Purchasing 12" laptop tomorrow... advice??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hasselhoff, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. hasselhoff macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004
    I know there's already quite a few iBook vs PB debates on here... but this one's a little more-specific. So bare with me.

    I'm going to be buying a laptop tomorrow for my wife. She's going to do basic, everyday tasks with it (email, web, iTunes/iPod, office, etc).

    I've narrowed my search down to 2 specific configurations:

    1. New 12" iBook from Apple, BTO option of 80GB HD. $1099.

    2. Refurbished 12" PB (1.5GHz) from the Apple Store, Combo Drive, 60 GB HD, 512MB. $1199.

    So... how do you guys feel about the extra 100 for the PB, as well as the 20 GB drop in HD vs. the increase in processor speed and graphics card?

    Thanks in advance for your help! ;)
  2. macmaniacttt macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2004
    definitely the powerbook

    while I'm definitely a little biased (as a 1.5 year 12" PowerBook owner who's never been happier with a computer), but if I were you, I would definitely, definitely go with the PowerBook. I have seen such a speed difference between the PowerBook and iBook, even while doing the basic stuff such as you listed. Plus, the PowerBook is much less clunky (though both are incredibly slim compared to most PC laptops).

    Either way though, you'll definitely love your decision. Person + Apple Laptop = :D


    p.s. if you have any more questions, feel free to email me (macmaniacttt@gmail.com)
  3. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    60Gb's should be manageable for general purpose stuff, unless your wife is planning to organise a large Music collection with iTunes - then the 80Gb drive may be better - since you seem to loose the first ~23Gb's to OSX apps. There doesn't seem to be any other advantage for the tasks you've listed, esp. since the PBook you've listed doesn't have a Super-drive.

    I've ordered the same iBook option you've listed. The 40Gb drive just isn't big enough IMO and although 60Gb is manageable (esp. since it will be my secondary machine), the 80Gb should offer more flexibility on the road, for storing movie media & picture content.

    Battery duration and Wireless reception may be pro's for the iBook vs. the PBook.
  4. rose red macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2005
    nw england
    Could you let her choose? Or if you are willing to spend $1199, why not the iBook and give her $100 for a bag.
  5. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone... is there any specific data for the battery and wifi reception on the iBook vs PBook? Is it that much different?
  6. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004

    Not to sound disrespectful to the Mrs., but me asking her to pick out a lappy is like her asking me what shoes to wear with her outfit...
  7. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    I'm sure there's some data somewhere, but I understand it's generally thought that the iBooks have better WiFi reception because of the plastic casing, rather than the PBook's metal. The battery life between the two 12inch machines could be very close - but battery life is one of the iBook pro's that is regularly mentioned, esp. good for students in classes etc.

    ... or $100 for that pairs of shoes! :D
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Yeah, I reckon go with the iBook, more HDD space is more likely to be helpful to your wife than the faster processor and better graphics of the PowerBook. The iBook has the edge in wireless reception, battery life and in my opinion it runs much cooler than the PowerBook. If you aren't too worried about the extra hundred bucks, maybe buy more RAM (third party) for the iBook or even bump the HDD further if it fits within the budget.

    The iBook is also brand new, forgive me but I'm always a bit skeptical about second hand computers - good though Apple's refurbs are I'd always prefer a new one to a used one.
  9. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004
    I'm starting to agree with this thoery, too. I just finished reading through endless threads on the apple discussion forums regarding PB's running at 160 degrees or higher!

    One more question - I can get an extra 512 MB of RAM for $40 versus a 1 GB stick for $104. Is it worth springing the additional cash to max out the iBook?
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The price is very close indeed and normally a new Superdrive equipped 12"
    PowerBook would be $500 more than the 12" iBook.

    If your wife would appreciate the difference in appearance and the fact that she has DVI out for connections to a larger display and the improved VRAM and would not have a problem with you buying her a previously adored 12" PB then yes.

    The 12" iBook being spanking new and having the scrolling track pad and motion sensor is a very nice machine.

    My daughter opened hers yesterday and she's delighted.

    Tough call.
  11. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    No question here...gotta show my love for the Powerbook...
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    well, the graphics on the 12" PB are not really better. It's twice the VRAM but the chip is a lot worse.

    Still, I guess I'd go powerbook because it's smaller, nicer keyboard, and a little faster. Close call - no wrong answer.
  13. Metatron macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2002
    Sure...don't buy an apple 12 in. powerbook.

    Rumor has it that they are going out of production...
    the resolution is way to low for real world use (at least my world)
    you will kick youself with the intel version comes out...

    the metatron
  14. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004

    Isn't the resolution the same on both the iBook and the PB?
  15. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada

    That's the thing with Rumour's, no one really knows. I think in situations like this, you just go with what's available when you need it. The other thing is that the new machines will risk having the RevA blues - so you could be kicking yourself for waiting for ages, before finally getting an Intel machine, then having it go wrong on you.

    The possible alternative is of course that the existing machines will be reduced in price - time for a 'bargain'.
  16. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    I think the iBook is probably the better option, however don't forget that the PB looks and feels better IMO. The keyboard and trackpad of the iBook feel somewhat cheap to me but on the PB they are much much better. Ask your wife which one she prefers and just go with that....either way she won't be disappointed.
  17. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004
    Thanks for all the help, everyone. After way too much thought, I opted to go for the refurb'd powerbook. I figure it's early enough still that if it looks "used" or doesn't work properly, I'll still have time to exhange it before Christmas.

    It should be here on Monday, and I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks again!
  18. Ph4lynx macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2004
    University Place

    Buy the powerbook... she'll love you more, guaranteed...
  19. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    Late to the discussion, my 2¢

    I have obviously arrived late to this discussion, however, having owned both machines; I gotta go with the iBook. The battery life is far superior on the ibook (I'm getting about 6 hours doing everyday things), as is the airport reception. In using them, I have found the ibook to be as fast or faster (1.25 Ram) in most day to day activities. The clincher is the scratching of the palmrest and exterior. I wear watches when I work, both metal bands and rubber bands... :), the palmrest on the watch side after about a month was pretty scratched up. I'd try to remember to take my watch off, but would sometimes forget. I loved the look of the Aluminum, but I think as a whole, the iBook wears better. Also, the iBook has a more tactile feel, when I'm carrying it closed, it never feels like it's going to slip out. The PB made me nervous as it did feel like it was going to slip sometimes. I've had two iBooks, and the older one (now my wife's) still looks pretty good. As for the keyboard, I think the keyboard in my new iBook is better than the one on my old. Maybe I'm used to the iBook keyboards, but I feel more comfortable on those compared to the PB's. Either way your wife will be terribly thrilled! I agree with an earlier post however and advise getting a good bag for either machine. Good Luck and Enjoy!
  20. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004

    I ordered the 12" refurb powerbook on Wednesday, and it showed up this morning. For some reason, FedEx found it acceptable to leave it in it's box sitting in front of my house in about 3" of snow. Nice start.

    I opened it, and after a pretty thorough inspection, I'm already on hold to send it back to apple. I'm listing the problems below:

    1. Dead Pixel. Just one, but it's literally right in the middle of the screen.

    2. The screw that unlocks the battery is severely stripped.

    3. There are 2 very small dents underneath the CD slot.

    4. The latch isn't woking correctly. You have to press it in pretty hard in order for it to open. Sometimes, that doesn't even work.

    So - I called Apple. At first, they wanted me to send this pb back to them. Then, in 5-7 business days, they'd credit my account for the purchase... then, I could re-order another one.

    I then began to act pretty upset, and went on and on about how unacceptable that is (my Apple Business Rep told me that their customer service will repsond faster if you're angry- no joke)... and they're going to be shipping me another one early next week.

    All in all, I'm glad I started this process early. It might take 2-3 tries to get a "perfect" one by Christmas.
  21. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    Have a great time and don't forget your credit card! I love buying a new computer - it's a great feeling! :D

    EDIT - Oops - sorry, obviously too late (always!)
  22. hasselhoff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2004

    Well, after replacing my first refurb, Apple sent me a third -- and this time it seems to be a charm. There was a 100gb HDD (vs. the 60gb it was supposed to have), as well as 762mb of RAM (vs 512).

    Looks perfect, works great. But there was one small problem. When I first took delivery, I opened the box, unwrapped the sealed powerbook, examined it closely, opened it ... and saw a small piece of something hanging out of the keyboard. I pulled it out, and -- I'm not kidding -- it was a PUBIC HAIR!!!!:eek:
  23. PowerMike G5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2005
    New York, NY
    well those refurbs certainly come with more surprises than just extra RAM :eek:
  24. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    Note to myself: don't buy a refurb; go with a new one (I am allergic to the second hand computers and cars).
  25. Daeman macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2005
    North curry/Chester Uni
    I think i must have been extremely lucky. I choose the 12" PB over the 12" IB. i bought it refub from apple and it looks feels and certainly spells like a new PB :D its such a breath of fresh air for me after many years of windows. its amazing. lol havnt not worked with a IB i cant really say anything apart from how happy i am with my PB.
    Good luck with the purchase and happy christmas

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