Thoughts on the 12-inch iBook (G4)

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by brhmac, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. brhmac macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2003
    Planet Earth
    Trying to get perspective on which Mac to buy to replace my Apple G3 (Wallstreet 300 Mhz). Really like the 12- and 15-inch PBs, but I am also tempted by the 12-inch iBook.

    For $1100, it is faster, smaller and lighter than my G3 ($3500) and I could set aside the $$$ saved from skipping the PB for the 3 Ghz G5 desktop.

    Anyone own the 12-inch iBook G4 that can share their experience? Understand there were issues with the G3 version but I don't know what the build quality, etc. is with the G4 -- though I have seen one in the Apple store. My only real frame of reference with Apple laptops is a 6-year-old PB that until this week has been very reliable.

    Appreciate your comments.
  2. mms macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2003
    The big problem with G3 iBooks were failing logic boards. I believe that those issues do not occur in the G4 iBooks but I am not absolutely sure.
  3. celaurie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2003
    Scotland, UK.
    Dude, I've had two iBooks. A G3 600 and my current G4 800. I loved them both!

    Perspective is a great thing when buying computer equipment. Most people just want a computer to waffle about its' speed and show off.

    For my my iBook is representative of value for money, practicality and application of use.

    It fits my needs; daily surfing, SETI crunching, e-mailing, faxing, conferencing with the iSight and gaming, portability, DVDs, etc.

    Weigh up what you need the machine for and then look to the specs.

    iChat me if you have any specific questions about these little jewels.

    cel, the iBook boi ;)
  4. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    well i have a g4 ibook..and its very good...
    as to whether to buy an ibook or pb..well..i just had enough money to get a maxed out ibook or a stripped down i decided to get the ibook.
    I say this all the time..if you have money get the pb..else ibook rocks.. :D
  5. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2003
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    i had a 700 G3 iBook, and i have to say they are built quite well. fantastic machine, but the G3 should have been dead a long time ago.

    the 12" screen just got to me though. i've got a 15" powerbook now, and i love it.
  6. sieken macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2004
    12" iBook G4

    I own a 12" PowerBook G4 867mhz, and recently purchased a 12" iBook G4 800mhz for my mother. The two machines are so very much so alike, I was amazed. Every single feature I enjoy on my PowerBook was included on the iBook. Performance wise, they are close to identical. The PowerBook wins due to the extra 67 mhz and the extra 33mhz in bus speed.

    The iBook has a good video card as well, but I have been disapointed with Apple's portable line when it comes to graphics processing. But then again, thats what a desktop is for.

    If you are debating between an iBook G4 and a PowerBook G4, I'd go with iBook. You are getting a much better deal for your dollar. If you really need the extra performance, it makes no sense to waste the money on a 15 or 17 Powerbook unless you really need horsepower to go. You can have a desktop thats more than twice as powerful for the same price.

    And if you really need performance to go, remember, the G5's have handles :)

    Also, just a note of speculation.. Apple has just released G5 xserves. xserves are around 1.5 inches thin. This means a G5 can easily be put into notebook form factor. If you are burning to buy a laptop, try to hold off for 1 month...
  7. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Re: Thoughts on the 12-inch iBook (G4)

    First a little persective. NO laptop is going to come close to a comparably spec'd desktop. Due to heat, battery and space constraints laptops take a hit in the speed department in order to give you the flexiblity of being portable.

    Having said that though, I bought my daughter a 12" iBook last month. She's very happy with it. It's obviously no speed demon, and no gamer would want to play games on it, but it's certainly fast enough for most applications such that she doesn't need to wait more than a few seconds for apps to load and things to get done. DVD's look excellent and there is zero jitter.

    If you got a 12" PB instead you might notice a marginal increase in speed on the more CPU intensive tasks, but certainly not enough to warrant the large price differential.

    I agree with you. Use the money saved towards a desktop, or save it for a G5 laptop. You won't be sorry :)
  8. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    iBooks are great. the $500 price difference between the PB cant justify itself. the iBook is a lot faster than i expected and dont listen to what the others say about it and gaming, its just fine. i play halo and starcraft every once in a while and i find no difference between my iBook, my sisters 1.25ghz iMac, and my friends 2.4ghz P4. Just get it, you wont be disappointed. but even if you are iBooks retain their price very well.
  9. brhmac thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2003
    Planet Earth
    Just bought the iBook

    Will be my first new Apple in almost 6 years. Woo hoo!

    (Hard to believe this one is less than half of what my G3 cost.)

    Almost gave in and bought the 12 inch PB with the SuperDrive, but I don't need all that in a laptop. That's why I'm buying a G5 when it comes out with the dual 3 Ghzs.

    Anyway, thanks for your input. Will be checking for price drops and/or new PBs tomorrow. :)
  10. celaurie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2003
    Scotland, UK.
    Good choice matey...

    Now you have to name her!

    Mine's called Carter... ;)
  11. grobelaar macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2004
    Well, I’m just about to go out and pick one of these beauties up myself. For me too it also my first Mac for nearly five years and it is only the desire to have some mobile computer power that has prompted this, my trusty G3 B&W is still doing the business for what I bought it for.

    I was initially going to get the iBook, but a trip to the store gave me serious second thoughts over something yet to be discussed here – the build quality?

    Have to say that I wasn’t bowled over by the look of the G4 iBook, although good I was left wandering what condition it would be in, in a few years time. I’m sure I read that Apple has shifted materials for its new iMac and iBook range – have to say it is a considerable extra dollop of cash for the PB 12”, but the extra performance and more importantly more robust case clinch it – anyone else have any thoughts on the robustness of the case of the two 12 inchers…
  12. sieken macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2004
    iBook Durability

    I have worked with iBooks that are older, but quite frankly, the only comparison for a really old iBook is a clamshell. The white polycarbonate iBooks only came out a few years back. Their structural integrity, I've found, has stood up to the test. They seem more on the flimsy side compared to the PowerBooks, but thats just because their made out of bullet proof glass instead of aluminum. They will just flex more than the powerbooks, but I believe that they are stronger than the powerbooks. Apple has solved the only problem with the iBooks, the logic board, so if you purchase an iBook, it should last you until its components become obsolete and then some
  13. brhmac thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2003
    Planet Earth
    iBook build quality

    Have had my new 12-inch iBook for about a week now, and I am really happy with it. There is some flex in the keyboard that wasn't there in my G3 PB, but the unit feels solid overall and I certainly have no complaints about the 4.9-pound weight.

    The Airport Extreme card works beautifully wherever I've gone in my house. And I expect the Bluetooth to work just as well when the mouse arrives later this week.

    I'd recommend the 12-inch iBook almost without reservation. My only real wish is that it had the 1 Ghz like the 14-inch version. That said, I am pleased with the performance I'm getting from the 800 Mhz processor.
  14. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    i bought my 12" PowerBook in late May. 12 days after i bought it the price dropped by $200. ok, i can deal with that. but after seeing the iBook get a G4, Bluetooth, and Airport Extreme shortly after i can't deny being bummed. i spent $600 more on the PB and the only feature i have over the iBook is support for dual display extended desktop and 67 mhz more of processor power, big deal.

    Reasons I'm Glad I have the PB:
    Smaller, More Stylin', nicer Keyboard (the keyboard difference is HUGE. the PBs have VERY nice keyboards), i'd worry about the G4 heat trapped inside that plastic casing.

    Reasons I wish I had the iBook:
    $600 cheaper, the plastic palm rest won't corrode like my PB's has, seems more accident-proof being plastic all.
  15. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    I've had both ...

    I had a 12" (first generation) PowerBook 867 and now have an 800Mhz G4.

    I have to say that I've always been partial to the iBook materials. They feel "cheaper", but much much much more durable.

    They don't look as nice, but they really take a beating better than the 12" AlBook.
  16. grobelaar macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2004
    Hmm, this corrosion thing is even more worrying, do you have sweaty palms (heheh - only kidding) but still I'm glad I poked about on here, before dishing out my cash...)
  17. ibookin' macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    nice link. seems they are very closely matched, with the powerbook almost always winning, but by a slight margin (as would be expected I guess).

    I was surprised to see the powerbook *crush* the ibook on the GL graphics test, seeing as most people believe that the Radeon 9200 is better than the 5200go. It's really a moot point, though, because as has been said before in comparing these two machines, the limiting factor on games for *both* laptops is the CPU, not the GPU, so which card is better is essentially irrelevant (and this was borne out by the tests).
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Probably too late, but here's my $.02 on the matter... The G4 iBook is quite simply a vastly better value right now. Unless you absolutely need something the PB offers that the iBook doesn't have (ie DVI, Superdrive) buy the iBook. The price/performance value favors the iBook at the moment. At other times I wouldn't have said this, and it can change with an update, but the extra 200Mhz (assuming your choice would be between an 800Mhz iBook and a 1Ghz PB) isn't worth hundreds of dollars unless you are making money off your CPU cycles. In which case you should be buying a dual 2.0Ghz G5. Outside of the tiny speed difference and the extra 20Gigs you could get on your HD (60Gig vs 80Gig) there aren't that many differences between the two.

    BTW, I have a 1Ghz TiBook, and my wife has the 800Mhz iBook G4. For everyday tasks the differences are negligible.
  20. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    Just bought one for the wife the other day. Nice machine, but it's a compromise.

    The LCD is brighter than my 2 yr old dell, but not by much and not as bright as I'd like for a new laptop.

    The fit and finish isn't quite there. The battery isn't flush with the rest of the case and the keyboard has some hills and valleys.

    Upgrading the memory is kind of pain just because the screws are very tiny. You need eyeglass tools to get the panel off. That's only a pain once though.

    If I had to do real work on it daily, I'd quickly grow very frustrated. 1024x768 is a small space to work in and an 800mhz is just not up to snuff these days for the things I do.

    However, having said that, I'm actually pretty happy with the decision for my wife. It works really good for what she does (mail, surfing, letting the kids watch DVDs in the car, updating her ipod, etc.). She loves it. It's light as hell and stays really cool so you can really use it on your lap without being uncomfortable. Battery life is ~4 hours. For the price it's a really good option.

Share This Page