PLEASE HELP- Powerbook 12" New Buyer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jarinaz, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. jarinaz macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
    I am about to convert over to mac. I have debated back in fourth about just about every model. I want the Powerbook 15 but it is out of my price range. I have pretty much settled on the Powerbook 12" but am not sure. I have a few questions.

    1. If you are a powerbook 12 owner, are you happy with it? Do you feel that it does everything you want to do? Is it enough computer? Is the 1.5 G4 strong enough?

    2. I am seeing some better prices for a used 12 inch G4 on ebay and I think it might go that route. Any advise on buying used? I would obviously like to go new but paying 1700 for a 12 inch makes no sence to me. Anything I should look for?

    3. Has anyone who has bought the 12 inch powerbook wished they had bought the 15 inch? Not just because of screen size but because of other options that the 12 does not have?

    I would appreciate any help I can get. I am pumped about going to mac and never going back to PC. I just want a computer that will not be outdated next year and gives me the possibility of maybe making my own videos from a comcorder down the road.
  2. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    maybe this...

    how about the ibook?

    briiliant machine at a brilliant price. does just about everything a pbook does for less money. just recently updated.

    great portability, solid and no performance slouch (it will handle everything you throw at it well). :)
  3. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Okay I bought a 1.33 12" Powerbook about 18 months ago...

    1) Yes. It does eveything I want faster than my 1.5GHz Pentium 4 Dell machine. Of course, a PowerMac G5 will be faster but I've never been frustrated by my PB.

    2) Check out the Apple Refurb store first. Some good deals pop up on there.

    3) Hmmm... yes and no. I've often wondered if I should have gone with the bigger screen but honestly, the 12" screen has been fine for most stuff. If it was my only machine, the 15" might be a better option or think about getting an external monitor too.

    The 12" is just wonderful for portability though. Get a cover for it and slip it into just about any bag you might own.
  4. jrober macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2003
    Heathfield, UK
    Do it.


    I have a 1.33Ghz 12" powerbook which is just over 1 year old now. It has been faultless and i love the build quality.

    Yes it is fast enough but would benefit from a bit more RAM mine is the 256M std. I am saving for a 1G chip to go in it.

    Given the build quality, used should be OK but the new ones greater RAM and crash protection may be a deciding factor see use notes below.

    It get used every day in my house its small size mean we put it on a bookshelf between paper books when not in use. It lives beside the sofa sometimes plugged into the charger and we run a wireless network so it gets carried around and used for everything.
    My better half is about to get into Photoshop so the screen size may be a limitation but then that is better done on a desk so we will probably buy a 20"+ screen from Dell to plug in so no problems. - This will probably be a good option for the movie editing you are looking at.

    Go ahead and welcome to Mac.
  5. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    I have the 1.5GHz 12" PowerBook and love it. Would I rather have a 15"? No, not really, the 12 inch for me is more portable and I don't miss extra screen space as I've always preferred smaller/sub-notebooks. Some will argue and say the 15 inch is still portable... yeah, blah blah, whatever... I'm posting my personal preference here.

    The ONLY additional feature I'd like to have is a backlit keyboard. As for lack of pcmcia slot and firewire 800... don't really need those for anything myself.

    You haven't posted your location, but the US and UK Apple stores both have refurbished sections, so you might find something cheaper in there. Also check out the market place section of this forum.

    If you do go down the eBay route then just be careful. I personally wouldn't risk buying a high value item on eBay. I'm sure some people have found good deals from genuine sellers, but afaik apple products retain their value pretty well so if you spot something *really* cheap, chances are it's dodgy.
  6. Dale Cooper macrumors regular

    Dale Cooper

    Sep 20, 2005
    I've got a 12" PB (1,33Ghz), and I'm very satisfied with it. (I bought mine on a online auction). Enough power for "regular" use, and VERY portable.
  7. Euan macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    I think you'll find most Apple users and satisfied with their products be it 12"/15"/17" PBs, 12"/14" iBooks, etc, etc.
  8. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Heh heh. Same here. I do like the idea of the backlight. I actually can't think of a time when I'd use it though so it's not a problem. Impressive though. :)

    The original poster mentioned movie editing... I forgot to add that I'd created an hour long holiday video in iMovie and burned it to disc with iDVD.

    I'd only got 256MB at the time and although I didn't have anything else open at the time, the PB coped really well. Cutting and moving clips about was just really easy.
  9. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    i have the 1.5 12'' PB. i love using it. very portable, and fits right into the brenthaven fusion 12. it's been fast enough for my uses.

    plus, chick dig the 12''. they think it's cute.
  10. jarinaz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
  11. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I think the backlit keyboard is overrated. It's actually still kind of hard to see the keys, even with backlighting (though I think they've brightened the light since my wife got her powerbook w/backlit keyboard). Plus, if you're a touch typist, you don't need to look at the keys anyway. I'm typing this right now on a non-backlit keyboard in a dark room. No problem.
  12. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I bought the 12-inch 1.5 GHZ G4 Powerbook the day it came out, or at least I ordered it that day.

    It is simply the best computer I have ever owned. Yes, it does everything I want it to. It is an amazing machine. I love it. No, I've never wished I had a 15-inch. In fact, I often mention that if I won 100 million in the lottery I would still want the 12-inch, for its small size. When I'm at my desk, I use my larger external display. However, even the 12-inch display is acceptable, for most daily work.

    If you want to go new, you can get $125 rebate on the 12-inch superdrive model, if you buy from
  13. Brettounet macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2005
    12" PB Switch fine by me

    My first macrumours post!

    I switched in July. Months prior I fell in love the 17", so much in such a slimline package but cashflow and the need for portability (I am an Aussie travelling in Europe) restricted me to the 12".

    Performance has been oustanding and I love the mobility of the 12". Gets pretty warm at times but apart from this no complaints.

    When I have a permanent desk to use in the future I would look at grabbing a large screen monitor.

    Enjoy the purchase!!
  14. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    i bought my girlfriend a 12" pb last month, and she uses it all the time. hell, i even use it. i have a 15" myself, but the 12" is such a cool little laptop. it's so easy to throw in a bag and take with you. i call it the baby pb.

    i'd highly recommend one if you don't need a big screen.
  15. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005

    I bought my 12'' 1.5ghz PowerBook 2 months ago. Right before my school started. This was my FIRST mac by the way and I think from here on out, Im buying mac laptops ONLY (no desktops because macs cant game!)

    1. I am extremely happy with my purchase. Its size make it extremely versatile. The 1.5ghz is just fine IMO. The RAM on the other hand is something to think twice on. At 512, after opening 5 applications, it bogs down. I use Opera, iChat, Azureus, Word, and ShakesPeer. The fix is simply to get more RAM. Makes a world of difference. NO MORE BEACHBALLS FOR ME! :D

    2. Don't buy used systems. Atleast not from eBay. If you are to buy used buy it from Apple. Atleast then you will get the 1 year warranty by Apple and be able to choose to get AppleCare. Buying off of eBay really gives you no guarantee if you will get the item or not, unless you buy from a really trusted seller. I personally wouldnt take ths route. Most of the time its cheap for a reason.

    3. Just a note to the screen size. In college the lecture halls are HUGE and fits hundreds of people. The desk (more like armrest) is VERY small. Its probably no bigger than 8x6 inches. My friend who has a 17 inch could NOT get his PowerBook to work in the lecture halls because it was simply too big. The desk was not able to balance it, unless the guy next to him didnt mind having it take a bit of his own space. Ive seen one other person have a 15 and he doesnt seem to be that much better off. With a 15'' or a bigger screen in a lecture hall, that is all the space you will have. Unless you dont mind having a computer as the only thing to take notes on, then a 15 should be fine, anything bigger will only become a hassle.

    As for the features that the 12 misses out. I cant say I miss them. My PowerBook already comes with Airport so the expansion slot is not needed. The One FireWire and Two USB works just fine for me. I definately dont need a lit keyboard because I been typing for years and I dont need to look at the keyboard anymore. So I really dont believe Im missing out on anything.

    As for the people bring up the "Why not an iBook." For me personally I had the money to go 15'' PB, 12'' iBook, or 14'' iBook. I chose the 12'' PB because its small, so the 14 and 15 is out of the picture. I had to choose between iBook and PowerBook. I finally landed on the PB because after reading people getting Dell 2005FPW screens I decided to use the extra money I had on that. With the iBook you had to get a softhack to get it to span to the correct resolution of 1680x1050. I didnt like that idea simply because I heard Apple can void your warranty for doing that. I also chose the PB because it is WAY less hotter than that of the iBook. My PB only heats up to 110 F, never hotter. The iBook I heard really cooks. I wouldnt want to burn my penis. Personally for me, I think that was an extremely valid reason to go PB over iBook. :)
  16. jarinaz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
    So helpful, thanks for being so detailed. Im a student as well so the PB sounds great at 12 inch. I will probrably just grab a cheap 17 inch monitor for my desk.
  17. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I thought the same thing while I had my 12" ... then I got the 15" and saw the light, so to speak. :) It's one of those things that you don't realize you need until you get used to having it.
  18. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005

    the little bumps on the j and the f cant tell you where to put your fingers on?
  19. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I hate feeling for those little bumps. They're much more subtle than the keys on the PC keyboard that I use at work and in the labs at school. Harder to find.

    I dunno ... spending 3-5 seconds to find those little stubs just irritates me.
  20. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I can appreciate that but I never type in anything approaching darkness and if it's a bit dull, the screen seems to give out enough light for me to carry on regardless.

    If I'd struggled I would have gone for the 15" but the portability of the 12" is greater for me than the backlit keys.

    It still looks cool though. :)
  21. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    I have a 12" 1GHz powerbook -- I upgraded the RAM to 768 from 256 by adding a 512 chip, and added the airport card, but that's all I've done. I don't miss the backlit keyboard, and I've found that most periphrials have a USB or Firewire option so I don't miss the expansion slot anymore.

    I got mine with the education discount, so it only cost $1400. I'm happy with it -- it's done very well for the time I've had it.

    I had the HDD replaced under AppleCare, and they sent it back with a fresh install of Tiger.
  22. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    Heat guideline

    Maybe someday the cartons will be required to display a disclaimer with the following heading:

    Categories of high temperature risk to the penis:

    6. Fried and dried ... remember when you had sex?
    5. Barbecued
    4. Crispy
    3. Toasty
    2. Tingly
    1. Fatherhood still a possibility ... but don't dilly dally.
  23. aspro macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    Hobart, Australia
    Ill add my voice to the choir...

    My powerbook 12" does me great! I think its the perfect size for a portable computer. The only thing that could be better is the screen, but its not that bad really.

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