Advice on Powerbook for desktop replacement

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by blawson, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. blawson macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2004
    I'll be moving around a bit in the next few months, and would love to not have to worry about lugging around a desktop + montor, and consolidate instead. As a PC user, I'm sick of windows, and love the powerbooks. But, as so many others in this forum, I'm having a really hard time picking between the 12" for ultra-portability, vs the 15" for more of a "classical" desktop replacement machine. Price is not a huge concern, I'm more concerned with getting the most life out of whichever machine I choose (which will be my only computer). I'm also not really interested in buying a monitor to hook up the powerbook to. Really, I'd love 12" owners opinions on if the screen size is enough for an everyday computer, and 15" owners opinions on whether they wish their machine was slightly more portable. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

  2. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I have a PB 15" and absolutely love it. Having said that, I've handled a 12" that a friend of mine has - it certainly is more portable in terms of both size and weight (1 pound actually does matter).

    I need the 15" screen because I have to work with graphics and the Web a fair bit; so the 12" wasn't really an option for me. Also the 15" really isn't very heavy at all, and it doesn't bother me to carry it to and from work. I guess if I was moving around a lot from day to day, and working in non-traditional type spots, I'd go with the 12" - but if by "moving around" you mean you'll be in one spot for a few days, then another for a few days... the 15" will be fine.

    How's that for straddling the fence? :D
  3. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I've got a 12" PowerBook, and absolutely love it. I think it's a lot more portable than the 15". That said, the screen size is not, in my opinion, suitable as a desktop replacement. It's pretty small, and while it works well when toting the machine around, it's just not enough when you're trying to get serious work done. My solution was to get an external monitor for home. In your situation however, I'd recommend getting the 15" PowerBook, as the external monitor is not an option. The 15" screen size will work fine as a desktop replacement screen.
  4. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I don't find the 15" heavy at all. As other others have said it is much better as a desktop replacement, although you could go for the 12" and get an External screen. However If you intend to carry the laptop about all day (say you were a student and moving between lectures) then the 12" would make more sense.

    Although you say you are interested in the Powerbooks, take a look at the iBooks as well, if you do decide 12" is right for you. As you say that you want it for everyday computing - you may not need the more expensive powerbook.
  5. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    I have the 15" and love it. I take my machine with me to school and work a number of times each week. Portability is a non-issue IMHO. The screen size difference is pretty significant. If this is going to be your only machine I'd definitely go with the 15" PB. There are also a number of other things that make the 15" better including a faster processor and better video card.

    I would agree with James that the iBooks are a good deal, except that Ben says that money is not a huge concern. If you can afford the 15" PB than I think would be a great idea to buy one.
  6. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    I was a bit worried if the 12" was going to be too small. I just bought one and after working on it for a while, I am pleasantly surprised. It doesn't feel cramped. There's only a slight difference in height with the 15", so for me it's a good tradeoff. I don't need the widescreen as much as other people might.
  7. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003

    hah, I was going to say I got a 12" yesterday, but I hit return by accident. what a ringing endorsement.

    I dig it. but I have had an infatuation with the 12" powerbook since they released it, and finally had the cash to buy one.

    my eyes are good, the small size is just fine by me.

    I had a 14" ibook that was nearly impossible to open in airline seats. and it was warped. but it was the mac that made me want all of the others that I have bought since then

    this is much better. and much nicer looking.

    the only (mild) disappointment that I have so far is the airport reception is nowhere near the reception of both the imac and ibook.

    I range between 1-2 bars where I used to get a pretty solid 4 (rarely 3) with the ibook.

    doesn't affect anything, as I still get a signal. but it doesn't feel good to be downgraded.

    it is about 4 billion times faster though. and a million times sexier.
  8. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    go for the 15". it's still portable, but will make a much better desktop replacement. also, look carefully at the upgrade options to make sure you get everything you want out of it (better video card, faster HD, RAM on one chip, etc...). good luck with your new purchase when you make it!! :)
  9. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    This would be the best option for both power an portability, this would easily last 2 years, you can upg the RAM to 2 gigs so there are plenty of options available to you.
    1.5GHz PowerPC G4 with 128MB Graphics Memory
    • 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400 rpm
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • APP for PowerBook (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit
    • 15.2-inch TFT Display
  10. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    That sounds like a great package to me, putting all 512MB on 1 SO-DIMM makes it so that upgrading (through a third party vendor, like crucial) to 1GB of RAM will only cost you a bit over $100. I'd say that would be a great $100 spent to get started. Wait until you see how easy it is up install memory in these things (if you haven't already).
  11. blawson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2004
    Thanks for the input!

    It does sound like the 15" might have to be the way to go. I really appreciate the advice and recommendations, helps with the justification. I think I'll be sticking with the combo drive model though. I'm not sure the extra processor and video card upgrades are worth the money for what I'll be using it for. An external firewire DVD-RW will probably be cheaper too, and at 8x if I decide I need one. Thanks again for the help.


Share This Page