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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?" :)

Yet another iBook vs PowerBook query


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elanthis
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Hi all,

I'm getting ready to buy a new laptop, but am having a hard time deciding between a PowerBook and an iBook. It would be a no brainer if it wasn't for the $700 difference in price between the two models I'm considering. ;-)

Most of my needs for the machine are very light. I don't do much gaming (most of which I do is either done on a GameCube or a PC), so the laptop will mostly be used for lounging around at home browsing the web, doing schoolwork, listening to iTunes purchased music and watching movies. The real kicker, however, is that I do plan on doing a lot of programming on the machine, altho it won't be my main development machine (I'd rather stick with a desktop with bigger cache and faster hard-disks when possible).

The iBook I'm looking at is the 14" 933mhz model, with 128MB of RAM (I'll buy and install an upgrade on my own), 40GB hard-disk, combo-drive, and airport extreme. I've heard these get kind of dirty and are hard to clean, and the limit of 1024x768 is slightly unappealing (tho that's no worse than my current 14.1" laptop with the same max res).

The PowerBook I'm looking at is the 15.2" 1ghz model, 256MB of RAM (again, I'll upgrade on my own), 60GB disk, and airport extreme. I'm also looking at the slightly faster 1.25ghz model, with an unfortunate minimum of 512MB of RAM (too expensive from Apple), and otherwise the same specs as the first PowerBook. (I downgraded from the superdrive and downgraded to the 60gb disk.) The second PowerBook will cost yet an additional $200. The second model also has the backlit keyboard.

I'm wondering if, for my needs, do I really *need* the PowerBook? For movies, is the 1024x768 resolution good enough? (I buy wide-screen DVDs whenever possible.) For developers - does the 1ghz (or even 1.25 ghz) processor make enough of a difference to be worth that much money? Also, are the additional benefits of the PowerBook worth the increases size and weight and decreased battery life? Just how much difference *is* there in battery life? For someone who wants to avoid wires as much as possible, would the longer battery life make a noticable difference?

Again, this laptop won't be my main machine. Most of my time with a computer will be at work (with a box that I wouldn't dream of replacing with a laptop from any manufacturer) or at my home desktop (again, much better than any laptop from any manufacturer). The laptop is likely to go stretches of several days or more without seeing any use at all.

Thanks all!
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Fomer
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As a powerbook owner and someone who as used their friends ibook on countless times, I feel I could answer this.

1024x768 is standard universal size, so yeah its fine. The Ibook has a sharp display!

The boost in speed is a difference, of course. But with as minimal time you'll be putting this bad-boy to use I'd say no you don't need it.

Powerbook is slightly more powerful, at least from point of view. Powerbook shows dirt and sweat stains... not a positive. However the PB is a sinch to clean, but easier dirt easier clean just means your cleaning more.

A longer battery life will absolutly make a difference, if wishing to avoid wires. Alternative.... buy a spare battery. Otherwise I don't think it matters if your not video-editing or what not your batterylife should stay up there if your just going to have a few small apps and the browser open. Charging laptops does become a pain. But you'll get used to it.

As a computer you stated would not be pushed to its full extint and just used for browsing not even your main home computer. I would save yourself 700 bucks for ram and external hd (if you want one) or whatever.

Ibook should more than suit your needs.
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elanthis
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Hmm, alright. Thank you. I think I'll make one stop over at CompUSA (Apple stores are too far away, especially in the weather we've been having lately) to take look before placing my order. Thanks for your input!
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jonnyturner
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also the ibook comes with 256 DDR not 128
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rcsskier
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ibook my friend. Get apple care too
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FieldDoc
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iBook gets another vote. I am a recent switcher to Apple, having come from a P4 2.8Ghz IBM lappy I am more than happy with the power of my 14" iBook and you just can't beat the battery life on these things!

Also, don't be too taken by the look of the PBs, I feel the IBs look great too - especially since the G4 upgrade with the change to a matt white finish.
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supenguin
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I just got an ibook g3 and am quite happy with it. I got the 12" and the screen looks great, performance is snappy. Of course this coming from someone who is upgrading from an Pentium 3 866 running Windows XP.
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ghenrytaylor
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The iBook gets my vote too. I recenyly gave up a pent II 433 for a used 700 iBook. Best move I've made. Do get the AppleCare, and good luck.
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gitboxnat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elanthis
Hi all,

I'm getting ready to buy a new laptop, but am having a hard time deciding between a PowerBook and an iBook. It would be a no brainer if it wasn't for the $700 difference in price between the two models I'm considering. ;-)

Most of my needs for the machine are very light. I don't do much gaming (most of which I do is either done on a GameCube or a PC), so the laptop will mostly be used for lounging around at home browsing the web, doing schoolwork, listening to iTunes purchased music and watching movies. The real kicker, however, is that I do plan on doing a lot of programming on the machine, altho it won't be my main development machine (I'd rather stick with a desktop with bigger cache and faster hard-disks when possible).

The iBook I'm looking at is the 14" 933mhz model, with 128MB of RAM (I'll buy and install an upgrade on my own), 40GB hard-disk, combo-drive, and airport extreme. I've heard these get kind of dirty and are hard to clean, and the limit of 1024x768 is slightly unappealing (tho that's no worse than my current 14.1" laptop with the same max res).

The PowerBook I'm looking at is the 15.2" 1ghz model, 256MB of RAM (again, I'll upgrade on my own), 60GB disk, and airport extreme. I'm also looking at the slightly faster 1.25ghz model, with an unfortunate minimum of 512MB of RAM (too expensive from Apple), and otherwise the same specs as the first PowerBook. (I downgraded from the superdrive and downgraded to the 60gb disk.) The second PowerBook will cost yet an additional $200. The second model also has the backlit keyboard.

I'm wondering if, for my needs, do I really *need* the PowerBook? For movies, is the 1024x768 resolution good enough? (I buy wide-screen DVDs whenever possible.) For developers - does the 1ghz (or even 1.25 ghz) processor make enough of a difference to be worth that much money? Also, are the additional benefits of the PowerBook worth the increases size and weight and decreased battery life? Just how much difference *is* there in battery life? For someone who wants to avoid wires as much as possible, would the longer battery life make a noticable difference?

Again, this laptop won't be my main machine. Most of my time with a computer will be at work (with a box that I wouldn't dream of replacing with a laptop from any manufacturer) or at my home desktop (again, much better than any laptop from any manufacturer). The laptop is likely to go stretches of several days or more without seeing any use at all.

Thanks all!

get iBOOK.
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TylerMoney
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I got the powerbook, cause I'll need that extra boost in power for projects and what not.....and also cause aluminium is sexy...but for what you need, I'm thinking the ibook would be perfect...and the new ones look even snazier than the old.
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Toniee
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iBook! iBook! iBook! iBook! iBook! iBook! iBook! iBook!
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Haylcron
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I warn you, I got my powerbook solely for programming (the video card in my linux box fried itself and I needed a replacement) and I didn't expect to push it hard. And while I'm sure an ibook would have sufficed, I wanted all the video output options on the powerbook. Also, I know you say nothing will replace your main machines, but if they are windows or even linux, I wouldn't be so sure. I'm not one to bash windows, in fact I love windows and before I got the powerbook, I felt nothing could touch my windows XP... and now, I'm in love with OS X... my laptop has replaced my desktop.

ok, so my rant is saying, buy more than you think you'll need b/c you might be surprised. It's always better to look back and say well, I got too much as opposed to I wish this thing was faster.

I vote powerbook.
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VastDeathmaster
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I would go for the Powerbook if you can. All the cables plug into the back. In my opinion if you are going to drop a laptop, it will land on its side first. The powerbook has all its connections in back and its slot loading cd at the front.
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gort

 
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Um, My powerbook does not have a single plug in the back. They're all on the side.
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rman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gort
Um, My powerbook does not have a single plug in the back. They're all on the side.
The older ones like mine have the plugs in the back. The newer ones are on the side like yours.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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