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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

PowerBook or iBook?


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scubagal

 
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Member Since: Oct 17, 2004
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Mac Specs: PB G4. 15" 512MB RAM & EMac G4 superdrive

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I have a G3 ibook I bought at a computer show used. It is in my very near futuer to buy a new laptop. What is the difference, other than price, in an iBook and PowerBook? They both run the G4 right? What is it about the PowerBook that should make me buy it over the iBook? While I'm here, let me pose another question: Is Panther and Tiger to OS 10 what SP1 & SP2 are to Windows? That is not meant as a smart@#% comment. I am just ignorant at this point and want to know all I can to recruit more PC users.
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trpnmonkey41

 
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Powerbook uses Faster RAM (PC2700 in pB and PC2100 in iB)
PowerBook has a better graphics card
PowerBook has Gigabit Ethernet (In 15 and 17" models)
PowerBook 80GB HD is faster than iBooks

Updates in Windows are much more insignificant than in OS X. Panther to Tiger is like a XP -> Longhorn jump with new software, improved speed and better stability

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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scubagal

 
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Good to know. Thanks for the info.
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Aptmunich

 
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Actually OS 9 -> OS X is like the windows XP -> Longhorn jump.

Panther -> Tiger is more along the lines of Windows NT -> Windows 2000.
Just better

The reason is that in one case you are adding features, whilst in the other you are changing the way the basic OS works. That's why Steve compared the 2 transitions at WWDC 2004.
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m1k
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Panther -> Tiger is more along the lines of Windows NT -> Windows 2000.
Just better
Actually, it's more like XP to Longhorn. That's what Apple and other analysts have been comparing Panther -> Tiger to.


About the iBook/PowerBook - I'm in the mood for some hardcore, indepth essays about the differences!

DESIGN:
iBook- Very well thought out, probably the best plastic-based laptop out there. Doesn't creak as much as, say, a Dell. Ports very well designed.
PowerBook - The best laptop design I have ever seen. With the aluminum enclosure, it feels very solid. It will never creak when you move it, guaranteed. The port placement is also very nice.

SCREEN:
iBook: Two models, 12" and 14". Both are 1024x768 native resolution, both are VERY high-quality, brighter than the PowerBook's for some reason (!), and very clear. You can only mirror though between two displays.
PowerBook: Three models, 12", 15", 17". 12" is 1024x768, the others are widescreen configurations. Possibly the best laptop screens I have ever seen, except for the iBook's, which are strangely brighter for some reason... You can mirror two displays or you can hook it up so that both displays are side by side, displaying various images.

SOUND:
iBook: Great sound from 2 stereo speakers, parallel to the keyboard. Line-out.
PowerBook: Great sound from 3 speakers (2 stereo, 1 center), on the back. Line-out as well as line-in (great for attaching mics for recording, if you're a musician)

BATTERY:
iBook: 6 hours, amazing!
PowerBook: 5 hours (12"), 4.5 hours (15", 17"). Definitely a difference with the iBook and PowerBook.

KEYBOARD:
iBook: Very well thought out layout. However, keys are often not straight and wear away quickly. My only major gripe with the iBook.
PowerBook: Quite possibly the best keyboard I have ever used. Very good layout. Keys are perfectly straight and don't wear away quickly. Typing is a dream with a PowerBook keyboard.

RAM:
iBook: Max of 1.256 GB of PC2100 RAM
PowerBook: Max of 1.256 GB of PC2700 RAM (12"), max of 2GB of PC2700 RAM (15", 17")

PROCESSOR:
iBook: 1.2GHz and 1.33GHz, 133MHz system bus
PowerBook: 1.33GHz to 1.5GHz, 167MHz system bus

OPTICAL DRIVES:
iBook: 12" only combo, 14" combo/SuperDrive
PowerBook: All models either combo or SuperDrive

HARD DRIVE:
iBook: 30GB-60GB
PowerBook: 60GB-80GB

TRACKPAD:
iBook: Great tactile feel, better than the PowerBook trackpad in my opinion, although it starts to wear away rather quickly
PowerBook: OK, but not as good a feel as the iBook's trackpad. Doesn't wear away though.

FIREWIRE:
iBook: FireWire 400 only
PowerBook: FireWire 400 (12"), FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 (15" and 17")

GRAPHICS:
iBook: ATI Radeon 9200 32MB
PowerBook: Nvidia GeForce FX GO 5200 64 MB (12"), ATI Radeon 9700 64MB (or 128MB upgrade)




Sorry, that was long, wasn't it... Hope it helps.
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rberry88

 
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Mac Specs: 17" Flat Panel iMac -15" 1.5GHz, 80GB HDD, 128MB ATI video card, 1GB RAM- PowerBook

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I was on the same fence about 2 weeks ago, on whether to buy the iBook or PowerBook.

I decided on the 15" Powerbook for a few reasons (mostly personal):

1. Powerbook has the faster RAM and can take more of it.
2. Was able to upgrade the Hard drive to 80GB.
3. Was able to upgrade the video card to the ATI 128MB version
4. The DVI out is better (for lack of a better term)

I needed a laptop that will last me 3-5 years so I really was looking at the growth of things in the future, especially with Tiger coming and the extra space (HDD) and capacity of RAM that it could hold.

I'm not saying the iBook isn't good, it just wasn't going to fill my needs down the line as I won't be able to get a new laptop for a while.

Just my 2 cents.

Looking for a PowerMac G4 for $500 or less USD.
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