built to last- ibook or powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Nybombers142, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Nybombers142 macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2004
    For people who have had their iBook or powerbook for at least a few months- have well has it stood up? Do you notice the case getting loose? The screen hinge getting wobbley? Are the keys sticking, the screen lock failing? Any of these things? :confused:
  2. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    I've had my 12" powerbook for a good 7 months now and it works as well as it did when I first took it out of the box. In other words (knock wood) perfectly. Not that I'm rough on it. I live a pretty sedate life and the farthest this little machine has gone is out into the Arizona desert--to a very civilized ranch house.

    So I can't tell you if it would survive mountain climbing or river rafting or a trip into the Amazon jungle.

    But when I was in Arizona, it did a great job of letting me surf the net via modem (no broadband where I was). I've also gone on the internet with my 12" via broadband and wireless. Worked perfectly each and every time. I've watched DVDs on it; the screen is always crystal clear and the DVDs play flawlessly. Screen is almost too tight--stays put where ever I set it.

    I listen to music on it while I work. No problems downloading music or programs from CDs. And when I say I work on it, I mean I'm writing on it. 5-6 hours most days, 370 pages so far. The keyboard is a dream. Still is a dream. No sticky or loose keys, not a one. Touch pad is a little quirky--but it's been like that from the first. Quirky means a bit of a problem with a "double-touch" for double click. Sometimes it doesn't respond to the double touch and I have to do it again.

    Other than that minor complaint, I've got no complaints. Not one. No warps, no wobbles, no latch problems, no case problems. I couldn't be happier.
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    The powerbook will stand the test of time far better than an iBook. It is designed to be the Pro line and the iBook is the consumer line.
  4. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    That is true, but I would wager that an older ibook has aged better than the average Tibook...depends how you gauge durability...cosmetically or funtionally. In many ways I believe that the ibook would age better, as the improved styling/form-factor of the PBs makes them inherently more fragile in a number of ways - flex stress, thinner hinges/screen, slot-load drives etc. As for general build quality, I feel that Apple survives by making well-built products across-the-line. What differentiates the consumer and Pro lines is not quality of components, but their relative sophistication/abilities. Either will last a long time, if moderately cared-for,and in most cases you will replace your computer because it no longer performs to your needs, not because it broke...purchase the machine you like, choose the model that offers the maximum performance you forsee needing over the medium-to-long term. If you buy extended apple-care and considering Apples' build quality,the argument for durability becomes a minor issue...choose what you like.

    *individual machine build-quality will vary, but no line of Apple computers can be seen as more durable than the others (considering design limitations). It is luck of the draw...choosing later revisions of a model may help mitigate this somewhat...
  5. AssassinOfGates macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    A cardboard box.
    The iBook was meant to go in a student's crowded back pack, not a laptop bag. The PowerBook was not designed to be as rugged. Not to mention it is thicker, and has more padding to protect the components. I know if I threw a new Powerbook in my bad, the LCD would crack in a day. Meanwhile my PBG3 has withstood the trials of my backpack to this day, save one flaw - if you go crazy on the keyboard, the area around the W can set the damn thing to sleep if hit too hard.
  6. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    VERY true! Prior to buying my 12", I was on a clamshell. Had it 5 years and it was STILL going strong! Only one key on the keyboard was a problem (the "L" as I recall). I sold it used and it's still going strong with that new user to this day.
  7. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    I had a 500Mhz iBook (gave it to my dad) and a now use an 800Mhz iBook and 550 TiBook. I toss the iBook around all the time, like into my bag in the morning, take it to work, come home and toss it on the bed. I wouldn't think about throwing a TiBook around, even if it is made of titanium. I think the iBooks are much more rugged, but they can get scratched to hell in no time at all- like a week if not less.
    My TiBook's paint is peeling a lot now- to the point where it's embarassing and I don't want to use it outside the house :(
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    G4 ibooks are not that tough anymore but the G3 ones can be ran over with a car ;)

    aluminium powerbooks have benefited greatly from the ibook design and are the most durable laptops apple is currently selling [this i can say by comparing my co-worker's G4-ibook to my own 15" albook]. albook is multiple times better than the tibook i previously owned - it felt fragile, but the albook doesn't.

    and... the smaller, the tougher. my friend has the 12" albook and it feels like unbreakable.
  9. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    Well if this is any help I am in Iraq and I have a 15" Al Powerbook Combo 1Ghz that I got a couple of months ago. The HD gave out on my 12" iBook 600Mhz Combo and I just gave it to my buddy and said, fix it, it is yours. Anyhow I do have a hard case for the Powerbook, but it lives (with me) in a GP Small tent, gets hauled in the back of a HMMWV (Hummer) and runs like a champ. I keep plastic over it when I am not using it, and keep a can of air around to dust the keyboard. So anyhow my Powerbook has went to war with me and it is doing good. Is there a better durability test?
  10. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    The iBook G4 and the 12-inch PowerBook G4 are basically identical (but for a few exceptions). So regarding the "interior", both are equally strong or weak. The PBG4 has of course the advantage of having a case from aluminum, but an iBook is also build to resist the normal every day laptop pain. ;)

    I have my iBook G4 with me on the road a lot and it still looks almost as good as when I took it out of the box. That is of course because I handle it with extra care (i.e. a very good laptop backpack, etc.).
  11. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Is that just a guess, or have you done it?

    G3 iBook here--14 months old and it goes everywhere. It's had what I'd consider normal use--more or less. I never shut it down, it goes everywhere (in a bag or under my arm), it sits open in the moving/bouncing car sometimes. It's been tossed onto beds and sofas, but never anything hard like a desk or floor. It's held up well. It had the logic board problem and it's missing a foot. Apart from that it's great. It isn't even badly scratched.
  12. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    While your logic makes sense, it's not correct.

    The iBook is a consumer machine, therefore it is built to be much more durable. It's meant to be thrown into backpacks and banged around. It's meant to be used by students who abuse things, that's why it's made with a plastic casing that doesn't break easily.

    The PowerBook is the pro machine, and it's meant to be treated in a careful and respectful manner by professional users. The metal casing is very thin, and dents very easily. It's meant to be placed into heavily padded bags and carefully toted around.

    I have a 12" iBook and my friend has a 12" PB. We both try to take good care of our Mac's, but usually they get thrown into backpacks and treated with little to no respect. My 2.5 year old iBook has no dents or scratches and still looks like new, despite sometimes horrible treatment. My friends 1 year old PB is dented in 2 corners. The iBook is a much more durable machine, hands down.
  13. dudeami macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    I have had an iBook for more than 6 months, and I have not had any problems with the case, screen or keyboard.
  14. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    i guess by "built to last" I looked at performance rather than durability. The insides will last longer (faster with more RAM capacity) - I can't really speak for the outsides because I have never owned an iBook.
  15. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i have had both a 12" iBook and 12" PB (my PB for about 8 months now) and well, which is stronger, a plastic fork or a metal fork?

    both preform well, the plastic iBook just seems more flimsy to me. the screen and keyboard never seem crisp. the PB on the otherhand feels rock solid. i have kept both in my bag with books for school and also taken it to work and have never had trouble.

    so what does that mean? if you drop your laptop off of a table onto a hard surface, the plastic will likely scratch while the metal will likely dent. (i do not recomend trying this!)

    i keep good care of my laptops and see very few small scratches on my iBook and so far (knock on wood) no scratches or dents on my PB. just dont drop your laptop onto a hard surface and you will be ok. . . !

    P.S. . . . come on, its an apple. . . any apple is designed better and will stand up to more than a wintel machine!
  16. Pandakin macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2004
    iBook wears

    Just thought i'd tell you folks that the iBooks gets scatched so easily (just like da iPod) as opposed to the powerbook whcih doesn't get scratched hardly. However the ibook is slightly more robust.

    When will apple remove the hand polished lexan polycarbonate surface on the top of the ibook with something slightly more scratch resistant for people on the go. (Sorry i have to say this: but take the chrome off the back of the iPud too/ or just make me an aluclad iPod for me)

  17. tekmate macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2004
    I have a Tibook from 2000 an Ivory model it has some scratches and some peeling paint on the hinges but it never fails to boot up.
  18. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    I'm in total agreement with you on the outside durability--powerbooks DO dent. In fact, Wpod's comparison of plastic vs. metal fork is pretty good. Drop a pb and it may survive the drop, but you're going to end up with a dented pb. For this reason, I'd certainly recommend the iBook over the pb for sheer, toss around ruggedness.

    On the other hand, I *suspect* that the Powerbook may be more durable when it come to the inside, in particular, the keyboard. One of the questions was about sticky keys. The powerbook keyboard is *hands down* one of the best keyboards on any laptop and while I don't know this for a fact, I'm guessing that the iBook's plastic keyboard is more likely to eventually have problems with loose keys or sticking problems.

    Whether that's true or not, I know one thing: I'm completely spoiled by this keyboard and I don't think I could be satisfied with anything less. I type twice as fast when I'm using it.
  19. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    I've had an iBook G4 12" and a 17" Aluminum PowerBook. I would say that the PowerBook feels stronger, more durable, and I do not feel like I have to be gentle in order to prevent scratching. With the iBook it felt like anytime something would touch it there would be a scratch......kind of like the iPods. This isn't the case with the PowerBook. That's my opinion.
  20. alxths macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2003
    What on earth are some of you people doing with your computers?

    I place my aluminum pb in my bag to bring to class with me quite often, and not once has it encountered any situation where I found myself saying, "wow, thank god for it's rugged exterior!" (well, i've imagined a few as a result of kernal panics)

    Any computer's casing will last you as long as you need(production flaws aside) as you just treat it like a computer!

    If you're laptop gets banged around so much that it dents, then i wonder why you have on in the first place; since it must be hard to type with those mittens taped to your hands.

    Anyways, needless to say i guess, i've had a 12" pb for about 5 months now and haven't encountered any problems so far(aside from the crappy video card >=( )
  21. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2003
    I've had my 15" alu pb for a couple months now- I wouldn't really call it a "hinge" anymore..it's sturdy and not as fragile looking as the two hinges the earlier pb's have- the pb I have has a long bar hinge that takes up most of the width of the computer.

    Some of you guys must either have a money tree in your backyard or had someone else pay for your laptop if you're throwing it around and mistreating it. If I could I would wrap a diaper around mine- which the Tom Bihn mitre bag has sort of been for me-I would. Don't drop it, don't spill crap on it (drinks are not allowed w/in 5 ft of my pb, gotta have a perimeter policy), don't eat greasy french fries or pizza while typing and using the touchpad and STOP just chucking it in your bag- be nice and respectful and your pb/ibook will be able to stay nice and pretty for you.
  22. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I would have to say that the PowerBook is the more durable machine. After a year of using an iBook, it felt cheap and well, plastic. I've had a 12" PowerBook since about a month after they came out, and it goes everywhere with me in my backpack!. There is only one small dent, which is because I dropped it, not because of it being in my backpack. The outside of the iBook was scratched up in weeks, my PowerBook has yet to get a scratch.

    Overall, I'd say the PowerBook is more durable overall. The thing that gets me most about the iBook is that for some reason, the screen seems really heavy, and unstable. My PowerBook's screen seems a lot lighter, and it doesn't seem to wobble as much, nor does it seem that the weight of the screen is going to make it wobble a bunch anytime soon.

    Edit: Just a note, in my backpack, it's inside of a neoprene sleeve, inside the padded laptop pocket. I wouldn't throw my laptop in any backpack without at least 1 layer of protection, and 2 is always better...
  23. davy the bunny macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2003
    Powerbook 12" 867

    I'll add my 2 cents. . . I recently picked up a 12 PowerBook for $700 from Fry's Electronics that was severely banged up after the owner dropped it down 10 concrete stair steps. The machine functions perfectly. The only problem is that a lot of the metal on the right side is bent, right above the slot loading drive and there is a dent in the screen that makes a 2 inch white line poke out from the side.

    Truthfully in this situation I think that the iBook's shell probably would've made it out with just a few scratches, being made of plastic instead of permanent dents because of the metal, but what do I care? I got quite a deal.
  24. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    As far as durability, the original ibook is one of the best. I'm not sure if the newer models are less rigid, and if that might be what some are mentioning, but the ibook is very sturdy. It has a magnesium sub frame and a rubber mounted hd. As others have mentioned, the aluminum pb's seem more sturdy than the tibooks. ibooks scratch alot and I have a crack on the bottom panel of my ibook that I don't know how I got.
  25. jap4n macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2003
    wellington, nz
    my G3 ibook 800 has physically lasted a good year of constant use.
    Although the motherboard did die at the start of the year, the rest of it is still pretty much nearnew condition.

    i always transport it using a cotton-lined laptop bag, and havent dropped it or bashed it around the place (persay).


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