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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > HELP! New PowerBook Purchase?

HELP! New PowerBook Purchase?
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davisrg
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Jan 27, 2006, 11:03 PM
 
I need a new notebook for work. The MacBook Pro looks nice, but I don't trust first revisions, and most of the software I will be using isn't universal yet (Creative Suite 2, Office 2004, etc.). I am looking at a PowerBook G4 12-inch. I LOVE the size of that machine and I like how solid it feels. I've owned previous revisions in the past of all PowerBook G4s (12, 15 and 17-inch) and I've always liked the 12-inch best. The only other option is to wait for the new iBooks (MacBooks) -- but I assume they will still be made of white polycarbonate material, of which I am not a fan. I predict that the PowerBook G4 12-inch will become VERY popular AFTER it's EOL (end of life), just as the iPod mini has. Is it a bad idea to purchase one? Are those of you who currently own 12-inchs happy with them? According to what I've read, it seems very unlikely that Apple is going to release a 12-inch MacBook Pro. It would appear that the only choice for a small form-factor notebook will be the new iBooks (or MacBooks, should they change the name).

Your thoughts please ...
PowerBook G4 12-inch 1.5GHz/1.25GB/80GB/SD
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icruise
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Jan 27, 2006, 11:47 PM
 
If you can wait a few months, I would see what they're going to release. The 12" is pretty nice, but its screen is low resolution and on the dim side. Otherwise, it's a very solid machine, but I have a feeling that you'll be able to get a much nicer Intel-based machine later this year.
     
davisrg  (op)
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Jan 28, 2006, 12:07 AM
 
But, do I really WANT an Intel-based Mac this soon? It will certainly be mid to late next year before many applications are converted to Universal Binaries, and some may take longer than that. From what I've read, Intel Macs, using Rosetta for the emulation layer, are running PowerPC apps, which of course is 99% of what's out there, at about 1/3 the speed of PowerPC Macs.
PowerBook G4 12-inch 1.5GHz/1.25GB/80GB/SD
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brettcamp
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Jan 28, 2006, 12:47 AM
 
The question about whether to get a MacIntel depends on what apps you're using now and when they're likely to get Universal Binary versions; lots of threads about this issue on these forums.

As for the 12" PB -- I had one for a couple years. Loved the keyboard, the size, the solidity of it. The screen just wasn't big enough, particularly when so many apps use palettes (Inspectors or whatever). I sold it to buy a 15" PB last fall, and the brightness, resolution, and size of its widescreen display are far superior, so much so that I use it as a desktop replacement and was also able to sell my external display. Now I have a great screen whether I'm traveling or working at my desk.

But if you're going to use the 12" with an external DVI display most of the time, and need that portability because you commute or carry it around a lot, it might be worth it.

I'd still wait to see what's coming; there'll have to be a small-size MacBook or MacBook pro in the next few weeks, I'd imagine. Even if you don't like it, you'll be able to find 12" PBs as refurbs or closeouts, and they'll get a lot cheaper when their Intel replacements are released, whether they're 12" or 13" or whatever.
     
Timetheus
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Jan 28, 2006, 12:06 PM
 
From what I've read over in the iMac forum, those who've field tested rosetta have been impressed - definitly better than "1/3 performance" when compared to current G4 powerbooks.
     
icruise
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Jan 28, 2006, 01:30 PM
 
I think maybe he was confused. Some comparisons between the iMac G5 and the new iMac Core Duo may have said that the Intel machine runs Rosetta applications at a fraction of the speed of the G5, but the G5 is considerably faster than the PowerBook G4. If you were to compare the MacBook Pro (which uses the same processor as the new iMacs) to the old PowerBook G4s, the comparison would be much more favorable. That's simply because the PowerBooks are pretty slow compared to G5s. The Intel machines running programs in Rosetta are not going to be faster than the G4s, certainly, but it's not such a big difference. I'd say that most programs that I've tried in Rosetta on my new 17" iMac are comparable in speed to my 1.33Ghz PowerBook G4, although they take longer to start up, and some things are slightly less responsive.

That said, if you use something like Photoshop professionally, you'd be well advised to wait until it's available as a universal binary.
     
davisrg  (op)
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Jan 28, 2006, 09:31 PM
 
Hmm ... Most people seem to recommend waiting. Yet, the only thing to wait for is likely a 13" widescreen iBook (MacBook) or a smaller MacBook Pro. From the rumors I've read, it would seem that no plans exist for a small form factor MacBook Pro. Only a 15" and later a 17". The larger machines are not a good choice for me, as I travel often. Do those of you who currently own PowerBook G4 12-inchers intend on keeping them or upgrading? If I purchase one, do you think it would last me a while before being outdated and unusable?
PowerBook G4 12-inch 1.5GHz/1.25GB/80GB/SD
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Peabo
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Jan 28, 2006, 10:03 PM
 
The current line of powerbooks are already outdated and have been for some time. I wouldn't buy one now if I were you. Even the MacBook Pro using Rosetta would give you better performance than the PowerBooks.
LC 16Mhz • LC 475 25Mhz • Centris 650 25Mhz • Performa 6200/75Mhz • G3 266Mhz • Snow iMac DVSE 500Mhz
G4 QS 733Mhz • 17" Powerbook 1.33Ghz • 15" MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.16Ghz • Mac Pro 8-Core 3.0 Ghz
     
   
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