What do you think of the new 12" PowerBooks?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Moo-Boo, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Moo-Boo macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2004
    Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
    Hey there,

    I just wanted to know what you think of the new 12" PowerBooks, and if they are value for money. I've heard many people say that a souped up iBook would be better value, but I'm not sure it would be the same. And how do you think Tiger will run on the system? Is the graphics card up to it? Those who own these PowerBooks, I'd love to hear from you. Did any of you consider the new G5 iMac? I trust your opinions more than anyone else on the planet!

    Thanks for reading and replying in advance, and take care,

  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    The iBooks are probably a better value than the PowerBooks in general, but if you need or want the extra powers or features that are found in a PowerBook, then it doesn't matter, you'd be better off paying the extra money if you can afford it. Also, the PowerBooks were updated fairly recently, but the iBooks weren't, so we'll be seeing an iBook update within the next few months, I'm sure.

    As far as the iMac goes, I think it's safe to say the iMac is a better value than either the iBook or the PowerBook for anyone who isn't going to get much use out of the portability factor. The iMac is definitely a faster machine, and the screens are higher quality and larger. Tiger will run just fine on any new Mac, however it will probably get slightly more performance increase from the iMac because it will be 64 bit optimized. I realize that technically 64 bit just means it can address more memory at a time, and an iMac can't hold that much memory anyway, but from what I understand 64 bit optimization also helps memory to be addressed somewhat more efficiently.

    I'm going to recommend the iMac unless you're set on a portable... And by the way, the iMac is due for an update, probably within a month.
  3. aesth3tic macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2005
    University of Washington
    iBook 12" = value and portability
    PowerBook 12" = beauty, power and portability
    iMac G5 = value & mega-ultra-power (in comparison to the notebooks), but not that portable.

    My personal opinion is the new 12" PowerBook, I can't be more happy that I am with mine!!!

    Good Luck!

  4. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    That sums it up pretty well...:)

    I was so impressed with the looks, power, portability, and sheer greatness of the PowerBook 12 inch that I ordered one. It is being shipped from Shanghai (I think that is what the FedEx tracking number said :p) as we speak...:)
  5. FYA macrumors member


    Jun 30, 2004
    powerbook 12'

    I've had a 12' PB for 2 years now and I think it's one of the best portables out there.

    If you need uber-power then a portable is probably not for you but for on the go needs I think the powerbook is hard to beat.

    Many will say that the iBook is better value for money but the build quality of the powerbook is hard to surpass.

    I have used both iBooks and PowerBooks and the difference is huge.

    some times I wish I had a bigger screen but when I need one I just hook it up to an external monitor and bob's your uncle.

    And once you have used a powerbook keyboard you are spoiled for life.

    I wish I could find something just like it for my work pc.
  6. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I'm trying to decide between a 12" combo drive PowerBook and 12" iBook myself, for a purchase sometime between July 05 and May 06.

    I am presently using my iBook for very heavy college notetaking, and also as a major desktop computer (with an iCurve, keyboard, and mouse). For the build quality -- though I haven't actually touched a PowerBook in a while, I remember they are more sturdy -- I am going with the PowerBook probably. $400 more or so, but the screen hinge looks stronger, and the keyboard looks better. Also it's lighter and smaller, and I only have so much bag space.
  7. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    As I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum before, if you equalize the two base 12" apple laptops as much as possible (give the iBook BT, 512MB RAM and a 60GB HDD), you are left with the following numbers:

    - 12" iBook costs 20% less than 12" PowerBook with ComboDrive, in retail $US
    - iBook has 20% lower CPU speed, in MHz
    - iBook has 20% lower FSB speed, in MHz
    - iBook HDD has 20% slower rotational speed, in rpm
    - PowerBook has 200% of iBook VRAM, in MB

    Now I know those numbers don't translate directly to performance, and that the comparison isn't always so direct because you don't have to get BT, or buy RAM from Apple, etc. BUT I don't think those numbers a re purely coincidental.

    The 20% price premium for the PB also gets you a few extras such as a nicer GPU, DVI-out, no-hack screen spanning with true clamshell mode, built-in audio-in, a third speaker, BT2, HDD drop protection, the officially enhanced trackpad, and a built-in SuperDrive as an option, all in a slightly smaller, lighter body. Plus, the keyboard is arguably a firmer, more level typing platform. The iBook, for its part, offers better battery life along with its lower price. They're both fine computers; which one you should get depends on your needs/wants/budget.

    In sum, there is not much mystery here: pay more to get more computer, if you want/need it, or pay less to get less (with more battery life).
  8. jworrill macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2005
    Got mine last night

    First message on the forums. Been reading here for ages (as I teetered on the brink of my first Mac). Well I bought a 12" Powerbook (768M Ram, 100G HDD) and it arrived last night, so I cant be too specific on whether it is all that I hoped, but so far it is. Just so small (in a good way) and works so well at least so far.

    The reason I went with it over the iBook was basically because of the update - I was set on an ibook but when the powerbook got updated, well I knew it wouldnt be too long before ibooks were updated and this way the PB is "in date" longer. I guess with Tiger coming up (damn I could have waited till it was shipped but I suppose Id be waiting forever!) the PB might handle it better too. I figure buy as high as you can afford when you buy a machine.

    Whatever you do, enjoy your Mac when you get it, as I hope to do mine...now!
  9. Washco macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2004
    How has the finish been on the powerbook? Ive heard rumors that its rubbing off on the palm rests. Has anyone noticed this?
  10. kanpachi macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Hi Matt,
    From personal experience, I would not recommend the 12" PowerBook. I bought one a couple of weeks ago, but ended up returning it after a week because I was so dissatisfied with it. The screen was too small, and given that the quality of the screen was also sub-par, I felt this was unacceptable. When I looked at the screen in the Apple Store, it looked all fine and dandy (they have this brilliant way of making all the products look flawless with the lighting and store design), but once I actually used it for myself, it became a different story. It was not very sharp and appeared blurry to me. Maybe I just have bad eyes or something, but I got headaches and my eyes felt strained after about an hour of usage. Also, the anti-aliasing (font smoothing) nature of Apple fonts made me dizzy on the 12" due to the screen quality. Everything else was perfect though -- it was quick, slick looking, and very portable. I think that Tiger would run seamlessly on the 12" PB. But my gripes with the display bothered me enough to warrant a return.

    I have never used an iMac G5 personally, but I have heard some horror stories about it in regards to the fans being really loud and bothersome. You may want to read about this problem on the MacRumors site if you decide to buy one. Also, you lose the portability with the iMac, and also everything comes in one piece (which is a blessing in some ways) so your ability to, say, upgrade the screen size in the future would be undoable (unless you were to buy an external monitor or something).

    My final decision was to buy a 15" PowerBook, and I am pretty happy with it, although the hinging mechanism is not as good as the 12" because it slightly creaks, which is pretty annoying. But you should take this post of mine with a grain of salt, since I am extremely picky (and a pessimist/perfectionist) when it comes to buying anything expensive. People in general seem happy with the 12", so I guess you should do much more research before buying it and see what other people have to say. My best advice is to go to the Apple Store and just try it out for like 15-30 minutes and really get a feel for the laptop. Try out the hinging mechanism, look for any dead pixels, test out the keyboard and trackpad, and anything else too that you may be worried about. The Apple Store laptops are good for customer testing because they have been subjected to the most abuse (though I'm not sure how often they replace the display models) so it should give you a pretty good indication of their durability and quality. Good luck to you! I know it must be a difficult decision, and I'm probably not making it any easier for you. :rolleyes:
  11. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    My palmrests still look the way they did when I brought my PowerBook home in October. But I too have heard these reports. I suspect, but have no real knowledge, that this comes from rings/watches/other metal things hitting it repeatedly, or even from reports of misidentified TiBooks (some early ones had paint problems; the current AlBooks have a totally different finish).
  12. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    I don't have any problems with the palm rests on my revb 15" powerbook. They still look new. I've heard of the corroding problem, but I think it only occurs under strange circumstances, or because of a material defect. I think you'll be safe.
  13. Moo-Boo thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2004
    Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
    Wow! I knew that all of you were well informed, but you've really outdone yourselves! Your technical insights have really opened my eyes and there's far more to consider than I had anticipated. But, it certainly has made my research load much easier to bear, which I am very grateful to you for. I'd agree that the G5 iMac is the best value machine, especially as it's about to be updated. The second incarnation of any model computer is usually bettere than the first, and, with any luck, Tiger will come bundled with the system, saving me AU$229. I have a Pismo PowerBook with an ailing battery, but it still does everything at the moment I need it to. Hopefully it won't cop indigestion from Tiger! Even so, the decision is not set in concrete and I have till Monday afternoon to commit. If I don't, the machine I order will never get here! We're talking at least three weeks to get here! Arrghhh!! I'll let you know what happens.

    Thanks so much, and please take good care of yourselves,


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