New to Mac and New to Powerbook..advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by shane-o-mac, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005
    I have never owned a Mac Before.

    That said, I have familiarized myself with the macs on campus and love the design and operations system. Granted I am highly motivated by asthetics and simplicity..mmm suprised more people are not in the pc world. I have decided to switch after dismal experience with a prevous compaqu laptop and a current HP Pavillion I picked up three years ago for a $1,000 bucks....good deal uhhh. Not really since three years later I am looking for a new laptop. Numurous issues with applications, the cpu and ram, and windows, not to mention internet explorer never worked correctly on my machine. The viruses and spyware have just exhasuted me. If I spend another frickin sunday taking all that crap of my computer my hair is going to start turning gray.

    The cool news is I am going to buy a powerbook, and with the new upgrades I am finally ready to shell out absolutley no more than $2,000 for a laptop. The 12 inch is really way to small for me, I do a vast amount of word processing and my eyes would feel like dual human ashtrays after looking at that screen for solong. I know I can hook up an external dvi monitor for a few hundred bucks, but gees I like it simple...less clutter is better.

    After a lot of research I am pretty confident the powerbook 15" is a great bet for me. The screen resolution is amazing and the widescreen is a step up from my current 14.1" 1060x860 screen. Yet I have three questions still lingering:

    1) Is the stock model enough? Is 512 rams sufficent for word processing, storing my entire music library in itunes, and playing the occasional dvd or vid chatting.....which is all I do.....however at the same time!

    2) Is this machine really portable enough for my needs? Granted I do not hop from trendy coffee shop to trendy coffee shop with my laptop, but I will be a law student and need a system that I can take to law school a couple times a week or to the occasional study group. Mostly it will be at home and will be my only computer

    3) Do I need to wait on tiger? I love the widget features, but more necessity based I like spotlight alot. As a law student, cross referencing case law in my apps is priceless, esp in a matter of second. How long will it take to be out and is it worth waiting for? If I buy now what is the likely cost of an upgrade?

    All responses are appreciated. Just one caveat.....I know bigger is better but I am very budget concous so if you think I really do not need extra stuff please do not recommend it.......rock on macophiles.
  2. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    I think a stock Powerbook G4 will be perfect for you, and do everything you want it to do. 512MB of RAM is very usable on OS X, and adding more later will be relatively cheap if you need it. The only thing I would consider getting is AppleCare... other than that, go for it!
    As far as portability is concerned, it is wonderful. It might be a little wider than some laptops, but is thinner, not as deep, and lighter than many out there.

    Lee Tom
  3. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Congrats on your timely decision to go to the Mac Side.

    I have a 15" PowerBook G4 (1.33GHz/512RAM), and it is plenty of machine for all that you list. While I'm sure I would see a speed boost from upping RAM to a full GB, I've never felt like my PB was suffering without it. The 15" is a great size for you if this will be your primary computer and you also need portability. I use mine around the house all the time, and also bring it to work every day.
    I use Safari, Office, iTunes, Mail, GarageBand, iPhoto, Photoshop, FileMaker Pro, InDesign, Illustrator, and Quark on my Mac, and have never felt it couldn't handle it.
    With the EDU discount, you can get a great deal on the 1.5GHz 15" PowerBook. If I were buying one all over again, I'd go for that same model and add the 8X SuperDrive and up the RAM to 1GB. At $2,069, that is slightly over your budget of $2K, but well worth it.

    Let us know what you decide.
  4. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    I agree w/ powermac666. Add the 8X superdrive and up the RAM to 1GB. You'll love it! I would also upgrade the VRAM to 128MB (only $45 more) if you can (nice to have, but do not need).

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