Fix G4 iBook or buy new one?

bchaplin

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2006
48
0
My trusty and beloved G4 iBook (12 inch, 800mHz), is not quite doing the job any more. The battery is nearly depleted, even when fully charged, and I'm constantly running out of space, with only a 40GB hard drive. (I already keep my music on a separate external hard drive, but this is a pain.) I was ready to buy a new MacBook or even MBP, but Apple seems to be working through some quality control problems. I use my iBook as my sole computer (for syncing with my phone and ipod, downloading music, surfing, photo downloads while traveling, work conferences...). I really depend on it and won't take a chance on buying a faulty machine.

I found a site that will exchange the iBook's hard drive, and also sell me a new battery. Should I go this route for a 3 year old iBook, assuming it will last for at least another year?

The new MacBook has certain pluses, though, such as the built-in iSight, built-in bluetooth, the ability to run Windows, and support of a larger external display.

The only alternative I can think of, buying a desktop, and waiting until the quality control problems resolve to get a new laptop, is a pricey route to go. It's really important to me to have a dependable computer, but I want to do it in a cost-effective way, (and not add too many more gadgets to my already crowded apartment).
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
If you want to be cost effective then I recommend buying a new battery and an external hard drive. Upgrading the internal hard drive is quite expensive because notebook drives are pricey and it's reasonably difficult to install them.

This is, of course, assuming the rest of the iBook is keeping up with your demands. What sort of work do you use this machine for? Could you do with a faster CPU?

Oh, and does your battery fall into the range of serial numbers that is on recall?
 

bchaplin

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2006
48
0
mostly Filemaker, photos and email

Sadly, my battery isn't eligible for the recall.

I find the screen size and HD is more limiting to me than the CPU. I do a lot of photo viewing, and when I use it for work (Filemaker databases and some scripting), I can end up with many open applications. The ability to be able to use a larger external monitor would vastly improve my experience. Other than that, I really like the portability of a laptop, even inside my apartment, and obviously, for traveling. It almost always goes with me.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Okay, I guess another option is to buy a used or refurbished PowerBook if you're not certain the Intel machines will be reliable. Personally though, I'd lump for a new MacBook. :)
 

irishgrizzly

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,461
1
IMHO I would not spend anything more on trying to keep it going. Instead sell it as it is and put that cash towards a new machine.

The worst case scenario would be paying for a bigger hard drive and a new battery for (I'm guessing $150 for the hard drive and labour and $80 for the battery – I'm in Ireland so using a guess on US costs) and then — the logic board dying in 8 months. You be down $230 with no ability to sell your machine.

Sell it now and get maybe $500 + the $230 from not buying new parts and you're halfway to a new machine!
 

bchaplin

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2006
48
0
thanks for the advice!

Irishgrizzly, I think you're right. My iBook might last another two years, but it could die next week, right? Especially with everything I've put it through. It's probably not worth investing too much money into it.

I'm going to wait a few weeks and keep on eye on the boards. My chief concern is that my new computer is reliable, so I want to be sure the problems I've seen reported with random shut downs are being fixed.

I don't qualify for a new battery :(