Why PB over iB for travel?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by uspcommuter, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. uspcommuter macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2004
    Hey Y'all,

    With an update coming soon, I am having the itch to get a new computer. I am thinking about purchasing one of the books instead of a desktop, because of the major factor of travel.

    Here is how my life looks like on a regular basis:

    -Walk to subway
    -Clases Mon-Fri (use laptop in class at least once a week to replace a 1000page reference book literally)
    -Come back home
    -Regular computing needs (iPhoto, Email, Internet surfing, Once a month video editing, AIM)
    -Business Travel approx. once every two months. Location: usually 200 miles away from my home.

    Now I know many people here would suggest the ibook b/c its sturdier and more of a value. But I must say the ability to native support external higher resolution displays is important to me (yes I know there is a hack for this). And yes the design itself is a selling point for me. :-D

    So the two questions are Why should I pick the pb over the ib with my needs? Would I be able to make the book last up to 3 years with my level of activities? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    The general wisdom on durability seems to be that ibooks get scratched (really easy) and powerbooks get scratched and perhaps dented (if you're unlucky and drop it). I carried around a 12" ibook around for nearly 3 years and yes it got a bit scratched but still worked fine. I've just got a 15" powerbook. Yes it's bigger and needed a bigger bag but I didn't notice it was that much heavier. I haven't scratched yet though no doubt that terrible and depressing day will come. :(

    I can't really see the need to buy the 12" powerbook over an ibook other than for the natively supported spanning and the DVI out. The bigger powerbooks have better screens than either of the 12". The 15" is probably the best balance of features but is twice the price of a 12" ibook. The 17" powerbooks are much bigger than the 12"'s but don't seem that huge once you've got use to the size of a 15" so I'd disagree with those that say they aren't portables. They aren't really any less portable than a 15" if you have a decent bag. Add to that there has never been a problem with the 17" machines. No logic board problems, no dodgy batteries, no white spots, no lower memory slot issues...nothing.

    It's your money but it comes down to how much screen you like/need and does the screen-spanning bother you. The PB's look more business-like (IMO). But any ibook/powerbook would be fine with all the uses you mention.
  3. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I have a 12" Powerbook and it's a lot more than people would have you believe.

    - 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 vs 1.33GHz PowerPC G4
    - 5400-rpm hard drive vs 4200 rpm
    - NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 (64MB DDR) vs ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 (32MB DDR)
    - 10/100BASE-T Ethernet vs not
    - Analog audio in/out vs not
    - Mini-DVI out vs not
    - Built-in stereo speakers with midrange-enhancing third speaker vs not

    Having said that though, the iBook would more than adequately suit your needs.
  4. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    The iBooks have it.
  5. persianpunisher macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2005
    i think he meant the Gigabit.
  6. tsk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2004
    It seems like you're looking for an excuse to get the PB, so I'd say get that unless you plan on tossing bricks at your laptop or dropping it regularly.

    Obviously the PB should last longer than the iBook with proper care since it's faster. I think you ought to be able to make the iBook last for 3 years, but that's really not something I like to comment on. Some people are perfectly happy with 5 year old laptops. I on the other hand see shiny new laptops when mine is about 6-9 months old and think it's time to upgrade.

    As far as durability, it seems like the iBook can certainly take more of a whack than the PB. But, my experience is the PB is much more resistant to light scratches than the iBook. The iBook gets all kinds of tiny little scratches no matter how careful you are. The PB will not get these light scratches, but it will dent and get heavier scratches. It depends on how much care you are planning on giving the laptop.
  7. godbout macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Which the 12" does not have
  8. wrxguy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2005
    Deepest Regions of Hell
    the power and performance of the PB is amazing...i haven't gotton much of a chance to use the iB but I know that i do alot of travel across the nation for work and i take my PB w/ me everywhere and it works perfect
  9. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    I'd like to note that i do not own either a Powerbook or iBook and this story is not directly related to me. However, when i was at the genius bar in the Apple Sagemore store a few weeks ago for an iPod issue, a customer asked the genius if there was a large value for the price to get the 12'' PB instead of the 12'' iB, and he told the following story:

    "yes i do think it is worth it to get the PB, not just because i am a worker at an Apple store, but i have directly dealt with Laptops that were dropped and needed repairs. No iBooks that came in were able to turn on if they somehow managed not to shatter. All the laptops had been dropped on the corner, where yes the hard drive is... The iBooks' plastic shattered completely rendering them useless. He hasn't seen one iBook have a drop on its corner and live. However The Alu. casing the PBs saved them from shattering. They ( i believe he saw 3 PBs with those kind of drops) all had dents, largest was 3 inches deep INTO THE POWERBOOK, and they still turned on despite having an enormous gash in it. You will not see an iBook have anywhere near similar results."

    he went on to say that for that purpose of still having a useable machine it was worth it to have the PBs. He also noted of course the other features that it had over the iBook, but since you travel a lot, this might be helpful to you. So for durability alone, i would say it would be wise to splurge on the PB.
  10. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    I think you'd be right to choose either one... maybe wait until the expo and see if any difference then does it for you?
  11. enckwanzer macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2005
    Charleston, IL, USA
    I originally bought an iBook for the types of purposes you are looking at one for. Actually, I was preparing to make a number of research trips to NYC and wanted a compact laptop that would get the job done. The iBook worked quite well. Since then, however, I have sold my iBook and procured a 12"PB. I like it a *lot* better. It's faster, sleeker, and lighter. I haven't gone to NYC with it yet, but I'm much happier having it now for teaching and research locally. If you've got the money, go for the PB. You won't be disappointed.
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    In your case, I'd go for the 12" PowerBook.

    Faster processor, faster HD, better GPU support, DVI out for those important presentations
    and it won't hurt your professional image at all.

    As budget permits, then add a good external display for those intensive projects and you'll be set.
  13. deetschei macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2005
    How many times have people reminded us that its better to just not drop it?
    Seriously though. your mind is already made up, you just want us to tell you that you're right. i can't do it though. following last iBook upgrade, and no idea when pbook will upgrade, there is just too little difference between the machines to justify the price. get the iBook and applecare, plus crucial ram, and you'll still save enough to make it worth it!
  14. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    I am in a similar situation myself... I just can't decide. I did, however, decide to wait until after Paris Expo to see if anything happens with the PBs. If not, I will be very tempted to go with the iBook.
  15. 40167 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    If your debating between the 12inch pbook and 12inch ibook, id get the powerbook just because it looks cooler (IMHO) and the 12inch pbook is smaller than the 12inch ibook; there was a picture on the forums here a while back that had them side by side, but I forgot to save them.

    The powerbook also has a bit more power and the case might last longer while looking good, as long as you dont drop it. Yeah the ibook case can shatter, but it takes quite a bit where I think the powerbook would dent before the ibook could shatter; but once the ibook shatters youd be better off with the dented powerbook. - Personaly, I hope apple starts using carbon fibre.
  16. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    Or, you should get both, like I did. Even though I bought a 12" PB to take it with me when I travel, I was too concerned about damaging this nice piece of machine. So, I got a 12" iBook for the travel use. I am not going to use the external screen with this iBook; so the lack of screen spanning feature with iBook was not an issue. My other Al PBs are used for that already. Both machines are nice and compact. If you put in an extra 1 GB of RAM, the iBook will be a very decent performer. I immediately noticed the speed increase after putting in a 1 GB of Samsung Ram this evening.
  17. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    I love my 15" PB but the 14" iBook is a much better value right now.
  18. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    Get the iBook. From what you described, it will easily handle your computing needs in three years, as long as you aren't a big gamer.
  19. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    I like the iBook because of the way the aluminum dents and "pits". Darn plastic scratches easy. I tell you, I touch it, and bam...scratch appears. In the right light, the palm rests look like a cat scratched them. :D

    But hey, it's just a computer...
  20. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Umm, I've dropped my iBook 3 times and it's been fine- no shattering as was mentioned. And it was dropped on it's corners all three times. I don't mind the scratching, as it can be fixed with Ice Creme scratch remover. I would get one again as it's survived trains, buses and planes quite well. I take it with me every day.
  21. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    You will not be disappointed if you get a PB. They are fantastic machines. I too was tossing up between the PB and iBook, and even though the PB is more expensive, I figured it would last me longer and it looks so much better!
    I recommend actually going and checking out both models, because when i did this I instatnlt decided on the PB. The iBook feels cheap and plasticy IMO, particularly the keyboard.

    I use my PB for exactly the same things (including taking it to class) you will use it for and I have not once had a problem with it's performance. The only possible disadvantage is that the battery life is not quite as good as the iBooks.

    It's up to you, but go the PB. You know you want to! ;)
  22. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    I own a 12'PB and I love it!!! :D I was waiting for long time for new upgraded PBs and when Steve moved macs to intel, I ran to the apple store....this was the scenario:

    Uses: pretty much the same as you during weekends...but during weekdays my research makes me crunch data from thousands of genes and so heavy computation required...

    Which laptop? I just wanted to pick up a mac laptop to act as a stopgap, before the 2nd gen mactels which I will be picking up...that ruled out the bigger PBs....but though a stopgap, it would have to serve all the basic needs!!! So I spent hours in the store doing different things with the iBooks and 12' PB....

    Result: I loved the 12er way more than either of the iBooks....we could argue a thousand good points for both kinds, but the ONLY one to know the answer would be YOU!!! So I would suggest checking them both out for all the basic uses and feel for what impresses you better....then go for it.... :)
  23. AJ Muni macrumors 65816

    AJ Muni

    Aug 4, 2005
    here ya go....this was the 12'' ibook i sold to get the 12'' pb. look how bigger the ibook is compared to the powerbook, eve though they are both 12''

    Attached Files:

  24. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I own both a 12" 1.33GHz PB as well as the new 12" 1.33GHz iBook...

    Yes the PB is sleeker, lighter, nicer keyboard, natively supported screen spanning, etc. etc. etc.

    But if you really don't need those little extras, why not save a good chunk of $$$ by getting the currently awesome iBook and put the extra $$$ towards a comfortable/secure bag/backpack to transport your new lappy in? And a protective sleeve... and/or AppleCare, and/or more RAM.

    If I had stumbled upon MR a year ago when I purchased my PB I would have went w/ an iBook and saved loads of cash because I really did NOT need those extra features. That's why I've given my PB to my older sister (who has the right to it as it would be her primary computer) and got the iBook for myself instead.
  25. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Until they update the powerbooks, I cannot see buying one over an ibook, except in the very rare case of someone who really needs a feature like DVI or audio in (or someone who has enough money that they extra few hundred just doesn't matter at all). The powerbooks are clearly still better, but they are also about 50% more expensive, and you don't get even close to 50% more value/performance.

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