cant decide 12" ibook or pb

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mrweirdo, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. mrweirdo macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2005
    Ok so first off i need a laptop and I cant realy wait for the intel ones to come out since I need it at the latest by feb 30th. So anyways I was at first looking at the getting the 12" ibook(probably refurb for $799 USD from apple otherwise $999 new). Then i discovered that I could get a 12" pb refurb from apple for $1,099 USD. So now I cant decide if its worth it to spend the extra money for the sleeker looking pb over the ibook.
    Basicly what the laptop I get will be used for is a lot of web browsing, email, etc, watching dvds, listening to music, and using it at school or other places were wifi is availible.

    I noticed that the main difference between the two were the fact the pb had a minidvi conector, faster (5400rpm vs 4200)and larger hd(60gbvs40), audio input. I was wondering if mnidvi will hook up a LCD with a regular DVI for one? I will probably be using it a lot after i come back home hooked up to my 17" samsung LCD. Also other then the audio input line does the pb have a beter sound card ie 24vs16-bit? Is there a noticeable difference in performance between the two hard drives and does it show with a pb over ibook?

    Im also a bit worried because I have heard about the recent pbs having some sort of defect problem with the LCD screens on the larger versions. Think it was something about lines or dots apearing on the screens. Is the 12" affected by this? Does the 12" pb offer a beter screen in terms of brigthness and color over the 12 ibook?

    I heard that pb wireless reception isnt as good as the ibooks. Is there any noticable difference people have experienced? also which of the two get the best battery life?

    *edit I decided to go for the ibook mostly because it fits my budget better and it seems like its more durable expecialy good for me if im caring it around it my backpack. Now i just need to wait for a 12" refurb to become availible on apples site :/
  2. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Get the iBook its not worth getting the Powerbook 12" unless you really need the superdrive....

  3. Winstonp macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2005
    the powerbook dents, assuming you are a living, warm blooded human being.

    I second the iBook!
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I know you already decided. But just so questions are somewhat addressed...

    The screen issue w/ the latest revision of PB G4 does NOT affect the 12" PBs because they weren't revised (other than Apple dropped the combo drive model; I believe you can still 'downgrade' as a BTO, though).

    The 12" PB and iBook have the same screens. Same resolution, and I believe same in terms of brightness and color (though some people feel otherwise).

    In my own real-world experience (I've owned the 12" 1.33GHz PB for over a year, and now the 12" 1.33GHz iBook) the iBook has ridiculously better wi-fi reception. In the exact same place on my desk in my room, the iBook will have full reception while my PB struggled to get (and maintain) one or two bars!

    Also, when on-the-road, I'll turn BT off, dim the screens, and running the same apps on both machines; my PB would display around 4ish hours of battery life while my iBook displays 6ish hours.

    Yes the PB is sleeker. Smaller. Sexier. But as a student w/out the 'power' needs of extra ports and the slightly better VRAM, the perks of the iBook far outweigh the perks of the PB.

    I won't go back to PB. :p
  5. myshoeshurt macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2006
    Victoria, B.C.
    You just described all the right reasons to buy an iBook!
  6. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I'd vote for the Powerbook. You get great video output options, including up to 23-inch ACD.

    Furthermore, my iBook looked a lot more beat up than my Powerbook. That white plastic really scratches. My aluminium is still beautiful on Powerbook.

    Nevertheless, the iBook is a great machine too.
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    And I'd vote for the iBook. Here's how I reason: if the PB had ONLY superior feartures to the iBook, then the question would be - do I want to pay $X for those differences? Like a choice between a Toyota Camry and a Lexus. Camry has got nothing over the Lexus - question is, do you want to pay the priemium for the Lexus. However, that is NOT the situation here. Because there are actually features of the iBook that are SUPERIOR to the PB (wifi reception, battery life, durability etc.). In which case, the choice is very clear: unless you need some feature that only the PB has, the obvious choice is the iBook. And you save a bucketload of money too. All IMHO. YMMV.
  8. Coutsy macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2006
    Hi, first post here so be gently ;) .

    But could anyone offer any advice on the look of the iBook 12inch. From the pictures it looks quite 'plastic' to me. I much prefer the look of the PowerBook but realise it is probably better for me to go for the iBook considering I would be using the laptop for. What do users of the iBook think - did anybody else have reservations about its look before purchasing?

    Also what are your opinions on the prospect of the new entry level notebook announced in the near future being more along the lines of the PowerBook to look at - ideally I would like a black or silver laptop with a more metallic feel. Am I just being vain?
  9. revfife macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2006
    In a far country
    I would say go for the iBook. I am hoping and waiting for Amazon to have a big friday sale before their rebates expire and get the 12 iBook for $799. At this price you couldn't afford to be too vain. Its a steal for that and will still be a good machine long after intels come out.
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    No matter which one you choose, you'll want to add 1GB RAM, so add that into your budget.

    The 1.33 GHz ibook refurb is your best option for $799 but you will be limited to a smaller 40 -60GB HD depending on what they ship.

    I lucked out and got the 60GB HD free.

    Others end up with the stock 40 GB HD and a free upgrade to 1 GB RAM.

    You didn't mention which model 12" PowerBook you were looking at for $1099. What processor speed and drive options does it have?
  11. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    I have had my 12" pb for 8 months and i dont have ANY dents and only one little tiny 1cm scratch on the bottom that i got the FIRST DAY! *curses* when my mom dragged it across a table with something rough on it. So to the people who say they get wrecked, they must be careless. The Wi-Fi isnt awesome on it but for the most part I find it to be great for my needs at college and the ability to use an external monitor/mouse/kb with the lid closed is sweet as I dont think the ibook can do that. And as one person put it on this board "the pb oozes its technological sexiness" plus the added video+cpu power cant hurt as these machines are already slow as dirt without maxed out ram. I just find ibooks to feel so economy its like im on welfare, everything feels cheap on it.
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    When shopping refurbs, you may not see the latest model available every day, but they usually come back up, so be prepared to make your move when
    you see the one you want.
  13. doctor pangloss macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2004
    I've noticed this wifi performance difference too. What's up with that?
    I like the PB but I think I'd buy an ibook next time around.
    Also the plastic case is way tougher. The aluminum looks nice but dings easily and warps too!
  14. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Well, that's subjective isn't it? Opinions will obviously differ. Just as an example, I for one actually PREFER the look of the iBook to that of the PBs - by FAR. First, the whole metal look is sooooo boring... been done for soooo long... every frikken laptop is either metal, or plastic that pretends to look like metal... it's cold and dead looking, and frankly clunky looking to me. Meanwhile, the iBook - I LOVE the white! How many white laptops have YOU seen??? It's unique, it has character, it says "I'm different" and "I'm cool" - it is to me the very essence of APPLE. I love the white. And I strongly disagree that it looks "cheap" - the plastic in the iBook is a special kind of plastic quite unlike other laptops, and looks it too. It is actually both warmer and tougher looking - an interesting combination. If you want to see what PLASTIC looks like, take a look at f.ex. Dell laptops - the iBook material is quite unique and quite beautiful, and NOT cheap looking.

    See? YMMV. It's all a question of aesthetics. I hate, hate, HATE the old beaten to death materials that are used so very, very very often in laptops - METALS - ugh! I love unique. You want what everyone else wants - go stand in line for more clunky metal. I love unique. And that's why I love Apple. Stand apart from the sickening crowd. Dare to be different, dare to be beautiful :)
  15. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I have had both just recently. I can say the Powerbook. Better keyboard and I needed to use an external monitor.
  16. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Interesting date (Feb 30th?!!!) :confused: :p

    I was going to suggest an iBook for your needs, but looks as though you've already arrived at this decision anyway.
  17. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    I don't dispute any of the reasons to go one way or another, as posted here, save one: the way the durability/toughness issue is presented. The simple truth is, the single biggest variable that matters is how you will treat your computer, no matter what it's made of. There are plenty of mistreated iBooks that look like crap after a few months, and plenty of PowerBooks that look fine into their golden years, with a little effort.

    There are plenty of other such anecdotal examples available in these forums, but for example, my brother's 12" iBook is scuffed all over (and has a nasty hinge creak), while my 1.5-yr-old PowerBook looks showroom. Why? Because I carry it around in a simple $20 sleeve (mine's Tucano, but there are many brands that make them). And yes, I'm one of those throw-it-in-the-backpack-with-my-books-etc. people, doesn't matter.

    The point is, whatever the differences in case materials, they do not have to be the determining factor in how your laptop will fare in the wild.
  18. mrweirdo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2005

    ya I only said that because Im gona spending a couple of weeks at my cousins house sometime in march and i would like to have a portable comp. Then early this summer Im going to be going on vacation for a few weeks as well.

    I would totaly be sold on the ibook if it had a dvi output so I can hook up to a bigger display but i guess vga will work just fine as well since a lot of displays still have analog or both. For when its here at home I plan to hook up to my samsung syncmaster 172x LCD and since my desktop allready uses the analog input it would have been cool to have the ibook on dvi so a quick punch of a button on my monitor. then not that this matters because of the span hack (i think) for ibook it would be nice to be able to change resoulutions on the exterenal display. My Samsung LCD looks best 1280x1024pixels which is its native resolution.
  19. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    The way Apple ships the iBook you cannot have more than 1024x768 on the external display, mirroring only (you can't turn off the iBook display either).

    If you want to use a higher resolution on the external display connected to iBook, you will have to use the screen spanning hack. This will allow you to set a higher resolution on the external display (i.e. 1280x1024). Of course, this will also eat up some of your VRAM because both displays will be active.

    I don't know where you are, but in the U.S. Apple has the 12-inch Superdrive Powerbook, for $1200 in the refurbished store. Amazon also has it new, after rebate, for $1350:

    Sounds like you really like the iBook, which is great. However, like you, I really like the DVI-output on the Powerbook. Then if you ever get a bigger external display, you know it can drive it fine too. I used an iBook with the screen spanning hack about 18 months ago, it worked fine, but I did notice a hit in video performance.
  20. sk1985 macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2006
    Pros for the ibook are...
    Better wifi reception.
    Better battery life (something you should always take into account with a notebook).
    Cooler more youthful look (I love how my iBook looks).
    Pretty sturdy.

    Some cons for the ibook are...
    It scratches easily (although I keep mine in a case and it's scratch free).

    It's screen isn't nearly as nice as the 12 inch powerbook (I know this for a fact my bro has a 12 inch powerbook and so does my roommate). The powerbook has richer colors, looks less washed out, and has better more even backlighting.

    It lacks of super drive option.

    It comes with a pathetic hard drive unless you build to order.

    It has an outdated graphics card but I'm forgiving to that fact since it's not a pro machine, and I'd rather have any kind of recent graphics card over a integrated graphics chip.

    The keyboard and mouse clicker feel cheap but are still better than most on the market (but not by much).

    It's slightly overpriced but it's build quality and battery life is better than most notebooks in it's class.

    It also has pretty shabby build quality. I've returned my ibook twice. Each time the lower left hand side of the unit becomes loser and loser. My current unit was fine up until a week ago when it too start to loosen up.

    Some powerbook advantages are...
    It looks like a stunning machine made for the business world.
    It has a better screen.
    It comes loaded with a superdrive.
    It comes with a rather large stock hard drive.
    It has a rather nice feeling keyboard.

    Some cons are...
    It too scratches easily but it does hind it's scratches well.
    It really doesn't have much of a power difference with the 12 inch ibook.
    It warps rather easily. My bro's warped in his first month of ownership.
    It has a super outdated graphics card.
    It has a pretty weak wifi signal by comparison to the ibook (it's actually pretty noticeable).
    It's battery life is noticeably shorter than the 12 inch ibook.
    It doesn't warrant the 1500 dollar price.
  21. f1restarter macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2005
    I pretty much agree with most cons about the 12" PB except the dings and the warp, although i have heard some people having issues with the warp. I've had my 12" PB for about 2 years and have never experienced any dents or dings, heck even the hinge is still tight as the day i bought it! Im sure people have different experiences but they sometimes fail to mention how they handle their notebooks, as well. The biggest con i can say is the Wi-Fi signal strength and that is due to the All Aluminum casing which acts like a Faradays Cage.

    As far as the price is concerned i agree that $1500 is a bit much, especially when you can now get the latest 15" dual core PB for under $2000 with a supposedly far better battery life too! :cool:
  22. mrweirdo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2005
    well I have had a chance to check out the ibook at the local compusa recently(no apple stores nearby :( ) while there I noticed a bunch of keys were broken off on the left side of the keyboard and the screen had this definate white wash over it no mater how much i played with the brightness and other settings. In fact all of the apple notebooks screens were that way. So it kind of scared me build wise but I'm thinking thats probably cause compusa is a pos store anyways and i doubt they realy care how the apple products look knowing they get more sales from pcs(all were in perfect shape and vibrant looking btw)

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