advice on ibook 14" vs powerbook 12"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by buggybear, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. buggybear macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2005
    I run a small partnership and have found myself in need of a laptop. I do have a well specced machine at home. However a laptop would serve many purposes. Im finding it hard to decide between the two models IB 14" PB 12". The power book for the extra 100 or so quid wins every time in terms of spec. However the screen is where it gets let down. If im away from a monitor and need to spend more than a few hours working I fear for my eyes. I do mostly development work but more often that not need to do graphic stuff as well.

    To get to the point I have heard some rumours that at the forthcoming mac expo the PB range is being bumped up and also that there might well be a new standard of 13". Which rather settles my dillema.

    What do you fellas think about this? and indeed the fundmental dillema of the two models I have specified above. Would like some opnions from people who have actually experienced using both machines (i have only used the ibook).

    Thanks in advance

  2. Ringu macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2005
    15" PB? I've used one for the last 4 years and it's a great laptop and has served as my one-and-only computer admirably.

    That said, because I'd travelling a lot more now, my next purchase will be a 12"PB and monitor.
  3. buggybear thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Love to mate but its more than i need and quite a good lump of cash more than I want to pay.
  4. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    Best bet is to drop by your local Apple store and see for yourself. When i first purchased my first 12" PB, i thought it was a bit too small for desktop use. As i got used to it... it was no different than using any other computer. When i then sold that and bought my 15", i thought wow.. this thing is huge compared to the 12"...

    Personally, i think the 12" is great for travelling.. The 15" is kinda big to lug around.. but i enjoy the widescreen on it..

    My vote goes to the Powerbook... just cause its features outweigh the iBooks... if your using it as a desktop.. you can just hookup a monitor and then your set.
  5. Ringu macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2005

    OK. Then go for the 12"PB and hook it up to a Cinema Screen when the cash flows.
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Get the PB and hook it up to an external display. If you feel the default resolution is too small, just change it to a resolution thats more comfortabe for your eyes.
  7. buggybear thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2005
    cheers ericssonboi experience duly noted. Appreciate what you are all saying about the screen few scenarios where that aint gonna happen. Is mini-dvi just refering to the size of the port is it inferior in anyway?
  8. buggybear thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2005
    also any ideas on possible upgrades that might be occuring?
  9. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I have just broken my 14" iBook and was going to get the new 14" G4 iBook. I then borrowed my girlfriends 12" iBook and it is so damn cool, I love the thing! It just lacks a little omph so I am going for a 12" PB and with an education discount is damn good value for money. Maybe you should go for the 12" iBook and get it upgraded to the max unless you really need the 1.5GHz G4 which I do. 12" over 14 any day. The big issue for me was the resolution was the same, the 14" just had larger pixels. Happy shopping.

    Rumours are the iBook will be upgraded but not by much. Powerbooks where done in Feb do not much movement there.
  10. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Go for the Powerbook

    I had the same dilemma (sp?)

    I talked my significant other into getting a 12"ibook. Needless to say
    she demanded that I get my own- I was always on it. We both travel
    a lot and need the portablility, but my needs are more graphic driven than
    hers are. I ended up getting the 1.33g4 PB right after the new PBs were announced and I saved about $400 which I put towards the 19" display.
    I also maxed the memory w/1gb chip. It took a long time to commit to this decision but I am very glad I did. It's worked out perfectly. If I ever get heavily into video production, i'll get a dual machine down the road but I don't have ANY problems with photoshop and I shoot large 8mp raw files
    and scan 5x7 negatives into even larger 180mb files.

    Hope this helps
  11. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    i'd get the powerbook. there might be a 13 inch screen on the next gen pbooks, but i wouldn't expect that until this summer/fall, if you're willing to wait that long
  12. eleveneastgate macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    Consider going with the one that gives you more options --- PowerBook, and go with the 12" if portability is a concern.

    Also, check the refurbs in the Apple store too, you might save some CA$H... :D
  13. fitinferno macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    London, UK
    I would totally recommend the pb as opposed to the ibook. The 12" screen is really not as bad as a lot of people seem to think it might be. The only time you really feel left out and wishing for a bigger screen is when you're watching a video, imo. And when that happens, you yearn for a 17" pb, not a 14" ibook, lol. And let's not forget how dirty ibooks can get! (Not that the pb can't either, but dirt does show up less on the pb).

    As for waiting or not waiting for a possible revision, I'd say go for the pb now. The specs are good on it and it isn't overly expensive. When a newer pb revision comes out, instead of just speedbumps, the price is most likely going to rise. Even if it doesn't, a first revision of an entirely new line doesn't seem like the best idea.
  14. kerpow macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2004
    It is the ultimate dilemma isn't it as they are so closely priced. I rock back and forth but I think I'm going to go with the PB sometime next month.

    I'm hoping to get a refurbed 12" PB from Purely Mac (a UK distributor). They're quoting £1056 all in, over a ton less than the Apple store. Not sure whether they'll bundle Tiger with it when it comes out though.
  15. Kirbdog macrumors regular


    Feb 3, 2005
    Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    With expose the screen size is not an issue on the 12" screen. I was previously using a 17" CRT and I only miss it when I am editing large photos.
  16. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I was looking at the recent speed tests for the new powerbooks and the 12" was faster than 15" with exactly the same specs! Anyone know why this is, maybe its because the 15" has to power a slightly better graphics card.
  17. gamestriker macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2004
    I had a similar decision between the iBook 14" and the PowerBook 12". I came out getting the PB 12". After using both, I really didn't notice the difference in screen size since both can only go up to 1024x768 resolution; in that case, either way, you'll want to get a monitor to go with either one for graphics work.

    My main reasons for choosing the 12" over the 14" were power and portability. The 12" is far more portable than the 14" and you get a lot more bang for your buck. I remember seeing a side-by-side comparison of the 2 in terms of features/specs (i don't remember if it was in these forums or the Macworld forums) and it really showed the difference in terms of what you get in each. The 12" beat the 14" in almost every category spec wise (other than battery life, but only by a small margin), and in terms of size, you can't go wrong when you travel, since the 12" is far less bulky than the 14".

    Just my 2 cents.
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The 14" iBook will have the same resolution as the 12" -- which will be easier on the eyes -- plus is a lot more durable and takes like bumps quite well.

    The 12" PowerBook will give you more power and options, buy you will give up some durability.

    And the durability I'm talking about is dropping the machines, or dropping something on them.

    The are basically the same architecture, and parts -- so the only thing that's different is some of the options, speeds they are offered at, and the case (and polycarbonate plastic is harder to damage that the aluminum skin).
  19. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    I got my 12" PowerBook this morning and I have one word to say. WOW. This thing is so cool. I have just replaced my 14" iBook and I am not missing the screen space at all. It is so much zippier that the iBook and everything seems just right on it. Great product Apple, thanks. Two day delivery aint bad when the estimated a week!
  20. macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2004
    Central Ohio

    I went through the same angst over the 14 inch IB or 12 in PB - I picked the 12 inch PB. In retrospect, I am not sure that this was the right solution.

    In a study I did fo the DoD a few years back, screen pixel count afforded over an order of magnitude greater productivity benefits than more RAM, processor speed, or disk speed/size. Both the IB14 and PB12 have the same pixel count (1024x768), although resolution (pixels/ sq in) are greater on the PB - a wash. Save your pennies for a PB15??

    So my choice was made on one factor - the PB supports an external display as an extended desktop, which, when I am at my desk, is how I run my PB - with an external 1600x1200 display and a 1024x768 laptop display. Only later did I find that a 3rd party has created a hack for the IB that allows the external IB display port to work as an extended display and not as a mirrored one. Had I known, the IB would have been the first choice, as the wireless performance is far better on the IB, and the larger screen affords my old eyes an easier view.

    IF I had the money, a PB15 would be the absolute first choice, but it was out of my budget, even from the Apple SALE page.

    I do gets lots of ooohhs and aahhhs over the very sexy PB12, that I am sure would not come from the iBook, but that is just an ego thing.
  21. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    I think the choice of MacRumors so far is pretty obvious.. PB Wins..
    I'm just curious.. for those who puchased a 14" iBook.. why did you buy it over the 12"?
  22. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    I didn't purchase a 14" iBook, but allow me to step in ... Even though the resolutions are the same, the larger sized screen allows for more flexibility with reducing text size in programs like Safari, Word, etc., which can offer the utility of more screen size even though the pixel count is technically the same. In other words, a Word document at 100% is going to look larger on a 14", so maybe you can deal with it at 75%, which frees up more room for other things. And, from what I hear here, some people just plain like the larger pixels for reasons of eyesight.

    p.s. Sun Baked: the beloved iBook toughness myth rears its head yet again! I call it a myth not because it isn't true-- it probably is true, for all I know-- but because unlike almost every other bit of good advice we give on this forum, it is totally unsubstantiated, untested speculation usually presented as fact. Sure, we might have good reasons to believe it, but unlike screen size, processor speed, performance benchmarks, etc., I still have yet to see any meaningful, direct comparison of the two case materials and their construction techniques as used in the particular application of making Apple laptops. Wonderful, informed speculation, but that's all it is.
  23. shortyman macrumors member


    Mar 26, 2005
    Somerset, UK
    For me, I chose the 14" iBook over the 12" PB because part of my uni course is spent in Italy. While I have a great 17" TFT atm, I was aware that when I went to Italy I wouldn't have this and was slightly worried that a 12" PB as my only computer for 4 months would simply be too small and painful on my eyes. However, in retrospect, I would probably have waited for Tiger and got the PB. But oh well. Just gives me an excuse to get one when I get back!
  24. lindmar macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2003
    iBook all the way..

    I had both brand new last year..

    Couldnt justify the price difference in the PB for what I needed
    iBook was simply amazing for the money...

    Although I'd get the 12" iBook
  25. Advance The Man macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005
    I didn't know this about the IB not displaying external monitors?! Can the IB display just a plain ole 17" lcd? So none of the Apple displays work with this unit? This would be a deal killer on the IB for me.


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