17" vs. 12" Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by opoppe, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. opoppe macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004
    I have the opportunity to buy a 17", 1Ghz Powerbook from 2003 or a 12", 1,33 Powerbook at the same price. The 17" has 512 mb ram and a NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go (AGP 4X) video controller, versus the 12" 756 mb ram and GeForce FX Go5200. How do you think they will peform compared to each other?
  2. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    It depends on what's important to you - a big screen or the "ripple effect." In other words, what are you going to use the computer for and how are you going to be using it? I have a 1.33GHz 12" PB and if someone offered me an even trade for a 1GHz 17" it would be a tough call, but I'd have to decline. I use Motion once in a while and Core Image / Core Video is likely going to become more important as time goes on.
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I would wait to see what happens at Paris expo before
    making any PowerBook decisions right now.
    Updates and/or price drops possible.

    12" lighter, faster better battery life, smaller display
    17" heavier and more awkward to lug around. slower, shorter battery life outdated video card, but still a nice machine with a good display.
  4. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    I think it just comes down to portability. If you'll be on the road quite a bit, go 12". If the computer will be stationary a good amount of the time, go 17".
  5. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    I love my 12" PB. So portable, can use it anywhere. For myself I'd go with the 12" as I already have an iMac so don't need a big screen laptop and so the portability issue becomes key. Also like Rod Rod says newer software is just going to need better hardware. You'll just have to decide what you need more: performance and portability, or a big screen
    Easy decision for me, maybe not for you. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll love either one
  6. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    i say get a 12" and a 20" cinema display. It costs less and the 17" is a little too big to lug around.
  7. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    i'd second excalibur. 12'' with external display.
  8. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Personally, I feel the 12" is too small and cramps everything up. I wouldn't buy either... I'd get a 14" iBook and get an external display w/spanning hack ;)
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    What's the difference between buying now or later? They're both used computers!

    Anyway, like others have said, it depends on whether you want portability or screen resolution. I know people suggest a 12" and external monitor, but you can't carry an external monitor with you (ok, you can, but that'd be silly. ;) ), so you'd have to deal with the small screen all the time while away from home.
  10. Euan macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    a good option, or a 15" PB?
  11. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero

    IF.... Apple had updated the PowerBooks at Paris Expo
    or dropped the prices, a newer model may have been a better deal, that's all.
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
  13. kerpow macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2004

    I don't know. I have the 12" 1.33ghz PB with 768mb RAM - so identical to the one you mention. I truly love it but if someone offered to swap with that 17" 1ghz I think I might take them up on the offer. For a few reasons:

    1. Memory. I have 768mb RAM so to put more in there the only method is to buy a 1gb RAM chip and try to get a few pennies for the 512mb on ebay. With the 17", you get 2 slots so you could put in a 512 or even a 256mb that would speed up Tiger (512mb seems a little slow) or fill it up to 2gb RAM.

    2. Backlit keyboard. I do surf away at night time or even in the evening. My living room has quite poor lighting and sometimes I struggle to see the keys.

    3. Screen size. It is a little cramped. I'd like to have a few more widgets. Be able to switch between apps a little easier rather than always using expose.

    As others have said, the choice is yours but I only bought the 12" PB because it was the only one I could afford. Great little machine though, makes others weep with envy :)
  14. devastator777 macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2005
    New York City
    I develope "Popeye" arms becuase of the 17inch 1.5 gigs.

    My left forearm is bigger than my right, lmao....
  15. mongoos150 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2005
    A 12" screen is *awfully* small. Check back after Paris.
  16. Eluon macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    My 12 inch iBook is very difficult to be used as a main computer. I used it as a main computer for roughly 2 years of college and it about killed the eyes. Luckily I have the iMac this year and it has made life so much easier.

    I would look at getting the 17incher because of the backlit keyboard and it's screen size.
  17. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I was using a PC with a 17" screen and a 12" Powerbook for over a year.

    In the end, I used the PB more than the PC. Even if I needed the PC, I would log on from the PB with Remote Desktop.

    Only you can tell if the small screen will bug you.

    The 17" is a lovely machine but I wanted portability so the 12" is my dream machine.

  18. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    For the price of a 17" you may as well get the 12" and a 17" external monitor.

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