Notebook purchase opinions wanted.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ankit, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. ankit macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    I currently have a 6 month old Dell 600m (Centrino 1.3G). I have been eyeing an apple for over two years now. When I bought my dell, the choice was between the dell and the 15" powerbook. I got the dell because it was about half the price.

    I recently got an ipod, and the it has rekindled my desire to work with OS X. I really want to get into the mac arena, and I really need a notebook (apple desktops are just too expensive). I have been trying to decide between the 12" ibook, and the 12" powerbook.

    I do not want to "downgrade" to a slower machine. I've heard a few complaints about the 12" ibook being too slow for anything more than web surfing. I do a decent amount of coding and development, and would not want to wait forever for my stuff to compile. Basically, as long as it is comparable to my current 1.3G Pentium M, I would be happy.

    The next thing is the build quality. Which is better? the 12" ibook, or the 12" powerbook?

    I am leaning towards the ibook, but am scared that it might be too slow for me! Should I wait a few more months (I've waited over two years, and can do so for anotherr few months) for speed bumps to the ibook? Is the 12" powerbook worth the extra $400?

    Why doesnt apple give a better resolution to the 14" ibook? That would have settled the deal for me (my current 14" dell has 1400x1050!!)

    Thats a lot of questions. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    honestly, i don't think those 12in models are exactly on the same level as your dell, but are still comparable. the powerbook line definitely has more power than the ibook, so i would look there. the best bet to see if it can suit your needs is to go use one at an apple store. note that the higher end powerbooks are considerably more powerful than the 12.
  3. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    i would NOT buy a powerbook at this time. wait until the g5 is in them. right now the best powerbook is crap compared to a G5 powermac.

    check out some comparisons here.

    who knows, in three years you may need 64bits to do some things... i am not going to risk my 3 grand on that, and a slow machine.

    if you can't wait. buy a pc laptop. get a mac in a year or two.
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    waiting for a G5 in a powerbook is silly. It won't be soon. The top 12" G4 is a great machine. max the RAM and you have a sweeeeet machine.
  5. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Notebooks are almost always crap compared to desktops, unless you don't want over 45 minutes of battery life, and don't mind a scorched lap whenever you use it. I wouldn't expect to see a laptop on par with a desktop while retaining real advantages, like weight and battery life, for quote some time. I don't expect a G5 faster than 1.6 GHz in the PB's once the get out, anything would simply be too hot. But I do hope Apple proves me wrong on that last point :cool:
  6. nargot macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2004
    The one major misconception i see here i've observed on other threads is that a 12" ibook is only good for web surfin...

    Until i shell out for my new ibook (i'm waiting until the next upgrade), i'm usng a imac dv 400 mhz G3 at home and at work. Now these machines both are overcapable for web performance, and thus an 800mhz g4 ibook would be more than capable for coding.
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    FWIW, my main computer is a G3 600 MHz iMac. Very pleased with the speed, especially since Panther installed. Recently got a G3/900 iBook from ($601!!) and it seems significantly faster than my iMac. I am very, very pleased with this purchase.

    I also use a Toshiba laptop with a PIII 1Ghz processor(Win 2000) and both my Macs hold their own against it.

    Now, I'm not doing anything too intensive on my Macs- iPhoto, occassional iMovie.
  8. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    notebooks are a compromise. but, right now, they are more of a compromise than i am willing to take.
  9. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I agree with you, the 12" iBook is pretty decent. I have a G3 800Mhz 12" iBook, and I surf, email, do word processing, iPhoto, games (WCIII, Diablo II) and I use iMovie on it. And it is holding up to my expectations of the machine.

    Now I have a habit of having tons of apps open, plus battery monitoring and menu bar items that add even more overhead to the system and I am just starting to max out the power of my system after 6 months of use. I would expect the 800Mhz G4 with Panther to handle these things better.
  10. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    I have the 12" PowerBook, and once you stick some RAM in the thing it is a sweet machine. It will be more powerful than the iBook, but the iBook is not too slow. There are many people in these forums with the new 12" iBook G4 800MHz and they love them.

    Build quality: I have to say that I think the PowerBook is better. It appears to be far more scratch resistant (I have no scratches after 4 months of use on mine) and IMO has a better finish than the iBook. The keyboard is also better, although the iBook G4 has a much better keyboard than the iBook G3 and most PC notebooks.

    You should be fine with either. I would have thought that, power-wise, the 12" PB would not be that different to your Dell - it depends on the application and process. Certainly my parents' new 2.4GHz P4 Dell desktop is not noticably quicker than my Albook...
  11. pdrayton macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I agree that you'd be amazed by the power of the 12" PowerBook. With additional RAM (which is inexpensive and reliable from you can have one very nice notebook.

    Also, I switched from Windows last Fall, and let myself be influenced for too long by Mac fans who kept telling me PowerBooks were underpowered and overpriced. Wrong.

    I bet if you give us your Dell specs we'll see that an "apples to apples" comparison brings it to a competitive price with a PowerBook.

    Also, people telling you to wait for a G5 PowerBook are, well, read my signature. I've had lots of experience with them and the best thing I ever did was to ignore them.
  12. ankit thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Thanks to all who replied.

    I did go to the apple store to try the various machines they had. They all seemed about the same speed for normal stuff like app loading, web browsing etc. What I was interested in knowing was how they would perform for software development, compiling stuff etc.

    The 15" iis certainly out of my reach. So it is between the 12" ibook, 12" powerbook, or none of these. Another option is to get the ibook now, and then the powerbook when it comes with the G5.

    I have an uncomfortable feeling that I will end up keeping my dell and waiting for some speed bump/price reductions though :(

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