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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Highschool Student torn between iBook and PowerBook

Highschool Student torn between iBook and PowerBook
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Bubishi
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Mar 4, 2005, 01:06 AM
 
Hey People-
As you can see I'm a highschool student. I'm tired of windows failing and want a laptop. It would be used for typing up papers, making presentations, web surfing, IMing, and some DVD making (i can live w/o it.) I need something that is durable and feels that way. I can afford a fully stocked iBook or a not-so-fully-stocked PowerBook. What do you all suggest? Either way, I want a 12". Gotta love that portability. Thank you!

JP
     
connollyck
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Mar 4, 2005, 02:02 AM
 
how the heck can you afford either
ibook, 4th gen, 1.2 12"
ipod, 4th gen, 20gig
     
sworthy
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Mar 4, 2005, 02:06 AM
 
ibook maxed will be much better than a powerbook not.
     
wuzup101
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Mar 4, 2005, 02:48 AM
 
I'd go for the maxxed out iBook... btw... I could easily pay for this in HS... some people do have jobs and save their money... now I'm in college and have mommy and daddy
Mac: 15" 1.5ghz PB w/ 128mb vid, 5400rpm 80gb, combo drive, 2gb ram
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SSharon
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Mar 4, 2005, 02:49 AM
 
ibook all the way. better airport reception, better battery life, just add a 512 chip of ram. you can then upgrade for college or in a few years.
AT&T iPhone 5S and 6; 13" MBP; MDD G4.
     
iREZ
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Mar 4, 2005, 04:34 AM
 
Get the iBook and max that sucker up all the way. It's a really nice machine, especially with a 80gig HD and lots of RAM. If you could hold on for a month or so I would, seems that a new iBook is getting ready to be released in April or May.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
Randman
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Mar 4, 2005, 04:35 AM
 
iBook. And it's high school.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
MrForgetable
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:21 AM
 
i'm a sophomore in high school and i got myself a 15 inch powerbook. not as portable, airport reception is definitely not as good as my sisters ibook, but I got it for the screen. it's the perfect computer for me.
iamwhor3hay
     
tungtied07
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
 
Same here, I'm in high school and got a 15in Powerbook. Its great, but the Airport receiption isn't that good, but its better than nothing!
15" PowerBook 1.5GHz (CTO): SuperDrive, 5400rpm 80GB 16mb Cache, 1.5GB RAM/Backlit Keyboard/Radeon 9700 128MB/MacOS X 10.4.2
     
Voch
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:45 AM
 
I've been out of high school for 15 years and *I* can't decide what my next upgrade will be.

Voch
     
paul w
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:56 AM
 
get the ibook, but don't ruin it by putting a buncha stoopid stickers all over it.

I may be a dedicated powerbook user but I *love* the 12" ibook.
     
buffalolee
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Mar 4, 2005, 12:43 PM
 
Purchase the iBook...
- Get SuperDrive
- Get Airport & Bluetooth
- Get Apple Bluetooth Mouse

Then....

Buy 1GB of RAM ($220) (third party vendor)
-- Why? You will probably be running 4 - 5 programs at one time. You will never regret it, especially when you are running Virtual PC.

Buy nice looking laptop bag of your choice....

Buy External Firewire/USB2.0 Hard Drive
-- Why? To save all of your new MP3's, data files, movies, etc.

3 - 4 years later....
Buy the 12" Powerbook. By that time, you need a more business looking notebook.

One thing about the PowerBook is that it has a much nicer screen. I noticed that the viewing angle on the iBook isn't as nice as the Powerbook.
     
Ixion
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Mar 4, 2005, 01:56 PM
 
The iBook should treat you nicely, I'd agree. Order it with Bluetooth, and you'll be fine... more than fine, really. I don't believe the Super Drive is available in the 12" models. Airport is already included!

Some third party ram is an absolute must. There's a rather lengthy thread of success stories entitled "Awesome 1GB RAM Deal!!" in the Powerbook forum. It's regarding this product here: http://www.outpost.com/servlet/Zeus/product/4158153
I can't say I've tried it myself, but as you can see, everyone seems to be having a lovely time with it.

Additionally, I'd go with the iBook simply on the graphics alone. I cannot stand the performance on my nVidia chipset. There are many games that my older brother's G3 iBook with the ATi Mobility Radeon 7500 runs better than my G4 Powerbook with the nVidia Geforce 420 Go. The drivers seem to be a lot better for the ATi products in my experience. I'm not certain as to whether you play any games at all, but older games like Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and some Blizzard Titles should run with little issue.

If you're at all ambitious, I would highly recommend just ordering the ibook with the Bluetooth Module, with the stock 30gb Hard Disk and slapping a Toshiba 60gb Hard Disk spinning at 7200rpm. You could easily sell the brand new 30gb drive on ebay with little trouble.
The difference between the stock 4200rpm and 7200rpm is really noticeable, and should satisfy you for some time. Most will probably frown on such an upgrade for a number of reasons, so let's just reserve that for later when you know what you're doing. (The reasons being potential for botching the job, the void of warranties, the relatively low failure rate of slower drives, and simply the effort you'd put into it.)

Please, don't get the Apple Bluetooth Mouse. It looks nice, and it will look especially nice next to a brand new iBook, but I don't think you'll be able to appreciate it. The feel about the mouse is awkward for most 'switchers' and the lack of a scroll really hinders the functionality, not to mention the lack of a second button. There are better options available, I would argue.
( Last edited by Ixion; Mar 4, 2005 at 02:07 PM. )
Michael J Burling
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Rev.A 12" PowerBook G4 (867MHz//1.12GB 266MHz//100GB HDD @ 5400rpm//Re-writable//Tiger)
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Bubishi  (op)
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Mar 4, 2005, 05:04 PM
 
wow. thanks for the quick replies. from the sound of things the maxed out iBook would be the best. how well do the documents transfer from AppleWorks to Word? And does Mac have any PowerPoint-like programs?
     
cpac
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Mar 4, 2005, 05:21 PM
 
Originally posted by Bubishi:
wow. thanks for the quick replies. from the sound of things the maxed out iBook would be the best. how well do the documents transfer from AppleWorks to Word? And does Mac have any PowerPoint-like programs?
You can run MS Office on the Mac - Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc. A student copy is $150.

You can also run apple's Keynote application on the Mac, which will open and save PowerPoint presentations, but is much slicker, and in many ways more powerful.

Keynote is currently sold as part of iWork, which also includes Apple's new word processor Pages (which reads and saves Word documents as well). iWork is $80 retail, and even less with a student discount, so I'd recommend picking up a copy.
cpac
     
SSharon
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Mar 4, 2005, 05:24 PM
 
Originally posted by Bubishi:
does Mac have any PowerPoint-like programs?
Every version of Microsoft Office to date has come out for Mac first. Office 2004 has more features on the mac side too, and yes it includes powerpoint.
AT&T iPhone 5S and 6; 13" MBP; MDD G4.
     
iREZ
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Mar 4, 2005, 06:16 PM
 
Uhh.....are you sure about every version? If you want Office for a word processor, I'd go with iWork. You have Appleworks installed on an iBook to startoff with, and you could use Pages to spruce it up even more.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
Tsilou B.
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Mar 4, 2005, 08:01 PM
 
If you're used to Microsoft Office on your PC, I would buy it. You can switch to iWork later.
     
iREZ
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Mar 4, 2005, 08:14 PM
 
Or if you really miss the way Office looks on your PC, you could always download Open Office. It's a free download and looks like PC software....blegh.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 4, 2005, 09:50 PM
 
Sounds like most folks recommend the iBook - but some comments are perhaps untrue because of comparisons to outdated PBs. Would a NEW PB have substantially poorer Airport reception than an iBook? New PB reception has been reported as fine AFAIK.

iBooks have one FW400 port, no FW800. If you need a second drive for a scratch disk or if you outgrow the lame 30 GB drive you need to buy a new drive or use a slower FW400 external.

Eyeball compare the display and the graphics on an iBook against a new PB. Note that OS X.4 is likely to make added demands on the graphics.

iBooks video mirror only. If you use apps like Photoshop an external monitor can not be used for the image while palettes are put on the laptop monitor.

Note that 12 inch laptops (PB or iBook) lack a PC card slot, so you need to carry a card reader to upload images (_never_ do camera-to-computer uploads). Also lack of a PC card slot limits your ability to access future technology when it may appear. Consequences of choosing the 12 inch form factor which may or may not matter to you.

RAM needs are NOT a function of how many apps you run - that was OS9, years back; OS X manages memory differently. RAM needs are based on what kinds of apps you run. Some apps like Photoshop perform much better with maximum RAM while some apps show little benefit.

PBs have 2 slots and come with a single 512 MB RAM module in one slot; max possible is 2 x 1GB = 2GB, but the important thing is that most apps will run ok under 512 MB RAM, even Photoshop (just more slowly). So with a PB you may well get by without adding RAM immediately, and with a PB if you do need RAM for specific apps you can max to a 50% higher amount than with an iBook.

iBooks have 256 MB soldered plus one free slot, max 1.25 GB. Many apps will not run very well under just 256 MB RAM, and since you only have one slot it would be dumb to add anything but the full 1GB DIMM, so... add an immediate US$210 for a RAM DIMM from OWC to the cost of an iBook.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 4, 2005 at 11:16 PM. )
     
trip
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Mar 4, 2005, 10:33 PM
 
Reasons for buying Powerbook:
#1. Realistically you should have 512 Ram running OSX - every reliable source or review will tell you this.
#2. Doing ANY real Graphix work - having 64 mb ram is hugely valuable.
#3. If you do any vieo gaming at all (student man) 32 will not cut it today, certainly not over the next few years - check it out -new games- require 64 Video ram.
#4.Drive speed 5400 vs 4200, the faster your computer can write to disk the better (depends on apps you use)
#5. Speedjump 1.33 vs. 1.5
#6. Screen quality
#7. Drive protection feature

Reason for buying ibook:
#1. 14 inch screen is more important than 12.

$1,674.00 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 - 14-inch TFT
• 512MB DDR266 (256MB built-in & 256MB SO-DIMM)
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive
• SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
• AirPort Extreme Card
• Bluetooth Module
• ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/ 32MB DDR video memory

$1,699.00 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 - 12.1-inch
• 512MB DDR333 (256MB built-in + 256MB SO-DIMM)
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400rpm
• SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
• AirPort Extreme Card
• Bluetooth built in
• 1.5GHz PowerPC G4
• NVIDIA GeForce FX GO 5200 with 64MB DDR Video Memory

If you're willing to wait a few months for ibook to come out
then maybe the story will be different - otherwise - buy the powerbook !
"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations". --David Friedman
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:02 PM
 
Yeah, I forgot the Superdrive. Burning DVDs is sweet, and not available on a 12 inch iBook.

Apple unbalanced their laptop product line when they introduced the last round of iBooks with some aspects better than the last generation PBs. That was a bad thing - wreaked havoc on higher-margin PB purchases. I doubt if they will screw up similarly soon, so in the next few months I would not count on major iBook improvements that would again unbalance he PB/iBook relationship.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 4, 2005 at 11:12 PM. )
     
MrForgetable
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Mar 5, 2005, 02:21 AM
 
Originally posted by SierraDragon:
Yeah, I forgot the Superdrive. Burning DVDs is sweet, and not available on a 12 inch iBook.

Apple unbalanced their laptop product line when they introduced the last round of iBooks with some aspects better than the last generation PBs. That was a bad thing - wreaked havoc on higher-margin PB purchases. I doubt if they will screw up similarly soon, so in the next few months I would not count on major iBook improvements that would again unbalance he PB/iBook relationship.
i felt as if i didn't really need the DVD burning. i don't really. i'm kind of glad i got the combo driver as it burns CDs faster.
iamwhor3hay
     
garetjax
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Mar 5, 2005, 04:53 AM
 
Don't forget applecare, a must for laptops. $183 edu for ibook, $239 edu for PB.

If it's between the 12" ibook and 12" PB, I would get the ibook. It's cheaper, more durable, better wireless reception, perfect for a student on the go. Buy an ext HD with the extra cash saved.

The 15" PB is in another functional and price class altogether compared to the 12" ibook, so you'll have to decide whether to spend much more for the upgrade. My brother and friend both have 15" PBs and while the screen is very nice, they've had to send them in multiple times for various manufacturing defects.

Or you could just wait for ibook upgrades probably coming in a few months. Here's hoping that Apple puts 5400rpm HD standard in all their laptops.

GJ
     
digidawg
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Mar 5, 2005, 10:58 AM
 
I went through the same problem last October when the new iBooks came out.I could afford a fully loaded 14"ibook with superdrive or a decent 15" powerbook that would be $400 dollars more without a superdrive.

Powerbooks are not made to be hauled around by students in backpacks. Although I'm sure they would handle it ok, an iBook is specifically made for this and is actually built a little tougher then the powerbooks.

I am glad I chose the iBook. It serves my needs well.
     
Unclej78
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Mar 5, 2005, 11:13 AM
 
I've had my Powerbook 1Ghz 12" for over a year. I love it, I've got it hooked up to an 18" LCD. I was in the same boat that you are in. Have the money to buy iBook or Powerbook.

It was more important to me to run a second monitor than to burn DVD's. A buddy of mine purchased a 14" ibook about 4-6 month ago. His is a great looking machine, however, I haven't messed with it a little while. So when I installed some software on it for him, the Keys and the Body was very dirty. They have 2-3 people who use it. I found that cleaning mine was much more easy that trying to clean up his. The plastic just doesn't feel as nice to me as the Aluminum. I know that this is a small point, but worth mentioning.
-------
AIM: UNCLEJ78
12" Powerbook 1ghz, 768mb, B&W 400 w/Panther, Grape iMac G3 400, Beige MT, Couple of 8500's & Lower
     
nuggetman
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Mar 5, 2005, 11:38 AM
 
Originally posted by SierraDragon:
Note that 12 inch laptops (PB or iBook) lack a PC card slot, so you need to carry a card reader to upload images (_never_ do camera-to-computer uploads). [/B]
may i ask why? never heard this before. i transfer images from my camera via usb all the time.
     
Ixion
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Mar 5, 2005, 01:10 PM
 
I've never transfered the images from my Canon Powershot S30 any other way. It's always been over the USB connection. A problem has yet to plague me with this method. What's the deal with transfering images of USB SierraDragon?

Also, this trip fellow seems to be in the dark. A response, of sorts.
(-)1. An additional 256mb from a third-party vendor will cost something around 30 bucks, half of what Apple charges. Any individuals ordering more ram for themselves as a BTO is sorely mistaken, particularly on MacNN.
(-)2. I'd agree with that, but the kid is only in high school, and he already listed what he wants it do for him. Graphics is not among them.
(-)3. If you think you're going to be doing any more gaming on a Powerbook 12" than on an iBook 14"... crazy. If he was at all concerned about gaming, he wouldn't be getting a Mac in the first place. Besides, the drivers aren't up to snuff on the nVidia side of things... I'd bet the Radeon 9200 gives the Geforce Fx5200 a run for its money.
(=)4. Sure. He could, however, buy a 60GB disk running at 7200rpm for relatively cheap, and have an Apple tech install it. I believe 7200 > 5400, isn't it?
(+)5. You're absolutely right. Speed is always a good thing.
(+)6. Right you are.
(=)7. We've survived this long without it. I don't think that feature is so appealing that one would base their entire purchasing decision on it. Consider all of the manufacturers on the PC side of thing. IBM had this feature for some time now, but I don't think their market share increased because of the similar feature.

I think you neglected to add something about maybe the slightly higher bus (133 vs 166), but maybe that's what you were talking about in "speedjump."

The reasons to buy the iBook are simple... I don't know why you thought the 14" was what he was looking for. He already said he wanted the portability of a 12".
(+)1. The iBook is less expensive.
(+)2. The iBook comes with some 'productivity' software. Granted, it's not the most polished application on Earth, that is, AppleWorks, but it's more than the Powerbook comes with, which is, of course, nothing.
(+)3. iBooks tend to be more durable than Powerbooks. the plastic shell they rest in is rather high-impact. Dropping my Powerbook results in all sorts of nasty warps. I'm not the most responsible individual, but surely, if I had the iBook, it'd sustain much less damage.
(+)4. Better wireless reception. This is a massive difference. My brother's iBook can pick up more wireless networks than I can in the local coffee shops and restaurants of downtown Minneapolis. Quite frankly, I wish I had the wireless capabilties he has.
(+)5. Applecare is much less expensive. 183$ vs 239$ (edu pricing), iBook and Powerbook enrollment plans, respectively. The 50$ savings can be applied to his ram purchase.

Price Breakdown: iBook 12" Similarly Configured.
  • 1.2ghz PowerPC G4
  • 256mb Ram
  • 30GB Hard Disk
  • ATi Mobility Radeon 9200 32mb
  • ComboDrive
  • Bluetooth Module
  • Apple Protection Plan
Add 120$ for a new Hard Disk and another 40$ for an additional 256mb of Ram (512mb total), and the grand total comes to a whopping 1,257$ before taxes.

Price Breakdown: Powerbook 12"
  • 1.5ghz PowerPC G4
  • 512mb Ram
  • 60GB Hard Disk
  • nVidia Geforce Fx5200 Go 64mb
  • ComboDrive
  • Apple Protection Plan
Add nothing, and the price is already a cool 1,638$ before taxes.

With the money he saves, he's got plent for additional software, external hard disks, and if he goes the third party route with the hard drive, he can either sell the existing 30gb or use it in an enclosure. There's no argument as to which is the better machine in general, which is the Powerbook. But, for all practical purposes of the buyer, this is what he wants.
Michael J Burling
Systems:
Rev.A 12" PowerBook G4 (867MHz//1.12GB 266MHz//100GB HDD @ 5400rpm//Re-writable//Tiger)
Rev.B 13" White MacBook (1.83GHz Core 2//512MB 667MHz//60GB HDD @ 5400rpm//Re-Writable//Tiger)
     
iREZ
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Mar 5, 2005, 03:07 PM
 
Originally posted by: trip
Reasons for buying Powerbook:
#1. Realistically you should have 512 Ram running OSX - every reliable source or review will tell you this.
#2. Doing ANY real Graphix work - having 64 mb ram is hugely valuable.
#3. If you do any vieo gaming at all (student man) 32 will not cut it today, certainly not over the next few years - check it out -new games- require 64 Video ram.
#4.Drive speed 5400 vs 4200, the faster your computer can write to disk the better (depends on apps you use)
#5. Speedjump 1.33 vs. 1.5
#6. Screen quality
#7. Drive protection feature
1# sure getting up to 512MB is important, but with the money he'd be saving he could indeed afford a 512MB stick to get him up to 768MB for $80 or even 1.25GB for $180.

2# I resent that "fact," I have a Rev B 12" which only has a 5200 Go with only 32MB of VRAM and I get by just fine. None of the Adobe CS apps need more that 32MB of VRAM and you could even get by using 16MB as well. I work in prepress and all our Powermacs that we use only have 32MB of VRAM and that's for professional work.

3# between the nvidia and ati in the PB's and iB's, I could certainly say that the nvidia has a lil more to it seeing how it is a chip that supports core image, but now that the requirements for core image are down, who knows what Apple has in store for ATI 9200 users. Furthermore core image is something I really don't see a new college student dabbling in when his specifications are for writing papers and IM'ing. As for games, you'll probably get 3-5 more FPS with the 12" PB but it still sucks in comparison with the 15" or 17" which are completely out of the 12" price range.

4# again with the money you save getting an iBook, you could up your HD to a 7200RPM. If I were only going to use the 'book for what you mentioned then I wouldn't worry too much about HD speed, but the option is open and you'd still be under budget compared to a 12" PB.

5# speed jump isn't that big a deal but it is there and yes the PB is better in this respect and deserves its respect. Realize that MHz aren't as big a deal in Macs as RAM is, ie. I would rather own a dual 1.8 G5 with 2GB of RAM vs a dual 2.0 G5 with 1GB of RAM.

6# screen quality between the 12" iBook and 12" Powerbook are identical. There are reports that the 12" PB is better but it's a non factor to me...they both are just generic screens and the 15" or 17" are way better in this respect.

7#iBook have had bumpers for the HD long before PB's but the new PB's have some sort of mechanism that realizes the machine is in freefall, but I don't know how important this feature is. Not important enough to mention on the PB front page(s)

iBook has a better battery life, better airport reception, and is much more durable than the Alu PB, but the strengths of the PB are there though...DVI and VGA in the PB vs only VGA in the iBook, this means if you want to use a second screen, you'd have to make sure that the LCD has a VGA ouput. PB has clamshell mode and screen spanning as standard. The iBook can accomplish screen spanning with a simple install of "screen spanning doctor". This means you can't dedicate all 32MB to your external but you could split your VRAM amongst the two screens which will probably benefit you more seeing how you could have your IM screen and iTunes on your iBook screen while typing your papers or presentations on the external. Also the PB has an audio in built in. The iMic can accomplish this feature for the iBook but it's something else to lug around, and also depends on how much recording your going to be doing. FSB PB wins hands down 167 vs 133. I could keep going on and on back and forth but I'd rather get it over with and say this; get an iBook if the stuff your doing now is going to be the same thing your doing a year down the road. No doubt the PB is a nicer machine stock...but if you upgrade your iBook to get the same specs as the stock PB then you'd still be under the PB costs. The only reason I'd go for the PB is the VRAM split seeing how I would really like to have 32MB per screen when I span and that's my only reason of choosing a PB over the iBook. You wont regret either purchase but I still believe that between the 12"ers, the iBook is a better value hands down. Don't bother with the 14" iBook not worth it in my opinion.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
BlueDjinn01
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Mar 5, 2005, 03:10 PM
 
A fully-detailed comparison of the 12" iBook vs. the 12" PowerBook can be found here:

System Shootouts Website
( Last edited by BlueDjinn01; Mar 6, 2005 at 08:14 AM. )
     
ArcticBear
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Mar 5, 2005, 03:17 PM
 
I'd go with the iBook. More durable, better battery life, better Airport reception. It comes with your iApps and you can get the latest iWork with Up-To-Date for the cost of shipping (really expensive and slow shipping, but I digress ).

The screen quality is not as nice as the PowerBook, true. Will you need the difference for typing papers, web browsing and IMing? I doubt it.

PC card reader capability is also something I doubt you'll miss. You've got USB 2 and FireWire 400 on there already. Save it for the college PowerBook.

If you need DVD capability, you could invest in an external burner, or get an internal burner + FireWire case. FW400 is slower, but some external cases have 400 and 800 ports. Get a PowerBook with DVD later and switch an external HD for the burner and you have a backup solution. All unless you need to burn DVDs on the go.

You can hack the iBook video to support spanning with the Screen Spanning Doctor. Works here.

Definitely upgrade the RAM to 1 GB RAM, and do it yourself by buying third party (= 1/3 to 1/2 the cost!).

Yes, buy AppleCare for it.

I don't have any problems connecting my Olympus camera directly via USB. I do have an external card reader which supports about any media format just for flexibility.

I'd really wait on getting a PowerBook as the current lineup seems long in the tooth. Best value right now is the iBook.
     
sithu
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Mar 5, 2005, 06:06 PM
 
Hey, if you're looking at buying a 12" powerbook / ibook - Amazon is having a 150$ rebate that's gonna expire on March 15th.
     
beverson
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Mar 5, 2005, 07:25 PM
 
Originally posted by Bubishi:
Hey People-
As you can see I'm a highschool student. I'm tired of windows failing and want a laptop. It would be used for typing up papers, making presentations, web surfing, IMing, and some DVD making (i can live w/o it.) I need something that is durable and feels that way. I can afford a fully stocked iBook or a not-so-fully-stocked PowerBook. What do you all suggest? Either way, I want a 12". Gotta love that portability. Thank you!

JP
Go with the iBook. I've owned a 12" iBook and a 12" PowerBook. They're both fantastic. But considering what you say you want/need it for, I think the iBook is the right recommendation to make. I humbly think that most people recommending a PowerBook to you aren't taking into consideration your needs as stated.

My reasons for recommending the iBook are all the same as others who have, so I won't repeat them.
     
gunnar
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Mar 5, 2005, 09:03 PM
 
iBook hands down. The only reason to buy the powerbook is for the larger screen resolution and it sounds like you don't really need that. You can upgrade the RAM in the ibook a year from now and you will get more performance.
     
buffalolee
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Mar 6, 2005, 12:06 AM
 
Originally posted by Ixion:

Please, don't get the Apple Bluetooth Mouse. It looks nice, and it will look especially nice next to a brand new iBook, but I don't think you'll be able to appreciate it. The feel about the mouse is awkward for most 'switchers' and the lack of a scroll really hinders the functionality, not to mention the lack of a second button. There are better options available, I would argue.
One neat feature about the Apple BT mouse is that you can turn it off when you place it in your bag. My GF's mouse (Logitech) does not turn off.
     
Eug Wanker
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Mar 6, 2005, 02:24 AM
 
I wrote about this here:

New 12" PowerBook - Only $300 more than iBook

Conclusion: If you can scrimp and save and get the extra few hundred $, get the PowerBook. However, if your budget is really limited, then get the iBook. If it were me, I'd get the PowerBook for sure, but that's because I'm no longer a student and have a few more bux to spend.
     
FastiBook
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Mar 6, 2005, 08:05 AM
 
You should get an iBook, because the only real difference is the dvi out. Other than this the design of the logic board is identical, and if you don't really need dvd-r then ibook is the better choice. It weighs less, and has superior battery performance (given proper calibration and care). iBooks also don't get as hot, and they have better wireless performance. My brother has a 12 inch powerbook, and i have a 12 inch iBook G4, and my machine just seems better, i don't know why, maybe the design.
Fact is better than fiction.
     
trip
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Mar 6, 2005, 06:01 PM
 
I agree with most of the points people are making, however remember I was responding to what he purposed.... A "maxed" ibook vs the low end powerbook. I see little value in buying a maxed ibook when for the same money you can get the bottom end powerbook having tech specs that defeat any ibook by a mile. **Unless** you think 14 inch vs. 12 inch screens is really important

And remember: the value between the 2 models are out of sync. The powerbook just got an upgrade and price reduction. Nothing has changed on the ibook (including price) for 9 months. The model is due for an upgrade in the immediate future (april-ish). Anyone buying a "maxed out" ibook right now is crazy!

IMHO
"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations". --David Friedman
     
ashtoash
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Mar 7, 2005, 03:25 AM
 
ibook = no PC card slot. Probably not important to you, but people often overlook this.

I'd wait till WWDC when powerbooks will be getting a new screen. The backlight will be brighter.
     
ashtoash
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Mar 7, 2005, 03:38 AM
 
bluetooth has too much lag for mousing. Try the logitech MX1000 cordless laser mouse with fastrf. best mouse money can buy. Try one in a store and you won't ever choose another mouse.. (also has on/off switch on bottom)

Originally posted by buffalolee:
One neat feature about the Apple BT mouse is that you can turn it off when you place it in your bag. My GF's mouse (Logitech) does not turn off.
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2005, 09:41 PM
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by digidawg:

"...Powerbooks are not made to be hauled around by students in backpacks. Although I'm sure they would handle it ok, an iBook is specifically made for this and is actually built a little tougher then the powerbooks..."

Perhaps they are, but certainly not in my experience, which is very extensive with PBs (but limited to one iBook and a friend's ten year old). iBooks _may_ be tougher as regards taking a whack from a hammer but IMO they are _not_ overall more tolerant of 10-hour-a-day real world usage by adults. I have used multiple Duos and Powerbooks hard, in the field (not simple dorm room to classroom hauling), ever since the first Duos came out. Always hauled around in backpacks or worse, including as a grad student.

The new "Suuden Motion Sensor" on new PBs also would seem to suggest that PBs should be stronger than iBooks.

--------------------------------

Regarding AppleCare, that could be another thread, but IMO it is a great moneymaker for Apple, so y'all keep spending money on it to help keep the base hardware prices down. In my experience hardware failures occur under warranty or not at all, or at a point where you don't really want the replacement anyway (e.g. with a failed hard drive after 2 years you are ready for a more modern drive anyway).
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2005, 10:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Ixion:
I've never transfered the images from my Canon Powershot S30 any other way. It's always been over the USB connection. A problem has yet to plague me with this method. What's the deal with transfering images of USB SierraDragon?

)4. Better wireless reception. This is a massive difference. My brother's iBook can pick up more wireless networks than I can in the local coffee shops and restaurants of downtown Minneapolis. Quite frankly, I wish I had the wireless capabilties he has.
Regarding direct camera-to-computer image transfer, yes it works most of the time. However the comparative failure rate (lost image data) is relatively high and transfer rates are relatively slow. I am a professional photographer/graphics person and it is important not to ever lose images. When safer/faster alternatives exist (e.g. PC CF card adapters or FW card readers, copied direct to the hard drive not via iPhoto) it makes sense to use them.

How an old PB performed for Airport reception is not relevant. My understanding (admittedly not tested by me, but I will have a new 15 inch PB in a few weeks and will report back) is that Airport reception on the newest PBs is quite adequate.

Edit: The "Shootout" link above showed the newest PB 12 reception as only Fair as compared to the iBook. My understanding of the PB 15 is that reception is Good to Very Good rather than just Fair. The PB 15 or larger is my only interest, so I have not looked for PB 12 reception tests.

I agree that both 'books are good choices, and the price heavily weighs in favor of the iBook for a HS student. My pointing out the differences and my personal opinion is just to get info on the table.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 7, 2005 at 10:43 PM. )
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2005, 10:40 PM
 
Duplicate, deleted by poster.
     
amazing
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Mar 8, 2005, 01:35 PM
 
Guess what: As of this morning, Tuesday, March 8, this whole thread is superseded.

Microcenter is offering the previous generation 12" 1.33 GHz Combo for $1099, brand-new, along with a $100 rebate that brings it down to $999.

Run, don't walk to Microcenter.

http://microcenter.com/single_produc...uct_id=0173861

===end of thread====no more opinions necessary===

PS: Am I allowed to speculate that Microcenter bought all the new Combo 1.33Ghz 12" PBs that used to be offered in the AppleStore Special Deals Section?
     
Voch
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Mar 8, 2005, 01:57 PM
 
Originally posted by amazing:
Microcenter is offering the previous generation 12" 1.33 GHz Combo for $1099, brand-new, along with a $100 rebate that brings it down to $999.
Good deal!

The MicroCenter here in Cleveland is getting socked with lake-effect snow as we speak (the west side of Cleveland is fairly passable, MC is on the east side). Good deal if you want to drive to Mayfield Heights!

Oh...sorry...didn't mean to supercede the ended thread...

Voch
( Last edited by Voch; Mar 8, 2005 at 02:04 PM. )
     
   
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