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Any reason not to buy a 12" Powerbook?

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loGan

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Since picking up my Ipod a year or so ago I have rediscovered Apple after a break of many many years and consequently am considering picking up a Powerbook.

I used to have an apple way back when they were a single beige box with a monocrome screen and back then i thought it was the bee's knees then 3dfx came along and I migrated to a PC where I have remained ever since but the purchase of the Ipod, using Itunes and my brother picking up a 17" powerbook have me lusting after an Apple again.

Panther looks absolutely incredible and as I am getting a little sick of lugging my fat assed Dell Laptop around so the little 12" powerbook looks like the perfect solution to satisfying my techno lust whilst also providing me with a lighter carry on whilst travelling.

I want to use it not only for travelling but also at home on a wifi network to my PC for musical fun and games.

Any input would be welcome and perhaps someone can explain to me what the difference is between the 12" Powerbook and its cheaper Ibook equivalent. (Apart from the fact that the Powerbook looks a lot cooler and costs more) ??

Thanks.
 

TheFly

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The only reason I'm not getting one myself is the money.

My next laptop/big computer purchase will most definitely be an Apple Laptop.
 

Bob

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The specs for the iBook and PB -

iBook
12-inch Combo DriveM9164LL/A
Processor 800MHz PowerPC G4
Level 2 Cache 256K at 800MHz
System bus 133MHz
Memory (DDR SDRAM) 256MB, expandable to 640MB
Hard drive(5) 30GB Ultra ATA
Optical drive Slot-loading Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Display 12.1-inch (diagonal) 1024x768 resolution TFT XGA
Graphics support ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM
FireWire One FireWire 400 port at up to 400 mbps
USB Two USB 2.0 ports (480-Mbps each)
VGA, S-video and composite video output
Video mirroring supports VGA video out to an external display or projector (requires included Apple VGA Video Adapter) and S-video and composite video out to a TV or VCR (requires optional Apple Video Adapter, sold separately).
Modem (6)
Built-in 56K V.92 modem
Ethernet Built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
Wireless support AirPort Extreme ready; optional internal Bluetooth module available
System Software
Mac OS X version 10.3 ?Panther"

Powerbook
12-inch Combo drive M9007LL/A or 12-inch SuperDrive M9008LL/A
Processor 1GHz PowerPC G4
Cache 512K SRAM level 2 cache
Memory 256MB PC2100 (266MHz) DDR SDRAM
Display 12.1-inch (diagonal), 1024x768 resolution, TFT
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM
Hard disk drive 40GB Ultra ATA/100
Slot-loading optical drive
Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) or SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
Ethernet Built-in 10/100BASE-T
Wireless Built-in Bluetooth; 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme ready
Modem Built-in 56K V.92 modem
Keyboard Full size
System software Mac OS X version 10.3 ?Panther?

I have set up my 14" iBook and W98 Desktop PC on a WiFi network using a Netgear DGM 824M router - Airport card in the iBook and wireless PCI card in the PC and it works just fine.
 

MikeM

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I haven't seen the lastest iBooks in person but with the older models there was a huge difference in the quality of the display when compared to the powerbooks.

Are you anywhere near an Apple store? It may be worth a long drive to try them out first.
 

m.r.m.

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i recently got the ti 12" pb and i?m extremely pleased with it. now i even have wireless internet under the shower! :D

one thing (by no means a reason not to buy, but noteworthy imho) is that the g4 gets really hot. it?s very noticeable on the left handrest and your lap of course. ;) the fan then starts a little faster (louder) but the heat buildup pretty much remains at a constant level then.

during german winters it?s quite nice as a finger warmer. :D
 

loGan

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Thanks for all your info guys. I need to go and have a look/feel to compare the two in the flesh as the difference in tech specs is not that great as far as I can see. I believe the Ibook now has a 1Gig G4 CPU also MadPict though I'm not sure if it still has the smaller L2 cache.
 

Bob

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loGan,
It does but only with the 14" display - the L2 cache is also 256k @1ghz.
To be honest, I don't like the latest iBooks - they replaced the brushed metal keyboard surround/fingerplate with a white plastic stuff that looks cheap and gets dirty real quick. If you see one next to the PB then you'll see what I mean.

Prithvi,
I use a Roadtools Podium Coolpad with my iBook for the very reason you cite - heat. The increase in angle also makes it a little more comfortable to use.
 

Preppy

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Nope, no reason you shouldn't get one. SO BUY ONE! :D

I bought my 17" after living with PC's for 12 years....I dont regret it at all. My next choice would have been the 12" for portability but I decided that 17" is too nice to pass up.
 

loGan

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Thanks again for all the comments/advice.

@MadPict - You are absolutely right. I saw G4 and thought 1Gig. I had a quick look at an IBook yesterday and aesthetically it didn't do it for me. I have a feeling it would go the way of my Contour Showcase getting mucky very quickly.


@ Preppy - It was really my brother and his 17" Powerbook that converted me. It is simply a work of art and the software has come a very long way since I last used an apple. I gave my mother an IMac a few years ago and even that OS I found a bit clunky but Jaguar and Panther (OSX i guess) are simply a revelation.

My mind is made up, now I just need to scrape together the cash and find the best deal on 60Gigs and 512Mb mem and perhaps an Airport card.
 

loGan

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One question I forgot to ask above is about upgradeability. Is it possible to swap out graphics cards on Mac Laptops? I would hazard a guess no but its worth asking!

The only niggling doubt I have about the 12" is in the Fx5200 GPU which is a pretty shocking graphics card by anyone's standards. Perhaps on the small screen at 1024 it doesn't really matter and you don't buy a 12" screen for serious graphical work either but it would be nice to know I could play the odd game of Quake if I wanted to.
 
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