I've narrowed it down...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Maverick, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Maverick macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    I've decided I want my first Mac to be either a refurb. 17-inch iMac or a refurb. 15-inch Powerbook. I just can't decide which one. Obviously the Powerbook has the edge on portability, a better video card, and that cool backlit keyboard. I'm going to be headed to graduate school in the Fall so I think it would be perfect to bring to class with me. Not to mention the envy factor. ;) Total after tax and RAM upgrades from Crucial: $2423.

    The iMac has a bigger display and a faster Superdrive, but then I sacrifice the portability. It also has a lesser video card than the PB. Still, it could save me a couple hundred bucks, which I could put towards a DV Camcorder or something else cool like that. :D I'm also leaning towards the iMac because of the issues I've heard about the 15-inch PB (white spots on display, overheating, etc). Total after tax, RAM upgrades from Crucial, and an Airport Extreme card: $1968.

    Anyone have some advice? I'm going to be making the purchase next week. I'm so excited I think I'm going to wet myself. The only sucky part is the waiting. :(
  2. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2004
    I'd get the powerbook, and then save up for the DV cam. If you're going to grad school, the powerbook should definitely prove to be more useful.
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    You didn't mention AppleCare and you'll want that considering that there is an LCD display in either one and it's especially important in a laptop computer.

    Either choice is good but the envy factor may be higher than the portability factor. Remember that you'll need some reality afterwards. :)
  4. javabear90 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2003
    Houston, TX
    For grad-school i would get the PB because you can take it to class and such. The PB will probably last longer. Or you could always wait for G5 iMacs/PowerBooks :D
  5. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I agree--for grad school, go with the PB.

    And don't hold your breath on G5 iMacs or PBs.... :D


  6. dudewheresmymac macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2004
    definately go with the PB then you can take it to classes and other places that you might want to do your work...
  7. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    you really have to WANT an LCD iMac to merit purchasing one i think. kinda like the cube was (but not as drastic). As you said, a weak video card on the iMac for a desktop, and not very expandable/upgradable for a desktop either.

    so if you have narrowed it down to iMac or Powerbook, that tells us that you've been vaccinated from the iMac 'neeeed', so get the powerbook.

    No Offense to the iMac, its a beautiful machine indeed but with powerbooks and emac's as options i think the nitche for the iMac is getting smaller and smaller. The last person i spoke to with an iMac said "well i'm a stylish woman, so i need a stylish computer". agreed, and case-in-point.
  8. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    PB, hands down.

    (I sence a trend)

    Remember though for that price you can buy a NEW 15" laptop with, AMD 64-3200M (1MBcache, 400MHZFSB,) 60GB HDD (7200RPM,) 2xDVD+-RW, 512MD DDR400, Radeon 9600m graphics,... from http://www.americancomputech.com/

    $2000USD is alot of money in anyone's books and I'd want the absolute best computer I could buy. A second hand PB with a processor half the speed, slower FSB, no 64-bit capasity and a HDD a slower speed, in my view would not be the best buy.

    It's your money, and hence your decision. I'm just showing you the other side of the coin, and what else $2K can buy.

    P.S: The laptop I've listed is the one I want, here's a pic
  9. ghostee macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Villa Park, IL
    When I went out to pick up my last PC, I had to choose between laptop and desktop. I wanted the laptop for portability and the small footprint. I wanted the desktop to play American McGee's Alice smoothly.

    Well to make a long story short, I bought the desktop, played through the game, and kicked myself in the ass for not buying the laptop.

    But that's all remedied now that I have a 12" iBook G4 arriving in 2 days. :D

    So buy the PB.
  10. Maverick thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    If it ran Mac OS X, I'd snatch it in a heartbeat. But there's no way I'm going back to a Windows machine. No offense.

    I'm willing to forego the increase in power to own a Mac. Ever since I tried out my roommate's iBook, I've been dying to switch. There's an elegance about OS X I can't put into words, but it sure seems a lot better than Windows XP.

    Thanks for your help, though, Opteron. I really do appreciate it. To be quite honest, I was looking at buying an eMachines M6807 before Mac fever struck me. For the price, it's still a tempting machine, but not enough to keep me from switching, I don't think.
  11. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    Know what you mean to some extent, Just the "Wank factor" on OSX gets to me, all the pointless animations that use valuable system resorces, also the 1 button thing. I use OSX 10.3 at uni in web design, and My home brew PC at home. I prefer XP because after you calm all the pop-up down, install the updates and install Mozilla, it runs like a dream, no problems at all.

    I enjoy the software and hardware freedom the x86 side of the fence offers. I do like iMovie though.

    Goodluck with your purchace
  12. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    i wouldn't necessarily say the pb has a better vid card...

    arn't laptop versions really dumb downed compared to desktop versions? the 9600 mobility is probably a little slower than the desktop geforce fx 5200 ultra

    however the imac does have a slower processor than the powerbook, imac only has 256kb l2 cache where the powerbook has 512, strangly enough, i've noticed how much that can make a difference...
  13. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    just wait until longhorn gets those "wank factor," "pointless animations"... ;)

    (yeah, i know, you'll probably be able to turn them off.)

    to the orig. poster... why not a combination of 12" PB and a 17" LCD (not necessarily apple's) screen? you get the best of both worlds for about the same price as 15" PB?
  14. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    The "pointless animations" on OSX are the same as the "pointless animations" on the PC except the Mac's look better and use the GPU to render them (therefore they don't take up valuable system resources.) Windows won't render these with the GPU until Longhorn comes out in 2006. Plus they can be turned off on both Windows and the mac.

    As for the "1 button thing", I have a "5 button thing" hooked up to my iBook, so I don't see the problem there (we are talking about mice, right?)

    I use to be strictly anti-mac until about one week before I got one. The PC platform isn't stable enough to play games on, and if you ask me thats the only thing it has going for it (other than enterprise software.)
  15. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    rut roh shaggy... this is turning into a mac vs. pc discussion.

    the original poster obviously wants a mac, so lets stay on that subject.

    and i agree with Jxxyama on the 12" PB + 17" LCD combo... when i use my 12" at home, and i start running out of space or really start multitasking (also known as iChat hell) i hook up the 17" CRT.

    you can get a nice crisp 17" LCD these days for around $450, and along with the 12" would be around the same price as a 15" PB, and if you need portability outside of the house, but alot of workspace in the house, its the perfect combination.
  16. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    That's not a bad move. Buying a computer is a tough business these days. remember to check ALL avanues, even the old tower G4's. happy hunting.
  17. TheFallGuy macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2003
    I'd have to agree with most of the opinions here. I went through that decision right before the new powerbooks came out. PowerMac G4/G5/iBook/iMac/Powerbook decision. I finally went with the Powerbook, and I've never been happier. I'm a convert to macs and I can say the only thing that appeals to me for PCs are games, and since I'm in grad school, I don't have time for that anyway so.....

    The Powerbook you can take with you and use at your office, you can take it into the lab, in other words you can tote it around anywhere. They're also really nice to work with. I went with the 15" and I almost can't wait to get me a nice Dual G5 (don't know what I'd do with all that power!)

    Anyway, I saw that someone said you could purchase a $450 flat screen. Does anyone know where? That might be a future option for me.
  18. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Go with the 15" Powerbook. It really is a wonderful experience to work where you want to, especially if use wireless networking. It is very liberating. Can't recommend it enough. The problems with the screen and latch with the initial batch of 15" Powerbooks have been fixed by Apple for some time now.
  19. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
  20. maclamb macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2002
    Northern California
    If it is for school - you have to ask yourself -
    How will it integrate with other machines and the network? What will happen if it breaks and I'm w/o a machine for days (weeks?).
    Unless it HAS to be a mac - I would at least look at a dell laptop w/next day onsite repair service. It will work better on a Windows network (IMHO). And, yo can get a great one on ebay for about $500 that should be good enough for college - depending on what you are doing..

    ok - let the fur fly... :eek:

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