If You were in my Shoes....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ryan1524, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    what would you pick??? The 12" or 15" ?? (assuming 15's white spot issue has been fixed)

    i'm going to use this for college. so there are occasions on which i'm going to carry it around on campus, but if i'm in a class where i need to do a lot of had-drawings (science, math, etc..) i might opt for pen and papers and thus the PB will stay at home. in this case, portability is not much of an issue. but i don't know what'll happen yet.

    also, this will be my only computer. currently i'm using a PC on a 1024x768 LCD. and i've long thought about adding a second display cause i've felt that it's a bit cramped quite often. based on this, i don't think i'll have a problem with the 12's resolution, since it's the same as my current, only smallerbut since i've always wanted a larger screen, the 15" might be more suitable - also due to the fact the machine will be my only one.

    of course there's another factor. i might be able save enough to buy a 15" or 17" LCD to complement the PB. by which case, i can have enough space regardless. but at this point, the game will be between portability and power. i'd like to have something that's as future-proof as possible, especially with the better GPU and .25 GHz increase. the backlit KB is pretty nice too. and it won't only be a gimmick to me since i work in the dark a lot.

    i've also always wanted the 15" since i used to think 12" is too small and the 17" too big....but a couple of trips to Carbon-comp has since changed my mind since i was impressed by the compactness of the 12" and imagined how nice it would be to have something so 'tossable'. (not gonna toss it anywhere - promise)

    sorry if this seems long and winding. but i'm really 50/50 on either of them right now and really need help to tip the balance over to one side.

    so...if you were in my shoes...which would you pick? :(
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I would go for the 15" PB. My wife purchased the 15" and she love's it. It is just the right size. She thought that the 17" was just too large.
  3. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    Well, I was in the same spot last week. I ordered a 12" PB, will be here Monday. My reasoning was similar to yours. I wanted a higher resolution than what the 12" offers. But, I have a 21" CRT here at home, and decided I'd just use the system as a desktop at home, and enjoy the extra-compactness when I'm toting it around. Kinda a "best of both worlds" thing. I like the 15", but I want something I can just throw in my backpack, and the 15" is just a tad too big for that.
  4. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    I just got the 15inch 1ghz (replacing my trusty tibook 500mhz). So far its great, no white spots no dead pixels (I did send a previous one back due to a few issues, but not white spots).

    HOWEVER, I had the chance to play with a first gen 12inch powerbook and they're really nice toys. If you don't need the extra resolution then go for the 12inch. If i didn't use my powerbook for work, i'd have gotten a 12inch.
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I would say the 15" because it has a better graphics card and will be generally all around faster than the 12". Plus i find the widescreen is AWESOME for DVD's and even working... since you can easily put two windows side by side.
  6. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    12", and buy an external lcd if necessary. best of both worlds.
  7. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    The 15 is a VERY cool laptop, and a good combination of power/price... HOWEVER, the battery life sucks bad. 2 hours is all you can get out of it. So now, owning both the 14 iBook and the 15 TiBook and 15 ALbook, I'd actually get the new 14"iBook... which is now G4. My current 14 iBook STILL lasts over 4 hours. And you'll save enough to load it with ram, get a printer a digital camera and a case.
  8. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Love my 12" PB for college. Wouldn't want anything bigger. Wonderful for carrying around if I need to and also a small footprint on the desk. Get the 12" with max RAM and if necessary get a display later. I don't think it's necessary unless you are doing a lot of production stuff in graphic design or music or something where you need to see a lot of windows at the same time.
    Nicer on the college budget as well....
  9. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Another vote for the 12". The 15" is bigger/badder/faster but the 12" is (and will continue to be for several years) fast enough to do what you need it to do for college. It's main benefit here is portability. It's about the same size as most of your books--you can manage it easily and it's light. It will fit on desks easily--even those skinny ones you can't quite get your legs under. They also have pretty good battery life.

    My 12" iBook goes everywhere with me. It's small enough that I can "whip it out" whenever I need to at work, school, or home. It stores easily--even in the pockets on the back of my car seats. If I had the 14" I might lose some of that convenience. IMO it's worth the small sacrifice in performance to get the size.
  10. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    I just think that the 12 inchers are so damn sexy! I was thinking about getting a lappy, and it would definitely have been the 12. I mean, the 15's are great, but they aren't distinctive...At least, not like the 12 & 17.

    No, I definitely think the 12" wins on the "wow that looks cool" factor, and perhaps some significant cohort of the female population appreciates that...

    You know what they say about guys with 12" laptops, after all.
  11. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    12" camp

    I was going through a similar situation, debating on the 12" and 15"... then the G4 iBooks came out... so two more were added to the mix.

    I then realized that the 12" of either would fit better into my backpack, and with the PB and its faster processor, bigger L2 cache, native support for spanning monitors and higher RAM capacity won out.

    (By HorrorTaxi)
    I agree 100%. I wish I'd had one the first time I was going through college :) I get a solid four hours from a complete charge, could probably get another half hour or so if I put more of the powersaving measures into place. (This second attempt through college -- night classes -- my classes are each held once a week and are roughly four hours long, so this works out perfectly).
  12. Fahd macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    If you got the money, I would suggest the 15" for you, though I personally need portability and thats why I got the 12"

    Good luck!
  13. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    g5 tower. i hate kids that carry laptops and make clickity clakcity noises in class.

    c'mon- take notes the old fashioned way.

  14. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2002
    I used a 12" iBook for quite some time and plugged it into a 21" monitor wheneer I got back into the office. I do the same with my 15" Powerbook, but I'm far more paranoid about getting it stolen or damaged and It seems like I take my Powerbook on the road less often now as a result.

    The 12" Powerbook gets my vote. Especially for college.
  15. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm in the exact same position. I'm into video and image editing and I'm off to college. Needless to say, I'm not bringing my four year old Windows ME (no iTunes :mad: ) Compaq with me. I'm leaning for a 15incher just so I can run FinalCut in a workable size. You guys are doing a good job talking up the 12 for me though...
  16. skymac macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2003
    Several months ago i had a very similar situation and ended up dciding on the 15" wich has yet to arrive. i choses the screen size only because external screen really is not an option for me. Since you seem to be pretty keen on that backlit keyboard as i was due to me hating the yellowish glow if artificial light. if i were you i would probably go with the 15" since its not to big and heavy. if however you truly need that superportabiliteness of the 12" then go for it, you really cant go wrong with an apple.
    And definatly talk with the people At carbon, its a great stores, i used to go there all the time befor they moved to to the east end of the city. it really sucks for me that they moved so far away i really like that store and my parents are good freinds with the owner.;)
  17. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    i went to CPUsed today...they have all 3 Powerbook on display and the 15" looks a hell of a lot smaller than i thought from seeing it on the many many pictures i've looked up. the 12" is still very very small. but the 15" is not too bad either - still very manageable.

    i used to have my mind set on the 15"...but after playing with the 12" for a bit...it's becoming more and more attractive by the minute. now the problem is...i'm not sure if i'm attracted to it because of its virtues or just because i like small and compact things - which the 12" certainly is.

    BUT since this will be my only machine, i feel that i can use the bigger screen. especially since my current screen is a 15" 1024*768, if i were to squish that onto a 12"...might be a bit painful...althou work-able. but even then..i've always wanted more space. it gets pretty tight working with Photoshop on a 1024*768 screen. not that i'm gonna use it that much...but still...i can use the space.

    BUT (you see i have a problem when it comes to making decisions..) one thing is still bothering me. Battery Life. how is it?? i think 2hr on average light use is pretty pathetic...i want at least 3 hrs..maybe close to 4 - especially with the Thinkpad T40 going 5-7 hours.

    i wish i can have both and have their contents synced all the time and pick up whichever i want when i want. ;) :D

    i can use more advice.

    ps: Skymac...since you know Carbon's owner...maybe you can find me a good deal on the Powerbook..;)
  18. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    I did some video editing with adobe premier on a 12" PB and it was managable. It wasn't a huge project but the movie turned out to be about 40 minutes. Someone else logged most of the hours with premier, but what I used of it seemed alright. I have totally gotten used to the 12" screen and think it is totally worth it considering the portablity. But I've never used a 15" either so I can't compare there.
  19. Awimoway macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2002
    My recommendation...

    If this is going to be your only computer, DEFINITELY go for the 15". Lack of screen real estate on the 12" will drive you nuts. I prefer desktop machines, and I don't know how I lived before I got my 20" cinema display. Now I never lack for screen space. At least, not horizontal space. :D

    As for the battery issue. I have a 12" iBook as a cheapo portable and I can't imagine what it would be like without having two batteries and an external battery charger. I don't think they offer an external battery charger for Powerbooks, but I would make sure to budget for an extra battery or two.
  20. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I usually get about 2-3 hours on my 15". And that backlit keyboard is oh-so-sexy. After using a 17" CRT at 1280*1024, I don't think I could ever go back to 1024*768 again. I do take it to class (gasp :eek:), but for now, it's only English where I work on my essays (ugh).
  21. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2003
    Adelaide, Australia
    that's an expencive way around Tazo.
  22. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2003
    Historic Norcross
    I have a 12" iBook, and the only reason I haven't traded up to a 15" Power Book is because I have a 19" CRT monitor at work I plug into. My eyesight is pretty good, but I would not want to ONLY look at a 12" screen all the time. I would either go with the 15" Power Book or purchase a larger CRT monitor with the 12" to keep on your desk; you could probably find a second hand one rather inexpensively. Your eyes will thank you either way. . .
  23. Toppa G's macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2003
    The exurbs, MN
    I'll just reiterate the 12" portability theme we've got going here. I use it in all of my classes except physics - too many graphs and diagrams. Also a useful tool in the event class gets boring...we have AirPort all over :D

    My iBook is great for moving around with me...it's my only computer, and I've gotten used to the screen size, but am looking to get a G5 or something like that in the near future. As long as your face is less than a foot away from your screen, it's not too bad ;)
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I have a 12" PB, and I get 3 1/2 hours of battery life with Panther installed. ;) This is on 75% screen brightness (my regular setting, since 100% is too bright for me).

    I don't do PS work, and only use my PB for basic work. I consider this computer quite futureproof for the next little while since it has 802.11g and USB 2. I got it before the new iBooks came out, but would have gotten the 12" PB over the new 12" iBook regardless.

    I can't even imagine using a 15" laptop.
  25. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder

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