Beater laptop- iBook or chromebook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kevindosi, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. kevindosi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #1
    I have a Mac desktop at home and am a Mac guy through and through. I'm also a student and am starting to really feel the need for a laptop to use on the road, but I can't spend much. $150 would be nice. I mostly need Internet access and google docs at the least. Would you recommend I get a new cheap chromebook, an old G4 iBook, or something else? Advice appreciated!
     
  2. JoePa2624 macrumors regular

    JoePa2624

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Location:
    AZ
    #2
    I'm a big fan of ChromeOS on the Chromebooks. As long as you understand the limitations of the device, it's solid. I would imagine they're significantly more portable than an old G4 as well.
     
  3. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #3
    The iBook, depending on the specifications, will struggle to run Google Docs. I would highly recommend you go with the Chromebook.
     
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #4
    I would recommend the Chromebook if you will be using Google Docs, especially if you ever need to collaborate on a document with others. As much as I love PowerPC laptops, they really struggle with the constant refreshing of the page that Google Docs will do. The Chromebook will be faster, more secure, and lighter, albeit most likely more expensive.

    That said, you could definitely use an iBook as a beater laptop and it would work fine for most stuff, just not a heavy Javascript web page that likes to repeatedly refresh itself. I use a T42 and a PowerBook G4 all the time. Consider hardening the operating system or using something other than OS X if it will be connected to a university network.
     
  5. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #5
    The iBook sucks by any standard today. It's big and bulky and the screen is terrible. We have one here at my office and it barely functions enough to be worth booting up to run old, legacy programs on it. Unless someone gives you one, don't bother with it.
     
  6. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #6
    i fairly recently got an ibook g4 (12" 1.33ghz) to use as a beater and was so well pleased with it that i bought another as a spare. can't beat the prices on these things but i have to agree with the others. a chromebook would be far better suited for your stated needs. what do i use mine for? taking to friends houses mostly. watching dvd's, importing cd's, hooking up a digital camera to and light internet browsing. very light. in other words doing the same things that it was used for in 2005 when it was new. and i can leave it in a motel room all day and not be out a small fortune if someone happens along and forgets who it belongs to.
     
  7. Esoom, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015

    Esoom macrumors 6502

    Esoom

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    I dunno, I find the build quality of chromebooks to be frankly, crap, I tried to use the Toshiba Chromebook 2 with the 1080 screen, and the doggone keys started to fall off in the first week, and it reviews at the top of the pile. Sent it back today, and bought a MacBook yesterday.

    We're I you, I'd try a chromebook, but pay attention to the warranty, and buy it with a credit card that extends your warranty.

    I really liked the 1080 screen on the Toshiba, it looked great.

    The functionality is pretty good, I was impressed till mine literally fell apart.
     
  8. kevindosi thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #8
    What if I decided to choose between a chromebook and a intel core 2 duo macbook? Say, this one.
    Would you still opt for a chromebook? Or another pc?
     
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #9
    Get a chromebook. Forget the ancient MacBooks. They're dogs.
     
  10. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #10
    That would be a good laptop. I'd go for it over a Chromebook.
     
  11. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #11
    I'd probably go for a Chromebook over a PPC Mac, but would probably go for an Intel Mac over a Chromebook. It really depends though - given the budget it seems like a Chromebook would be the best option. If you were to find an older Intel Mac, the HDD is more than likely going to be shot and you'd have to put money into it to get on par with the performance of a Chromebook. I suppose you'd have to decide if preference weighs more.

    I hope this helps.
     
  12. mripadmini macrumors regular

    mripadmini

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    #12
    i have the new 2015 Dell Chromebook 11 4GB non-touch model and i love it and i hardly ever use my windows desktop because i normally just browse the web and watch youtube. it is very fast with a ssd and it is impossible to get a virus.

    on amazon right know you can get a Haier Chromebook 11 2gb ram 16 gb ssd for 149.00 and if you want a better one you have to look used on ebay,ect.
     
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #13
    Agreed. The iBook is just way too old at this point. I wouldn't buy one at any price.
     
  14. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #14
    I would go with this MacBook if you can afford to upgrade the ram and bump it up to a SSD instead of HDD.
     
  15. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #15
    Those old MacBooks are still pretty serviceable even today. Upgrade the RAM, slap an SSD in there and you're in business. I still have my old beat-up mid-2007 model and it still works perfectly fine. It chugs a bit on YouTube but I think a lot of that is because of the subpar iGPU. The early 2009 models are much better in that regard and you can run the latest version of OS X on them as well.

    Either that or a Chromebook would utterly destroy those iBook G4s BTW.
     
  16. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #16
    I would rather a newer chromebook than an outdated laptop with parts from 2007..

    Why not try and find a cheap iPad?
     
  17. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #17
    If you go MacBook, get an early 2009 at the earliest and upgrade it to an SSD and maybe 4 GB RAM. You could have a nice laptop there running the latest version of OS X for at least another year.
     
  18. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #18
    I should point out: I'm currently using a 2008 iMac, upgraded to SSD and 4gb ram. It works just fine. Obviously MacBooks are a different breed, but they should remain quite usable.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    @kevindosi As a person with both an iBook and a Chromebook, I would say go for the Chromebook especially if you need full online functionality. I use PowerPC Macs often and they do their job well but my ThinkPad 11e Chromebook which is by far the best I have ever used does the web so much better. I am still debating selling and getting a bigger model but I must say the Lenovo models are great!
     
  20. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    To put the iBook in perspective, I bought a 1.2GHz G4 iBook in 2005 (my first Mac!) and it didn't quite have the performance of the 2002 Dell laptop it replaced.

    So consider the iBook to be equivalent to a 13 year old Windows laptop -- buy the Chromebook.
     
  21. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #21
    Seriously, this should be an easy decision. A chromebook is perfect for what he/she wants to use it for.
     
  22. Yaboze macrumors 6502a

    Yaboze

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    The Garden State
    #22
    I have the Dell 11" Chromebook with 4GB ram (2014 model). It's great, battery life is amazing, too.
     
  23. adam9c1 macrumors 68000

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #23
    If you can live with limitations of Chromebook get one.
    Don't spend money on iBook. OS is too old. Web sites will not load up etc.

    If you do need Mac OS functionality get a early 2009 white Macbook and over time save up and buy a used 32 or 64GB SSD. It will speed up the machine big time.
    It should run OK even with 2GB of ram provided you do not have many apps open.

    Battery life will be weak as machine is old so you'll have to carry with you the charger.
     

Share This Page