It's crunch time, need your wisdom...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Demon Hunter, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Here's the deal. I'm selling my 17-inch PowerBook, because it has specs that far exceed my current needs. The processor is, well, mediocre — but aside from that is the footprint — which is not helping. Don't get me wrong, I love the 17-inch. But I'd like to save that money for a 17-inch MacBook next year, so I can benefit from the Santa Rosa platform.

    In the meantime, I need a laptop now, as in this week, for the following: taking notes in class (mobility), writing papers away from home (I'm a commuter), and all the basics.

    Luckily, I'm a student developer so I get a 20% discount on one machine. A new, 12-inch PowerBook is $1199. I think that's a good price ($200 less than the education store).

    I've looked at new and used iBooks and PowerBooks on eBay; there are a few bargains but nothing extraordinary. I figure if this is going to last a year or two, anything less than Tiger and 1.33GHz will be painful. The 12-inch is well suited for this.

    Resale value is important. With the discount, I should only be down a few hundred dollars, but who knows. My theory is that it's already depreciated so much, that the curve is in my favor.

    So, my fellows, I have a few questions:
    1. The 12-inch is "end-of-life" isn't it? How bad is that?
    2. Is it silly to change form factors but remain with PowerPC?
    3. Is 512MB enough for my simple needs (word processing, e-mail, surfing, iTunes)? If not, a 1GB module is $200. Now we're back to $1399.
    4. My last resort: a Windows laptop? A few refurbished ThinkPads go for around $500.

    I would love to wait for a widescreen Macbook, but I'm already waiting for next year's models. Not practical. I'm ready to order today.

    Thanks in advance. :)
  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    Well you already plan on getting a MacBook Pro next year so i would go with the 12" powerbook (however i would wait on using your ADC thingie as you can only use it once then you can use it on the MacBook Pro)

    So try to find a refurb powerbook in my opinion
  3. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    That's true. The refurbs are more than the ADC price, that's what kills me. There's always my education discount.
  4. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    dferrara - I do not understand your thinking - you say that your current 17" PB far exceeds your needs, and also some sort of footprint issue. Then you outline your thinking to get a more powerful Mac (w/ Santa Rosa chipset) which will have another 17" footprint:confused: :confused:

    Why not keep your current 17"PB and enjoy the performance?? It sound to me like a lot of work for little savings and a far lesser computer in the short run.
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    if your needs really are as simple as email, web, itunes, wp, then - if you simply must have new - go with 12" iBook. It's small, weighs nothing, and is cheaper than a pb.
  6. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I should say, it is adequate and perhaps superfluous for now, but down the road (more like the driveway), it's a dead end.

    I bought it before the Intel announcement, and while I was satisfied with my decision at the time, there's no way it will last more than four years now. And in a year or two, I'll reevaluate my decision about the form factor.

    Needless to say, the PowerBooks are lacking. But the portability of a 12-inch outweighs that problem, at minimal cost. If I sell high and buy low, I'll win. If by waiting I sell low and buy high...

    12-inch Powerbook scenario:
    $2300 (current value) - 1200 (12-inch, 20% ADC) = $1100 (savings) + $1000 (12-inch future value, 66% return) = $2100(estimated return)

    12-inch iBook scenario:
    $2300 (current value) - $900 (12-inch, 10% ADC) = $1400 (savings) + $600 (12-inch future value, 60% return) = $2000 (estimated return)

    17-inch PowerBook scenario:
    $2100 (estimated return) - $1400 (17-inch future value, 60% return) = $700 (lost)

    You get the idea.

    So, not only do I save $700, I get a more useful machine for now, and a more powerful machine later.

    But is 512MB enough?
  7. Pistol Pete macrumors 6502a

    Pistol Pete

    Jan 6, 2005

    go with the 12" ibook...1.42 ghz ;)
  8. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    Not really, OSX loves 1 gig of ram and higher. You'll get a boost of speed from that alone.
  9. gman71882 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Houston, Tx
    Get your own RAM

    Go with with either the 12 inch PB or iBook. Great machines with good reliability.
    both come with 512MB of Ram
    you can get another 512 for powerbook for ~ $50 @ the
    a 1 GB stick is going for ~100.
    ibook RAM for similar price
    Apple always charges a premium for RAM, ie. dont get it from them. I have used the chipmerchant for 2 years for RAM havent had a problem yet... there are also other options if you want to shop around, just make sure its RAM that works with a MAC.

    Buy it yourself and put it in yourself. YOU WONT void your warranty... its an easy install by just unscrewing a panel on the bottom of the computer and pushing in the RAM. :D
  10. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Do they even have a warranty at that place? :eek:

    Well, iWork '06 recommends 512MB, so that's probably a good idea.
  11. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I'm pulling the trigger after a few hours of study... on some kind of 12-inch Mac. Speak now or forever hold your peace. ;)
  12. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    Sounds like a good idea, enjoy the 12 incher!!
  13. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    dferrara, not to harp on about this, but what is the point of selling your current laptop, which sounds somewhere around 9-10 months old, for a new machine? Your numbers for the machines are hard to follow, imo. For instance, what is the $2300 current value of the iBook? And, from the way I interpret the math, it seems that you are expecting to get more back from an iBook purchase when you sell it than from your 17" PowerBook.

    I would definitely stick with your current 17" PowerBook. I bought my PowerBook in June of last year and this machine has plenty of life left in it. I put in the maximum RAM recently and have witnessed a noticeable difference in response.
  14. kwajaln macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2004
    if you MUST part with that huge footprint, then do buy an iBook, which perfectly fits your needs.
  15. bah-bah'd macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2006
    Your 12-inch Powerbook scenario wins for me... I love my girls 12" pb... brand new...
  16. bah-bah'd macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2006
    do you only get one ADC discount ever or per year? Edu discounts is per year, isn't it? or is it # per category over your whole student life?

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