iBook & Powerbook, which would suit a college student more?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by CraigB, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. CraigB macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2005
    I'm a complete Mac/Apple newbie, and just trying to get some information.

    I'll be heading to a college this coming Summer/Fall, and plan to get an Apple portable. Problem is, I'm not sure whether to get an iBook or Powerbook. Basically, I'm looking for either a 14 inch iBook, or 15 inch Powerbook (you can see what monitor size I'm aiming at). I sure won't be running any games or high performance multimedia programs on the portable, so I'm leaning towards an iBook right now. With the 14 inch Super Drive model, I can put 1.256 GB of ram to it, and have it at roughly the same price as a Powerbook 15 inch Combo Drive model (with no additional ram -256 mb ) at around $2000 USD. Judging from these two models at the same price range, which one would get me more bang for the buck/and higher performance?

    What are the main beneficial points with the Powerbook? Is there any noticable battery performance differences, and/or software differences? *What software is currently included (like actually explanation, I dunno what stuff like iLife or iwork are, and approx. battery life?*

    And lastly, does anyone know if a newer iBook/Powerbook model with a new processor or additional (significant) features will be released within 6-8 months time? I don't want to purchase a model, just to have a new and improved version out a month or two later for exactly the same price.
  2. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Be aware that the 14" iBook has the same screen resolution as a 12", meaning it will show the same amount of stuff, just magnified a little. The bigest thing that I can think of off hand that the PowerBook has over the iBook is the graphics card is much better and it can take more ram in the long run.

    The iBook I believe has a little bit better battery life and has AppleWorks, the powerbooks don't. Look on the product pages (not in the store), it has a list of every app they each ship with in the "Tech Specs" section.

    I would say that there is a very good chance of new Powerbooks, and likey iBooks too, in the next 6-8 months. In fact I would bet on it. I would wait unless you absolutely need it now.
  3. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    From what you said you needed it for, I'd definitely go for the iBook. Between the two, you're not going to notice a different in performance unless you're gaming or doing some semi-heavy multimedia work. (And even with the latter, the iBook will keep up surprisingly well.) Like the previous poster added, however, the 12" has the same resolution as the 14". I have the 14", thinking that the larger screen would look better, more clear, etc., but I saw the 12" screen on my teacher's iBook, and I'm kinda regretting the decision. Unless you're far-sighted in any way, I'd stick with the 12. Not only is it lighter and *much* more compact, you'll have more money to spend on extra goodies.

    The only setback is the lack of a Superdrive... With the extra money you could buy a cheap FW DVD burner, and still have some left over to buy more than you would had you purchased the 14. Good luck, and keep us updated! :)
  4. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2004
    The Alpha Quadrant
    I have a 14" iBook for school. I purchased it this past July. I'd definitely recommend it over the PB for a student. Battery life is great~sometimes if I'm really conservative I can get almost 5 hours out of it. I believe it's more durable than a powerbook, which is important at school.
    as for software, you get iLife 05 which has
    -garageband for music recording
    -ical, a great calendar app
    -iphoto, super photo organizer
    -imovie, for editing home movies
    -idvd, for burning them
    -itunes, need I say more?
    -am I missing anything?? :)

    Safari, your web browser, and Mail for e-mail

    and Appleworks, which is a basic office suite that has word processing, paint, spreadsheet, etc.

    The limitations I've found with my 'book:

    -I wish I could get a higher screen resolution than 1024x768. However, I'm a poweruser--I also use it at work to do website production, & photoshop/graphics work. For less $$ I could have gotten a 12", which would have been a bit easier to haul around.
    -I wish I had added more RAM. 256mb has been adequate, but not snappy I recently bumped up to 384mb. 768 would be a dream come true.
    -the sound card is also a bummer--no audio in port. And that's not a huge issue for most people. But if you're planning to do audio stuff, especially now that Garageband 2 is out, you'll want to either spring for the pb's soundcard or get an external usb one to use with your iBook.

    There it is--the pros and cons of each. you decide. :)
  5. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    As someone who both sells Apple machines to university students, and a university student with an Apple laptop myself, I must say that the vast majority of students do not need Powerbooks. In fact, I can count on both hands the amount of people who have needed them in the 2.5 years I've been selling them. Very few programs require the sheer processing power of the Powerbook. We're mostly talking design, video production, and audio production. Everyone else needs no more than an iBook. Hell, more than half of the students I deal with could get away with an old G3 iBook.

    I wouldn't bother with the 14" model. The performance enhancements are minimal at best, and the screen is the same resolution as the 12". At the moment, the processor and ram differences are fairly minimal between the laptop lines. The video card is the only real difference, and if you're not running much that needs it, it's of no use.

    The software that comes with them is the same, except iBooks ship with Appleworks. They may remove this once iWork starts shipping. That is, they come with OS X, and iLife.

    Powerbooks will definitely see updates within 6-8 months, as will the iBooks. If you need the machine for September, look to buy it in mid to late August. That way, any orders have time to arrive.
  6. CraigB thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2005
  7. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would hold off on buying any notebook from apple right now. According to many of the posts on this board, there is rumors of the G5 Powerbooks and iBooks arriving shortly. I would say wait untill sometime around may/june to buy your notebook. By then Apple should of released everything it's planning on releasing this year for the notebooks.
  8. blue_monkey macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2004
    sorry - i deleted my previous post because it was not making any sence..!

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