Should I trade my 15" for a 12"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wowoah, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. wowoah macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Hey everyone, I have a buying decision to make and I'd appreciate any input anyone can give me.

    I have a 1GHz 15" Ti PowerBook SuperDrive that I've been using for the past 7-8 months. It's awesome, I love it to death, and although I've had a few problems with it (3 AppleCare send-ins since I've purchased it), I still would never go back to the PC. That being said, I've become really enticed by the 12" recently. It's so much smaller with a nicer keyboard and all these amenities, and I've realized that I barely ever use the rest of this massive screen. I'm a busy college student, and as much as I'd LOVE to go make movies or music, I really don't have time. Thus, all this processing power ends up going to taking notes or writing reports, which really only takes up 2/3 of this screen.

    Now, I have an opportunity to make this happen. My student store is offering a special: 1GHz, 12", 256MB, 40GB, Combo Drive, Airport, 3-Yr AppleCare, and a 15GB iPod for $1700, which I think is seriously unbeatable. Looking at how PowerBooks are selling on eBay now, if I sold this PowerBook along with my current 10G iPod, I could probably get at least that much, at least I hope.

    So finally my questions: (1) Does anyone have excellent experiences with the 12" that they'd like to share with me? I still don't know if I'm going to regret all the screen real estate. (2) Does anything else think this is a good plan? (3) I bought this powerbook from the student store <1 yr ago, which violates apple's little student thing. Will they check, or will they care if I'm replacing it with another apple? (Isn't that agreement just to prevent profiteering off the discount anyway?)
  2. DreaminDirector macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2002
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    It's sounds like a great deal to me. I'm pretty much doing the same thing as you. I just sold my 800mhz 15" TiBook for $1400 to go to the next revision 12" AlBook. I, too, realize I just don't need the screen size when I'm on the go. I've got a desktop at home so I do all of my photoshop and editing on that. On the go, I realize I just write. So, a 12" powerbook just felt like a better choice.

    And if you want to edit movies when you do have the time, you'll have the power and you can hook up and external monitor if you need more screen space.

    I say go for the 12". That deal sounds unbeatable.
  3. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    I am in the same boat you are. I have the 1gig ti book with superdrive and I am also thinking about replacing it with a 12 inch powerbook. As of right now, I plan to wait until the next 12 inch revision which should be right around the corner. I think you should wait it out as well because newer models tend to have faster procs as well as improved video capabilities. And by then you most like not be in violation of Apple's one mac per year for students rule.
  4. ProcrasT8 macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2003
    Based on what you have mentioned (not a particular need for a larger screen, you don't dabble a whole lot with heavy processing stuff aka video/music software and you're a student), the 12" would seem to be a perfect fit for you. Not that there's anything wrong with the current machine that you have. I suppose you should seriously consider what you plan on doing with your Mac for the forseeable future (your needs may change once you graduate, find a job, etc.), and see if your 15" might be a better solution down the road.

    Personally, if I had the 15" PowerBook (which I don't), I wouldn't sell it off to get the 12" PowerBook (which I do have), but that's just me. Considering that you're a student, which probably means that you generally do not have a lot of spare cash lying around, selling off what you have right now to downgrade (with the only advantage being portability for the 12", and even then it's not a significantly overwhelming advantage over the 15") would seem like a poor decision.

    However, if you haven't bought your 15" PowerBook yet and are considering to get the 12" or the 15", I would wholeheartedly recommend getting the 12" in a heartbeat. It is designed for people like you, you can trust me on this. I have had my 12" PowerBook for about 6 months now and I move around a lot, I have no regrets purchasing it. Like I have mentioned before, one of the strongest point of the 12" is portability. The small, compact design tends to make carrying around the laptop a breeze. The resolution is somewhat low in my opinion (1024 X 768) but I eventually got used to it, not that it wouldn't hurt to have the LCD at a higher resolution.

    That should pretty much answer both question 1 and 2. As for question no. 3, I doubt Apple would really care that much (I think) with regards to the educational discount thing. I've known some people getting Apple computer from the Apple store and the staff would simply take your word for it if you would like to apply the educational discount.
  5. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    In my experience, the 12'' powerbook has two big advantages over the 15'' TiBook (other than being more portable).

    The display sits higher off of the keyboard so you never get funny lines marked on your display

    The casing is harder/thicker so if theres pressure against the back of the lid it doesnt make funny colors on the display
  6. shwetty273 macrumors newbie

    Feb 29, 2004
    By far, the best feature in the 12 inch powerbook (and the entire al line) is the keyboard. It is far superior to the 15inch TI powerbook. The quality of the screen in the 12 inch, however, is very poor when compared to the 15 inch. Unless you are positioned at a perfect angle with the screen, all of the colors are off. This happens to a degree with all lcds, but on the 12 inch powerbook/ibook it is extremely noticeable and irritating. If I were you, I would keep your powerbook, but if you couldn’t care less about the screen, go with the 12 inch powerbook.
  7. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    Played with the 12"?

    Have you laid hands on the 12"? I think that'll tell you whether you can love it as much if not more than the Ti you own now.

    I have a 12" and I adore it. Note that plugs will be on the side, not in the back, and without headphones, the sound isn't very good (with headphones, its just fine). I don't know if these things make any difference to you. And while you might not need all that screen, will you be able to adjust quick and easy to there not being so much screen? Some folk find the screen too small.

    For me, the switch was no problem. But then, I moved from a clamshell to a 12". Smaller screen, but it's so beautiful. I can tell you that the lightness and smallness of the 12" never ceases to amaze me. It fits neatly under plane seats, on tray tables, on tiny Starbuck's coffee tables (with room to spare for coffee!). I carry it in a backpack and I hardly know its there. Incredibly easy, as well, to slip it in and out of its bag one handed. I like being able to take it out and put it away very quickly.

    And as said, the keyboard cannot be beat.

    In the end, however, you'd best play on one before you buy--if you haven't already. Appealing as they may be, I know a few Ti owners who regret switching to an Al, and I know some folk who went from 15" to 12" only to find the 12" screen too small for their liking. If you play on one, see it up close, then you'll know if you're going to love it as much if not more than your current Ti. If, in short, the differences are going to bother you--or if you're going to prefer them to what you have. In which case--make the switch. You won't reget it. The 12" is a beautiful machine.
  8. sworthy macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2002
    I made a similar switch, but realized I didn't use my superdrive, and I netted $300 from switching to the 12".

    I love all the little things about the Al series; the keyboard and the sturdiness are the main improvements.

    The big downgrade you'll notice is that the quality of the screen is more like an ibook than the 15".

    Portability is definitely enhanced, but if you don't have a monitor at home the small screen may be annoying. Once your used to something bigger, 1024x768 may seem fairly small.

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