Concerns about purchasing new Powerbook...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Butla99, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Butla99 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2003
    CA-Bay Area
    I have been waiting a long time to buy a laptop and the time must come soon. It will either be a Voodoo envy laptop or a PB. I will mainly use it for internet, e-mail, downloading/playing videos and music, and creating presentations. I don't even like to game, but I really appreciate crystal clear resolution and smooth transitions. I have some concerns with both, so here it goes.

    1. No PCI-E (is ATI 9700 w/128MB good enough)? Big concern.
    2. Slow FSB
    3. No Dual-layer DVD (not a huge deal)
    4. Are the speakers any good?
    5. LCD: I am having a really hard time with the fact that the resolution on a 17" PB is only 1440x900. I really want 1920x1200. How does the screen look, for anyone who owns one? Contrast ratio? Brightness? Sharpness of text and graphics? This is a major concern for me.
    6. Small L2 cache.
    7. Can you get a TV tuner (not a big deal)?
    8. Card reader (SD, Memory Stick, etc...)?
    9. How is battery life?
    10. Hmmm, I think that is it. Comments, advice? On the plus side, it has aesthetics, slot-load DVD, illuminated keyboard, SMS, OS X, etc...

    1. Does anyone know a lot about these laptops? The m:380 is just about as sleek and cool as the PB, but has a higher screen resolution and more L2 cache.

    Anyway, if anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it. Oh, by the way, how is Keynote compared to Powerpoint? It looks really sleek and sophisticated, but I have never really used a PB. I would hate to buy a new PB or whatever, and have something much better come out in a month. It seems that laptops are going through a major overhaul right now. Sorry for the long post. :D

    I forgot a few things. What software would I need to purchase if I want the equivalent of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., as well as media palyers, video editing, and a Photoshop-like program? I want to try Keynote also, I think that comes with iWorks (Keynote 2 and pages). Do I ahve to buy all of the wireless stuff separately (Airport Extreme Base Station, wireless card, etc...)? Sorry again, I am stupid when it comes to Macs.
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    i do not play games with my mac, but...

    1) radeon 9700 is a very good chip
    2) you will only notice it when rendering video
    3) dual-layer discs are so expensive it's not worth it. blueray is coming. external dual-layer-burners are available if you insist.
    4) yes, although i prefer my shure E5 headphones :)
    5) powerbook display is very extremely gorgeous compared to any other laptop. resolution is not everything, and even the resolution is not bad.
    6) you will only notice it when rendering video. L2 is really enough for pro audio work, hitting +85% cpu levels all the time. not a concern at all.
    7) i think not. external digital tuners are available if you insist.
    8) externals available, pcmcia or usb.
    9) decent. plus if you have a spare battery, you can swap it without shutting down your laptop. huge deal if you do intercontinental flights.
    10) it's very good at anything you throw at it - except that it is a known fact that compared to any mac, playing games is more satisfying with a playstation ;)
  3. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    a) MS Office for Mac (99.9% compatible with Office for Windows). Some - including me - say it is better than the Windows version, but it is a personal thing.
    b) Media players are built in (although you may also want to get Quicktime Pro & JPEG-2 for even more flexibility); WMP & Real should cover other formats not covered by Quicktime.
    c) iLife is bundled, for basic video editing, Quicktime Pro gives a bit more capability, or go for one of the Apple "Express" or "Pro" packages; Photoshop is available on Mac.
    d) PB has airport built-in; this works with Apple Airport and most if not all other wireless base stations.

    Have a look at the Apple site - quite informative, easy to navigate, and most of your questions would be answered there.

    Good luck.

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