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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Buy Powerbook now or wait for the new one?

Buy Powerbook now or wait for the new one?
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onaujee
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Dec 3, 2003, 12:09 AM
 
Buy a powerbook now or wait? I was wondering because last year, I bought a powerbook at this time (Dec), and weeks later, the 17" comes out. I was just wondering if there are gonna be new ones soon or there wouldn't be a change for awhile

Thanks..
     
ingeniero
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Dec 3, 2003, 12:36 AM
 
Originally posted by onaujee:
Buy a powerbook now or wait? I was wondering because last year, I bought a powerbook at this time (Dec), and weeks later, the 17" comes out. I was just wondering if there are gonna be new ones soon or there wouldn't be a change for awhile

Thanks..
At the very least, wait until the MacWorld expo comes in early Jan. and see if anything is released.
     
Daracle
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Dec 3, 2003, 12:56 AM
 
If you look at it that way...You shouldnt buy a computer....
There is always going to be bigger and better a few months down the road, no matter what.

I love my 15"
     
The Placid Casual
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Dec 3, 2003, 04:04 AM
 
What new one?

I mean what is the point in waiting unless you *know* something new is 100% on the way... just look at all the Macworld we waited for new LCD iMacs and G5s!!

If you really want to protect your investment, you may as well wait, and wait and wait until things can't develop any further... When you are 90, you could get a kick ass quantum machine...
     
Zatt
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Dec 3, 2003, 08:27 AM
 
If you wait for the next one, you'll always be waiting for the next one.
     
rambo47
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Dec 3, 2003, 08:41 AM
 
I almost always advocate jumping in now, but not this time. I would wait to see if the current problems get solved. White spots on the screen, various component failures at a rate never seen before in Macs, plus other miscallaneous complaints about overall fit and finish make me think it's best to wait this one out. I'd let all the problem PowerBooks work their way through the pipeline and get one when the furor dies down. The problems seem concentrated on the 15" Aluminum PBs, which I consider the sweet spot in the PowerBook lineup.
     
Podolsky
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Dec 3, 2003, 08:52 AM
 
Sometimes it pays to wait. I have postponed upgrades my my Macs at times and I have never been sorry. You should follow you guts on this. Personally, I think this is a perfect time to wait a bit given the greater than usual problems with the first rev of the 15". I presume that that is the machine you want. If not, get the 17". I was waiting for the 15" but when I saw the large volume of complaints with the first release - I opted for the 17" and it is awesome. Yes, it is big but all the important components are way better. But, if it is the 15 you want - I would wait because you know Apple is going to bend over backwards to make the next rev of th 15" beyond criticism - now, wouldn't you want one of those rather than what is available right now? If your answer is yes, than wait.
     
vandelay
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Dec 3, 2003, 09:38 AM
 
I think there´s nothing wrong with buying a 12" or 17" right now. I wouldn´t expect any big changes in the next months, maybe new graphics processors etc.
If i had to bet, what new hardware is announced at MacWorld, i´d go with new displays.
     
NYCFarmboy
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Dec 3, 2003, 10:23 AM
 
I just ordered a 17" Powerbook last night...(from Amazon..they have really good prices on 17" powerbooks).

Right after I order a new Mac, Apple makes it a point to announce new models, so expect something shortly.


seriously though... I would expect a dual processor G4 17" powerbook in January...I'm hoping for a dual 1.42 G4 powerbook which would match my dual 1.42 G4 tower perfectly.

The powerbook I ordered last night is actually for my brother, but I get to use it until late January, so..I'm hoping by then something really exciting will come out. A G5 would of course be awesome..but...I'd settle for a dual G4 chip of some sort..it would REALLY make video editing on the 17" a dream.



edit: Oh..I wouldn't touch a new 15" powerbook with a 10 foot pole. Yes I guess most are not problematic..but just reading about the problems that some are having..well..I would wait until they get the bugs worked out better. Had they not been so problematic I would have ordered a 15" instead of the 17". but everyone who has a 17" has just raved about them...I think it might be a tad big...but will try it out for a month before deciding which one I want for myself.
( Last edited by NYCFarmboy; Dec 3, 2003 at 10:47 AM. )
     
forcelite
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Dec 3, 2003, 10:23 AM
 
Apple is not going to admit that there is anything wrong with the current 15' s at Macworld so it is very unlikely that you will be able to get a revision B by then.

Also there is a good chance that the 15's are already making there way into rev b and it wont be something that is announced, It will be a quite transition that will only be noticeable by less screen problems and hopefully full 4.6 kilowatt an hour batteries.

Personally I would just buy the powerbook with the extended warranty and forget about the problems that SOME people are having.

One thing I am going to wait for is the accidental warranty, when they offer it later next year (still rumor)

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I am 95% sure you will never see a dual processor in a powerbook. To much battery life troubles, to much bulk, weight, heat, cost , ect.

Remember that Apple has not maxed out the G4 in any of the powerbooks. Also with the recent shrinkage in die size many believe that 1.5 ghz is not out of the question.

Apple's shown they have no problem with small speed bumps to promote an upgrade, usually with upgraded feature set too, but I dont see many more things they could stick in a new PB by January.
( Last edited by forcelite; Dec 3, 2003 at 10:31 AM. )
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onaujee  (op)
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Dec 3, 2003, 11:30 AM
 
thanks for the replies, i was thinking about getting the 15", I guess that's out of the door now. and yeah, it is a christmas present
     
ginoledesma
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Dec 3, 2003, 12:41 PM
 
If you're buying the 15" and 17" models, I'd probably recommend a "wait" for now, at least until January's MWSF. There may not be any major hardware announcements, but who knows, they could drop prices a bit ($100 off?).

However, if you have need of a laptop now, then by all means get one, enjoy, and don't look back.

Waiting is really hard. I know I did, and several people I know who waited for the dual 1.8 (which they insisted the single 1.8 should've been in the first place) are now extremely pleased.
     
onaujee  (op)
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Dec 3, 2003, 02:25 PM
 
Yeah I guess i'll just wait for another month. Do you know what date the expo is on Jan and do they sell the new stuff there, like samples? Maybe I could go to the event..
     
CrackedButter
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Dec 3, 2003, 03:37 PM
 
I got a 1.25Ghz 15" now and it doesn't have a single hardware issue, there is nothing wrong with it.

However if new ones come out i might buy one still, i fancy the bigger screen with the 17", processor speed doesn't interest me since i run this on reduced ALL time the time, i'm looking for screen size, weight, battery life and Superdrive speed. In the next revision, if i get what i want with a price cut then i will buy one myself.

I wouldn't buy a 17" now however as i think it isn't worth the asking price over the 15" with its 80mhz speed difference.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
     
runejoha
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Dec 3, 2003, 07:52 PM
 
To wait for a computer is most of the time stupid, because you always wait for the next one to come.

Now it is an execption! We are going into a new era with 64 bit cpus. The HW from Apple is out of date and we are even waiting a new screen technology from the former "low resolution" company. The next upgrade is near, so this time I would wait if your recent HW is sufficient for survive a very few months.
How can a boring thing such as a mac or a PC be so exciting??
     
TheIceMan
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Dec 4, 2003, 02:39 AM
 
Originally posted by onaujee:
Yeah I guess i'll just wait for another month. Do you know what date the expo is on Jan and do they sell the new stuff there, like samples? Maybe I could go to the event..
I think it's Jan. 6-9, 2004
     
ae86_16v
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Dec 4, 2003, 05:16 AM
 
So what if you wait and nothing happens.

And then all of the sudden in Feb or March Apple decides to release the new revisions.

Then you'll be kicking your self in the ass for not waiting a couple of weeks.

My philosophy is that you buy what you need. If you need a PowerBook now, buy one now. If you could afford to wait then wait. But your machine that you buy now isn't going to be obsolete the day the new ones comes out. It isn't going to run Panther anyway slow, etc. So if you are happy with the current machine and they fit your needs, buy one now.
     
POE
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Dec 4, 2003, 07:53 AM
 
Any word of the 12" getting the back-lit keyboard, gigabit ethernet or firewire 800 any time soon. Those are the things that I am waiting on to purcase.
     
The Placid Casual
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Dec 4, 2003, 09:25 AM
 
Originally posted by NYCFarmboy:

seriously though... I would expect a dual processor G4 17" powerbook in January...I'm hoping for a dual 1.42 G4 powerbook which would match my dual 1.42 G4 tower perfectly.
Never, ever going to happen...
     
bbales
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Dec 4, 2003, 09:45 AM
 
If you can wait, then I say wait. At this point, it's just a month away. Even if absolutely nothing changes, you'll KNOW that. And last year, look what happened -- new 12-in and 17-in PBs. It would be different if it were still several months away, but it's not. When the Rev B PBs came out, all kinds of people were going saying, see you people in January should have waited! They forget that we who ordered in January and February had gotten to use our machines for several months by then. So yes, there will always be something bigger and better -- but as I said, it's just a month away now.

That said, if you're in need of one now, then go ahead.

Well, that was clear as mud, wasn't it?
     
David Esrati
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Dec 4, 2003, 10:02 AM
 
I've had to send my 12" twice because the latch broke- also, the screws keep falling out of the screen- esp. the lower right one. This is what happens when you buy the first revision of a new machine-
wait for the first speed bump- they sometimes address these type of issues.
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ScottEllsworth
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:17 PM
 
Apple has been trying to spread out new product introductions. They have also taken to announcing hardware that will not be available for a month or two. (The G5s were more than that.) Further, when new hardware is announced, the old is discounted, and often vanishes quickly.

Thus, do not buy before you need new hardware. If you do buy, try to see if there is an Apple event scheduled for that month. At the moment, the next Apple event is scheduled for Jan 4 or so, so I would hold off until then, unless I really needed the new hardware. For example, if my old machine was going to someone for Christmas, I would buy in December.

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udaman
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:21 PM
 
Don't buy one of those porky, thick industrial design/styled Alum. PB's. Get the latest tech, magnesium laptop from Toshiba.Toshiba is the leader in laptop tech at present

If only Apple spent more time on implementing the latest techinologies, instead of designing 'pretty' eye-candy.

The Toshiba weighs alot less. Don't expect any of this year's technology on Apple's PB...maybe next year if we're lucky.

At best you'll see speed bumped PB's with other minor speed improvements or component upgrades in the near future---it took Apple forever to get the 15in Alu. PB to market, don't expect a complete PB line makeover before next summer. Sure would be nice if Apple got their act together and truly got FW800 up to speed, it's the only tech missing from the Toshiba(don't need Gb Ethernet if you have true fast FW)! FW1600....when?FW800 doesn't cut it on the G5

Now if Apple would only use a 1.8in 100GB Toshiba drive, lower power/brighter OLED display, throw in a Li-poly battery; they could run faster G4 cpu's, possibly even dual lower power G4's in a 17in PB. Stiff Carbon fiber case sorrounding the screen, like Sony is using in their latest laptop, would be nice
     
dar77777
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:28 PM
 
My boss has one of those thin magnesium Toshiba laptops. It's so light it's hard to imagine it's a real laptop. However, it requires a bulky exterior CD drive and the painted silver top now has hundreds of scratches.
     
CrackedButter
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:29 PM
 
Originally posted by POE:
Any word of the 12" getting the back-lit keyboard, gigabit ethernet or firewire 800 any time soon. Those are the things that I am waiting on to purcase.
Not going to happen, not soon anyway...and back lit keyboard is over rated...i wanted to remove the feature from my pb when i went to buy it.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
     
CrackedButter
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:32 PM
 
Originally posted by udaman:
Don't buy one of those porky, thick industrial design/styled Alum. PB's. Get the latest tech, magnesium laptop from Toshiba.Toshiba is the leader in laptop tech at present

If only Apple spent more time on implementing the latest techinologies, instead of designing 'pretty' eye-candy.

The Toshiba weighs alot less. Don't expect any of this year's technology on Apple's PB...maybe next year if we're lucky.

At best you'll see speed bumped PB's with other minor speed improvements or component upgrades in the near future---it took Apple forever to get the 15in Alu. PB to market, don't expect a complete PB line makeover before next summer. Sure would be nice if Apple got their act together and truly got FW800 up to speed, it's the only tech missing from the Toshiba(don't need Gb Ethernet if you have true fast FW)! FW1600....when?FW800 doesn't cut it on the G5

Now if Apple would only use a 1.8in 100GB Toshiba drive, lower power/brighter OLED display, throw in a Li-poly battery; they could run faster G4 cpu's, possibly even dual lower power G4's in a 17in PB. Stiff Carbon fiber case sorrounding the screen, like Sony is using in their latest laptop, would be nice
I call TROLL!

You don't need gigabyte ethernet but want FW1600? Do you edit video or something?, besides if there was FW1600 Apple would incorporate it first anyway. Look how long its taking to add it to windows machines after 12 months of being released.

In any case if you want that sort of connectivity you should invest in some fibre channel.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
     
NYCFarmboy
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Dec 4, 2003, 12:33 PM
 
Originally posted by udaman:
Don't buy one of those porky, thick industrial design/styled Alum. PB's. Get the latest tech, magnesium laptop from Toshiba.Toshiba is the leader in laptop tech at present

If only Apple spent more time on implementing the latest techinologies, instead of designing 'pretty' eye-candy.

The Toshiba weighs alot less. Don't expect any of this year's technology on Apple's PB...maybe next year if we're lucky.

At best you'll see speed bumped PB's with other minor speed improvements or component upgrades in the near future---it took Apple forever to get the 15in Alu. PB to market, don't expect a complete PB line makeover before next summer. Sure would be nice if Apple got their act together and truly got FW800 up to speed, it's the only tech missing from the Toshiba(don't need Gb Ethernet if you have true fast FW)! FW1600....when?FW800 doesn't cut it on the G5

Now if Apple would only use a 1.8in 100GB Toshiba drive, lower power/brighter OLED display, throw in a Li-poly battery; they could run faster G4 cpu's, possibly even dual lower power G4's in a 17in PB. Stiff Carbon fiber case sorrounding the screen, like Sony is using in their latest laptop, would be nice

That thing is ugly as sin... with the off center trackpad. ick.

And how the screen sits up on hinges like that?
Very poor design..especially for use on an airplane.
     
DakRT
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Dec 4, 2003, 01:50 PM
 
I agree, I don't think it's worth waiting unless you know that there will be a major revision in jan which I doubt there will be.
DakRT
     
Eug Wanker
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Dec 4, 2003, 01:56 PM
 
I don't hold much hope for an update in January for the PowerBooks. All three models were updated just a couple of months ago. I'm waiting for the G5 PowerBook. Too bad it won't come in January either, and it likely won't even come by July for that matter.

My guess is that Macworld January 2004 is going to bring a new iMac and new dual 2.5 GHz G5 Power Mac.
( Last edited by Eug Wanker; Dec 4, 2003 at 02:01 PM. )
     
Wyck
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Dec 4, 2003, 02:15 PM
 
Originally posted by POE:
Any word of the 12" getting the back-lit keyboard, gigabit ethernet or firewire 800 any time soon. Those are the things that I am waiting on to purcase.
Wondering that myself... as well as if they're going to get that godawful GeForce out of the 12" model as well.
     
udaman
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Dec 4, 2003, 03:52 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
I don't hold much hope for an update in January for the PowerBooks. All three models were updated just a couple of months ago. I'm waiting for the G5 PowerBook. Too bad it won't come in January either, and it likely won't even come by July for that matter.

My guess is that Macworld January 2004 is going to bring a new iMac and new dual 2.5 GHz G5 Power Mac.
Keeping in mind that the 15in PB keep the revised(mainly speed bumped) PB line from rumored WWDC annoucement, then NY, then Seybold, until finally Paris; the possibility exists the component/motherboard upgrades along with a faster & lower power Motorola PPC chip are certainly a possiblity for MWSF. But it only matters when the chips are available. It could be March before the speed bumped PB debuts. Low power IBM 'G5' may not even make it into production before the end of 2004. Apple has to headge it's bets with Moto/IBM. No rumor site has made any predictions of a existing lower power G5 that comes anywhere near what Moto has now. That could change, but we're likely to have G4's at either significantly higher speeds, or Apple will have to do a dualie for the 17in at least, A lower core voltage G4(therefore less heat generation) operating at 1.2Ghz, in a dual configuration, would still be faster than a single 1.6Ghz G5.

Hehehe, I just love those stylish, tasteful people who put style over functionality/leading edge technology. G4's were downright sluggish compared to the Winblows PC's, cause they used technology more than a year old. Same for the Apple PB's except for Apple's own FW which they have not pushed for. While Apple was asleep as usual, not bringing out the superior FW800, USB 2.0 now rules. As far as style goes, G5 Aluminum cheesegraters, with those el cheapo looking thin aluminum handles, look BUTT ugly compared to the G4 plastic case handles. Those nice thin sharp angles, mean you need to wear gloves when lugging these larger beasts around. Same for the so-called slim PB's, industrial minimalism. PB Pismo is the Armani suit of laptops, thinner(read: anything new, trendy) TiBook & Alu PB's are BUTT ugly in comparison.

The good people of these forums obviously did not pay attention to the point being made about the Toshiba, that it has the latest technology built into it. Real men (eat quiche) use a mouse, real(not ignorant or dense) men who do video editing know the significance of having FW1600 and why it's better that Fibre channel. Costs Apple practically nothing to put FW800 on the 12in. PB, but it's still not on that model. Frankly they should just discontinue the iBook line. From TiBook to present the newer style cases with LCD's that are thicker than OLED's have painfully flimsy, wet-noddle frames around the LCD. These 'pro' models are less rugged than the iBook.

Follow my points, Use brain. Sony style tough/stiff carbon fibre frame for 1/2 thickness Pismo style(a design with keyboard and trackpad ergonomics that is still superior to 'trendy' Apple PB's) w/OLED display(cause its a superior lower power higher resolution/brighter/thinner technology that Apple SHOULD be using, but we'll see it in 2005 AFTER it's already been done on the Winblows/Linux laptops), using lighter weight/thinner/greater capacity Li-poly battery, along with lighter weight/thinner/lower power/higher capacity 1.8in 100GB Toshiba drive. Then you have a real 'year of the notebook' desktop parity "road warrior" that can do video editing like the big boy desktops.


edited to remove nonsensical personal jabs that didn't reinforce the original contention that Toshiba and Sony products are superior.
( Last edited by vmarks; Dec 4, 2003 at 08:20 PM. )
     
Aiglos
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Dec 4, 2003, 04:37 PM
 
Regarding the Toshiba notebook, some of the technologies are sweet, but I don't think people will buy a laptop that only lasts 92 minutes from one battery. We're supposed to be improving on things, not going backwards...

And the offcentre trackpad is very unattractive for a laptop. It's been researched that people find beauty in symmetry. Therefore the laptop is ugly by most peoples account.
     
mozrx
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Dec 4, 2003, 04:48 PM
 
Could somone post a link to the Toshiba laptop specs that have been discussed. I can't seem to find the exact model mentioned.

Thanks.

MOZZEY
     
onaujee  (op)
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Dec 4, 2003, 05:21 PM
 
I agree with Scott..and yeah, I don't need it right now, finals is done in a week or two and spring semester doesn't start til' mid Feb..Thanks for the reps..
     
klinux
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Dec 4, 2003, 05:53 PM
 
Ha, I like your rant udaman! Apple had made some HW innovations but mostly is still behind in the HW e.g. late adoption of DDR, fast FSB, AGP, SATA, and modern CPUs like the G5 etc.
One iMac, iBook, one iPod, way too many PCs.
     
krux`
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Dec 4, 2003, 08:16 PM
 
Ha! dont listen! the aluminum Powerbook is an excellent machine! Get it while you can, personally i would have taken this over a new one simply because this one has everyting ill need!! check it out i just posted some pictures

http://homepage.mac.com/krux/PhotoAlbum13.html
     
Pierre B.
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Dec 5, 2003, 05:48 AM
 
Originally posted by udaman:
Don't buy one of those porky, thick industrial design/styled Alum. PB's. Get the latest tech, magnesium laptop from Toshiba.Toshiba is the leader in laptop tech at present
Interesting, but I can't find the official Toshiba page with specifications etc. .
     
urrl78
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Dec 5, 2003, 07:25 AM
 
Apple should have had the 128 GPU in these lastest versions. It's bad enough to be left soooo far behind in the CPU speed category but now 128 GPU's are common place in PC laptops. No way would I buy a laptop until I see the 128 MB graphics chip. And no complaining about heat issues either. You will all see them plunk the 128 in this next rev. believe you me. It's all about Apple's lame marketing strategy and the consumer's lack of patience. So bite the hook if you want to and whine later.
     
uv23
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Dec 5, 2003, 10:37 AM
 
I am a recent switcher. I used (and still use every once in a while for development) a 1GHz Athlon at home and a 2.8GHz P4 at work, where I do MS .net development. I needed a laptop to fulfill my mobility needs, mostly in terms of writing, image manipulation, and desktop publishing. I looked at PC laptops for months, poring over every available model, trying them out in stores. I hated them all. Sure, they were fast but I couldn't abide by the poor styling, cheap feel, and I didn't want another XP system (I use XP Pro at home and work and it's fine but I wanted a change and I was sick of worrying about security). I was one of those people who went on and on about how far behind PowerBooks were and how I refused to buy a machine with a G4 in it. Then I started lurking, reading, visiting stores that had Apple products and lo and behold, one week ago today I bought a 12" PB. And guess what? It's gorgeous, plenty fast, runs all of the apps I need, attaches to my wireless network at home and my wireless network at home with zero effort on my part, stable, connects gorgeously to my LCD at home via DVI, has a great keyboard, etc etc. I could go on and on. Would I prefer that it was a 1.6GHz G5 with a 64mb video card? Of course! Do I need any of that? No. So, think long and hard about what you really need and make your decision based on that. The computer industry is one in which you cannot constantly wait for the next best thing(tm), or you will find yourself in an eternal cycle of misery and second guessing. Cheers.
     
   
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