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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks!

I will be purchasing a Laptop in the next couple of weeks, and was hoping you wise (wo)men could help out.

I am a light user, i use my computer for entertainment, not business. I use mostly internet apps, and i will dabble in Photoshop and iMovie.

Apps i most commonly use:

IE
Safari
MS Office Suite
iTunes (Big Time!)
Messenger
LimeWire
Photoshop
iPhoto
iMovie

And thats really about it.

I am currently using an iMac G3 500MHZ, 768MB RAM, 80GB HD, and i find it suits my needs. owever, i am sick of using a CRT. My first computer was a 6500, and it had a CRT, and i didn't mind. I upgraded to a Pismo 400MHZ, and was blown away by how clear the LCD display was. Also, it was compact, didn't radiate any heat, and was really easy on the eyes.

I made the decision to get rid of the Pismo to get a Quicksilver, with a CRT. Bad decision, impulse buy. Wanted the latest and greatest. Missed the Pismo to death. Money was tight, and the G4 was LOUD, so i sold it and bought this iMac. Its great, quiet, peppy, cute, but i am yearning for a LCD. What really put the nail in the coffin was that i bought a used PC laptop from work, and it has a beautiful LCD display. Using that for 5 minutes makes me yearn for an iBook or PB. Also, i am dying to go wireless, and wil be buying an ABS with my Laptop.

So i am taking the plunge!

After listening to me babble on about my computing habits, what machine would you recommend?

Here are my thoughts. iBook. Seems more rugged, has a high clock speed and decent vid card. Has been around for ages, and seems to be pretty reliable. However, what happens when Panther is released? How long of a lifespan can it have? It will be a couple tiers down processor wise. 970, G4, then G3. I was running a 603e when OSX was introduced, and i know what it is like to be left in the dust.

PB 12". G4!, no paint to chip, cooler look, same great screen. Altivec. And the potential to be more usefull, for a longer period of time. Now, unfortunatly, its is apparently hot as hell, and has had some issues with chassis warping. Also, the VideoCard doesn't seem to function as well as the iBooks ATI Radeon, in the opinions of some. And, it is a "Rev A" product. I have been told by many people that i should stay away from a Rev A Apple product. Especially a laptop.

Now, money isn't a huge concern. They are only about $400CDN apart.

Can any iBook owners (900MHZ preferebly) and 12" PB owners chime in with their thoughts? How has your machine performed? Have you had to send it back at all? Everyone else, let me know your thoughs as well please!

Thanks,

Peter
 

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Bought a PB12 384MB about 4 weeks ago and am getting it changed 'cuz the battery management doesn't work properly. Assuming that the new one performs better, I would say that it's a gorgeous machine that performs really well. Only drawback is getting your left wrist toasted daily but after a while you don't notice...

I looked at some speed tests for all portable macs last week and the PB12 was way ahead of any G3 and pretty close to the Ti15/1GHz in most cases. I use iMovies a lot and this really pushes the machine in terms of speed (you can do several things at the same time but they do take a while to complete (e.g. modifying transitions or adding effects).

On that basis I wouldn't hesitate + would hate to be 2 processors behind.
 

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If you can swing the cash, the 12" powerbook is the way to go. It's an easier decision today than it was a couple of weeks ago, as the price dropped around $300 Cdn.

The slot-loading CD/DVD is a nice selling point, as there is no tray to break.

The aluminum shell is very attractive - though your comment that there is no paint to chip, unlike the ibook, isn't entirely accurate, as the mid- and high-end iBooks are clear plastic shells with paint on the <u>inside</u>, which is not likely to chip or fade away (though it can be removed on purpose, making very funky cool transparent laptops link 1, link 2).

The 12" Powerbook's keyboard is better than excellent.

The 12" Powerbook has a line-in for audio, which may be useful to some.

The Powerbook does desktop spanning to an external monitor, while the iBook just mirrors.

And the heat issue? I thought that was solved... the problem being people not properly calibrating their battery on the first day out of the box (it doesn't know how far it can charge the battery, so it keeps charging, and all that juice is wasted as heat).

If looks are important, the Powerbook has a professional appearance, whereas the iBook, while cool, does come off as a bit of a toy.

You could always enroll at university for a year, and get the education price...


M.

[ June 22, 2003, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: CubaMark ]
 

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Agreed. As mentioned above I have probs w. heat which may be due to the battery pb you mention. However, the battery sits on the right hand side of the keyboard and the heat comes from the left...
 

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Whatever you do, do not get a G3 at this stage of the game...especially if you intend to do any amount of iMovie making. I had a G3 PowerBook that was loaded to the hilt with RAM and transitions were still rendered painfully slow. Even on my newer G4 800, the transitions are slow.

Get a PowerBook....and wait to see what tomorrow brings at the WWDC before buying anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input, fellas!

Cubamark: I know the iBook is not painted on the inside. What i was referring to (and i should have been more specific) was the paint issue with the TiBooks. I always wanted one. It just seems there was so many quality control problems, and the paint being one of them.

Keep it coming everyone.

Peter
 

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Although the 12" powerbook is a first gen machine, its internals are tried and tested in many ways. This machine takes the best of the titanuium powerbook and packages it into a small package. Its a pretty good compromise on portability although I do prefer larger screens. The 867 MHz processor and video card are unlikely to fall behind in app speed, etc. as quickly as the 900 MHz G3 of the iBook. The iBook is a cool design but the best feature, the hinged display, is now a part of the powerbook line. It really is a cool design and much more resiliant that the Titanium. It's a shamne it doesn't have the lighted keys of the 17" though. That's a joy to behold.
 

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I have a 12" Powerbook with superdrive and maxed out RAM (640MB). I have no complaints aside from the heat.

The battery lasts, on average 2.5-3.5 hours depending on what I'm doing. I prefer to take the battery out when I use the AC adapter, I've heard that "trickle" charging can diminish overall battery life and charging ability.
 

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Well, it takes you a while to get used to running on battery power, and how to properly manage and maximize the time you can obtain from its battery.

The AirPort Extreme card, with OS X before 10.2.4, on the 12", can severely impact battery time. But once I had 10.2.6 on here, it added a fix for the charging of the battery. Also, on your first use, you should fully charge the battery, then run it down to the point where the 'Book goes to sleep, and then fully charge it again. This 'instructs' the 12" the upper and lower limits of the battery's energy capabilities, and the battery will charge better, faster, and hold a longer charge.

Essentially, if you're in a portable capacity and you're just word processing or some other non-internet task, turn off the Bluetooth Radio, turn-off AirPort Extreme, and drop the brigthness a bit. You could also place the PB in a lower-power mode with the energy control panel. Lastly, unplug all FireWire and USB devices that are not required for your task as you will get a far better charge duration.

Oddities, I guess it's because Apple claims 5-hours of battery time, but one must not forget that that is based on impossibly ideal conditions, such as the powerbook having its screen brightness off, no communications card, no external peripherals, suspended in a zero-G environment at 4-degress celcius in the shade. I never get more than about 2.5 hrs of battery time - and less with a DVD movie. But, the other 'Books are probably about the same when it comes to battery capacity and duration, so there is no better 'out there'.
 

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I picked-up a 12" AlPB on the 16th, despite a possible speed-bump tomorrow (today?).

Likes:
- Relatively inexpensive
- Small, compact, ultra-portable
- Relative good overall performance (CPU/Video)
- G4 processor, Superdrive, AP Extreme, Bluetooth
- Aluminum (sexy, silvery)

Dislikes:
- No L3
- HOTTTTT!
- No DVI, only VGA
- Battery oddities
- 640MB max (unless you drop $900 US on a 1GB DIMM)

Even if you don't need the power of a G4, you get it, and it may save you with 10.4 or 10.5 down the road that may NEED a G4 or better proc. You can never have too much performance. AP Extreme and integrated Bluetooth are good options, and add to resale value.
 

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Funny about the oddities Neil. You only get 3.5 hours? really? I get almost 4.5 from this TiBook of mine - which I'm thoroughly impressed with. Although I am running a 400 - but I didnt' imagine that the doubling of speed would cause such a time drop...

But re: the iBook vs 12"PB? PB all the way. The price is way too close to not want to get it, considering what you get in return - aside from assured performance from get go. Esp if you start to get into any of the iLife apps, you're good with the PB. It's worth the little bit of $$ it'll cost to get.
 

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I'd wait 'til Macworld Creative Pro mid-July -- slight, slight chance of something brewin' from Apple in the portable realm. PURE SPECULATION. PURE SPECULATATION -- can't stress that enough. Maybe a roadmap will be set for when we'll see new rigs at least.

Greg Joswiak, Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing at Apple is supposed to be speaking at/on this time/date:

Wednesday, July 16
9:30 am – 10:30 am
 

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Well, you can always wait. There's always going to be a refresh down the time-line. But, how long is that wait? How long do you want to wait? I just needed something, and frankly I found $2200 + taxes etc a great price for the 12" AlPB. I did pay over $6000 2 yrs ago for my Quicksilver 867 + LCD, and my ALPB has similar if not indentical specs to it, but in a 4 lb pancake.

Will there be a 1GHz 12" AlPB? Yes, most likely. However, i'm not going to cry over my current purchase - Macs have good resale values, and I typically upgrade at least once a year, which means the current machine is in great shape and still relatively current (worth something). However, if you're a once-every-five-years upgrader, then wait til the Fall, since that AlPB Speed-bump/refresh cycle will likely arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am tempted to wait. Neil makes a good point though. You can always justify waiting. There is always something better around the curve. The main thing to me is: will this machine suit my needs now, and for the forseeable future(2 years or so)?

Heck, i personally think that the iBook could last me two years at least.

I truly am surprised that nobody said "for what you are doing, the iBook is more than enough". It really is. However, the build quality, AE, and desktop spanning are all things i plan to use. The only thing the iBook would be holding me back with would be iMovie use, and Photoshop use. Both of which i dabble in. I can really dabble with the PB, but if i do go hard core into them, a used G4 tower could be in my future. The prices will drop on these suckers so fast once the G5's hit the sales floor.

That said, i think it will be the PB, and i don't think i will wait, unless i heard rumblings from reputable sources, of which i have a few that have been spot on the last couple of years.

To sum it up:

I CAN'T WAIT!

Peter
 

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nice move. Let us know when you get it.

H!
 

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As long as we're indulging in pure speculation, here's mine:

If there are going to be new iBooks before Christmas, it makes sense to announce them in time for Back to School purchases. The mid-July Macworld/CreativePro show would fit the bill nicely.

SMc
 
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