Is an iBook still acceptable for day to day use?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Luigi239, May 5, 2008.

  1. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    Hey everybody. I am thinking about getting a cheap, used iBook. (one that can run Leopard) Right now I have a 14" Dell Inspiron, and while it is less than 2 months old, its big and heavy (like 6lbs) and runs windows. I need something that I can just throw into my backpack to bring to school. Is an old 12" iBook still good for web surfing, watching videos, and listening to music? I would need it to last me at least 2-3 years. (thats when I'll get myself a new macbook for college) How much do you think I would have to spend in order to get an iBook in good condition?

  2. sananda macrumors 68020

    May 24, 2007
    i use a 1.33 GHz iBook (with leopard) every day. it's just fine for the things you mention. don't know about it lasting a further 2-3 years though or have any idea of price.
  3. Zea74 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008

    If you're fine with the screen of an iBook, and you don't need a lot of computerpower for ripping and converting libraries of DVD's, you will have enough on an iBook.

    I used one myself until a few months ago, and it is perfectly ok for mail, iTunes, surfing the net, office programs, the occasional movie. I have a 12" iBook with 1MHz and 768 MB RAM, and Leopard - though a bit slowly - is running without problems on it.
    Only because I wanted to do photo editing and video ripping I added an iMac to the collection.

    So: go for it :eek:)
  4. Westsider 4 Mac macrumors regular

    Westsider 4 Mac

    Apr 12, 2007
    On the West Side
    Yes, but...

    I use a blue clamshell ibook around the house for guests. You can only go to certain web sights, but it is good for word processing. I do think the overall speed will be an irritant after awhile though...:apple:
  5. Luigi239 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    When you say abit slowly, how slowly? The only three programs that I have running at a time are Adium, iTunes, and Firefox. Would I notice a significant slowdown do you think?
  6. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007

    i have a g4 1.2 i picked up for about $500 after adding a gig of ram to bring it up to 1.25 it runs leopard quite well, dont bother replacing the harddrive as its takes a long time, with many many different little screws to remove, and pieces to pull apart

    but for what you want to do something like that will work quite well, check the marketplace part of this forum and ebay
  7. Luigi239 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    Great, thanks.

    I'll prolly end up getting it in the next two weeks, I need to get my new iMac first. :p
  8. Wireless Buddy macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Performance wise, yes, that spec'd laptop would be acceptable.

    But for the sake of your mental health, DO NOT BUY A FRIGGEN iBOOK!

    I have one. It kicked the bucket today.

    I bought it used November 07. It worked until March 2008. The logic board failed (Google it) and it worked sorta until today, when I put a little too much pressure on the left palm rest (you have to do this to make the iBook work after a logic board failure), and this is where the hard drive it. So now it has a busted hard drive, and will not load past the grey Apple at startup. That is, when you actually get video on the display.

    Don't do it, dude. Get something else.
  9. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    An iBook will be fine. I had an iBook G4 for four years. It was fantastic. I sold it to a co-worker just recently, and he loves it now.
  10. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2006
    Niagara County, NY
    Absolutely, get it. It's an awesome, cheap option. I use mine every day, and my wife has one, too. I think it still has a few years left, at least for what I use it for. It's small, lightweight, and handles internet and office with no problems. That accounts for 80-90% of what I do. Ideally, I'm keeping it until they come out with a 10 or 11 inch macbook. Unfortunately, that will probably never happen.
  11. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    I use my G3 900mhz daily for ebay, online forums music and movies. I hook it up to my TV to play movies and music through my stereo system. If you want something to last 2-3 years, buy a late model G4 like a 1.33 and max out the ram and that should get you through till then.
  12. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Yes, especially if you want Leopard and want to watch iTunes videos...
  13. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I have an iBook (1.2GHz, Late 2004) that up until about 3 weeks ago was my main machine. It's fairly light, robust and powerful enough to do regular day to day things.

    The screen is pretty dim compared to the MacBooks of today but the battery life I was getting was still in the order of 4 hours (newish battery, 2 years old) and it had all the same ports (minus mini DVI) that the MacBooks have today.

    It's a great little machine and would definitely suit general use computing for the next year or so. I wouldn't expect an iBook that's already 2 years old to be at it's best for another 3 years but you never know - they are workhorses, mine is still going and it's had a hard life of overnight Handbrake conversions, DVD ripping, massive download sessions and a hell of a lot of travel.
  14. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    My 1.33 GHz G4 does just fine with 512 MB of RAM running Leopard, it does everything the OP mentioned and more.

    To the OP, a white G3 iBook may seem like a good decision, but unless you want to take the chance with the infamous logic board problems, I suggust one of the G4's. They run great, my 1.33 Ghz G4 is my main computer, use it everyday without complaint. I bought it off of eBay for $485. You can get lesser models for cheaper, probably down to $350 for the 800 MHz G4, and if you really want to take the chance (Hey, you might get lucky and get a good one), you can find a 500 MHz G3 for $200
  15. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    The G4s also had bad chips in them too. My G4 ibook 1.2ghz had that problem. You can find 900mhz for $200 on ebay.
  16. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    i 'heart' ibooks

    another thumbs up here. 1.33/1.25mb/80gb/superdrive that has been around the world with me several times, gets used everyday, and can handle all the required items with ease. i keep thinking i will replace it with a macbook, and so far every chance, i've kept the ibook. i just love the thing. silent, fast, lasts for ever on battery, and tough plastic shell that i couldn't care less about getting bumped or scratched. good stuff! :apple::)

    only down side to ibooks as noted above is the random 'chip' problems. some good, some bad, and no way to tell ahead of time that i know of. best of luck.
  17. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I dont see why not. I'm sure you can still surf the web, ichat, itunes, d/l music/movies/whatever, word, mail, etc...
  18. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Indeed they did only the last revision of iBook G4's were fairly resistent to the problem, but the chance of getting a lemon was much less (The 600 and 700 MHz G3's were the worst, quoted at 70% failure rates!)
  19. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    Can I be another to recommend the 12' ibooks.
    If possible get the last model, i've got the one before last and It runs leopard well. Just max out the ram. I also replaced the hard drive for a 160gig one and although it was a p.i.t.a i think it was worth the trouble.

    Also I would recommend not using your friends macbooks, It will painfully show you how much much better they are. That's not to say the ibooks are bad, they aren't, but they are 3-4 years old.

    They will run itunes,safari etc without a problem. Mines a trooper, I love it!
    I'm hoping to get at least another 2 years out of it in some form or another. Its currently being used as a DIY apple tv/airport/handbrake converter/torrenter... :)

    I'm not sure where you live, so i don't know about prices. Try looking at ebay,craigslist,yahoo auction etc.. for guides.
    I wouldn't pay any more than 4-500 usd for a last gen 12inch ibook in good condition. I would just put it towards a refurb macbook. (obviously your situation may not permit this..)
  20. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Carmel, IN.
    yeah my sisters had hers since like 04 or 05. Its worked great for her. No problems really other than once we had to bring it in but its all good now. She really only does some word processing, itunes, limewire, and safari along with ichat. It works great for her, the only difference is that she has 10.3.9 or Panther. I'm not sure about Leopard.

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