apple powerbooks vs. pc laptops

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by ddohnggo, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. ddohnggo macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2003
    my friend's been trying to convince me not to purchase a powerbook as my next computer saying that you can get a faster laptop for hundreds of dollars less than the powerbook. i mean other than the fact that the powerbooks look amazing, are his statements valid? what are the advantages of getting a powerbook over a pc laptop?
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002

    PC laptops can certainly be faster than a Powerbook. As long as they are plugged into the mains. As soon as you unplug them they seriously throttle down to try and maintain battery life. But even then you are lucky if you can get 1.5 hours out of the battery, real world usage. Also most PC laptops are either larger than a powerbook (12" specifically) or sacrifice the internal optical drive to make the size. They also run Windows!
  3. beez7777 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2002
    Notre Dame
    all that robbieduncan said is true, and you also have to think about what you're going to be using the laptop for. Chances are, the powerbook will be planty fast for what you're going to be doing. It's a beautiful machine, and is hands down the best notebook in the market. my advice is go for the powerbook.
  4. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Powerbooks are slower when it comes to processor speed. However, IMO, the powerbooks are easier to use, nicer to look at, and seem to have more features, such as imovie, itunes, idvd (if you have a superdrive).
    They are also thinner and lighter than almost all laptops out there. It also runs OSX, which is an operating system based on BSD unix, which means it is very stable.
    What you should use to determine what you buy is what you are going to use the machine for.
    BTW, the machines I use at work are a 1st gen Powerbook, 500 MHz, 512 MB RAM and OSX.
    I also use on occasion an HP Omnibook with a PIII (not sure of speed) 256 MB of ram and Win2000.
  5. arogge macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    I recommend that you get the PowerBook. It would depend on what kind of laptop you were comparing with the Apple, but the PowerBook is generally higher in quality and functionality. If you were looking for something with professional graphics or weatherproofing, then I would suggest that you look elsewhere, but the Apple is still the best machine overall for mobile computing. Some things that you won't experience with the PowerBook that you will most likely encounter with the likes of Dell and Gateway units are Microsoft errors, VGA-out failures, slow performance when running from a battery, and short battery life. The PowerBook is also thinner and lighter than competing laptops, and the integration between the hardware and the operating system is excellent.
  6. macktheknife macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    My honest $0.02

    I switched from a PIII 850 Mhz 256 MB Dell Inspiron laptop last year to a 550 Mhz 512 MB TiBook. In many ways, my old Dell laptop was faster, especially when running multiple applications. On the whole, however, I am very satisfied with my decision due to several reasons, mainly OS stability and good compatibility with many UNIX and Linux-based open source software. The fact that the TiBook was a pound lighter (about 6 pounds vs. my old Dell's 7 or 8 pounds), has a much wider screen, and is more asthetically pleasing doesn't hurt either.

    Basically, assess what you will need the laptop for. If you plan to just surf the web, do some simple word processing, and/or play the latest games, get a PC. If you plan to use your laptop for programming or for video editing, get a Mac. I won't try to mislead you: If you buy a Windows laptop, it will be cheaper and in some ways faster. However, I also have to say that OS X is much more stable. I was reminded of this fact when my girlfriend's 12-inch Dell Inspiron laptop (purchased around the same time as my TiBook) crashed big time the other day and required Dell to send her a new HD for replacement. Don't even ask me about the junky Compaq I use at work. :D
  7. ddohnggo thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2003
    yeah, i'm planning on doing some music production and programming on the laptop.
  8. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    the powerbooks are the pinnacle of mobile computing. there really is no way around it. the 1GHz processors are more than fast, and OS X is a dream for laptops. Just buy it and make your friend look like a fool when he wants one of his own. There is absolutely NO reason for you to buy a PC laptop. I can see a raeson for a PC tower, but never a laptop.
  9. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Leaving sytem reliability out of it simply consider how much work you can get done on a PC laptop after the battery is dead. From what I have seen the mac laptops get nearly double the battery life in the real world. Also when on battery the Mac laptop is nearly as fast as the fastest PC laptop on battery power.
  10. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    the pc tower is prolly still best for gaming over a mac tower but hopefully that will change one day:D
  11. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It all really depends on what you need to do with the computer. If you need to be able to run certain windoze apps that won't perform very well with Virtual PC, then you're stuck with the windoze laptop unless you can find some other alternative. If there are no other reasons for sticking to windows, then don't. The PowerBooks are strong, light, and just flat out cool.

    What model PowerBook were you looking at?

    I guarentee you that even though the PowerBooks have a slower processor speed, they can certainly hold their own against any PC laptop to date, if not by speed, then by mobility, features, and user experience.
  12. macktheknife macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    In that case, find out whether the programs you plan to use are available for OS X. Unless you plan to run some low processor-intensive PC programs infrequently, don't even think about Virtual PC.
  13. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Not too long ago, I never thought I would switch. Mac's were slow and weird. Well, I was wrong as can be. My friend's 500Mhz PB did everything, everytime, perfectly. It was fast, and it was reliable (talk about time savings). Anyway, I bought my PB, and it's ONLY 1Ghz. Well, Mhz be damned, this thing is fast. It does everything I ask it to do flawlessly.

    I'll never go back, and I'm slowly convincing my family and others to switch.
  14. ddohnggo thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2003
    i'm pretty certain now that i'll get the 15" powerbook once it gets updated. i'm sure i'll be extremely happy with it.
  15. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2002
    Oxford UK
    If You REALLY need a PC

    then checkout the laptops from Alienware: They're not your run of the mill pieces of cr@p that dell and compaq put out but more like the TiPB then you'll find in the PC world.
    I have a friend that has one and the build quality is fantastic. Yes it still runs windows but if you're going to run windows that doesn't mean the hardware has to match it.
    I for one would never buy a PC but it's up to you.
  16. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: If You REALLY need a PC

    if there ever was a gaming laptop, this one is it
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Re: Re: If You REALLY need a PC

    I've seen reviews of this laptop or should I say mobile desktop before. If I remember right it is an ultraportable 9lbs+.
  18. turpenstein macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2003
    Just got assigned a 867Mhz PowerBook to teach a Multimedia Design class. After 2 weeks of use I am looking for any reason to use it instead of my 933Mhz IBM ThinkPad. No problems with the IBM... the mac is just that much better to use.

    It makes me enjoy computing again.
  19. hui__lim macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2002

    Well I'm a recent convert from the PC world. Previously, I had been using a Sony Vaio (damn fine machines don't get me wrong) @ 800Mhz but after a few month of getting the machine and loading several applications on it, the darn machine turned so slowww... like opening Word would literally take 20 seconds. Then my uni lecturer (i'm doing a computer science degree). At first I was like yeah right... you must be joking. However as I needed to purchase a new computer, I though why not give Mac's a try. My experiences were somewhat surprised. I always thought that Macs were some copy product and why people even bothered to use it (and yeah yeah M$ was the greatest etc) but how wrong was I. Been using the Powerbook 1Ghz for about a month now and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE it. Firstly the stability is incredible. Nothing ever crashes on it... and i thought Win XP was stable. Just last night, I was messing around with my desktop and upon starting up MSN messenger and trying to send a message it crashed. Web browsing on this is amazing (don't believe me, just try Safari beta). Also check out iMovie and iPhoto when used together with the .Mac (created my first homepage today). Simply easy to use. Notforgetting the lovely looks of the PBs. Just by pulling the machine out in the uni has made some of my uni friends jealous with anxiety and asking where i got this beautiful piece of kit from. They are even thinking of transforming to the Mac world. So in my opinion, if you want to play games, stick on the PCs (there are a few good games on the Macs, like Warcraft 3) but if you want to do video editting, programming, webpaging, the macs just make it so much easier.
  20. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Re: Re: If You REALLY need a PC

    so much for calling it a laptop then

    my pc laptop with battery is 7.5 lbs and it's too uncomfortable to carry...especially if i add the adapter
  21. tompatros macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2002
    What about multitasking w/ graphics apps?

    I'm really getting into this 17" PB - I like the idea of have that much screen real estate while still being portable...

    If I get a new PB, I'd be doing a good bit of graphics work, Flash, and web programming. Typically, I'd probably have Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, a browser or two, and a programming environment open at the same time, shuffling through each perpetually. Is the PB gonna be able to handle this kind of multitasking?
  22. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    PC laptops just suck

    Okay so I was surfing the net with ibookin'@mwny and we were looking at various computer manufacturers' websites (Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, the usual).
    The things we noticed:
    1a. The websites (compared with are horribly designed and on a T1 is really slow to load. (Not kidding!)
    1b. It's hard to buy a computer online and no PC manufacturer has education discounts (and hardware discounts for developers).
    2. If you get a PC laptop similar to the 17" PB, it's going to weigh 8+ pounds, gonna cost at least $200 more, and the screen's going to be smaller than 17" (duh).
    3. Where on earth can you find a PC laptop with built in Bluetooth support and AirPort Extreme/802.11g support?
    4. No PC laptop (not even from Sony or Alienware) is going to have the beautiful keyboard and the gorgeous anodized aluminum outer shell.
    5. It's from Apple! It's priceless!

    And I should know because I've been using Windows, Linux and other OS's since I got my first computer.
  23. turpenstein macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2003
    Re: What about multitasking w/ graphics apps?

    I do this type of multitasking routinely w/ my new PB 867 at work. Flawless.
  24. tompatros macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2002
    Follow-up for Turpenstein et al.

    Do you feel that the 15" model is sufficient for your work?

    The only thing I don't like about the 17" is the price. If I could get away with a 15" (after the revs, of course), I may do that if others think the screen real estate is ample.
  25. moby1 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2002
    Sunny San Diego
    PowerBook - In a class by itself.

    I've been working on a PC these past three months.

    It's an IBM T30 Pentium 4 1.8 GHz. It's shell is made of titanium and it weighs just over 5 lbs. (sound familiar). It's a very nice unit. I've had not a single problem with it. If you need a PC laptop, buy an IBM.

    That said...

    I've owned several PowerBooks in the past, including G3 (Pismo) and a couple of the G4 Titaniums, the last I had was the 800 MHz model. There is NO comparison. As nice and sturdy a machine as the T series from IBM is, the PowerBook is in a class by itself. Everything, from the finish to the power supply to the packaging, it's ALL a cut above the rest.

    People make WAY too big a deal about MHz. I was suprised that when I got this 1.8 GHz P4 it often felt slower than my last 800 MHz PowerBook. Some apps' do launch faster on the IBM, some. Photoshop quits faster. Does it run faster? Maybe a bit but it doesn't have much impact on my workflow (which is limited - if it was heavy we'd be talking desktops). Oh, and I'm forced to use apps' like ACDSee 5.0 instead of iPhoto. iPhoto is far, far superior. Photoshop is on both platforms but it looks better on the Mac and I had the widescreen 15.2" format to layout the menus on the Mac. All the Adobe and Macromedia stuff looks better on the Mac, even Microsoft's own Office suite (X vs. XP) looks better on the Mac! Internet Explorer was an exception - it runs much smoother on the PC - go figure. I haven't tried Safari yet.

    My battery life was better on the PowerBook, my digital camera photos looked better on the PowerBook, the screen was much better on the PowerBook. I actually found there were far more applications to run on the PowerBook. Yes, there are a lot of PC applications but how many that you'd really want to use? The exception would be games and I'm not a gamer. When I did play games I had a Sony Playstation.

    Would I buy a PC laptop again? Sure I would and if I did I'd buy an IBM ThinkPad. I've installed XP Pro, Windows 2000 Pro, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Red Hat Linux 8.0 on this ThinkPad. The PC has the advantage in the enterprise environment.

    I can see using a PC at work. If I was an IT manager, I'd probably feel better handing out the sturdy IBM ThinkPad rather than a PowerBook. The ThinkPad does feel like it's survive the road better than the Ti Book (I haven't seen the Al Book yet).

    I can't see owning anything but an Apple machine at home. It's much more enjoyable to use than a PC and I feel I can do many more creative things on the Mac.

    I'll be selling the IBM ThinkPad soon. I'm ordering a 1GHz PowerBook this week. I'm glad I tried the ThinkPad, I learned a lot about Windows by using it. One thing I learned is when and where to use Windows - and it's not at home. If I need a PC at home, I'll fire up VPC 6 and with 1GHz of RAM I can have a couple PC's open at once. can not judge a sports car by opening up Road & Track and looking at the 0-60 times. You need to get in the car and drive it, that'll tell you what you need to know. You also can't pick the winner of a race by the horse power the engine produces. There are many other factors, one of which is the driver.

    To all you PC users still on the fence; stop reading magazines, stop doing research on the web, stop watching commercials. Get out there and get your hands on a Mac. Pick it up, look closely at it, feel the finish. Spend some time playing with it. I think many of you will come home with a Mac. I'd rather have an iBook than any PC laptop (I've owned a couple iBooks too). Quality. Fit, finish, that unsurpassed integration between the machine and the user experience - that's Apple.


    p.s. I took my last Microsoft exam for my MCSE certification last week. Guess what? The exam program crashed on me...LOL

    Anyway, that's over. Now should I get the 15" or can I wait for the 17"? Gee, the 12" would be so easy to carry around...

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