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12" PowerBook offer? Is it worth my cash?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I saw a 12" PowerBook 1.5GHz today in a shop. It is ex-display but looked good and comes with a two year warranty.

A few questions;

- It would be to replace my 1.42GHz Mac mini, and would allow me to surf from the sofa too. I'm assuming it'll be more or less the same speed as my mini but would it be able to dual screen with my 20" cinema display and still be at least as fast as the mini?

- Are there more than one generation of the 1.5GHz models? According to Apple it originally shipped with Panther, so when they upped it to Tiger, was that the only change? (I've yet to verify if it is Tiger)

- Bottom line, is it worth buying at £549? It is still £200 cheaper than a MacBook and has the hard drive size I need. I would probably try to haggle for £500 on the basis that I would buy an Airport Express at the same time.

Thanks for the thoughts.
post #2 of 7
I'd say that if it fits your requirements, it's a great computer. Remember though that a Macbook has a better screen, and a much, much faster processor.

However, the one major thing that the PB has going for it is its size - it remains the smallest laptop Apple have ever produced, and IMHO the aluminium looks best on this size. I thought seriously about the Macbook, but decided against it as I have the 1.33Ghz 12"

Also, as far as I know, there was no change to the 12" in the final round of PB updates - only a price drop and they scrapped the combo drive version.

David
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info - useful comments but I'm still pondering. Apart from anything, I still need to check if it has Tiger and what iLife version it has.

Another thought - Apple state that you can run it in lid closed mode using a USB keyboard and mouse. Is it possible to do this with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse instead? Thanks
post #4 of 7
When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, I saw a supermodel type with a 12" powerbook in a cafe, and I fell in love immediately. To me, the newer models just don't measure up - I am going to buy a 12" powerbook.

The supermodel is too much to hope for, though.
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally posted by G_Warren
- Bottom line, is it worth buying at £549? It is still £200 cheaper than a MacBook and has the hard drive size I need. I would probably try to haggle for £500 on the basis that I would buy an Airport Express at the same time.

That's a tough one because if you were comparing an ibook to a Macbook, I'd say get the Macbook without doubt. But for a powerbook, that's a pretty good price. I actually have a 1.5GHz powerbook and it does pretty well. I've tried out the Macbook and it has a nice keyboard, better display but it's in the lower end of Apple's lineup and having been an ibook owner, they tend to be lower quality than the 'pro' lineup.

The powerbook silver finish looks very good and it doesn't scratch nearly as easily as the plastic laptops. My powerbook is a few years old and looks brand new.

The GPU in the powerbook is also far better than the one in the Macbook - I can't recall but I think mine has a 64MB Radeon 9600 so it works better with lower ram.

The screen on the Macbook only has a max of 1280x800 resolution. That's fine for widescreen movies but not for documents. But the powerbook is worse at only 1024x768. I wish Apple would make their laptop displays support higher. I've seen Dell machines go up to 1920x1440 or something.

Like I say, it's tough and it's down to what you want:

powerbook:
cheaper
faster GPU
better looking and more durable case
will run PPC native apps faster like Photoshop

Macbook:
Can run Windows apps
much faster CPU
better display

It does look like the powerbook has the edge. But, I use one everyday at work and a Mini at home and I'm starting to get tired of the G4 processors. I occasionally get to use a Quad G5 at work and certain things are just so much nicer to do with it like video encoding, rendering, compiling.

For me personally, I'd probably go with the Macbook but only because I would use every ounce of the Dual Core CPU. If it was for a general home machine for browsing and typing, I'd probably go for the powerbook.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the info - it is a PowerBook or nothing - yours thoughts are very similar to my own - I'm not looking at a MacBook now, nice though it is. The PowerBook is cheap, matches my screen, and the poorer 12" screen isn't a big drawback due to my external screen. I also don't need Windows apps. Any word on my bluetooth conundrum?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally posted by G_Warren
Thanks again for the info - it is a PowerBook or nothing - yours thoughts are very similar to my own - I'm not looking at a MacBook now, nice though it is. The PowerBook is cheap, matches my screen, and the poorer 12" screen isn't a big drawback due to my external screen. I also don't need Windows apps. Any word on my bluetooth conundrum?

go for it i say. i think it's a little too easy to fall in the trap of...'well just for this much more you could have product X over ...' whatever. this line of thinking seems to end up with constant upgrading and having more computing power than you need.
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