Convince me to get a PowerBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gingi0, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. gingi0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2004

    I'm trying to find a good notebook to replace my old Dell Inspiron (that's falling apart) as my primary computer. Being a software engineer, I'm what you'd call a power-user, and I need a pretty hefty machine (at least 1G of RAM). I mostly develop Java applications. My wife, however, cares that the machine is user-friendly and easy to work with. Coming from a UNIX background, the PowerBook, with OS X, seems the perfect fit.

    But I can't seem to convince the Mrs that these features are worth the extra 1000 greenbacks over a PC-based machine with similar specs. I tried telling her that it would increase productivity (she's a scientist, she wants proof). I even had to resort to statements like "It's really cool" and "everybody's got a PowerBook." But she just accuses me of being a big spender, and that I can achieve the same type of work with a PC.

    Any advice on how I can sell the PowerBook idea to her?
  2. makisushi macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    Northern VA
    Stop your whining, and just go buy it.
    If it is for work, why isn't your company buying it?
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    It's time for someone to show someone who wears the trousers in your household ;) :p


    Could you tell us the PB you are looking at, and the wintel laptop that is $1000 cheaper that apparently is about the same spec (can't imagine it is though)?
  4. AoWolf macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Well OS x is unix based we but we know that. There was a macbytes story yesterday comparing macs and Pc that might be useful too. Tell her that there will be no viruses and you will get a better shelf life off the mac.
  5. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    With exception on what software you are using (WSAD, Eclipse, JBuilder, NetBeans) , it really shoudn't matter what platform you develop your software on.

    Heres a good read of another Java developers experience. Not to mention if you have attended any of the NFJS symposiums, you will see that macs are prevelant amongst some of the most respected people in the java realm.
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    When I bought a 12-inch Powerbook I compared the prices to several high end pc notebooks, like the dell latitude series or Asus.
    My conclusion was that the apples didn't cost that much more than the PC notebooks.
    Lowerend pc notebooks are cheap, but you get celeron cpus, and you get flimsy plastic enclosures.
    If you looks at centrinos you will get a faster machine for the same price, but you cant use macosx on them.

    If you are specing a Dell Latitude D800, similar to a Powerbook 15" combodrive:
    combodrive, 15"inch screen, 60GB4200rpm hd, 256mb ram, 802.11g network, Geforece 5650 M (which is slower than the pbs radeon 9700m) no extra warranty or service. (the dell would be 1.5 Pentium M vs 1.33 G4, so the dell would be a little faster.) bot machines would cost the almost same $1999 for the pb and $1954 for the dell.
    The dell would also weigth 7.1 pounds compared to the powerbooks 5.7.

    And if you look at Asus W1N for ex, it would cost more (atleast here i live).
  7. fistful macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    just tell her for every powerbook someone doesn't buy a kitten dies. :(

    I guess you could always compromise and get an ibook, they don't seem too far behind the pb's on specs. :\
  8. gingi0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2004
    Thanks for all the advice so far. Just to be clear, the PowerBook I'm salivating over is:

    • PowerBook 1.5GHz (15.2" TFT)
    • 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 with 64MB Graphics Memory
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200 rpm
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • 1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 2x512 SO-DIMMs
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    Retail: $2899

    For comparison, we found an "acceptable" Dell with similar specs:

    • Mobile Pentium® 4 Processor 518 w/HT Technology (2.80GHz, 533MHz FSB)
    • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
    • 15 inch XGA LCD Panel
    • 1GB RAM,333MHz,2 DIMMs
    • 64MB DDR NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX Go5200 AGP 4x Graphics
    • 80GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive
    • Integrated Network Card
    • Internal 56k Modem for Inspiron
    • 8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+RW/+R)
    Retail: $1946
    Sale: $1751

    The Dell is not Pentium M or Centrino, but you get the idea.

  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    The dell is cheap because it's a desktop P4 processor in there, and not even a new one (533MHz BUS was a long time ago). With it being a desktop P4 in there it will get a sh*t battery life because the chips were never designed to save power.

    The powerbook has a 9700 video card, which is piles better than the 5200 in the dell.

    Also, don't buy your RAM from Apple, buy it from newegg or crucial and the price will drop.
  10. superfunkomatic macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2003
    calgary, ab canada
    here are some measurable pluses -

    1. doesn't have security issues like another operating system (IE adware, buffer over-run problems
    2. uses MS compatible software like Office, which in my opinion runs better and is more intuitive on Macs
    3. dead easy to configure - moving network connections from wireless to wired and from home to work - seamlessly
    4. built in dual monitor support and configuration
    5. SSH/web tools support and development native - includes PHP, MySQL and dev tools out of the box - your own portable development and testing server
    6. Incorporation of photo, audio and video software that is easy to use and create/share with
    7. more, need more?
    I think these alone are good reasons for the mac over pc, your time and your significant other's is worth something - likely more than mucking about removing outlook viruses, adware, driver issues and the like.
  11. Anticipat3 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2003
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Also, you could consider the 1.33 ghz model -- it's not siginificantly slower, but it is significantly cheaper!

    I'm also a Java developer and UNIX head, and let me tell you -- for a portable UNIX machine, there is no equal. Unless you manage to get a PC laptop that runs Linux well (in that it has drivers to support all of the devices, wireless cards and widescreen displays are troublesome) AND you happen to get hardware that all supports Suspend To RAM (Sleepp), you aren't going to get a machine that matches it. To boot, it's going to be a much greater hassle to get it working, even if your hardware is adequate. To my knowledge, there are only about 2 or 3 laptops currently being sold that would qualify for all those categories... so your choices are limited.

    Here are some other selling points for the machine:
    1. Portability. Won't find a PC laptop that's as powerful that's also as small and has as much battery life.
    2. Unix + Usability. You get the Terminal, the Java tools, but you also get Microsoft Office and Multimedia capabilities.
    3. Durability. AlBooks can take a LOT of abuse. Before my powerbook I had a Dell laptop, and sent it in for repairs no less than 3 times. I even carried it in a sleeve, etc, but the thing just cannot take being hauled around daily. Chintsy plastic just didn't cut it.
  12. daboo2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2004
    Is it important to you?

    In this day and age, computers are like beds -- you spend enough time on them to elect spending more money to be comfortable.

    Just as I will wake up satisfied and happy on my Tempur-Pedic bed, so, too, am I that I own a Mac, especially a Powerbook. If you do your work on a computer, you should buy the one that will make you comfortable day in and day out. There is not that much separation in comparitive cost (especially spread out over a five year period), but the quality and experience are vastly diffferent. And it seems you already know this.

    Life is too short to spend it on a PC.
  13. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2003
    i must confess when considering a laptop i looked at some windows machines and i must say when it came down to it the mac was more bang for the buck... i was getting outrageous prices over 2000 just after configuration for something somewhat comparable to the 12' pb that will cost me 1400. so i really dont think the price difference is that real in this situation. it depends. but if you are getting a respectable pc laptop it will be way up there in price and certain things like a worthwhile harddrive that comes standard on a pb is an add on option
  14. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    Main reason to buy a powerbook

    I was also considering a PC laptop before I bought my PB. The problem was that almost all of my colleagues who have Dell or Sony laptops have MAJOR problems (i.e. memory crashes, HD died out, and just won't start). And the ones with Apple PBs do not have any problems at all. Thus, PBs are reliable machines!

    Wait till the end of this month as rumored updated PBs are coming and are $100 cheaper than the current. Maybe that'll help convince your wife?

    Good luck...
  15. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    There are tons of good reasons listed above, but you won't convince her if she doesn't want to be convinced. Do you have an Apple Store close to home? Let her play around with one for a half's all the selling you'll need to do.
  16. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
  17. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2003
    King of Prussia, PA
    The 1.33 GHz 15" PowerBook with 1 GB of RAM from Boundless Technologies ($170 for 2x512 MB - see for good RAM prices) will cost you $2500.
  18. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    After my wife finally agreed that we ought to get a laptop, she wanted to go get a cheap ol' PC. After a few days of "discussion," I took her to our local Apple Store, told her to try out a few models, and I started browsing (always a dangerous thing for me to do!).
    After about 20 minutes, she found me and told me to go ahead and order the Apple.

    EDIT - When she found me, I had $330 worth of stuff in my arms to go along with the laptop I knew she was going to let me buy.
  19. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2003
    HA! congrats!! it doesnt take much more than touching em!
  20. bdomz macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2004
    you should also consider the fact that a powerbook will retain its value very well, so in a few years when it's time to upgrade you could get back a decent chunk of change if you sell on ebay. Apple laptops have the best resale value of any manufacture, they even do better than IBM thinkpads.
  21. gingi0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2004
    Thanks so much for all the excellent points and pointers. I feel like compiling them all into a formalized purchase request and just handing it over to my wife. Meanwhile, I'll drag her to the local Apple Store and have her doodle with all the nifty features. If anything, all the responses have really solidified my own determination to get the PowerBook.
  22. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
  23. makisushi macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    Northern VA

    That is right attitude! Eye on the prize, baby!
  24. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    The best way to convince someone to get a Mac is to demo the computer face to face ( or take them to an Apple store as you suggest), they will then realise that it is not just the physical hardware that is attractive, but also the OS is just so user friendly. When I demo the Mac to friends and colleagues, they are impressed with how iLife all works together. Show them iPhoto and say if I drag this picture and that picture to create a new album then press this button to automatically upload them to my web site, that always impresses them.
  25. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    Oh yeah, the wife. How'd I get a Powerbook past my wife? Let's see...

    1. "since I'm going to use this thing 24/7 all the time I better buy quality"
    2. generally announce major purchases in advance so they're not a surprise
    3. Be frugal in other areas and point to all the stuff I *haven't* bought. A luxury car, PS2/XBOX/lots of DVDs, a PC for games, digital camera, etc. My gadget:income ratio is much lower than most guys in IT.
    4. Make the "hey, I'm in the computer industry - my skills pay the bills" argument
    5. Make it last - keep it for about 2.5 to 3 yrs (easy for a Mac with RAM and OS upgrades)

    And finally...
    6. "You can use it too - actually it'll be all yours when i upgrade". :)

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