What laptops have exactly the same keyboard as powerbooks?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GULCkid, May 13, 2005.

  1. GULCkid macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Do all mac laptops have exactly the same keyboard (size, layout)?

    Specifically, I have a new 15"PB and I'm looking at older (but still g4) iBooks on ebay, as well as cheap dell laptops.. but i don't want to get one unless the keyboard will be exactly the same size.

  2. Electric Monk macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Modern Apple laptops use the same keyboard layout and size (i.e. the 12" PB has the exact same keyboard as the 17" PB), but the quality of the iBooks keyboard is a lot worse versus the Powerbook.

    Dell's (and all other x86 laptops) use a different layout, plus they vary in size and quality.

    Although why do you need it to be exactly the same size?
  3. GULCkid thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005

    I'm going to be using my laptop for finals in law school, and I've heard a lot of horror stories about people's laptops crapping out on them during the exams.. so I'm gonna get a cheap backup laptop.

    The reason that they need to be the same keyboard size/layout is because these are timed exams, and you can't do well (curved) unless you type extremely quickly. I can't type quickly on a keyboard I'm not used to.

    What's so bad about the ibook? PB too expensive :( I have an old G3 PB 500MHz, but I doubt it will be able to run OSX and MSWord04 smoothly
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    Sound like some strange-ass exams!
    Here at oxford everything is still hand written!
    Remember - It's quality, not quantity, so speed (a few words per min) shouldn't be that much of an issue, I take it you touch-type then?

    EDIT: I have a PB G3 500 Pismo 384 RAM running on Tiger, and am typing up my masters on word 04. A 10,000 word document with multiple figures and photos in it runs ok. Can even use Photoshop elements and safari with it. (a bit of beachballing at times though). - Never underestimate the power of old Mac hardware!
  5. GULCkid thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Thanks. Hopefully I won't have to buy a second laptop!

    Unfortunately on law school exams, at least in the US, the person who addresses the most issues gets the best grade. There is often not enough time for anyone to address all the issues, and since exams are graded on the curve, typing slowly (or hand-writing) will almost invariably reduce your grade.
  6. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    ouch! so much for people who can put things succinctly and get to the point quickly then!
    But what do I know, I'm an engineer, so all I do is Math!
  7. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    The knock on the iBook keyboard is its flexibility, which some might call sponginess. It has some give to it. Maybe this applies more to harder typists, I don't know. The iBook keyboard is a removable piece of plastic that covers the slots for RAM and Airport. Many users report that it can't quite sit level, or that the space bar sits unevenly (higher on one side) no matter what, etc. Some people just don't like the feel of it, but of course this is subjective. Personally, the current PowerBooks' keyboard is the best-feeling keyboard I have ever used, desktop or laptop, but that's just my opinion. Many people get along just fine with their iBook keyboards.

    As for the PB being "too expensive," it is certainly more expensive than the iBook, but when you use BTO options to configure them similarly (RAM, HDD, and BT), the difference in $US is only 20% of the PB price. That's not necessarily a huge difference in the context of your larger purchase, and you do get faster CPU/FSB/HDD/GPU, twice the VRAM, and a few other extras that may or may not prove useful. But yes, the iBook is cheaper. If the iBook keyboard doesn't suit you, search for rev. C PBs on closeout; some deals have been reported hereabouts.
  8. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    Never had a problem with my iBook keyboard. You just want to lock the center screw (the little circle above the "6" key). This will provide support in the keyboard center where it seems to flex the most.

    With the added support, the keyboard is pretty solid. Keeps others from tampering with RAM and airport card too. That's what the screw is meant to do.
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I'm a writer, so I'm typing constantly on my iBook. I actually prefer the iBook to the most recent PowerBook computers. I find that I make more typos when I'm working on my wife's PowerBook compared to the iBook. I think of the "sponginess" as a benefit -- it is easier on the fingers during longer typing sessions. I don't type particularly hard, so maybe that's the difference: if you have a light touch on the keyboard, you'll prefer the iBook, and a harder touch might prefer the PowerBook.

    I should also add that if you're in the market for a used computer, the old clamshell iBooks have awesome keyboards, very solid feeling.
  10. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005

    I second this, my powerbook keyboard is the finest keyboard in all the land from far and wide! At least in comparison with every other computer I have ever used.

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