My first powerbook ... story

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by revisionA, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    So, I havent had power for 9 days due to hurricane wilma. I was trying to brush up on my CS skills before starting a major project early 06...

    2399 at the apple store bought me a HD 15 inch PB with 1 gig ram and 100 gig 7200 rpm drive. If this is your BTO choices, you can get it at the apple store prebuilt and have the normal warranty and return procedures... keep the box if your nervous. (or a mac geek!)

    Its not my first mac and I wasnt expecting it to give me wood or anything so listen to my objective first night use review...

    Battery power: With default settings (normal optimization, airport active etc.) the fully charged pb was saying 2 and a half hours battery time and seemed to spill away quickly as I installed tons of software. Switching to battery optimized use got up to just over 5 hours after a couple minutes of the computer actively studying its operation. Obviously, the 7200 rpm drive is the biggest power draw, and active use of the drive will reduce your battery time. Note: the manual has instructions for changing batteries while in sleep, you get up to 3 minutes of power resident in the memory for this procedure. Still 4-5 hours is good for a laptop, only the really small not so powerful laptops are hitting 7 hours plus IIRC.

    Screen: Bright while in use, dims when you stop using it for a moment and the default screen saver settings shut off the lcd after like two minutes or less of inactivity, the system is still active, and only a trackpad swipe or space bar tap away. This conserves battery power, just like toning down the brightness. Playing a dvd was problematic, only because it wouldnt start the actual movie (could be a software update I need, or a smudge on the dvd...) but the previews were very nice.... ;) In comparison to the toshibas I was looking at, this is a great screen for a nonXbrite or similar. It beats the pants off an ibook screeen or a tablet pc (my other consideration).

    Build quality was excellent as usual.

    Problems so far: Shutdown aint a soft issue, its a hold down the power button thing. But sleep is fine for pbs anyway. The American Wedding dvd I tried (only tried one) wouldnt play... and the screen in the menu said the playback options I wanted may not work on some dvd players. And it didnt.

    Compared to my g5 in the signature: this book rocks, I dont know if its the ddr2 memory tech, but most of the time, it felt as quick or faster a tad than the g5. If I were to render video or something, I am sure the g5 would stomp it and my radeon 9800 pro would be better for games... but I wont be missing that much when I sell the g5 (note I have a single processor pro 1.8, not the dual).

    Now for the haters:

    This isnt my first notebook, but its the first one that I actually feel drawn to use. Most of the ones I have used you had to deal with it not being a desktop, for lots of reasons I dont have time for. But you know, a toshiba or dell has never made me feel like buying one. The presario I bought back in college, I returned 5 days later.

    Computer technology is smoke and mirrors to most consumers. The amazing fast bus speeds, dont get fully utilized most of the time. The really fast processors take a ton of power, put off a ton of heat and run software that is clumsy as hell... kinda like a ten year old driving a ferrari (stick not automatic). Even though the Intel powerbooks will be better in many ways, they will be using software emulation to run OSX and I will always treasure my native machines. I will probably grab the very last PPC g5 quad after I make my first million. haha.

    Happy shopping, remember its not what you have but what you do with it.

  2. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
  3. RHMMMM macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2005
    OS X on Intel is NOT run in emulation, it's native. The non-universal binaries will be run in emulation, though.
  4. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Rosetta is software... so wont that be a HAL level emulation. Dont forget about the little endian problem with reverse reading of binary code.

  5. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    What about heat? Does it get really hot?

    What apps are you running?
  6. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I am using the full macromedia suite and full adobe creative suite... but I just got it and I am at work... so more details later. I will be putting Live 5 and Reason 2.5 on it later in the week.

    It didnt seem to get warm being on and transferring data over ethernet for a few hours, but then again, most of it was asleep since I was copying from the tower to it. Now I know I can use firewire, funny how you never read the manual the first night. hehe.

  7. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    Please let me know if you think it is fast enough

    for the Macromedia stuff and if it does not get too hot....

  8. Jakes macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    a comment on build quality

    So I decided some months ago I wanted to switch the second the pb's got an upgrade. I did, and so far I am on my 4th (yes, number 4) pb.

    #1 wobbled when standing on flat surface. That's completely unacceptable IMO

    #2 constant high frequent noise comming from below the keyboard. Not very loud, but constant and hearable through fan noise.

    #3 wobbled again

    #4 typing on it now. apparantly no wobbling, high frequent noises etc.

    However, #2,3 and 4 all exhibit some degree of bad lid-allignment issue. Is it acceptable? It aint much, but really, how hard can it be to put it on equally?

    yet, the os rocks, and there is no way i would consider buying a pc again (for private use at least). I am just so fed up this so called build quality...

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