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12" or 15"???

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I am about to make the "switch" and I am unsure which powerbook to get!

I am drawn to the ultra portability of the 12 inch, but i am worried that the 12 inch screen will be limiting for day-to-day use (it would be my main computer)...

the power of the 15 inch attracts me...i bet the 1.5 ghz P4 with 128mg of video and 512mg of RAM would rock my sox, and play UT2004 really well...plus the backlit keyboard is quite simply fantastic.

so my decision has come down to the portability factor...would the 15 inch be tough to carry around everyday? is the 12 inch screen too small and impractical for everyday use?

let me know what you guys think i should do...i am leaning in either direction...
post #2 of 57
personally, i would get the 15", but that's because i do video editing, and i like a larger screen (too bad i don't have a PB ), and i like it's more powerful, and has a bigger screen, so, that's my vote
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post #3 of 57
If this will serve as your primary computer, go with the largest screen you can afford and load up the RAM as much as possible. A little money spent now will prevent regrets down the road. If you cannot afford the 17" PB, then go for the 15" PB. The 12" PB is an excellent machine, but can be very limiting as a primary computer.
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post #4 of 57
I have a similar situation. I actually have a 1GHz 12inch PB and a 1.5GHz 15 PB right now and have to sell one. I too am torn. I love the 12 for it's portability and I actually like the feel of it for typing. I do love the 15's screen but I am really torn on what to do. I do know one thing....if I don't sell one of them the wife is gonna strangle me and it wont matter.
post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by chipz
If this will serve as your primary computer, go with the largest screen you can afford and load up the RAM as much as possible. A little money spent now will prevent regrets down the road. If you cannot afford the 17" PB, then go for the 15" PB. The 12" PB is an excellent machine, but can be very limiting as a primary computer.

i wouldnt buy the 17"...its enourmous, and not really good for day-to-day portability...

what about the 12 inch with an external apple display, keyboard and mouse? i cant afford all that stuff right now, but certainly in the future... does that sound like a good idea, or is the 15 inch the best way to go?

thanks for the imput!
post #6 of 57
17" if you can

15" if you travel a lot (I mean _A_ _L_O_T_)!

12" no.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
i wouldnt buy the 17"...its enourmous, and not really good for day-to-day portability...

what about the 12 inch with an external apple display, keyboard and mouse? i cant afford all that stuff right now, but certainly in the future... does that sound like a good idea, or is the 15 inch the best way to go?

thanks for the imput!

If you can afford the 15", then get it (the wide screen, FW800, pci card are worth it).
I own a 12", but i have a Power Mac, for home use. You'll soon want an external monitor for desk use w/ a 12"as your main computer. But you'll probably be carrying around the laptop all the time when you get wireless hooked up in your house (on the couch, kitchen table). So you'll have a monitor/keyboard/mouse you'll rarely use.

Unless you have real portability/space issues (you have lots of equipment to carry around along w/ your powerbook) then opt for the 15".
post #8 of 57
I just sold my nice 12 inch little iBook to help relieve the financial burden that my purchase of a near maxed out 17inch powerbook brings.

I love my ibook - absoluetly perfect, but I feel like I always need a little bit more room for my documents...

When I get my 17 in the next week, I'll report back and tell all if it was worth the upgrade.

Regards,

Ribot.
post #9 of 57
Don't mean to pick on the new folks, but...

Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
1.5 ghz P4 with 128mg of video and 512mg of RAM would rock my sox

P4? Hee hee hee. Wow, Apple really slipped this under the radar.

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post #10 of 57
I went from a 15" TiBook to a 12" AlBook and never regretted it. If portability matters to you, you might find like I did that the size difference can feel substantial at times. I'm using my 12" PowerBook around the house much more often than I ever used my 15" simply because it's so much nicer to carry around. (To be fair, the AlBook improvement in Airport reception over the TiBook -- which has nothing to do with 12" vs. 15" -- is part of the equation too.)

Now, I certainly wouldn't want to be limited the 12-incher's 1024x768 display all of the time, so if I had to use my 12" AlBook as my primary system, I'd definitely want to have an external monitor for home use. But for casual use (like lounging on the sofa as I'm doing at this moment, typing this message) I've found the 12" display quite adequate.

As for performance, a recent MacWorld review said the for most uses the performance differences across the board from the 1.33 GHz 12" PB to the 1.5 GHz 17" were fairly small.

The main features missing from the 12" vs. the 15" are: no PC card slot, no FireWire 800, no lighted keyboard option, and 100 Mbps ethernet instead of gigabit ethernet. None of these matter much to me, so I don't mind giving them up for increased portability.
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post #11 of 57
I hate to break it to you, but any G4-based Apple computer cannot play UT24k "really well". The G4 is comparable to a Pentium 3 for gaming. If you want to game, get a PC (even a laptop PC) as they are vastly superior for this purpose.
post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Existence
I hate to break it to you, but any G4-based Apple computer cannot play UT24k "really well". The G4 is comparable to a Pentium 3 for gaming. If you want to game, get a PC (even a laptop PC) as they are vastly superior for this purpose.

not looking for a gaming laptop...

and i am sure any powerbook will play this game better than my inspiron 4000 (configured with a p3/800mhz, 256mg ram and 8mb video).
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
thanks for your suggestions...it looks like i'll be getting the 15 incher...

So can anyone speculate on what the tech specs are going to be for the next generation of powerbooks??? I plan on getting my powerbook in august (thats when i'll have the dough)...but if overwhelmingly better powerbooks are coming out in december, then i'll certainly wait till then. any thoughts???

thanks guys.
post #14 of 57
awesome dude, have fun with it, and, uh, be good!
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post #15 of 57
Thread Starter 
lol, thanks, but now i am back to square one...

I can buy a 12 inch powerbook, 80gig, 5400 rpm HD, with a 17 inch flat panel, bluetooth keyboard and apple care for 2500 bucks... (edu discount)

for 30 bucks more, i can get a 15 inch powerbook with 512mg of ram (1 stick), 1.5 ghz, 128mb video, apple care, and an 80 gig 5400 rpm drive...

which is the better option???

lol...i am so torn...
post #16 of 57
I hear ya Wes, (now did that sound like something Angel or Gunn would have said )..

I went thru the same thing not so long ago (it turns up hopefully in a day or so!!), I went with the 15" thinking that I would be just happier with the screen when using the pbook portably... wether I should have got a 12" ibook and a g5 imac shall be see yet nono spesh the the price.. my precious will be here soon...
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by gsxrboy
I hear ya Wes, (now did that sound like something Angel or Gunn would have said )..

nice to find someone else who likes the show

anyways, i maintain that the 15" is the way to go, what happens if you don't have your 17" screen on ya, you gonna "suffer" with a 12" go for the 15, all the way!
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post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
thanks for the suggestions, but now i am actually leaning towards the 12"/17" monitor combo...

i will prolly buy the powerbook by the end of the summer, then the monitor by the holidays (maybe newer ones will be out), and i will know by that time whether or not i actually want an external monitor.

it's the power of the 15 inch that draws me to it...how do the 12 inch and 15 inch compare when it comes to raw power? is UT2004 unplayable on the 12 inch? (this would be the only game i would care to buy...)

thanx alot,

Wes
post #19 of 57
I had the same questions running through my head...

I have a dual 2GHz G5 with a 20" Cinema display, so I decided that the 12" would be best for me. I'm getting the ADC/DVI adapter so I can hook the PB up to my display when I need to.

I don't have any FW800 devices, so that's not a problem.

Also, the PB will be hooked up to the wireless network instead of the wired network so the 10/100/1000Mb LAN isn't an issue either.

The only thing that made me really think about it was the PCMCIA slot and the "coolness" factor of the 15". I decided that I can survive without the PCMCIA slot because I could probably get most devices to work with USB anyway. That only left the "coolness" factor... my wallet said "no" to the "coolness"
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post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
it's the power of the 15 inch that draws me to it...how do the 12 inch and 15 inch compare when it comes to raw power? is UT2004 unplayable on the 12 inch? (this would be the only game i would care to buy...)

Wes

Someone stated above that notebooks are NOT good for games... I agree! The PB will do ok, but not GREAT. Also, the 12" and 15" are both 1.33GHz, but the 15" also has the 1.5GHz model. I don't really see that much of a difference between those two specs. Of course the 15" has a nicer video chipset, but for day-to-day use, it's not going to make that much of a difference (to me at least). It would help with gaming, but as I stated above (and others have also) PB's are not "gaming machines"...
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post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
thanks for the suggestions, but now i am actually leaning towards the 12"/17" monitor combo...

i will prolly buy the powerbook by the end of the summer, then the monitor by the holidays (maybe newer ones will be out), and i will know by that time whether or not i actually want an external monitor.

it's the power of the 15 inch that draws me to it...how do the 12 inch and 15 inch compare when it comes to raw power? is UT2004 unplayable on the 12 inch? (this would be the only game i would care to buy...)

thanx alot,

Wes

if you can afford the 15', then get it!!

great screen, still very portable and very powerful for a real laptop
(widescreen,fw400&800,pci card,128mb video card,lit keyboard, more ram possible-2gb , slighty more powerful g4)

btw,you WILL want an external monitor if the 12" is your main computer...(i have a 12" powerbook, but use a power mac at my desk)

if you don't plan on much processor intensive work w/ your computer and like the portability, then just save some $$ and get an iBook 12"
post #22 of 57
Wesley, do you have a clear idea where you will be using your PowerBook and for what kind of software?

I have a Rev C 12" PowerBook and find its 1024x768 screen a real pain to use for anything but word processing, email and web browsing. The resolution just sucks IMHO. Mac OS X is such a screen real-estate hog, that I'm surprised Apple does not offer a BTO higher resolution screen for this model.

If you have any other main use for the PowerBook, like PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop, coding, you must get an external screen with a 12" PowerBook.
But of course this renders your PowerBook 'immobile' - so why get a portable machine in the first place?

If you intend to use other applications than word processing, email and web _and_ intend to use it a lot away from your desk (and the external monitor) then I would strongly suggest you get the 15" PowerBook. It has almost 40% more pixels. And the screen quality of the 12" PowerBook is rather poor too, compared to the 15" PowerBook, which has a beautiful screen.
post #23 of 57
im in a similar situation.

i was all set to get the new g5 as my first mac but lately have been checking out the powerbooks and like the idea of being mobile. however i cant decide between the 15 or the 17, and with the 17 only being 300 bucks more than the 15, made me wonder if i should stretch and get that one.

it seems like many of you love your powerbooks, thats good.

i like the 12 but felt it might be too small for my eyes. it seems most buyers are getting the 15, which would have a better resale value, the 15 or the 17? i also read that last year, some 17's were having problems with the hinge, warping, screen problems, etc. have these been fixed with the new models?
post #24 of 57
Wes,

I too was in a very similar situation earlier this year - the 15" is tempting, but I decided to go with the 12" simply for the fact that I would be taking my PowerBook to meetings and when I work off-site.

The PowerBook is also my main machine, so I purchased Apple's bluetooth k/b & mouse and a 23" Cinema Display with the DVI-ADC adaptor. I have no regrets!

As for performance difference, I can kinda see you leaning towards the 15" if you wanna play games as I'm sure the ATI card will server you better (the 128Mb option, right?).

Also, a colleague of mine purchased the exact 15" PB spec you mentioned earlier, it is a gorgeous machine but too big/bulky for me personally, IMO.

My point is, a 12" combined with an external monitor and k/b is a really good combination.

-Ed
post #25 of 57
Well, I'll be 60 in August and my old 15" 667 PB traveled over 200,000 miles with me on business trips - along with a lot of other stuff. Just got a loaded 1.5 gig 15" PB last month (except for memory - just moved it to one stick and my 1 gig stick from Crucial arrived today).

I take the 15" home with me every night and never feel it is too much of a burden in terms of portability. I do love the screen size for day to day work and also for DVDs when on long haul flights - like LA to Sydney.

12" has it's place, but I want my screen with me when I use my PB - no matter where I am. YMMV.
Ken
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Ken
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post #26 of 57
Thread Starter 
thanks for all of your replies! I am still undecided though...

I would be using my computer in class to take notes when i go portable...some of my classes will have those tiny little desks that fold out in front of you...the others are going to be 10 person roundtable seminars (quite the variance)...this is why the 12" pb/17" monitor combo is soo appealing...the 15 inch would be great also, and its power and features tower over the 12 inch...but its just too big!

I am also considering the ibm thinkpad T41p. its an expensive machine, but it has an abundance of features (including a 7200 rpm hard drive, swappable media bay, and 5hrs of battery life), and its an inch thick.

I really want an apple, but the processor is aged, and it doesnt perform as well as the pentium m. my ideal powerbook would have the G5 and 128mb video standard...

what do you think?
post #27 of 57
Wesley,

I'm surprised you're worried about the 15" PowerBook's size, yet consider a T41p at all. Are you aware that the T41p is actually bigger than the 15" PowerBook? (PB15: 13.7x9.5x1.1 WxDxH, T41p: 12.2x10.9x1.0) The IBM is 0,1" thinner, but the WxD dimension is bigger than with the PowerBook.

In any case it is unfair to compare a T41p with a 12" PowerBook. They are not in the same league. Compare only with the 15".

A maxed out T41p (1.5GB RAM, 128MB VRAM 60GB 7200rpm HD, DVD) will cost you $3,939.00 (according to IBM's site)
A maxed out 15" PowerBook (2GB RAM, 128MB VRAM, 80GB 5400rpm HD, DVDRW) will cost you $ 3,799.00 (according to Apple's site)
A maxed out 12" PowerBook (1.256GB RAM, 64MB VRAM 80GB 5400rpm HD, DVDRW) will cost you $2,624.00

IBM vs. 15" PB (with above configs and prices)
- The IBM maxes out at 1.5GB RAM, the PB has 2GB.
- Both have 128MB VRAM.
- The IBM has a top class ATI FireGL pro GPU while the PB has a top class Radeon 9700 consumer GPU. The difference is in the drivers, not the speed or capabilities of the GPU (they are identical).
- IBM has a screen resolution of 1400x1050, the PB has 1280x854.
- 1,7GHz CPU vs. 1.5GHz CPU.
- While you get the faster HD, the PG has 20GB more storage (+33%) yet still a 5400rpm HD, faster than normal 4200rpm drives.
- IBM only has a DVD/CDRW combo drive, the PB has a 4x DVD burner.
- Windows XP vs. OS X.

Deciding
The question you should ask yourself is whether you want to carry around a big and heavy T41p (or 15" PB) or a lighter 12" PB (almost a full pound lighter).

Personally I have lugged a 15" TiBook around for 2 years. Every day. And I grew tired of it. Which is why I decided to go for a 12" PowerBook.
If size and weight is an issue, the 12" PowerBook it is, the T41p is too big and heavy.

If size and weight is not an issue, then ask about price. The IBM is more expensive.

If price is not an issue, you need to ask whether 2GB RAM vs 1.5GB and 80GB HD vs 60GB HD makes a difference to what you want to do. If you need more RAM or storage go for the PB.

If none of this matters, ask whether you need the pro graphics drivers of the FireGL plus higher screen res.
Many users find 1400 resolution too small on a 14.1" display. That's 124dpi, text ends up really tiny. The 15" PB has 101dpi.

If screens don't matter, then ask whether you need the 1.7GHz vs. the 1.5GHz CPU. Hard to say whether the Pentium M is really always faster or better than a G4.

And lastly on the hardware side, ask yourself whether you will ever want to burn DVDs (for holiday movies, backups, etc.).

If none of this is a decisive factor ask yourself whether you prefer to work in WinXP or Mac OS X.
post #28 of 57
Thread Starter 
actually, a t41p is lighter than a 12" pb. The model I am interested in buying would be the 2373-GEU. With a shareholder discount, it would cost 2700 bucks...

I've handled both in person, and I must say, the IBM is the ugliest looking computer ever, but, its features are very impressive.

The touchpad buttons are silent, meaning, they dont make a click sound.

The keyboard was a joy to use; it felt as if i had owned the computer for years...

The built-in security features exceed those found in any other laptop computer in the market.

the measurements you provided were taken with the extended battery, making it seem larger than the 15 inch, when in fact, the t41p is way smaller than the 15 inch, and a few inches larger than the 12 inch.

I feel as though the t41p is ahead of the game at this point, and it will stay current for at least a couple of years, where, any powerbook today will become outdated when the g5's come out.

I enjoy the looks of the powerbook, as well as the platform...but its processor is dated, making it less appealing than the T41p...

Again, I am still undecided...part of me wants to wait till a g5 powerbook comes out.

click here for a review of the t41p.

thanks again,

wes.
post #29 of 57
does anyone here have the 17 inch powerbook?

do you like it?
how is the weight? any problems with the screen, hinges, warping, etc.?
post #30 of 57
Things the IBM seem to be missing from that review -

DVI out
Firewire
Backlit keyboard

And things they can never match like iLife and OSX of course.
post #31 of 57
I have the 17", 1.33 GHz PB. I've had it for about a month now and have experienced no problems. The PB works like a charm and is nice to use, but can seem unwieldy in tight situations. I got it because of the display size. Perhaps the 15" would've have been better for me, but the extra screen real estate makes things easier to use. All-in-all, I think I would probably go for it again. It makes a great machine for either home or travelling use.
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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley

I feel as though the t41p is ahead of the game at this point, and it will stay current for at least a couple of years, where, any powerbook today will become outdated when the g5's come out.

I enjoy the looks of the powerbook, as well as the platform...but its processor is dated, making it less appealing than the T41p...

Again, I am still undecided...part of me wants to wait till a g5 powerbook comes out.


You'll be waiting for awhile, the G5 powerbooks won't be coming out anytime soon.
Plus, don't think that your G4 powerbook will be the only one outdated when a 64bit chip is added.
Anyway, what do you plan to do w/ your laptop outside of typing notes/recording lectures?
post #33 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by iDebaser
You'll be waiting for awhile, the G5 powerbooks won't be coming out anytime soon.
Plus, don't think that your G4 powerbook will be the only one outdated when a 64bit chip is added.
Anyway, what do you plan to do w/ your laptop outside of typing notes/recording lectures?

games, photoshop, dreamweaver, plus email, and microsoft office.

another huge plus about the ibm is that i wont have to purchase all that software again, BUT i have developed great disdain over the windows platform...

also, purchasing the ibm wont *feel* like an upgrade... it looks and feels so much like my inspiron 4000 (which ive had for almost 4 years). I know unwrapping the powerbook, and using it for the first time is an experience on its own...opening an IBM laptop and using it for the first time will feel very blasé (click here for a picture of IBM packaging).

Also, I desperately need a new computer...i dont think i can wait till the G5's are out...

What I may do is purchase a low end powerbook, then upgrade to a rev. c G5 powerbook. How does this sound?

How much do you think I can get for the current powerbooks in about a year and a half?
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
games, photoshop, dreamweaver, plus email, and microsoft office.

another huge plus about the ibm is that i wont have to purchase all that software again, BUT i have developed great disdain over the windows platform...

What I may do is purchase a low end powerbook, then upgrade to a rev. c G5 powerbook. How does this sound?

How much do you think I can get for the current powerbooks in about a year and a half?

powerbooks do keep their value well, but it's a pain to worry about reselling your laptop(dents/scratches, etc.) also, why buy a first gen. of G5 laptop?

when are you gonna finish school?(i.e get a job that pays alot)

if you can seriously afford the 15" get it, it's the best all around powerbook
and you can live w/o an external monitor...(wide screen format is very functional) then worry about trying to get all the software you like(lotsa $$, b ut at least you have student discounts for awhile)

when it's time to upgrade you can get the power you need from a power mac dual G5 and your powerbook will still be great for going to the coffee house or lying on the couch, watching TV...
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Wesley
another huge plus about the ibm is that i wont have to purchase all that software again

You don't have to.
Many software developers offer side-grades where you can switch from one platform to another (ie. Win -> Mac) and often only for the price of shipping and handling of the new CDs. Either that or just wait around until the next software upgrade and then get a cross-platform upgrade, which in many cases is the same price as a 'normal' upgrade.


Wes, your biggest worry really seems to be that Pentium M processor vs. a G4.
I really think you're too hung up on that. I have never felt that the 1.33GHz G4 on my 12" PowerBook is slow and I do a lot of Photoshop work, with many multi-100MB documents. It's plenty fast.

Only thing is, it's not a high-end gaming machine. Very good, but not an ultimate experience. But neither is the IBM. If you're serious about games you have to have a desktop machine with a top of the line graphics card - or a Playstation/Xbox.

I like your idea of getting a 'lower end' 12" PowerBook now and wait for a G5 PowerBook (maybe January). But as I said, a 1.33GHz G4 is plenty fast. It's not really a 'low end' machine at all.

And the 12" has a huge advantage: it is small and light (yet still a full-featured notebook, not one that needs a docking station).
Ask anyone who had a 12" PowerBook for a while! They all love its form factor. Very convenient if you carry it around a lot.
And yet, if you feel at some point the need for a bigger screen, just get any external screen, even a 23" Cinema Display, they all work.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by hobBIT
I'm surprised you're worried about the 15" PowerBook's size, yet consider a T41p at all. Are you aware that the T41p is actually bigger than the 15" PowerBook?

Wesley: The T41p does look like a great system and is indeed lighter than the 15-inch PB. Also remember than ThinkPads only have that litte red nipple pointer, no trackpad. And they run Windows! If Wintel subnotebooks could run OS X instead of Windows, I would have bought one of them a long time ago.

IMO, both the 15-inch PB and the T41p are too large for the note-taking needs of a student. You should look at the IBM X40 as well. That's a great super-portable notebook. But in the end, I still think the 12-inch PowerBook, along with an external LCD, will be your best choice.

C.T.
post #37 of 57
Thread Starter 
the T41p is an excellent book, and it is the "safe" way to go (it even has a trackpad and built-in keyboard light), but I think I want to move away from the window's platform...

I really wish the 12 inch came with a backlit keyboard...this would make it the perfect traveler's companion.

If I were to buy this, I would keep it in mint condition, because I would want to sell it to get a G5 powerbook in about a year and a half (after a few revisions).

oh, sony is about to release a dothan 13.3 inch wide screen, 1 inch thick, 4 lbs notebook in a month...it looks awesome. it's something I am also considering (would be another "safe" purchase)... check it out here.

lol...i think i am just going to eenie meenie minie moe it when it comes time to purchase.

EDIT: if I do buy the 12 inch, how much ram should i buy (from crucial.com)? And should I upgrade the hard drive to 5400rpm?
post #38 of 57
make sure you have at least 384 (duh) but go for another half gig, or more if you can swing it. about the HD speed, i personally would go for the 5400 rpm.
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post #39 of 57
How much Photoshop work will you do?
Photoshop loves RAM! So does OS X actually.
Go for as much as you can afford. I went for the maximum 1.25GB.
The minimum for OS X should be 512MB IMHO, but that's likely to move towards 1GB rather sooner than later.

The 5400rpm HD is 25% faster than the 4200rpm drive with 25% more storage capacity.
If you intend to use the PowerBook as an interim machine for 6-8 months only, probably not worth the upgrade. If you intend to keep it longer then it definitely is.

The crazy thing is a lot of people bought a 12" PowerBook as an 'interim' solution to tie them over until they got the 'real thing', but they ended up liking it so much that they never got round getting the other machine. In that case it would make sense to get the bigger, faster HD.

Also finally, if you can get everything at edu discount today, you would later sell it on based on today's list prices. So a maxed out PowerBook would have a better resale value - while you yourself didn't pay full price for it.
But remember, as far as I'm aware you must wait 12 months before you can sell anything on that you purchased at edu discount.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by chipz
I have the 17", 1.33 GHz PB. I've had it for about a month now and have experienced no problems. The PB works like a charm and is nice to use, but can seem unwieldy in tight situations. I got it because of the display size. Perhaps the 15" would've have been better for me, but the extra screen real estate makes things easier to use. All-in-all, I think I would probably go for it again. It makes a great machine for either home or travelling use.

great to hear that chipz.

im thinking for only 300 bucks more, what the heck. however i saw an episode of queer eye, and jai had a 12" or 14" ibook. and i thought, man that things like the size of a piece of paper! and the screen looked ok (on tv tho) but i have not yet seen an ibook or powerbook in person. i like how tiny the small ones are, but i think im leaning twoards a 15" or 17"

how's battery life? i hear they only get like 3 hours a charge, so id have to get an extra battery.

i also didn't know the apple online store charges sales tax. is that only if you're in cali? im in pa. but i wanted to get the bto extra video memory, faster hd. is there anywhere online that i can buy a bto without the sales tax? (i thought only the apple online store does bto's) if not i'll have to pop over to the king of prussia apple store.
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