college students w/ 15" powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by klyau6, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. klyau6 macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2004
    this post is for all of the college students out there who own a 15" powerbook! most of you have probably encountered, the "desks" (and that's being generous) in most lecture halls are teeny tiny...i've been interested in both the 12" and 15" powerbook (but mainly the 15"), but i'm worried the 15" will be too large to take to class with. Is it? or is it manageable? Someone was using his 12" iBook today during a lecture and it was a perfect fit on the desk. However, i don't want to get the 12" JUST for the sake of taking it to class...I've used a 13" monitor on my desktop computer for years and years and i would like to get a larger screen, which is why i'm not too much in the running for a 12" anymore.

    any comments would be appreciated. thanks!
  2. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    I dunno, I goto a large university and i've never taken a laptop to my classes ... i've never even seen soemone taking notes with a laptop in a class maybe were traditionalists. I have wireless in my room so I like having my 12" pb but if your main reason for a 12" is taking notes i think your wasting your money. I would go for the 15"... I know there are quite a few people on the board who do take their laptops to class but it seems unecessary to me atleast ...
  3. klyau6 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2004
    i go to a large university as well (35,000+ students). i just want to be able to have the option of taking the notebook to class..not everyone does it, but a few do when they know it's going to be endless notetaking and it would be nice (since i type faster than i write, and my handwriting's rubbish anyway). i wouldn't buy a 12" solely for taking notes...i just want to be sure that a 15" would be suitable though
  4. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I think it really depends all on the size of the desks. I know at my school desk size veries alot depending on where you are. On some of them having room for a 12'' is a stretch. I would recemend taking a piece of paper or tow and cutting them to be the size of the 15'', and then just take that to class with you, and see for yourself. Good Luck either way, both are very nice computers
  5. Biker21098 macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2002
    laptop on desks

    i use mine in all my classes. YEs some are thsoe very small lecture hall style fold down desks. it is too wide to fit, but my easy fix which i use even on larger tables is a binder. I have a 1inch binder for each class, and i put it on the desk then my PBook on top. This gives some angle to the PBook, so I can type better, plus it also keeps it from getting scratched. This works out great, GET the 15inch, couple small extra features, and u'll love the screen size. So do it, and just use a binder to make the desk a little bigger, and keeps it from gettign scratched.
  6. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    I have a question for those of you who use a laptop to take notes:

    How do you do it? I'm a fast typer, but half of my notes are diagrams and drawings with arrows pointing to other parts of the notes. Do you guys draw diagrams into your notes using the drawing tool in your word processor? Do you use photoshop or illustrator? Or do you just draw your diagrams on notepaper?

    I'd like to take notes in class using my iBook, but when I look at the notes I take, I think it would be impossible to use my laptop. How do you guys do it?
  7. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    As a (still, after 5 years) college student, I have to say I'm very glad I went with a 12" PB instead of dropping more dough on a bigger screen. God knows those textbooks are heavier then a brick to begin with, so why make it worse by adding an even bigger laptop to the bag too?
  8. The_Wall macrumors member

    May 20, 2003
    What to you want mostly?

    In my opinion it is all about what you want. I got a 15" AlPB for the larger screen because I thought I would use it on my desk more. However after trying it out in class I love it because I can type quicker than I can write. Instead of looking at the screen and writing, I can just keep looking up and typing.

    Also I did not have the option to get a 12" that would connect to an Apple LCD when I bought mine either. A 12" with a 17" or 20" LCD would be really nice, and very portable for class. Just something to think about.

    Good Luck

  9. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    That's what you have arms for :rolleyes:

    Last semester, I took my PB to every English class, because it fit fine on the desks, and because we were constantly writing. Now, I have no reason, because none of my classes really require regular note taking. Besides, I'm not taking my PB anywhere near an oxyacetylene torch! :eek:
  10. adamberti macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2003
    Some classes I have one big long desk, others it's a fold out desk from the Chair. I find it works on nearly anything ( I have a 15"), but whats more important is the type of class and prof's style of teaching.

    When it comes to size though, as long as the powerbook isn't hanging off each side more than about 2 inches, I think it's ok. I don't see how it would damage your powerbook. It's not like your pounding on it to type (at least I hope not).

    RBMaraman, when it comes to notetaking, it depends on the class. I had a Psychology class where the prof used PowerPoint with nicely laid outbullets at different levels. There were a few diagrams, but they were mostly out of the textbook. So I used OmniOutliner, which was great for studying. If you havent used it before, it is pretty much a really feature rich list maker - so I had colours and sizes for each level of the list. With each deeper level, my notes got more detailed. When it was time to study I would read and study everything, and then when I understood a section enough, I could click on a little triangle to have all sub-levels of that point disappear. So now I would look at that simple sentance and it would trigger me to remember everything that was deeper in the list. So evetually I would have maybe 6 words for a whole chapter, and each word would trigger more complex ideas and each one of those would have even more. I hope that made sense.

    For my degree related classes (Business degree), most profs use powerpoint and post them to the web, so you can download them and print them - the I just add notes as the profs speak. It's pretty common for most classes in the business school.

    I've seen one guy in an economics class of mine use a Wacom tablet - he types everything, but then switches over to painter to draw diagrams and graphs and pastes them into Word - I sit beside him sometimes, and the drawing seems to be very slow and tedious for him. Unless the class is mostly text notes, I don't even consider using my powerbook.
  11. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, I go to UCSD, and I definitely feel ya on the small desk syndrome. I have a 12" iBook, and I still prefer to keep it in my lap rather than on the desk. I'm in the market for a PB, but i'm probably just going to hold til the G5. I can't decide though if I'd rather keep up my nice portability w/ the 12"er or have a bigger screen...
    P.S. So yah in conclusion, I find my 12" iBook to be a bit cumbersome on the desks so I can only imagine that a 15"er would be worse. However, putting the 'book in your lap more than solves the problem.
  12. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2002
    This is such a no brainer. Go with the 12" PB.

    I've used both a 12" iBook and a 15" PB in the classroom and found the smaller foootprint much more manageable. And it takes up far less space in your backpack.

    The great thing is — (and I don't know why more people don't suggest this) — If you long for additional screen real estate, buy a monitor to plug into at home. For your use, I'd probably recommend a 19" CRT. You can't beat the price and they won't hog desk space like a 22". Besides, anything bigger than a 19" and you'll likely feel claustrophobic every time you unplug and go back to using the 12" screen (17s don't really give you enough additional space to feel worth it). And if you upgrade to a 15" PB later, the monitor will still come in handy.

    If space is of concern and price isn't, you could opt for an LCD external, but you'll pay more for less real estate.
  13. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    That's what I do actually. Got a 1GHz 12" PB, a 19" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930SB at the office and a 17" NEC Multisync FE791SB at home (basically the same monitors, but different sizes).

    I heartily recommend those two models as well.
  14. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Lucky for me I go to a good university that has classrooms. I've never had a problem fittingmy PowerBook on the standard desks. Also, any lecture hall we have has tables from one Isle to another so thats not a problem either. However, I have not had any problems when visiting University of Michigan - Flint on the other side of town for presentations, and they have those smaller desks, and those fold out trays from the seats, however, I'd just perfer to use my lap. 15" is nice, however the 12" may do good for you if you take your machine to class all the time. And as it was said before, You can always get an external monitor for other uses.

  15. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    Well, I'd say I have to go with the 15" PowerBook...I have one, the titanium one...I go to Miami University, and have never had any problems with it here. I don't know how it is at all schools, but here it seems that the desks are different depending what school you are in. I'm in the business school, so most of the time we use conference tables, which are awesome and designed for notebooks. But then you have your history classes that have very small desks. So, if your university is like that, I'd say go with whatever major you are in. And, for those that are saying the 12" is MUCH more portable than the 15", well, its true it is smaller, and smaller is always more portable, but its not like the 15" is a huge computer you can't take with you....thats the 17" ;-) Bottom line, I'd go with the 15"...that way you could even get the backlit keyboard for classes that may have the lights dimmed for powerpoint or overheads.
  16. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I've taken my 17" to lots of different classes - at different schools too.

    It doesn't really matter the size of the school - every classroom at any school can be different. You know the size of the desks best - but I think a 15 will be fine, there isn't *that* much difference between it and the 12" horizontally - but a lot of screen in between...

    If you have one class that it doesn't work in - get a piece of paper. Some classes aren't as good for non-text note taking. Use your Powerbook in 3 out of 4 classes or whatever. You'll love the 15.
  17. bcstanding macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I am a university student (although not for much longer) and I bought a PB Titanium G4 400 as soon as they came out. Depending on the classes you take, it may be worth it to have a larger screen. I'm a Computer Science student and I know a 12" screen would not work for me, so it was a very easy decision between the PB and the iBook (no 12" PB 3 years ago). As to the 12" being more portable - I'd have to say that unless the desks are *extremely* small and you can't handle the 1lb difference, portablility is not really an issue between the 12" and 15".
  18. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    I don't take mine to classes besides for presentations since it's just not practical to take notes with your laptop in every class in most instances. If you absolutely must, then just set it in your lap and use it as an actual "laptop" computer. I do that whenever I am on the plane since the tray tables are never big enough, not even for a 12" PowerBook.
  19. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    The 15" PowerBook isn't too big to take to class... I have taken mine before, but not very often. In one of my classes, there is a guy who brings in his new 17" Aluminum everyday.
  20. vvedge macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2004
    I'm an iBook user since Senior year of high school... I had to borrow my dad's Titanium for a few weeks... Definitely a different experience.

    But what helps with the desk problem is a Roadtools or Targus Coolpad. It has the footprint of an 12 inch iBook or powerbook, and it can hold up basically any size laptop. And its great, it swivels, it lifts, it separates.
  21. cosmo macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2003

    does it julian fries???

    I have the 12" and i absolutely love it's portability, it basically is always with me. My main reason for getting the 12, besides portability, was cost. I just graduated from the university of wisconsin (a very large school 45K+) and i really couldn't justify spending the extra money at the time. I have an external 17"crt from my old PC at home, so screen realestate isn't much of a problem.

    as far as taking notes in class, i do it in latex. since i'm a physics grad student now, it's pretty much one of the only options for formatting math text, and by now i'm used to it.

    that being said, when the g5 pb's come out i'm planning on getting the 15. that way when i need something extra portable the 12 will be handy, but the functionality and (hopefully) performance advantages of the 15 will be my day to day machine [i'll probably wait for rev B].
  22. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i use a 17 in lecutres hasnt been a problem for me

    since im doing law not that many diagrams need to be added to notes its mostly non stop typing the extra screen space lets me compare previous notes and cases and case commentaries in class without having to fiddle with paper
  23. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    though rather outlandish, how about this: buy your 15in PB AND also buy a smaller notebook, like an old ibook or even a windows pc. then you can just transfer the notes when you are done! then again, it is rather annoying to have to deal with two computers, but this might work for you.
  24. Toeknee macrumors regular


    Sep 24, 2003
    San Antonio, Texas
    Well the school i got to has about 25000 students (bigger than Kansas State, Baylor, and Nebraska..correct me if im wrong on this one) and yes the little flip out desks are damn small but i just use my PB on my lap. I figured that the only spot on the computer that gets hot is the area around the RAM door since the CPU and RAM are located around here so it doesnt really get that bad.
  25. klyau6 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2004
    ahh great, a big thanks to everybody who took the time to respond! :)

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