PLEASE help a switcher? 12al vs. 15ti vs. 15al

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by flukewurm, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. flukewurm macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2003
    heres the scenario

    i am a college student. i messed around with a friends ibook for a few weeks this past summer and i got hooked... i HAD to have an apple laptop.. i know ill be using it a LOT because i was SOOOO productive on the ibook when i had it. this is a computer i will use often. im a musician, i do some amount of web design, and im a comp sci major... i dont get a WHOLE lot of cash VERY quickly... ive been saving my cash. ebaying some crap i dont use so much... and finally i have $1400 for laptop spending money..

    here are my options:

    1) IF the 12"al 867 powerbook refurbished models get restocked then thats $1300 (tax included).. with some money to spare to max out the ram - or maybe also get that nice pair of headphones ive been wanting for a while (im a musician/producer)

    2) IF the 15"ti 867 powerbook refurbished models get restocked then thats about $1740 (tax included).. i can dig into some of my checking account to pull up the rest.. i have a little bit of spare $$ in there besides my alloted tuition for next semester.. but its almost cutting it close. im also a little worried about chipping paint, airport reception.. i also think this model doesnt look NEARLY as sexy as the other 2.. ;) :p

    3) i can go to the very extreme very almost nearly within my budget and go for the low model brand new 15"al 1ghz 256ram... with my edu discount it turns out to be about $1950 (tax included)... thats SERIOUSLY stretching my budget. im thinking ill maybe have enough for tuition next semester.. reason being i may get a raise with my job pretty soon. and i may start doing some paying webdesign work for some people in my town. but both of those are maybes.... worse comes to worse for this situation... my parents will help me out a little with my tuition next semester.....

    im almost freaking out... the time is drawing near.. i must make my decision.. but $2k is SOOOO much cash for me right now.

  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    if you are doing web design I would suggest that the 12 inch will not give you the screen size you need. I personally just got a toned down 1.25 Ghz PowerBook and am insanely thrilled with it. I think that the 867 PowerBook will suit you needs for now, but if you plan on (as I do) having this computer for 4 years, I would go with the new 15 inch AluBook, because it will last at least a year or two futher into the future than the TiBook. Another thing that I like about the new 15inch is that the ports are all on the sides rather than in the back which while it is a minor feature, I consider it to be a much eaiser way to connect stuff to my Book.

    Good luck with your new Apple, whatever flavor he takes!
  3. riwanami macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan

    Have you considered buying an iBook? You can compromise the screen size, performance, and budget by going for a 14inch iBook perhaps. They may not be as fast or good looking as the Al or Ti PowerBooks, but if you are really on a budget, maybe you should stick with the iBook and get a PowerBook G5 by the time you graduate.

    If you do, you may want to consider waiting for the next iBook update, which may close the speed difference between a G4 867Mhz and possibly a G3 1+Ghz.
  4. flukewurm thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2003
    if i got an ibook it would definately be the 12". you cant fit anymore on a 14" screen and the smaller screen doesnt bother me.

    i see as of tonight apple has restocked their refurb models.. *gulp* everytime this happens i think to myself "maybe this is my last shot?!"

  5. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2003
    i'd go with the 1 Ghz 12 inch powerbook you can always connect a larger screen thru dvi out it's only 1399 with ed discount so you could buy a flat panal and some extra ram with the money you save
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    honestly, in your situation, I would try to go for the 1 Ghz 12" albook. If you don't need superdrive, and with the edu discount, it's gonna cost you $1500 after tax. Say $1600 to add 512 RAM, or you could do $256 for half the price and that would be ok too.

    The Ti's... I dunno, I wouldn't go that way. I know a lot of people like them, but the tech is much older, and then there's the chipping paint, the bad airport reception, ect.

    The 15" albook is very sweet, no question, but honestly, I'd say it's not worth the extra money, 'cause it is a lot extra, given how much you have to spend.

    The new 12" will cost you $200 more than the old 12", but here's what you get: the faster processor, the larger cache (especially that), the better graphics card, mini-dvi, usb 2, 256 RAM in the built-in slot instead of 128.

    I understand how much $200 can mean (I'm actually a college student who just got the machine I'm recommending, and I had the same choices to make as you), but I really feel that the new 12" is the best buy in this case. That's the conclusion I came to for myself, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. Good luck.
  7. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2002
    Re: PLEASE help a switcher? 12al vs. 15ti vs. 15al

    If your in college and a computer science major why aren't you using ADC's Student program?!?! You can save hundreds of dollars off the normal educational discounts.
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    actually, you can't save that much more anymore... it used to matter a lot more before apple introduced the bigger edu discounts.

    Let's say you buy what is normally a $2000 powerbook. Edu, you get it for $1800. With ADC, you get it for $1600, but only after paying the $99 registration fee. So you save $100 (and get to be an ADC member, which is cool)... which is nice of course, but not the overwhelming difference that it used to be when the normal edu discounts were terrible.
  9. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2002
    True, depends on the model. You can save quite a bit off the high-end models, like the Dual G5 for example... You also get a fancy ADC t-shirt, box of software, and reduced magazine subscriptions. ;)

    One cool thing I didn't know with ADC, you avoid the standard customer service. This came in handy during the G5 delay fiasco, while other people complained of being on hold for 30-60 minutes I rarely had to wait for the 4th ring.
  10. mrdrumbum macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2003
    if you ordered a mac earlier, you could've gotten the 1gig 15in albook w/ an ipod to get the $200 rebate. just sell the ipod right after and keep the rebate. $1799 edu discount - $200 rebate = $1599. good deal. that's what i did. too bad.
  11. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    My University bookstore is selling 800 MHz iBooks for $779. It doesn't sound like you need more than that. I have an iBook 600 and write web cgi scripts with BBedit, and do moderate (manipulate 20-40 MB TIFF files) Photoshop work, and am happy to wait another generation before upgrading, so the 800 MHz with better video will be significantly faster.

    Why blow all your cash on a little extra speed? If you were doing video or huge pre-press Photoshiop and paid by the job, sure, go for speed. But if you can a new iBook for half your budget, you can get all the goodies you'd want and still not break a sweat.
  12. drjekyl macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2003
    I just upgraded from the iBook to the 15Al book. The iBook was great the only thing that it lacked was screen space. If you are going to be using edit software with multiple windows, go for the bigger screen of whatever you decide to get. Im an EE student and every app I use has 2 or more windows so the extra screen space has made a big difference. I look at it this way. If you try to save money and buy the lesser, you'll always regret not just going for it. But if you buy the better up front, it might be a bit more money, but you'll get over the money and be more happy with the better selection.
  13. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Get the new 12" PowerBook with Edu. discount. Add 256 or 512 MB RAM, but third party (it's cheaper) when you can. Don't use ADC yet, because it will only save you about $100 overall, and you can only use it once. When you can afford it (preferably within 90 days), get AppleCare just in case. And get a nice case to put it in (doesn't have to be too expensive), again, when you can. You can always use an external monitor when you need to. That's the best option for you IMO.

    I'm thinking about doing the same. :)
  14. ryme4reson macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2002
    Cupertino CA
    I'd gp with the Ti

    I just traded my 12" PowerBook 867 for a 15"Ti 667 DVI. I have owned a Ti in the past, and I must say, althought I lost 200Mhz, the 667 feels much faster. Also my 12" had popping noises from the speakers, and I was not impressed with the performance at all (640 RAM).

    I think the screen on the 15" is well worth it as well, as I use my Ti at work now.

    the reason I traded is because I have a 22" CD at home, and I needed DVI cause I solf my G4 to prepare for a G5 Rev B. Top model!
  15. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    If you are short on money, I'd probably go with the 12" 1 Ghz AlBook. Even though it is only 133 Mhz faster than the old 12" model, it has double the L2 cache, which should make a significant difference in terms of general responsiveness.

    If you could afford to spend $2k (which it sounds like you can't), then I'd actually get the 1.25 Ghz 15" AlBook minus the Superdrive and downgrading the HD to 60 GB. That brings it down to $2050, which is "only" $250 more than the 1 Ghz version. Plus it comes with nice extras like double the RAM, an Airport Extreme card, and the backlit keyboard.

    I'd only go with the TiBook 867 if you really want a larger screen (and are on a budget). It's kind of an old machine, and also the TiBooks are not quite as stiff and sturdy as the AlBooks.

    BTW, you should definitely get more than 256 MB of RAM no matter which machine you order (I'd suggest 512 MB minimum). But don't get it from Apple - get is from or some other 3rd party (much cheaper that way).
  16. gregorypierce macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2002
    I would go with the Al variant of either. While I loved my Titanium Powerbook, the new Aluminum Powerbook designs appear to be much more robust and resistant to paint scrapes.
  17. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    I would go with the 12" AlBook. The 15" has a much better graphics card, but you might not need it. If you need more screen area an external monitor is an option down the road. Avoid the iBook. For many users they are adequate but I found them a bit sluggish when you pushed them with multiple apps and such. I am buying the 15" AlBook but I already know it is more than I need -just not more than I want. :)
  18. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    I just want to chime in again for the iBook. You've been selling stuff to eBay, you've got tuition payments to make, you want other gear like headphones and you probably don't want to spend the next semester with zero money for anything else.

    You've already used an iBook and liked it. Other people may find them a bit sluggish, but you know what that means... 5 bounces to launch Photoshop instead of 3 bounces. Don't get sucked into the mistake of spending an extra $1000 for something you don't really need when for a poor college student, that $1000 goes a long way to keeping you financially solvent for a year. People here are MacHeads, everyone wants a dual G5 for web browsing. See if you can get an iBook for $779 like they are here at my campus bookstore, max the memory, buy your headphones, and know if you like the iBook, you'll have $700 left over towards a G5 powerbook at the end of next year.

    Only option 1 of the ones you listed (refurb 867 12 inch) was within your budget, you say. The iBook is not such a step down from that.
  19. flukewurm thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2003
    ohkay guys... heres what happened..

    got the new 15" 1ghz stock (it has already SHIPPED!!! :eek: ).. for a couple of reasons.

    the 12" refurbs ran out before i could get a chance to order one.. so the *cheapest* plan is foiled right away.

    the parentals are actually helping me with this purchase.. sort of an early christmas gift type deal. tho i can assure you the only other gift under the tree this year will be socks. one of the reasons theyre chipping in the $$ is cuz they wanted to help me get the 15" specifically.

    honestly i dont think the smallll form factor of the 12" would have been that much more convenient.. i mean the 15" isnt MONSTEROUS.. its a managable size.. + better resolution.. + its just an all around better computer.

    sure its a lot of money.. but i know it will be money well spent. im actually SERIOUSLY debating whether i should send this one back and get the 1.25 with combo and 60gb harddrive for "only" $250 more ;) :p i mean im GOING to get more ram in the future anyways.. and im GOING to get an airport extreme card in the future anyways.. plus the light up KB is SOOOO pimp.. and if i configured those options into the 1ghz model it would only be $11 less than the 1.25 with those options...

    so that leads me to THIS question..... how strict is apple about their *open box* policy?
  20. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    They charge you a 10 or 15% restocking fee... :-\
  21. flukewurm thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2003
    yeah.. i talked with my friend about it.. he said they check to see how long the computer was booted for when they recieve it....

    i talked myself into keeping the 1ghz and upgrade later.. the 1.25ghz shouldnt be THAT much more powerful and the resale value in 3-4 years cant be THAT much different from the 1ghz..

    i am satisfied. :)

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