PowerBook buying troubles - cost and resolution.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Calihafan, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Calihafan macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004
    I am a student and an aspiring graphic designer (Photoshop is the only program I REALLY know, but hopefully I will learn Flash or Illustrator soon). I have my heart set on a 12-inch PowerBook. The portability is important to me, because my friend and I are trying to start up a web design business and I need to be able to transport my computer. Fortunately, I have a really really nice 19-inch monitor at my house for expanded screen size while at my house. My two woes are -

    1.Expense - I am nowhere near the amount of money I need ($1600 for the 'book, then another $290 for a gig of ram - I'm not paying Apple $700 to put in a stick of ram, plus $280 for Photoshop). Then I'll be set. But it is a lot of money. Are there any people in the forums who have saved up for a Mac (preferably as a student) and what jobs I could do to get this as soon as possible!

    2. Resolution - This is not as important to me, mainly because I went to the Apple Store and the screen was detailed enough for me. The size of the screen doesn't bother me (12.1 inches, really it's fine when I'm on the road), but my friend (who has a really nice 15 inch PB) tells me that the difference between the two laptops is not their performance, it's their resolution. Graphic designers are supposed to want more resolution in their monitors, but the PB is fine! Is there anyone who can tell me just how important this is?

    I absolutely can not wait to become a Mac User. I'm sick of Windows, though we've never really had a major problem. There is no alternative for me against the PowerBook; I have had numerous people tell me not to get the iBook.

    Any help would be gratefully accepted!

  2. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    Welcome to Macrumors!

    Regarding resolution. As a graphic designer (or any artist who uses a computer really), the larger the screen and higher the resolution, the easier it is to work with. I currently have a 20" Apple Cimena Display (plastic), prior to that I used a Compaq Presario notebook with a 15" screen. The larger screen defintely helps (but I actually feel that even a 20" is getting a bit small *looks at the 30"* :rolleyes: ); especially with InDesign spreads and moving palettes out of the way. But it is possible to use a smaller screen for designing. May not be as easy, but it is possible. And you mentioned you have a 19" monitor....you can use that when not traveling for a more spacious screen. And just outta curiosity, have you considered a 14" iBook? (not sure of the specs of the top of my head though)
  3. Calihafan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004

    The detail is fine on the PowerBook while I'm moving around, and the monitor I have is excellent.

    I have considered the fourteen inch iBook, but the size is also a deterrent. I really want a miniBook, and the PowerBook is also just lighter and better in general - it has twice as much video ram, for example. Also, the iBook doesn't support monitor sharing, and the PowerBook does. This is ideal if I'm typing a paper; I can have the web page up on one monitor and my paper on the other.

  4. budugu macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I know you want a powerbook .. but listen me out before you make your judgement! I am thru the windows is crap arguments! but my first computer and a laptop were windows! there is nothing wrong in it. Face it if you want to have power and price you cannot beat the dell or compaq deals. The main advantage of windows (esp compaq -allows you to get better screens 15" ultra bright -1900x1440 ~(approx resolution of a 20"-23" LCD) resolutions for 150$ more than XGA). The laptop might be a little heavy but understand as a student you want to save as much as possible. I think you need to be more objective when you are under a crunch... and place the stupid rhetoric out. As far as jobs ...i have no clue... i finally managed to get some funding for a phd!

    ibook is out for you it simpley does not perform and 14" still have the same resolution! My advice get the better (pentium M - this is the best mobile chip any body has in the market now!) laptop fast.
  5. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    You seem to have valid reasons for wanting a PowerBook over an iBook. Best thing you can do is save up till you have enough for the 12" PB and if you need more RAM, you can buy from a 3rd party company, like Crucial, to save some $$$$.

    Best of luck to you :)

    [EDIT] Also, by the time you get enough money for the PB the new Powerbooks may be out.
  6. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    You should at least wait until after Jan. 14 to see if Jobs makes any annoucments that could either improve performance or lower cost (or both :) ) to the current PB line or perhaps a new one.

    I think you have the right choice with the PB, just perhaps slightly wrong timing. Give it a little while and perhaps all will come together.
  7. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    When I bought my PowerBook a few years back, I first signed up for the Apple Developer Connection's student program. This cost me $99.00, but it entitled me to a one-time hardware discount on the purchase price of the PowerBook and the amount I saved more than made up for that $99.00. I don't know how well this would work out on the particular PowerBook you're looking at, but it might be worth considering. Search the forums for more information about this option; someone asks about it approximately once a week. ;)
  8. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    As a student i took out extra loan money for school. I ended up taking out a lot as i ended up getting the Dual G5 2.5 w/ New 20in Cinema. But I also made up for it working in construction over last summer. And will be making enough money next summer to pay off the loan for it. Just continue to work wherever you are and you will save up enoug eventually. Also I was looking into getting a Mac about a year ago. I ended up buying it when it first came out in June. I didn't need the portability as I already had a laptop, albeit not a Mac, but it works. I am now looking into a Powerbook in the next year. As long as i have money
  9. Calihafan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Thanks to you all!

    I really appreciate all of your advice. Don't worry, I won't have enough money anytime soon. Do you think that at the January expo they'll release the new powerbook at a slightly lower cost? Usually, computers progress in speed and lose cost, ie the 12-inch iBook. I have to wait until then anyway, but still.

    I was at the Apple store with my friend yesterday. He's looking at the single processor PowerMac G5. His dell had an outrageous amount of spyware on it, and his parents didn't want to be diligent about spyware, viruses, etc. So they're going to get a Mac. I worry that that will happen if I get a PC laptop - I understand that if I get a PB, I will still have to run virus-scan programs, but to a much lesser degree.

    The difference in quality between the PB and the iB is noticeable. I type about 80-90 words a minute, so I need a fast responsive keyboard - the PB has it, while the iBook doesn't. The iBook is out of the question.

    Have any of you been to an Apple store opening? This sounds unrelated, but I am considering going to the one in Bethesda this December, I live pretty close. The t-shirts are worth money, which would bring me closer to my goal of $2000 (that covers the PB, RAM from either crucial or memorytogo, a mouse, and Office. Photoshop comes later, unfortunately... :( ). Have any of you ever gotten a shirt, sold it, and if so, how much did you get for it? My other idea is if I get like 300 for it (I know, wishful thinking) I'll buy a 4G 20 gig iPod. But then can I sync it with my current (bad) PC and when I get my PB sync it to that.

    Sorry, lots of questions. Thanks again to you all and have a great Thanksgiving!

  10. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    why do you have to run virus scans? there is no point as no virus Mac OS X so cannot spread from your mac some uni IT departments are picky and force you to but there is absolutely no point unless you plan on forwarding attachments.

    be aware that the ibook can do screen spanning you just need to instal a patch, i have never found the ibook keyboard ill responsive but i also hate the feel of new ibook keyboards (i have a 600MHz g3 ibook it has a nice keyboard).

    as for the t-shirt i went to the london apple store opening and one of the t-shirts went for £125 on ebay, it really depends on the store, if it's annother average store it would not go for much but if it's a flagship store or a new type of store (like a mini store) they can go for huge amounts, your probably better off spending the day you would sit outside the apple store looking for a good job.
  11. Calihafan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004
    This Apple store opening is special in two ways -

    1) It's a mini store! Some mini store shirts went for over $400 on ebay.

    2) It's the 100th Apple store, which may make it more valuable. For example, they might write something on the t-shirt that says "#100." Or maybe not. But it's still cool.

    I'm definitely going to go.

    Also, the new iBook keyboards are pretty awful. They are so difficult to type on, and I'm fairly picky about keyboards and typing. The PowerBook does it for me in that respect, and so I would never buy the iBook. The PowerBook also has a few other things that I feel make up for the price difference - bigger hard drive, twice as much video memory, SuperDrive (maybe, I think I'll get the one with SuperDrive, but I'm not sure), BlueTooth, and lighter. Also (though this reveals a few aspects of my character) the PowerBook is more aesthetically pleasing. All of this definitely fills up the $600 price gap.

    Also, the PowerBook is built better then the iBook. This computer has to last me through high school. If I can get it, I want the better computer.

    Thanks, all.

  12. intlplby macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004
    dont get a 12 in pbook if you are doing graphic design

    you'll waste a lot of time moving things around the screen ....

    screen real estate = saved time

    time = money

    i use a 12 in pbook and i find it frustrating to use with illustrator, photoshop and flash

    i am just waiting for the next pbook update to go for the 17in myself

    as far as learning photoshop and illustrator and flash... learn on your own, but never take a course where you are..... instead go to


    and use their tutorials..... the best there are...... you will get more from those than any course you take at your university or local place.... i know i've tried both.... i frequently teach my teachers at university here about how to do things in all those programs
  13. Calihafan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004
    I agree - a 15 (or even the outlandishly priced 17) inch PowerBook would make programs such as Photoshop or Flash much easier to work with. However, the locations I am taking the PowerBook (my house, my friend's house, my other friend's house, school, etc.) all have monitors for me to hook it up to. The only time I will use it without a monitor is when I am in a Starbucks, surfing the web wirelessly, and so I only need 12-inches for that.

    At my house I have an extremely high-quality 19-inch CRT that I will use. 19-inches is more then the bigger PBs, and so I have enough space to work comfortably. My friend has a 17-inch one at his house, at school they have a projector system if I wanted to display anything on that, etc.

    Screen size is no problem, mainly because I will rarely use the PB's screen alone.

  14. rozwell macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2004
    i too am a student and rather a graphic designer, i study multimedia. the 12" is more than enough power than i need, and i use photoshop, illustrator, and flash mainly. the way i overcome the screen size is with a used 15" samsung lcd, and a 1gb of ram was $196.99 from newegg.com and it is flawless for months now. one thing i have against gargantuan monitors, is i design for a screen... not everyone has a 30" or even a 20" monitor, there for it is beneficial to me to work within a more average resolution. also you have to think about cost. sure you may be starting a company, but its just a start and i wouldn't invest to much until you see some kind of success first. as far as funding your Pb with a gig of ram is to either a. add it in to student loans, and worry about it later or b. save, and put it in a paypal account. why paypal? i find paypal is easy for me to forget about so when i really need money i pull it from there. it also has higher interest than my bank account. currently it is %1.60. get the paypal debit/ mastecard and get money back, so pay for your powerbook with that card, and get some cash back. and dont forget the student discount and refurbished models. $1399 w/ student discount, $1349 refurbished.
  15. Calihafan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2004
    I already have the monitor, thankfully, so it is not added to my expenses.

    While I appreciate your entry (I didn't know you gained money with PayPal), I was thinking more along the lines of work I could do around the neighborhood, etc. Any ideas, people?


  16. rozwell macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2004
    shovel snow for old people.

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