Thoughts before getting ibook12 (powerbook maybe?)

xalia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2006
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I was in a store today checking again the ibook12”. I also play a little with the powerbook and I start thinking about it ;) . The powerbook will give me a larger disk drive and a dvd-r. I am willing to pay a little extra if I am gonna to enjoy it more and having it for more time. I want to know a little more about about ibook12” in comparison with the powerbook12”. Battery life? Performance? Durability? :confused:
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
From my experiences the battery life, performance and durability are eerily similar in the two machines. The PowerBook has a few extra features such as the ability to screen span without a hack (put the Desktop on an external display) but the iBook has vastly superior WiFi reception.

Irrespective, I would consider waiting until either machine goes Intel in the not to distant future. :)
 

xalia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2006
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The thing is that the macintels will be around 2000euros here in Greece. Although I can't wait more than 2 weeks, because the next semester starts at 02/15/06. One more thing is that I don't want to be a risky owner of the first release! And i like portability! That's why I am looking for 12” laptops.
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
40
I have the 12" pb 1.5 and have had many 12" ibooks, including last revision.

I like the iBooks because they are more resilient. But the pbs are cooler for some reason. If I hadn't got the pb for such a good price I would probably have gone for the iBook.
 

xalia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2006
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I am shocked reading that the ibook is more durable than powerbook! :eek: So the mac laptop with the best battery life is the 14” ibook?? it has a dvd-r and it is close to the powerbook 12” specs. Oh I am confused now! :confused:
 

dr427

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2005
121
0
Oklahoma City
After looking at all the specs side by side, I see why the 15" Powerbook is probably the best value (at least a refurbed one).
 

TaKashMoney

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2005
298
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Great link MadJew- I wish that was available when I was purchasing. But to add my own opinion- with portability you cant go wrong with either 12". The thing that made me purchase the iBook was the performance to price ratio. As you have ruled out Intel possibilities, I feel that you wont be able to see much differences in performance. Furthermore, with the last update of the iBook, all of the intangibles (scrolling track pad, motion sensor, bluetooth) are identical. What you will have to decide is if the extra money, arguably less durable but slightly smaller case, slightly worse wifi reception and battery life, is worth the dvd-rw, better keyboard, official screen span, more but slower v-ram, and slightly faster processor speed. If money is no issue than of course go with the Pbook. But also consider using the money to increase RAM and HD on an iBook. RAM is a surprising determining factor of performance.
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
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xalia said:
I am shocked reading that the ibook is more durable than powerbook! :eek: So the mac laptop with the best battery life is the 14” ibook?? it has a dvd-r and it is close to the powerbook 12” specs. Oh I am confused now! :confused:
Actually, I believe it is widely accepted that the battery life of a 12" iBook is longer than the 12" PB. The PB also runs significantly hotter than the iBook - many in fact complain about hand/lap burn from the PB, YMMV. And do not be shocked that the iBook is much sturdier than the PB - it was DESIGNED that way! The target market for the iBook are students - i.e. folks who throw their iBooks into backpacks among a bunch of textbooks and throw the backpacks around, bang it about in the school environment etc. Meanwhile, the PB is meant for professionals - careful, more deliberate folks likely to treat their PB much more gently. The iBook has rubberized mounts for their HDD and the shell is infinitely more sturdy... aluminum (on PBs) is very soft and dents easily. Also, the iBook has better WiFi reception and currently you can actually put in MORE memory on the iBook (1.5GB RAM) than you an on the PB (1.25GB RAM)!!! And the screen is exactly the same on both. Really, I just don't see any reason to pay a fortune in price premium to get the 12" PB, when in many ways it is actually INFERIOR to an iBook. The iBook is currently a steal - try to outfit a PC to the same specs, and you'll have a hard time coming to the $800-$900 that the current new iBooks come to... the PB on the other hand, well, that's just not a deal at all, at all. I'd go with the iBook if I were you... it's not even a contest. Good luck!
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
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A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
The 12 " ibook covers just about any average users needs at a very reasonable price.
The major reason people opt for the 12" PowerBook is to take advantage
of using a larger display when the are not travelling.

I would buy very conservative with so many things changing so fast.

No matter which one you choose, plan on adding 1 GB 3rd party RAM.
 

newmaccanada

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2005
40
0
Yes but screen spanning doctor will allow you to screen span from an ibook thus cancelling out this pb advantage. I love screen spanning from my ibook (which is on a icurve, hooked up to kb and mighty mouse and 17' Samsumg LCD when it is home).

I have a 14 inch 133 with maxed ram. It is a great and economical machine. It was bought for me by my univ. dept. If I had had my own choice, though, I would have gone for the 12 inch for portability (but the 14 inch is not bad compared to my former toshica brick).
 

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2005
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Batman Sucks said:
um, that's not true... at all.
Oops, you're right! I was thinking of the 12" PB before the last revision, when they did raise the built-in RAM from 256MB to 512MB... my bad :( ... for awhile though, there was the absurd situation where for several months, the 12" iBook was capable of taking in more memory than the 12" PB, I guess I was so appalled by that, and so underwhelmed by the latest revision to the 12" PB (what did they change there again?!) that it really stuck in my mind :)

At least the latest 15" PB got a better screen (if you don't count the horizontal line issue :) ) and such, while the feature boost on the 12" was so anemic folks started speculating that Apple might abandon the 12" PB format altogether!

Seriously, what justifies the price discrepancy between the current 12" iBook and 12" PB? I know there are differences, but for that kind of money...
 

apple4life

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2004
43
0
Swap the HD....

swap the iBook's hard drive with a 5400 and you'll erase this important difference between the two. I have a 1 ghz 12" iBook and just changed the hard drive to a 80 gb 5400 Hitachi Travel Star and it has made a huge difference. Way more room and a much snapier speed all around...

it's been posted many times but once again the instructions can be found at pbfixit.com. It wasn't too hard. If any of you iBook owners haven't upgraded your HD yet, you should. The biggest tip I have is to have a plan for all the screws before you start. I bought a pack of tiny zip lock bags... you can find them in the craft section at wal mart... and at each step with screws I put them into a bag with a small peice of paper with the page number and the color corresponding to the screws (some steps have screws with different sizes and pbfixit differentiates each with different colors)... once everything was taken apart and the HD was in it was very easy to put everything back together because there was no confusion...

So... :) get the iBook, upgrade the ram and HD and ride out the intel transition with a stylish, durable, and highly capable notebook!
 

sk1985

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2006
222
0
mad jew said:
From my experiences the battery life, performance and durability are eerily similar in the two machines. The PowerBook has a few extra features such as the ability to screen span without a hack (put the Desktop on an external display) but the iBook has vastly superior WiFi reception.

Irrespective, I would consider waiting until either machine goes Intel in the not to distant future. :)
He's right the iBook's WI-FI owns any powerbooks for some reason. So does the battery life (which is what you should be looking into if you're looking for a good notebook). Also the power difference is minimum between the two models. The only bonuses the powerbook has over the ibook are the larger hard drive, the dvd burner, and the nicer screen (colors look less faded and the back lighting and viewing angle seem better). I know this for a fact because I have a 12 inch iBook and my Twin has a 12 inch powerbook. The difference is actually pretty visible. Overall just for the iBooks better battery life and wifi ability I'd pick up the iBook. Hell if you want a larger hard drive just buy one online then have someone at the apple store do the install. You'll get a vastly larger hard drive than the powerbook for around the same money.
 

i4k20c

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2005
657
12
People always seem to mention that the powerbook gets crappy battery life.. but mine with wifi on and screen brightness down to 1-3 bars (i can c fine) lasts me for like jus over 5 hrs, and with wifi off..a lil more than 5 and a half hours.. idk..that seems more than enough to me? but w.e..
 

myshoeshurt

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2006
155
0
Victoria, B.C.
apple4life said:
swap the iBook's hard drive with a 5400 and you'll erase this important difference between the two. I have a 1 ghz 12" iBook and just changed the hard drive to a 80 gb 5400 Hitachi Travel Star and it has made a huge difference. Way more room and a much snapier speed all around...

it's been posted many times but once again the instructions can be found at pbfixit.com. It wasn't too hard. If any of you iBook owners haven't upgraded your HD yet, you should. The biggest tip I have is to have a plan for all the screws before you start. I bought a pack of tiny zip lock bags... you can find them in the craft section at wal mart... and at each step with screws I put them into a bag with a small peice of paper with the page number and the color corresponding to the screws (some steps have screws with different sizes and pbfixit differentiates each with different colors)... once everything was taken apart and the HD was in it was very easy to put everything back together because there was no confusion...

So... :) get the iBook, upgrade the ram and HD and ride out the intel transition with a stylish, durable, and highly capable notebook!
As many of you are aware by now, I too am about to buy a 12" iBook... just making sure I am entirely read up on all aspects first so I make the very best decisions. My questions are... is it safe to upgrade your iBook's HD yourself, with third party HD's? Does it void the warranty, or hurt your Protection Plan? Can it be cheaper to do this yourself rather than just order the iBook with a 100GB HD? And with the screen-span hack... does it void the warranty or Protection Plan?
 

xalia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2006
28
0
I check out the pbfixit.com. I think it's easy to install a new memory chip, and very hard to replace the hard disk! For the last 6-8 years I assemble by my own pc's for friends and myself, so I won't have any trouble with the ram. Ibook 12” looks like the best option and value. The 30g disk drive is probably ok for normal use on the go.
 

xalia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2006
28
0
Sorry oldcorpse you are right. I am definitely going to buy a mac now. Well next week actually. Have you heard the dual core has 34 bugs???
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,320
0
sunny los angeles
myshoeshurt said:
As many of you are aware by now, I too am about to buy a 12" iBook... just making sure I am entirely read up on all aspects first so I make the very best decisions. My questions are... is it safe to upgrade your iBook's HD yourself, with third party HD's? Does it void the warranty, or hurt your Protection Plan? Can it be cheaper to do this yourself rather than just order the iBook with a 100GB HD? And with the screen-span hack... does it void the warranty or Protection Plan?
the hard drive swap OF COURSE voids your warranty, as it involves unscrewing and disassembling half the computer (you'd have to take off the bottom case+shield, the top case+shield, keyboard, ram shield, any ram, airport card, and some extras). It's not for people who are unfamiliar with mucking around inside a computer. But if you insist - http://www.whoopis.com/computer_repair/ibg4_12_late04.pdf (12mb warning)
or, find the right one for your iBook - the above is only for the late 2004 12" iBooks.

Oh yeah, if you get like a 7200rpm laptop drive, it'll probably make your battery life suckier.

the screen-span hack's pretty safe as long as you read all the stuff that goes with it. I think all you need to do to undo the hack is by resetting the nvram or zapping the pram.

IMO, i would get the iBook over the PowerBook. I don't dig the 12" PowerBook, my iBook is most definately more durable than it. Plus, (real life) battery life on the iBooks are better than on the PowerBook.
 

myshoeshurt

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2006
155
0
Victoria, B.C.
janey said:
the hard drive swap OF COURSE voids your warranty
Yeah, I guess it was a pretty stupid question :eek: ... but is it safe, or has there been a lot of experience with things going terribly wrong down the road after upgrading the HD yourself? Also, how does this affect your AppleCare? Sorry, I am new to AppleCare and fairly new to the whole Mac world. Thanks for the screen hack info :)
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,320
0
sunny los angeles
myshoeshurt said:
Yeah, I guess it was a pretty stupid question :eek: ... but is it safe, or has there been a lot of experience with things going terribly wrong down the road after upgrading the HD yourself? Also, how does this affect your AppleCare? Sorry, I am new to AppleCare and fairly new to the whole Mac world. Thanks for the screen hack info :)
AppleCare IS your warranty.

As for hard drive upgrades, I've found with most people that if they didn't mess up and nothing went wrong in the first day it's usually fine :p
Me, I'm sticking with my regular 30gb drive in my iBook. I have plenty of space on other computers and external drives, and I only use the iBook for school.
But that's just what I've seen. If you really want to upgrade that drive, you better be sure that you'll never need the warranty ever again.