which laptop (anyone regret the 12"?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kevinuaa, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. kevinuaa macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Second post on the topic, sorry if this is redundant.

    I'm going to purchase a new laptop in the next 48 hours.

    I'm going to grad school in the fall, I want to be able to use MS Office, do web design and some simple photoshop stuff. and use Virtual PC (sorry, but mac chinese programs are lacking). Oh, i want to be able to watch DVDs and maybe fiddle around with garage band.

    I want to use the cram and jam promotion, so no refurb options.

    I've decided I can either get a 14" ibook or a 12" powerbook.
    I like the sleekness of the 12" powerbook, small size (portability), etc., but I'm scared of getting too small a screen. Also, I've heard iBooks are more "rugged"--can anyone shed light on this or quantify this? I assume that for what i'm doing, i won't really be taking advantage of what a PB has to offer.

    so does anyone regret getting the 12" b/c it's too small? Anyone do webdesign on it? can you use it for 5 hours straight without going blind from squinting?

    a wild card: I have an opportunity to buy a 12" 867 G4 powerbook with 768 MB Ram, 40GB HD Airport Extreme/Bluetooth for $850. if you are sure i should get the powerbook, should i just buy this one?
    My main concern is if something goes bad with the powerbook, i don't want it to strain my friendship with the seller.

    Thanks for the advice. After two trips to the apple store, i'm in purgatory!
    Someone, make my decision for me! :eek:
  2. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2004
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    12" PB is definatly NOT too small. Using Expose you can manage all of your windows so easily that the 1024x768 screen size is not a problem. The problem with the 14" iBook is that the screen is bigger, but the resolution is the same. It still only goes to 1024x768... I would go with the 12" PB if I were you. I've had no regrets with mine.
  3. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    The latest PowerBook fully supports CoreImage and CoreVideo which are coming in Tiger, which the first one doesn't (many effects are supported but not all).

    Additionally, Rev A's are typically more problem prone. Not only would you be getting a Rev C, you'd have minimum 1 year warranty to burn on it.

    If I were you, make your decision between a brand-new PowerBook or a brand-new iBook. The PowerBook has a much much better keyboard, how much are you intending to type?

    The iBook is more rugged, but at the same time it scratches as easily as the iPods, so it doesn't keep its looks nearly as long as the PowerBook (which dents if you whack it) so bear this in mind if you're gonna be dragging it in and out of a bag.

    Even after tweaking, VirtualPC is going to be slow going.

  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    The 12" to me is a perfect size. Small, so it goes everywhere with me. I use it for desktop publishing work. And if I really need the screen space I span to my 17" monitor.
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    if it were 12" iBook vs 12" PB, I'd give the nudge to the iBook, just because of the price difference. And, although the iBook scratches easily, there are solutions for fixing that.

    However, with the 14" iBook vs the 12" PB, I'd definitely go with the PowerBook, unless you have problems seeing the smaller pixels. Otherwise, it's a better system in a smaller package.
  6. U2Rules! macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    I was in the same boat deciding between the 14" Ibook and the 12" Pbook. I went with the Powerbook. The screen is just fine, go to the Apple store and check it out. My buddy told me I was crazy to get the 12, he has a 15" PB, but I love it.
  7. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2004
    Go for the PowerBook! Like others already said, it's more future proof, i.e. faster system, core image support, etc.
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Yeah, forgot about the Core Image thing on the PB's.
  9. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    15 inches is huge... sorry to those 15" PBook owners. It's good for a desktop and decent portability, but I am completely portable with the 12" PBook. It's incredibly light and small. But as I use it, I must experience some sort of tunnel vision, as I don't feel cramped at all. I use this computer at work for graphic/web design without problem. Best of all, I can continue working on the train ride home without taking out a huge notebook. About half an hour ago I picked up my colleague's 15" PBook, just to see the difference. It really is huge compared to the 12".

    Mike LaRiviere
  10. kevinuaa thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    I fancy myself as a fairly mac savvy dude, having convinced my employer to purchase to iMacs. but what are these advanced features in tiger that i should purchase the PB for? are they recquired for tiger?

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. keep 'em coming!
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    All I've heard is that Tiger has impressive GPU demands to get all the eye candy, and that the PBs - esp. the 15" and 17" - have better graphics cards. However, Tiger will run on any Mac you can buy today; it just might not run quite as much eye candy.

    However, from a CPU point of view, the iBooks will do pretty much anything the PBs will in Tiger, just marginally slower.
  12. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    In the past 4 months, I have owned a 12" iBook, and a 12" PowerBook. Reason being, I sold my 12" iBook so I could purchase a 12" PowerBook. Granted, the I am a Graphic Design major, so the extra power is a necessity. But I was a laptop newbie when I bought my iBook. I had no idea how the processor would perform, (i thought the keyboard was just fine), and had no idea how portable it would be, or deal with heat issues, battery issues. etc. I had it, used it for 2 months, and, while it was a great machine, it just cannot beat the 12" PowerBook. It's the best computer I've ever owned, by far. It performs much better, even with the stock 256MB RAM (my iBook had 640MB), the keyboard is *incredibly* better than the iBook's, it's Ultra-Portable... really (after using a 12" PB I often wonder why computers are any larger). It is much hotter than the iBook, but not unbearable, and the battery life is just a tad shorter. Beyond that, it's incredible. I doubt any 12" PB owner would dissuade you from buying one in your situation. I sure won't!
  13. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I have a 12" iBook, and I love it. The size is perfect for portability, and it is not too bad on a desk either. However, I do have an external CRT/KB/Mouse when I am working with it at home, so the small screen is a non-issue for me, if the screen feels too small for ya, then go for a bigger one.
  14. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    Think Quartz Extreme.

    Tiger's new Core Image API is like the next level of QE, offloading more tasks to the video chipset. See http://www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/core.html

    The 12" powerbook's geforce 5200 will support it, the ibook's radeon 9200 will not.

    Given that Tiger promises to use Core Image extensively, I wouldn't recommend an ibook now, especially when you can get a refurb 12" 1.33 GHz powerbook for $1349 from apple - an ibook just isn't cheap enough to be worthwhile.

    Don't bother with previous-revision powerbooks either - the current generation is significantly better and are regularly available as refurbs on apple's "special deals" page.

  15. Cordless_Drill macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2004
    Montgomery, Ala., USA
    I have a 15/1.33. So maybe I'm biased.

    I'd get the powerbook. The keyboard is soooo nice. Airport reception is just fine. And you get a video card that will be fully compatible with Tiger.

    I thought hard about a 14-inch iBook, but the PB has a much better feel to it.
  16. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    as michaelrjohnson said, the 12" powerbook rules, i don't know anyone that doesn't love it, even the people who have the 15" admire it for the sheer size and compactness. (is that a word? i don't want to start using bush-isms like computify! and oblitify the enemy!)

    i really think that the ibook in the 14" form factor is quite unsightly, its this massive white block sat on a desk - it loses all its cheeky style because of its larger footprint. Other comparable windoze laptops don't look big with a 14" screen because of the colours used on the body but to me the stark white ibook looks oversized for what it is. The 15" powerbook on the other hand looks superb, its got a much better aesthetic quality, not because of the aluminium but because of the widescreen display.

    some people i know (pc users) think that the 12" ibook looks like a toy! :eek: but what do they know? i wouldnt get the 14" just to use the cram and jam promo. i'd get the powerbook! :D
  17. soccerfan macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2002
    JUST got my powerbook 12" and LOVE it so far. Not too small at all. I'm thrilled with the purchase and have no regrets at all....
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Congrats. I know that I will be very disappointed if Apple ever decides to drop the 12".
  19. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    My dad got a powerbook 12", it's way too small for me.

    I have to put the powerbook on a platform, and put a separate keyboard and mouse under the thing. Otherwise my arms and shoulders wont let me get close enough to the screen.

    Or I just bring it to my apartment and hook it to my KVM.

    Their attempts at portability have, for me, made it less portable.

    I'm a big guy but not that big, I just have orangutan arms, I don't know if this would effect anyone else.
  20. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    You could defiantly make du with a 12" and love it. But it is true the iBook is more rugged. The powerBook is pretty fragile. I mean it;s made out of aluminum for crying out loud. But it's awsome. I would take the PB over the iBook anyday. Reguraldess how small the PB is compared to the iBook.
  21. iPC macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2003
    East Windsor, CT
    12" iBook over here

    And I am okay with the processing power (G3) for most of the same apps as you (even PS 7). However, the 1024*768 is killing me. If you do a lot of digital camera stuff (I take lots of pictures) it is annoying as hell to not be able to see the entire image (I only have a 2MP camera too...) or enough (1600*1200 is native res of the camera) to work with. Not to mention the number of websites and forums that don't really work well at that limited size anymore.

    If you can buy a refurb (I am not familiar with the deal you were talking about) check these specs:

    Refurbished PowerBook G4 15" TFT
    PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/256MB/60GB/Combo/AP Extreme Card/GigE/15"TFT-Aluminum-Refurbished $1,699.00

    PowerBook G4 1.5GHz/512MB/80GB/SuperDrive/AP Extreme Card/GigE/15"TFT-Aluminum-Refurbished $2,099.00

    Just an idea...
  22. konaforever macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2004
    Regret and 12 inch Powerbook don't belong in the same sentence.
  23. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004

    Yes, they do. I hate this aluminium thing. Sure, it's quick, but it has so many issues which the iBook had locked down. I'm planning on getting a nice insurance policy and working it to a quick and painless death, whereby the latest and greatest iBook will greet me. I've still not had chance to write down just why I hate it so much... maybe tomorrow... with pictures :eek:
  24. mac_geek macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    Man or mouse? Buy a 17 inch Powerbook and ignore those who say it is too large - I lug mine to and from work each day - it will give you muscles!!!

  25. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK
    12 or 15 or 17 - All are fine

    In general:

    People with the 12" think that it's the best one (most portable,...)
    People with the 17" think that it's the best one (large screen, bragging rights...)
    People with the 15" think that it's the best one (best of both worlds,...)

    You will find highly enthusiastic champions for each one of them. Figure out what you need and then take the plunge. All three are fantastic in their own regards. As for myself, I would never use anything but a 15" PB :p (TiBook/1.0 in 2003 and AlBook/1.5 in 2004)

    Amazing systems really - coming from a person who did not even look at macs until last year. Would never go to Windows now. Willing to give up my first-born before I do that :D

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