Pismo or a 400mhz G4 powerbook - WHICH ONE please?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by blizzard_nz, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. blizzard_nz macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Both are the same price.

    I have the option of buying a Pismo 400mhz G3 with 512mb, 30 gig HD and a 3 month old battery.

    Or a 400Mhz G4 TiBook with 768mb and 10 gig and good battery. Good condition, very little paint chipped off.

    I just need it to run OSx and productivity type stuff, emails, notetaking, presentations etc, and if I really have to a little photoshop and illustrator. I already have a G4 powermac for work uses.

    Hard decision. I want it to last one year. I know the TiBooks had problems with them, and I know the Pismo's are robust and will proberly hold its value better and indeed soon be a collector item.

    I need someone to make the descision for me as I am indecisive myself (infact I want both Powerbooks)

    I like the look of the TiBook and would impress clients more, however I like the sturdy Pismo. I'm tending towards the Pismo at the moment.

    What would you buy???????
  2. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Buy the Pismo. You can upgrade it with a G4 later, or even a faster G3. (I would say the G3 because it is cheaper and you already have the G4 desktop). It will impress your clients because of the long battery life, easy to use, and such. I want one of 'em, just to upgrade... You can also buy newer batteries, that due to better technology, can hold more juice in them. 8 hour battery life! Yeah!

    The Pismo is a black with the white apple logo... so it is rather nice looking in a fairly muted and hidden power design.
  3. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Yes - I really really like the pismo. Basically its not worth repairing a G4 400mhz powerbook if it craps out.

    As far as upgrading the Pismo, I would dearly love too...but. I live in New Zealand and the cost to ship over to the US is so expensive. say US$300 or so for the upgrade, but by time you factor in them sending a box over, you sending the powerbook to them and them sending it back to you it ends up costing US$600. OMG - maybe there is a cheaper way, does anyone know if Australia does it or anything, or is US my only option. I think I would go the G4550mhz option myself.
  4. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    The screen on the pismo is pink for 5 seconds when starting up, but after researching I don't think its really gonna be a problem. The pismo is apprantly in "as new" condition.

    Does anyone think I should buy the G4 tiBook instead?
  5. zen_state macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    I say pismo also. you could go G4 500-550 or G3 900 later with it.
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I have an upgraded Pismo (G4 500) and the upgrade potential is amazing, as is the dual-battery option. I also have the pink screen issue, although it is only momentary on start up.

    If you cannot afford to upgrade, however, the G4 TiBook does have some advantages:

    It is about a pound lighter than the Pismo and definitely more svelt in appearance (although I think the Pismo is very handsome also)

    It has a larger screen 15" (iirc) and better resolution (1152x768), enough to display two pages side-by-side.

    Possibly superior battery life over the Pismo (pismo with only one battery), especially if the Pismo is upgraded to a G4.

    Otherwise the machines are very similar...both have the same video set (ATI rage 8MB), bus speed (100mhz) and L2 cache (1 MB).

    I do not know whether the trackpad and keyboard are noticeably superior in one model or the other...perhaps someone does.

    I feel that the Pismo is still the better buy, but the advantages of the TiBook may be what you are looking for.

  7. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    Both Pismos and TiBooks are great machines. For battery work, the only reason to take the Pismo is because you can dual battery with it. Now, the Pismo processor upgrade is expensive! It's not worth doing it in your position. The processor upgrades are ideal for those who sunk the money into the machine when it was new, and would rather not upgrade. The Pismo is a great looking, and functioning machine, but so is the TiBook. If you don't need the battery power, then buy the TiBook, and possibly upgrade the hard drive. The screen on the TiBook is much crisper, and who doesn't love the 15" widescreen? Moreover, the performance will be much improved, especially in OSX by the jump to G4. It really comes down to battery power, and whether you need it. Especially if both are the same price, you'd be getting a gorgeous deal on the TiBook. Or, as you've wanted to, and as I would want to, you could buy both.
  8. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Thanks for replys so far. Yeah, the extra screen real-estate would be nice on the TiBook. Battery life, not much of an issue, but of course would prefer the longer life of the pismo.

    Basically, whichever one I buy I don't want it to crap out. And I feel the TiBook has more chance of failing.

    I would not bother upgrading the HD in the TiBook, I would rather somehow, upgrade the Pismo to a G4.

    The pismo will still be desirable for years to come I guess and hold its value better, oh man, now I'm really not sure. Maybe I should just get the TiBook and hope for the best.
  9. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Love my Pismo, but...

    My Pismo's been by my side for 4 long years. I actually just poured $400 into it for a new battery, more RAM (total of 768 now), and a bigger hard drive (from 5GB to 40GB - damn Unix Swap Files made the "you're out of memory" window spend more time on my screen than my desktop picture!)

    But, if I hadn't spent 4 years in love with it, I can't imagine getting a G3 when you could get a G4 for the same price. Sure, I'm running OSX, but barely. I put up with the slowness because I love my baby (the ruggedness and beautiful design can't be beat by the current laptops), but I wouldn't do it for a machine I just bought.

    Now, then again, if you only plan to use it for a year (which you mentioned - I assume you'll get a new laptop after that?), then get the Pismo - just so that you can say you had one and have fond memories of your time together. Mine's going in a frame in an honored spot on my wall when it finally dies. ;)

  10. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    jsalzer - thanks.

    Wil the G4 TiBook really be much faster anyhow??? It only has 8mb of Vram also. And only 10Gb drive, and I would'nt want to bother spending money on it, and would rather get a External HD so I use on powerbook and desktop mac.

    There are so few Powerbooks for sale in New Zealand, everyone hangs onto them usually, and I can't afford to or see the point in paying double the price for a 867mhz or 1ghz powerbook which is out of warrenty and may fail at any time, less of a gamble with the pismo or 400mhz TiBook.

    The Pismo's are just so nice, just like a classic car I guess. I'm would look forward to a brief love affair with Pismo and would hope to also have fond memories of her.

    Well, still tending towards the Pismo, but would go for the TiBook if I had confidence that it would'nt crap out on me months after buying it.

    arrrrgggghhh - so hard to decide!
  11. zen_state macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    the ti books are great but for some reason no one has made upgrades for them and they really should. this is why I said to go with a pismo.
  12. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    fwiw, the upgrade potential on both machines is limited only by their original design. The Pismo is able to accept CPU upgrades because the processor is on a daughtercard. The TiBook's processor is not.

    Other than that, both models can upgrade HDs, optical drives, RAM and batteries, if you are willing to spend the $$$

    Pismos also can upgrade features through the PC Card slot, which I believe was excised from the TiBook.

    There is enough money to be made from third-party upgrades, that in most cases if it can be done, someone will.

    To the original poster, what specifically makes you feel like the TiBook is more prone to break? It is a newer machine, after all. Is it the relatively fragile construction (versus the Pismo)? It is a rev. A TiBook, I suppose, but if it has lasted this long, I am sure any problems would've reared their ugly heads by now...
  13. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    thanks blackfox.

    and zenstate, yeah I'd love to upgrade the Pismo to a G4, but shipping doubles the price of the upgrade to ship it to the US.

    re: TiBook
    Well I know they had problems with the Screens and the DVD drives, and paint chipping off also before I guess they went through a slightly better manufacturing process while baking the paint on.

    This one is in good condition with NO paint flaking off so it must of been well looked after....

    ....And I guess most computer problems happen during first 6 months, possibly through condensation type problems (ie: opening box before reaching room tempature etc), and these machines are offen in and out of the shop, so I guess those that make it past that point are usally good for years to come.

    OK - I'll just go for the Ti-Book. Its about US$650 with a airport card which I'll sell off for US$80 or so.
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I think you will be happier using the G4 powerbook

    you will definitely notice the performance difference between the G3 and the G4....OSX was written to run on the G4 after all

    Photoshop will also run better on the G4

    also the G4 has a bigger and better screen plus it's lighter if you're going to carry it around

    on the other hand....the Pismo is a cool machine.....but if you get it I think you ought to consider keeping it on OS 9.2 for perfance reasons
  15. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    Good call with the TiBook, and to whomever said it, the TiBook has a PCMCIA slot, same as the Pismo.
  16. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Well - I just brought the TiBook. My first laptop purchase - yipeee.

    All I need it to do is last till the the G5 powerbook comes out, if ever.
  17. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Think the TiBook was the best choice. The pismo is nice and upgradable, but the upgrades costs much. A used pismo + upgrade to G4/550 costs nearly the same as a refurb ibook 12-inch..
  18. dcollierp macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Spearfish, SD
    I agree, a 12" refurbished iBook would be worth considering.
  19. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    My dad has just upgraded to a 17" from his original 400 TiBook that he bought as soon as they were announced. It has worked flawlessly without hiccup for over 4 years (only being restarted a handful of times and left on the whole time).

    It has now been handed on to my brother. I would recommend the TiBook ove the Pismo because the TiBook runs Mac Os X 10.3 really well. If you put a big HD in it then i will fly. Just my 2 cents, but don't worry about them being unreliable, I was under the impression that the original tibooks were one of the most reliable machines apple built in recent years. That cannot be said for the 550/667 models though, they had several problems.
  20. blizzard_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Many thanks for all your replys. I pick up the TiBook in two days time.

    Funds were provided by a club I am in and all the others got crappy IBM laptops. There are gonna buzz out when I show up with a TiBook, as none of them know what apples really are.

    I hope in the future I can help other members in this forum.
  21. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    A few nice things about the Pismo vs. orig. G4 PB:

    1. Pismo holds two batteries simultaneously. Also they are extremely fast and easy to change out while running. With the TiBook, you have to sleep it, close the lid, and flip it over to change batteries. Maybe that seems minor, but I missed it when I got my TiBook. Also the battery hinge on my TiBook wore out or broke, so now I have to pry out the battery with a small screwdriver when I want to change it.

    2. Pismo has two FireWire ports, TiBook only has one.

    3. Pismo is more rugged.

    4. Pismo resists scuffs better and will not catch the "rim leprosy" that plagues the TiBooks.

    5. I find Pismo's trackpad and particularly the button to be more ergonomic. It's rounded and sculpted around the edge to be more comfortable, whereas the TiBook button is flush and squared off. Similarly, resting your palms on the edge is more comfortable on Pismo. Pismo has a more smooth, organic, rounded design that I'd call "Italian", whereas TiBook is hard and sleek and functional, which I'd call "German".

    6. I think the original TiBook lacks an audio input port (though you could buy some USB thingy to do it).

    Anyway, both are great machines, but I miss the Pismo. It's one of the great, classic Macs where everything was just right. I'd probably buy it over the 1st-gen. TiBook because I think there's too many compromises in its design. It wasn't until the DVI TiBooks (800/667) with Radeon 7500 Mobility that they really became awesome machines IMHO. In any case I'd have a minimum of 512 MB RAM and I'd upgrade the hard drive. I recommend the Hitachi 7K60 7200 rpm 60 GB drive, it's great.
  22. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    well, it's late but glad you went with the TIbook. I have the same machine and am upgrading to 550mhz with an upgrade by Daystar.

    I put a travelstar 5400rpm 40gig in it a few months back, plus one gig of ram. With the CPU upgrade, it will fly for me. I love the machine; sorry the Pismos just look so '90's.

    One thing for long term typing. Get a Macally stand or some other maker's stand for the machine to put it up on an angle. Long hours of typing at any laptop will cause proglms but the stand hellp. Also help with heating on the machines by giving you more circulation underneath the machine. Apple informed me the week I purchased my Tibook 400 new was that the little black rubber feet are necessary for the machine to have some air circulation underneath. They also said that the Tibook was not officially a "laptop" but a "portable computer". This is because of the heat generated, as i''m sure you found out.

    By the way, the Travelstar HD is so QUIET it never seems like it is running! Upgrade that immediately. I ebayed all components (ram, HD) rather cheaply. Get the 7200 rpm Travelstar, though. I was just being conservative with the 5400 rpm. (still much better than 4200 rpm!)

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