Will it last me for 4 years of college?

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I have a 1.0 GHZ iBook right now. It's fine, but... My dad wants to by my iBook off me, because he wants one, but doesn't need the latest and greatest and I am taking advantage of the opportunity to upgrade.

My question is, can I expect a Powerbook (either 15 or 12") with at least a 1.25 GHZ G4 to last me four years of College even with the new intel deal?

Just need a little more assurance. Thanks!
 

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Also, I don't really want to turn this into another 12" vs 15" thread. but, just a quick question, has anyone had any experience using a 15" powerbook for notetaking? That is my only concern with the 15" for College. But I see there are a lot of College students with the 15". Thoughts?
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Seems like you should be OK. You'll probably be more than ready to upgrade when you graduate, but you should be fine. The apps you plan on using aren't that intense.
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,943
3
Citizens Bank Park
crazydreaming said:
Yes College in the fall, majoring in Business. Did you ^ come up with that conclusion based on the software I listed?

You should really quote people properly.

That conclusion was based on the software you listed. Machines go out of date very fast in regard to games. There is a lot of intense software that also goes out of date fairly quickly. The Apps from Apple will reasonably work for a long time. Newer versions of Photoshop may start to lag on your machine, but it will not be unusable.
 

pdpfilms

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2004
2,385
0
Vermontana
Keep this in mind-

Your future powerbook performance will not (and should not) slow down over the course of time. As computer development continues, your pb will not change. Every app you run now with no problem will run just as well in the future, as long as you don't buy new software with more rigorous requirements.

So I say yes, you will be fine. However, if you try to run the 2009 version of flash, you may notice the age of the 'book.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
I'm a student and I bought my laptop just before I started my course here - its a PC based laptop but it was the best at the time (Dell 8600). I still use it every day and don't really plan on upgrading just yet since it suits me fine and is still more than powerful enough. It'll be 2 years old in September. I don't take it to lectures though, partly because its too big but also partly because my course involves quite a bit of diagram drawing (Physics) and that ends up being a chore on a laptop.
I am however now thinking of getting an old second hand 12 inch iBook to take onto Campus with me. A 15 inch laptop just ends up being a bit clunky if you have to walk for 15 - 20 minutes to get to Campus and also its really obvious you have one in the lecture hall whereas if you've got a little 12 incher then it takes up far less space in your backpack / amongst your books or on your desk.
I'd recommend you get a 12 incher. If you feel like you need more processing grunt get a desktop in a year's time. I survived my first year happily with just my laptop but got myself a new desktop at the beginning of the second year for a bit more processing and gaming grunt.
 

crazydreaming

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Spanky Deluxe said:
its really obvious you have one in the lecture hall whereas if you've got a little 12 incher then it takes up far less space in your backpack / amongst your books or on your desk.
That's what I'm concerned about. What I like about the 12" iBook I have right now (see first post) is that when I do, (and have frequently) use it in public/class, I don't feel so bad because it's not so huge like some laptops... Nice and small, kinda keeps a low profile. But on the other hand, I sometimes think I could be more productive with a bigger screen.
 

MacHarne

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2005
321
0
Virginia, U.S.A.
There is a big difference between the Dell Inspiron 8600 Spanky Deluxe mentioned and the 15" PowerBook - the weight. The 8600 weighs 6.9 pounds with minimum configuration and the 15" PowerBook weighs 5.6 pounds. That is a very noticable difference.

Last fall, I had an Inspiron 8500 and a 15" PB. To carry the 8500 without burning my shoulders I had to buy a huge Targus backpack. The 15" PB fit perfectly in my messenger sling and I had no trouble with it. The 15" PB is still a fifteen-inch laptop, but the less weight is a huge factor.

crazydreaming, if you want to get a nice laptop to last for several years, I would recommend the 15" PB. It is certainly portable despite its size and you should never have any trouble with a screen that is cramped. The 12" iBooks or PBs are very nice, but sometimes it is nice to have a larger screen to work with. The composition of Macs at my university is heavily bent toward the 15" PB because it is a great all-around machine.

With that said, noticing from my signature, I have a 12" PB. But that's solely because I had a 15" PB for a while and wanted something as portable as possible. You could say that I'm the uber-mobile user and I don't mind the smaller screen real estate. I'm on the extreme when it comes to portability needs, so don't be under the impression that I'm urging you towards a machine you'll regret. The 15" PB, for the needs you listed, will keep you happy straight through university.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
If you're really worried about being less productive on a 12" laptop (which I can understand) then you could always use the money you've saved (which is about $500 I think) to help pay for a 20-inch Cinema (799). Maybe get an Apple Keyboard and Mouse and then you can plug your powerbook into the big screen etc when you're back in you're room and not in a notetaking-only environment where screen res doesn't really matter. The screen would be an investment because you'd be able to use it with a more powerful desktop should you feel the urge for more power after a year or two. Hell if you get a wireless keyboard and mouse then you won't even have to plug anything in!!

15 inch Powerbook with Superdrive - 2299

12 inch Powerbook with Superdrive - 1699
20 inch Apple Cinema Display - 799
Apple Wireless Mouse - 59
Apple Wireless Keyboard - 59

So a 15 inch Powerbook that's slightly faster (read negligable) and has Firewire 800 is $2299 whereas a 12 inch Powerbook with an Apple 20" display and wireless keyboard and mouse is $2616.

The latter configuration would be more practical for lectures, more practical in your room and would leave you with an awesome screen and wireless stuff to use on a future powermac desktop should you want to go that route.

All of the prices are from the normal Apple store since I don't know how to get into the US Edu store since I live in the UK.

Also, if you're only interested in the Combo versions of the Powerbooks then there wouldn't be any difference in processor speed between the 12 and 15" models but the 12 would have 20gb less hard drive space. The price 'difference' would remain the same.

Edit: MacHame, I see what you mean about the Dell/Powerbook weight comparison but its also the bulk of it. I don't know what campuses are like over in the States or how accomodation works but over here in the UK you live on Campus for the first year and then you rent houses with mates further afield. Since you're not allowed to drive in, you generally have to walk 15-40 minutes to get in. I'm luck in that I live 5 minutes from lectures still yet I still take the bare minimum of stuff with me. No notes, nothing. Just me, a pad of paper, a pair of (rather chewed) biros and my ipod. Yeah, ipod for 5 minutes walk - crazy but strangely necessary.
 

Eastend

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2004
376
7
Nara, Japan
By writing this I do not want to throw a wrench into anybody's dreams. However, I own an old Ti Book 500, it's 4 and half years old. The new PowerBooks compared to my PowerBook is almost 3 times faster by Benchmarks. For email and surfing the web there is very little difference, but for just using Photo Shop there is a tremendous difference between the two machines. Within a 4 year span, you can bet that the PowerBook will be over 3 GHz by that time (Intel or whatever). (Probably closer to 4GHz, 4 years is a long time in the computer world.) If you go back 2 years it's not a shocking difference, but 4 or 5 years between PowerBooks is a world of difference. I own a G5 for heavy audio work, a Mac Mini for my office work and the old PowerBook for when I go away from the office for any extended period (2 days or more.). Get what you need, for you it's 4 years of use and Photo Shop eats CPU's and Ram. 4 or 5 years from now an old PowerBook may take 3 minutes just to start the then new Photo Shop Application.

Brian
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
I suggest that you buy older generation 15-incher. They're about the same price as current 12!! :)
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,623
1,196
Georgia
If you plan to carry the computer with you get the 12" powerbook. I just finished college and had a 12" ibook and that thing was great. However, I couldn't imagine carrying around the 15" powerbook. One thing I found out I'm sorry to say but taking notes with a notebook was not practical. In most classes teachers jump around in a topic and draw diagrams. It is much easier to take notes with pen and paper unfortunately, except for the few extremely organized teachers that make notes available online at the beggining of a semester. Much much easier!
 

NtotheIzoo

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2005
191
0
Spanky Deluxe said:
then you could always use the money you've saved (which is about $500 I think) to help pay for a 20-inch Cinema (799).
Or you could get the dell 20-incher...I have it and very glad I made the purchase...if you look around you could get it for 403 like I did...just a thought :rolleyes:

edit: i cant spell...
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
10,392
quae tangit perit Trump
crazydreaming said:
Also, I don't really want to turn this into another 12" vs 15" thread. but, just a quick question, has anyone had any experience using a 15" powerbook for notetaking? That is my only concern with the 15" for College. But I see there are a lot of College students with the 15". Thoughts?
I used a 15" Powerbook for graduate stuff and it worked really well, although going back I might have chosen the 12" for the size. Most of the time the 15" PB fits on desks just fine, but when it doesn't it can be annoying. But, I've had the machine since 2001 and it's been used everyday for writing, internet, digital photo work and iLife.
 

ozone

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2004
437
31
Ontario, Canada
Get a tablet. Yes, it's Microsoft, but the 2nd generation tablets work pretty well.

Depends on what you're taking in college, but the ability to freehand draw diagrams, etc. is a big plus. If the course are where the prof just dictates, then a keyboard by itself would probably suffice.

Too bad Apple doesn't have a tablet yet.

Go lighter if you can since you'll be moving from one place to another frequently. And some of the older lecture theatre chairs with the puny desks are hard to balance a large laptop on. Trust me: I was in university for 11 years.
 

Montserrat

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2004
224
0
UK
crazydreaming said:
That's what I'm concerned about. What I like about the 12" iBook I have right now (see first post) is that when I do, (and have frequently) use it in public/class, I don't feel so bad because it's not so huge like some laptops... Nice and small, kinda keeps a low profile. But on the other hand, I sometimes think I could be more productive with a bigger screen.

Could do what I do with the powerbook and just 'borrow' a computer monitor from uni computer room or wherever and wire it up as a secondary display. One feature that I'm glad I bought the powerbook for - really portable, but when there's another display around you can have acres of space.
That said, the 32 Mb video card really struggles if the secondary display is run at a high resolution, but still really impresses windows friends, especially when, in true Mac OS X style, you don't have to have introduced the monitor and computer to each other several days before!

Have several friends waiting on the iBook update - keep telling them to hold on because they are so overdue, but not sure that we're going to see them anytime soon. Maybe DualCore PBs and upgraded iBooks this tuesday!
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Education price for the 12" PB is $1499 w/ Superdrive
$699 for the 20" ACD.
This the perfect combo many pros use

And now you get a free iPod mini with the mail in "cram and jam" rebate.
The 12" PB also fits everywhere, like in your book bag easily.

The 15" 1.67 model with the 128MB VRAM is certainly sweet, but it's $690
more than the 12" and a bit much to spend on a single G4 processor model
this late in the game.

The 12" PB gives you the best value for the use you've indicated.
 

weldon

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2004
643
0
Denver, CO
I would definitely look at the 12" iBook and an LCD display. Really think hard about the extra features of the PowerBook to decide if you have to have them. You can upgrade to an 80GB hard drive and bluetooth and still save at least $300 on the laptop.

The apple 20" display is nice, but I got my Dell 2005FPW for under $400. The $300 difference will go a long ways in college. The Dell LCD has an advantage in that it takes multiple inputs. You can hook your laptop up to the VGA, get a DVD player with DVI, and game machine to VGA.

[Edit: iBook has VGA out, while PowerBook has mini-DVI]