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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's nearly time for me to decide whether to buy a 12" Powerbook or 14" G4 iBook. The price difference in the configuration I want is substantial. The 12" Powerbook, with 1.2 megs of RAM, AirPort Extreme, Superdrive and Applecare comes to approximately $4,500. The 14" iBook, running at 1GH with the maximum 640 megs of RAM, AirPort, Combodrive and Applecare comes in at about $2,800. As near as I can tell, aside from the obvious drive and RAM differences the only other major differences between the two machines is the digital video interface that is built into the Powerbook, and the plastic vs. aluminum case. This is quite an important purchase for me because it will be a major component of my digital office as my freelance writing/ photography career picks up speed in the coming year. As well, I can write off the purchase against my 2003 earnings, which will be much higher than what I am likely to earn next year. I will be doing a lot of travelling in the coming year, and the machine will be coming along. I'd appreciate hearing from current owners of either machine to get their feedback,and perceived advantages/disadvantages of the gear. Whatever else happens, I have to decide before Dec. 31. Thanks, Jazzboy.
 

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The most important difference is that the iBook uses the older MPC7445 G4, which has a 256k L2 cache, whereas the 12" PowerBook uses the newer MPC7447 G4 processor which has a 512k L2 cache.

Basically, the new processor is going to be much more efficient, as much as twice the work can be done per cycle.

Add that to the higher RAM capacity and the DVD burner and you have your price difference. I'd say it's worth going for the powerbook if you are going to do anything that want more horsepower (such as PhotoShop).

Oh, and if you plan on moving around a lot the PowerBook is worth the extra coin just for the weight difference. You'd not think it, but 6lbs is quite heavy to carry around.

--PB
 

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Oh yeah, the PowerBooks come with Bluetooth pre-installed whereas it is an option on the iBooks. I don't know if that is important to you, but it is a difference.

--PB
 

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Having used the 12" iBook G4 and having ordered the Powerbook, I can say the iBook has a better battery life due to larger battery life.

Another thing to consider is that with the iBook Bluetooth is an added option you either get BTO or have to use a USB device while all the Powerbooks come with it built in.

The 12" iBook is 5 lbs, so its lighter then the 14" and is real nice and light, however the 12" Powerbook is 4.5 lbs. and is like a really strong sub notebook.

Another reason for the price difference is that Apple makes more profit off of its high end items then compared to its consumer items, but you do pay for quality.
 

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You see this was exactly my point... Apple really screwed up with the G4 iBooks cutting into there PB sales this case clearly illustrates my point.

BTW... If I were you i'd go with the iBook G4... $2000 difference is huge! you could get a 15" iMac FP from futureshop with that $2000... or a G4 Tower with Superdrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all who took the time to reply to my post. In the end, I bought the 12" Powerbook, upgraded to 640MG RAM, Airport Extreme and Applecare. By reducing my RAM demands (the 1G chip cost more than $1,000!) and sticking with the Combo drive I was able to keep the price well under $4,000. The same day -- and at the same store -- I bought the new Canon Rebel Digital SLR, extra battery and two 256M memory cards. I am waiting to take delivery of a travel bag that has room not only for! the camera and lenses, but a special compartment for the Powerbook as well. My digital office is now in order, and I will be hitting the road after New Year to write several travel pieces. Am I pumped? Oh, yeah ...!
 

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For the record, I recieved my Powerbook last night.

Sitting the 12" iBook beside the 12" Powerbook, and I'd choose the Powerbook for sheer looks and a few other factors.

The iBook is awesome, and I can tell you that from experience, but the Powerbook is even better.

Specifics:
Trackpad: The Powerbook trackpad seems to be much more exacting and ignores more actual accidental input then the iBook track pad. It is also more comfortable if that is possible.

Keyboard: The iBook keyboard is comfortable and very nice to use. The Powerbook keyboard is even better. The keyboard is elevated a few more millimetres then the iBook keyboard, but the extra little height helps make it even nicer to use. If it was possible to be more comfortable then the iBook G4 keyboard, the Powerbook beats it hands down.

Bluetooth: Powerbook comes with Bluetooth. iBook needs USB dongle or BTO option.

Input Placement: The iBook has all your peripheral addons on the left side, with the power cord and optical drive on the right. The Powerbook has everything on the left and the optical drive on the right. The placement of the power cord and which side usually doesn't matter for most people but for me I found the left side works much better with my desk.

Overall Look: The PB is smaller in size along with being lighter, and its downright gorgeous. The iBook looks great, but not quite up to the par that the Powerbook is, IMHO. They are however two different machines and two different markets and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Not an indepth review or anything, but just what I've found in my experience with both in the last 24 hours.
 

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Chealion, lemme ask you this then - as I've been locked in this slight tug of war:

How much are the following worth:

Monitor spanning
Line in
int BlueTooth
xtra 256 K in cache.
the op for a Superdrive
a 200 Mhz bump in speed
* and a slick case *

That is what I think the PB has over the iBook - but what is all of that worth?? I wanted to get the PB for the line in (may play with some sound later), and the spanning? I don't fancy the hack all that much, but it's there (promised myself to get back into design). Someone here got rid of their iBook as the recording via iMic was not cool... Int BT would be cool, as the dongle can a little annoying - it takes up a slot (have it now on Pismo - pretty cool). Cache bump? Is it that noticeable @ 800 Mhz-1Ghz speeds? The superdrive options... read tons of reports on externals.

Is all of that worth an xtra $800+?? I could get another iPod (40G) for that much! Really wondering... what are Photoshop reports like on the iBook??

[phew]

Thanks. ;)

H!
 

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Personally for me the specs weren't the deciding difference. The compactness and the lighter weight were some things that sold me.

The 12" Powerbook's size is a little smaller, and it weighs a little lighter (4.5 instead of just under 5 lbs.)

Apple supported Monitor Spanning is a little nicer, but the script to run the hack on the iBooks runs just fine.

The Line In, may be of great use to you if you happen to work with audio, And also the cache difference and 200 Mhz difference can be felt between the 12" iBook and 12" Powerbook. Not a heck of a lot, but there is a difference.

Your best bet as to which one to choose would be to take them for test drives. Try them at your local Mac reseller for a half hour or so and see which one suits you more. The 12" Powerbook is just so comfortable, but that is me.

Best of luck in your decision Ohenri!
 

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Re: the cache difference,

The more of a load you lump onto the PowerBook the more you should be able to tell the difference.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm a bit confused about the amount of RAM in my new 12" Powerbook that started this thread. I thought 256M of RAM that come in the standard configuration were divided into two 128M chips, only one of them removable. So when I got my 512M upgrade I thought my total RAM would be 640M: 128M + 512M = 640M (see earlier post in this thread). Yet the About this Mac info indicates the total is 768M. Can anyone elucidate?
 

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my powerbook came with one 256 piece of ram installed and then I bought a 512mb piece of ram as well. this could be why you are at 712...
 

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The Rev. A 12" Powerbook and iBook G4s come with 128 MB RAM on the mother board, and one slot for RAM.

The Rev. B 12" Powerbook (the current one) has 256 MB RAM on the motherboard. and one RAM slot. So adding 512 upped it to 768.
 

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Might do a little test drive tomorrow actually. Thanks.

H!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Chealion, thanks for the info. BTW, this is my first message to ehmac on Bluebird, as I've come to call my new jewel.
Cheers,
Jazzboy
 

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Enjoy and treat Bluebird well. Being fortunate enought to have owned a 12" iBook, 12" PowerBook and 15" PowerBook over the last 6 months, I can safely say that they are all great machines, my favorite remains the 12" PowerBook, which if not for the heat warping issues of the REV. a would still be with me.

:D
 
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