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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 12 inch powerbook users how do you like it?

12 inch powerbook users how do you like it?
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typoon
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Dec 26, 2003, 09:31 AM
 
Well santa was very nice to me and got me a gift card to the Apple Store. I only need to put out a little money for the computer. I was thinking of getting the powerbook 12 inch and just wanted people's thoughts about it. I also have a couple of questions

1. Do you find the screen too small?
2. If you had the choice of getting a 12" G4 iBook or 12" Powerbook would you still choose the powerbook?

Thanks
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desillusion.com
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Dec 26, 2003, 10:23 AM
 
got the 1ghz 768mb ram combo powerbook and it's awesome in every aspect..

the screen size is perfect for a real mobile device, and if you need more screen estate just connect it to a an external monitor.. works fine for me..

and regarding your 2nd question: it all depends on how much money you're willing to shell out.. the 12" ibook is a nice computer and with the g4 upgrade it got even more attractive.. but the powerbook is still superior in many ways.. real aluminium design, lighter & smaller, faster, w/ superdrive option and expandable desktop..

so you'll need to make that decision for yourself.. if you want THE top-notch and truly mobile computing solution that is available today, go for the powerbook.. if you want to save some money and don't care about the pro-features of the pbook, get the ibook.
finally here and absolutely flawless:
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Dec 26, 2003, 01:00 PM
 
I bought a 12" 867 in about April, it's really nice but today I'd buy an iBook G4. I just wouldn't be able to justify the price difference to myself.
     
The Jackalope
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Dec 26, 2003, 01:52 PM
 
I have the 1ghz with 768RAM PB as well. I love it because it IS very portable and I take lots of trips ( just got back from Japan recently, off to Hawaii next week) and having something small, light, and powerfull is exactly what I need. I find the keyboard alone was a deciding factor for me, as I find the iBook's keyboard to be mushy and frustratingly bad for my tastes. I love this little thing.

As for the monitor, the iBook's isn't as good to my eyes, and the 14" one just has larger pixels, which is a very bad thing to me.


Of course your best option is to go to a store that carries both and play around with them for a while. It only took 5 minutes for me to realize that the 12" was everything I wanted over the iBook and the 15" powerbook. YMMV.
     
Phat Bastard
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Dec 26, 2003, 02:56 PM
 
Some co-workers of mine work with iBooks everyday, while I am jealous that they saved money compared to my Powerbook, almost every day I notice how cheap and...plastic...the iBooks look. The Powerbook looks classy. The iBook looks like a child's computer.

It's sad but true, one of the reasons why I bought a Powerbook 12" instead of an iBook was that it just looks so much better.

Not to mention the keyboard on the PB is a lot better. There isn't a feel of the keys squishing like with the iBook. It's a stronger keyboard.

So, if you're frivolous like me, you'd go for the Powerbook. Not mention the faster processor and bus speeds; larger cache=more speed; larger hard drives; Superdrive option; digital video out. For $500 more all that is worth it.
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Dec 26, 2003, 03:14 PM
 
I have the 1GHz, SuperDrive, I like it a lot.
My sister has the G4 iBook. I like the powerbook better. It looks better, the keyboard is excellent, SuperDrive is a god send for back-ups.

The screen, well it is 1024 you know, but exposeť is really helpful here.

I recommend this computer 100%
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typoon  (op)
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Dec 26, 2003, 04:03 PM
 
I decided to go with the powerbook. I'll let you know know how I like it. The other reason is the Built in Bluetooth. that is one of the key items for me.

I decided to go with the 12" powerbook with combo drive 512 megs of RAM and Airport Extreme card. I'm sittin here at work working OT anxiously waiting to leave so I can get to the Apple store and get my new Powerbook. Gotta love having a brother who can get you the edu discount as well. I'm saving close to 2-300 dollars on the machine.
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Tek
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Dec 26, 2003, 05:00 PM
 
I feel your pain of the delimma! I was there myself. I could not justify the price difference, but the powerbook looked SO MUCH SWEETER than the iBook. SO what did i do?

I bought the revA powerbook. I payed 1087 for it which is roughly the same price as the iBook (and i also got an iSight free so that made up for it). Now amazon is sold out of these, but i wouldn't rule out getting refurbished revA from Powermax.com or other places. You'll save a lot of money in comparison to the newer powerbooks... you'll sacrifice a little speed, but the money saved for me ($400 + $150 iSight value) was enough to convince me to not go w/ the latest and greatest. $400 can pay for a lot of dates for my girlfriend and i, so that made her happy as well

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madmacgames
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Dec 27, 2003, 02:49 PM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
1. Do you find the screen too small?
hell no

2. If you had the choice of getting a 12" G4 iBook or 12" Powerbook would you still choose the powerbook?
hell yes
     
Riemann Zeta
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Dec 28, 2003, 02:06 AM
 
I received a 12" Powerbook G4 (1GHz) for xmas. As an owner of the 15" 1GHz TiBook, I was skeptical about how the 12" would be valuable to me, as the 15" has been performing admirably. After bumping the RAM in the 12" up to 768 MB and the HDD up to 60GB, I am confident that I am going to keep the 12" and eBay the 15". The tiny form-factor is just irresistible: (1) the 12" seems like the most durable powerbook out there, whereas the TiBook always seemed quite fragile and (2) the 12" is much easier to just throw in a briefcase and go than the 15".

The screen on the 12" is nice, it is very bright. The resolution is a bit of a let down when using the 12" as a desktop, but that is easily rectified by using an external LCD--something that cannot be done with an iBook (IIRC, the iBook only supports display mirroring).

Having Bluetooth, USB2 and 802.11g built-in is also a big plus.

In an iBook vs. Powerbook debate, one must consider that the iBook 12" has only one option for chipspeed, 800MHz and only has 256KB of cache. Doubtless this will reduce the iBook's performance.

PB G4 12": 1 GHz / 768 / 60GB
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JOHNGAETANO
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Dec 28, 2003, 09:31 AM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
Well santa was very nice to me and got me a gift card to the Apple Store. I only need to put out a little money for the computer. I was thinking of getting the powerbook 12 inch and just wanted people's thoughts about it. I also have a couple of questions

1. Do you find the screen too small?
2. If you had the choice of getting a 12" G4 iBook or 12" Powerbook would you still choose the powerbook?

Thanks
1. I just picked up my 12" PB last week. I was worried about the screen also as I was coming from a 15". After a week of use I love the screen and don't miss the 15" at all.

2. My daughter has an iBook. Very nice for her,but it's not near as fast as my PB, and it's heavier. I hear alot of people trying to compare the iBook and PB, but after using both side by side, go with a PB.

John
     
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Dec 28, 2003, 04:11 PM
 
well being a huge pc guy, i can say that i love my powerbook.

i just sold my t21 thinkpad 800mhz with 512 of ram, for a 12 inch powerbook 867/640/40gb and i could not be happier.

i was a little worreid about the small screen, because in stores is seems to tiny, but after a day i adjusted to it just fine.

im very happy with my purchase and the keyboard is probally the best thing ive ever typed on, and im anal about how a keyboard feels.

remember 1 thing, the ibook is slightly cheaper, but personally it looks like crap. you are spending a decent amount of money on something you are gonna have for a long peroid of time. so spend a little more and get EXACTLY what you want, because you will be stuck with it.
     
typoon  (op)
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Dec 28, 2003, 11:21 PM
 
Well I did it. I GOT THE POWERBOOK. After much debate and playing with an iBook at the Apple Store I decided that I was getting the Powerbook. I got the one with the combo drive since I have a SuperDrive on my desktop and use that Mainly for movies.

I didn't like the iBook keyboard after playing with it at the store and the inclusion of bluetooth on the Powerbook sealed it for me.

Well after 3 days of playing with it I LOVE it. only thing I noticed was that the battery started at 100% and each day went down 1 percent even when plugged in. I'm going to run it down and then recharge it and see if that fixes it. Since I have a year on Applecare and will Probably get an Extension soon I'll not worry about it too much quite yet.

Just need to get more RAM for it.
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Powaqqatsi
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Dec 29, 2003, 04:52 AM
 
Originally posted by typoon:

Well after 3 days of playing with it I LOVE it. only thing I noticed was that the battery started at 100% and each day went down 1 percent even when plugged in. I'm going to run it down and then recharge it and see if that fixes it. Since I have a year on Applecare and will Probably get an Extension soon I'll not worry about it too much quite yet.
That's quite normal. It goes down to sometimes 94% or so and then it charges back to 100%. It has to do something with keeping te battery in shape and topped off IIRC.

(My Ti is at 94% now, after a few days plugged in)
     
sktrdie
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Dec 29, 2003, 09:43 AM
 
i love mine!!
     
HotSoup
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Dec 29, 2003, 01:09 PM
 
Did you have to calibrate your battery? I heard one user saying he calibrated his new PB and I guess it's the first thing you have to do.

It just consists of charging it up fully, then using it until there is no juice left?
     
typoon  (op)
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Dec 29, 2003, 01:23 PM
 
Originally posted by HotSoup:
Did you have to calibrate your battery? I heard one user saying he calibrated his new PB and I guess it's the first thing you have to do.

It just consists of charging it up fully, then using it until there is no juice left?
I'm doing that now. I'm going to run it down then charge it back up. Though it was only on it's first charge. I hadn't even had it fully charged when I applied the updates. I guess refreshing it after that battery update would be good.
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sktrdie
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Dec 30, 2003, 11:55 AM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
Well santa was very nice to me and got me a gift card to the Apple Store. I only need to put out a little money for the computer. I was thinking of getting the powerbook 12 inch and just wanted people's thoughts about it. I also have a couple of questions

1. Do you find the screen too small?
2. If you had the choice of getting a 12" G4 iBook or 12" Powerbook would you still choose the powerbook?

Thanks
1) No..not at all...the pont of having a poartable computer is to be as small as possible..the screen aint really a prob..realy.

2)i have the 12" pbook... if u have the money get the powerbook...if u dont get the ibook....the pbook is faster and its much more durable than the ibook! the material is strnger...i would choose the pbook..but if u dint have the money the ibook is a good choice!
     
typoon  (op)
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Dec 30, 2003, 12:14 PM
 
Originally posted by sktrdie:
1) No..not at all...the pont of having a poartable computer is to be as small as possible..the screen aint really a prob..realy.

2)i have the 12" pbook... if u have the money get the powerbook...if u dont get the ibook....the pbook is faster and its much more durable than the ibook! the material is strnger...i would choose the pbook..but if u dint have the money the ibook is a good choice!
I eneded up getting the powerbook. Just installed my new RAM bringing me up to 512Megs. I was able to afford it and I didnt like the iBook Keyboard and the plastic feel of the iBook.
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RooneyX
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Dec 30, 2003, 12:44 PM
 
I sold my 867 after a month. The screen was too crammed for the OSX GUI and even with 384mbs it still felt a little sluggish. My 17 Rev A is a keeper though.
     
ymmit
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Dec 30, 2003, 02:34 PM
 
I've owned the 12"PB rev A. I bought it in April this year.

The left palm rest gets really hot because of the hard disk and having less space for the heat to dissipate. I believe even the rev B one is the same.

I sold it off about a week ago and I am now using the new 15"PB.

The larger screen is SUCH a welcome. You won't know how great it is to have a notebook with 15" screen until you have it.

The screen alone is such a pleasure to have. Besides, the price difference between the 12"PB and 15"PB isn't what it was last time.

For me, the larger screen alone and increased performance is well worth the added "discomforts" of lugging a heavier notebook around + having to pay a little more.

Bottom line: get the 15"
     
jim_az
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Dec 30, 2003, 07:55 PM
 
I have the Rev A PB 12" and it used to get really hot with the power plugged in. However, after installing the 10.3.2 this problem is completely gone. The fan never used to come on at all, but after the update it comes on when it should and never gets hot.

Other than that, I'd sure like the larger screen, but I travel *a lot* and wouldn't want to bring anything larger than the 12" on a plane.

Az Jim
     
DanMacMan
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Dec 30, 2003, 08:03 PM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
Well I did it. I GOT THE POWERBOOK. After much debate and playing with an iBook at the Apple Store I decided that I was getting the Powerbook. I got the one with the combo drive since I have a SuperDrive on my desktop and use that Mainly for movies.

I didn't like the iBook keyboard after playing with it at the store and the inclusion of bluetooth on the Powerbook sealed it for me.

Well after 3 days of playing with it I LOVE it. only thing I noticed was that the battery started at 100% and each day went down 1 percent even when plugged in. I'm going to run it down and then recharge it and see if that fixes it. Since I have a year on Applecare and will Probably get an Extension soon I'll not worry about it too much quite yet.

Just need to get more RAM for it.
Congrats on the new machine. I just got the same computer on 12/18. Two things, first make sure you have an eyeglass sized screwdriver for the ram slot, and second your hard rive is only 30GB?
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typoon  (op)
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Dec 30, 2003, 10:04 PM
 
Originally posted by DanMacMan:
Congrats on the new machine. I just got the same computer on 12/18. Two things, first make sure you have an eyeglass sized screwdriver for the ram slot, and second your hard rive is only 30GB?
Yup I have the small screwdriver. ooops I mean 40 Gig
( Last edited by typoon; Dec 30, 2003 at 11:54 PM. )
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RayLuczak
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Jan 3, 2004, 07:01 PM
 
Question for those who have the 12" PBs: As my biggest concern is the screen resolution (1024 x 768), I'd like to know if it is possible for me to hook it up to a CRT (not LCD) monitor, close the computer, use an external keyboard and mouse, and increase the screen real estate so that I can see MORE instead of feeling crowded on the screen?

The screen size itself on the 12" PB is a bit small if I want to do some graphics work, but otherwise, if I can hook it up to a CRT monitor and increase the real estate resolution from 1024 x 768 to whatever, I think it'd be very doable for my needs.

And if so, what kind of adapter(s) should I get for the CRT monitor? And for the LCD monitor (Apple Cinema Display)?

Thanks (and Happy New Year, everyone!).
Raymond Luczak
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typoon  (op)
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Jan 3, 2004, 08:31 PM
 
Originally posted by RayLuczak:
Question for those who have the 12" PBs: As my biggest concern is the screen resolution (1024 x 768), I'd like to know if it is possible for me to hook it up to a CRT (not LCD) monitor, close the computer, use an external keyboard and mouse, and increase the screen real estate so that I can see MORE instead of feeling crowded on the screen?

The screen size itself on the 12" PB is a bit small if I want to do some graphics work, but otherwise, if I can hook it up to a CRT monitor and increase the real estate resolution from 1024 x 768 to whatever, I think it'd be very doable for my needs.

And if so, what kind of adapter(s) should I get for the CRT monitor? And for the LCD monitor (Apple Cinema Display)?

Thanks (and Happy New Year, everyone!).
Yes you can it comes with the adapters for it
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new newton
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Jan 3, 2004, 10:32 PM
 
I went from a 15" TiBook to a 12" Rev. A. It took about a day to get used to the screen size. Overall I really prefer the 12".
     
shabbasuraj
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Jan 3, 2004, 11:59 PM
 
the 12" is all about mobility...

the form factor is perfect...

the 12" has to be one of the greatest computers Apple has ever designed...

this can be verified by the apprently growing cult following this computer is generating...

(I am also part of this cult)

woohoo 500.
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
ooagentbender
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Jan 4, 2004, 04:58 AM
 
I love it to death, its the best computer I have ever owned in my 12 years of working with computers. Never hiccups, never fails, great features and the keyboard is amazing.
     
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Jan 4, 2004, 06:57 AM
 
I love my Rev A 12 inch PB, combined with a bluetooth Mobile phone and Palm it is the perfect travelling companion.

I agree this will be a PB that people remember for a longtime. Up there with the Pismo ( which I also have).
     
Guy Kuo
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Jan 4, 2004, 08:01 AM
 
Love my PB 12 inch 1 GHz! It replaced my 12 inch iBook. The screen size is fine for the programming and video test pattern generation work I do while on the run. My wife's 17 inch PB just is too bulky. I need the compact size of the 12 for it to travel constantly as a "super" PDA.

When I do need more screen area, I just fire up the tower with its dual LCD screens and dual CRT's. Even though that is available to me at home, I still spend 90% of my computer time using this 12 inch PB. It's simply more convenient and right there with me anywhere I go at work or home.
     
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Jan 5, 2004, 10:17 PM
 
1. Do you find the screen too small?
2. If you had the choice of getting a 12" G4 iBook or 12" Powerbook would you still choose the powerbook?

Thanks [/B]
1. Screen size is fine. My other computers are subnotebooks with 10.4 inch screens, so the 12 inch seems huge to me.

2. The iBook keyboard is unacceptable to me. If you are a touch typist that mushy feeling iBook keyboard will totally annoy you.

//// \\\\ spiderbyte
     
typoon  (op)
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Jan 5, 2004, 10:52 PM
 
Cool It's nice to see others who enjoy there 12" powerbooks as much as I do. I had it 2 weeks now and it's awesome.
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dennis cheung
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Jan 6, 2004, 01:25 AM
 
Just got mines 1/2/04 and absolutely love it. The 12 inch screen is not small at all because of the 1024x768 resolution. If your used to that resolution you can "fit" the same amount of windows on the screen as you normally can (everything is just more tiny on the screen).

I work off a 17 inch(1280x1024) sony lcd x86 desktop, 21inch crt (1600x1200) x86 desktop, and this 12 inch powerbook and have had no trouble adjusting at all. I do get screen envy when I see my bro's 15 inch pb but then I also have a way better battery life than his.

Also with expose I noticed you can just have everything maximized (hide your dock to fill up the entire screen) and still be productive.
     
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Jan 6, 2004, 04:51 AM
 
Another vote for the PB's keyboard.
     
   
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