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I went to the Apple store in SOHO today and saw the 17in...
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drainyoo
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:00 PM
 
What a beautiful piece of machinery. I just stood there with my mouth open and drooled all over myself. My girlfriend thought I was crazy.

Apple really got it right with this one. It is huge!

Cant wait to get mine!
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seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:12 PM
 
I disagree. It's too big, and it uses an outdated graphics chipset. It's merely paving the way for a better, mainstream PowerBook that will feature an improved, more mature enclosure in a reasonable size.
     
swsteckly
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:16 PM
 
I disagree. It's too big, and it uses an outdated graphics chipset. It's merely paving the way for a better, mainstream PowerBook that will feature an improved, more mature enclosure in a reasonable size.
I've heard this so many times. Just because it's too big for you doesn't mean that it isn't perfect for someone else (like me). Blanket statements like this do nothing but inflame others.
     
seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:24 PM
 
Originally posted by swsteckly:
I've heard this so many times. Just because it's too big for you doesn't mean that it isn't perfect for someone else (like me). Blanket statements like this do nothing but inflame others.
I can say whatever I want to, and the possibility that someone might be angered by something I say should not deter me from expressing what I think.

I supported my claim. I cited the machine's excessive size and outdated graphics chipset as reasons for my opinion. If I had said, "The 17-inch PowerBook sucks!" you may have had a point.
     
chrisutley
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:28 PM
 
Too big for what? For you? I guess that means Apple got it wrong, huh? Shoes and soft drinks come in different sizes, why not laptops?

A better graphics chipset would have been nice, but it's not exactly "outdated" either. It's nothing that a revision can't fix, it's not as-if they have to scrap the design to upgrade the video.


Originally posted by seanyepez:
I disagree. It's too big, and it uses an outdated graphics chipset. It's merely paving the way for a better, mainstream PowerBook that will feature an improved, more mature enclosure in a reasonable size.
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cwasko
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:33 PM
 
Originally posted by seanyepez:
I disagree. It's too big, and it uses an outdated graphics chipset. It's merely paving the way for a better, mainstream PowerBook that will feature an improved, more mature enclosure in a reasonable size.
And just why is the GPU outdated? I will never play anymore than solitare on it. I'll go out on a limb and say that I'm sure its 'outdated' CPU will run just as good as a cutting-edge GPU will when it comes to standard OS stuff... like drawing windows, etc. Sure, if they were going to toss some wizzbang GPU in there for the same price, then I'd be quite happy. For my uses its current base of technology will be just fine. Additionaly, no it's not too big for me either. I will be traveling from office to office with it... not using it 'on the road'. Therefore, having the large screen will be of substantial value and worth the 'size'.
     
seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:36 PM
 
Originally posted by chrisutley:
Too big for what? For you? I guess that means Apple got it wrong, huh? Shoes and soft drinks come in different sizes, why not laptops?

A better graphics chipset would have been nice, but it's not exactly "outdated" either. It's nothing that a revision can't fix, it's not as-if they have to scrap the design to upgrade the video.
Nope. It's too big for me. This doesn't mean that Apple necessarily got it wrong for others. It's my opinion that this will become a sort of "white elephant" notebook after its novelty wears off. It fits in no standard notebook cases and is uncomfortable to use with the majority of airline seats.

"Outdated" means obsolted. My definition of obsolte is something along the lines of "surpassed by newer technologies." The GeForce4 440 Go is thus, to me, outdated. It will not handle future games since it's effectively a GeForce2 MX on steroids.
     
seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:38 PM
 
Originally posted by cwasko:
And just why is the GPU outdated? I will never play anymore than solitare on it. I'll go out on a limb and say that I'm sure its 'outdated' CPU will run just as good as a cutting-edge GPU will when it comes to standard OS stuff... like drawing windows, etc. Sure, if they were going to toss some wizzbang GPU in there for the same price, then I'd be quite happy. For my uses its current base of technology will be just fine. Additionaly, no it's not too big for me either. I will be traveling from office to office with it... not using it 'on the road'. Therefore, having the large screen will be of substantial value and worth the 'size'.
I'm happy for you.

The GPU is outdated because nVIDIA's already shipping the GeForce4 4200 Go based on the GeForce4 Ti graphics GPU.
     
chrisutley
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:47 PM
 
The 17-inch PowerBook is tearing Mac users apart. Damn that giant aluminum laptop!
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AssassyN
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:51 PM
 
I completely respect your opinion, but here's my deux pennies:

It's not too big for me. The 12" PB, for me, is too small. For others, it's perfect!

The GPU is not obsolete by ANY means. So the Radeon 9000 surpasses it barely in a few tests, well it beat the Radeon 9000 in a few tests of it's own. Also, the graphics chip in the 12" PowerBook is even lower than this one, and the latest and greatest mobile graphics chipset out there is the 4200 Go, which is currently only available for PC notebook, therefore it can't be considered into the equation.

And speaking of novelty, the same can be said for a tiny 12" notebook...but it's not novelty, it's different sizes for different users.

And the "it won't fit in any standard notebook cases" thing...I beg to differ. As a matter of fact, Apple sells on their own site a Brenthaven case made *specifically* for the 17" PB. So does www.jambags.com, and the Racer-X bag will be available for the 17" PB as well, and the Timbuk2 bags will also. Having 4 bags for a product that isn't even on the market yet is quite impressive to me.

Thanks for the good debate
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Mar 9, 2003, 10:56 PM
 
Aw it. I seem to get my arse flamed for every comment I make no matter who I try to help.
( Last edited by Mac Zealot; Mar 9, 2003 at 11:10 PM. )
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seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:07 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
I completely respect your opinion, but here's my deux pennies:

It's not too big for me. The 12" PB, for me, is too small. For others, it's perfect!

The GPU is not obsolete by ANY means. So the Radeon 9000 surpasses it barely in a few tests, well it beat the Radeon 9000 in a few tests of it's own. Also, the graphics chip in the 12" PowerBook is even lower than this one, and the latest and greatest mobile graphics chipset out there is the 4200 Go, which is currently only available for PC notebook, therefore it can't be considered into the equation.

And speaking of novelty, the same can be said for a tiny 12" notebook...but it's not novelty, it's different sizes for different users.

And the "it won't fit in any standard notebook cases" thing...I beg to differ. As a matter of fact, Apple sells on their own site a Brenthaven case made *specifically* for the 17" PB. So does www.jambags.com, and the Racer-X bag will be available for the 17" PB as well, and the Timbuk2 bags will also. Having 4 bags for a product that isn't even on the market yet is quite impressive to me.

Thanks for the good debate
The GeForce4 440 Go is significantly slower than its replacement as evidenced by a comprehensive benchmark featuring the GeForce4 MX, RADEON 9000, and GeForce4 Titanium at http://www17.tomshardware.com/graphi...charts-04.html.

The GeForce4 4200 Go will work in any notebook with an AGP interface. Before Apple introduced the 17-inch PowerBook, the GeForce4 440 Go was only available on PC notebooks. Apple already has drivers written for the GeForce4 Titanium cards (they've been out for about a year now). Compatability is not an issue. The GeForce4 MX does not feature the programmability demanded by new games like the upcoming Doom release. The RADEON 9000 Mobility, the upcoming RADEON 9600 Mobility, and GeForce4 4200 Go all do.

12-inch notebooks are not "novel" by any means. Four years ago, they were, but now, standard notebook computers ship with 12.1- to 14.1-inch screens. Dell does not dare to venture past the 15-inch barrier. Desktop replacement notebooks must still be portable. Different users prefer different sizes, but the mainstream is always better taken care of. Those wearing "plus" size clothing have to frequent different stores; it's inconvenient to be too big. You were only proving my point about the largest PowerBook not fitting in any standard notebook case. Each of the manufacturers you mentioned had to create new cases specifically designed for the 17-inch PowerBook. They do not fit in standard notebook cases.
( Last edited by seanyepez; Mar 9, 2003 at 11:17 PM. )
     
drainyoo  (op)
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:13 PM
 
Fellas take it easy.

17inch might not be right for everyone. For me its perfect. I do a lot of design work were I have a bunch of apps with tons of palettes open at once. I need the extra space. Other people dont need all that space thats why theres the 12inch.

The graphics chip is good enough for me cause I dont need a lot of power. I dont play that many games or do any 3D. The chip I have in my Tibook right now is more than enough, so I think the one in the 17inch will be plenty.

If you dont need the 17inch, theres the 15 or the 12. Apple knows what they are doing.
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donny31
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:21 PM
 
Originally posted by seanyepez:
I can say whatever I want to, and the possibility that someone might be angered by something I say should not deter me from expressing what I think.

I supported my claim. I cited the machine's excessive size and outdated graphics chipset as reasons for my opinion. If I had said, "The 17-inch PowerBook sucks!" you may have had a point.
the reality of it is that you cant afford it and your pissed.
     
AssassyN
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:23 PM
 
Alright, at first I was trying to see your posts as logical, but your making that a bit more difficult...

I totally understand the 4200 Go is faster than the 440 Go cards, but for whatever reasons (maybe Apple's developers didn't have time to shove the 4200 Go in w/o battery life issues, heat issues, the list goes on...) the two best mobile chipsets currently available in ANY Apple notebook is either the Radeon 9000 or the nVidia 440 Go. Don't mix Wintel machines into the picture, because they also have a repuation for horrid battery life because of these juice-sucking GPU's. We're talking Macs only here. I don't contest the fact that maybe the 4200 Go *could* work in the 17" PB, but fact is, you can't buy one w/ it in there, so just deal w/ the facts at hand.

And if you want to play Doom III, you don't buy a notebook. Period. Apple knows that, Dell knows that, Gateway knows that, everybody knows that. You do not buy a notebook solely intending to play Doom III on it. Notebooks were made for portability, to be efficient work machines, and still maintain some desktop features. Notebooks aren't desgined nor marketed to play mainstream video games like Doom III. The only one that is the Alienware Area 51-m, which uses a desktop CPU and is *only* marketed as a carry-along LAN-party station, not a "laptop".

Speaking of mainstream, Apple has *never* appealed to the mainstream. Neither has Ferrari, think they're doing bad? When I got in the market for a notebook for college, I hated Apple (b/c of their pre-OS X operating systems), but I wanted a desktop replacement for college. There's no better one than a notebook w/ a 17" screen. Remember, it's only 15.x", it's the *screen* that's 17", so it's still very portable.

Every notebook every built is not for every person, that's why there's such a variety of them. And you make absolutely no sense when you say that manufacturers had to design bags for the 17". And? That only proves they care about this new product and their making products to support it. Somebody had to make the first 12" case, 15" case, etc. Somebody had to make the first double-neck guitar case, and although they aren't mainstream, you would have no problem finding one at a very compareable price to a standard guitar case. "Standard" means nothing...many, many companies make universal cases that you can just cram any ole' notebook into and go with it. But will it provide the best support? No. If you buy a 12" PowerBook, are you gonna go get some Wal-Mart Universal fit $9.99 special? No, you're gonna fork out the extra cash for the case *made* for your prized notebook. If you can buy it, it's standard.

I think I've addressed everything
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:35 PM
 
Hey where'd that last post go sean?
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seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:39 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
Alright, at first I was trying to see your posts as logical, but your making that a bit more difficult...

I totally understand the 4200 Go is faster than the 440 Go cards, but for whatever reasons (maybe Apple's developers didn't have time to shove the 4200 Go in w/o battery life issues, heat issues, the list goes on...) the two best mobile chipsets currently available in ANY Apple notebook is either the Radeon 9000 or the nVidia 440 Go. Don't mix Wintel machines into the picture, because they also have a repuation for horrid battery life because of these juice-sucking GPU's. We're talking Macs only here. I don't contest the fact that maybe the 4200 Go *could* work in the 17" PB, but fact is, you can't buy one w/ it in there, so just deal w/ the facts at hand.

And if you want to play Doom III, you don't buy a notebook. Period. Apple knows that, Dell knows that, Gateway knows that, everybody knows that. You do not buy a notebook solely intending to play Doom III on it. Notebooks were made for portability, to be efficient work machines, and still maintain some desktop features. Notebooks aren't desgined nor marketed to play mainstream video games like Doom III. The only one that is the Alienware Area 51-m, which uses a desktop CPU and is *only* marketed as a carry-along LAN-party station, not a "laptop".

Speaking of mainstream, Apple has *never* appealed to the mainstream. Neither has Ferrari, think they're doing bad? When I got in the market for a notebook for college, I hated Apple (b/c of their pre-OS X operating systems), but I wanted a desktop replacement for college. There's no better one than a notebook w/ a 17" screen. Remember, it's only 15.x", it's the *screen* that's 17", so it's still very portable.

Every notebook every built is not for every person, that's why there's such a variety of them. And you make absolutely no sense when you say that manufacturers had to design bags for the 17". And? That only proves they care about this new product and their making products to support it. Somebody had to make the first 12" case, 15" case, etc. Somebody had to make the first double-neck guitar case, and although they aren't mainstream, you would have no problem finding one at a very compareable price to a standard guitar case. "Standard" means nothing...many, many companies make universal cases that you can just cram any ole' notebook into and go with it. But will it provide the best support? No. If you buy a 12" PowerBook, are you gonna go get some Wal-Mart Universal fit $9.99 special? No, you're gonna fork out the extra cash for the case *made* for your prized notebook. If you can buy it, it's standard.

I think I've addressed everything
Please refer to the battery benchmark of the Dell Inspiron 8500 that features the GeForce4 4200 Go at http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0...11.html?tag=sd. Also, another interesting article that elaborates on the power-saving features of the GeForce4 4200 Go can be read at http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1745&p=4. It's more powerful, but it can be clocked down if necessary. The fact is that Apple didn't include this chipset, and gaming could have been a lot better on the 17-inch PowerBook if they had. Dell's Inspiron 8500 will be able to play Doom III very well. It uses a mobile processor. Who is to say that I won't buy a notebook just to play Doom III on the road? I paid $20,000 to play Halo on a big screen with surround sound.

PowerBooks get comparable battery life to your average Dell. The 17-inch PowerBook will realistically feature 2 hours of battery life. It's got a lower-capacity battery than the 15-inch PowerBook and more draining components to power. This is an argument of the past. Apple's notebooks do not feature stellar battery life anymore.

You say that notebooks are made for portability, and they are. However, most people buying the 17-inch PowerBooks are looking for desktop replacement notebooks that aren't very portable at all. There is no reason why a notebook should not be able to play the latest and greatest games. Alienware's notebook can. Dell's latest notebook can. Apple's notebook that's significantly more expensive can't. I see a problem here. The 17-inch PowerBook was designed to be a desktop replacement, and it is lacking in its ability to replace a desktop for all purposes.

The cases available for standard notebooks are available in almost any computer store. You have to specially order a case for Apple's 17-inch notebook. They're also more expensive than the average $40 Targus case that fits mainstream notebooks like the TiBook and any Dell Inspiron.

You say, "If you can buy it, it's standard." This is blatantly wrong. You can buy a Ferrari, but it's certainly not a standard means of transportation.
( Last edited by seanyepez; Mar 9, 2003 at 11:45 PM. )
     
swsteckly
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:40 PM
 
Good post. Many bags are already available custom-made for the 17". I have had a long-standing preorder on a Waterfield Racer-X custom made for the 17". It should be here tomorrow. It turns out that they took the extra time allowed from Apple not having the machines shipping like originally thought to add some cool new features from the 15" bag (which I own also). The 17" version doesn't cost any more, either.

You've got quite possibly the world's most luxurious (or will have) notebook computer. Don't tell me that you're not willing to purchase a custom-made case? If you have a 15", I think 99% of people still would.

Obviously, the 17" is not for you. But it IS for a lot of people, judging by preorder reports from various relsellers, not to mention threads on forums like these.

This computer fills a much-neglected market. People who want an actual, usable, 'desktop replacement'. The notebook computer stereotype is that of someone who flies a lot and used a desktop when they get home. What about the people like me, who rarely use it outside of home? I use it 75% of the time at home, in the living room, bed room, kitchen, or outside in the patio. The rest of the time I use it in the car or in someone else's home or business. This computer is VERY portable, just not AS portable as other, smaller computers.
     
seanyepez
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:48 PM
 
I carry around my 1-gigahertz, 15-inch PowerBook in the same Targus notebook backpack I used to carry around other notebooks including a Sony VAIO R505 and a PowerBook G3.
     
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Mar 9, 2003, 11:54 PM
 
Of course the 4200 Go performs well, but you just said yourself it doesn't drain the battery in it's clocked-down mode, which warrents it's extra power basically non-existant.

Fact is, gaming could be a lot better on a processor over 1Ghz, but Apple didn't include that either, did they? The first mistake here is assuming an Apple is a gaming machine. It's not. Never has been. A very small percentage of Windows games are ever ported to Mac, and people realize this. Many Mac-heads own a PC solely for their gaming fix. Yeah, the 17" PowerBook is expensive, but have you went to Dell.com and souped up a Inspirion 8500? Put a GIG of RAM in it and see what it does to the cost. Suddenly you're ABOVE what the 17" PowerBook costs, and WELL over that considering I got a 20% ADC discount on mine, which made Apple's product even more attractive to me personally.

You totally dodged the fact that notebooks aren't built to play the latest and greatest video games, because they simply aren't. That's why computer makers make desktops. So you can plug that 400 watt power supply into the wall and give all the juice in the world to that flaming hot CPU and GPU. You can't do that in a notebook, thus, if only by the laws of physics, notebooks can't be gaming machines of the caliber of desktops.

You make an atrociously weak point for yourself when you say "Alienware notebooks can". You're very, very right. Alienware notebooks also get about 30 minutes of battery life if you're lucky, and that's good because if it sat in your lap any longer you may have some trouble having kids in the future. No notebook can *truly* replace a desktop for the simple fact that it can't have a Jeckle and Hyde persona. It's components must first be able to run quietly, cooly, and in a power-saving manner. Those things right there are things desktops don't have to worry about. "Desktop replacements" are non-existant as of now, because no notebook can perform on par w/ a cutting-edge desktop. Maybe a few years down the road technology will prove that otherwise, but as of now, it's primarily a marketing ploy.

And for the cases, good grief. You have to special order a case for the 12" PB too, and the iBook too, if you want a case specifically designed for your computer. If you don't, no problem! There's cases all over the net that are over 15" in length and you can cram a 17" PB in there all day, but I won't be taking my chances. If I buy a new Ford truck, I refuse to buy some knock-off universal running boards, I'm gonna get the Ford factory fit ones. If it's something you pride, you'll invest in the best.

And I beg to differ, to some elite individuals, the Ferrari *is* the main mode of transportation. To some individuals, the $3,299 pricetag on the 17" PB is a drop in the bucket, and *is* their standard notebook for computing. A huge amount of people I know absolutely cannot afford the 17" PowerBook, nor the high-end Dells. They're having to buy the $799 special you see on TV. To them, that's standard. To those elite who can afford the elite, the high-end products are standard. Standard depends on your status and your perspective.

...all in the name of a good discussion
( Last edited by AssassyN; Mar 10, 2003 at 12:00 AM. )
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AssassyN
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:02 AM
 
*phew* Hands are cramped from doing last-minute homework & typing in the Forums...I'm off to bed, thanks for the lively discussion!
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:23 AM
 
Asssassyn, you do make a valid point.

The Geforce 4200go *PROBABLY* makes a substantial higher amount of heat when running compared to the 420.

*shrug* Imagine a 12" pb with that!

Anyway, sean, I wish I could say that people are wrong about you, but I don't have a lot of proof. LOL.

I *THINK* he can afford a few dozen powerbooks , it just so happens that his 'needs' are so much greater than those of most people that he likes to be um... rough about it.
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PoisonTooth
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:35 AM
 
Originally posted by seanyepez:
I disagree. It's too big, and it uses an outdated graphics chipset. It's merely paving the way for a better, mainstream PowerBook that will feature an improved, more mature enclosure in a reasonable size.
I agree here. It's a great form factor, and the aesthetics are impressive. However, no way would I trade my TiBook for one yet; I think buying rev A hardware (for $3200, no less) is pretty risky.

A few months from now, they'll release a 17" with something like an upgraded CPU and perhaps the GeForce4 4200 Go for the GPU (like the Dell 8500).
     
beanman
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Mar 10, 2003, 02:50 AM
 
I just want to say one thing about this...

I'm about to be out of college and off traveling in search of that mythical thing known as a career. In my attempt to move out of the beige G3 world, I was set on getting a super sweet, dual processor G4 tower. I do a lot of audio production and was pushing to get something where I could start building a home studio. That all changed on Jan. 6th. (And I've been waiting since the 7th!! Argh!!)

For me, the 17inch is perfect. I'm busy and constantly on the go. I can take it with me to take advantage of the campus wireless network and bring it home to do homework and production. To me, I'm some one that this computer has been created for. I'm still a student that only has enough cash to throw at one computer right now, and this is the best decision that I can make with my money at this time.



I want my 17inch
     
suprz's ghost
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Mar 10, 2003, 08:01 AM
 
Originally posted by donny31:
the reality of it is that you cant afford it and your pissed.
Now there's an informed opinion from a seasoned veteran of these forums

i've been on this board long enough to know that seanyepez is more informed than alot of people and knows his ****, and i'm sure he can very well afford any laptop apple throws out there.

(sorry seanyepez, but i had to say something, this guy was way out of line on this one)
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Hollywood
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:03 AM
 
Originally posted by drainyoo:
Fellas take it easy.

17inch might not be right for everyone. For me its perfect. I do a lot of design work were I have a bunch of apps with tons of palettes open at once. I need the extra space. Other people dont need all that space thats why theres the 12inch.

The graphics chip is good enough for me cause I dont need a lot of power. I dont play that many games or do any 3D. The chip I have in my Tibook right now is more than enough, so I think the one in the 17inch will be plenty.

If you dont need the 17inch, theres the 15 or the 12. Apple knows what they are doing.
Drainyoo,

perfect speaking. Even for me the 17" is the best solution for mobile space, just what creators need.
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:18 AM
 
Methinks seanyepez has bigAl Pbook envy.
The thing's awesome, and perfect for a lot of people, including me, who wouldn't play Doom III if you gave it to me.
     
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:37 AM
 
First of all, for me the PowerBook G4 17" is way too big. In fact I recently purchased a PowerBook G4 12"

Buuuut I think that saying the PowerBook G4 17" is a bad machine because it won't be able to play Doom III (as I see everytime I read John Carmack rants, his grandson will be able to play Doom III with decent framerates, as he is developing the most freaking GPU consuming game ever) is not the point.

Of course it would be great to have the latest and the best, but the fact is that the 17" beast is a great machine for that users that needs to move their work from place to place, but not work "on the road".
     
xMetal
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:42 AM
 
I am a design professional, and I do all of my work on a "severely outdated" original TiBook. Only 400Mhz for crying out loud! But I still manage to do: complex Photoshop graphics for multimedia and print, 3D animation, video editing, sound editing, Flash and multimedia development and web design.

Now, a 17" powerbook is certainly a step up, and will in no way be outdated. It's screen size will be excellent for my work, and I can plug in to my extra monitor/printers/firewire drives/etc at work, then unplug and take it all home.

Games mean nothing to me, that's what my PS2 is for.

IMO, if you seriously need to work on an airplane with a frequency that would make a 17" annoying to use, you probably need a different job.

I've been using the same courier bag to tote my computers around since 1995, thanks to the wonderful slipcases from WaterField designs (I've already got my new 17" one). And with all the other junk I normally have in there, a teeny bit of extra weight from the computer will be irrelevant.

Honestly, the 17" will be perfect for my uses. Because you do not need one does not make it pointless, obsolete, a "white elephant" or anything else. It just means *you* don't need one.

But I sure as hell do. So there.
     
drainyoo  (op)
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Mar 10, 2003, 11:28 AM
 
Originally posted by xMetal:
I am a design professional, and I do all of my work on a "severely outdated" original TiBook. Only 400Mhz for crying out loud! But I still manage to do: complex Photoshop graphics for multimedia and print, 3D animation, video editing, sound editing, Flash and multimedia development and web design.

Now, a 17" powerbook is certainly a step up, and will in no way be outdated. It's screen size will be excellent for my work, and I can plug in to my extra monitor/printers/firewire drives/etc at work, then unplug and take it all home.

Games mean nothing to me, that's what my PS2 is for.

IMO, if you seriously need to work on an airplane with a frequency that would make a 17" annoying to use, you probably need a different job.

I've been using the same courier bag to tote my computers around since 1995, thanks to the wonderful slipcases from WaterField designs (I've already got my new 17" one). And with all the other junk I normally have in there, a teeny bit of extra weight from the computer will be irrelevant.

Honestly, the 17" will be perfect for my uses. Because you do not need one does not make it pointless, obsolete, a "white elephant" or anything else. It just means *you* don't need one.

But I sure as hell do. So there.
We are in the same boat buddy. Flash MX will be so much easier to work in.
i hate project managers.
     
baglunch
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:12 PM
 
I'm with drainyoo, xMetal, and AssassyN.

The size for me, is excellent. I mostly do motion graphics and video work, the extra resolution, and size are the big seller for me. I'd actually like to have a higher resolution if they offered it, but they don't so this is the best option for now. I'm looking for a mobile workstation that I can use when I need to work off-site, not on the commute per se, but when I get to a client/collaborator/office.

I used to be a gamer, and i can tell you, I'd never use a laptop (in their current configurations) as my main gaming system, let alone a mac. I don't game anymore so I don't really care how many more frames it can crank out in quake 3. If it drives the display and an external monitor, i'm happy.

For me, the 17" powerbook form factor is excellent, but i do agree that they need to increase the memory bandwidth to the bus, and get a better CPU in there. But using a 1ghz / 167mhz bus won't kill me.
     
DJMike
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:16 PM
 
I think you all forgot 1 thing. The CPU on the Ti's is 128 proc

Intel is 64 ? with the new 3.06 ?

Read below ( GigaFlops)


Meet the perfect workhorse for computing tasks that choke traditional processors.

What makes a supercomputer “super” is its ability to execute at least one billion floating-point operations per second, a staggering measure of speed known as a “gigaflop.” The PowerPC G4, architected by Apple, Motorola and IBM, was the first microprocessor to deliver a sustained performance of over one gigaflop. Today’s 1GHz PowerBook G4 hits speeds of 7.5 gigaflops.


The PowerPC G4 Velocity Engine processes information in 128-bit chunks, compared to the 32- or 64-bit chunks in traditional chips.

The Velocity Engine
Behind the PowerPC G4’s phenomenal performance is its aptly named Velocity Engine. The perfect workhorse for computing tasks that choke traditional processors, the Velocity Engine processes data in huge 128-bit chunks, instead of the smaller 32-bit or 64-bit chunks used in traditional processors (it’s the 128-bit vector processing technology used in scientific supercomputers — except that we’ve added 162 new instructions to speed up computations even further). In addition, the PowerPC G4 can perform four (in some cases eight) 32-bit floating-point calculations in a single cycle — two to four times faster than processors found in PCs.

The PowerPC G4 with Velocity Engine works with the PowerPC architecture to accelerate the data-intensive processing required by next-generation video, voice and graphics applications. Among the G4 key features is a vector permute function that’s capable of rearranging data in the registers — a priceless benefit when converting data from one format to another (often necessary with voice, video and graphics apps, which typically need to save data in several different formats). These vector processing advantages give the PowerPC G4 a significant edge for everything from digital video, 3D graphics and games to astronomy, the biosciences and predictive modeling.

Preemptive multitasking
This Mac OS X feature enables the PowerPC G4 to process several different tasks simultaneously. The controller gives priority to your primary applications, while the PowerPC G4 performs other tasks in the background. Mac OS X uses this controller to monitor the processor at all times. And since the controller prioritizes tasks and allocates resources on the fly to ensure that every task has the processing bandwidth it needs, applications won’t tie up the processor exclusively. So your system is far more responsive to the demands you make on it.

The OpenGL factor
Apple’s latest implementation of OpenGL, the industry standard gaming technology, combines with the PowerPC G4 processor and Mac OS X to deliver an outstanding 3D graphics experience. OpenGL performance has been upgraded to previously unheard of levels, zipping texture memory from applications to 3D graphics cards in nothing flat for maximum quality and frame rates.

Optimized for optimization
Apple has made it easy for software developers to optimize their applications to take advantage of the combined strengths of the PowerPC G4 processor, Mac OS X and OpenGL. The result? Operations like image sharpening and blurring, sizing and resizing, color-mode conversions and filters are visibly faster.

PowerPC G4 and Mac OS X Jaguar
Note how well the PowerPC G4 processor works with Mac OS X. It’s a powerful combination: Mac OS X features preemptive multitasking that allocates processor cycles on an as-needed basis, and protected memory that keeps you up and running even if an older application misbehaves. And now with Mac OS X v.10.2 (Jaguar), Quartz Extreme takes full advantage of the graphics processor in your PowerBook to make everything onscreen even faster.
http://a1120.g.akamai.net/7/1120/51/...okG4_17_TO.pdf
( Last edited by DJMike; Mar 10, 2003 at 12:26 PM. )
     
shatten22
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Mar 10, 2003, 12:43 PM
 
I think part of what sean is saying is that the 17in. could be better. Which is damn true. So could the 12in (no L3 cache?!?). And that the 17in. is too big for his needs. And probably anyone that transports his or her computer around a lot.

I use to have PC laptops and its taken me a couple of years to appreciate that my Tibook is king. I won't every buy a 'book heavier than 4.5 pounds again.

We can love Apple, but we shouldn't do it blindly. Sean is absolutely right on dissing the 17in. for its crappy chipset. Especially when the last of the Tibook line has/had one that was more powerful.

g
     
DJMike
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Mar 10, 2003, 01:02 PM
 
I didnt hear anyone say anything about making DVD's with the The Velocity Engine 128bit vs intel 32 or 64. only playing games ? heh
     
LosJackal
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Mar 10, 2003, 01:06 PM
 
Time for me to contribute to the lively discussion! I just want to counter two arguments, and then bring the big picture into view.

Just because the computer doesn't fit into a "standard" size case shouldn't be a negative against it. Those who hold their existing case in high regard and use it from laptop to laptop must also have a high regard for a laptop of that approximate size. So the 17" indeed might be too big for that individual. Conversely, imagine all the thousands of people of have said (up until January 7) that "laptops are too small" and they have only used desktops so far. Think of it this way...did the iPod flop because not only did it require a special case, but no cases existed at launch time? Nope...a new market for cases was created.

Secondly, the notion that the computer will not be able to be comfortably used on an airplane. The fact is, it is NO DEEPER that a G3 PowerBook. That means is won't jut into your belly or the screen get crushed by the person in front of you reclining any more than a G3 (or some PC laptops) would. In fact, the 17" is 2.5 inches wider, arguably making more use of the full width of the tray table.

Okay, big picture time...here's how you ensure the 17" will be a failure. This means you.[list=1][*]Don't buy it because it's a Revision A. If no one bought the first model, sales would be very disappointing and there wouldn't be a Revision B.[*]Don't buy it because it doesn't have the absolute "greatest" GPU on it. Don't pay attention to the fact that this is the first time Apple is putting Nvidia in a laptop, nor that it significantly beats the Radeon 9000 in OpenGL.[/list=1]
It's risky, yes, but someone willing has to take the risk, and risk can be mitigated with programs like AppleCare. And besides the GPU, consider what the 17" is bringing now: Aluminum enclosure, better antenna placement, integrated Bluetooth, Airport Extreme, Firewire 800, and DDR RAM.

Simply, if the computer is too big for you, wait for the 15". But it's too early to determine if the 17" will be a flop for more substantial reasons (like the 5300 was).
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Eug
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Mar 10, 2003, 01:11 PM
 
Originally posted by seanyepez:
The GPU is outdated because nVIDIA's already shipping the GeForce4 4200 Go based on the GeForce4 Ti graphics GPU.
I agree that the Radeon 9000 is better than the Geforce4 Go 440, and I agree the 17" is too big for me, but the Geforce4 Go 440 is far from being outdated.

It is a card that was designed with laptops in mind and thus has reportedly better power management than the Ti4200.

Personally, I think it would have been a bad idea for Apple to have gone with the Ti4200. If anything, I think the next generation AluBooks should have the Radeon 9600 Mobility. It has already been announced, it should be faster than the Ti4200, it has better features than the Ti4200, and it should use less power.

Indeed, if the new 15" and 17" in the fall show up with the Ti4200, I will be majorly disappointed.

In any case, in some ways a faster card is of only minor benefit, if you're talking games. The 1 GHz G4 is simply too slow to push those gaming calculations. It really holds back those ultra high speed GPUs.
     
DJMike
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Mar 10, 2003, 01:11 PM
 
http://a1120.g.akamai.net/7/1120/51/...okG4_17_TO.pdf

Lets all look at this link. See if its fits your needs or not.
( Last edited by DJMike; Mar 10, 2003 at 01:17 PM. )
     
LosJackal
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Mar 10, 2003, 01:18 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug:
Personally, I think it would have been a bad idea for Apple to have gone with the Ti4200. If anything, I think the next generation AluBooks should have the Radeon 9600 Mobility. It has already been announced, it should be faster than the Ti4200, it has better features than the Ti4200, and it should use less power.

Indeed, if the new 15" and 17" in the fall show up with the Ti4200, I will be majorly disappointed.
Eug, I know you are an informed person. What do you think of the fact this is the first time Apple put an Nvidia chip in a Powerbook? Wouldn't it seem very odd if Apple were to switch back to ATI later in the 17" revision line?

I'm not saying Apple will put the Ti4200 in. It just seems to be a Big Deal to switch from one GPU vendor to another.
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ASIMO
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Mar 10, 2003, 02:23 PM
 
So much spoilage. It saddens this AI.
I, ASIMO.
     
Eug
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Mar 10, 2003, 02:28 PM
 
Originally posted by LosJackal:
Eug, I know you are an informed person. What do you think of the fact this is the first time Apple put an Nvidia chip in a Powerbook? Wouldn't it seem very odd if Apple were to switch back to ATI later in the 17" revision line?

I'm not saying Apple will put the Ti4200 in. It just seems to be a Big Deal to switch from one GPU vendor to another.
I'm no expert, but it seems the 4200 Go is quite a different beast, and would require a fairly significant design change anyway.

Some versions of the Geforce4 Go 420 and 460 are pin-compatible I believe. I'm not sure if some versions of the Geforce4 Go 440 are also, but I do know that the 4200 Go is different yet again being physically bigger than all the others.

Another difference is that you can't get a 4200 Go with integrated memory. It always must use external memory which means it will take up more space. I believe this is also a drawback of a few versions of the 4x0 as well, but I'd guess that both the 12" AluBook and the 17" AluBook use chips with integrated memory packages. Does anyone know for sure how the 420 and 440 are set up in the AluBooks?

Furthermore, the 4200 Go does not include a TV encoder nor does it include a LCD controller (or whatever you call it). Both would have to be included extra for the PowerBooks, since we need a controller for the TFT screen obviously, as well as TV-out.

Plus, at maximum performance mode, the 4200 Go is supposed to draw a very large amt. of power (by laptop standards).

Given the drawbacks of the 4200 Go, I'd think it'd make more sense to use a Geforce4 Go 440 again, or else a Geforce4 Go 460, or even a Radeon 9000 or 9600. The 4200 Go just doesn't seem to make much sense for anything except a big heavy gaming machine.

Why did Apple go from the Radeon 9000 Mobility to the Geforce4 Go 440 in the first place? Not sure. On the PC side the Radeon 9000 Mobility usually outscores the 440 (but not always). OTOH, on the Mac side those synthetic OpenGL benches often have the Geforce4 Go 440 winning. Perhaps ATI's drivers on the Mac side simply didn't impress the Mac designers.
     
DVD Plaza
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Mar 10, 2003, 07:03 PM
 
I think he just got up on the wrong side of the bed, seems out of character to me for seanyepez to "troll" a thread.

Waaa, too big - stupid comment to shove into a thread, if a product isn't any use to someone they wouldn't intentionally troll a thread to make a point about a product that isn't applicable to them.

Waaa, uses outdated technology - stupid comment given Macs still ship with single button mice, processor is still 1GHz when 1.3GHz is available, SuperDrive is only 1x, etc. There are reasons for various choices, just because there might be a component that is better elsewhere doesn't suddenly make the entire product obsolete.

Waaaa, paving way for better products - and after that an even better product, then an even better product, and an even better product... unless it is discontinued computers have been upgraded and upgraded since the 1980s.

Waaa, doesn't fit standard cases - Purchasing something is entirely dependant on casing, and that a product that isn't even available yet should be ditched because there aren't any cases? WTF?!?!?

Waaaa, uncomfortable on airlines - Unless one spends a few hours on a plane every single day who the hell cares, my 15" is uncomfortable to use on a plane but big deal I just watch a DVD.

Waaaaa, might not handle future games - Who the hell buys a top of the range 17" notebook to go play games with, my god some of us have work to do!!!!! If I actually want to play a game, which is quite rare, then I'll fire up my Xbox.

Could be wrong but this kind of childish crying/whinging/trolling against a product one is not even interested in seems out of character for seanyepez to me - my guess would be someone is using his account or he was hung over/depressed/etc. Could be wrong in which case maybe a hug from his mum/mom might help
     
LosJackal
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Mar 10, 2003, 07:46 PM
 
Since someone mentioned cases....

Here's a concise list I've compiled over the past two months.

http://www.canyouhearmenow.com/article/16
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"Pismo" G3 500 PowerBook SOLD!
"Hammerhead" G4 PowerBook arrived!
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seanyepez
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Mar 10, 2003, 09:34 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
Of course the 4200 Go performs well, but you just said yourself it doesn't drain the battery in it's clocked-down mode, which warrents it's extra power basically non-existant.

Fact is, gaming could be a lot better on a processor over 1Ghz, but Apple didn't include that either, did they? The first mistake here is assuming an Apple is a gaming machine. It's not. Never has been. A very small percentage of Windows games are ever ported to Mac, and people realize this. Many Mac-heads own a PC solely for their gaming fix. Yeah, the 17" PowerBook is expensive, but have you went to Dell.com and souped up a Inspirion 8500? Put a GIG of RAM in it and see what it does to the cost. Suddenly you're ABOVE what the 17" PowerBook costs, and WELL over that considering I got a 20% ADC discount on mine, which made Apple's product even more attractive to me personally.

You totally dodged the fact that notebooks aren't built to play the latest and greatest video games, because they simply aren't. That's why computer makers make desktops. So you can plug that 400 watt power supply into the wall and give all the juice in the world to that flaming hot CPU and GPU. You can't do that in a notebook, thus, if only by the laws of physics, notebooks can't be gaming machines of the caliber of desktops.

You make an atrociously weak point for yourself when you say "Alienware notebooks can". You're very, very right. Alienware notebooks also get about 30 minutes of battery life if you're lucky, and that's good because if it sat in your lap any longer you may have some trouble having kids in the future. No notebook can *truly* replace a desktop for the simple fact that it can't have a Jeckle and Hyde persona. It's components must first be able to run quietly, cooly, and in a power-saving manner. Those things right there are things desktops don't have to worry about. "Desktop replacements" are non-existant as of now, because no notebook can perform on par w/ a cutting-edge desktop. Maybe a few years down the road technology will prove that otherwise, but as of now, it's primarily a marketing ploy.

And for the cases, good grief. You have to special order a case for the 12" PB too, and the iBook too, if you want a case specifically designed for your computer. If you don't, no problem! There's cases all over the net that are over 15" in length and you can cram a 17" PB in there all day, but I won't be taking my chances. If I buy a new Ford truck, I refuse to buy some knock-off universal running boards, I'm gonna get the Ford factory fit ones. If it's something you pride, you'll invest in the best.

And I beg to differ, to some elite individuals, the Ferrari *is* the main mode of transportation. To some individuals, the $3,299 pricetag on the 17" PB is a drop in the bucket, and *is* their standard notebook for computing. A huge amount of people I know absolutely cannot afford the 17" PowerBook, nor the high-end Dells. They're having to buy the $799 special you see on TV. To them, that's standard. To those elite who can afford the elite, the high-end products are standard. Standard depends on your status and your perspective.

...all in the name of a good discussion
I'm back.

In the beginning of the discussion, you claim that this notebook is a mobile desktop replacement that will be used in various places throughout the home and the office. You and others say that working on a plane isn't an issue. However, this is contradictory to what you've said about the GeForce4 4200 Go. Being at home, in the office, or on an airplane would mean you're near power. The GeForce4 4200 Go does consume more power and does take up more room, but in a notebook as big as the 17-inch PowerBook, it shouldn't be an issue. Dell is able to put it in their Inspiron 8500 which packs a 15.4-inch display. Granted, it's thicker, but Apple does have more horizontal space for these types of components. The additional power drain from the GeForce4 4200 Go is minimal; it's able to scale down to a mere 25 megahertz when not being actively used. Also, its maximum core clock is 200 megahertz, lower than that of the GeForce4 460 Go. While it is significantly faster, the additional graphics power offered by the GeForce4 4200 Go is almost not an issue. Sure, it's about 30% faster in most tests, but the problem here is that the GeForce4 440 Go, essentially a GeForce2 MX with a new memory architecture, will not be able to meet the demands of new games and 3D applications. If Apple is going to truly replace a desktop with a notebook, they must include comparable functionality. Not being able to play next-generation games is a big deal for me, and I won't be getting my 17-inch PowerBook until they release one with a better graphics chipset. The fact is, Apple is using an old, inappropriate GPU in the "desktop replacement" they're trying to create, and there's almost nothing you can say besides, "I don't need more power," to refute this. I'm not advocating using the GeForce4 4200 Go exclusively, I just demand that Apple use a modern graphics chipset in a computer that has yet to ship. Dell is cranking out Inspiron 8500's with GeForce4 4200 Go's as we speak.

No one has addressed my argument about how bad the battery life will be on these machines. Even without a GeForce4 4200 Go, battery life will be dismal. Considering it's using a smaller battery than that of the current 15-inch PowerBook, the 17-inch PowerBook will disappoint. For the few times you find yourself in a place without power, the PowerBook's minimal battery life will be problematic.

I never dodged the "fact" that notebooks can't play games. Notebooks can play games very well. Offerings like ATi's new RADEON 9600 Mobility and nVIDIA's GeForce4 4200 Go have bridged the gap between desktop and notebook gaming performance. The GeForce4 4200 Go (which isn't that hot and power consuming after all) performs 80% as well as its desktop counterpart while offering remarkable power saving features to boot. I actually find gaming to be acceptable on my 1-gigahertz TiBook. It pushes anywhere from 100 to 200 frames per second running at a resolution of 1,280 by 854 in 32-bit color. The form factor shouldn't be a limitation. Apple should innovate and truly give us a notebook that offers desktop performance in a sleek enclosure.

Incidentally, Apple uses two, 50-millimeter blowers on either side of the 17-inch PowerBook that quietly keep the machine cool. It will easily be able to accomodate a GeForce4 4200 Go should they ever want to put one in there.

You say my point's weak when I said that Alienware notebooks play games very well. You're right. Alienware notebooks use a completely different form factor using desktop CPU's and noisy cooling. However, I also brought up Dell's latest notebook. Dell's Inspiron 8500 (which has stellar battery life for the power it offers, actually) will be able to play next-generation games very smoothly. Alienware isn't the only manufacturer of desktop replacement portables on the IBM-compatible notebook market. Compaq and Toshiba will follow suit very quickly, and PC users will have one more reason not to switch to the Mac: its lackluster, outdated GeForce4 440 Go. This design descision would have been acceptable for a smaller portable, but in the desktop replacement market, more powerful components are in demand. This is part of why people are willing to carry a 7-pound notebook around.

The case situation is more of an inconvenience. Most retailers won't offer special cases for the 17-inch PowerBook. You'll have to order one. I was trying to make the point that the 17-inch PowerBook is just too big. Apple's market for this notebook is a niche within a niche, and for those who can stand its excessive size, it might be a winner.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make about Ferrari's being the main method of getting from point "A" to point "B" for some individuals. There's always going to be someone who can afford to buy a $6,000 notebook. There's really no argument here. My definition of standard is stronger. A standard notebook, to me, is an iBook or a value-priced Dell or Compaq. If you have anything more, you've got something special. The rich don't get richer by spending money.

Essentially, I'm saying I'm not entirely happy with what Apple's done with the 17-inch PowerBook. Its added few inches are, for me, the "straw that [breaks] the camel's back." Its lackluster performance cannot justify its size and price for many.
( Last edited by seanyepez; Mar 10, 2003 at 09:40 PM. )
     
seanyepez
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Mar 10, 2003, 09:43 PM
 
Originally posted by DVD Plaza:
Could be wrong but this kind of childish crying/whinging/trolling against a product one is not even interested in seems out of character for seanyepez to me - my guess would be someone is using his account or he was hung over/depressed/etc. Could be wrong in which case maybe a hug from his mum/mom might help
I never said I wasn't interested in it. I was firmly intent on buying one until I used and benchmarked one at Macworld. I'm expressing concerns as to why I won't get one right now, and I'm saying what Apple can do to help me justify buying one. I'm not saying they will make the changes I'm asking for (especially my thoughts about its size).
     
seanyepez
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Mar 10, 2003, 09:46 PM
 
Originally posted by swsteckly:
I've heard this so many times. Just because it's too big for you doesn't mean that it isn't perfect for someone else (like me). Blanket statements like this do nothing but inflame others.
You were very wrong. Look at all the things that have been discussed! Anyone who has read this thread in its entirety cannot honestly say that they haven't learned anything from it.
     
AssassyN
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Mar 10, 2003, 09:50 PM
 
Wonderful last post sean!! That was quite a read!

I must now stand down, as my arguments have either been intelligently addressed or demolished altogether.

I truly understand what you're saying, and to be very honest with you, if I didn't need my Apple right away to get ready for college, I'd wait as well. To me, it comes down to "It's good enough for me right now, which is when I need it."

Great debate sir!
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seanyepez
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Mar 10, 2003, 09:55 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
Wonderful last post sean!! That was quite a read!

I must now stand down, as my arguments have either been intelligently addressed or demolished altogether.

I truly understand what you're saying, and to be very honest with you, if I didn't need my Apple right away to get ready for college, I'd wait as well. To me, it comes down to "It's good enough for me right now, which is when I need it."

Great debate sir!
Agreed! It was a great debate.

It's important that you buy what you need when you need it. Right now, I have a 1-gigahertz TiBook that fully meets my needs. I truly hope you're happy with your new notebook! I never meant to say that the 17-inch PowerBook was a bad machine as a whole. I respect the fact that many users want larger notebooks. Even a year or two down the road from now, the original, 17-inch PowerBook will still be a great machine. Perhaps I'll be a little bit stronger going into my sophomore year. I might end up getting one after all.
     
cwasko
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Join Date: Jul 2000
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:14 PM
 
Originally posted by seanyepez:
You were very wrong. Look at all the things that have been discussed! Anyone who has read this thread in its entirety cannot honestly say that they haven't learned anything from it.
Yea, I learned alot. I have also came to the same conclusion. The GPU doesn't mean spit to me. In summary of this thread, the GPU means alot to some and nothing to others. Additionaly, the term 'large' is relative by definition. It only weighs 6 pounds... just as much as my ex-Walstreet and that was portable enough for me. It may have some awkward dimensions, but it is the same dimmensions as my Cannon LiDE 20 scanner.. which I used to port around with my wife's iBook, in addition to my 80G FireWire Maxtor drive. I never had a problem porting all that around in the same bag. When I stand up straight.. I'm not listing to my right side. As far as battery life is concerned... yea, well, it might be a 'sucker'. From the Dell's that I've seen they suck them up just as quick... so I guess it is only a 'sucker' when compared to the iBook or the TiBook. Either way... the battery life estimates are fine by me. I usualy take the time and divide by three. This always seems to work out good. So, by my highly opinionated transfer function of battery life, the 17" will last 120 minutes. Which is good enough for me - although I can understand that this is not good enough for the true traveler... but the true traveler isn't going to consider this thing in the first place... Which begs the obvious question of, how truly important is the battery life on the 17"?
     
drainyoo  (op)
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ny,Ny,USA
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:17 PM
 
HAHAHAHHA! Oh man I can believe this post is still going!

I HAVE CREATED A MONSTER!
i hate project managers.
     
seanyepez
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pleasanton, CA
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Mar 10, 2003, 10:53 PM
 
Originally posted by cwasko:
Yea, I learned alot. I have also came to the same conclusion. The GPU doesn't mean spit to me. In summary of this thread, the GPU means alot to some and nothing to others. Additionaly, the term 'large' is relative by definition. It only weighs 6 pounds... just as much as my ex-Walstreet and that was portable enough for me. It may have some awkward dimensions, but it is the same dimmensions as my Cannon LiDE 20 scanner.. which I used to port around with my wife's iBook, in addition to my 80G FireWire Maxtor drive. I never had a problem porting all that around in the same bag. When I stand up straight.. I'm not listing to my right side. As far as battery life is concerned... yea, well, it might be a 'sucker'. From the Dell's that I've seen they suck them up just as quick... so I guess it is only a 'sucker' when compared to the iBook or the TiBook. Either way... the battery life estimates are fine by me. I usualy take the time and divide by three. This always seems to work out good. So, by my highly opinionated transfer function of battery life, the 17" will last 120 minutes. Which is good enough for me - although I can understand that this is not good enough for the true traveler... but the true traveler isn't going to consider this thing in the first place... Which begs the obvious question of, how truly important is the battery life on the 17"?
If it isn't important, stick a GeForce4 4200 Go in it at full blast.

If you divide the PowerBook's advertised 4.5-hour battery life by three, you get 1.5 hours. That's 90 minutes.
     
 
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