Advice on buying iBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Russ015, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Russ015 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    Hi, I'm new here - thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out.

    I'm a long term PC user (sorry), but I'm strongly considering buying an iBook (14.1", 933mhz G4 model) for a variety of reasons, but just wanted clarifying a few issues:

    1. In terms of money, the equivalent in the PC notebook field allows on average a 1.4ghz centrino with the same memory and hard disc allocations. I know it's a tired question and often it's said that the two processors are incomparable (different architecture etc.), but can anyone describe the difference in performance between 1.4ghz centrino processer and a G4 933mhz? Many people seem to be saying that the G4 is on its way out.

    2. I would need to connect the iBook to my existing PC and transfer a lot of files of various types. Is there a way that I can just ethernet one to the other and download, without having to buy any extra software for either machine?


  2. niter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003

    I recently switched completely with the sale of my PC Laptop and older PowerMac G4 to get a new 12" iBook.

    I have not followed the centrino very much so my opinion is only based on my speculation and experience. I think that the price of the iBook is very fair and that you will find it to be a rather powerful machine (if you are doing basic processing as I am assuming you do). My previous laptop was a P4 2.0 Ghz and I found that while it was fast and powerful, it was out performed by my Athlon 1.2 GHz desktop and my 400 Mhz PowerMac. All three had the same amount of RAM. Of course, the PC was probably faster than the Mac, but for what I was doing (Internet, Word, Excel, etc.) the speed difference was neglible. BUT, the PowerMac really stepped up to when it came to working because I never had a program freeze, I never had to babysit it for the Windows updates, I never had the whole system lock up...etc. Moreover, I found this impressive because I am rather good with Windows and I only experience a very small percentage of problems, so small that I really did not think anything of this tiny problems (as others always experienced far worse) until I used the Mac.

    When the new iBooks were released, I knew it was time to switch as I could afford an entry level laptop that was very powerful (and save for the desktop later on). The icing on the cake to getting a sweet system is that Apple's products are fun to use and asthetic. I spend a lot of recreation time on my computers, and I have to say I have had the most fun on my iBook.

    What are you planning on using the iBook for? I have the 12" 800 MHz and I run Office X, Keynote, Photoshop, and a few other programs with no troubles whatsoever.

    As for transfering data, I think there is a way to do that via a cable. For me, I just backed up my previous laptop data with a few CDs. I like having my stuff on CD and zip, but that is just me. If you are on a network, even at home, you should have no trouble with data transfer. I have done that at home and work with my PCs and with Apple touting better network compatibility, I would say why not. I know that networking worked for the Mac users at work too even with OS 9.2.
  3. Russ015 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    Firstly, thanks for replying.

    I'd being using basic apps (word processing, photoshop etc.) except for recording music: a big factor to switching to Apple would be their infernal buying-out of Emagic, so Logic (the software studio I've always used) v6 and presumably all future updates ought to be Mac only.

    I'm on a network at home so yeah, file transfers I guess should be fine.
  4. ac2102 macrumors member


    May 12, 2003
    Bristol - England
    Just one thing to add. There is no audio input on the ibook , only a headphone output. This could be an issue if you are doing a lot of audio work.

    There are plenty of USB --> audio in adapters though.

    On the power front, i am currently running inDesign, Word, iTunes, Safari, iCal and Preview on my iBook 12" 800Mhz. (all at the same time) No problems whatsoever!

    These books not only run like a dream, but they look pretty damn good too!

    edit: (in brackets)
  5. jgl_6 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    don't buy an ibook

    i bought a new ibook 800 in may 2003. every 5 weeks the system would freeze and my local shop guys would replace the logic board (read motherboard). finally after going throught the replacement cycle 3 times (that's 4 burned logic boards) they replaced the machine. now i have a new ibook 900 with panther and i'm shipping it to apple support this week for a very similar crash problem. don't buy an ibook. don't trust a company that would ship out such crap to loyal customers. i will never buy an apple product again.
  6. switcher22 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2003
    Winnipeg, MB
    new iBooks - great

    I just got a new 14" iBook and am loving it. It is my first mac and I am really enjoying the reduced hassels compared to PC's. Even if the Centreno is slightly faster than the G4 OS X is so much better than Windows.

    There seems to be a lot of talk going around about the long wait times for new macs - but in my case I ordered it direct from the online apple store and it was at my doorstep in 5 working days. So wait times may not be as bad as they seem.

    Also - if you are going 14" iBook definitely get the 933 MHz rather than the 1 GHz. Buying more RAM with the money you save should give you better performance in the end comared to 67 more MHz

    As far as transfering over files, if you are on a local network, you can ftp directly to your mac using its ip address within the local network. I did this when firts got my machine and quickly transfered multiple GB of data with ease.

    Hope that helps.
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    jgl_6... sorry to hear about your iBook problems... mine (and many other peoples) iBooks work just dandy...
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Just got a 12" iBook here, and have found it to be a wonderful little machine. Very versatile and powerful for such a small 'book. Battery life is excellent, they upped the screen resolution, gave it USB 2.0, BT, AE and the BTO option of 60Gig HDs along with the move to the G4 processor. All in all a nice little update.

    Personally I like the 12" form factor, but the 14" does have the higher processor speeds so I can see why that would be desirable. You just don't get anything other than a larger screen and faster processor, so for my wife it wasn't that important. Maybe a little better battery life in the 14", but the 12" gets 4 hours routinely and I can't complain about that.:D
  9. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    the difference in speed are negligible
    and you can just use a crossover cable to transfer files from a windows PC to a Mac...

    pi$$ easy.
  10. afpreppie04 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    I have an ibook 900mhz G3, and love it. You can easily network it with a windows computer if you just need to transfer files. I've done it loads of times with the pc at home. just follow the instructions on apple's website, they walk you through it.
  11. Russ015 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    I just placed on an order on the Apple refurb store for a 1ghz iBook, which was processed as successful, only to receive an email later on saying that - despite the site listing, which is still the same - 'stock was unavailable' and so the order has been cancelled. I've heard what people have said about the Apple Store, and I don't think I'll be using it again.
  12. Falleron macrumors 68000


    Nov 22, 2001
    The refurb store is a little different than the main store. Its all done on a first come first server basis. If your credit card company takes extra time etc to say yes to the purchase then someone else could get in there before you. I have had nothing but good experiences at the main apple store. Also had no problem when I got my iPod from the refurb store.
  13. mac_hermit macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2003
    ibook problems

    If you'd asked two weeks ago, I'd have said I love my ibook (900Mhz G3). Now, not so much. It died, and is at Apple for service. They tell me it needs a new logic board, and apparently mine isn't the only one with the problem. The forums on have long discussion threads with the same problem I've had, and today I learned that they've had so much trouble with this that they're out of logic boards and are waiting for a new shipment.

    It takes forever to get through to Apple to get status. The automated phone status can't find my system. The online status can't find my system. I have to wait to talk to someone.

    Loved the ibook design and OS X. The fact that it died after only 6 months, the fact that it's happening to a lot of people, the wait for parts, and the difficulty of getting through to Apple makes me seriously question today's Apple.
  14. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    Re: don't buy an ibook

    Your also only one person. I know about 100 people with ibooks (g3 and g4) and only about 3 of them have had any bad problems.
  15. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Re: don't buy an ibook

    Too bad you had such a bad experience.
    Repairs like that are not typical.
    Only a very few people have those problems.
    Like it or not, every company ships the occasional bad unit.
    Luckily my iBook has never given me any trouble in almost a year.

    The speed between computers should be nearly the same. Networking the two is very simple. You can use ethernet (and you don't need a crossover cable because the Mac has an autosensing hub) or Firewire (if the PC has it). No special software is required.
  16. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    G4 iBooks are great.

    1. While I love my iBook G3 700, I'd really love to upgrade to a G4 iBook. :rolleyes:
    2. An iBook is really perfect (price!) unless there is some capability that only a PowerBook would furnish (DVD SuperDrive, PCMCIA port, audio, etc.)
    3. My iBook failed to respond shortly after I bought a replacement battery at the local Apple Store for it. Back up to over 4 hours per charge, then one day I pushed the start button - Dead!
    Took battery out, put back in. NOTHING! Grrr :mad:
    Put the OLD battery in, "strum" :)
    Put the NEW battery back in - perfect! :p It happens.
    4. AppleCare is a must with any laptop, iBook or PowerBook. Don't leave the store without it.

    The delayed Credit Card story happened to me when I bought a new G4 dual 1GHz in February 2002? Actually, I had bought the previous model because of a substantial drop in price, but by the time they got the paperwork done, the warehouse was empty and there were no more. So MacMall gave me a 10% discount on the new Dual 1GHz, but I had to act upset (I was) and ASK for a "deal" to make me feel better (they did).
    Sweet! ;)

    SORRY to hear when (not if) someone gets a bad book. It happens. :(
  17. orb macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Calling someone a troll doesn't make the problems go away. Apple HAS had an unusually high number of iBook failures. And, on those bad iBooks it is VERY common for the problems to keep coming back. Having to send an iBook back 3 or 4 times is not at all uncommon, but to Apple's credit they will eventually replace the machine with a new one after 3 or 4 repairs.

    So, to summarize. Most iBooks are are fine, but an unusually high percentage have very serious persistent hardware problems. Your chances of getting a bad iBook are small, but are significantly higher than with other laptop models.

    FWIW, I like iBooks very much. It's a very nice laptop with, sadly, some severe defects. On the bright side, anecdotal evidence is that the 900 iBooks seemed to have solved many of the defects in earlier models. I would hope that the G4 iBooks are even better.
  18. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    Re: ibook problems

    I am in the same boat. I love my ibook, but now it is in for repair. I sent it monday, i hope that it isn't delayed. If it takes more than thier 5-7 day i am going to raise alot of crap at my local apple store and get myself heard. i love my i book, and i am having a hard time without it.
  19. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    so get a pb

    Well....i put up a few messeges on this board but.....I am getting a ibook or pb soon and should i pay a little more and get a 1 ghz 15 (or even 12) inch pb or have the ibook g4's been ok so far? I am going to be using it for my whole home and buisness computer so if it screws up and am pretty well screwed.
  20. drjekyl macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2003
    I started out with a 500MHz iBook two years ago and loved it. My good friend now owns it and it still runs SOLID. I upgraded to the new 15" AL PowerBook and it has been a dream. So if you're in the market for a new notebook, and have the money, I would spring for the PowerBook, but if the iBook is your limit, then don't hesitate. They are solid machines and even if you did have a problem with it, Apple has always been willing to deal with it and the problems seem to be a small minority.
  21. Russ015 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2003
    Just to say, thank you for all your advice and input. Yesterday, I ordered a 14" 933Mhz iBook from the UK Apple Store and am awaiting its delivery :)

    Okay... one more thing!

    Can anyone recommend a good Mac friendly mouse to attach (Bluetooth or not is fine)?
  22. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    iMouse for an iBook

    You have lots of excellent choices, here are my favorites.

    IOGear Micro-Mini Memory Optical Mouse USB $35
    Very small and thus ultra protable, fits in the hand well, exact optical movements, 2 button with scroll wheel, and it contains a 32MB Memory Chip as a bonus and the USB cord is retractible for easy storage; at Fry's Electronics and COSTCO Business Store (not the regular stores), and online warehouses. If you are planning to carry a mouse with your iBook on the run, it's perfect, just pop in into your backpack.
    LOOK :eek: here:

    Kensington Expert Mouse USB (Trackball) under $99
    This 4 button BLACK Trackball with large scroll wheel that wraps around the trackball is ideal for hooking up on your desktop at home. Perfect for precise and speedy editing of media (films, photos, audio, etc.) or everyday tasks. Every time I have bought a new desktop Mac or tower, I toss the Apple Mouse in a drawer (goodbye) and get a Kensington Trackball. I have 4, one for each of my computers going all the way back to ADB. A year ago, I tried and did NOT like a wireless mouse because it hesitated too much; but, try it yourself, you may love it. They may be improved. :p
    LOOK :eek: here:

    Macally Media Keyboard USB about $50
    For a lot of typing, I use a separate USB keyboard and like the ergonomic split keyboard style for easier typing, but they can be hard to find. Or, get an
    LOOK :eek: here:
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (Bluetooth) for $69 online or at your local Apple Store. If you failed to purchase your iBook with Bluetooth installed, you are stuck with a module that takes up one of your USB ports on the outside.

Share This Page