New Powerbooks G4s vs. iBook G4

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by opik, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. opik macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Cupertino, CA
    Hi there,
    I'm a student and I would like to buy a Apple laptop for word processing, internet surfing, email, and some video & photo editing (for fun). Would you recommend buying the 14" ibook or 12" powerbook? Should I upgrade anything? Do you know if the new powerbook still has the chance of getting scratches, dents, and sweat marks ( more easily then the ibooks?
  2. anthonys macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2005
    London, UK
    I'd go the 12" iBook! The powerbook scratches easier but if you're careful with it you should be fine. Only time I scratched a powerbook was when I dropped something on it..
  3. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I'd go with the 12" as well, I'm a second year college student and my 12" PowerBook has been great. The portability has been amazing, and it's just better built than the iBook. A friend of mine has the 14" and she's always telling me that she wishes she got the 12" PowerBook instead.
  4. ibidiem macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2005
    Portland, OR
    For what you're looking for, the iBook would be absolutely sufficient. Powerbooks, at this point, don't have THAT much going on over the iBk -- but for their super damn fine sexiness, of course.

    I too was considering the 14" iBook, and chose the 12" in the end, and worried tons about it while waiting for its arrival -- but am very glad I chose what I did.

    I maxed out the ram (to 1.5G) -- and this has given me one problem -- if I try to do too much at once, over the internet, I'll loose the connection, and my mouse will spritz out, forcing me to restart. Apparently, this occurs only when an iBook is working with the maximum RAM -- and effects both the 12" and 14" (more on that here.

    Otherwise, I upped the hd to 60g (though often I think I should've gone to 80 -- what's fifty more bucks, eh?) and got an external hd and a few other accoutriments like a case and some slips for the keyboard and screen.

    As far as scratches go, I'm pretty delicate with my machine, have coated it with Novus plastic polish a couple times, and carry it out and about only in its sleeve (dropped it once -- don't tell the girlfriend, I'm always cringing when she's moving it around! -- but the fall resulted only in a minor scratch near the battery). The aluminum on the Powerbook, on the otherhand, would have bent irrevocably.

    There's a few other details, but I'm just one shopper and, should you even punch in the most cursory search, you'll find a gazillion posts comparing apple portables in every conceivable way.

    Good luck and try your best not to agonize about this over much!!!
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I agree, go with the 12" iBook G4. It should work nicely for you, and the screen is supposed to be better than the one on the 14" iBook G4.
  6. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004

    How could the 12" screen be better than the 14" ?

    Some technical specs you know that you want to share?
  7. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Another vote for 12" iBook... when I saved up and bought a 12" PB I found that I didn't need the power and even now, I'm definitely more than pleased w/ my 12" iBook. In fact, I love it more as a student; why?

    -runs cooler (to the touch, the PB would actually hurt to touch at times)
    -feels sturdier
    -much better battery life (AE and BT off, my iB can get ~6 hours and my PB
    ~4 hours)
    -much much better wi-fi reception (my iB can get full reception and my PB at
    the exact same spot will struggle w/ one or two bars)
    -much cheaper!

    I <3 my iBook.
  8. opik thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Cupertino, CA
    I am not really considering the 12" ibook because I want dvd writing capabilities so for those of you who did recommend a 12" ibook, did you mean the 12" powerbook (as I mentioned in the original post)?
  9. onetwoxu macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    i am biased because i absolutely love my 12" powerbook, but i have always hated the 14" ibook. the screen just looks awful to me. get the powerbook!!
  10. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
  11. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2005
    the Netherlands
    I don't know if the screens for the iBooks are different, but both sizes support the same max resolution, so supposedly it looks better on the 12" as it's more compressed there.

    And if it's DVD-writing you want, why not get an external burner, which you don't have to haul around, also giving you a lighter laptop (12") and cheaper than getting the 14" ibook.
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    For whatever reason, there's a lot of people on MR that absolutely hate the 14" iBook and come up with silly things like "why don't you just get a 12" iBook with an external DVD burner" when clearly someone is interested in an all-in-one package. :confused: I just don't get it.

    Since you are a student you should be eligible for the education discount. You can get an iBook 14" for $1199 or a PowerBook 12" for $1399. Both have 512 MB and a Superdrive. So what more do you get for $200? The PowerBook has a larger and faster 80 gb 5400 rpm hard drive (v. 60 gb 4200 rpm), 64 mb VRAM (v. 32 mb), support for DVI monitors and monitor spanning and a sound-in port. You'll have to decide if those things are worth the extra $200. I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose.;)
  13. ipacmm macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    I would buy the 12" ibook and upgrade the ram on it.
  14. opik thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Cupertino, CA
    Thank you all for your great advice. If I chose to go with the 14" ibook, how much of a difference would the faster hard drive, processor speed make on my usage of ilife (especially imovie) ? In what ways would that be evident? What about the 32mb extra of a graphics card?
  15. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Well, I certainly don't hate the 14" iBook G4. Just that out of the two iBooks, the 12" seems (to me) to be the better computer. But if you are on a budget and need a built-in superdrive, have problems with seeing a 12" screen, then the 14" iBook is a good deal.
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'd also vote for the 12" ibook. The PB just isn't worth the extra money right now. Not even close, IMO.

    The ibook definitely scratches more easily and shows more sweat marks/other stains than the powerbook, though. I say this having owned a rev. B 12" powerbook and 2 ibooks with the current interior (the old 600 mhz and earlier G3 dual usb ibooks were so much better... they had a grey/white metalic-type interior finish that didn't show the same kind of wear). If you're not very careful your ibook will get micro-scratches and discoloration on the handrests. It can be avoided, but it's basically a non-issue on the powerbook.
  17. DanielNTX macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2005
  18. Kirbdog macrumors regular


    Feb 3, 2005
    Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    I have a 12" Powerbook and my flatmate has the iBook 14". Both have all hardware specs maxed out (HD and RAM). We attend the same classes and use our machines for virtually the same tasks. Word processing, iTunes, iPhoto, Photoshop, some gaming, email, internet and presenting. There seems no marked advantage in either computer. The few we have noticed are the iBook does not support screen spanning for keynote presentations and the iBook has much louder speakers and the obvious larger screen. He got the iBook cause he liked is style better and I like the Powerbook better. You will not go wrong with either machine so pick the one you think looks better to you.

    Style counts for alot, don't you think?
  19. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    If you plan to use an external monitor then go with the 12" PowerBook... otherwise, I would say stick with the iBook for now. And stay away from 15" PowerBook until the horizontal line issue is resolved.

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