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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > just back from AppleStore: 12" vs. 15"

just back from AppleStore: 12" vs. 15"
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Robster1958
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Jan 26, 2003, 06:52 PM
 
well i finally got to see the new 12" Al book. it is very stunning, very solid. its appearance makes the Ti book look a little dated.

Performance however versus the Ti book was suprising subpar. On display, i was able to do side by side comparisons of 12" combo w/256 megs RAM vs. 867 Ti Book w/ 512 megs RAM.

first off, the screen on 15" is much better, and has less sensitivity to viewing angle. i brought my own DVD with me to demo....and as a movie machine, Ti wins easily. of course it is impossible to ignore size, but looking at resolution, film-like presentation, and black level, 15" beats 12". (i have the iBook, so i know the screen).

on apps, loading was uniformly faster on the 15" as was actual use. it was hard to truly measure, but it just felt snappier.

given that i was actually considering the 1 gig SD TiBook with 1 gig RAM (and of course the 64 meg video card), i am afraid that i would be giving up a LOT of performance by going with the 12".

also, the 12" was really hot. the speakers on the 12" were better. and the 15" screen has a lot of flex.

i'm giving it another 2 weeks, to see if these rumors of an Al skinned 15" come true...then i'll buy the Ti SD. i can't get AE (don't need it now) nor internal BT(don't need that either). Online, i can buy the SD with 1 gig of RAM, for $2815 total. that's really decent i think.
Rob
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jade408
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Jan 27, 2003, 01:25 AM
 
try you tests with equal amounts of ram, makes a big difference
     
cgreer00
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Jan 27, 2003, 01:36 AM
 
i am in the same boat as you, and you are correct about the 12" PB. It has a small L3 cache, smaller amount of maximum Ram, and a slower processor than the 15" PB (the 1ghz). The 12"er is just not too fast, and in a lot of tests (so far) is not much more impressive than the 800 mhz Ibook. I am waiting for the Al 15" PB, that is the one that will get my dollar. The 12" is not enough, and the 17 is too much.
     
007
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Jan 27, 2003, 01:40 AM
 
How could there not be a difference between an iBook and a Powerbook? One's a G3 and the other is a G4...

Pardon any ignorance if you would, since I'm aboot to purchase my first Apple....
     
icruise
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Jan 27, 2003, 01:43 AM
 
The tests he mentioned don't really reflect overall performance well. In particular, the difference between the G4 and G3 will indeed be big when using some programs.
     
007
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Jan 27, 2003, 01:57 AM
 
So which, then, should I buy b/c I'm totally confused...

I thought G4 should be the way to go....
     
icruise
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Jan 27, 2003, 02:03 AM
 
The point is that the G4 in the 12" powerbook will indeed be faster overall than the G3 in the new ibooks. The difference probably isn't huge, since they are both similar in mhz and cache. For programs that take advantage of the G4 processor, however, the 12" powerbook will be much faster.

If you are buying a Mac for the first time and have the money I would definitely recommend a G4.
     
007
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Jan 27, 2003, 02:06 AM
 
Originally posted by Icruise:
The point is that the G4 in the 12" powerbook will indeed be faster overall than the G3 in the new ibooks. The difference probably isn't huge, since they are both similar in mhz and cache. For programs that take advantage of the G4 processor, however, the 12" powerbook will be much faster.

If you are buying a Mac for the first time and have the money I would definitely recommend a G4.
That's what I figured....the G4 is the way to go....
     
itai195
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Jan 27, 2003, 03:14 AM
 
Yet another thread where the ultimate conclusion can be summed up as: if performance is more important than portability, get a 15" PowerBook....
     
icruise
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Jan 27, 2003, 03:54 AM
 
True. If performance and screen size are priorities, the 15" or 17" are obviously the best. If portability and price are more important to you, get the 12" powerbook. If price alone is the most important thing, an ibook would be a good choice.
     
TheIceMan
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Jan 27, 2003, 06:06 AM
 
Originally posted by Icruise:
True. If performance and screen size are priorities, the 15" or 17" are obviously the best. If portability and price are more important to you, get the 12" powerbook. If price alone is the most important thing, an ibook would be a good choice.
Agreed. It amazes me how many people don't read the specifications before they jump in and buy something. It seems that folks are wanting the performance and offerings of the 17", the size of the 15", and the portability of the 12". I know it's hard but just pick one.
     
urrl5201
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Jan 27, 2003, 08:31 AM
 
Or pick all three.

I too noticed better picture quality on the 15" while watching a DVD. Thought perhaps it was just my imagination. I seemed to detect a little DVD flicker also, compared to the 15", but maybe it was that particular unit. The 12" did not seem to be running hot however and felt more sturdy than the 15".
     
poppa kristof
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Jan 27, 2003, 10:00 AM
 
that when then 15" al-book does show up, it's specs will be somewhere between the 12" and the 17".
Something like the PowerMac line has.
     
bipto
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Jan 27, 2003, 10:22 AM
 
Originally posted by Icruise:
True. If performance and screen size are priorities, the 15" or 17" are obviously the best. If portability and price are more important to you, get the 12" powerbook. If price alone is the most important thing, an ibook would be a good choice.
Could not have said it better myself...
     
Eug
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Jan 27, 2003, 11:03 AM
 
first off, the screen on 15" is much better, and has less sensitivity to viewing angle. i brought my own DVD with me to demo....and as a movie machine, Ti wins easily. of course it is impossible to ignore size, but looking at resolution, film-like presentation, and black level, 15" beats 12". (i have the iBook, so i know the screen).
Yeah, it sounds like they're using the same screen as the 12" iBook. The quality is noticeably inferior to the TiBook. That said, it's OK.
Agreed. It amazes me how many people don't read the specifications before they jump in and buy something. It seems that folks are wanting the performance and offerings of the 17", the size of the 15", and the portability of the 12". I know it's hard but just pick one.
That is not the issue here. It is Apple's choice of dumbing down the 12" PB. I personally have no interest in the 17", but would be VERY interested in the 12" PB if they didn't whittle it down so much.

Apple's decision does make sense but nonetheless there are many of us who would love to have a truly full featured fast ultra-portable.
     
Robster1958  (op)
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Jan 27, 2003, 11:09 AM
 
Or pick all three.
---------------------------



now you're providing useful advice!! truthfully....here's what i'm currently thinking:

buy the current 15" SD.....and keep my iBook

then when and if the "perfect" machine comes out, sell them both!


in my own mind, i am a genius!

...........must hold back from clicking on macconnection.com....
Rob
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sonoronos
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Jan 27, 2003, 11:31 AM
 
If you're looking for a wide-screen notebook to tide you over until the 17" comes....why not try out the VPR Matrix 185A5? It's so cheap, and is built pretty well (much better than the original 15" Powerbook).

Either way, you'll be saving $700.00 over the powerbook 15, and that translates to $700.00 less that you have to save when buying the 17" 'book!

I know it's Windows, but honestly, for a travel/work PC with a great screen, it's not a bad deal at all! (Especially with the 1.8Ghz Pentium IV w/ 400 mhz FSB!!)
     
Eug
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Jan 27, 2003, 11:41 AM
 
Originally posted by sonoronos:
If you're looking for a wide-screen notebook to tide you over until the 17" comes....why not try out the VPR Matrix 185A5? It's so cheap, and is built pretty well (much better than the original 15" Powerbook).

Either way, you'll be saving $700.00 over the powerbook 15, and that translates to $700.00 less that you have to save when buying the 17" 'book!

I know it's Windows, but honestly, for a travel/work PC with a great screen, it's not a bad deal at all! (Especially with the 1.8Ghz Pentium IV w/ 400 mhz FSB!!)
In my case, the Matrix would be relatively useless. Nice specs but lousy software and no powered Firewire.
     
TheIceMan
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Jan 28, 2003, 05:10 AM
 
Originally posted by Eug:
... It is Apple's choice of dumbing down the 12" PB. I personally have no interest in the 17", but would be VERY interested in the 12" PB if they didn't whittle it down so much.

Apple's decision does make sense but nonetheless there are many of us who would love to have a truly full featured fast ultra-portable.
I agree with you Eug. I guess it's Apple's marketing plan to go after certain markets. Hopefully, the upcoming 15" models will fill the void for those of us looking for the perfect combination of screen size, portability, and features.
     
mikerally
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Jan 28, 2003, 05:29 AM
 
Well all I ever wanted was an iBook with a G4 processor (regardless of L3 Cache) and Bluetooth built-in.

And look what I got
     
issa
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Jan 28, 2003, 05:29 AM
 
Eug writes:
That is not the issue here. It is Apple's choice of dumbing down the 12" PB.
While this likely tells much of the story, I think there may well be a bit more to it. It's impossible to say without building such a machine and testing, but I'd bet that a 1GHz G4, L3 cache and faster GPU (Radeon or nVidia) stuffed into that svelte package would make the insides so toasty that the single cooling fan couldn't handle the load even if it ran full-bore full-time. While it may be possible with a lot more engineering and maybe some different components, that would make it a luxury compact that nears or tops the price of its "big brothers".

Of course, the form factor may get a major boost if and when Motorola and Apple can deliver the MPC7457 (new generation of CPU), etc....
     
   
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