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I'm a long time listener, but first time caller...
I've got a 7200/600 ppc and now I'm saving my cash to buy a powerbook of some sort. I've been looking at the pb g3 pismo 400 or 500 but I'm wondering if I should wait a while, save up some more money and get a new ibook. Any advice, thoughts???
 

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There are some pretty good second hand prices on Pismos (the last generation of G3 powerbooks) but there are also some sweet prices on iBooks. Depends on what you are looking for. The Pismo has a bigger screen (14.1") and removable accessories, is Airport compatible and has firewire and USB ports.

The iBooks have 12" screens (but these are high res - there is a 14" screen version too) and no drive bays but are (I think) a much more rugged design. Battery life is excellent but the max RAM you can install is less than a Pismo. You should go visit a store and see an iBook in the flesh.

It also depends on what you want to do with it. The pismos are over 2 years old now so some of the technology is past its best (especially OS X games since the video card has only 8Mb of VRAM). The newer iBooks have passable video cards with 16 or more Mb of VRAM.

A new iBook (700 MHz) starts at $1600 and used go for $1000-1400. Pismos (depending on the amount of RAM and accessories) are going for 1200-1500.

With used machines, you'll probably need a new battery as they deteriorate with age. Also, check that the laptop is recharging well as this seems to be a problem with some Apple machines (and is costly to repair).

If you buy new, you should also think about the 3 year AppleCare warranty. Since you can buy this at any time in the first year, it doesn't have to hit you at purchase time.

I've used both and my preference is for the iBook because of the overall design. But if you can get a good price on a well looked after Pismo it is definitely worth considering as its also a great laptop.
 

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I'm very happy with my iBook 800
 

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Textrix, this has been a long standing debate. I might suggestthis article. There are some more out there covering the same. I will tell you this: Pismos will be favored for many reasons. Read up and ask away if you have any other Q?. BTW, there are plently of Pismos for sale these days. You can find some hot ones out there for great $$, and still under warranty too...
 

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Just a note about the insanely-great feature:

The Current iBooks have a 512K On CHip L2 cache, much faster than the 1MB backside cache of the Pismo. Also, the Current iBooks have 20 or 30 GB hard drives, not just 10 or 20.
The Pismo will do you fine if you are going to run OS 9, but if you want to run OS X at all, the Radeon 7500 Mobility card in the new iBooks gives you QE compatibility and the newer faster performing processor will get things done a lot faster.

True, the new iBooks don't have Audio in, but they do have the option of video out via either S-Video or Composite (aka RCA) by way of a 30$ adapter.

Not to say that the Pismo is not a great machine, but these days there is less and less reason to buy them, especially at the inflated prices they are going for.

In my view, you can either go with the Pismo and save a few bucks, but at the same time you will see it outlive its usefulness a lot quicker.

--PB
 

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Don't go ANY lower than an iBook with a 16MB GPU. The 800s with the 32MB GPUs are pristine -- I used to have one. Quartz Extreme is crucial to OS X. I disliked how slow my old 500 iBook was in X -- it had an 8MB GPU which couldn't support QE -- clicking menus, scrolling (iTunes was dreadfully chuggy) and basic use was like trying to chew on Macintosh toffee.
 

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my only reservation ever with the Pismo has been the video card. Outside of that, all has been love. Immense amounts of features, But by all means, I would be looking at the 12" PB for sure....
 
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