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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > From a 17"-->12"

From a 17"-->12"
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hm-one
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:03 AM
 
I have a 17" pb 1.33 and i'm considering selling it beacuse I really need a more portable machine. The new 12" has virtually the same exact features as my 17" except it has a 4x dvd burner (any other difference that I'm missing?) so it's really my machine of choice right now.

I do have a specific question regarding games. If I hook up an external display, will I get the same performance as my 17" or will it be slower? The thought of externally powering the display makes me think that it would be slower.

Thanks, and any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
     
DigitalEl
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:29 AM
 
You've probably considered the 15", but didn't specifically mention it. Seems like the middle-sized machine would be a great performance/feature-portability compromise.

Games... Can't speak to that, as I don't game.

Other than that, the 12" is a great l'il machine and my favorite of the three Macs I've owned.
     
hm-one  (op)
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:36 AM
 
Thanks for the reply, one thing that all 12" pb owners say is that they love the machine and I can't agree more. I don't own one but I completely understand!

I am considering the 15" but most likely will opt towards the 12" just because it is so darn portable. I have some extra money and I'm thinking about using that together with the difference of cost of the 17" sale to buy a new 20" display. Or I may just save longer to buy a rev c. g5 down the road.

I love my 17" but it's too much of a hassle taking that thing to school, the library, work, etc. and I pay too much attention to it when i carry it around being that it's so massive. On-the-go with a 12" will be a breeze.
     
kastegir
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:43 AM
 
I just upgraded from a 15" 1gHz TiBook to a rev. C 12" Powerbook and I couldn't be happier. It's significantly faster than the Ti and WAY more portable.

I definitely recommend considering it if you don't need the faster graphics card or PC card slot or FW800 port in the larger models.
     
hm-one  (op)
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:54 AM
 
love hearing that!

on a sidenote what do you think is a good asking price for a 17" 1.33 ghz pb with a gig of RAM total? it doesn't have applecare but there is still a two month window of warranty leftover.
     
kafoochy
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Jul 20, 2004, 01:56 AM
 
Originally posted by hm-one:
I have a 17" pb 1.33 and i'm considering selling it beacuse I really need a more portable machine. The new 12" has virtually the same exact features as my 17" except it has a 4x dvd burner (any other difference that I'm missing?) so it's really my machine of choice right now.

I do have a specific question regarding games. If I hook up an external display, will I get the same performance as my 17" or will it be slower? The thought of externally powering the display makes me think that it would be slower.

Thanks, and any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
In regards to driving and external monitor, what I have heard/read is that when you are using an external monitor as well as the LCD, the VRAM is split between the both. This matters not for any normal day-to-day work that you are doing, unless you are hooking up an external CRT that you want to use at a high resolution. If you are only using the external display (since the 12" is so small) all the VRAM will be used for the external and it will be very fast.
     
MilkmanDan
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Jul 22, 2004, 11:55 AM
 
You can't get more portable then the 12in. Plus selling your 17in should net your more then enough for a nicely configured 12in. I'd say go for it, but then again, I love my 12in.

Use the leftover cash to buy a BT mouse maybe.
     
Maflynn
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Jul 22, 2004, 01:00 PM
 
Take a look at them at your local compusa or apple store.

Make sure the resolution is readable especially going from a 17" to a 12" display.

Mike
     
hldan
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Jul 22, 2004, 04:27 PM
 
Originally posted by hm-one:
I have a 17" pb 1.33 and i'm considering selling it beacuse I really need a more portable machine. The new 12" has virtually the same exact features as my 17" except it has a 4x dvd burner (any other difference that I'm missing?)



Thanks, and any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
Yeah, if you have access to an Apple retail store go and check them both out. The new 12" Powerbook does not have virtually the same features as the 17" model. What's different?

(1) Even though your 17" Powerbook is Rev B. the graphics card (Radeon 9600) is still better than the 12" but that's not a huge deal.

(2)The 12" has no PCMCIA card slot as the 17" does. Make sure that you will have no future use for this.

(3)The 12" does not have the backlit keyboard or ambient light sensor for the screen. If you liked those features make sure you can live without them.

(4) The 12" has no Firewire 800 as the 17" does.

(5) Maximum ram possible on the 12" is 1.25GB as opposed to the 17" which offers 2GB.

Just wanted to give you the info that you were asking for. If you are cool without these features listed then have fun with your new 12" wonder.





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driven
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Jul 23, 2004, 12:40 AM
 
What's wrong with the 15" ??

I keep seeing folks consider the 12 or the 17 but I never see anyone mention the 15.

Perhaps it's becuase of the Yao/Mini-Me commercial?
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sillydog701
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Jul 23, 2004, 01:42 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
What's wrong with the 15" ??

I keep seeing folks consider the 12 or the 17 but I never see anyone mention the 15.

Perhaps it's becuase of the Yao/Mini-Me commercial?
There's nothing wrong with 15", but for someone who really needs to have portability, 12" is the answer.
For someone who want a laptop with large working space (screen), 17" or 15" are the answers.

15" is a very good balance, but since hm-one considering portability... 12" is the answer.
     
driven
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Jul 23, 2004, 01:47 AM
 
Can the 12" order the backlight keyboard as a BTO option?
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Tomster
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Jul 23, 2004, 02:32 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Can the 12" order the backlight keyboard as a BTO option?
Unfortunately, no.
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Matt OS X
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Jul 23, 2004, 10:58 AM
 
You'd be surprised with how your eyes are used with 17" display reduced down to 12" display. It'll be an eye sore for few days.

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driven
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Jul 23, 2004, 12:20 PM
 
I'm a typical male american: Everything has to be really big. Except for ladies, they can be small. <GRIN>
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McFarmer
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Jul 23, 2004, 12:33 PM
 
I've 'lugged' around a 15" TiBook every day for 2 years, and I grew pretty sick of its weight and size. That's why I bought a 12" PowerBook. If portability is what you want, don't even consider a 15" PowerBook. The difference is very noticeable.

Having said that the only thing I hate about the 12" PowerBook is the screen quality. Not terrible, but not really good either. Especially when coming from a 15" or 17" PowerBook.

It's the viewing angle, the color representation but mostly the resolution. It's just too friggin' small. 1024x768 was 1998's resolution... And the 12" PowerBook is still stuck there. (Apple really should offer a BTO higher res for it IMHO - shame on Apple.)

Especially if you are used to the 17"'s resolution, you must get an external monitor. Going back to a 12" LCD will be too painful to go back to. OS X loves screen real estate.
     
Maflynn
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Jul 23, 2004, 05:39 PM
 
Originally posted by McFarmer:
I've 'lugged' around a 15" TiBook every day for 2 years, and I grew pretty sick of its weight and size. That's why I bought a 12" PowerBook. If portability is what you want, don't even consider a 15" PowerBook. The difference is very noticeable.
Your kidding right. I have the 15"PB and that thing is light, I have no problems traveling with it.

I also have a compaq and that is a beast compared to the PB.

I have no issues "lugging" the 15" around. I would have issues with the 17" but the 15" is what I consider the perfect balance. Small enought to take with me, but large enough to work with.

Mike
     
Grrr
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Jul 23, 2004, 07:35 PM
 
I agree with what these folk have already said mostly. If you really do intend to cart your laptop around a lot, then there really is no substitute for a 12" pb (Or iBook). Sure the screen is a little poky, but you get used to it and easily work around it's limitations, which Exposé helps a lot with anyway. They are so compact that any screen disadvantages are vastly outweighed by the portability advantages.
And if you NEED a larger screen for anything, it's easy enough to plug one in.
As for games, I don't play them much, but when I do, i stick with the built in screen. And performance was generally pretty good on my 1ghz 12" pb. UNTIL! the 10.3.4 update, which royally screwed up graphics performance for my pb.
Also keep in mind that 12" pb's have fewer ports than the larger 15 and 17" brothers.. No FireWire 800, No PC card slot (Who uses that anyway) and no s-video port.
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McFarmer
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Jul 23, 2004, 08:15 PM
 
Originally posted by Maflynn:
Your kidding right. I have the 15"PB and that thing is light, I have no problems traveling with it.
Actually no. I wasn't kidding.

Well, I suppose it depends how you travel. If all you do is carry the laptop from your home to your car (parked in front of your house), drive it to work, carry it from your car (parked not far from the entrance) to your desk, then I agree the 15" is light.

However I was carrying my 15" TiBook in a backpack walking 25 minutes to work and 25 minutes back every day. Walking all the way. And at that point it grew a bit annoying after a while.
The 15" size meant that the backpack was rather big. My 12" in contrast fits into much smaller, lighter bags. And the overall reduced weight is noticeable. Especially if after a long and hectic day you're faced with carrying it on your back for almost half an hour.

But of course, as always, your mileage may vary. Literally.
     
EdipisReks
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Jul 23, 2004, 11:30 PM
 
i walk half an hour to school and half an hour back, and i've had no "problem" with my 15", but it is a little heavy. i was actually considering getting a 12", but after borrowing a friends ibook for a few days i just couldn't get used to the low resolution that the 12" screens have.
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Eug Wanker
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Jul 24, 2004, 12:50 AM
 
I have the 15" TiBook 1 GHz. I like it a lot, but trust me, the 12" is MUCH more portable. It's quite a noticeable difference. (I had a 12" iBook before the TiBook.)

I really do enjoy the larger screen of the 15", when I'm at home, but if I had to take it to work more than the 3X a month I do now, I'd definitely get the 12". Also, if I end up getting a Mac desktop, the 12" will seem more of an option. (I have a PC desktop right now.)

The main thing I don't like about the 12" is the screen. The 106 ppi pixel density is a little squint-inducing. The 15's 101 ppi is a little easier on the eyes. Plus, the screen isn't as bright as the 15's.

Also, it's a shame one can't get a fast video card in the 12", but then again I don't game.
     
McFarmer
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Jul 24, 2004, 03:43 AM
 
Originally posted by EdipisReks:
i walk half an hour to school and half an hour back, and i've had no "problem" with my 15", but it is a little heavy. i was actually considering getting a 12", but after borrowing a friends ibook for a few days i just couldn't get used to the low resolution that the 12" screens have.
I fully agree!

That's why I didn't even consider an iBook, but rather got the PowerBook plus an external LCD monitor. The DVI port in the 12" PB really does make a difference IMHO.
     
driven
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Jul 24, 2004, 08:44 AM
 
Originally posted by McFarmer:
I fully agree!

That's why I didn't even consider an iBook, but rather got the PowerBook plus an external LCD monitor. The DVI port in the 12" PB really does make a difference IMHO.
DVI ports make a HUGE difference. On my Athlon XP machine I have a NEC MultiSync LCD1860NX. My Radeon 9600XT supported DVI and the montior supported DVI but I didn't have a cable. It took me months to find the right one. Once I did and I plugged it in I felt like I had a new monitor. It was a VERY noticable difference.

Also: I plugged the LCD into the analog output of the Cube to see what it would look like. (The cube used to drive my ADC Studio display and doesn't have DVI) ... it looked horrible.

Always go digital if given the option.
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all2ofme
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Jul 24, 2004, 07:10 PM
 
Difference for me (I've got the 12" 1GHz) is that the screens on the 12" machines I've seen are rubbish in comparison to the bigger two models.

...and most PC laptops too, sadly. Apart from that it's a great wee machine, and very portable. I take mine to work every day. Wondering whether to put a 1GB DIMM in mine soon to get it that little bit faster.
     
urrl78
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Jul 24, 2004, 07:55 PM
 
Going from a 17" to a 12" for me would be a really hard thing to consider doing. I admire the size and weight of the 12" but when the first models came out I actually took a DVD movie to CompUSA and compared 12"/17"/Ti Book displays. (The Ti's were still being sold at the time.) I don't know about these days, but back then the screen quality just was not there. Even my Ti screen was sharper and seemed brighter and more colorful especially at different angles. I could not buy the 12" for that reason. All I am saying is if screen quality is a deciding factor you should look into it as I did. If it's not that important than go for it. I'm sure the 12" would prove to be a nifty little asset.
     
McFarmer
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Jul 24, 2004, 08:23 PM
 
Originally posted by urrl78:
Even my Ti screen was sharper and seemed brighter and more colorful especially at different angles. I could not buy the 12" for that reason. All I am saying is if screen quality is a deciding factor you should look into it as I did. If it's not that important than go for it.
I fully agree, the screen is poor compared to the other PowerBooks. Yet I still bought the 12" PowerBook simply because most of the time I am not using the built-in LCD. What I do use is the DVI port. Without that one I'd be lost.

I use an external LCD at home and an external display at work. All I carry around is the light-weight 12" PowerBook. So I never really use the built-in screen. Except for the odd occasion where I need it on the road or at a client. But for those purposes the internal LCD works fine.

And for watching DVDs, that external Cinema Display easily beats even the 17" PowerBook screen.


Point is, if the screen is a deciding factor and you still want portability, you will have to get an external LCD. Luckily due to the DVI port the quality on an external LCD is superb. And for most people this is a good option.
And an additional external screen is a good idea anyway, especially since for OS X 1024x768 resolution sucks IMHO. No matter how good or bad the screen would be. It's not a lot of fun.


One addition:
The latest 12" PowerBooks seem to have solved the screen brightness issue. Believe it or not, the LCD is actually brighter than on my TiBook. I only use it at 80% brightness setting, because 100% does hurt my eyes. It's too bright.
     
   
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