iBook or Powerbook?

Xanderxxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 26, 2005
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I'm thinking about getting a laptop this fall (still gotta work for it hopefully, 2nd mac!) and i've been wondering what I should get.

I know I definitively want a laptop, and I want the best that there is, but then I think that the 17" Powerbook might be too big, and the ibook 14 might be too small. I think the ibook looks better than the powerbook, but I haven't seen them up close (neares store is a couple of hours away) so I was hoping you guys who have the two could help me out.

What would you recommend a student who's budget is somewhat limited (I get edu discount so the 17" is less than 2,500) who is frustrated with his current eMac and wants something better overall.

Is the 17" powerbook that much better than the 15"? is it too heavy? is the 15" widescreen?

Thanks!
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
I think the overall consensus of the nearly innumerable threads with this topic is that the 15" is the sweet spot of the line-up, and that the 17" is a better deal if and only if you need the additional screen resolution. The 15" is widescreen, yes.

The iBooks - 12" and 14" - share the 12" PB's resolution of 1024x768, which, unless you're someone like me who uses the PB strictly as a portable second Mac, is pretty meager.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
What sort of eMac do you have at the moment? The current iBooks will probably be about on par with a year-old eMac performance-wise. As for the PowerBooks, the 15 inch is the pick of the range IMO. With the 128MB GPU it's relatively future-proof. I've got an iBook G4 and find the performance fine but since you don't like the eMac (unless it's a wimpy 800MHz one or something) I recommend the 15 inch. The 17 inch is a little too big.
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
If you're looking at the 14" or 15" essentially (and I agree the 17" is too big), I'd say it's a no brainer: 15".

Th 14" uses the same resolution as the 12" so the only real advantage you get out of it is a bigger screen (which may be useful if your eyes are bad).

The 15" has much better resolution, comes with all the standard PB extras. The only downside is it costs a bit more.

I also think the resale value on the 14" is worse than the PB.
 

Xanderxxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 26, 2005
64
0
mad jew said:
What sort of eMac do you have at the moment? The current iBooks will probably be about on par with a year-old eMac performance-wise. As for the PowerBooks, the 15 inch is the pick of the range IMO. With the 128MB GPU it's relatively future-proof. I've got an iBook G4 and find the performance fine but since you don't like the eMac (unless it's a wimpy 800MHz one or something) I recommend the 15 inch. The 17 inch is a little too big.
My eMac is the 1.25 version. Still has the back-then standard of 250 ram.

I was thinking about the 17" but I really don't have money to just spend off, I guess it's just a thing of me going to the apple store and checking them out.

Does the apple store give the edu discount? and to those that have the powerbook: is it more sleek/better-looking than the ibook? I saw the preview at Apple.com and it seems like the iBook is better with it's white. Does the Apple logo in the powerbook really light up?

And since i'm asking already, how is the AirPort Extreme? is it the best for a mac? how long will I recieve connection to?
 

xFU3Lx

macrumors member
May 24, 2005
85
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Throw in my vote for the 15" Powerbook. I may have won mine. But after playing with my friend's iBook and using my Powerbook, theres no doubt in my mind what I would choose. My friend also is planning on selling his iBook for a Powerbook.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Xanderxxx said:
My eMac is the 1.25 version. Still has the back-then standard of 250 ram.

I'm pretty sure that's a crime in most first world countries. You'll notice quite a difference just upping the RAM there buddy.


Xanderxxx said:
I saw the preview at Apple.com and it seems like the iBook is better with it's white. Does the Apple logo in the powerbook really light up?

I reckon the iBook looks better but that's just me. The Apple logo lights up on either of the two machines.


Xanderxxx said:
And since i'm asking already, how is the AirPort Extreme? is it the best for a mac?

AirPort is the easiest to set up but others will no doubt recommend Linksys or some such brand because they're cheaper and they have about the same range.


Xanderxxx said:
how long will I recieve connection to?

What do you mean?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Xanderxxx said:
As in, how far? If I have the Airport set up in one room, how far can I go until I loose reception?

It depends on what interference there is. What the walls are made of, how many cordless phones you have etc. My Express gets about 20 metres (60 feet?) through about ten brick walls but remember that the worse the range, the slower the speed. :(

I've got two of them to extend the range a little bit.
 

Xanderxxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 26, 2005
64
0
I just need it to be able to go online in my backyard, nothing really too long.

I really wish I could go to the Apple store this week and check the machines out. My friends keeps telling me to get an iMac rather than a laptop, but after having an eMac (since last august) you tend to want something that won't break your back when you move it.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Keep in mind that the iBook has much better wireless reception than a PowerBook. I reckon a 12 inch iBook could cover your needs quite well.

There's nothing quite like surfing the net from the backyard on a nice day. :)
 

Xanderxxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 26, 2005
64
0
Are there any other differences between the 15" and the 17" that could make me regret my choice? I have a feeling that i'm going to be disgustingly cheap when it comes to buying it. But if I buy the 15" superdrive I could buy the Airport or some other wireless router, and the wireless mouse and such acessories.

Another question from an person who has never used an apple laptop, is the trackpad any good? is it as frustrating as most notebooks?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I find the 17 inch trackpad a little too big personally but either machine is relatively easy to get used to even if you're coming straight from the traditional mouse. I'd definitely go the 15 inch PowerBook over the 17 inch one. Remember, you are after a portable.
 

JeffTL

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
733
0
As for the trackpad, I've been very happy with my iBook trackpad as compared to the Gateway trackpads with which I'd had any prior experience -- those were inferior to the trackball on a 68k PowerBook.

I really like iBooks, but if you want more resolution than 1024x768, you really should consider a 15" PowerBook -- or a 12" PowerBook and an external monitor if you only need more resolution than that when you are at home.
 

kyuuki

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2005
7
0
Xanderxxx said:
Does the apple store give the edu discount? QUOTE]

Dont think it does m8, i was on the phone to apple education the other day asking about educational discount and it was somthing like 14 - 15 percent, this could be obtained if you had relivant scanned in proof like a student card and an tutor signature or somthing along those lines,
This could then be purchased only from the apple education online store, not street stores, whith the relivent information being made readily avalubul.

Although take into account im from the uk, this anoyed me abit and when i was told the price of the 17inch it was still quite alot even with the discount, which didnt add up in my mind, not sure what calculater they were using....
But thankfully in hk for the summer so will be picking up a cheaper one there ;)

Regards, kyuuki
 

Xanderxxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 26, 2005
64
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Anyone know where I could find some better Powerbook/iBook pictures than the ones at Apple.com? The ones at are just a few and don't give a sence of the size. :(
 

Brother Michael

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2004
717
0
JeffTL said:
I really like iBooks, but if you want more resolution than 1024x768, you really should consider a 15" PowerBook -- or a 12" PowerBook and an external monitor if you only need more resolution than that when you are at home.
Don't 12" Powerbooks have the same resolution as the 12" iBooks? :confused:

Mike
 

StarbucksSam

macrumors 65816
Nov 21, 2004
1,419
0
Washington, D.C.
Eidorian said:
The iBook can only mirror at the same resolution as the onboard screen.
Some people don't really know what that means. Let me help them out. :)

The iBook 12" and 14" have resolutions of 1024x768. If you were to hook up an external monitor (i think you need a hack for that) the best resolution that you could use on that monitor would be 1024x768.

The 12" PowerBook has a resolution of 1024x768 but if you hooked it up to an Apple Cinema display at 17" you could get 1680x1050.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
StarbucksSam said:
The iBook 12" and 14" have resolutions of 1024x768. If you were to hook up an external monitor (i think you need a hack for that) the best resolution that you could use on that monitor would be 1024x768.
You just need the VGA adapter from Apple to mirror. If you want to extend your desktop you need a hack. :p
 

Brother Michael

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2004
717
0
StarbucksSam said:
Some people don't really know what that means. Let me help them out. :)

The iBook 12" and 14" have resolutions of 1024x768. If you were to hook up an external monitor (i think you need a hack for that) the best resolution that you could use on that monitor would be 1024x768.

The 12" PowerBook has a resolution of 1024x768 but if you hooked it up to an Apple Cinema display at 17" you could get 1680x1050.
Oh ok, neat. Didn't know the Powerbook did that.

Mike
 

kyuuki

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2005
7
0
Xanderxxx said:
Anyone know where I could find some better Powerbook/iBook pictures than the ones at Apple.com? The ones at are just a few and don't give a sence of the size. :(


............. go to google, thats www.google.com 0.o search in images, and ask the mysterious google what you want it to find. And by some sort of jypsy majic it will produce reems upon reems of powerbook images.... majic... or maybe jypsy curce ....... 0.o yeeee know to much!