Have some questions about PowerBooks???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jumpman25, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. jumpman25 macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    So here is my story. I bought a 12" 1 GHz PowerBook several months ago, to replace my PC. After I got the PowerBook, I started to miss my PC (only for games though). I sold the PowerBook to get another PC, and now don't even play games on my PC. So to make a long story short, I am going to get another PowerBook. Anyway, I have a few questions as to which PowerBook I should get.

    I plan on using the PowerBook for school, internet, music, and also want to watch and record TV onto it. I plan on getting Final Cut with the PowerBook to edit the TV I record, and then watch it on the PowerBook, as well as burn it to DVD.

    I'm sure you can do school work, internet, and music on any Mac laptop, but what I am unsure about is recording and editing TV. I want to record the TV at very high quality, and plan on using eyeTV 200.

    1. What are your opinions on eyeTV 200 and the quality of the video?

    2. Are the 1.33/1.5 GHz processors in the PowerBooks fast enough to record the video?

    3. If I am recording the video at very high quality, would the 4200 or 5400 RPM drives be fast enough? Also, any other configuration info would be appreciated, video card, memory...

    4. How is the quality of the screens on the new PowerBooks. Is one size of better quality than another?

    5. What size screen would work best for me. I don't plan on being extremely mobile with the PowerBook, and it will likely be my main computer?

    I want the PowerBook to be future proof as I will be keeping it for at least 2 years. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    A few of your questions don't make a lot of sense seeing as you said you had a 12'' PB only several months ago. You should know what screen size you need and you should know the quality of the screen. As for the EyeTV, it's great and works well with everything that you provided.

    Well, there is no way to prevent a computer from being future proof, but PC's are more prone to that than Macs.
  3. jumpman25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    I had a 12" 1 GHz PowerBook, and also have not seen the 15" or the 17" screens. I was wondering how the screens look in the new revisions, if they are using new ones as people were reporting problems in the old ones if I remember correctly. As for the screen size, I was wondering which size would be best for Final Cut, and viewing the shows I record. As I have not done any of this before. I have never used Final Cut before, but a guy at my local Mac store said it was good software, and not hard to learn. Would you want more screen space for Final Cut?
  4. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    Well, it's hard to imagine that you have not seen the 15'' and 17'' screens...I mean, what was your PC laptop?

    Anyway, it sounds like a 17'' would be best for you. More viewing space as well as it makes a great desktop computer with portable aspects. At least that's the way I look at it. Also, you can get the top notch config and everything. Good luck.
  5. jumpman25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
  6. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    Specifically in regards to Final Cut (Pro or Express) you should get the largest screen you think you'll be comfortable carrying around with you. I use FCP4 on my 15" powerbook and it is uncomfortably cramped on just the powerbook's display. Final Cut is not really geared towards small displays, it's cluttery and spreads out to use all the available space. I usually plug in to an external monitor when I'm doing anything serious with it.

    That said, I still wouldn't move to a 17" powerbook. I travel a lot and consequently find them to be just too large for comfort.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Get the 17" if you're deciding between the 1.5GHz 15" and the 17" PB. There's a portability sacrifice by going with the 17", but its not THAT much bigger or heavier than the 15" (an Apple PB 17" is as heavy or lighter than most 15" PC laptops). And since you don't care too much about portability, the 17" is the way to go since the resolution and screen size is so much better. Plus, even if you were to use the 17" portably, the 17" has a better battery life than the 15". Its almost the same as the 12" in terms of battery life.

    Anyway, the new (or newest) rev C 12" 1.33GHz Powerbook does come with a better screen as it's brighter than it was before. The version you had (which is the same as I have now) shared the same screen with the iBook. The screen quality is around the same on all PB's, although the exact specs of the screens are hard to find. I've never seen them. The contrast is okay on the 15" and 17". I'm quite sure its better than on your old 12' (but maybe not the new 12" 1.33Ghz).

    Hope that helps. :)
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    you need a firewire hard drive for video editing. you cannot believe how much stress those video clips apply to the system until you try it yourself.
  9. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Definetely get an external drive for video editing. I have a 17 PB with the 5400 RPM HD and I'm glad I upgraded, because I also do a lot of Photoshop work and frequently end up having to save humongous files (don't always take my external with me).
  10. jumpman25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    Thanks for your help everyone. I will definatly get an external firewire drive. I believe it takes up around 1 GB for every half hour of TV recorded at the highest quality, or somewhere around there, so I would use up the 80 GB drive very quickly anyway. I'm thinking I'll go with the 17" PB as portability is not a huge issue, I just don't like to be stuck to a desk all day long. Also, fully configured, there is not much of a price difference between the 15" and the 17". Thanks again for all your help, I appreciate it.
  11. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    Be sure to let us know when you get it, I'm eager to here your response to it. I think for your next purchase you should buy an iMac G5 or a PowerMac G5. That would be perfect for processor intensive things you might use it for. If you just need the portability and speed, then yeah just go with the 17" PB.
  12. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    Just so you know the files that the EyeTV 200 captures are in mpeg2 and these can't be edited directly with FCP.
  13. jumpman25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    Do you have to convert them to DV like with iMovie. About how long would that take on a G4 1.5 GHz, and what would you reccomend I do it with?
  14. jumpman25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    I'll be sure to let you know when I get it. I was also looking into a dual G5, but if I got that then I would also want to get a matching monitor :) and that would set me back quite a bit.

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