ibook 12" or pbook12"-more indecision!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by maccat, May 24, 2004.

  1. maccat macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2004
    I've followed all the threads and am still no nearer a decision, can anyone help me with a few questions regarding 12' ibook v 12" pbook?

    Have money for ibook with bluetooth and airport plus larger hdrive but could stretch to pbook for extra money.Intend to use machine for presentations , photoshop work and hopefully video edits as well as everything else, which would anyone recommend?

    I'm not intending to throw it around but will the pbook aluminium case get easily scratched and will this wear a lot worse than the poly case of ibook?

    With the revisions does anyone know if the powerbook is running cooler(my girlfriend has last generation 15' powerbook and it does get hot!)?

    Does the (real world)battery life differ alot between ibook and powerbook?

    and finally ,could apple not make powerbook guts in ibook case!!
    Thanks for your help....
  2. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    battery life is noticeably better in the iBooks. The iBook will do everything that you want it to do, but the powerbook will just do if faster. The case is more a matter of preference. The powerbook is harder to scratch, but easy to dent. Other than small scratches, I would say that the iBook is probably more durable, but the powerbook feels more solid. I would go with the powerbook, but I am biased. I love mine.
  3. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Go for the PowerBook. They don't give it the prefix "Power" for nothing. It is superior to the iBook in everything (just about, maybe not AirPort reception & battery life).
  4. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003

    do run hot

    not unbearable, but the fan does get noisy, and it is warm.

    but it looks so much nicer than the ibook (which also runs pretty warm)
  5. zulgand04 macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2002
    Northborough, MA
    hey im pretty much in the same situation as you are, i was gonna get the ibook with AE and BT then went to the apple stor today to check them out. Im pretty sure im gonna go with the PB 12" now because i like the keyboard so much more, and the extra 32 megs in video ram makes me more comfortable in it lasting longer. this is just my opinion, i would say check them out in person and you will most likely know which one you'll want. Hope i helped.

  6. SuperChuck macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2003
    Chucktown, SC
    If you intend to do Photoshop work, don't forget that the powerbook allows for screen spanning, which the ibook does not (only mirroring) and although a 12" screen is ultra-portable, it could make for a cramped workspace. Obviously, this is not an issue if you will always be using it on-the-go.
  7. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    Sounds like a powerbook might better suit your needs.

    However, having used my new 14" 1.2 iBook w/ Bluetooth and Airport for just one day, I can already tell you that it has: wonderful battery life (5 hours today), nice wireless range (5 rooms through walls), reasonable heat, decent speed and a very readable screen.

    I'm sure whichever 'book you choose will work for you. Good luck.
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    if you're not sure, take the ibook 'cause it's cheaper. and as for display spanning being a powerbook-only feature, well, that can be turned on for ibooks also. it's only a software upgrade ;)

    ibook is better on the road - it's more durable and battery life is half better than powerbook's. the speed difference is not that great anymore because neither has the L3 cache. and if you compare an ibook with 5400 (or 7200) rpm hard drive against powerbook that has 4200rpm drive, guess what, the ibook wins most of the time.

    so if you have the money at hand, buy the ibook and load it with everything you can think of, and put in the fastest hard drive you can afford. i have a hitachi 7200rpm installed in a tibook and an albook, and i can tell you the speed boost you get from a fast hard drive is just amazing.
  9. maccat thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2004
    Thanks for help

    Thanks for all your advice, I will head off to the apple store to look at them both (again)!! Powerbook looks like the better choice(maybe)
  10. swisspace macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2004
    Hi new here, but it seems that some Mac information is slow to get about, I have a new 2 week old ibook 12" 1Ghz with 512k L2 cache, a colleague bought his almost same spec pbook 1Ghz about six months ago, the battery life of ibook is better performance almost identical. the new pbooks are 1.33Ghz.

    the video card is slightly better on the pbook but has the same amount of memory 32K in the 12" ones (not 64k). So when you decide performance is not so much an issue unless you want the new faster pbook but that is a lot more expensive so i decided against it.

    minus points of ibook - I didn't order mine with bluetooth so I need a dongle. I didn't get airport but thats a very easy upgrade as is ram. small disk - will upgrade mine to a faster bigger disk, but its not an easy upgrade.

    plus points of ibook - longer battery life, much better power management in new model. almost identical performance to pbook 12" 1Ghz (faster in some areas slower in others but overall the same)

    minus points of pbook - more expensive for 1Ghz and much more expensive for 1.33 Ghz.

    plus points of pbook - airport and bluetooth built in, and better performance if you get the latest 1.33Ghz.

    minus points of pbook - cost.

    so my advice is unless you want the latest and greatest and would have been happy with a 1Ghz pbook, then order a new 12" 1Ghz ibook with bluetooth (wish i had) and a bigger disk and save your money for something else.
  11. kirk26 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2003
    West Virginia

    Go with the Powerbook. It has a better battery life compared to the iBooks. I've never seen an iBook last one hour. My powerbook lasts almost 4 hours.
  12. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    Sydney, Oz.
    I went iBook!

    I was up against the same decision but for slightly different reasons. I'm not into video editing (too much... yet) but wanted something that was portable that could deal with my photos (inc. Photoshop) and my music (creation as well as playing).

    I went with the 12" iBook with BT, AE and an extra 512Mb and do not regret it one little bit. I too liked the look of the Powerbook but went with the iBook due to the better WiFi reception, longer battery life (waaaaay better than my PC laptop and never less than 4 hours unless I'm using the CD a lot) and its durability. The fact that it's cheaper as well was a bonus.

    I've been able to run Photoshop without a hitch and Ableton Live doesn't go above 30% CPU utilisation. Personally I think the iBook rocks. I wasn't a big fan of the looks at first but have become a convert. Just to see it's heartbeat pulsing away... ahhhhhhh.....
  13. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    D'ya wanna come here and see mine? Does 3.5 hours easy...
  14. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    i get 3.5 to 4.5 hours on my old ibook. nearer five with a new battery in it.
  15. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Are you serious? Being a powerbook owner and a previous ibook owner, I can attest to TWO things. iBooks will have better battery life and slightly better airport range, no contest on either one. However, in every other category, the powerbook cleans up.
    If you are doing any sort of multimedia, audio or graphic design work, GET THE POWERBOOK. The speed difference is well worth it. Yes, it will only save seconds (sometimes minutes) but 5 seconds on render after render add up VERY quickly.
    If you don't plan on doing any high end design (or just going to dabble in it) the iBook, like it was for me at the time, is a perfect choice.
  16. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    The price difference between a 12" iBook and a 12" PowerBook is fairly minimal when similarly configured (especially if you are a student.. if you aren't, enroll for a web design class at a community college).

    12" iBook 256/60/APX/BT - $1200
    12" PowerBook 256/60/APX/BT - $1399

    For $199 you get 100% more VRAM, 26% faster bus, 33% more MHz, DVI out, Aluminum case, better keyboard, different software package (for me it was better, it might not be better for you) and an available SD in the 12" form factor.

    I realize you can always play the game of "for $200 more you can get...", but this seemed pretty compelling to me.
  17. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    You forgot 2 changeable RAM sockets, and built-in Bluetooth and AE on the PB.
  18. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    Only 1 open RAM socket on a stock 12" PB.
  19. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    I meant to say both sticks are removeable.
  20. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    Sorry Fuzzy, but the stock RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. :D
  21. SuperChuck macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2003
    Chucktown, SC
    It should be noted that it is a do-at-your-own-risk software upgrade that could void your warranty. Not something to take lightly.
  22. swisspace macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2004
    sorry to disagree with some of you, but the new ibook 12" 1Ghz seems to have the same internals as the old pbook 12" 1Ghz and BOTH have only 32k video ram. the new pbook is 1.33Ghz and faster but much more expensive. Performance of the ibook and pbook 12" 1ghz models is almost identical overall the same xbench rating.

    I suggest checking out the apple store for the facts on the latest models especially the new ibook.

    downsides I have found with ibook are no input for mic (had to buy an imic) and I didn't order mine with Bluetooth (have to use a dongle).
  23. jhembach macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2004
    PowerBook all the way

    The PowerBook doesn't have a mic input either...

    Anyhow, after a long decision-making process I just bought my first Apple on Friday: a new 12" PowerBook. I was debating all the same things you were when deciding, but it came down to this:

    - the price difference is not that huge once features are matched (60GB drive, AE, BT)
    - the PB is simple much sweeter hardware. I can't say that the ibook isn't solid as I haven't kicked one around yet ;) , but the PB feels like a single slab of granite - solid.
    - higher bus speed, hence faster RAM, higher CPU clock, better video chip
    - MUCH better LCD - brighter & sharper
    - MUCH better keyboard, just try them out at the store, you'll instantly feel the difference.

    I'm still figuring out the basics, as I'm a 'switcher' and this is a whole new world, but the PowerBook is amazing bang for the buck, and you should look at the difference in price and future-proofing and happiness-insurance.

    My 2 cents on the matter anyhow.
  24. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2004
    Actually the powerbook does have a mic input, it was one of the major selling points for me. I'm a big user of garageband, and I wanted the extra power and the mic input. I hate having anything more than I have to coming out of the computer, and I'm already using up some USB's on other things, so I didn't want to have to also get an iMic. Combine that with the fact that the iMic wouldn't even work in garageband on my friends iBook. We never completely determined if it was the iBook or the iMic, but it definitely didn't work. Garageband on his machine would only work with the internal mic, which was pretty pointless when we wanted to hook it up to our band's PA for recording shows and junk. His iBook is a 14" 1.0ghz machine from last generation, with 384 meg of ram, so power shouldn't have been any sort of issue. If you're at all interested at the line in feature, it is huge selling point for the powerbook. Other than that, if you're going to do any upgrading at all to any of the iBook line, you're going to be treading very closely on the toes of the powerbook prices. Especially if you're looking for bluetooth, AE, and a bigger hard drive. Not to mention the automatic video card upgrade, and faster processor.

    I have one of the new 12" 1.33ghz powerbooks and I couldn't be more pleased with it (other than a latch issue which currently has it back to apple for repair the SECOND time already in it's short life). I have used it an entire day at work and still had 20% to spare on the battery. When I was trying to run it down initially I think I went over the 5 hours that it was supposed to last, and I was doing stuff that was processor intensive, like ripping music and using garageband. It does get hot, but not to the point that it is uncomfortable on my legs, even with bare skin. It does behoove you to keep the back of the unit open to the air, because the exhaust vent is there. The air comes in a little port on the left side of the unit in front of all of the USB ports and stuff, and goes out underneath the hinge on the back under the screen. If you block this (the sheets will do it if you have it on a bed, pillow, or fluffy couch) then it definitely gets hot.

    Ummmm... I typed a lot, but basically I'm saying get the powerbook.
  25. pip macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2004
    iBook: limited scrn resolution, no dual display

    I have read many forums on this iBook vs. PBook. What's surprised me is that nobody talks of the following:
    - The iBook screen resolution is limited to its display (1024 by 768 for the 12''), even with an external display. The iBook supports only mirroring.
    - The PBook (PBook 12'') lets you go up to 2048 by 1536 with an external display and also lets you do dual display. Because of this huge difference (and other reasons mentioned in this forum) I choose the PBook.

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