Should I buy the 17in powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MVMadhavan, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. MVMadhavan macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2004
    Hey guys, im new to this board and to macs in general.
    I haven't had a mac years. I am currently using a dell dimension laptop with like 900mhz and 256mb of ram. i am strongly considering buying a 17in powerbook, however there are some issues that i would like your input on. i will be entering my first year of college in the fall.

    1. is it worth waiting for the g5 powerbooks?
    2. is the 17 in powerbook easy to transport(i mean 6 pounds much lighter than my dell, but do you guys ever have problems moving it around?)
    3. theres always that stigma with apple and compatability. i know there are numerous computer labs with macs, but do you think ill ever really have a problem with compatability and windows users?
    4. if i do go with the powerbook itll have to last at least 4 years, what specs do you think would be reasonable for this ..ram, graphics card, etc.

    thanks for the help.
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Welcome, possibly, to the club!

    You might want to consider the 15" as well (see below).

    No. You're looking at an absolute minimum of 9 months, probably much more, before a G5 PB will be available (as in "shipping").

    Lots of people are fans of the 15" as a compromise. Unless you need the screen all the time (remember, you can hook up a second monitor to expand your desktop area when not roaming with the PB), the 15" is often seen as better because it's a bit smaller. The 17" screen is quite nice, and you might feel that you need it, and you won't regret it. But the 15" is cheaper and probably big enough, but also more portable.

    No. Or, maybe, rarely. And Virtual PC 7 (VPC 7) will be out soon - and VPC 6.1 is out already - in case you need PC compatibility. Most college students have zero problems with their Macs, although your mileage may vary.

    Max out video - you can't upgrade it. Get fastest hard drive (or else plan to hack in a faster disk later). Buy RAM from elsewhere (but somewhere reputable: Crucial, Kingston, etc.), just make sure your configuration leaves a free RAM stick slot - i.e., get a 1-DIMM configuration, not a 2-DIMM one, so you can upgrade (or get the cheapest config and throw out both sticks to add in replacements - an expensive option).

    And the PB will last 4 years - but they hold their value well, so you could sell it and upgrade later!

    Good luck! If you get the PB, you'll be very happy with it. Seriously, you might lose sleep just because you can't put it down. Have fun....
  3. MrSugar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2003
    Great post, I second that.

    And that is coming from a 17" user, I got a rev A 17 and love it to death, but if the 15" had been out in Aluminum when I bought. I would have gotten it.
  4. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I totally agree as well.

    1. Definatly not worth the wait. Your looking at atleast a year before it is in your hands.

    2. 17" is totally portable but it can be a bit of pain to carry around all the time. I would say only get the 17" if you truly need the extra screen real estate.

    3. Very rarely will you have a problem with compatability unless your on a campus that is PC only or something like that.

    4. Take a look at my setup in my sig. I didn't get the super drive because i really don't have a need for it. I got the upgraded vram because i'm into gaming. But the most important thing you should definatly get is the upgraded 5400 rpm HD. You will not regret it. You only need 512 ram to run the machine for normal everyday use. If your into serious video editing and other things, i would recommend 1 gig of ram. With the student discount it came out to $2209.00 plus about $200 for shipping. I also got mine with a free printer.

    Good luck!!!
  5. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I fully agree with all the above comments...

    I contemplated switching forever.
    I loved the idea of a G5 Powerbook...
    but I have been a proud owner of a 1.5GHz 17" Powerbook for almost a month - and WOW!
    Even have had some hard and fast (anti Mac) IT mates drewl and be impresed!

    Just do it - I haven't even thought about looking back.
  6. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    if the G5 iMacs are coming out in September then i'd think that a G5 PowerBook couldnt' be far behind. if it is, that would be a very bad scenario for Apple, having a computer from the consumer line with way better specs than their Pro line. :(

    if you can wait until September, then i'd say just wait. but if you really want it now, just go for it and get the max specs that you can afford.

    being an owner of two PBs, a beautiful TiBook and now a Rev.A AlPB i've waited a couple of months for each of these, following the rumors to make sure i got the latest, and both time it paid off. however when i was waiting for the AlPB i had sold my TiBook, so i was Mac-less and had to wait about 4 or 5 months :eek: but my PC was enough, and MacRumors kept me going. :D but it did pay off in the end.

    my advice to anyone is wait as long as you can, but also have a look at the buyers guide, and read up on previous releases so you can get a feel for how Apple releases things. but the G5 PB would be quite different than other releases i'd say.
  7. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I use VPC, i have had no problems with compatibility problem. If you dont really need a 17" dont get it unless you are looking for a desktop replacment. My friend has a 17" PB, he likes it. He dose take it to work and sometime when he comes over, he tells me that he has no problmes with moving it around. The best thing is to go to an apple store and try them out befor you comite to buy anything.
  8. fingers macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2004
    I recently got a 17" PB and am very happy with it. Sure a G5 PB would rock - but NOW i have a very capable machine that copes with anything I throw at it with aplomb. I had a 15" TiBook before - which was fantastic too. I do like the 17" screensize tho. it makes a big difference for my work. The store where I bought my 17" from had an almost identically specced 17" windows laptop sitting right next to the PB. Ok the apple machine was a LITTLE bit more expensive (5%) - but the windows machine looked like a kids toy in comparison - ugly and just plain bulky in cheap plastic. Urgh..

    Anyway - if a G4 will do what you want then get one - it's portable, fast and will hold it's value. It's a real joy to use on your lap or on your desk. I have no idea when G5 PB's will debut, and will be gutted when they do but the bar is always being raised - the important point is will it do NOW what you want it to do? If so get one now - who knows what tomorrow holds?
  9. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I had to use a work based laptop (Toshiba) yesterday...
    and YUCK!
    How quickly I have become a Mac snob!
    The laptop was only 18 months old... but it looked fat and clunky...
    the keys felt plastics and horrible...
    the screen seemed like it was out of focus...
    and EWWWW Windoze...

    sigh - God I love my 17" Powerbook
  10. Koree macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2004
    Listen to the previous posts

    I don't disagree with a single thing up there ^^

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