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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 12 vs 14-inch

12 vs 14-inch
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fibroptikl
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Sep 13, 2002, 01:30 AM
 
I am considering an iBook; again. One current problem is that I can not decide between the 12-inch or the 14-inch.

I'll be wanting a large screen; but I've heard it adds a bit more weight and takes down the battery life. The 12-inch seems a tad small, especially if I like it - I will use it, and I will use it a lot.

Perhaps I could get some comments from you fellow iBooker's on what you think I should do.
     
gator
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Sep 13, 2002, 01:38 AM
 
The 12" iBook is great for portability, I've been using one (700 MHz version) for several months and love it. The 14" isn't bad, I don't think the battery life is shorter though(I thought the 14" has an 8-cell, while the 12" has a 6-cell). 14" iBook adds 1 lb to the weight, so whatever that's worth. The resolution on the 14" is still 1024x768, so you won't get a higher resolution to fit more things in... everything will just look bigger. I think the 12" is fine for most things... and you could always connect it to an external monitor while you're at home if the smaller screen bothers you. Best way is just go test em out at a computer store.
     
seanyepez
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Sep 13, 2002, 02:07 AM
 
I recommend the model with the 12.1-inch screen. The 14.1-inch screen is a little dimmer, and the larger bezel required for the larger screen makes the machine ugly.

The larger iBook features a 56-watt-hour battery, while the 12.1-inch iBook uses a 42-watt-hour battery. In reality, that additional 33% of battery capacity equates to about 20% more battery life.
     
gbafan
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Sep 13, 2002, 03:18 AM
 
I recently had the same dilemma. I opted for the 14" iBook after playing with both versions at a computer store. I'm very glad I chose the 14" inch model.

The main reason is yes, I want the 2 extra inches. I've used a 15" PC laptop with 1024x768 for 3 years, there is no way I was going to a 12.1"... it's just too small for my tastes. I hardly use the laptop keyboard when working at home and I needed a screen that was readable from a comfortable distance.

That's why I love Apple, at least we get a choice... same hard drive inside, just a different size screen.

Lot's of people complain about the 14" looking "ugly" and whatever, all I can say is most people can't keep their eyes off of it.
MacBook Pro
     
palmberg
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Sep 13, 2002, 02:36 PM
 
I've been looking at the new iBooks recently as a possible replacement machine for my mom. She's using an iBook SE (graphite) right now, and she doesn't really have any problem with the screen on that machine.

I borrowed one of the new iBooks from a friend the other day (12.1"), and it's a really sweet machine. There's just something about that small form factor that really clicks with me; it feels right, and it's aesthetically pleasing as well.

Once they release the G4 iBook, I'll recommend that my mom make her purchase...either of one of the price-reduced current machines, or one of the new ones, if it's reasonable enough.
     
SupahCoolX
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Sep 14, 2002, 02:59 PM
 
I like the 12" because it's just so small and portable. I can take it anywhere without even having to think twice about lugging extra weight and such.
You may want to stop by a store that sells Macs and try both models firsthand, though, to see if the screen size or weight difference matter to you. Of course, if you get the 12", you can always plug in a bigger external monitor if you need.
     
pilauh
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Sep 27, 2002, 08:38 AM
 
the 12.1 is the real thing....

small, powerfull, lovely , a must have !

late 2001 iBook (combo drive)
384MB, 20GB
OS X 10.2.4
Harman/Kardon SoundSticks
     
-Q-
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Sep 27, 2002, 09:15 AM
 
I have to throw my vote in for the 12" as well. The smaller weight and more elegant form factor really make it an attractive laptop. And I have to agree with seanyepez that the 14" really isn't as attractive as the 12"

But the form factor will only take you so far. I've been pretty comfortable designing web pages in the 12" screen using Dreamweaver and I've not really had an issue with it being too small. But if you're not going to be using Pallette-heavy apps very often, the 12" screen really is a great machine. Web browsing, e-mail, writing and games all seem to fit very nicely...

But either way, you'll still have a great machine.
     
SupahCoolX
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Sep 27, 2002, 08:32 PM
 
Size matters.
Go for the 12-incher.
     
iDaver
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Sep 27, 2002, 11:04 PM
 
Originally posted by gbafan:
...I hardly use the laptop keyboard when working at home and I needed a screen that was readable from a comfortable distance.
There's a good point. I like the 12" screen but when I tried to use it at my desk for awhile with an external keyboard (since I needed to enter a lot of numbers) the display was far enough away that it seemed too small.

If you use the keyboard on the iBook itself, I think the 12" screen is just fine since it's nice and close.

Just my 2.
     
janitor
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Sep 29, 2002, 01:10 AM
 
You will gain no screen real estate w/the 14, however the battery life is longer, despite what you may have heard.
     
james_squared
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Sep 29, 2002, 12:00 PM
 
If it's a desktop replacement then go with the 14.1". If you want strict portability then go with the 12.1".

I have the 14.1" and I don't care about battery life or real estate, I just find it a lot easier to read with the bigger screen as I use mine as a desktop replacement for the most part. I just couldn't go from a 17" CRT, which probably had a 15" viewing area, to a 12.1" LCD screen; just too much of a jump down for me.

Also, I was going to move and I didn't want to pay for any shipping on my antique PII 300 with a 17" CRT.

James
     
passmaster16
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Sep 29, 2002, 02:53 PM
 
If you need portability, gotta go with the 12.1. It's a brilliant machine. Light, functional, and good looking. Either way I don't think you'll be disappointed. I know when I had my ibook, I wasn't bothered by the 12.1 inch screen. It was crisp and clear. And I liked the ability to tote it just about anywhere.
     
PeteWK
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Sep 30, 2002, 02:34 AM
 
This will sound strange. If you're under 30, go with the 12.1 inch. If you're over 30, the 14.1 inch LCD would probably suit you better. I'm told that's the age where your eyes start their natural down hill trek.

I'm 35 and my eyes appreciate the 15.2 inch Powerbook. By the time I'm 50 they darn well better have a 19 inch fold out model for me.

PeteWK
     
dagmar
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Sep 30, 2002, 06:55 AM
 
I agree with PeteWK. I had the 12.1 incher, and found myself quickly using it as my primary machine, especially with airport But since I fall into that over 35 category, it really did become a strain, and I'm extremely happy that I switched to the 14. My screen, btw, is fully as bright as the one on the 12.1 was. I am not so old that the extra pound of weight makes that much difference, either
     
mgl
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Sep 30, 2002, 07:51 AM
 
Get the 12" if you travel a lot, carry your laptop to/from work everyday, want to slip your laptop into a small briefcase.

Get the 14" if you don't mind the extra weight, don't carry it a lot, don't mind the look.

12" laptops are generally purchased by people who travel. I carry my laptop everywhere and there's no way I could stand another pound. I've already put in the airport card and ram, there's a few more ounces. The power supply, ethernet cable, and phone cable add a substantial amount more. That's all my shoulder is willing to take.

But if you're not carrying it around all the time, get what you want.

Mike
     
stew
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Sep 30, 2002, 09:38 AM
 
How about consulting your wallet? The 14" costs a few bucks more than the 12". If you got the extra cash, I'd consider a Titanium - they're not as robust but they feature a G4, 15" screen and up to a Gig RAM.


Stink different.
     
fibroptikl  (op)
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Sep 30, 2002, 09:57 AM
 
Originally posted by stew:
How about consulting your wallet? The 14" costs a few bucks more than the 12". If you got the extra cash, I'd consider a Titanium - they're not as robust but they feature a G4, 15" screen and up to a Gig RAM.
I'd love to, but mainly because I do not need one. G4, 15" screen, or a GB of RAM. Though depending on what happens in the future, it may be awhile. If I fall in love more with Mac's, I may go for a PowerBook. However, I am in the PC world for stuff and so I sort of need PC's vs Mac's (but I wish it was the other way around).
     
Mojo
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Sep 30, 2002, 07:49 PM
 
Here is a contrarian view from a member of the Over Thirty crowd...

I am 48 and I only use reading glasses when working at the computer...After much side-by-side comparing between the 14" and 12" models I opted for the 12" iBook. While the screen is smaller the type just looks clearer to me. My decision was not influenced by portability or cost factors, so I would have purchased the 14" if the screen had looked better than the 12".

I have used the 12" almost everyday for over six months as my primary Mac and I have not once regretted getting the smaller iBook. And I now appreciate the smaller size of the 12" iBook since I like to use it in odd places with it resting in my lap.

One thing to consider is that while it is possible to enlarge the font size on an iBook it is impossible to decrease the size of an iBook without buying a new one...
     
   
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