Downgrading to an iBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by acceber, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. acceber macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Sydney, Australia

    I have a 12" Powerbook which I bought last year and I love it. I have one problem though. The battery life is a little bit too short for my practical uses and it is one of the most important aspects of having a portable for me. The iBook I hear has a much longer battery life which definitely appeals to me. I use the PowerBook to make iMovies, surf the net, chat, use Office 2004 and that's pretty much it.

    The iBook is also inferior to the PowerBook in a number of ways hence the cheaper price. What do you suggest that I do? Should I downgrade to an iBook or keep the PowerBook and sacrifice battery life?
  2. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Go with the iBook. You take your Powerbook around a lot? Then you'll have better luck with your iBook, since it can take more damage than the Powerbook before something with/in it breaks.
  3. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Which revision of PowerBook do you have? I bet if it's a Rev. B, you might be able to find somebody to trade you even-Steven for an iBook, or something. But it sounds like you'd definitely be happier with an iBook.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yeah, which 12" Powerbook version is it, and what battery life are you getting?

    The newest 12" Powerbooks come with a higher capacity battery. You can buy a new battery and see how that goes. It should last 4 hours or so if you're just using Office, surfing the net, and IM'ing. Plus turning screen brightness down to 75% would also help.

    But if you don't, then the newest 12" iBook will pretty much offer the same performance as a rev B 1GHz 12" PB, but with 4.5+ hours of battery life.
  5. rfenik macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2003
    The powerbook gets 4 hours when the battery is new, but i've had mine for about a year and the battery life is MUCH shorter now.

    Typically, I charge it until it's full and use the battery until it dies. Sometimes I use it plugged in. I'm lucky if I get over an hour of battery life, a hour and a half if the brightness is turned all the way down. If i'm watching a DVD it won't make it halfway though.

    Just get a new battery. Do an ebay search for "12 g4 battery" and you'll see there are a few for dirt cheap that are brand new.

    ibooks are just crippled powerbooks with better airport reception. I need dual monitor support, which the ibooks don't do.
  6. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    You could get one of those extended batteries. They're supposed to be good for up to 16 extra hours. OWC and PowerMax used to sell them. If anyone knows where to get them now or if they actually work, I'm sure we'd all appreciate it. They do add to the bulk to your portability, but so would an iBook. They are a little heavier. But I have heard the 14"ers can get around 5+ hours of real world use.
    Use the dual-monitor hack. It works fine, and contrary to popular belief it doesn't void the warranty. It's software, easily reversible, and just enables something that's already built it but disabled by Apple.
  7. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I just sent you a PM. Maybe we can trade my iBook G4 for your PB.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yes, 14" iBooks has been reported to have 6.5 hours of battery life and such. Its definitely the most portable of the Apple laptops. :)

    Since you have a year old 12" PB, I'm assuming that you have the 12" 1GHz model. I have the same one from a year ago. My battery still lasts for over 3 hours. It used to last for longer.
    If you charge the battery until it's full and use it until it's completely drained, this is actually BAD for Li-Ion batteries. It deteriorates the battery quicker, so I'm not surprised that your battery life sucks now. Mine is good, though. ;) Charge it whenever you want. Charge it when battery life remaining still says 42%. Or 66%. Your battery has no memory, and its actually better for your battery if you charge it whenever you want. Only do a full charge and full discharge every 1-2 months, or after 30 uses on battery power.

    Paste this into Terminal: ioreg -l | grep -i IOBatteryInfo

    What does it say your battery Capacity is? Mine says 3650, while "Amperage" is 1200 with screen brightness turned on full. Divide one by the other, and that's your battery life under that usage. Since you sorta messed your battery, you can train your battery to get better performance by NOT doing a full charge-discharge cycle for 30 uses on battery power, THEN doing a full recharge. Check to see if that's true after 2 months.

    The new 12" PB batteries (the ones that come with the 1.33GHz G4) have batteries with increased capacity (from 4200 mAh to about 4800 mAh, if I remember correctly), so lots of people can get 4+ hours. These new batteries are also compatible with the older 12" PB's, since they fit the same.
  9. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    if battery life is what you're really after couldn't you buy a dual usb g3 ibook and put an ibook g4 battery in it? ive heard that works and has a longer battery life. probably would void the warranty tho
  10. Pomme macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Just adding my two cents: I haven't ever used a PB, but I'm in LOVE with my 14" iBook. The battery life is incredible. I've never clocked in under 6 hours. Ever. (And sometimes I'll get around 7. Fabulous!) I always have a couple of programs running at once, and even with Airport going, the battery lasts forever.

    For me, the advantages of the PowerBook were overkill. The benefits of the iBook--the battery life, the durability, the price--all tipped me in that direction when I was shopping. It's still a fast, fantastic machine. Rabid PB-ers will say elsewise, I'm sure... but I'd say, don't call the iBook a downgrade. It's a different machine, and not quite as uber powerful, but these latest iBooks aren't hugely inferior.
  11. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
    iBook? Downgrade? Don't use though two in the same sentence. Sure the iBook may be lacking a few features that the Powerbook has, but I wouldn't call it a downgrade. Especially not if it's battery life it better than your Powerbooks. Sounds more like that is an upgrade to me. That and you certainly don't sound like you are doing anything that requires the full power of the Powerbook and thus would be pointless to buy an iBook.

    Sorry to rant, just a little tired of hearing about how crappy the iBook is compared to a Powerbook.

  12. Pomme macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Amen, Brother. ;)

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