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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook=iBook?

MacBook=iBook?
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Dec 15, 2006, 05:20 PM
 
So, is the MacBook considered Apple's replacement for the iBook? If so, why only a 13" screen option for a consumer notebook?

Is there an additional line coming out for Apple's non-Pro customers?

I ask because I am going to be purchasing a laptop for my Parents and I have trouble seeing them using a 13" screen at their age.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by headbirth View Post
So, is the MacBook considered Apple's replacement for the iBook?
Yes.

If so, why only a 13" screen option for a consumer notebook?
Well the iBooks were 12 and 14 inches, so not too different here.

Is there an additional line coming out for Apple's non-Pro customers?
Little to no chance of this

I ask because I am going to be purchasing a laptop for my Parents and I have trouble seeing them using a 13" screen at their age.
Why are you considering a laptop even? Just wondering. Will they really need the portability? I'd take a look at the 17" iMac.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 06:05 PM
 
Yeah a 17" iMac would be ideal. Has everything that you'd need - iSight, Remote etc. If laptop is the only way to go I guess increasing the resolution is pretty much the only option.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by headbirth View Post
I am going to be purchasing a laptop for my Parents and I have trouble seeing them using a 13" screen at their age.
I bought my elderly Mom a 14 inch iBook last year. It is just the right size for her and she likes it a lot. She uses it with an Airport base station.

Even though she doesn't take the iBook on the road the portability is convenient, allowing her to use it around the house. And these last generation iBooks are solid performers.

If your parents don't need the latest technology, I can highly recommend the 14 inch iBook. The iBooks are still available as a refurb in the special deals section of the Apple store.

Good luck.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 07:23 PM
 
Thanks for the advice ... they travel alot and could use the portability. I'll take them over to an Apple store and see what they think.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 08:44 PM
 
My wife is an veteran 14” iBook user. She tried out the MacBook a few times (at various retailers) and said “no way - the screens too small.” She also complains about the text being too small. I know you can increase via zoom in Universal Access or change the screen resolution but that’s a rather inelegant option.

I’m thus looking for a MacBook Pro 15.4” for her.

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Dec 15, 2006, 10:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by headbirth View Post
Thanks for the advice ... they travel alot and could use the portability. I'll take them over to an Apple store and see what they think.
The Apple retail store will have MacBooks and MacBook Pros. If you are interested in a refurb iBook, those are available in the special deals section of the Apple on-line store.
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 10:47 PM
 
My wife's 12" iBook is just fine for her. I guess it depends on who looks at it-and how old you consider "old" to be. If your parents are in their 50s, you do them a disservice by expecting them to not be able to use a 13" screen. If they're in their 80s, that's a slightly different issue, but still you must SEE WHAT THEY SAY about being able to see and use the screen.

And why did you post this in the MacBook Pro forum? I'm going to move it to the MacBook forum where it should be...

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Dec 15, 2006, 11:24 PM
 
why did they go to 13?
     
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Dec 15, 2006, 11:42 PM
 
13" is becoming a more common widescreen display size that falls between tiny (10" and 12" on super light Averatec notebooks) and larger (14" + seen in most consumer notebooks and the MacBook Pros).

I do, however, wonder the same thing as you, mattjeff. The only Apple notebook I ever considered buying for real portability (i don't count my tangerine clamshell, which at 6+ lbs is hardly lightweight) was a 12" PowerBook - at the time, no other laptop could beat its features in that size range. The 13" is just too big (and widescreen is a cop-out that I'm not particularly interested in).
     
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Dec 16, 2006, 02:18 AM
 
You can also set up the preferences in browsers and other apps so that the minimum text size is something like 16 or 18 point, and increase Finder font size using the View menu. Also show them how to liberally use command-+ to make text larger, and the way cool new control-(2 finger trackpad) scroll to zoom in.
( Last edited by brettcamp; Dec 16, 2006 at 08:46 PM. )
     
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Dec 16, 2006, 05:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by macboy View Post
Yeah a 17" iMac would be ideal. Has everything that you'd need - iSight, Remote etc. If laptop is the only way to go I guess increasing the resolution is pretty much the only option.
You mean decrease the resolution?

Originally Posted by brettcamp View Post
You can also set up the preferences in browsers and other apps so that the minimum text size is something like 16 or 18 point, and increase Finder font size using the View menu. Also show them how to liberally use command-+ to make text larger, and the way cool new command-(2 finger trackpad) scroll to zoom in.
It's Control+(2 finger scroll) by default.

I personally like the 13". It's a perfect in-between for small and large. And it really is portable. Not to mention, the MacBooks are considerably thinner than iBooks are.
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Dec 16, 2006, 05:19 AM
 
In my time I had three iBooks 12" (G3s and then G4) and I was never that sold on the 14" to me having a bigger 14" with no better res than the 12" was not going to make me part with my money. Seeing bigger dots is great for some people and I know the 14" was sold in vast number.

When the MacBook hit the 13" with the extra pixels was great news. Never looked back, my wife has a 12" iBook and woth the lower res I cant uses it now.

The 13" is so much nicer, yes the case is a bit bigger but with it being thinner you dont notice so much.

Love it, in fact I use it more now than my 17" PowerBook (but this is done to the speed if I'm honest not the screen size)
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Dec 16, 2006, 02:12 PM
 
one thing that nobody seemed to notice is that the 12-inch and the 14-inch iBooks were exactly the same resolution: 1024x768. The 13-inch MacBook is a slightly higher resolution at 1280x800.

but that doesn't actually help your parents -- you can get them an external display or change the resolution to a lower one 800x500 or something...

Apple is moving toward "resolution independence" in that if you change the resolution or zoom into the screen -- rather than making everything pixellated the OS will now render everything at the new resolution. this means that you can have a smaller viewing area but still have it render cleanly. Perfect for aging eyes (hm. i wonder if the age of the executives had anything to do with it. haha.)
( Last edited by Hobeaux; Dec 16, 2006 at 02:25 PM. )
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Dec 16, 2006, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hobeaux View Post
one thing that nobody seemed to notice is that the 12-inch and the 14-inch iBooks were exactly the same resolution: 1024x768.

The 13-inch MacBook is a slightly higher resolution at 1280x800.
Those with young eyes will think that the same resolution means that the 12 and 14 inch screens are not very different. But for older eyes (presbyopia) bigger is better and the 14 inch screen is much easier to see than the 12 inch, even though the resolution is the same.

I have a 12 inch PowerBook (1.33ghz) and often opt to use my trusty Pismo for low intensity tasks because the 14 inch screen is much easier for my middle aged eyes to see
     
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Dec 19, 2006, 08:44 PM
 
did they move to 13 for internal purposes?
     
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Dec 20, 2006, 07:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by MattJeff View Post
did they move to 13 for internal purposes?
It's widescreen like all the rest of the Apple displays (the iBook was 4x3 ratio) but in a small form factor. If it was any smaller in resolution the height would have been limiting. There have been rumors that a 14- or 15-inch MacBook is in the works, so who knows?

As for the pixel size, yeah, not much you can do there but as I mentioned above one can also have an external display on the system.

Hm. Maybe the resolution can be lowered via Displays in System Preferences? it'd look bad but be easier to see. There's also Universal Access which zooms up the display from either a little bit or a massive amount according to preference.
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Dec 20, 2006, 10:22 AM
 
my grandmother's 86 and she loves her macbook
     
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Dec 20, 2006, 12:52 PM
 
Very soon the next release of OS X, Leopard, will be resolution independent, and almost certainly allow the user to globally scale the UI as large or small as he or she wishes... without suffering an overall loss of quality, or disparately sized interface elements.

If the 13" MacBook at 1280x800 is too small for your folks, and it's possible to hold out until March/April -- definitely wait.
     
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Dec 20, 2006, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by lookmark View Post
Very soon the next release of OS X, Leopard, will be resolution independent, and almost certainly allow the user to globally scale the UI as large or small as he or she wishes... without suffering an overall loss of quality, or disparately sized interface elements.

If the 13" MacBook at 1280x800 is too small for your folks, and it's possible to hold out until March/April -- definitely wait.
Is the resolution independence confirmed? I'd love to see that
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Dec 20, 2006, 11:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by lookmark View Post
Very soon the next release of OS X, Leopard, will be resolution independent, and almost certainly allow the user to globally scale the UI as large or small as he or she wishes... without suffering an overall loss of quality, or disparately sized interface elements.

If the 13" MacBook at 1280x800 is too small for your folks, and it's possible to hold out until March/April -- definitely wait.
I find that interesting - LCDs are designed for one specific resolution, depending on the number of itty bitty transistors used in the display. When you scale up or down, you get blurring and such due to the fact that multiple pixels have to be used to display one pixel of the display image. The only time this is not the case is when you set your resolution to exactly half of the native - e.g. instead of 1600x1200, set to 800x600. Unless Apple has come up with some extremely innovative way to get around this basic issue users face with any LCD, I would assume that a resolution-independent UI would just make the graphical OS itself resolution-independent? If that's the case, webpages and images would still look the same as any other display with the same native resolution.
     
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Dec 21, 2006, 12:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by stefanicotine
Is the resolution independence confirmed?
Yes. Apple confirmed this in a series of development preview articles on the upcoming OS.
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Dec 21, 2006, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago View Post
Yes. Apple confirmed this in a series of development preview articles on the upcoming OS.
Sweet

Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I find that interesting - LCDs are designed for one specific resolution, depending on the number of itty bitty transistors used in the display. When you scale up or down, you get blurring and such due to the fact that multiple pixels have to be used to display one pixel of the display image. The only time this is not the case is when you set your resolution to exactly half of the native - e.g. instead of 1600x1200, set to 800x600. Unless Apple has come up with some extremely innovative way to get around this basic issue users face with any LCD, I would assume that a resolution-independent UI would just make the graphical OS itself resolution-independent? If that's the case, webpages and images would still look the same as any other display with the same native resolution.
That was my understanding.
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Dec 21, 2006, 11:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I find that interesting - LCDs are designed for one specific resolution, depending on the number of itty bitty transistors used in the display. When you scale up or down, you get blurring and such due to the fact that multiple pixels have to be used to display one pixel of the display image. The only time this is not the case is when you set your resolution to exactly half of the native - e.g. instead of 1600x1200, set to 800x600. Unless Apple has come up with some extremely innovative way to get around this basic issue users face with any LCD, I would assume that a resolution-independent UI would just make the graphical OS itself resolution-independent? If that's the case, webpages and images would still look the same as any other display with the same native resolution.
Apple hasn't changed how LCDs work. What they did do is make the zoom function so that it renders all type on-the-fly rather than do a raster scale.

For instance if you were to activate the Zoom function in Universal Access and then zoom up to 400% the entire screen is being rendered at 100% and then scaled up. Under Leopard the text would be rendered live so that the screen would be crystal clear.

Notice though that I'm mentioning text. Images are another matter.

With the Leopard Preview that Steve Jobs gave at WWDC it was made clear that developers have to start working on 4x versions of every graphic element of their applications and icons. This would allow the applications to zoom up 400% without any graphic pixelation.

I think that one of the reasons that displays render poorly at non-native sizes is that the system is attempting (as you mentioned) to shove the display into a non-half ratio. With this "resolution independence" it should render well at any size -- or at least up to 4x.

Unless I'm totally off base. haha.
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Dec 21, 2006, 11:57 PM
 
according to Leopard Technology Series for Developers

Apple could standardize on a single screen size in inches but keep making the pixels smaller and smaller (say 30-inch display in a 20-inch footprint) for sharper and clearer viewing.

to paint a better picture:

imagine a 30-inch resolution screen into a 15-inch MacBook Pro today. The menus, palettes, and web-pages would be impossibly small to read. However, with Resolution Independence the menu bar, palettes, interfaces and all would be displayed at a uniform and legible size. web pages and other text would be rendered clearly.

Current displays are around 100 pixels-per-inch, but could conceivably be 200-, 300-, or even 1000-ppi in the future. Resolution Independence will make it happen.
( Last edited by Hobeaux; Dec 22, 2006 at 12:07 AM. )
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Dec 23, 2006, 04:48 AM
 
Sweeet
     
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Dec 24, 2006, 07:48 PM
 
You can get a first generation 17" machine for relatively cheap. This is a very nice machine that has most of the bugs long gone. i got one for my mom and she has been really happy with the form factor.
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Dec 28, 2006, 01:10 AM
 
scalability = nice!!
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Dec 28, 2006, 04:18 AM
 
this will be excellent....if apple is going this route as far as resolution, kudos. Ia m ayoung lady with horrid vision and it woudl be nice to be alb eot zoom without having this get all pixelated and stuff. I can't wait for leopard to come out...that baby's going on my mbp.
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