First Time Mac Buyer: 12" vs. 15" Powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hirstopher, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. hirstopher macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2004
    Hi all,

    I've looked backwards through the threads a couple of pages but haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. I'm a first time apple buyer and am in the market for a powerbook. Ever since I bought my iPod and fell in love with it I've been thinking about a Powerbook. Soooo, my question is this:

    I think the 12" powerbooks look incredible and I want a computer that is truly "go anywhere". That said, I don't want to lose any functionality on account of its small size. Not being so familiar with some of the tech stuff I want to know: Is there any difference between gigabit ethernet (which comes on the 15") and 10/100 (on the 12"). Also I don't really want to be straining my eyes to see the screen. Is this a problem for anyone? Finally am I going to be restricted at all by the mini-DVI port or absence of an s-video port or firewire 800? Not to draw this out (ahem) but will the lesser video card and the absence of PCI ports hurt at all down the road?? Yikes, so many questions.

    I guess I'm nervous because I always want to keep my options open and I feel like the 15" would allow that, but the 12" just seems like such a perfect size and I don't know if i'm gonna be in a position to buy another mac for quite a few years (like 3 or 4). What I'd like to be able to do with my powerbook is mostly student stuff, but I definently have an interest in being able to craft music and edit film (final cut will be an auxiliary purchase)

    Any help here would be much appreciated.


  2. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    I am in the same boat.. Here is what I have picked up:

    - Chances are, you are not going to need gigabit ethernet.. Only if you transmit huge (and I mean massive) files regularly on a network of that speed. 100mbps is fine for me personally (I would be using the WiFi more anyway).

    - If you want to use the cinema displays Mini-DVI should not be an issue if you just grab the "Apple Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter".

    - Firewire 800, well, not an issue for me since I have an 800-400 transformer thingy. You just lose a little speed.

    - PCI, well, personally I don't have an cards I can see myself using.

    Now, I understand my ideas on these things can be skewed a little, and I may have the wrong ideas. If I am totally off just tell me, don't yell at me :rolleyes:

    For a student, the portability outweighs these minor setbacks. That is all I have to say.

  3. webmatthijs macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004
    United Kingdom

    it depends on what you use it for, regular use? get the 15"! i think the 15" give you much more for your money. if you buy the 12" i think the 12" iBook is a better choice. its your choice but i should go for the 15"!
    in terms of looks and overal performence. ;)
  4. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    I agree with dav. For your purposes, you will not regret getting the 12". The screen is more than big enough,and ou won't be straining at all (though note that the MiniDVI-DVI adapter is included with the 12" Powerbook).
  5. lazymuoio macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2004
    New York

    Get the 12in i always believe if your getting a laptop it should be as portable as possible plus it doesnt sound like you need the extras the 15in has over the 12in
  6. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    12" screen is not a problem, and you won't be straining your eyes.
    Unless you can get the 15" with superdrive, there is no real advantage over the 12".
    For s-video, you can buy the mini-dvi to video adaptor.


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