powerbook or ibook? first time mac user to be

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BFG, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. BFG macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    As you can so easily tell, im stupid when it comes to macs simply because im a newbie.
    My 6th pc is about to die on me so i've decied to go the mac route. I have been flowing mac's advances since the ALPB's, and now the time has come for me to spend my money?
    This October, im going to uni, but i am very unsure about what mac system to get. Idealy i want a PB, but the price is high, for not much over an ibook. I dont mind spending the money on a PB, if i think it will be justified. I really cannot decide on which one would be best for me, so i've come looking for help.

    Because im going to uni, idealy i need a laptop, so i can take it to classes, use it in my car, on the train etc.
    I will be buying another pc for gaming (this will be coming to uni with me).
    I need something that will run tiger with no problems and generally apps, and has a good battery life. It also need to be small and light enough to carry around with me (not slow me too much). I'd like to use macs for games but from what i hear, they are just no good.

    I love the 15PB - with 100gb hdd, 128mb graphics, dvdr, and wireless - looks seem the best between the 12 and 17". But the price is high £1.8k with MS office (unless you can recommend anything better, and cheaper?) and airport express base.
    The ibook seems is about £700 less. (so i might as well get a mini mac/imac - why? i dont know)

    The course i'll be taking is banking and international finance, so i'll be running accountacy(ish) software.
    I use the internet alot, and alot of what i do is related to computers, so i spend alot of time around them. I need something that will last me, but at the same time, i am 50% sure when the new PB come out i'll be wanting to upgrade if they change something major.

    What would be the best option for me, get a PB, or ibook?
    I hate having to wait around for computers to load, so im thinking PB; but at the same time i dont want to be wasting money.

    If i had to rank my needs:
    Product life span (how long it takes to become too slow)
    Power (speed over all)

    My wants:
    life span

    I'd just like to say thanks in advance.
  2. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    I would go with the iBook for classes and stuff and get a really good gaming PC.

    I have used ibooks since they came out and love them. I want a Powerbook just because they look really cool and come with 64VRAM standard but since you will have a seperate gaming PC that is not a issue. I have classmates that have PB and one thing I have noticed is lugging them around all day in backpacks has started to warp them, where as the iBooks dont warp, and they are pretty safe to drop as well, not that I recommend it but accidents happen. the battery life on ibooks is much better, 3.5 hours with PB versus 5 hours on iB working in Office while checking your mail once in a while...
  3. chv400 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I think even the 12 inch PB has a better gpu than the ibooks and it supports core video. Both Pbs and ibooks have pretty much the same amount of batter life except the pbs canb have high res screens and hook up to secondary monitors without being forced to mirror. Both the 'books have build in airport which will give you wireless internet whereever you may find it but i think that the powerbooks laso get bluetooth. Id say a powerbook over the ibook even if its just a 12 inch powerbook. The 15 inch is probably best since i personaly think that 17inches is just huge.
  4. raincoat macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2004
    Southampton, UK
    well done

    NO 1 - Well done for making the choice to switch!

    NO 2 - using ur PB in the car is slightly illegal - u may want to concentrate on the driving

    NO 3 - PB's not your best option for games - although the new ones may be ok - depends on the game

    NO 4 - 15" PB is deffinitely the best compromise between weight and screen size. I have a 17" PB as I do a Lot of photography, but for uni 15" is fine - my girlfriend has one. Although - I take the 17" PB to uni and on the train, no probs.

    NO 5 - I spent ages looking for accounting software - beware its not all available for the mac. Your course may specify certain software - you can always use Virtual PC if its not compatible with mac.

    NO 6 - PB's are beautiful machines and will always impress. The ibook is said to be more durable but then if get a case and are careful it makes no difference.

    Personally, i'd bite the bullet and spend the cash on the PB. I've had mine for a year now and still love it to bits, i am a complete convert froma year ago and now regularly curse micro$oft and PC's.

    Good luck,

    oh and from one newbie to another, being a newbie does not mean that we know nothing about macs, simply that we have not made many posts!
  5. indigoblu macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I'd go with Powerbook, but I'm sick of my iBook and ready to upgrade to PB. Also keep in mind if battery life is an issue:
    Powerbooks don't need to be powered down to change the battery.
    iBook you must power down, change the battery and power up again - time consuming if you are in the middle of something.

    Also the resolution is a lot better on PowerBooks. Go to an apple store and spend time using both, see which is best for you. Also pick them up like you would in real life, get a "feel" for them. The iBook may be more durable in some ways, but within a month you will see tiny scratches (they make a polish called iClean but I've never tried it). You will also notice that the plastic where your hands and fingers are wear down over time - nothing serious but iBooks do show wear. Both are good options, try them out. If the iBook works for your needs, save the money. But the PowerBook gives tons more options.
  6. BFG thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Thanks for all your replies.
    I still dont know which to get, so im going to head down to my apple store and see which one i like better.

    If i was to get an ibook now, in my opinion it would be worth waiting for the rev, whereas the powerbook may get an update, but no one really knows.

    I've decide even if a new verison comes up, (of which ever one i decise on) i will not be buying it till i finish uni, unless i somehow get loads of money?
    So the one i get is going to have to last out. From experiance, do apple's slow down over time like MS pc's do?

    whats the comparative advantage of the PB over ibook when using tiger? (i.e. does the PB really make a difference in loading speed, and less system lag?)
  7. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    You serious? Are you aware of the existence of a couple of products called Quicken and MYOB? :rolleyes:

    Go ahead and buy what you need now, BFG. There's no point waiting for illusory updates that in reality probably won't come for some time now, Having said that, I reckon for your needs the iBook is the way to go. Perfect for uni requirements - excellent battery life, durability and once you put in some extra RAM, more than sufficient power. And the lack of games is actually beneficial for uni purposes! If you do want to play some games, I'd recommend a PS2 or an Xbox :)
  8. BFG thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    hehe i was waiting for someone to say that :) i think i'll order it tomorrow, once i visit the mac shop.

    i own an xbox(chipped) already, but i have to say that i like my really pc better than it.

    how well does the ibook scroll pad work, compared to the PB?
    If i do get a ibook, then i'll get a fully upgrade one (other than ram - so expensive for macs!)
  9. raincoat macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2004
    Southampton, UK
    Everything is damn American!

    Quicken is American only (I am British and do not wish to work in $$ or according to American tax) and i didn't like MYOB.

    I use iBank and iBiz, a superb combination even if iBank is a bit simple.

    Let me know if u find any UK accounting software that is any good. :)
  10. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    That's a shame - and it's not US only, they still have an Australian version of Quicken. Not being an accountant though, I'm not really that fussed :)
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    The summary:
    I think that's pretty accurate. The iBooks aren't as powerful as the PBs (although they're more powerful than all the older PBs, including my aged 1999 Lombard G3), but they are light, more durable, cheaper, and have longer battery life (although, yes, you'd need to power off to change batteries, if that's an issue). The only Tiger feature you lose, AFAIK, is the "splash" effect when adding a new Dashboard item to the screen. It's a cool effect, but not worth the price.

    Me? I'm getting the PB. But I'm a professional software developer. Were I a student, I'd pick the iBook and save the money. Or possibly a 12" PB (they're so cute). But do at least get 512MB RAM, more if you can afford it.
  12. iZach macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    West Bloomfield, MI
    Let me tell you what I got.
    I am 13 years old, in 8th grade.
    I went to the Apple store in September planning to get an iBook. I played with the iBooks a little and realized a few things.
    1. The keyboard SUCKS. I don't mean "oh well it's not the nicest but it will do". I mean it is aweful. It is crappy and I hated typing on it.
    2. The resolution. I don't know, it was horrible.
    3. The fact that you can't do dual monitors. Why would Apple do this? The only thing u can do with an iBook is repeat it to the monitor. That's stupid.
    4. To get SuperDrive, you need to get the 14" iBook. I wanted the 12". It's a laptop, and I want it to be as portable as possible. I want to carry it with my books.

    Mainly because of step 4, I went with the 12" PowerBook (1.33GHz, 256mb of RAM which I later upgraded to 512mb, 60gb hd, airport extreme, bluetooth, SuperDrive).

    I must tell you though, a huge disappointment to me was the day I took my PowerBook out of my locker and it had a dent in it. The alluminum is soft, so the PowerBooks dent easily. iBooks scratch, PowerBooks dent.
    So if you are going to get a PowerBook, get a good case! The Apple store wanted to charge me EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS to fix 2 or 3 MINOR dents.
    !@#$ that! That's ridiculous.

    Anyway, it all depends on what you ar egoing to do on it. I like to make videos and import them to my PowerBook and then burn them with the SuperDrive. I like to play around in Photoshop. So if you don't plan on editing movies, and you don't need the SuperDrive, or if you like the 14", then get the iBook.

    The PowerBook is awesome, and I love it.

    Whichever you choose, you will love as well.

  13. zach macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2003
    Wow, two people named Zach posting in a row.

    Anyway, his advice is very good except for one thing.

    Dual displays can be enabled on iBooks almost painlessly via a firmware hack that's even applescripted for your convenience. All you have to do is google it.

    Also: remeber that that the 14" iBook differs only in screen SIZE, not resolution. That means everything appears LARGER, but not more detailed... Analagous to blowing up a picture to a size beyond its original resolution.

    iBooks have significantly longer battery life: having spent a long time around both, you'd be far better off going for the iBook for battery life, despite the fact that you can switch PB batteries mainstream.

    Finally, the iBook is really NOT that much slower than the PowerBook. If you get the 14" (god forbid, but you might), it's only 340 MHz slower, and the 12" is only 470 MHz slower. That is a significant percentage slower, yes, but if you spend the extra money on maxing out the RAM on the iBook, it will run quite speedily, especially for your purposes.

    I have to say, I constantly play Unreal Tournament on my 12" iBook, 700 MHz G3 with a 16 MB graphics card, and in my opinion it runs quite decently.

    All that being said: I've owned an iBook for 3 years, and while another one would probably suit me just fine, I'm getting a 15" anyway (although my near-constant use of Photoshop may be why I'm getting it, I'm not sure ;).
  14. DaveP macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2005
    I will agree this is very lame, however, there is a screen spanning hack that you can use to enable dual monitors. I guess Apple just disables it so there is more of a difference between the powerbook.
  15. macux macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2005
    But who uses it?

    I've got an iBook and never hacked it to allow dual monitors. And, I've never felt the need. Sure, now that the new version of Keynote has some dual monitor features I might want to use it, but in general, dual monitor capability is not very useful and not *the* feature to make a decision on.

Share This Page