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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Are you happy with your 12" powerbook ?

Are you happy with your 12" powerbook ?
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Skypat
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Nov 3, 2003, 12:19 PM
 
Hi
I asked the same question a few days ago about 15" Powerbook ;-) I wanted to order one but all those quality problems makes me hesitate. So I could go back to my first idea : get a 12" PowerBook. If you own one (specially if it's a rev. b): are you happy with it ? Is it comfortable to use (size of the screen) ? (don't hesitate to post pictures !)
S k y p a t
     
all2ofme
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Nov 3, 2003, 12:39 PM
 
Yep, I'm very happy with mine apart from the following things:

- The fan is louder than it was on my 17" (1GHz) machine. It also seems to be on more often. It's not a real racket, though.

- The screen is *nowhere near* as good as any of my previous Powerbooks have been. I have it plugged into a 20" Cinema display almost all the time, though, so it's not a big issue. I'll try calibrating it this evening and will report back to see if it makes a difference.
     
Macbear
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Nov 3, 2003, 12:46 PM
 
Loving my new revB 12" PowerBook. I've had it about a week now, and have had no problems. The only tricky part was adding more RAM... I didn't have a screwdriver tiny enough to remove the screws in the RAM slot cover. (had to go buy a eyeglass repair screwdriver).

The Superdrive has been working like a charm. I've burned 4 DVD's and one CD-R so far without incident. I really like the new DVD Player software in Panther too.

I find the keyboard excellent. Very comfortable, even with my rather large hands. The screen is nice and bright, and a bit sharper than my old iBook.

Operating temperature is good too. It gets warm during processor intensive stuff, but never hot. The fan is very quiet for the most part. The strange thing is, the fan gets the loudest when I activate my Marine Aquarium screensaver. It really gets the computer chugging I guess.

Overall, I think the 12" is a great little computer and will serve you well as long as you don't mind the smaller screen. I'll be hooking mine up to an extra monitor when I do video editing.
Macbear
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///Milien
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Nov 3, 2003, 01:07 PM
 
I am very happy with my Rev B PB 12. The screen size is not as great as my PB 17, but after connecting it to my ACD 20, I can't complain here. Just like all2ofme, the fans come on more often that the 17, but I barely even here it.

At this point, I am looking to sell the PB 17 and keeping the 12.
 Mac Pro 8-Core 2.26GHz Xeon | 12GB RAM | 2.5TB HDD | ATI Radeon HD 4870 | 24" LED Cinema Display
 Mac mini [Unibody] 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo | 8GB RAM | 500GB Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid HDD | 24" LED Cinema Display
 MacBook Air 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo | 4GB RAM | 256GB SDD
Too many accessories to list...
     
ledmirage
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Nov 3, 2003, 01:11 PM
 
I absolutely love it. I'm holding onto it until G5 Rev.B is released.
     
C-Bear
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Nov 3, 2003, 01:25 PM
 
I orginally had a 15" on order from a reseller. Several visits to the Apple Store to futz around with the thing and I decided to change my order to the 12." The 15"s a great computer, but I actually prefer the size of the 12," screen and all, and the RevisionA-itis the 15"s are currently experiencing is issue for me, too.

I've had the 12" less than a week, but I love everything about it.
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madmacgames
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Nov 3, 2003, 02:28 PM
 
I love my 12" RevB powerbook. The native screen resolution is 1024x768, which is what I ran my 17" CRT monitor at before I switched, so no big change for me. Screen is nice and bright and crisp. Battery will go for about 4 hours under constant operation; longer if you are using it on and off and let it go to sleep.

I use mine alot, so after a bit my finger grows tired of the trackpad, but that is no fault of the powerbooks... I just need to get myself a nice wireless mouse.

I've had mine since October 1st and other than a few glitches in the OS when I 1st got it with the network dropping connection sometimes, I've had no problems... (probably something did not clone quite right at the factory because wiping the hard drive and doing a clean install fixed it)... probably a good idea to wipe the drive and do a clean install from the Apple backupDVD when you get it casue you just never know if it was cloned perfectly or not.
     
Yoziah!
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Nov 3, 2003, 02:44 PM
 
I too love my new 12" PB! I've had it about 2 weeks and keep making my PC friends jealous. This is my first computer since my IIsi from college, and I've never owned a laptop. As noted above, the keyboard does get warm but not hot (this was very much a concern for me pre-purchase). The build quality is very good, and I keep being impressed by the little things Apple has thought through with this machine. A good friend of mine thinks that he needs the 15"PB, but I am trying to talk him into a 12" and a monitor for home. The portability and rigidity of this machine are solid! I would recommend the 12"PB to anyone even considering one.
     
desillusion.com
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Nov 3, 2003, 03:04 PM
 
in my eyes the 12" is the greatest machine from apple available now, mmh maybe excpet for the dual g5..

this thing is unique, you won't find anything close to similar in the pc world..

i have mine for about 2 weeks now and i love it, works like a charm.. only drawback is the screen, its sharp and all but i really don't like the way it displays colors too much, maybe i just need to calibrate it better, but i have the feeling the 12" screen ist just not as good as its bigger brothers when it comes to color accuracy..

however, you will only notice this if you work in the design business... for everyday use, its allright..

so go get one!
finally here and absolutely flawless:
powerbook 12" 1ghz rev b combo 768 mb ram bt-mouse
     
baeksoo
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Nov 3, 2003, 03:10 PM
 
I love my 12" PB...with one exception.

I am getting horrible eyestrain using it (I've posted regarding this on various other forums). I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the screen, but with the fact that it's an LCD.

I dunno...my eyes just don't seem to be compatible with LCDs. I had the same problem using a 17" Samsung DVI LCD (hence why I don't think this problem is screen-size related).

I have until 11/5 for my 10 day return period. I'm really hoping that my eyes can get "used to" the LCD as some people say will happen. However, should my eyes continue to hurt, I'll sadly be returning the PB to the local Apple Store. Shame, since the machine is perfect in every other way (including no dead pixels).

Bah...my eyes are hurting already while I'm typing this...-_-;

(in contrast, I have no problem staring at my 19" CRT all day)
     
bbales
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Nov 3, 2003, 03:12 PM
 
I've had mine since February and absolutely love it. It is virtually never turned off. I do have a desktop machine i use for most of my work (freelance writer), but use the PB for all kinds of other things, including working on it while simultaneously cooking dinner and supervising homework (my desktop is in a basement office). Unlike other people, I've never hooked it up to another monitor and I don't really mind the small screen. I've even done video editing on it.

All in all, it is a fantastic machine. It does get a little warm sometimes, but it's only gotten what I've called incredibly toasty a couple times. It's a Rev A machine. I have no idea of the later ones run cooler or not.

No hesitation in recommending it. But depending on your needs, you might want to look at one of the new ibooks, now that they're G4, too.
     
benb
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Nov 3, 2003, 03:15 PM
 
I really like mine. I used to have the 15" 1GHz Titanium. The 12" is more portable. I find I use it away from the desk much more often. In fact, I almost never use it with my external display at the desk. I am usually on the couch with it. However, if you are going to use it at a desk without an external monitor, go with the 15" or 17". If you want to be on the couch most of the time, get the 12" or maybe 15" if you have a large lap. Or get the 12" and a nice external monitor.
     
CrackedButter
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Nov 3, 2003, 05:21 PM
 
Fan, what fan? I don't think mine has one!
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HotSoup
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Nov 3, 2003, 06:33 PM
 
Anyone try any games on a basic (out of the box) 12in PB, btw? Think it's up to par to run Halo when it comes to Mac in December?
     
madmacgames
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Nov 3, 2003, 07:27 PM
 
Originally posted by HotSoup:
Anyone try any games on a basic (out of the box) 12in PB, btw? Think it's up to par to run Halo when it comes to Mac in December?
I don't were it would have problems... there were only some problems with games like UT2003 on the RevA powerbooks because of the size of L2 cache... but Apple has stepped that up to the same size as its big brothers in the RevB; plus stepped up to 1Ghz. So taking into account that the L2 cache has been stepped up and that I don't think Destineer is gonna make the specs for Halo so outrageous that only G5s will run the game, I don't see where running it on the new revB 12" powerbook would really be a problem... On the RevA it could be if for nothing else the L2 cache is too small.

Only thing that may hinder performance would be graphics card, but again I don't really see Destineer making the minimum specs require a 64MB graphics card... Would not surprise me if 32MB is the minimum though, so gameplay on the 12" may not be smooth with all the advanced graphics turned on... you may just have to run it with minimal graphic filters.
( Last edited by madmacgames; Nov 3, 2003 at 07:32 PM. )
     
The Jackalope
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Nov 3, 2003, 10:14 PM
 
I've had mine for just under a month, and I love the damn thing. Portablilty is a must for me since I go on so many trips. I never had a laptop before, now I don't understand how I went without one for so long.

I think the balance of size, power, speed, and ergonomics (best keyboard I've used) make it a complete winner.

My only complaint (that I had to think about) is probably hard disk size. Of course, I would want a 250 gig HD, but they don't make them for this size yet.
     
hardcat1970
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Nov 3, 2003, 10:49 PM
 
My 12" powerbook is fantastic except:

there is a hard drive click sound, i don't know if it's normal. And a loud electronic sound from the speaker, although i don't hear it the past couple of days. Only these two things are bugging me.

It is very warm, much warmer than my pismo, and the fan does get loud when it runs full speed. but that doesn't bother me much.

Overall, the 12" is unbeliveable, it is powerful and portable.
     
DigitalEl
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Nov 4, 2003, 01:29 AM
 
My 12" is the best Mac, the best computer, I've ever had. I'd be lying if I said I wish it weren't a Rev. B 15" though. In the here and now, however, it is damn near perfect.
Jalen's dad. Carrie's husband.  partisan. Bleu blanc et rouge.
     
TheIceMan
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Nov 4, 2003, 04:15 AM
 
hardcat1970: Is yours the Rev.A or B?
     
hardcat1970
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Nov 4, 2003, 08:46 AM
 
Originally posted by TheIceMan:
hardcat1970: Is yours the Rev.A or B?
It's Rev B.
     
Darksider
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Nov 4, 2003, 08:59 AM
 
I love mine but I wish it was a Rev B to begin with. Damn Apple marketing.
     
elvis2000
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Nov 4, 2003, 10:15 AM
 
Originally posted by baeksoo:
I love my 12" PB...with one exception.

I am getting horrible eyestrain using it (I've posted regarding this on various other forums). I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the screen, but with the fact that it's an LCD.

(in contrast, I have no problem staring at my 19" CRT all day)
The screen on the 12" is junk. Thats the primary reason I stayed away.
     
bkb
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Nov 4, 2003, 12:55 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
The screen on the 12" is junk. Thats the primary reason I stayed away.
Easy tiger. i don't think junk describes any part of my Rev B 12". Perhaps it's time for you to have your eyes checked?



In defense of the 12" - greatest laptop out there right now...
     
dreamBweaver
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Nov 4, 2003, 01:05 PM
 
My 12" PB is the first laptop i've ever owned. I echo everyone's praise of it - it is truly portable (think of it as a paper notebook). I love the size of it - it goes with me to every class. I think an external display is appropriate for DVDs and other things. I personally use a 19" CRT but am normally happy with the screen. This machine is still a good desktop replacement (mine is off in storage right now). Best of Luck.
Looking forward.
     
pgaray
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Nov 4, 2003, 01:45 PM
 
Hi,

After purchasing many Apple Computers since 1990, I have noticed that my later purchase (12" REV B Powerbook) that the workmanship is slipping.

2 slight problems: The plastic flange under the front of the keyboard is lifting in places. Yes, while it's probably a minor issue, there's probably a good reason why it's there. I would imagine a bit of double sided tape, or glue would fix it, and I'm off to my local dealer the get them to have a look. The other issue I have is with the screen. When closed, the right side remains open about 1/32 of an inch. Not exactly perfect.

(1 pixel is stuck on, which is be expected with any LCD from my experiences)

Other than than, I must say that I'm very happy! I have no complaints with the speed, performance, temperature, price, etc.

Regards,
PG
Paul J. Garay
[email protected]
     
DakRT
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Nov 4, 2003, 03:13 PM
 
I was wondering how the power is on the 12"? Does it take long to burn dvd's? How about running photoshop on it? Anybody do any video stuff, like final cut pro? How does the 12 compare to the 17? I am looking to make this my only computer, the screen size doesn't bother me much since I will hook it up to another monitor when im at home. The size of the 12" is really neat, but i like to work with videos (from a dv cam) and I also burn dvd's. Im wondering how the speed is. I don't want to sit there all day.
DakRT
     
madmacgames
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Nov 4, 2003, 03:45 PM
 
I agree that the screen on the RevB is pretty good... it's a hell of alot better than my PC's 17" CRT, thats for damn sure.

RE: DVD burning... doesn't the superdrive RevB 12" have a 2x superdrive just like the 17"?? I've burnt one full DVD (using the free 2x DVD-R that came with it) and I don't remember how long it took but it was ~1 hour I think... you will not have to sit there all day. CD burning is also fast. Disk Copy only reports 16x as the higher CDR speed; but toast reports 52x. Not sure what the actualy CDR speed is, but it is at least 16x (if you set to "maximum possible" it will be slower if you are doing alot of other things though, but can be overridden by selecting a set speed)
     
Skypat  (op)
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Nov 4, 2003, 03:53 PM
 
I was wondering ... can one watch an entire movie on DVD in a train i.e. ? Is 512 MB enough or should I upgrade to 256+512 ? ;-)
S k y p a t
     
sirosisofliver
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Nov 4, 2003, 04:22 PM
 
Originally posted by Skypat:
Hi
I asked the same question a few days ago about 15" Powerbook ;-) I wanted to order one but all those quality problems makes me hesitate. So I could go back to my first idea : get a 12" PowerBook. If you own one (specially if it's a rev. b): are you happy with it ? Is it comfortable to use (size of the screen) ? (don't hesitate to post pictures !)
I just got mine on Halloween, and I have loved mine so far. I am getting adjusted to the screen well enough, I had a 15" PC laptop before, sold that to get this. If I ever get into heavy duty video editing, I would buy a 20" Cinema or an equivalant moniter. I have had no issues with heat, the fan is quieter by a long shot to my old Toshiba, and definitely quieter than the HP desktop I used to have (P4 take a lot of cooling, so anyone that singled out the dual G4 towers for noise hasnt had a PC..) I am ordering my 512mb stick as we speak, and then I will be finished! I recommend it! The 12" iBook was my second choice, btw....
     
all2ofme
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Nov 4, 2003, 05:15 PM
 
I run Photoshop on mine almost every time I'm on the machine. It's not quite as fast as my 1GHz 17" PB was, but it's not far off. Perhaps some of that could be put down to having 768MB of RAM in the 12" and 1GB in the 17".

Either way, I'm much happier when it comes to taking my 12" out the front door

Originally posted by DakRT:
I was wondering how the power is on the 12"? Does it take long to burn dvd's? How about running photoshop on it?
     
hardcat1970
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Nov 5, 2003, 12:46 AM
 
Originally posted by pgaray:
Hi,

After purchasing many Apple Computers since 1990, I have noticed that my later purchase (12" REV B Powerbook) that the workmanship is slipping.

2 slight problems: The plastic flange under the front of the keyboard is lifting in places. Yes, while it's probably a minor issue, there's probably a good reason why it's there. I would imagine a bit of double sided tape, or glue would fix it, and I'm off to my local dealer the get them to have a look. The other issue I have is with the screen. When closed, the right side remains open about 1/32 of an inch. Not exactly perfect.

(1 pixel is stuck on, which is be expected with any LCD from my experiences)

Other than than, I must say that I'm very happy! I have no complaints with the speed, performance, temperature, price, etc.

Regards,
PG
I have noticed that too. I have to replace 2 airport base stations, 2 dvi to adc adapters, a hard drive on my powermac G4, 2 ipods and couple of minor things on my pismo and the 12" powerbook.

But you know what, these things still working, including the old beige g3 and power center pro from power computing day (not apple made though) i used at work. Can't say the same thing to our window pc. We bought those pc boxes at cheaper price, but it seems that we have to buy a new window pc mahcine every two years when we still using our old g4....
     
PoisonTooth
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Nov 5, 2003, 09:17 AM
 
Just got my 12" Rev B last night, and it's perfect in every regard. Great screen, rigid, fast, portable.

Can't quite say yet, but I might like this machine better than my old 15" TiBook SD. We shall see.
     
legacyb4
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Nov 5, 2003, 10:01 AM
 
Aside from the issue noted below (mine is lifting slightly under the space bar), my PB 12 rev. B is a Mac owner's dream...

(so why am I contemplating putting 10.3 on it knowing that there are still some issues to be worked out...?)

Originally posted by pgaray:
Hi,

The plastic flange under the front of the keyboard is lifting in places. Yes, while it's probably a minor issue, there's probably a good reason why it's there. I would imagine a bit of double sided tape, or glue would fix it, and I'm off to my local dealer the get them to have a look. PG
     
DakRT
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Nov 5, 2003, 12:01 PM
 
Is this your ownly machine? Is your 12" a Rev B? I went to compusa yesterday to take a look at the powerbooks. The 12" is very light. I was impressed. Have you done any video editing or have you ran virtual pc on there? How is the speed?

Originally posted by all2ofme:
I run Photoshop on mine almost every time I'm on the machine. It's not quite as fast as my 1GHz 17" PB was, but it's not far off. Perhaps some of that could be put down to having 768MB of RAM in the 12" and 1GB in the 17".

Either way, I'm much happier when it comes to taking my 12" out the front door
DakRT
     
videian28
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Nov 5, 2003, 12:09 PM
 
Iam in love with mine, all except the wobble which I have yet to get fixed
     
all2ofme
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Nov 5, 2003, 03:47 PM
 
Yes, it's my only machine and it's the 1GHz model. I've not done any video editing but my Photoshop work is reasonably intensive (several 70MB files at the same time in PShop while I scan another few at the same res.

I've never run VirtualPC either.

Originally posted by DakRT:
Is this your ownly machine? Is your 12" a Rev B? I went to compusa yesterday to take a look at the powerbooks. The 12" is very light. I was impressed. Have you done any video editing or have you ran virtual pc on there? How is the speed?
     
Fellow2000
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Nov 5, 2003, 05:58 PM
 
Originally posted by videian28:
Iam in love with mine, all except the wobble which I have yet to get fixed
I bought the 12" after debating on whether or not to get the 15, and I could not be happier. I don't know how happy I would have been with the 15, but honestly, I have not wanted anything else computer wise since I have gotten this. I have no heat issues, it rarely even gets warm let alone hot. I mean honestly, when I saw warm, I mean luke warm. It is not even noticeable. I have never ever heard a fan if it has one, it is silent. I use PS and dreamweaver all the time so I would expect that I am taxing it but I guess not.

I had the wobble issue also but I was able to fix it. I figured it out that it was wobbling because the battery had about 1mm of play it it, and since the rubber foot is on the battery, it makes the whole machine wobble. To correct this, I simply folded up a piece of paper and placed it in the corner of the battery compartment and then put the battery back in. Now the battery sits perfectly tight with no play in and and the laptop is rock solid. No wobble whatsoever.

I would recommend this machine to anymore.
     
TheIceMan
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Nov 6, 2003, 02:26 AM
 
Fellow2000: Wow, hearing that glowing review from you and having read AssassYn's review confirms my decision to get the 12" PowerBook. Now I just need to get a job so I can get some money to pay for it! ARGHHHHHH.
     
Fellow2000
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Nov 6, 2003, 07:01 AM
 
Originally posted by TheIceMan:
Fellow2000: Wow, hearing that glowing review from you and having read AssassYn's review confirms my decision to get the 12" PowerBook. Now I just need to get a job so I can get some money to pay for it! ARGHHHHHH.
I am not sure if you were talking about my post or if you have read my actual review so I just thought I would tell you about it. Head over to www.bryantsdesign.com and look on the right side under recent entries. There should be one there titled powerbook rev b review or something to that effect. Anyway, glad I could help out and I really don't think that you will have any regrets.

PS.. I have not messed with the style of my archives yet. Don't hate me for the ugliness...
     
Skypat  (op)
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Nov 10, 2003, 03:53 PM
 
Nice to read good things about a powerbook Makes me happy about my choice (getting the 12" instead of the 15").
S k y p a t
     
matrk
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Nov 11, 2003, 09:22 AM
 
a week after i picked up my 12", it's been working the past 2 months with FCP, editing a short film shot on DV. The pb12 is rigged up to an external 17" crt, no problems with spanning, etc.
probably not as swift in rendering as a desktop g4 equivalent, but out in the field, this is as good as any FCP edit tablet's gonna get


Originally posted by DakRT:
Is this your ownly machine? Is your 12" a Rev B? I went to compusa yesterday to take a look at the powerbooks. The 12" is very light. I was impressed. Have you done any video editing or have you ran virtual pc on there? How is the speed?
     
macScot
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Nov 11, 2003, 07:07 PM
 
Got this 12" pBook 7 days ago - after the graphics card in my cube died, which panicked me into getting a backup.
However I had been waiting for a rev B to appear since deciding in January, that the rev A had too many flaws.

I also have a Sony SR31k 10.4" sub-notebook laptop, so many comparisons are against this.

In the first 10 minutes my thougths ran thus:

Good solid feeling, great buid quality +++
What no 10.3 installed ---
Still have to pay 15 for it ---
Seems about 100 overpriced now that the iBook G4 is out --

Screen quality dim and fuzzy looking. ------
The 10.4" sony screen is sharp and vibrant: the concept of viewing angle never even entered my mind.
I echo the dissapointment felt my others in this thread that the screen is the worst thing about this apple. ( Never heard the 15" owners complain is the screen significantly better on the 15 and 17 ? )


After the week I am happier:

I'm getting more used to the screen now, and it's clear that the anti-aliasing which makes the Cube's desktop look great on it's 17" LCD, really does not work on 12". Traditional ( PC ) text eg. courier looks as clear as it does on the Sony.
However the 12" pBook up-down viewing angle is unacceptable and I find myself bobbing my head up and down all the time to get into the 10 degree zone of optimal color and contrast. javascript:smilie('')


javascript:smilie('') Now that I have all that off my chest, on to the good points:

It's so quiet ! +++++

The hard disk is a soft hum.
On my sony, I resorted to editing documents on a CF card to stop the disk spinning up and making a racket. I think the pBook disk is also much quieter that the cube's original HD.

The pBook fan is mostly off except when compiling after fink downloads and quiet when it does run +++
The sony's fan was really irritating

DVD running noise is very well under control +++
It would would very difficult even to remember a DVD is running if the sound was muted. Finally got a computer with a DVD javascript:smilie('') I ordered the cube 2 years ago with CD/RW - big mistake should have got a DVD and external CD/RW.
'top' shows DVD playback uses less than 30% CPU leaving lost of spare power for doing other task while watching a DVD in the background.

Audio CD running noise unacceptable ----javascript:smilie('')
The speaker volume needs to be at 3 bars below full scale to equal the motor noise.

No A rev like heat problems : It's cool .. or at most warm. ++
I think the Sony even with it's PIIIm turned down to 500MHz gets hotter.


I am very happy with this powerbook - it did everything I expected of it without any fuss or problems.

OS X's outstanding integration of UNIX and mac lets be pick the best of open source and commercial software, so I can do things quickly and smoothly without the frustration I feel trying to get clones of UNIX scientific tools to run on my PC.

I would happily recommend it to friends over any PC laptop - If they were happy with the screen.

Note to Apple:
Please have a 12" G5 with a decent screen resolution 1280x854 and better viewing angle finished in 2 years time so I can upgrade. javascript:smilie('')
     
fraeone
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Olympia, WA
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Nov 12, 2003, 03:03 AM
 
Note to Apple:
Please have a 12" G5 with a decent screen resolution 1280x854 and better viewing angle finished in 2 years time so I can upgrade.
I have an 18" Desktop LCD with a 1280x1024 resolution that is just at the right balance of size/density. 1280x854 on a 12" screen? You must be kidding. I'm all for a higher quality screen on the 12", but a higher resolution at that small size seems nuts.
     
   
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