May get an iBook as my first laptop, questions...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ice, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. Ice macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2004
    Hi all, been reading various Mac forums over the past few days and this one seems like the best, so I figure I'd give this a shot --

    I am a lifelong desktop PC user, now looking for my first laptop/notebook... Not totally sure what I am going to end up purchasing, but at this time I am leaning towards a new iBook, particularly the 14" 1.2ghz model.

    If I do decide to go with the iBook, I have a few random questions (in no particular order):

    --Is]This iBook the exact model of this computer found currently in the online Apple Store? If not, what is the difference? Everything seems to be the same, except there is an "A" at the end of the model number.. Is this the revision? If so, would I get a later revision if I were to buy directly from Apple? I assume that in most cases a later revision means a more stable product. The reason I'm inclined to order from Amazon rather than from Apple directly is because Amazon is currently running a $150 rebate offer.

    --I know you get 90 days phone support and 1 year of service coverage without purchasing any additional warranty. Can you buy the Applecare Protection Plan any time during that first year at the same price, or do you need to buy the Applecare when you buy the computer? I would probably see how the iBook is holding up and decide whether or not I think the warranty is worth it. Also, is there a problem getting Applecare when the computer was purchased from a reseller, like Amazon, and not directly from Apple?

    --I notice that on the Airport Extreme Card page at, it says that <snip> To get the full speed benefits of the 802.11g-based AirPort Extreme Card in your Apple computer, you'll want to use it with an AirPort Extreme Base Station. But since the AirPort Extreme Card is compatible with 802.11b, you can use any AirPort Base Station or other Wi-Fi certified 802.11b access point without any hassles;
    Does this mean that when connecting my PCs and my iBook, without an Airport Base Station, I can only get 802.11b speeds? I have read some things that suggest otherwise, but I just want to be sure I will get the same benefit using a 802.11g router, since the wording on Apple's site seems vague.

    --Dead pixels. Seems to be a potential problem with pretty much anything with a LCD... What are the chances that my brand new iBook would have a dead pixel on it? Will there more than likely be a couple, or probably none at all? I'm the first to admit that I'm pretty picky and a dead pixel ANYWHERE would probably drive me nuts, and I'd probably get sick to my stomach if it was near the middle of the screen.

    --OS X -- As I mentioned, I've pretty much only used PC's (with Windows), and have barely ever used a Macintosh computer. Coming from Windows, will OS X seem too "dumbed down" to me? For instance, I dislike certain Windows apps that seem crippled, sacrificing features for ease of use. Stuff like "Easy CD Creator," and the like... Instead of Windows Media Player, I prefer Winamp... Instead of Internet Explorer, I prefer Mozilla... Stuff like that. I guess it just concerns me how some websites would have you believe how "easy" OS X is. Of course ease of use is a plus for me, but I don't like it when it affects the functionality of a program.

    --Graphics card quality... This is not going to be a full blown gaming rig, but I would like the option to be able to play some more simple stuff, like Warcraft 3. I've read alot of different opinions on these forums and others on how Warcraft 3 runs... Seems like one person's idea of "great" is another person's idea of horrible, and even then, others insist they are getting great FPS with settings bumped up... Does anyone have "hands-on" experience using an iBook with a game like Warcraft 3, specifically multiplayer?

    --RAM... How much of a difference from the stock 256 from 512? Is it pretty sluggish without the boost? Alot of people seem to be saying that the extra RAM is a necessity, not an option. Also, I've done enough reading on these boards to know that it's best to just buy the RAM from a place like Crucial and install it yourself -- how easy is it to install, do I just pop off a cover and pop it in?

    --Last question, and this is a shot in the dark whether or not anyone has any take on this. The other notebook that caught my eye besides the 14" 1.2ghz iBook was this PC notebook If I were to get the 14" 1.2ghz iBook, even after adding AppleCare and another 256mb of RAM, this one would end up costing about $500 more. Despite that, do you think that this laptop (or a similar one) would be a better value for the money? I realize I might get a slightly :p biased opinion here, but I might as well ask...

    Thanks for your help! :D
  2. intrepkid21 macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2004
    Long Island, New York
    Applecare can be purchased at any time during the first year..a month before the first year expires, Apple is kind enough to remind you that you can still buy two more years of coverage and provides you with the paperwork to do so (provided you have a legit account).

    The graphics card will play warcraft 3 just fine..I'm running it on my emac with the radeon 7500 with no problems..

    I have yet to see a mac laptop with a dead I think you will be fine..

    The operating system is not dumbed down at fact I know enough to use the computer well but there is soooo much more to be seen and learned on here that it is mind boggling! A true work of art this operating system can run the basics in a matter of minutes after coming from windows (literally), with all of its advancements hidden nicely so that it is not intimidating to most consumers and switchers..however, when you are ready, this operating system is so capable that it is scary..

    Amazon is kind of retarted sometimes..that computer is not 1.25ghz (it is 1.2)...and that A has nothing to do with its revision..that 14 incher is revision C of the ibook G4 i believe..

    The airport extreme card will work with any router you throw at it just fine (in my experience)..and it works amazingly well!

    Get at least 512mb of ram, def.

    You will be happy, trust me!
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    That PC notebook you found will be far superior in speed to the iBook... it has DVD±RW, a Radeon 9600 with twice the VRAM, more RAM, bigger LCD and faster processor (with twice the L2 cache of the G4), plus much more expandability (namely the PC Card slot).

    However, the OS will still be Windows :p So now you must ask yourself, "What kind of experience do I want with my machine? A slightly faster one or a more enjoyable one?" I would without a doubt choose the iBook if i was not a hardcore gamer. The iBook can hold its own against other notebooks, one of its main advantages being its weight and portability. Windows is also a hastle, requiring at least an hour per week for virus/spyware/adware checks and many more conflicts with applications. On top of that, you don' get the large amount of free software that Apple includes with the iBook, namely the entire iLife suite.
  4. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    yes, its the latest model.

    Yes, you can buy applecare within one year. Price depends upon Apple, if they increase it, you would have to pay more. But I don't think they are gonna increase in in near future.

    It depends upon the wireless card of your PC. If it has a 802.11g card you would get 54 mbps speed (theoretically), else if the PC has .11b card, you would get 11 mbps speed.

    why would your new iBook have dead pixels !! And if its the case, return it and get another one.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.:confused:

    Never played warcraft, but I used to play Mohaa on my iBook, and it was ok. Some scenes were choppy, but generally it ran fine.

    A big difference. Yes it can get sluggish with 256mb if you have multiple apps open. Yes, Crucial is a great place to buy. And its very easy to put the ram.[/QUOTE]

    well, it depends upon you. If you want to use windows, get the pc. Although at 2000$ its kind of pricey for a pc.

  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    As far as OS X being simple:

    It's easy to use, not simple. It's got a kick-ass UNIX core and some truly inspired work on top of that. You can do anything on it you could do on a PC (anything analogous, not literally the exact same thing, obviously). And more. You sacrifice speed, sometimes, at a given price level and for certain applications, to go to a Mac. You do not sacrifice power.

    The beauty of the OS is that you never see anything you don't have to see. But there is always something more to discover. And don't forget - any open source UNIX app can be compiled and run on the Mac, so, if you want complex, hard to use GUIs, you can get them. ;)

    And it all works together so nicely. Learn a little AppleScript, or wait for the next OS rev in six months for an easier way to do scripting, and you can get your Mac to do almost anything you want.

    If you want to do something complex, you'll be able to. The plus is that you don't need to do everything in a complex way, so you get more done faster.

    And there's always Virtual PC if you need to be reminded of why you left Windows....

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