Powerbook size

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

  1. iKenny macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Paris, France
    I'm heading off to school next year and am getting a PowerBook to take. I have the option of either a 12in or 15in PowerBook, and, surprising though it may seem, I'm having a little trouble deciding. I like the bigger screen and power of the 15in, but the 12in is much easier to carry, and quite frankly I think the lid feels more solid (the 15in has a larger space between the lid and the keyboard).

    I'm not sure how much I"ll be carrying around the PowerBook.

    Do you guys think I should go with 15in or 12in?
  2. Nspace macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I think it depends on what your doing. I bought the 15" because I am majoring in design, so screen size and a higher resolution (although i still think they should have increased this) was important.

    If you are going to be doing just browsing, email, and word processing and that sort of thing, I think you would be fine with the 12" and you would get the better portability for taking it to your classes. Down the road you could use some of the money you saved and look at an external monitor for when your not on the road.
  3. smurfsgonewild macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Monroe, LA
    I was in the same boat. I decided to go with the 15" just because I wanted the bigger size. I could have lived with the 12" but I just wanted to have that extra real estate. This computer's gotta last me for 4 or 5 years and I thought that I would have gotten tired of the small size. Plus, I wouldn't have had the room or money for an external monitor. Another reason is that I'm a pretty big guy so it might have been akward using a small computer for a long period of time. I hope this helps and good luck with your decision. It's pretty nerveracking isn't it?
  4. sundevil macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2004
    The tradeoffs between the 12" and 15" are basically performance, size, and price.

    From the performance standpoint, there is almost no noticeable difference between the lower model 15" and the 12". Both run at the same speed with the same frontside bus and either can be upgraded with a faster hard drive. The NVIDIA graphics card in the 12" vs. the ATI in the 15" is rather significant, but only if you plan on doing a great deal of graphic design or playing the latest and greatest games. The gigabit ethernet port, FW 800, or PCI slot are things you won't miss in the present, but probably will down the road as you upgrade your Powerbook. The 12" smaller size limits room for expansion and next generation ports.

    Sizewise, the 12' is much easier to lug around. Trust me. The 15" is definitely manageable and much lighter than comparable Windows machines, but if you place a premium on portability, the 12" will serve you better. The obvious tradeoff is screen real estate. The 15" screen is quite sufficient as a desktop replacement for almost anything you'd need. The 12" screen hasn't been a problem for me, and I use the smaller powerbook as my primary computer nowadays. I usually only look at one window at a time and with Expose, I can easily manage multiple windows in the background. However, if your eyes are easily strained, or you aren't accustomed to managing windows on a smaller screen, the 12" might be a little frustrating for long-term use as a primary machine.

    If price isn't an issue, then your choice is really just about personal preference. If it is, though, you might consider what else you'll need to go with your new powerbook. For the money you'd save with the smaller powerbook, you could pick up some software, a bluetooth mouse, new case, airport station, etc. Conversely, when you factor in longevity, the 15" might be the better buy because it might last up to a year longer with a pc card processor upgrade and a fast firewire 800 hard drive.

    That said, I'm a full-time law student and carry the 12" back and forth between home and campus daily. Commuting by bike with a load of books and my computer, the smaller powerbook is definitely more mobile. For anyone in a similar circumstance, I would recommend the same.
  5. mac_gal macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    I was in the same dilemna. I picked the 15" because this was going to be my main computer (no external monitor). I'm happy with my choice, especially when I have a bunch of windows open or I'm watching a DVD.

    If you have another computer or monitor, I'd say go for the 12". But if this will be your primary computer, my vote sits with the 15".
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would say if your on the go a lot you should consider the 12". But if your using it as a desktop replacement definatly go with the 15". I was in the same situation and i went for the 15". The moment i saw it in the store a year ago i wanted the 15". I love the extra screen room it has over the 12". It's also really great for watching movies.
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    the 15" is as portable as the 12", if you buy a decent case for it. without a case, the bigger model is always more fragile.

    and, the 15" version has more options to expand in the future. take that into consideration, too. not to mention much better graphics card...
  8. Eomando macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2004
    Well, I bought my 12" a few weeks ago now, and right now i'm extremely happy that i did... otherwise it wouldn't fit on the tiny bit of desk i've got it sitting on right now :)

    I saw the 12 and 15" models sitting next to each other in the shop, and i did like the 15" screen... but I just love my 12" powerbook so much more than i could ever love a 15" one (and I'm sure the same is true of anyone who chose the 15" over the 12" ;) ). I love the portability of my computer and I've made my whole household and all my friends jealous of my cute portable laptop.. It actually feels alien now to look at a bigger screen.. ;)

    Personally, i'd go for the 12", but that's just because I have no regets at all choosing the smaller computer... I've used it in places that before a 15" laptop either wouldn't fit, or wouldn't really be recommended (like on my knee on a packed train...the 12" doesn't stray off the sides of my knees and invite bits of itself to be knocked by passers by.. ;) )

    If you're going to be using it in school, think of how big a desk you'll have when you get there... no matter what, the 12" is bound to fit.. but the 15" might be a bit more cumbersome..

    There'll be *PLENTY* of people here who disagree with me, but I'd not swap my 12" powerbook for any other one (and when i first saw them on apple's website, i wanted a *17* inch one!! :eek: )
  9. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    listen dude (ikenny).....everybody is going to give you a review based on what they got.....it's very difficult, you'll find someone that bought a 12" and regret it.......and admit it!!.......hehehe......so listen.......just play with both of them at the store, and choose the one you feel more confortable with.

    in my opinion......the 15" has better screen.....so that'sa BIG plus......and about the portability, listen....it's a machine....

    no matter if one weights 4.5 pounds and the other 5.5 pounds, if you get a good bag (a backpack for example would be better for your back and weight distribution) so if you get a GOOD backpack believe me it's goint to feel like you're carrying something there......and trust me 1 or 2 pounds don't really make a difference....................it's not like you'll be carrying that thing ALL DAY without rest............(and even if you'll do that...i wouldn't recommend it!)

    so ......trust me I HAVE the 15" the screen is GREAT!....the portability is GREAT!....trust me you can barely feel the weight difference.....and even if you buy a 12" you'll have to take care of it.....as if it was a 17" no matter what......so the weight thing is not an issue.........TO ME!.......but the screen size IS.........

    i've had this 15" for 3 weeks now......and i'm extremely happy with it heehe but trust me......if i could've bought the 17" i would have....cuz the screen is beautyfull.......and i don't care about the weight.......goddamned im a MAN!...i'm suppossed to be able to carry that thing for a while........and if i'm tired i can rest!...so......the scree real state is worth it......

    get the 15.

    in my opinion!

    P.S. Better ?? :p
  10. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    Listen Dude, there's this new craze taking the world by storm called "punctuation" give it a try. That crap you just posted is completely unreadable.

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