Powerbook vs iBook...Help?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ortuno2k, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. ortuno2k macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hollywood, FL
    Hey ya guys...I'm in a bit of a confusion here.
    I very well know the pros and cons of each system, of course, the powerbook being a much better and faster machine.
    But I find it very hard to decide for either one. I have the money for either one but it's hard choosing.
    Also, how about between the 12" or the 15"? The 14" iBook is out of the question, since the screen doesn't look as nice, so I'd consider a 12" iBook and 12" PB and 15" PB. How well does the 12" hold screen-size-wise? I'm afraid it might be "too small" in the real world. It looks small as it is at the Apple Store...
    I really like the backlit keyboard on the 15" PB and the resolution, it's SO sweet!
    Is the price worth it? I mean, a 12" iBook for $999.99 or $500 more for a similar 12" PB or $1000 more for a beast 15" PB. :eek:
    Last thing...should I wait 'till Apple releases their newer model of either the iBook or PowerBook to make a decision?

    Also, I also have a fairly new (5 month old) 20" iMac at home, so the laptop won't be my main machine.
    I'm a college student too....so? Any ideas or suggestions...Thanks.
    I'm all confused :confused:
    PS: Sorry for the lenghty post :)
  2. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2005
    the Netherlands
    I would wait until next month as it is rumoured that cheaper and better Intel-laptops will be coming out. Personally, I'm a student also and have a 12" iBook as a second machine and am very happy about it. For me the keyboard and screen are of a good size, and I like the portability and battery-life of 4+ hours. Best thing you can do to test if it's comfortable, is to go to your nearest Apple-store and test them out. Of course, you did not say much about what types of applications you would like to use? The iBook can handle wordprocession, some photoshop, and some stragegy games quite well, it is not high-performance!
  3. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    all depends on how bad you need the Mac now?

    i would ( at this time of year ) go for a refurb , just incase His Royal Steveyness decides to flip the Mac world on it's head in Jan with some new iBook/Powerbook

    12" ibook v's 12" powerbook v's 15" powerbook

    12" ibook -simple cheap portability
    12" Powerbook -rugged and robust portability
    15" Powerbook -more productive with portability
  4. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    The price differential is an obstacle for many, but since you stated you have the money for any of the models being considered, that issue drops in importance. You are understandably partial to the 15" PB, so you might be somewhat disenchanted with the only iBook you would buy, the 12" model.

    The 12" iBook is a wonderful value for the price, but not if you will routinely be thinking how you could have had something bigger and better. Speaking of the backlit logo, I was in Starbucks last night and five people were taking advantage of the wireless internet access and it was fun to see the PB's well represented. They do have an alluring way of making people crane their necks to look in their direction.

    As to waiting, there are always potential issues with the upcoming Intel switch. You have a good system now at home, but portability is the selling point for college students. If urgency at school is not an issue, perhaps you can ride things out a bit.

    The soundest recommendation is generally the one that tells someone to go with what will make them the happiest, despite comparable performance from alternative choices. In your gut you know the answer to your question ... follow that feeling and be truly content.
  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    something to think about

    I recently stopped a friend from jumping out the "window" and she purchased a 14" iBook. It arrived Friday morning via FX.

    When we first talked she wasn't interested in using it for the internet since she had an old iMac at work (2blocks from her home), but I showed her that the iBook would have wireless built in. She mainly wanted it for a CD language course she is working on for a trip to Europe. No big deal, Right?

    Monday afternoon she emails me how wonderful it is but wants to know about the Verizon Wireless Nationwide service.... ooppps. No PCMCIA slot on an iBook.

    Any suggestions? Maybe a USB cable for her cell phone? (Which is Verizon also. And cost is not a problem.)
  6. osustudent macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Best suggestion: Talk to Verizon. Whenever I've had issues when exploring things like that service, they've been pretty good. Other than that, I have no idea! :rolleyes:
  7. ortuno2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hollywood, FL
    I really appreciate your honest comments. I think my gut instinct drives me towards the 15" PB.
    I think I'll play with it a bit more at the Apple Store and finally take the jump once January comes. Let's see what Mr. Jobs has under his sleeve.
    Thanks :)
  8. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    I might be the only person here who like teh ibook over the powerbook, the keyboard feels nicers. They look nicer aswell thou maybe people disagree with me on this point. One of the main reason i got an ibook was for the battery life and that it has better wifi access (i tested it with my friends PB so ya it better).
  9. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I took the iBook over the Powerbook for the very same reasons. I like how the white of the iBook looks compared to the aluminum of the Powerbook and also, since the plastic won't break and bend as easily as the metal of the iBook, I'm able to take it on the el and to school and not worry about the computer much. Sure, my iBook is scratched, but that doesn't mean much to me. I could take the time to remove the scratches. It's a whole lot easier to remove the scratches from an iBook than the dents from a Powerbook.

    Not to mention I like the 6 hour battery life I get with my 14" iBook and the Airport strength I get.
  10. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    So, yes it looks like you should be able to use a USB cable or even BlueTooth (since all current iBooks have it standard) and a NationalAccess compatible phone.

  11. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    USB data cables are probably the way to go here - Verizon and Bluetooth are an interesting pair. Basically, depending on the phone model, Bluetooth is crippled to only work with headsets and carkits - no support for OBEX, no support for dialup networking. On some Verizon phones, if you dial ##DIALUP really quickly, it will enable DUN, but this isn't across the board. Also, Verizon only sells a couple models compatible with iSync.
  12. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    I just found out she has Cingular with a Nokia 6340.

    I haven't had time to check it out yet.
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Fellow student here...
    I started off w/ a 12" 1.33GHz PowerBook.
    Then I got the current, 12" 1.33GHz iBook.

    Given a choice between the two of them as is, right now? I'd pick the iBook over the PB any day! Why?

    • better battery life (6ish hours vs. the PB's 4ish)
    • better wi-fi reception (full bars vs the PB's barely one or two)
    • runs much cooler (physically, to the touch, the PB would get too hot to use)
    • I don't have to 'baby' it
    • like you, my main machine is a 20" iMac (don't need an amazing portable screen, don't need more HP, etc.)
    • the 12" PB doesn't feel that much faster than the iBook
    • INCREDIBLE value for the iBook as it is

    As a student, those above capabliites/characteristics meant more to me in a supplemental portable than say, an 'awesome' display, or backlit keyboard. I don't want to feel pressured to conserve battery like some maniac. I don't want to go to a library/café and find that I don't get great wi-fi reception. I don't want to drop tons of $$$, especially since it's not my primary machine.

    What would make me choose a PB over the iBook?

    -very slim form factor (negligible when I'm carrying in a backpack)
    -native ability to power external display (negligible because the portable is NOT the primary machine and because the iBook has a successful hack to do so)
    -overall aesthetics (as a student, I can't justify the price difference for that :p)

    Plus... the iBook + iMac is a hugely popular set up. I love it. Look around here on MR. There are tons of other members who have and love this set up as well. :D
  14. indigoblu macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I recently switched from a 12" iBook to a 15" PB. I know there are advantages to the iBook which are listed in other postings. But here are a few other unmentioned POWERBOOK advantages:
    1. You can switch the battery with a second one without powering down, so in a sense battery life is almost 10 hours when you have two batteries. iBooks require you to powerdown, which is time consuming.
    2. Better screen resolution, I need is for my eyes. I have a friend with a 12" PB which he loves and he will never go bigger. But I like the 15" format.
    3. Easy to use an external monitor (may not be important if the notebook is not your primary computer).

    Honestly for a student, the iBook is a smart choice, especially since it won't be your primary computer. The casing is more durable. But the 14" resolution is not that great; and your power is limited. I never thought I'd like the backlit keyboard so much but I LOVE it. iBook gets better airport reception yes, but I'm never in a location where it makes a difference. Where will you be computing? Do you have a friend with a PB that you could test drive in those locations? PB gets warm on my lap but it doesn't bother me (hopefully I won't have testicular cancer in the future lol).

    And my advice is not to wait for new PBs. The first model may have some kinks to work out and they may not be released until next summer - we really don't know. The current PB is a wonderful machine, I got mine in May and I love it. There is some screen warping and dents are a threat with Al, but it doesn't bother me.

    Hope this helps. Good luck and HAVE FUN with whatever you decide!
  15. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    That is one valid point... but that only works with the 15" PB and NOT the 12" PB. Also, not everyone buys a 'spare' battery. :eek:
  16. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    The 1.33 ghz 15" refurb powerbook would be awfully tempting. All of the benefits of the powerbook, the larger screen, the backlit keyboard, for $1299. That's actually a notch up from the powerbook I use for my main machine (a 1.25 ghz), and honestly, it feels just as responsive as the faster powerbooks I've used. Plus the battery lasts longer. On conservative settings, I get around 4 hours. Not the 6 hours that the ibookers rave about, but 4 hours is generally plenty. You'll want to upgrade the memory in any of these machines, so drop $80 on a gig stick of ram, and you're good for a long time.

    Plus, if the intelbooks turn out to be all that, I'd be hard pressed to believe that you won't be able to still get a price around what you paid for it. The powerbooks tend to hold their value better than the ibooks do.
  17. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005

    • Well, you must be doing very light work on the iBook, because I'll get 4 hours at most on my 1.33 GHz 12" iBook using just Safari and wireless (without using Bluetooth). Better than a Powerbook, but definitely not 6. I also don't notice much difference between my dad's 1GHz 15" PB and my iBook in Airport Extreme reception; they both do very well. Also, my iBook gets very warm when playing games or performing high-end tasks; although not lap-scaldingly warm like Powerbooks, still very uncomfortable.
      Even so, the iBook is a better fit for students IMO, and the far better value. Powerbooks just aren't that powerful any more, and won't be until the Intel books come out (and I for one doubt we'll see Intel iBooks in January, they do not need iBooks closing the performance gap with Powerbooks even further).
  18. ortuno2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hollywood, FL
    The only reason why I might choose the 12" PB over the 12" iBook is to be able to ocassionally play WoW on it, like when I'm at friend's house or waiting at school or something...who knows when you'll have some spare time.
    Anyone here plays WoW on a 12" PB or iBook?
    If WoW plays decent on a 12" iBook, then I guess I'll look no further and take the jump for it.
  19. Morn macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2005
    I'd get the ibook if I had to get a laptop now. With mactel just next year, I wouldn't put much money into a dying ship, powerpc.
  20. ortuno2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hollywood, FL
    This is what i've decided.
    I went for the 15" PB and ordered it from Amazon. If it works fine and no issues, it's very likely that I'll sell my iMac on ebay or something.
    I have no needs for 2 Macs...at least I don't think. I'd use the laptop more often than the iMac.
    Oh well....

    Thanks to everyone for their comments :)

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