balancing act since half of the laptop wouldnt fit on it. Let alone a 12'' wont fit on it already.

I also chose the 12 because the battery life arent too hot. The battery life on a 12 ibook i heard is 4 hours, and a 12'' powerbook is 3 - 3.5 hours, I dont even want to think about a 15'' powerbook. I wouldnt imagine it would last me 3 classes.

So thats my reasoning behind the 12 and the 15 for a college student :)
 

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
wako said:
Well Im about to go buy a 12'' Powerbook for college like you.


I chose 12 over the 15 which i originally wanted was because recently after going to orientation, I found out there isnt alot of room on the desks provided int he lecture hall. Hell those "desks" are more like an arm rest with a little area barely fitting a regular sized piece of paper.

I figured if I had gotten the 15 I would have to make a balancing act since half of the laptop wouldnt fit on it. Let alone a 12'' wont fit on it already.

I also chose the 12 because the battery life arent too hot. The battery life on a 12 ibook i heard is 4 hours, and a 12'' powerbook is 3 - 3.5 hours, I dont even want to think about a 15'' powerbook. I wouldnt imagine it would last me 3 classes.

So thats my reasoning behind the 12 and the 15 for a college student :)
good point
 

mxpiazza

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2003
597
0
cleveland, oh
i've had both... if you plan on taking it to class, or back and forth to home, i would get the 12", because you can't beat the portability, and it actually fits on the more narrow-style of desks. for me, the screen resolution of the 12" gets in the way sometimes... the 15" will let you have side-by-side word documents, your buddy list, etc. you could always buy the 12", a monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc... but if you're only going to be portable a little bit, then go 15"
 

crowdaddy

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2004
151
0
East Ontario
I'm in the same situation as you all.

I just went out today to scout out the 15" vs. 12". Came back feeling satisfied with a decision to go with the 12", it really isn't that tiny. I guess maybe if you are used to staying a 23" day in and day out you'd feel neglected, but for me, who is used to a 17" CRT, the 12" feels perfect for carting around and taking notes on it. Furthermore, the 15" almost seemed TOO big for the purposes I just mentioned. If money is tight, I'd suggest you get your parents to buy you ADC student, that way you can save 200$ on the edu prices...or 100$ saved if you pay for the membership yourself.
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
If you plan to take notes, I think you should go with the 12". Some of these desks can be kind of cramped. Not to mention for that much carrying, you probably want a 12".

I'm sure you can swing taking notes with a 15", but a 12" would sure make your life easier.
 

jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
I'd take the 15" personally, especially if your dorming for your first year. Lots of times I would show my friends something on my ibook or watch a movie on it or whatever and the 12" was a bitch. The 15" powerbooks aren't that much bigger then the 12" so I would really go for that if you have the money.


As far as taking notes, it's not going to make much of a difference. You are either in a really really tiny desk where when you place even the 12" powerbook you won't have enough space to write. Or you are placed in a really big giant desk with plenty of room to space your things out. As far as working on one of those crammed desks, if you really really need to take hand written notes just keep the notebook on your lap. Also, don't count on bringing your computer to class too often. The only times I ever brought my ibook to class it turned out that all I did was get distracted from the lecture. So you won't really be bringing it to class to begin with.

If your taking a CS class though, they use tables for those classes which are plenty big to fit a 15" powerbook.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
I posted this in the other college related thread in here and I thought it might help in this one:

Spanky Deluxe said:
If you're really worried about being less productive on a 12" laptop (which I can understand) then you could always use the money you've saved (which is about $500 I think) to help pay for a 20-inch Cinema (799). Maybe get an Apple Keyboard and Mouse and then you can plug your powerbook into the big screen etc when you're back in you're room and not in a notetaking-only environment where screen res doesn't really matter. The screen would be an investment because you'd be able to use it with a more powerful desktop should you feel the urge for more power after a year or two. Hell if you get a wireless keyboard and mouse then you won't even have to plug anything in!!

15 inch Powerbook with Superdrive - 2299

12 inch Powerbook with Superdrive - 1699
20 inch Apple Cinema Display - 799
Apple Wireless Mouse - 59
Apple Wireless Keyboard - 59

So a 15 inch Powerbook that's slightly faster (read negligable) and has Firewire 800 is $2299 whereas a 12 inch Powerbook with an Apple 20" display and wireless keyboard and mouse is $2616.

The latter configuration would be more practical for lectures, more practical in your room and would leave you with an awesome screen and wireless stuff to use on a future powermac desktop should you want to go that route.

All of the prices are from the normal Apple store since I don't know how to get into the US Edu store since I live in the UK.

Also, if you're only interested in the Combo versions of the Powerbooks then there wouldn't be any difference in processor speed between the 12 and 15" models but the 12 would have 20gb less hard drive space. The price 'difference' would remain the same.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
I suggest that you buy older generation 15-incher. They're about the same price as current 12!! :)
 

the_ron

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2003
25
0
Charlottesville, VA
I got a 15-inch Powerbook for school last year and I am pleased with it. I hardly ever take it to class though. Like jadam, I almost always got distracted when I took it into class (although sometimes that was the point of taking it). It was usually also just way more efficient to take notes by hand as all of my teachers drew diagrams which were a total pain to reproduce on computer. Although are nice in some classes where teachers post their powerpoint presentations online before class.
I am glad I got a notebook though, as its nice to take around and do homework on. I also hauled it around my friend's rooms to show them stuff. I am glad I got the 15-incher too. I just love having enough screen area to have a browser window and instant messaging window open together, or two Word documents.
If you're worried about hauling the 15-incher around I would suggest getting a bag built to fit it. I have the very busy man from Crumpler I also use it as my everyday book bag. The computer does make it a little heavier than usual, but it never bothered me.
No matter which one you choose, I think you'll be happy. It really boils down to how much you value screen real estate.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
crazydreaming said:
Thanks, but if I went 15" it would be used, no way can I afford a new one.
Go with the 12" for portability and also the fact that you get a warranty with a new product.
 

JonMaker

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2004
222
0
here.
crazydreaming said:
Exactly, if I went with the 15", we are talking an older Generation used model. Therefore not as fast as a new Powerbook 12".
Actually, the last revision 15" would be about as fast as a new 12".

What about screen resolution? Doesn't 1024x768 seem a bit small? I know you can plug it into an external display, but you can't bring the external display to class.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
JonMaker said:
Actually, the last revision 15" would be about as fast as a new 12".
Processor-wise, yes. but the newer models have faster hard disks and also feature the sudden motion sensor.
 

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
MacHarne said:
You might want to check out the thread you started yesterday on the same topic:
right here

Or also you can search the forums for, perhaps, "college", "powerbook", "notes" or any combination of those.
Thanks. I hate to start multiple threads on the same general topic. But sometimes I think it's appropriate to divide it into different subjects.
 

ph0rk

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2003
262
8
SWVA
mxpiazza said:
i've had both... if you plan on taking it to class, or back and forth to home, i would get the 12", because you can't beat the portability, and it actually fits on the more narrow-style of desks.
Actually, you can (an x22 weighs in at 2.74 lbs!). The ~ 1lb difference between 12 and 15 is negligible, and the extra real estate is definately worth it.

Now, if apple had a real ultralight portable, that would be different, as it is the 12" and 15" are essentially both in the thin and light category.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
I really dont understand why people keep saying to go out and buy a new LCD screen for a laptop. Especially for the college students. For me personally, Im definately not going to be doing that. I probably will get one but not for college. For me personally, Ill be living in a dorm and running the risk of someone stealing my laptop is already something i have to worry about, last thing I need is to worry about two things.
 

kant

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2004
337
0
wako said:
Ill be living in a dorm and running the risk of someone stealing my laptop is already something i have to worry about, last thing I need is to worry about two things.
Good point. I wasn't thinking specifically of an LCD though. A good used 17" CRT from the local repair shop shouldn't be more than 25 or 30 dollars. Hell, you can buy brand new ones for <100.