PowerBook vs iBook (again)

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by fBaran, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. fBaran macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2003
    Hello all. I'm on my way to buying a Mac, but can't decide between the PowerBook and the iBook (12" and 14" respectively).

    The cash is not quite an issue, it's more the pros and cons of each. I'd like to buy one and not have to worry in two years (and then some) that the mac won't handle the next version of OS X, and other such things.
    Is buying third party RAM a good idea, or is Crucial.com enough? That kind of stuff. My purchase will be next week, so thanks in advance!


    Edit: I should mention that I'll be using it as an undergrad. Email, downloading, iTunes, iPod, carrying around, etc..
  2. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i think the powerbook will have longer staying power than an ibook.

    curcial.com is third party ram that is good quality. max out your ram, if you get the pb get the larger hd, and such.
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I'd go with the 12" PB, and as virividox has said, get as much RAM from crucial.com (NOT APPLE!) for that puppy as you can!
  4. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    12" PB - especially if you have a spare monitor around so you can extend your desktop.
  5. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    I recommend the iBook. Only go with the PB if you want a Suoerdrive. Then its worth the price.
  6. Fabrix2003 macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2003
    Cheshire UK
    Powerbook Gets my vote!

    Definatley if money is no option (coming from a hard using designeer here) use the 15 inch powerbook, worth every dime, like it was said it will probably stay in tha game a bit longer.
  7. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003

    I say if power isn't an going to be an issue, as in minor photoshop or movie editing, or word processing, the iBook is just perfect for you. Only if you need the power, then go higher than the 12" PB to the 15", only there will you really see a difference.

    Note that iBooks can only get 640MB ram while the PB can get 2GB. Figure out if any programs you want to use will need to have lots of RAM.
  8. laserbeahm macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Central Valley, CA
    Re: Powerbook Gets my vote!

    I agree.
  9. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Even though people say to not get your RAM from Apple, I highly recommend doing so. OSX is very picky about RAM, and most problems faced by mac users is caused by incompatible RAM. If you have the money, buy from Apple. If nothing else, it'll save you time from having to troubleshoot 3rd party RAM upon finding an error.

    Edit: I went for the Powerbook when I got my laptop. At the time the iBook was a 700Mhz G3. If I had gotten that, I'd practically need an upgrade already. And my Tibook is still going strong.
  10. Buckyball macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Bought a 12" PowerBook, love it


    I thought I'd share my recent experience and why we went with a PowerBook. We needed to replace my wife's old computer; I swayed her away from an HP. She travels for work as an interpreter to foreign visitors. We purchased a refurb 12" PB with SuperDrive for $1549 and added on an Airport Extreme card.

    We wanted a small, portable computer. That meant the 12" PB or iBook. DVI out and the SuperDrive were the two critical reasons we went for the PowerBook. It'll plug into the LCD monitor at home when a larger display is needed. I want to go with a straight digital display for home and that means DVI out. We were recently married and plan to have kids at some point; burning DVDs will be great for family.

    Speed and style are the other criteria. The PB will moderately outperform an iBook, but the speed difference between the two systems wasn't critical for our needs. Style was a lesser concern, but not a negligible one. The brushed aluminum PBs look terrific; I like the iBook, but it strikes me as a home/student computer.

    The PowerBook is also a bit smaller and lighter than the 12" iBook. The PB actually fits in a purse, no small thing when you're travelling from city to city. We picked up a neoprene sleeve for it for protection.
  11. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Question: I know it's a foregone conclusion that in most cases if you open your system (Laptops.) that its voids the warrantee. But I have to ask. Would Apple know if I opened the system if I ever had to take it in for repairs?
    The reason I'm asking is because whenever Apple comes out with a G5 17" PowerBook I'm most likely going to rip out the 5400RPM drive is probably going to ship with and replace it with a speedy 7200RPM drive. What I'd probably end up doing is get the cheapest drive available that ships with the PowerBook and remove it and slap the 7200 drive in there. In the event I have to take it in for repairs I would put the original drive back into the system. Would they know? Is there a label seal or something on the system?
  12. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    The ibook is the only avaliable consumer laptop that I know of Still using a 180nm CPU. All others are on 130nm, and the new XServe is in a 90nm chip.

    Go a powerbook, while not as powerful as the AMD64 based laptops:p, It's one hell of a step up from the ibook
  13. Crooked Finger macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2004
    i figure if money were no option you wouldn't be asking the question (ie, if they were the same price, what would you buy: 12" pb or 12" ibook?). i'm a student and bought a 12" ibook b/c the few hundred i saved is a good start on a different computer in 2-3 years, which I'll inevitably get regardless of this purchase. of course i won't actually save the money, so maybe i should have gotten a pb to stretch out the purchase.... :)
  14. latergator116 macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2003
    Providence, RI
    I think as long as you have an Apple Authorized repair center put in the 7200rpm, it won't void the warranty. You should call apple about this though...
  15. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I think the 7445/55 chips used in the current iBooks (and i/eMacs) are now built on the .13 micron process. The original 7445/55 used the .18 process, but somewhere along the line, they switched processes.

    Not sure where I read this, but someone else might remember.
  16. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    The 12" Powerbook is not one hell of a step up from an iBook. The difference is minute. If you don't need DVD burning, the iBook is the best bang for the buck.
  17. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    I agree. Go the iBook or wait the next Rev of the 12" PB - G5 perhaps.
  18. fBaran thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2003
    Thank you all for your advice and input. I will be getting an iBook as soon as I sell my ThinkPad. The only question is: 12" or 14"! I've been to Apple in Soho and tried both. It seems that the image (or webpage, whatever) is proportionally scaled down to fit the screen the same as the 14", and vice versa. Any one with comments? Thanks again!
  19. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    now that ibook has the G4, a cd burner/dvd in all models, and usb 2, that is the choice at S1099 usd

    the powerbook line needs to distinguish itself by being much more powerful if one is to pay $1599 usd and up...either get two G4 processors in the powerbook models or move to a G5 in the powerbooks...then they can justify the price over a $1099 G4 ibook

    now if apple can't deliver a dualie G4 or single G5 powerbook, then for the five hundred extra dollars for the starting powerbook, apple should offer superdrive in the entry level powerbook and load the machine with more ram...that will justify that extra five hundred dollars

    another idea would be to keep the powerbook line at the same price but offer applecare on those models...when ibm sells its better laptops, they offer the machines with a built in extended warranty

    apple inc has started to catch up on the speed issue with the great G5, now they just need to lower prices to catch up on the value for dollar ratio as opposed to the pc market
  20. slightly macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2003
    Beacon, NY
    Depends on your system. The list of "Customer-installable parts" (ie what you can install without losing your warranty) varies from machine to machine - for example, you're allowed to replace the HD in the early PowerBook G4s, but not the latest models.

  21. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Well, the 14" and 12" iBooks both have the same screen resolution (at 1024x768). You won't gain anymore screen space while going with the 14". You get the extra portability if you go with the 12". I say 12", but that's just me.
  22. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    A 12" iBook will meet the needs stated in the original post. It is not ideal for games, video editing, or 3D graphics but will be just fine for most other uses.
  23. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    i'd go powerbook all the way

    first of all i personally don't like the 14inches at all!!! now if you do that might be another story... as far as the insides go powerbook is a lot better and a lot more features too.

    don't be worried about how it will run in 2 years either especially if your just doing email/word/itunes etc.

    i have a 700mhz ibook that is almost 2 years old and i run it to death with some pro audio apps and it still works (not very well though) but i have panther and whenever i'm just doing regular old stuff its fantastically fast still. a 12 inch powerbook should power your way for a few years.

    would you wait until the next upgrade comes out? (probably not to long from now hopefully)

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