Need help! iBook or Powerbook? 12" or larger?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by iamchestertron, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. iamchestertron macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2004
    iBook or Powerbook? 12" or larger?

    My friend recently has been talking me into switching from PC to Mac, and the iBook/Powerbooks have been of big interest, but I am having trouble deciding. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    I am a senior in college communter, so I would be having to tote it with me all the time. Also, the Cram and Jam deal (which is just on the iBook, correct?) is just very appealing to me + buying on educational discount.

    Storage space on the laptop is not of my concern, as I will have few external firewire drives for my storage, and my dvd burner (will this work with an Apple if in an external enclosure? it is a NEC 2500). I will be upgrading the RAM without a doubt, and the video card should be fine for getting me by.

    My main concerns are battery life (ability to use put in 2 batteries at once), and heat. I have my PC on most of the time, downloading BitTorrents, and the likes of, so it would be on overnight. How do iBooks hold up to that? Are they cool and quiet when idle or using little CPU power?

    The main apps I will be using would be the usual chat programs, Office, Flash, Photoshop, DreamWeaver, etc, DVD and audio composition, which I believe the iBook should be able to handle fine.

    Also, how is 1024x768 on a 12" iBook? I am use to 1600x1200 on a 17"-19" on my desktop, but how would a 1024x768 compare to that on a 12"? I desire a higher resolution, but after having a 15" laptop before, it didn't have the idea and feel of mobility for my liking.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    The cram and jam deal is good on both the iBook and PowerBook.

    You should visit your local Apple Store or retailer to take a look at both. I would advise getting the most that you can for the money that you have available. In general the PowerBook is faster, more memory, and a larger hard drive.
  3. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA

    Well honestly you seem to have already answered many of your questions here... and on top of that no one is going to be able to describe how you might like 10x7 res against 16x12... because only you will know. From my experience, if you're looking for a desktop replacement that you can tote, get the 15" or 17". But if you just want a lappy for portability, then go with the 12".
  4. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    Go with the powerbook, i used to have an iBook but after i used the powerbook i can tell you its blows everything else out of the water. I have a buffed up 17" PB, 2GB ram and 128 video card. I play games, watch moves while i burn something and have everything on at the same time and i can tell you it works great. The extra screen is alos a plus, i have the new 23" monitor which i use when i move to the office to home and its just great. If you dont mind the extra costs and size go for the 17", there is nothing like it.
  5. iamchestertron thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2004
    Thank you all for the responses so far. I am leaning towards an iBook, but how significant is 330mhz in relation to Macs, as it appears to be quite significant, as compared to an Intel. 330 mhz difference is laughable when dealing with Intel/AMD, yet with Macs, it is obviously a different story.

    Also, does anybody leave their iBook/Pbook on overnight, for downloading, etc? If so, how is the temperature after a night? Any issues due to leaving it on all the time?

    Thanks again.
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I think you will find that, on the laptops, the hard disk is the major cause of slowness - if you're comparing a 4200 RPM drive-equipped iBook and similar PB, the drives will act as equalizers. A 5400 RPM PB will blow away an iBook, mainly due to the faster disk.

    The graphics cards are better in the PBs but won't be noticeable except while gaming.

    The CPU speed differences will be noticeable side-by-side, but not in isolation. The iBooks are plenty fast enough.

    Temperature stabilizes after a while. You can leave it on all night (at least let screen power down), but it'll be warm. But it won't hurt either lappy to leave it on.
  7. zodiac macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2004
    Canadia States of America
    If possible(moneywise_

    iBook 14"
    1.25gb ram
    60gb harddrive
  8. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    For that price just get a powerbook with the 5400 RPM drive...
  9. iamchestertron thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2004
    If that is the case, then I will probably get the iBook. Would it be possible to purchase a laptop drive OEM from NewEgg, and just swap it? Or does Apple use their own special hardware. Same question for RAM.

    Thanks again.
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    You can get a drive from wherever. If you install it yourself (plans everywhere on the Web for doing so) you void your warranty. So be careful and be able to undo it. If you have an Apple-certified tech do it, consensus is that you're in the clear.

    Buy RAM anywhere except at Apple. I think the iBooks have 256MB more or less permanently attached. There's another slot open, which might be filled depending on the RAM you order - stick with the 256MB. Get another stick elsewhere - but somewhere reputable, as Macs are picky when it comes to RAM.
  11. Morrison23j macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2004
    South Williamsport
    Don't think that the 15" is not portable. You'd be suprised how light and small a 15" powerbook is compared to the PC laptops. I am also a commute to college and I find it very portable. Its about the size of a textbook, so it fits right in my backpack. Go with the 15", you'll love it.

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