Is a Powebook G4 12" for $635 worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zer0tails, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    There is a used powerbook for sale with the following specs 1.5Ghz 1.25gb, 80gb, Super Drive, AirPort, BlueTooth, OS X 10.4 - 90 Day Warranty at my local computer shop.

    Currently, I am without a laptop and could use one. I am considering either this or a refurb macbook pro 2.5 which is considerably more powerful. However, the 12" powerbook is the perfect size.

    My question is, since this is pretty old technology, is it worth the price at all? Am i better off putting that 600 dollars towards a macbook? And considering there's the chance it might fail within a year. I also would like to run leopard on it, could it handle that? I've never used a powerbook before, only came to mac after the intel switch so I would appreciate any advice.

    much thanks,

    zer0tails
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    Put the money towards a MacBook, as a MacBook in real world testing will be at least 3-4 times faster. If you want something lighter, the MacBook Air is selling for $1000 refurbished and the MacBook Air will be several times faster than the PowerBook as well.
     
  3. DaveDaveDave macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    #3
    Don't do it. This hardware won't even be supported by the next release of OS X this spring. Look at what you get for $350 more refurbished...
    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook
    (I won't even point out the apple credit card offer on the side-bar ;) )

    Dave

     
  4. Pees330 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #4
    I would put that money towards a refurbished Macbook. A Macbook would last you for years to come.
     
  5. Macman756 macrumors 6502a

    Macman756

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    Nope not worth it at all. But don't be hatin on the Powerbook 12". I bought the exact same thing, 1.5Ghz, 1.25GB RAM, 80GB HD brand new battery and Incase Sleeve for $350. Love it! Plus I bought a 250GB HD from newegg, through that in, now its totally maxed. For about $425. So I would get a 12" PB g4 if you can find one cheap, otherwise, get a refurb 2.1 White Macbook for $850 from Apple. My 2cents
     
  6. JonMaker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    here.
    #6
    FWIW, I just passed on an identical system for $500 CAD.
     
  7. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    thanks for the advice guys. I'm holding out for now.:)
     
  8. bigdaddyp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #8
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #9
    I keep repeating this over and over. I hate the idea that I have to worry about each update and how things are compatible or not compatible. IMHO, Hackintosh is mainly for a hobby, to tinker around and to play with hardware and the OS. For real work, a Hackintosh is less sufficient. I just don't want worry about stuff bricking my Hackintosh (if I had one) or anything like that.
     
  10. bigdaddyp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #10
    Due to the install method used on the mini9 it is not really a worry. Out of the three mac os updates only the last one caused any issues at all. Those were solved in a matter of a few minutes with the 123disk. Not all Hacintosh's are created equal. The mini9 out of the box is one of the most compatable netbooks with mac os and the follks over at mydellmini.com have been writing drivers for it and we even have a working card reader now which no official mac has.
    I bought the mini9 as a 3rd computer and as a toy but now use it the vast majority of the time. When working at home I connect it to the lcd tv and use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Is this a machine for running photshop? No. But it is a small fast and very stable machine for most other common computing tasks.
     
  11. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #11
    Great. I was gonna say my friend traded his in at a local Mac retailer and got $250 - they were going to resell it for $400...
     
  12. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    Quick Update for everyone :)

    I ordered a refurbished 1.6, 80GB Rev. A macbook air for $999. I researched its potential problems like core shutdown but decided I'll install coolbook if it ever comes to that. I think its a very good price, and that was a convincing factor as I didn't want to go over 1200 (hence i decided no on the mbo) for a notebook that I'll only use for word documents, keynote presentations, internet browsing, itunes and instant messaging whilst on the road.

    It would be nice if the Rev. A Macbook air could watch youtube for more than 4 videos but i think i can live with that as I don't youtube at work :p

    I am guessing the MBA is faster than the powerbook I was initially considering as well. Am I correct in assuming this?

    Can't wait till it gets here, $999 is abit on the high end for a netbook/sub-notebook whatever you want to call it.

    BUT, it runs OSX and a mac laptop for $999 and a good looking one at that was a hard deal to pass up on. :D
     
  13. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    Yes, it is much faster than the PowerBook that you were considering.
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #14
    The same money could have gotten you a much faster white macbook. :p

    Oh well, hope it works out well for you!
     
  15. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #15
    Well I dont think it would be much faster, i.e. another order of magnitude. Sure the HD is limited only being PITA and 42k but overall I think for what the OP is wanting it should be comparable and it's likely you wouldn't really notice any discernible difference

    I know you did that tongue in cheek its just that the OP seems concerned about the power of the MBA so I didn't want it to be a one-sided thing :)

    zer0tails - glad you made the order - great machine...I have detailed my experiences and some of the steps I have made to make my MBA more 'complete' in this thread (I recommend a read) - hope it can be of some help .... :)

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=620188

    D:apple:
     
  16. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    thank you, thank you!!!! took a look and that thread should come in very handy if I have any issues. Yes, I knew the macbook spec wise is faster, but i base "faster" on whether I can feel the difference in regular usage and I doubt i'll be able to tell the difference. Plus I chose the MBA over the white macbook for portability.

    I think most important is expectations, and I've kept mine low for the refurb rev. A macbook air i'm getting. I'm going to compare it to netbooks and whether it'll enable me to complete my work on the web, word, and excel documents successfully. <-- if it can do this, i'll say i have a winner. Any video/photo work..i'll stick to my Big Mac.
     
  17. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #17
    don't mention it, glad to help :)

    to me you have exactly the right idea about what this notebook is for. The form factor (and don't listen to ppl who will say you don't notice the weight + size difference, trust me you will) alone is such a bonus that I am sure you can live (and if your sig is anything to go by you won't be lacking for power :D )with the performance hit you will be fine.

    The last point I will say though is you might be surprised how often you start using it INSTEAD of your MP, my MBP now is almost the 2nd computer to the MBA!!! :D:eek:

    Good luck with your purchase and post back here with some of your thoughts, I'll set up a notification so I can see if we agree :rolleyes::)

    D:apple:

    ps
    if you have any questions about anything that I did to my MBA in the other thread by all means PM me and I'll be happy to answer them
     
  18. lazyboy922 macrumors 6502

    lazyboy922

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #18
    Good choice! I had the last revision 12" PB decked out to the max as far as ram, and it was still super slow. I remember getting SO frustrated at the spinning beach ball. I did like the foot print, but I think you will be more than happy with the 13"! I personally own the white MacBook now, and it runs circles around that PB, and was much cheaper if you look at the price they were originally selling for.
     
  19. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I'll be sure to post first impressions when it arrives :D you don't have to worry about that. I ordered it on Friday and been checking Fedex.com every hour since then :p It shows a delivery time of 2 more days. can't wait!

    @ lazyboy: good to hear the opinion of a powerbook g4 user, thanks. All I can say is glad I posted this thread before jumping on the powerbook, and then seeing the MBA for $999 thread. And yes, i loathe them spinning beach balls as well. The only thing about macs i don't like haha

    @drummerlondonw3: are you serious? I've heard several people remark that in the past, but never thought to ask. Why did you start using the MBA more often than your MBP? It's not a bad thing, but my Big Mac might get jealous of the new kid on the block :p
     
  20. MacAgent84 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #20
    Yes, it is entirely worth it when you consider specs of the machine. MacBooks, not MacBook Pros, at 1.8ghz are selling for more than $635 online. I would make the purchase if you want the most for your buck and cannot afford to spend more for a nicer display, better finish, etc.

    ____________
    OS X Mac Tips & Tricks
     
  21. loslosbaby macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #21
    G4 12" Not Up To Leopard

    Here's my two cents. I have a friend with a G4 12". Its like a little collectible swiss watch, its just neat. VERY nice screen.

    Here's the downsides:
    - Too puny to run leopard (I tried, backed up to Tiger)
    - Really really difficult to take apart (3 layers)
    - Only worth 400$ on EBay

    Upside:
    - SIMM's still available, and it can take 1.2gig total
    - Small
    - Kinda collectible
    - Think of it as your ipod. Put a small SSD in it and it will be.

    G.
     
  22. XianPalin macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #22
    I always wanted one of these. The Macbook just isn't as appealing to me, though the new aluminum ones aren't too bad.

    I think the main deterrent for me would be the inability to run a lot of intel-only apps, since there are a fair amount that aren't universal these days.

    I've always loved the form factor though.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #23
    12" Powerbooks are very nice, the form factor is great for the mobile user. I'm still using my 15" G4 @1.33GHz and it's fine for Office, iPhoto, internet, light Photoshop and watching DVDs.

    But (and I hate to say this, since I'm still all-G4 in my personal Macs), a MacBook would be a better buy from a performance and cost standpoint.
     
  24. mr1970 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #24
    The question of whether it's worth it is not one that I'm qualified to comment on as I don't live in the US and don't know the secondhand market there. However, I will make a few observations as I've had one of these things for about 4 years now (12" 1.5Ghz, 1.25GB RAM, 80GB hard drive):

    - it is hugely robust; a very, very well made bit of kit - much better built than my wife's black Macbook (last version)
    - the keyboard is beautiful, better than any Mac laptop since (in my view)
    - it does have the firewire port that newer low end macs lack and this is surprisingly useful for Time Machine, iTunes, iPhoto etc
    - The notion that it won't run Leopard is nonsense. I have no idea what some people on here are running on it, but I've had Leopard on it since it came out and never had a problem - it's absolutely fine unless you're doing something VERY heavyweight (big image editing for example, not just the regular iPhoto stuff - multiple images open in Adobe or something). This is like saying a Ferrari 355's not quick enough because the 360 and 430 are quicker.
    - the smallish hard drive shows after a while - I have Office, iWork (I know, I know, I should get rid of one) and Adobe CS2 so have had to move my big media libraries off to a separate drive - my iTunes is around 70GB and my iPhoto around 20GB so they just wouldn't fit any more. I could still have had them all on there with a 160GB drive
    - the lack of n-class wireless is a bit of a pain - the wife's MB has it so I'd have liked to get an n-class router but no point with me on g
    - I had to replace the battery at about the 4 year point - just wouldn't hold charge any more
    - there hasn't been any statements about whether Snow Leopard will or won't support it - given that Apple were still flogging G5 PMs 3 years ago I'd actually be surprised / disappointed if it didn't support it, particularly since all the news about SL is that it's supposed to be leaner / faster

    My wife actually bought an Acer widescreen windows laptop about 6 months after I bought my PB. I still use the PB every day, her Acer has been stuck in a drawer with a duff screen, knackered battery, keys missing etc for more than a year now - and she takes far better care of her stuff than I do. The Powerbook 12" is, simply, the finest bit of consumer electronics it's been my privilege to own. I'll replace it in the next 2 years, by which time it'll have given me almost 6 years of flawless service, and it'll probably just go to my son who has a PS3 for gaming and so only needs a laptop for iTunes, pics and homework.
     
  25. MatLane macrumors 6502a

    MatLane

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #25
    No i would not go there


    For snow leopards sake
     

Share This Page