900mhz iBook- Should I Buy One?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm thinking about getting a 900mhz iBook. I will be using it primarily for watching DVDs on airplanes, burning CDs of photos from a digital camera when I'm on vacation, Playing MP3's, Web Browsing, MacMAME and a little Photoshop/Illustrator work when I absolutley must (I have a Dual 1ghz MDD for the heavy lifting of real work.)It will therefore be kind of an 'entertainment' machine. I was thinking iBook vs. Powerbook for more of a 'durability' issue rather than an overall performance beast. Any thoughts from anyone who owns one? (and is there any indication they'll be updated soon? I was hoping to get by October! Thanks!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    I'd recommend the 12"PB if you can stretch your budget to it - essentially, its a G4 iBook, with a superdrive option, with the benefit of being just a little bit smaller.



    In fact, I really think that this was designed as a G4 iBook, because of the similar physical layout, lack of L3 cache and idiotic memory config (stock comes with 128Mb on mobo and 128 in the only extra slot)



    David
  • Reply 2 of 29
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    You really shouldn't get an iBook right now. The current iBook is really a step backwards from previous iBooks: it has a lousy keyboard, it doesn't look as nice, and it STILL doesn't support Airport Extreme.



    The Powerbook, on the other hand, has Airport X, an exceptionally tactile keyboard, and looks like a million bucks. Not to mention that it's a lot faster than the iBook in all aspects.



    And at only $200 or so more than the iBook (and with prices recently dropped), it's a really good deal.



    Just my 2 cents.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    The budget really isn't the concern... I was mainly thinking that the iBook seemed a bit more 'rugged' for a lot of travel. Do the Aluminum 'books get scratched up easily? A good portion of what it'll be used for is to show DVDs & Interactive CD-ROMS to my kids when we travel. Rather than just buying one of those DVD/LCD players, I thought I'd spend a few extra bucks and get something that can work a little, play music, games and burn CD's on the go. I'll never need a superdrive in it. I figured the speed would be fine for the aformentioned uses. This thing will be around a wife and kids, so it won't be treated with much reverence if you catch my drift...
  • Reply 4 of 29
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Not in my experience and I keep it in a sleeve in my bag (which also has a non-removable laptop sleeve, but because the 12 is so small, it would just move about if it were in the built in sleeve-compartment by itself, so I have it in a sleeve within a sleeve -- double padding, very safe)



    I do have a small, about 1 cm, faint scratch on the bottom, stupid concrete desk area in the library. No biggy. Other than that, very durable, I've even dropped the bag once with the top open, and had the notebook slide out and hit the floor, still in it's sleeve though, no damage.



    The plastic on the iBooks scratches very easily. You might not notice untill one day you really notice lots of little scratches everywhere, and the white plastic really looks like ass next to the old transluscent models.



    If you can get an edu discount, get the PB, but if you don't need a comp right away, WAIT!!! PB's are due for a bump.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    The Alubook is a heck of a lot more durable than the previous titanium powerbooks, if you ask me. And remember that a scratched iBook doesn't look any better than a scratched Powerbook.



    As for dropping it: both the iBook and the powerbook have their hard drives insulated in a shock-abosorbing assembly.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    The [12"] Powerbook ... is a lot faster than the iBook in all aspects.



    I hate to burst your bubble, Placebo, but MacSpeedZone's tests clearly show that for some non-AltiVec applications, the iBook is faster. (albiet not by much)



    It doesn't sound like iJAFO has any use for a portable G4, as he has a pretty decent desktop for anything that requires speed. For watching DVDs, burning CDs (which the iBook does faster than the PB ), web browsing, and light gaming, the iBook is probably better suited for his needs.



    The iBook also has the 12" PB beat in terms of battery life, airport reception, heat, and durability (bouncing vs. denting).



    Ohyeah! And the iBook follows a pretty standard 6-month upgrade cycle. Last update was April 22, so the next one should be mid to late October.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    ijafoijafo Posts: 3member
    Wow, great posts- It's got me thinking about this very carefully. I may be leaning to the Powerbook, due to the useful link from Phroggy... and the keyboard info from Placebo. Can the 12'' PBooks boot into OS9?
  • Reply 8 of 29
    I don't think that they can, but you can run classic.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    I wouldn't recommend one. A friend of mine got one because she was going away to college and I was using it the other day and it really didn't impress me at all.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    iJAFO:

    (Info from Apple tech spec sites)

    The iBooks can boot into OS 9 ("System Software Mac OS X, Mac OS 9).

    The 12" PB can't ("System Software Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar")



    EmAn:

    Was your friend just using the stock 128 megs of RAM? If so, then it'd just be brutal. A friend of mine (same situation as yours) just got his 512 chip today, and it works so much better he's giddy... it's kinda scary, really...
  • Reply 11 of 29
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    Purchasing advice... moving to General Discussion.



    (get the 12" PowerBook)



    iBook can boot OS9, PowerBook can't, but really... OSX is where it's at.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Phroggy

    I hate to burst your bubble, Placebo, but MacSpeedZone's tests clearly show that for some non-AltiVec applications, the iBook is faster. (albiet not by much)



    Um...the Macworld tests had a Powerbook 12" safely beating an iBook by a factor of two. The tests were in Cinema 4D performance, Quake III, and MP3 encoding.



    Look here: http://www.macworld.com/2003/04/revi...inchpowerbook/



    Scroll down half way to see the performance chart.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    I'll sell you MY iBook .... iBookSE 466, DVD rom



    Extremely durable (clamshell) ... been around the world several times.



    But, If you;re gonna buy new, I just can't see buying a G3 these days.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    Um...the Macworld tests had a Powerbook 12" safely beating an iBook by a factor of two. The tests were in Cinema 4D performance, Quake III, and MP3 encoding.



    Look here: http://www.macworld.com/2003/04/revi...inchpowerbook/



    Scroll down half way to see the performance chart.




    If I'm not mistaken, all of these test apps (including Q3) are altivec-optimized. This is an old, old story - unless the app is optimized for altivec, G3 = G4. Of the uses iJAFO mentioned, only Photoshop will be much faster with a G4, and he says he will only use it lightly. According t BareFeats, though, even actions that you'd think would benefit heavily from the G4 - iTunes encoding and a general PS workflow - are only a few percentage points faster on the PB. And the PB's better gaming performance is largely due to its better graphics card.



    For a primary computer, I'd go for the PB. For an on-the-go machine, though, the iBook's advantages in battery life (5 real hrs with a new battery), Airport range (astoundingly long), and heat comfort would sway me. You give up only a tiny bit of performace (if any, depending on what you do) and get several very practical advantages in return.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    The 12" PowerBook is more rugged. Get it you won't regret it. I used an iBook the other day and I could FEEL the quality difference. The PowerBook spoils you. Just like a nice car. Damnn it just feels hi quality.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    jobjob Posts: 420member
    Keep in mind though that the 12" Powerbook produces far more heat than the iBook. It gets hot. Really hot.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Phroggy





    EmAn:

    Was your friend just using the stock 128 megs of RAM? If so, then it'd just be brutal. A friend of mine (same situation as yours) just got his 512 chip today, and it works so much better he's giddy... it's kinda scary, really...




    Nope, she's got 384MB. I told her she should get more, but I don't think that's going to happen.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I use a Ti 500 right now and have a Dual G5 on the way. I am a Pro user. My girlfriend, however, is not. She has a 12" iBook 900. I have used it extensively. I also have used a PowerMac G4 800 Tower for over 1.5 years.



    That said, i rate the current line of iBooks very well. It is very capable, and in general I prefer it to my G4 tower. No doubt, the 12" PowerBook is a great machine too, but it truly is in a separate class.



    With the PowerBook you gain extra speed, features, and sex in exchange for added cost, heat generation, a shorter battery life, and decreased durability. The iBook is a durable machine and is very quiet most of the time.



    If you frequently do any of the following, the PowerBook would be best for you: print-based photoshopping, video production or encoding, lengthy software compiles, music production, or high-performance gaming.



    Ok, long enough. Either way, get more Ram. 512 is the minimum. Just bump that iBook up to 640.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    For your needs, my vote is for the iBook. Battery life and heat being the determining factors, because as mentioned, performance is roughly equal.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I'll chime in a bit: my best friend has a new iBook (it's the 14" model, but the specs are all the same as the 12", right?). Anyway, she loves it and here's what she does with it:



    Surfs, e-mails, writes papers, some Excel (she bought Office v.X) and iTunes (she has, in less than 3 weeks, gotten around to encoding the majority of her CD collection and she's become a bit hooked on the iTunes music store thing too).



    We put a 512MB chip in so she does sport the maximum RAM of 640MB.



    I've used it quite a bit myself and I think it's a fine machine.



    You say you're not doing heavy work on it and besides you have a nice dual 1GHz G4 for "serious work".



    In your situation (looking at heat and battery life issues, along with ruggedness, AirPort performance, solid basic usage, etc.) I'd get the iBook.
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