New Mac User...keeping iBook returning Dell

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by alphajc, May 8, 2003.

  1. alphajc macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2003
    A long time PC User and a long time Mac admirer I am.

    Having patiently waited for a new iBook model to come out this year to no early April I purchased a Dell Inspiron 600M powered by the new Centrino Technology.

    Specs speaking that laptop was loaded...with Pentium M 1.3Ghz, 384 Meg DDR Memory, 500Mhz bus speed, built-in wireless, usb 2.0, gigabit ethernet,14.1" SXGA+ display, Hot Swappable Combo Drive and more. It was a great laptop but built flimsy but very light and thin at 5lbs and of course it runs Windows. And it only costed $1100 after rebate.

    A week after buying it, the new iBooks comes out. Very slight changes from the previous 800Mhz generation. Specs speaking...this laptop is ancient. 100Mhz Bus and PC100 Memory? I was running this technology back in 1998 on my desktop. No USB 2.0 support, no PCMCIA slot (unheard of in a laptop), wireless internet an $80 option, and CPU running at just 900Mhz. all for $1499 + $180 in upgrades (512 Memory & Airport Card) for a grand total $1680 ($580 more than the Dell).

    Call me crazy but I decided to keep the iBook. I'm paying $580 more for a much more stripped-down laptop which is heavier, thicker and slower than the Dell counterpart...but the iBook is so COOL thanks to OS X Jaguar. Anyways my reasoning is that being a Windows user for 10 years I wanted to try something new and I understand in the Mac world specifications aren't's all about functionality and usability while PCs are all about high-specifications and performance.

    Did I do the right thing...or did I throw money in the shredder?

    I basically have a new toy to play with! An expensive one per se but a cool looking machine.

    I hope Apple will eventually move the iBook series to faster DDR memory and fast bus speeds and add a PCMCIA slot along with USB 2.0 support and 802.11g. Yeah I know Powerbooks already have those (minus the USB 2.0) but it's too expensive at a starting price of $2000 for 15" (note: I don't like 12" laptops).

    I would like to read some responses you fellow Mac users have on my "Journey to Apple".

    Thanks a lot and enjoy your weekends!
  2. Totalshock macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Tarana (to locals...)
    Welcome to the Mac side, I hope you continue to enjoy your iBook.

    I know I enjoyed mine until I moved up to one of the new 12" PowerBooks.

    You peg on something that I've often wondered about. I work in a job where I often talk to people in the tech industry, particularly, product managers and other marketing types at major vendors. All of them make a big deal about how it's not all about "speeds and feeds." Then I look at their products, and realize, "Yes it is."

    It's a pissing contest, to have a couple of more megahertz here, and a few extra megabytes there. Which is really a stupid metric, because all of the vendors are limited to more or less the same suppliers, which means that for the most part, all of their top-line products have the same processors. All of their mid-tier products clock out the same, too. Ditto low-end. It would seem to me that this begs for a vendor to differentiate themself by doing something different with these machines. Sony does, to a degree, adding some nifty consumer software to their products. But the rest? Phe. Not much discerns a Dell from a Toshiba from an IBM from an HP, in my eyes.

    It's not all just the software, either. I was travelling this week, and I set up in the airport in Las Vegas next to a Sony Vaio notebook user. I unfurled my power adapter as he watched, quite impressed, and then grumbled to me that he wished "Sony would build an AC adapter that made that much sense." My adaptor takes up next to no space, and doesn't require elastics. His is big and bulky, and needed two elastics to keep the cords from becoming a tangled nightmare.

    Anyway, I digress. The iBook is a fine machine... you'll enjoy the experience very much. I wouldn't put it up against the latest Wintel desktops, but in terms of performance for most things, mine is quite adequate for day-to-day use... and mine is old now.
  3. mmoin macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001

    I would much rather drive a classy volvo or a bmw 325i with an underpowered engine than a big SUV with all the features.

    I've got an ibook 800 (640mb ram, 30gb HD) and it's definitely the best computer I've ever had.
  4. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    why do people keep mentioning USB 2.0? Firewire 2 has arrived, sort of, and it blows USB 2 away. are Mac people really the only ones that know this stuff?
  5. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop


    I'd say you did right. You new iBook will last you at least 5 years if you let it.

    As for USB2, I wouldn't worry too much about it. All the devices that need that kind of throughput already have a FireWire or iLink (Sony's 4-pin version of FireWire) port. Additionally, it apppears that Apple's professional offerings already have the USB2 chipset should they prove to be needed.

    As for a PCMCIA slot - I have a 12" PowerBook and can't think of a need for one.

    It is not my intention to tear down any argument you make here. I'm trying to allay your potential buyers's remorse.

    I am a steadfast cross platformer, and I find most of my work succeeds in getting done when done on the Mac - even on older ones.

    Congratulations, and we wait to help!
  6. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    Re: New Mac User...keeping iBook returning Dell

    I think you answered your own question there, mate. If the extra money you spent gave you the type of thrill that you've experienced to the point of wanting to post it in a forum, then of COURSE you didn't throw your money in the shredder. Get it?;)
  7. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    And in the benchmarks that I saw, (CNET?) USB 2 or Firewire 2 looks good on paper, but when they tested devices there wasn't a significant speed increase. It was only one review, so I could be wrong.
  8. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
    USB2 isn't all its cracked upto be, infact its not great compared to FW. You can't even boot off a USB2 Drive. the speed is rated a 480mb but the sustained speed it alot higher on firewire, almost 5-10Mbs higher

    FW can push 30-40, I've only ever seen USB2 hit 25
  9. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Actually, you are correct - even if you based it on one review.

    I think the important thing to rememebr is the difference in the motivation behind the two methods of transmission.

    FireWire was designed from the ground up as a full-on high speed communications bus.

    USB was designed as a serial bus. Just increasing it's speed dosen't magically make it as good as FireWire.
  10. borgboyutah macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sandy, Utah
    USB 2.0

    I don't see why one would not want the option of USB 2.0. Sure Firewire 800 is faster and Firewire in general has many merits above USB 2.0. However, there are plenty of products out there that are already USB 2.0.

    Apple does its share of innovating. But I don't know why they are dragging their heels on USB 2.0, serial ATA, and other technologies that come to PC users.
  11. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    Re: analogy

    car analogies are getting dumb, if you noticed he said the dell was more powerful, faster, lighter, skinnier than the ibook. to me it sounds like the mac is a bmw with a suv motor. looks good on the outside, not to impressive on the inside. if we compare macs and pcs with cars, the pcs would beat us in a race any day of the week.

  12. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Hmmm...I don't mean to rain on your parade - I think you'll really enjoy your 14" iBook. But in terms of comparing value the 14" doesn't stack up as well as the cheaper 12" models. When you compare the 14" iBook vs. 14" PC Laptops, the iBook is more expensive. On the other hand, in the PC world the smaller 12" laptops tend to be more expensive than the bulkier 14" models. For example, when I bought my 12" Combo Drive iBook (30 GB drive, 384MB RAM provided by reseller, ATI Radeon 7500 32MB, got inkjet printer free after rebate) in November for $1300, it was at least $200-$300 cheaper than comparable PC models.

    But you'll be happy with your iBook. When my Dell died after just 2 years, I really wanted a more rugged laptop. For ruggedness, you really can't beat the iBook's rubber-mounted hard drive and plexiglass-covered frame.
  13. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    Re: Re: analogy

    But the point is, how many of us actually *race* our cars? I want a car that looks good, is comfortable, has easy-to-use controls, will run a long time, gets me where I need to go, and doesn't need servicing every other week.

    That's what I expect from my computer, too. That's why I use a Mac.
  14. alphajc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2003
    Thanks for all your responses. I just installed the 512MB RAM Chip and the Airport Card myself and it was a cinch.

    I have some questions for you guys.

    1) The keyboard on the iBook appears like it pretty loose near the "F5, F6" section (the center). There's a tab that holds the keyboard on the left and on the right but not in the center. Is it supposed to feel a bit loose? In addition I don't know what "flex" in a keyboard means but I assume in means bendy. This keyboard is a bit of that.

    2) As I type this message right now...the text that appears is very blurry. It seems to do this for certain text...usually small text. Is there anyway I can fix this?

    3) How do you move new programs on to the dock or delete existing ones from it? I would like to move the entire "Applications" Folder onto the Dock and remove iChat.

    4) The laptop seems to get pretty hot on the left, bottom portion. Is this normal?

    5) Lastly a stupid question. I have a Fujitsu Hard friend's iBook has a Toshiba. Anyone can tell me which one's better (more reliable) from experience?

    Thanks a lot!
  15. Moe macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2003
    Apple Menu->System Preferences-General

    Make sure anti-aliasing is off for small fonts. Turning brightness down in Displays (or the F1 key) also helps.

    Drag them on and off.


    Dunno... probably both good.

    Buy a copy of "Mac OS X The Missing Manual" 2nd Edition by David Pogue. Seriously.
  16. illumin8 macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2003
    East Coast, US
    I haven't read this book, but I did pick up "DreamWeaver MX The Missing Manual" by David Pogue and it is one seriously kick-ass book. This guy makes it so simple even an idiot could understand, yet doesn't talk down to a power-user like myself.
  17. Moe macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2003
    That's exactly what I thought. Man, that guy sure knows how to write to a wide audience!
  18. alphajc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2003
    You guys have been great in this discussion of Mac vs Dell comparison.

    Now that I have had this iBook for over a week...I would like to add some additional comments and insight.

    Being a OS X novice I have ordered David Pogue's book on Mac OS X...I look forward to reading all 500+ pages of it.

    Battery-life for my 14" iBook appears to be around 3hrs with normal use (watching DVDs, surfing net wirelessly)...I was expecting around 4 hrs. 3hrs is what I would get with most PC laptops.

    Internet Explorer 5.2 doesn't seem "snappy" as its PC counterpart. Web-sites display very slowly, and frequent freeze-ups occur. I will try Mozilla as a remedy.

    I have 2 more questions for the community which I would appreciate answers to.

    1) On Apple DVD Player...does it have a counter feature? I can't really find out what "minute" I am on when watching DVDs. Also is there like a "scan bar" type of feature where I can skip around simply by moving a bar left and right? (feature in PowerDVD for Windows)

    2) Small fonts appear faintly on the display (i.e. the text I'm typing now). I've tried messing with the font sharpening feature from strong to light with no improvement. The "anti-aliasing" option was not found in the General settings. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help.
  19. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Playing DVDs is a major battery killer. When just surfing the web wirelessly, at full screen brightness, I get about 4 hours with my 12" iBook.

    IE for the Mac is slow as molasses. I've personally found that Camino 0.7 (a Mozilla based browser) is the most stable, and is about as fast as Safari (which is to say at leat 2 to 3 times faster than IE). Safari seems to be the fastest browser, but I keep having stability problems with it. Other people say they haven't had the same stability problems, though, so definitely check Safari out.

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