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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Is Your Powerbook Your Only Computer?

Is Your Powerbook Your Only Computer?
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Agent69
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
I was wondering how many people here use a Powerbook as their only computer? If so, how did you justify the purchase? The reason I ask is because I would like to buy a Powerbook for the occasional portability it provides but at the same time, I could buy the 17" iMac for a little less.

Are there benefits besides portability that I am missing?
Agent69
     
Randman
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:42 AM
 
Until recently, my PB17 was my only computer at home. I love the portability when I need it and it's specs are good enough to do most anything I want, professionally (such as design work) and personally (video and games).

To ease the crunch of sharing one computer after getting married, we added a Mac mini. And also to free up some space as I keep my music collection on it. I also like being able to keep the mini plugged into the printer, the SoundSticks and the external drives.

But, there's no way I'd go without a laptop. Down the road, I may get an iMac or PowerMac then a PB12 for portability but I'm pretty happy with the PB as my main machine.

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Judge_Fire
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:43 AM
 
I've got a number of Macs, but end up using the PB because of it's comfortability.

Sitting on the couch, at the kitchen table, in a hammock etc. at home, (and at various comfy spots and colleagues offices at work.) Think of it as close-quarters portability.

J
     
Kenstee
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:47 AM
 
Yep! I have been PB only for 5 years. Went from a Pismo to a 12"AL. I use it with a Dell 19" monitor 1705 (which I love,) a Matias keyborad and a Kensington Turbo Mouse. And when its time to go on the road I have my entire set-up with me. It's great! I'll never own a desktop again.

Has all the power I need for MS Office, web browsing, GarageBand, Photoshop Elements 3.0, etc.

If you don't travel all that much and want portability the 17" PB may be just right for you. Lots of power.

Can't wait for the Intel PBs though. I really need to upgrade but I'll hold out until they arrive.
     
teerexx52
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:53 AM
 
Yes, my 15" 1.67 is my only computer. I use it with a 20" Apple Cinema Display
     
ism
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Aug 12, 2005, 10:58 AM
 
My 12" is since my iMacG3 died. Only problem is now its left at home for my wife far too much and I don't get near it.

No benefits apart from portability, especially not over an iMacG5. The return of a true 'power' book might happen with the Intel chips.

If you really really don't need a portable don't get one. I travel a lot though so mine has been useful to use on the train to and from work.

The best advantage has to be being able to surf whilst on the bog
     
erikossu
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Aug 12, 2005, 11:44 AM
 
5 years ago I started with Pismo only. The rason to get PB was first of all 'cos its a Mac. But also I was appalled of the thought having to see a pile of cases and monitors and keyboards on my table. I even thought that I shall tuck it in the drawer when not in use. This ofcause never happened. It stayed on the table all the time, but when closed it looked neat and lovely.
Now because of my multimedia projects I have many desktop PC (all MS Windows need constant repair by the way), but all my Macs are Powerbooks. I have over the years came to like that I can actually put the thing away and my place has different ambience. So I can look out of the window for instance. And portability option goes without saying.
So if you can spend little more money and do not want to take thing appart just to see whats in it, get portable.
Eri.
     
gphillipk
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Aug 12, 2005, 11:53 AM
 
I justified the cost of getting my 15" PB because I use it primarily for work purposes where I get paid to use my own hardware... So it literally paid for itself. I've been using the PB only since March and I'm in the process of getting a 17" LCD display to use with it. I've already got the Apple BT keyboard and a MS Wireless mouse. Anyway, if you only need occasional portability, then why not look at the iBook range? They're not shabby machines at all.
     
madmacgames
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Aug 12, 2005, 11:59 AM
 
yeah a 12" powerbook is my only machine. I do everything I need on here, from work (web application design & development, web graphic design, etc) to personal use. And despite the disbelief of many a person I tell, I have no external monitor and work only on the 12" screen.
The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing
- Edmund Burke
     
fisherKing
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Aug 12, 2005, 12:07 PM
 
me too (12" powerbook)
i do music work (lots of scrolling in logic!), webdesign, graphics, etc etc.
my only mac, and no external monitor.

i LOVE the portability, throwing it into my backback, working anywhere.

i may get a desktop (my first) next year just for the music work.
but for now, am extremely happy (altho wish i had the backlit keyboard...)
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Tenacious Dyl
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Aug 12, 2005, 12:11 PM
 
My powerbook was my only computer for about a year, it was great! Aside from being able to take it different places, in and out of the home, there are a few other 'benefits'.

1) Less power consumption (esp. compared to G5's)
2) Much easier to store / lock up / hide if needed
3) Small size of entire computer is aesthetically pleasing (to me) The 'keyboard' is the whole computer... and monitor is so thin!
4) Aluminum vs annoying glossy plastic
yep.
     
teknopimp
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Aug 12, 2005, 05:37 PM
 
i also have an ibook. i use my powerbook as a desktop replacement, but ironically i don't work at my desk a whole lot so the ibook gets a lot more use.

MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | Clamshell iBook G3 366MHz | 22" Cinema Display | iPod Mini | iPod shuffle | AirPort Express | Mighty Mouse
     
mduser63
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Aug 13, 2005, 02:25 AM
 
Well, technically my PowerBook is not my only computer (but it was until April), but it might as well be. I use it for everything except heavy duty Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro work. For that I have a Power Mac. As for web browsing, email, iTunes, web design, iPhoto, Photoshop, Office, Virtual PC, etc, I do that all on my PowerBook. As a college student, the portability is really nice, but even during the summer and at home I use my PB for everything but video editing.
12" 1.33 GHz SD Powerbook - 768 MB RAM
     
Tetsuo
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Aug 13, 2005, 02:27 AM
 
Yup, the only computer for me. Been that way ever since I switched
     
powermacj7
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Aug 13, 2005, 08:58 AM
 
My PB is my primary Mac. I have a external HD and Harmon Kardon speakers attached. For my purposes I see no need for a desktop anymore. The PB supplies all the power I need, and love the portability.
     
I was David B.
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Aug 13, 2005, 10:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I was wondering how many people here use a Powerbook as their only computer? If so, how did you justify the purchase? The reason I ask is because I would like to buy a Powerbook for the occasional portability it provides but at the same time, I could buy the 17" iMac for a little less.

Are there benefits besides portability that I am missing?
I own also an old Pentium 2/450 MHz running linux and Windows as a test platform for my software (I write java software that is intended to run on all platforms).

At work I use a Thinkpad T40, 1.6GHz/1GB RAM (also running Linux).

The powerbook is my private machine that I like most, but the world is larger and you learn to appreciate Mac OS most when you know the alternatives. Besides not everything is bad wih linux or Windows. There are also things to learn from these platforms.

For all my machines it was very easy to justify the purchase. The mac is the platform of my choice because I think it is the best operating system. The pentium was very cheap (something like 30€) and I needed it as a testbed. I had to fight hard for the thinkpad at work. There we use Dell only. A Powerbook was not possible because we need software that does not run on Mac (versant database). But I thought I don't let a manager decide which hardware I have to use. I work with it the whole day, so I decide and no discussion about that. And I decided to get a Thinkpad.
( Last edited by I was David B.; Aug 13, 2005 at 12:52 PM. )
     
brettcamp
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Aug 13, 2005, 03:28 PM
 
12" PB + 17" Samsung external display + Matias external keyboard = maximum portability AND adequate screen size for work at my desk. So, yes, the PB is my only computer. But if you don't need to move it, then an iMac is a better value -- you always pay a premium for portability.
     
Darthmaul4114
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Aug 14, 2005, 02:47 AM
 
i have a pc also.

i bought the powerbook because i wanted a laptop and i wanted a mac. thus the powerbook made perfect sense. id also wanted one for a long time and had been saving up for one. i trust mac laptops way more than i trust PC laptops. also for the price, you really do get what you pay for in ways of performace, stability, included features, and build quality.
1.5Ghz 15" Alluminum Powerbook, 1.5Gb RAM, 64mb VRAM
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Daniel Bayer
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Aug 14, 2005, 03:58 AM
 
Apple Powerbooks are so solid, I have ran a very busy freelance photography business off it. I have really pounded terabytes on data through my 17 inch PB. I did get a bit nervous after my upgrade to Tiger saw the machine waking up with a blank screen with many forced restarts. I tried everything I could, even went to the Apple store in Denver some 200 miles away. We went through a ton of things.

So seeing how I thought it was no longer a very responsible idea to run a $250,000 a year business off of one computer, I started testing the machines in the store. I tested one of my 120MB panoramic film scans on a dual 2.7 G5 with 2GB of ram on a fresh restart and permission repair and was underwhelmed. The Dualie opened the file in .6 seconds and my PB in 1.6.
Overall, the dualie was only twice as fast at everything I would use it at. So I saved $3,000 and got a 2.0GHZ 20 inch iMac on Wednesday...:-).

So far, the thing is fast, but needs more ram than the 512MB it came with so I ordered 2GB from Crucial Friday. The screen is AWESOME!!! The other thing about my PB is that the Superdrive only burns at 2X and I have absolutely pounded it. In fact, I think this is the hardest working, most profitable Powerbook on Earth. With the ram maxed out and the 7,200 rpm drive being more of an upgrade than you would think, my PB 17 1.33 is the most incredible computer I have ever used.

Up until the Tiger upgrade, it has been nearly flawless. The only flaw it has it a pretty big white spot. Now that I finally have a backup computer, I will send her in for a tune up of sorts.

What a brilliant machine....
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
Scylla
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Aug 14, 2005, 06:14 AM
 
Got my PB17 a year ago; it was my first Mac. I'm about to buy a 20" iMac to keep it company. I have become an utter Mac bore, and if I could afford it, I'd have a 2.7Ghz Dual as well. I've never felt such an affinity with pieces of machinery before....
     
Link
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Aug 14, 2005, 06:30 AM
 
Nah, but I like my PB quite a bit

Tis' like an "extension" of my desktop.
Aloha
     
siflippant
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Aug 14, 2005, 06:33 AM
 
Do many ppl here own more than 1 powerbook? I have only ever had the one Mac at anytime.. but I've seen a few pics in the powerbook picture thread where ppl have more than 1 powerbook on display..

I guess some ppl love to hang on to their Macs as long as they can..

     
solero
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Aug 14, 2005, 07:30 AM
 
I have a desktop (windows) for gaming. Use my PB (12") for everything else - without external display. Couldn't live without either one
     
stravinsky1911
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Aug 14, 2005, 03:55 PM
 
Still on a 500 mhz TiBook- might upgrade in another year or 2. I'd still keep this one though to have around the house...
timeline - SE/30, some crappy performa, original bondi iMac 233, TiBook500, macbook pro 2GHz
     
TailsToo
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Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by teerexx52
Yes, my 15" 1.67 is my only computer. I use it with a 20" Apple Cinema Display
Same here!
     
Andy8
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Aug 14, 2005, 08:36 PM
 
I had an older Ibook dual usb, but gave it to an old GF for her to use, so now just have my PB17 with a Dell 2405 screen.
     
Sourbook
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Aug 14, 2005, 08:41 PM
 
My only computers for the last 9 years were laptops. I'm now on my 3rd Powerbook. My last win/machine was a Toshiba 486 laptop. I still have my old laptops archived in a closet. I don't count them as active computers because they are outdated. I just don't have the heart to toss them out.
     
Squozen
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Aug 14, 2005, 08:47 PM
 
My PowerBook is my only Mac, but not my only computer - there's a Linux server and a desktop PC (which only gets turned on for the odd game and I don't think I've used it for more than a few hours since I quit playing World of Warcraft in early July).

I'm planning on buying either an iMac or whatever magical beast Apple announces next month.
     
crazeazn
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Aug 14, 2005, 10:04 PM
 
12" powerbook as my primary and only computer, ive had two notebooks (dell and sony) have problems and my desktop built pc basically died. so i do work, school, play (haha) on the pbook
12" AI book REV B, mac mini core duo 1.66
     
pcummins
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Aug 14, 2005, 10:22 PM
 
I use a 15" Alu as my main machine. Main reasons:

1. It sleeps reliably. I hate booting computers up, MacOS X "just works" so I just sleep/wake all the time. Huge difference over shutting down and booting up all the time, I loathe using my PC now due to this. Even the screen warm up delay on a CRT annoys me now, takes about 5+ seconds vs sub-3 seconds on a Mac with a LCD. (I have a dual-800 G4, but only with a CRT. I need to get some DVI KVM's or something).

2. The PowerBook does everything I need 95% of the time. That is, email, web, programming and watching the odd DVD or QT/MPEG-4 video. If I need that extra 5% I usually go to my PC or use another computer to get the job done. However, it's not a big deal either way.

3. My work provides really good incentives with salary packaging on laptops and not desktops, so I get laptops pretty much at 1/2 price once you factor in Au tax brackets. You can't complain about that, so I'm on my second PowerBook now (I upgraded and sold the old one to a now ex-PC user, he's much happier on his PowerBook now, mostly as it "just works").

4. I also use my PowerBook to go to the occasional meeting to take notes or minutes. Having a laptop lets me do that. I also sometimes work around the house (I have 802.11G for a connection to the Internet) downstairs or in my spare room, so being portable helps. Most of the time the PB's hooked to a large LCD display in clamshell mode, but the option's there to move around if I need to.

Well, I guess I could use a PC laptop for stuff like that, but all in all I dislike Windows and the current crop of PC laptops. I'm looking forward to getting an Intel powered PowerBook in a few years time as I'll be able to run MacOS X, Windows, GNU/Linux, Darwin and FreeBSD all on one computer (I do a lot of testing/experiments) so it'll be nice to have that facility, either by rebooting or preferably via virtualisation. Kind of will miss PowerPC, so I'll keep this PB for testing in the future until it is really well and truly obsolete.
     
Ryan1524
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Aug 15, 2005, 12:53 AM
 
Yep.

i have 15" Powerbook, 1.5 Ghz, and it's my one and only computer. i use it for school mostly - papers, reports, coding, some photoshop, games, music, web and mail, etc. i plug it to a 15" LCD from my now retired PC when it's resting at home, otherwise, it's on my backpack as i walk around campus all day from class to class.

it was a happy little warrior last year, but after tiger, it's been a bit slow, sluggish, and constantly spinning the fan. i'm hoping 10.4.3 will fix this. the pre-build 425 of tiger was a lot faster than the one i'm using now (10.4.2). i'm a bit disappointed, but hopeful that apple will fix whatever problem is causing this machine to be so hot and sluggish.
Ryan
     
jpennane
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Aug 15, 2005, 02:32 AM
 
I use my new 15" PB as my only computer. Before this one (just two weeks ago) I used a 12" iBook as my only computer.

I have a 15" LCD, keyboard and mouse that I use at home. I would never go back to just a desktop computer after a year of using a laptop. Just love the fact that I have my own computer with me where ever I go.

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workerbee
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Aug 15, 2005, 04:46 AM
 
Yep. 17" PB 1.33 GHz w/ 2GB RAM, 23" ACD and external keyboard / mouse. Great box, could be a little lighter for carrying around and a little faster at times though :-)
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Daniel Bayer
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Aug 16, 2005, 03:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by workerbee
Yep. 17" PB 1.33 GHz w/ 2GB RAM, 23" ACD and external keyboard / mouse. Great box, could be a little lighter for carrying around and a little faster at times though :-)
Get a 7,200 rpm drive put in it. It makes a HUGE difference.

110 MB Photohop TIFF file, Open File.

2.7 Dual G5, 2GB ram, 3 seonds average, .6 seconds fastest.

My new 2.0 GHZ iMac 20 inch w/ 512MB ram, 5.5 seconds average, 1 second fastest.

My 1.33 GHZ PB 17 w/ 2GB ram, 5 seconds average, 1.6 fastest.

I was expecting better with the iMac even with just 512 of ram in it. I ordered 2GB on Thursday.

Fastest PB in the west..:-[)
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
Kvasir
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Aug 16, 2005, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I was wondering how many people here use a Powerbook as their only computer? If so, how did you justify the purchase? The reason I ask is because I would like to buy a Powerbook for the occasional portability it provides but at the same time, I could buy the 17" iMac for a little less.

Are there benefits besides portability that I am missing?
My main personal computer is my powerbook (last Dec.'s 1.5GHz 15" - before that a rev.B TiBook, before that an original iceBook, and before that a graphite iBook). But, I also have a 2.8GHz PIV WinXP at home, mainly for games (naval warfare sims like SHIII, and flight sims), and my printer is hung off of it so I can print over my wireless network.

At work I have a nice dual-2.5GHz G5 (and Apple 20" display), and a Dell OptiPlex GX280 (with decent 20" CRT) on my desk.

My powerbook goes to work with me pretty much every day too, as I use it in meetings, for presentations/teaching, or when I need to work in the library.
     
threestain
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Aug 16, 2005, 09:07 AM
 
My TiBook is my only comp (for 2.5 years now), and the reason I got it is my old Wintel Box died a death and I wanted the extra space that not having a hideous CRT and Massive Tower gives. Plus I travel lots and it helps while away the boredom. That and it looks cool.
     
MU84
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Aug 17, 2005, 10:45 AM
 
After buying a PB 12" C last year, I got tired of juggling two computers so I settled on the PB (bye-bye iMac). Coupled with a Dell 20" monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers, it's a great set-up. I haven't looked back.
128K -> IIcx -> PowerBook 140 -> Quadra 660AV -> iMac G3 DV -> iMac G4 15" -> PowerBook 12" C
     
Lesterm10
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Aug 17, 2005, 11:21 AM
 
I use my powerbook for everything, word, excel, powerpoint, keynote, email, web, dvd watching, but I don't spend the most time on that. I spend the most time on my Dell Dimension XPS playing hours and hours of video games. My workhorse is my powerbook as I can take it with me everywhere, and as I write my projects or assignments, I'm not worried about crashing software. Although I do wish I could play games on my powerbook( I could but there aren't any great titles out there for it), I've relegated my gaming experience to my Dell so, most of my work is on the Mac, but most of my time is on my Dell playing hours and hours of games. If only there were great games and better Video Cards on the powerbook, I'd be set to throw away my PC.
Dell Dimension XPS Gen 4 | P4 3.6 Ghz | 2GB of Memory | 160GB HDD | 80GB HDD | Dual Layer DVD-RW | DVD-ROM Drive | ATI Radeon X850 XT PE | Internal 10 in 1 Media Card Reader | Sony HX73 17 inch Silver LCD Monitor | Logitech DiNovo Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

Apple Powerbook 12" rev. D | 1.5 Ghz G4 | 1.256GB of Memory | 80GB HDD | SuperDrive
     
d.fine
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Aug 17, 2005, 12:21 PM
 
It used to be my main machine, untill I had the funds to add a Dual G5. Now the PB server for working, but mainly presentation for customers, to show the work, and allow me to make some quick changes if they want. The G5 is now the main machine for the heavy duty work.
The G5 runs with an Apple 20" ACD, and I plan on getting a second one for working on the PB. Just waiting for the funds.

stuffing feathers up your b*tt doesn't make you a chicken.
     
sadpandas
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Aug 17, 2005, 01:23 PM
 
I have a 2.0 ghz p.c. that hasn't been booted up since the 1st week i got this pbook... i guess i should get it out of the house or something... its beige and boxy. yuck. I also use a dual 2.0 G5 for work (graphics). so, yes, i have other computers but one isn't really mine and p.c. blows. I do use my pbook to write and record music so its nice to be able to bring it down to the practice space and record loud guitars and drums and bring it h ome to mix on. It also goes on the road with us. on the road again...

love and rockets,
pandas
( Last edited by sadpandas; Aug 17, 2005 at 01:26 PM. Reason: because i can.)
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mania
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Aug 20, 2005, 08:30 PM
 
a 15 is my only machine and ya know - its nice even if you don't move it around it takes up so much less space than a desktop its kindof a zen thing.
     
Scooterboy
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Aug 23, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
That's why I bought my 17". It's fast enough for most of my uses, can travel with me, and when sitting on its iCurve stand with a FW 800 drive and 5.1 speaker system it makes a fine desktop replacement.
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JMan09
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Aug 24, 2005, 12:35 AM
 
Sorry if this is hijacking the thread, But I was wondering if any of you with a 12" and an external 20" widescreen lcd, know if this combo will play WoW decently, or will I need to lower the res?
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NateEssex
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Aug 24, 2005, 01:16 AM
 
Well, I have a two year old custom built PC that I used for gaming. I also have a Dell on my desk at work, but use my PB 99% of the time. My wife has an iBook and I use my PowerBook. You can't beat the portability. I use my PB all over my house and outside sitting on my deck to surf the net.
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Sandbaggins
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
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Aug 24, 2005, 03:11 PM
 
My 1.25 15" is my only comp. Planning to get a desktop setup in the next year or two.
     
teney7
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NY
Status: Offline
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Aug 24, 2005, 10:56 PM
 
My beautiful, stunning, unbelievable 12'' PB is indeed my only computer.

I like the Mac minis though...
     
tracemhunter
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2005
Status: Offline
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Aug 24, 2005, 11:20 PM
 
i built a computer a few months ago (loaded it (e.g. dual 6800gt's in sli is just a little part of it)) and i got my 15" powerbook the day i got my wisdom teeth out with my graduation money a couple of weeks ago. i added some ram the next day because apple rips you off and could not be happier. my pc's only use is being a web/ftp server. since i got the powerbook i have been on my pc for less than an hour. and actually, i ordered a external case for my 160 (music drive). the portability is amazing. i can sit on my bed and watch aqua teen hunger force and work on my freebie sites at the same time. i get a lot of criticism about the mac but i love it. best $2700 i ever spent.
     
   
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