Is it worth buying an iBook anymore?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bass93, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. bass93, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2011

    bass93 macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    I have the opportunity to buy an iBook G4 for $185. It's a 14.1 inch. 1.33GHz. 256MB RAM but can be upgraded to 1.25GB fairly cheaply. 60GB hard drive. I think it's running Panther.

    Is this a decent deal? I thought about buying this and an iPad, and then sell my 13 inch MacBook Pro (Lowest specced one from 2009)

    I guess I should explain my computer usage.

    I do a lot of surfing. I run a business online. I write a lot of papers and will be doing even more so this fall at a university. Have a large iTunes account. Use Garageband on occasion. Light photo usage.
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    If you have a MacBook Pro, I can't imagine why you'd want an iBook.

    An iBook would do its job, but I have to imagine it would feel painfully slow, especially for things like GarageBand. Plus, it would likely be unable to do things like playback HD video.

    I take it you are just trying to find the money to buy an iPad, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you see yourself planning on mostly using the iPad as your "main computer" and just having the iBook so you have something to sync it with. With that said, I'm sure you will find someone here who has used an iBook much more recently than I have and will say it still runs great.
  3. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    That iBook's CPU is roughly 4.5x slower than your MBP. It's not a worthwhile exchange unless you're a very patient person.

    Hell, an iPad's CPU isn't that far behind that G4.
  4. bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    True. But I really want to get an iPad. But don't have the money for one unless I sell my Pro. And I have to have a computer to sync the iPad to. I could use the iPad for classes with Pages.

    Anybody on here going to college/university using an iPad and iBook or PowerBook?
  5. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    I was editing my post while you posted your most recent one, beat you to it ;)
  6. bass93, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2011

    bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    Exactly. I'd like to find someone who uses this setup now and see what they think.

    Hahaha, I saw that.

    Very true. I just love the iPad's portability.
  7. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    If you buy an iBook, you won't be able to snow leopard, which is needed to run iTunes 10+ which is necessary to sync to the iPad. (feel free to correct this, but i'm pretty sure about this)

    Personally, I don't think selling your mbp will help you.
  8. bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    Arrrrgggghhhhh!!! You're right! I forgot about that! Sigh. Well thanks anyway guys.

    Would it be reasonable to still buy this mainly for taking notes in class instead of taking my Pro all the time?
  9. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    It's a terrible deal. You'd have to spend ~$400 for an insanely slow ibook + upgrades and you wouldn't be able to run a recent version of office or iTunes. Take your $185, save up another $14 ;), and get an iphone 4 and keep your macbook. Then you have the best of both worlds.

  10. bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    Okay. Hahahaha, can't afford the contract man. I already have a iPod Touch 4G.
  11. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    I bought my iPad with the intentions of taking notes so I can stop bringing my 15in mbp. Turns out, there really isn't a perfect app for word processing. Pages and its equivalent all suck at outlining. For example, I. --> A. ---> a. and so on, on word you press enter and tab. On iPad Pages, you have touch the indent button to indent to get to a sub-line, which is extremely lame and inefficient. So honestly, the iPad failed to live up to my expectations.

    Then again, the above only applies if you outline the way I do. Personally, the iPad isn't really made for content creation, only content consumption.
  12. bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    Ahhhhh. Well i intend on using Pages and an app called Simplenote. With Simplenote and JustNotes for the Mac, it is a perfectly synced note taking app. Very impressive. Whenever you make a note on the iPad in Simplenote and it is connected to the internet it will automatically show up in JustNotes on your Mac. And vice versa. Amazing combination.

    I actually really like Pages for the iPad.

    And I know it isn't the best at content creation, but there are many apps coming out that help you do just that.
    and many more that I plan to use.
  13. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Ahhh, I see. You take notes differently than I do. I'm a more methodical note taker. Hopefully, someone will develop an app that fits my needs.

    Anyhow, good luck with whatever you decide!
  14. bass93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    Ah yeah. That'd be nice.

  15. NickJC macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2011
    West Midlands, UK
    when my iBook G3 800 died just before Christmas, it was 8 years and 3 days since I'd had it. I'm a graphic designer and this was my main machine for years, running most of PhotoShop and Illustrator and iTunes all at same time.
    I never once needed to have it repaired and am gutted that now I'll need a new machine and new software! (Hence wait for new MBP;s)
    My point is that I used this for 8 years with no issues and as other machines got faster, I was grateful mine just kept plodding on. As long as it wasn't heavy video-editing, it was fine.
    But not sure I'd pay $400 dollars for an iBook now. Anything refurb or 2nd hand will be better than going to a G4 iBook and having to get something else a year or two down the line.
    {first post over, thanks all}
  16. nathanielonfire macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2011
    The iBook the OP mentioned can still run Leopard and also iTunes 10. I can vouch for this because it's running on my PowerBook.

    Also, vistatude mentioned you can't run a recent version of Office. I'm not sure what he means by "recent", but 2008 runs on PPC. (Slower than Intel for sure, but it's not like it's dreadful).

    The only thing that I think you would have trouble with is GarageBand as the later versions (iLife 2009+?) don't even run on PPC. In fact, the biggest challenge aside from speed might be the screen resolution, as more and more websites are being designed for widescreen monitors. My 12" PowerBook starts to feel cramped as it's impossible to view a webpage without the browser window being maximized all the way.
  17. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Compared with current notebooks, the screen on the iBook will probably look very dark and washed out to add to its slowness.

    Unless you really need to run any MacOS apps (i.e. pre-OSX), I would save the money and get a cheap, if battered, Macbook instead.
  18. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Let me put it this way: I bought an iPad with the aim of moving my note-taking off of a TabletPC. Didnt work, I now have my TabletPC, a 11" MBA (Tablet for Maths lectures, MBA for the rest), as well as my iPad (3G Internet), and using Pages for iPad to take notes, even with a physical keyboard isnt particularly great. (Especially if your in lectures that are "heavy" - such as my typical 1hr maths lecture, which consists of about 20 blackboards of notes to copy) - Id keep the MBP, as Id prefer to use any Intel Mac with the single exception of the 1.5 Core Duo Mini over any PowerPC Portable (Even my late 1.67Ghz PowerBook G4), just as it cant do far too much (Office 2011:Mac seems to be becoming a necessity - or a late version of iWork as for some reason instructors seem to have jumped to the new office format). Youll also get frustrated with the iBook stops being able to use things like Youtube and FaceBook... (not yet, but unless you get another Intel portable within 2 years, they may well do)
  19. nathanielonfire macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2011
    I've used a PPC laptop for years in school and it's never been a problem. On campus, very few people actually have Office 2011. I can't imagine that wherever you are it's become a "necessity". Office 2008 can open all of the XML files, .docx, .xlsx, etc. without any conversion necessary. I still see people using .doc most of the time and a lot of professors use Office 2003 for Windows and 2004 for Mac.

    Flash is a major bottleneck slowdown issue on PPC and YouTube will be slow. Granted, it's not unwatchable (you can get around 20 fps if the video is completely loaded, and other Flash sites often have no issue). Facebook probably won't be slow because it's a static webpage, so once it loads...everything works. I've never had a problem doing anything like Facebook chat either.

    Taking notes in class with the iBook would be's not like text processing was slow during the PPC era. $185 for a working machine that can do the basics is great. I say go for it; up the RAM, since it will only cost you like $30 and it'll make a difference if you upgrade to Leopard and want to run later software.
  20. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    I have that exact model, with 1.25gb of ram and although it is a nice machine, built like a tank and just keeps working (I think six years and counting.) I am not sure I would like to use it for my main machine.

    It will be quite a noticeable change from the macbook pro.

    I say save the money, and put the $250 (ibook+ram+leopard) towards a macbook air.

    I have a lot of love for ibooks (my first mac) but its hard going back from intel processors..
  21. makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    I have an iBook 12", 1.33, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HD (which will outspec the one you're targeting). Among other things, the video chip and fan died late 2009 after four years of abuse. Late 2010 I finally had it fixed (with a 6 month warranty) for under US$100 by a third-party repair place. Its now with my high school daughter, the first laptop that's all hers. The screen look slightly washed out next to my 2009 macbook white. High definition videos sputter. iMovie will work for short videos. Garage band will do fine with basic instruments, and not too many tracks or effects. Its fine for writing, note taking, and presentations. She hasn't left it at home since she got it, and the battery (which is relatively new and still gets 3.5-4 hours) is always almost empty when she gets home. I interpret this to mean that she is using the beejeebers out of it in school. Whenever I ask her how it's doing, she flashes a contented smile. But the minute she gets home, she hijacks her mother's iMac 20" :)

    Compared to my macbook white 2.13, I get impatient with the iBook. I think the same will happen to you. So I suggest you keep your MBP, and just save up for the iPad.
  22. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I know that you want the iPad, I get that as I love mine. But the truth is that the MBP that you have is better than all the other alternatives that you are talking about. I know that the MBP doesn't feel as new or as shiny as the iPad, but it does the job more effectively than the iPad would, and within a month you'll regret doing this if you do.
  23. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    If you don't already have Leopard, you may want to consider that cost as well.

    Since it's not sold retail any longer, I'm hearing prices anywhere from $130 to $200 on the auction sites.

    But, I'm in the camp of keep the MacBook Pro and save up.

    Since you are already use to the MBP speed, you will be frustrated with the iBook.

    Not to mention, parts are getting harder and harder to find to fix iBooks.

    Then there is always the rumor that the "New" iPad is right around the corner...
  24. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    If you really want the iPad and expect it to be your main method for in class, you could always sell the MBP and buy a cheap Windows laptop.

    Personally, I would just save the $185 and buy an iPad when you have the money. It doesn't sound like you need one, just want one. Maybe the 1st gen after the new one comes out if you want to save some cash.
  25. Tortellino macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2005
    Surfing may be a problem on this machine. A lot of new Flash content, including videos, and definitely any high resolution video (youtube) will skip in the most atrocious way. The iBook G4 is only suitable for writing and playing musing at this point.

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