Why are 12" Powerbooks still so expensive?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by joe50000, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. joe50000 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2006
    I just got an iMac and now i'm looking for a good portable system to take with me on the go. Nothing too fancy, so I was looking at the old 12" Powerbook. why are they still so expensive on the aftermarket? with the release of the new Macbook and updates the to Macbook Pro line as well as the intel transition, I would have thought the price of a used Powerbook would have dropped well into the $500-$800 range. Is there a reason why they're still so expensive? are they particularly coveted?
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Well, they're still the smallest portables Apple released, even the MacBook can't touch it for ease of carrying - they make my 12" iBook look chunky.
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The 12" PowerBook is still highly prized for portability and good if not great
    performance on most PPC applications. They also have that professional look for presentations.

    Many owners also have a desktop in their home or office, so the PowerBook
    still does what most people use a portable for.
  4. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    You hit the nail right on the head there. Just buy a Macbook. That extra inch is not going to kill you and the 1280 width is so much nicer than 1024. Also, the MB has a far better screen than the old PB screen, which was outdated already when it was still sold.
  5. joe50000 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2006
    Yeah, I heard about those screen issues, how it wasn't 180-degree viewable and was quite dark. Still, the Powerbook's design and features are still attractive to me - esp. the illuminated keyboard, which is good for class because some classrooms i'm in turn the lights out for presentations. I was considering getting a low-end macbook early next year. Hopefully by then it'll have Leopard, 1 gig of ram, and a superdrive standard.
  6. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The 12" PowerBook doesn't have an illuminated keyboard. It's really just a slightly more capable 12" iBook. It was left behind in January '05 when it was last updated before it was replaced by the MacBook this year. Even the final revision of the iBook had a faster (albeit smaller) graphics card and could hold more RAM.
  7. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    Mine is. :D

    Going into my third year with my 12" PB, I'm still really happy with it. It's certainly not as fast as a new MacBook, but its performance still meets my needs, it still looks great, and it's a really convenient size. So, were I to sell it, I'd probably overcharge. :D
  8. thworple macrumors 6502


    Oct 20, 2005
    Sussex, England
    My 12" Powerbook has just celebrated its 2nd birthday, and its still going strong. Its the best computer purchase I've ever made, and when I get my new MacPro soon it will still have pride of place on my desk. Its also become my girlfriend's computer of choice, and if I ever do stop using it, it will remain with her. Because its the smallest laptop Apple made, it could well end up being something of a collectors item in years to come!
  9. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    When it comes to portability the 12'' PB is unbeatable.

    I hope mine will last me a long, long time.
  10. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    It's small and gorgeous. The Macbook doesn't even come close to it, for me. (ignoring the specs, obviously :p )
  11. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Well I bought a brand NEW 12" Powerbook in August. So that tells you that they aren't that out of date. In fact, mine was manufactuered in March of 2006. And they are the smallest and most elegant Powerbooks ever made.

    In fact, they are the smallest and lightest laptops Apple has ever made. LOVE MINE!
  12. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    I <3 my 12" Powerbook. My PB is 4 years old this month (rev. b) and still going strong. I hope to have it for a few more years.
  13. MattyMac macrumors 68000


    Oct 6, 2005
    Because they are flippin Sweeeeeeeet!

    I love mine so much...so small and sleek and it makes it more awesome that it is the smallest portable made by apple out there!
  14. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    That's why I bought a 12" iBook instead of a Powerbook last year. It was just as powerful overall (the Radeon 9550, even at 32MB, was capable of making up the slight processor difference in many applications), and wasn't much bigger than the 12" PB. Here are the specs from Apple's Mexican website (the numbers on the left are the iBook):

    Height: 1.35 inches (3.4 cm) vs. 1.18" PB
    Width: 11.2 inches (28.5 cm) vs. 10.9" PB
    Depth: 9.06 inches (23.0 cm) vs. 8.6" PB
    Weight: 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg vs. 4.6 lb. PB
  15. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    The PowerBook was overall more compact though. It can even fit into my english folder (I don't have one, but I have a friend who has one). Fits in perfectly like a thick wad of paper.
  16. MattyMac macrumors 68000


    Oct 6, 2005
    ...and the silver is way more classy.
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm really tempted by this logic, but then... I just received my replacement iBook battery, and ... giving up 6.5 hours of battery life with the screen turned down and the wireless off is going to be soooo hard. :(
  18. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    If it's a Rev. B 12" it's only 3 years old, even if it's a Rev. A it'd only be 3.5 years old.
  19. nmamur macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2006
    new york
    i love mine to death.
    once i got my 15 MBP i really began to appreciate the size and portability.
    and for those people who chose the ibooks over the pb, i would definitely disagree.
    My girlfriend and i bought our comps together(mine a pb, and her's, an ibook), and she envies me soooo much. My powerbook is only a little better than hers, but the sleekness of the silver and the overall compactness of it is surely worth the extra 300(i think) i paid.
    If looks are what your going for(if you want an apple, than it probably factors into your decision) there is no competition.
    As for the price on ebay, i can see how there still so much as they are now extinct.
    when it was time to get a MBP i wished soooo badly for a 13 inch model. I don't totally want a 15 inch laptop but if i wanted the silver enclosure that doesnt scratch as easily as that white garbage on the macbook(black looks ugly) i was forced to buy the 15 incher.
    i absolutely hate the macbook inclosure(my girlfriend's ibook looks like crap after about 2 years).
  20. MistaBungle macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2005
    I really do love mine. So sleek and adorable. When other people see it they get this 'whoa, that's pretty' type look on their face and I know that they want one. But then once they find out that it doesn't run Windows, that kind of bursts their bubble.
  21. erockerboy macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2002
    SEA, WA, US
    It's all about supply and demand.... or simple lust :D

    My biz partner has had the 12" PBook for awhile and I was always jealous of it.... it just made my 15" seem all bulky and clunky. So, I coughed up nearly $1K for a used one on eBay this last week.

    Guess I'm part of the problem :D
  22. aliasfox macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004

    I have my own Rev A that'll be going into surgery this week (new bottom case, DVD burner, screen-latch assembly, battery) that I plan on keeping and using long after I have to return my Rev D (lent from work).

    It's almost the same footprint as a sheet of paper - a MacBook can't even come close in terms of size. That amazing keyboard - MacBooks are nice, but I can type faster on the PowerBook keyboard. The screen isn't great, but I usually have it turned down quite low on battery power anyway.

    Of course, it's not all perfect - the baby PowerBook was always plagued with an underpowered graphics card, low RAM ceiling, and tinny speakers. Never given the top processor, it was always in the shadows cast by its bigger brothers and often barely a step ahead of the iBook. Not to mention the early build issues with warped cases. An iBook can fall off a table and still look like it's showroom material, a PowerBook's crumple zones don't afford that level of protection.

    Doesn't matter. until Apple puts an Intel processor and a real graphics card into a 12" chassis, you can pry my 12" machines from my cold, dead, fingers. $1000 ain't enough to take it from me!

    (I also have a Cube and an iMac G4, so I appreciate Apple industrial design at its finest, even if it is flawed in some way or another)
  23. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Oh, what I would give for a Core 2 Duo powered iMac (G4).... the best designed computer ever.

    P.S I also have a 12" PB and love it 2 death. (1.25 GB Ram, 1.5 Ghz G4)
  24. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I bought my 12" PB in March 2005 as my portable computer. But, I ended up liking it too much. So, I had to buy a 12" iBook so that I don't have to make my 12" PB subject to the potential daily hazard as it travels with me on the road. Even though I bought it to be a portable unit, it ended up staying close to desk. Good thing is it can drive 20" ACD without any problem.
  25. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    I have a Rev D 1.5 ghz/80g/1.25gb that I'll let go for $500 :)

    The reason is that it has a small dent behind the power port. PM if interested.

    (edited error in specs!)

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