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Should I get a powerbook of iBook, I'm not sure

B

Bohemian

Guest
I need help deciding whether to buy a Powerbook or an iBook. Currently I own an IBM Thinkpad T23. It broke, and is getting repaired by the company. My plans are to sell it on eBay once fixed and use that money to help offset the price. I am taking out a student loan over the summer to pay for summer classes, and I am able to take out much more than I need, therefore, I can get another laptop. I hope you are following me here.

This is basically what I do daily: Write, chat, some image editing, browse the web, research, type reports, upload photos, IRC.

I'm in college going for a tri-major: philosophy, mathematics, and theoretical physics, so I will start using some intense programs like Mathematics.

I wouldn't mind being able to play a few games. I bought my first Mac a month ago (a Mac Mini) and I love it, except you can't play any graphic intense games on it, eg., Tom Clancy Rainbow Six. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT an intense gamer, I would just like that option, *I think*. I do have an Xbox, so maybe I should just settle with that.

So, should I get a fifteen inch powerbook, with how much ram, or a 14 inch ibook, with how much ram?

Thanks!
Chris
 
J

Jefe3223

Guest
This is a question we get quite often. I think it all depends on what you want and what you're using it for. You sound a lot like me (playing a few games, but mostly just regualr use), I have a ibook, 14inch 512 mb. I love it and think it's great. I, personally, have no need for the power of a powerbook (but that's not to say it's bad). I think the biggest question comes to memory. I (once again, personally) find 512 to be perfectly fine to run my ibook and have used no where near that amount of space. Some people prefer the 1gig. The one gig is fine and is great if you're going to store a lot of big programs and such on it. It's really your own call.

ps. good luck with the multi-major thing. I'm very content with only one major to worry about. hahaha
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
Hello,

I figured you would get this question a lot.

I have 512 in my Mini, and when iTunes is playing, my system bogs down, I don't know if it's because of memory or the bus speed. I don't want that to happen in my *book.

I just don't know if I can justify the 500 dollar price difference.

Cheers,
Chris

PS Thanks, I'm doing all right now: I finished HS at 16, and I did 24 credits last semester and 21 this semester, and I hold a 3.9 so I am doing all right.
 
J

Jefe3223

Guest
Well, I've seen the same thing happen on my roommate's pc...but i run itunes, ichat, adium, safari, and other program or two and I don't notice anything. I thought the mac mini came with only 256, i am obviously mistaken. haha. Yeah, I've never noticed a slowdown, but maybe you'll want the gig. Some people here always say "it's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it." I say I don't need it and I don'd have it. hahaha. It all depends on if the $500 tag is worth it to you...don't forget a student discount (greatest invention ever).

ps. you're a freakin' genious AND crazy. I'll be happy if i'm done in 4 years total (when I'm an old fart @ 22), and if I have to do more than 18 hours, I'm not a happy camper. hahah

Add on: if you want some more reading, you can check out this thread (with some more links attached, haha).
http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16396
 
K

Kokopelli

Guest
Whether you get a PowerBook or iBook I would strongly recommend you get the laptop with the base memory and upgrade it yourself to at least 1.25 GB. While this may seem excessive it is better to have an excess of memory than to find you need it. Also the upgrade is not terribly expensive if you perform the upgrade yourself.

I prefer the Powerbook line to the iBook line but the iBooks do have the advantage of being a bit sturdier as well as significantly less expensive.
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
Hello.

The Mac Mini does come with 256, I upgraded to 512. With the student discount, I think the Powerbook config I want comes to 1900 without the warranty.

Cheers,
Chris

P.S. My psychiarist says the same thing (that I'm crazy)
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
Can I ask what makes you prefer the Powerbook over the iBook? Isn't a 12 inch screen pretty small to be viewing on?
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
These are the two systems I built up:

iBook

• 768MB DDR266 (256MB built-in & 512MB SO-DIMM)
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive
• Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
• AirPort Extreme Card
• Keyboard & Mac OS X - U.S. English
• AppleCare Protection Plan for iBook
• 14-inch TFT XGA display
• 1.33GHz PowerPC G4
• ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/ 32MB DDR video memory

Estimated Ship:
1-3 business days
Free Shipping
Subtotal $1,562.00


Powerbook


• 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 w/ 64MB VRAM
• 1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 2x512 SO-DIMMs
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400 rpm
• Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
• AirPort Extreme Card
• Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
• ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
• 15.2-inch TFT Display

Estimated Ship:
1-3 business days
Free Shipping
Subtotal $1,934.00
 
I

iDVFH.

Guest
Although the Powerbook is obviously the better looking one (15" display, back-lit keyboard etc.) I would suggest the iBook and get at least 768 MB of RAM..the Powerbook is really made for a business person that is using it for heavier duties other than chatting , web surfing etc. You will love the iBook..i LOVE mine lol
 
K

Kokopelli

Guest
For the memory upgrade I meant for your proposed laptop. EDIT: Apple supplied memory upgrades are excessively expensive, though perhaps less so with a student discount. You can get a 1GB SODIMM from NewEgg for around $160.

A 12 inch screen takes getting used to but I have been using ultra portables for years now so am used to it. There are a number of ways of mitigating the disadvantage of a smaller screen though. I have a 17" LCD both at home and work so most of the time screen real estate is not an issue. When I am on the road (like now) it is not a major issue either except when working with graphics. I use a combination of QuickSilver triggers, expose, and Virtue to manage my work process. Other people who use my PB are bothered by the screen size but I do not notice anymore. Portability is very important for me.

As to why I prefer the PB line to iBook, the answer is unfortunately long. First is the fact that the PB presents a more professional appearance and has a status symbol advantage. This should not be a concern for you but given the nature of my work and interaction with clients it was a concern for me. Next, the PowerBook can handle split screens without a hack. This is important to me and the way I work. I can live with a single screen for short term use (a day or two) and simple uses such as taking notes, browsing, light coding, etc. However when I am coding or working on complex documents I prefer to have two full screens available to spread things out on. The size of each screen is not as important as the fact that I have two of them. I can live with just one screen but two is how I am used to working now. The GPU is also slightly better and capable of better handling some of the projected features in Tiger. This was not a consideration at the time of purchase for me but I figured I might as well mention it.

The reality is at 12" the iBook is a better purchase for 90% of users targeting that size. My priorities are different from most users though. It is a little less clear at the mid sized range. At 15" the PB, which is targeted at business and professional users, has a faster CPU and GPU, FW800, bluetooth, swanky lit keyboard, and the capability of upgrading to 2GB of RAM. The iBook, which is targeted at consumers, is less expensive, sturdier, and capable of handling most tasks with a reasonable user experience, though of necessity slower than the corresponding PB.

For a student I would go with the iBook unless you see some feature available in the PB that is not available in the iBook. The extra speed is nice but not a critical factor IMHO for non-gaming use. (Sorry for the long response.)
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
Thank you for your response. I am still not sure which way to go. I am going to go to the Apple store and check out the 12 inch screen and see if I can deal with it. If I can, I'll get a 12inch powerbook, if not, I'll go with the 14 inch iBook...I think.
 
J

Jefe3223

Guest
good call. And good luck with the choice and your insane studies.
 
U

untoastytoast

Guest
The ibook has half as much video ram as a pb, you should probably take that into consideration if you play to do light gaming and such .
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
How many hours of battery life does your 12 inch powerbook get?
 
K

Kokopelli

Guest
About 5 hours of nomal use with the brightness cranked down. I can make it through an entire DVD with juice to spare but using the optical drive sucks down power.
 
B

Bohemian

Guest
I think I am going to go with the 12 inch powerbook. It is very portable and when needed, can be hooked into an external mointor. It also fits my price. Since it is a few hundred less than the 15 inch, I can afford to get an iPod photo as well. Get stock ram and upgrade from an upgrade at Crucial or newegg, right?

How does all this sound?

CHeers,
Chris
 
U

untoastytoast

Guest
Bohemian said:
I think I am going to go with the 12 inch powerbook. It is very portable and when needed, can be hooked into an external mointor. It also fits my price. Since it is a few hundred less than the 15 inch, I can afford to get an iPod photo as well. Get stock ram and upgrade from an upgrade at Crucial or newegg, right?

How does all this sound?

CHeers,
Chris
Thats what i plan to do when i get my pb. You can get a 1 gig stick of ram for around 140 from newegg, which will put your pb to 1.25 gigs of ram, which is the max amount. I would get a case/sleeve for your powerbook too and maybe an extra battery if you plan to take it on the road with you.
 
O

ocie

Guest
thats exactly what im doing... my powerbook is on its way as i type this!
 
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