Does a potential art student need iBook or PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by macswellcoffee@, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. macswellcoffee@ macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2005
    I am about to be a freshmen in college and currently use an iMac G4, 800 mHz, 60 Gig HD, 384 MB ram. I'm am selling the iMac for it has become too slow and outdated. In college, I am planning on becoming an art student after two years, and the classes I will be taking to begin with will most likely include art-prep classes, using graphics etc. I was wondering, regardless of the iBook update that's to be seen soon, which laptop to buy, the iBook or the PowerBook. The most expensive iBook is the same price as the cheapest PowerBook, which is a headache. I also need a superdrive, but I will have an external hard drive, probably 250 gigs. I am also planning on having a desk monitor. Price is also an issue, need to watch the money spending somewhat. Also, should I wait to buy for a month or so? Need any help, thanks.
  2. Mood macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2005
  3. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    I'm not sure how this will impact your decision, but it's likely that the majority of your intro art classes will have nothing to do with computers. My first non-photo art class consisted primarily of cutting and pasting colored paper (which seemed ridiculous at the time, three years on I've still got a fetish for Russian Suprematism so something clicked), if I'd taken the intro 3-d class it would have been cutting foamboard, then you've got drawing classes, etc..

    You'll probably take one or two light computer classes requiring little outside work before heading into the big leagues.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I may have missed the part about what you really want to do in terms of art. Are you into painting (on canvas), or sculpting, or photography...etc? Whatever that answer is can seriously determine what purchase you want to make. I figure you're looking for something that will last you at least 4 years--if it is a 4-year school. If it were me I'd go with the powerbook. Perhaps a bit more than I needed, but the extra speed helps when I am working on paintings in photoshop. I am not an art student so I am not required to paint on anything such as canvas. It is purely for joy. At any rate, if you want an external monitor I think you need to get some hack for the ibook to support an external...or I could be seriously wrong. Maybe it's the 12" line that requires it. Don't quote me.

    I think for you, based on what little you did say that the ibook would be best for you. It may be more durable in that one slight gust of wind won't scratch it. Not that the powerbook is that timid, I own one and so far so good, but it's just a thought.
  5. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I always recommend the iBook to students. They can take a beating. If you are going to have roommates, you most certainly will want one. That's not to say they're indestructible, but if you're in college, it's your best bet. Also, look for special pricing on Macmall and such. I got my 14" inch for the price of a 12" and it was the current model at the time.
  6. lopresmb macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    Whats Wrong with the G4 iMac

    Sounds to me like you have a halfway decent computer already, for a while. I'd keep the G4 iMac and up the Ram to at least a Gig (your model can handle that) and wait and see what you will be needing a computer to do. Then you can spend the same money on "the latest" computer when you really need. (But, please excuse these comments if you 1) REALLY need a laptop or 2) have a technolust that requires a new computer).

    --just a thought about the laptops - the iBook doesn't have a graphics processor that is too too much more powerful than your current iMac (both have 32mb video) - while the powerbook would give you some more graphics horsepower and ram - espicially if you are going to be doing editing on a second monitor
  7. Lau Guest

    I would actually wait a while before deciding. Milozauckerman is right, you won't need it straight away. He's right about the classes as well. I'm a graphics student, and they start off by teaching you the basics on paper before letting you on to the computers. And even if not, you have an adequate computer just in case.

    I would wait and see what you need first, and how portable you need it to be, what college is like, etc, and then make your decision. By then there may well be updates as well, so you win both ways.
  8. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    iBook always for students as they are durable, affordable and portable...go for the 12" and upgrade the HD...
    ShadOW :)
  9. imnotquitesure macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2004
    Go powerbook. If your imac is already feeling slow, just think about how dated your ibook will feel in two years when you get into some serious art classes. In the long run the PB is a better investment. Sure the ibook is durable, but just cause your a student doesnt mean you have to be hard on a laptop, your not going to play frisbee with it right?
  10. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Not sure what you guys mean by hardcore, serious classes that need powerful computers. I know many of the fine arts guys and even the graphic design majors (I'm CGA which is the technical, programming side of art like photoshop plugins, web coding(flash, mysql, php, ect.), and visualization. I still take the fine arts classes though!) that get by fine on dated or even non-existent hardware and use the school's facilities for any of the larger work. It's not like you can just hook your ibook up to the RIP and print anyway. I say save the cash and keep what you have as it will be perfectly fine for anything you have to do and your school will provide the machines to do anything that it can't. besides, you will be surprised at how much you won't use it.

    laptops blow for graphics work anyway. There, I said it. You will agree with me when you try to load a 1 gig psd before you go to class and it finishes when you get back. Forever. Make sure you have a good desktop (your's will do fine if your hard drive doesn't suck) and you are set. Files can be transferred all around campus on the network, so that isn't a problem.

    also, note to prefrosh: No one really takes their laptops with them to class. It ends up being a huge distraction and the teachers generally hate it. A few guys do, but those are the guys who probably sleep with them too.

    finally, remember these 2 things:
    1. If you suck, get out now as the market is so saturated that you will not have a job. That is 100% truth. I have seen it with some actually good designers, so it's still iffy.
    2. A better brush does not make you a better painter than Chagall. A better computer will not make you better than you are. Focus on your hand skills. If it can be done by computer or hand, do it by hand. Take the time and you will get much better than you would by taking the easy route.

    Just some tips...

    Good luck.
  11. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    Go with the iBook -- unless you want to be able to use high-resolution external monitors, in which case you'll be wanting to look at a PowerBook, or if you were looking at desktops, a mini or Power Mac. An iMac G5 wouldn't be bad either.

    However, I've really like the portability of my iBook -- I can take all my notes on it, deploy it in lounges et cetera at school and do stuff, and for that matter move it around the house.
  12. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    Is this spam? You're a noob and you dare to leave a one word post that doesn't relate to the topic?
  13. Mood macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2005
    You are noob dum dum. Question was "Does a potential art student need ibook or PB?"

    Answer to that question is no, you don't need ibook or pb you can have any computer.

    Mood is no noob, Mood is "macrumors member"
  14. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    You don't need a computer of any sort (Mac, PC, laptop, nor desktop) unless it is stated by the instructor. My girlfriend goes to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she never needed a computer but for one class (Flash Animation) Even then, the work was done in-class. She's into animation and shoots on film, so there's no need for a computer. I go to film school and we shoot on film as well. I like my iBook, but I don't need it as I use it mainly for writing essays, coursework, or scripts. Why not keep the iMac? Desktops are faster and more reliable than laptops. Like a previous poster said, no one takes thier laptops to class. The big mistake most college kids make is buying a laptop. Mine sits on my iCurve most of the time. I only take it out of my apartment when I take the plane back home. In an apologetic verbose way, no, you don't need a laptop.
  15. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    What does being new to a forum have to do with answering a direct question? It wasn't an open-ended question. "No" seems to answer his question directly and I agree with Mood. Perhaps you should read the initial question more closely, or perhaps post something that does relate to the topic. :confused:
  16. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    Regardless of the art student issue of whether or not you will need a computer to successfully finish your degree, I guess you will still be wanting and needing a computer of some kind and having a laptop as a student is a must. The portability alone has it's merits for a student.

    You mentioned a comparison between costs of the most expensive iBook compared to the PowerBook. Perhaps consider this; in the short term an iBook is a useful and very good lappie that will service all of your student needs, however, the PowerBook does have far better features (64mb video, better graphics card, DVI input to plug a high end external monitor into, scrolling touch pad, slightly more Ghz etc).

    I'm a digital artist using a combination of Painter IX, Photoshop and Illustrator and when I'm not out and about I have my PowerBook plugged into a 17" LCD monitor with a 16.7 M colour display and use both screens at the same time. This cannot be achieved with an iBook.

    As for robustness, if you plan on throwing your lappie around at a student party then buy a frisbee instead ;)
  17. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2004
    The Alpha Quadrant
    As a former art student and an iBook owner, I'd say go for the iBook. Use your money saved and get at least a gig of ram from someplace like and a nice external monitor to work with. Be advised that neither the iBook nor the powerbook's screens are 100% reliable when it comes to colors; you'll want a good external CRT or LCD to work with no matter which you get.

    "I'm a digital artist using a combination of Painter IX, Photoshop and Illustrator and when I'm not out and about I have my PowerBook plugged into a 17" LCD monitor with a 16.7 M colour display and use both screens at the same time. This cannot be achieved with an iBook."

    Yes it can. I do it all the time. If you get an ibook, use <a href="">this nifty screen-spanning hack</a> to work in resolutions larger than 1024x768. I've used the hack for a long time and it works great.

    I take the iBook to all classes; even though i don't use it in some. (Yes, I do sleep with it too.)

    I've never had something that my iBook can't handle; I know lots of other students who have them too. And yes, they're so durable it's insane.

    I think I'd recommend the 12", as long as you'll have an external monitor. I have a 14" but really, the smaller screen/smaller shape would be a good tradeoff.
  18. Sam I Am macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    You were a newbie when you posted "No". And you have only been a member of MR for 5 days.
  19. Mood macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2005
    You no have apple os x do you? Signature say you don't. That mean I win, you lose dum-dum.

    Beat that!
  20. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    The need for a laptop depends heavily on your living situation. I've always lived off-campus (cheap local rents plus terrible/expensive on-campus housing), so I've had space to keep a desktop set up and rarely/never used any of the laptops I've inherited from my parents (a couple of Windows machines, a 12" Powerbook).

    Carrying around more weight than absolutely necessary gets old quick, especially when the weather's hot (perhaps less applicable outside of Texas) and you've got a two mile hike from the parking lot.

    If you're going to be sharing a dorm room for a year or two (or four), or moving into the frathouse or whatever a laptop might be a necessity purely out of space concerns. If you'll be living by yourself, get an iMac for projects you want to work on outside of class, a laptop is just bonus if you need to go somewhere to work on a project with other students.

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