Buying my first mac - ibook or power book?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hi.



I am going to buy my first mac before the fall semester begins. I need another notebook computer. Right now I have a honky, but MEGA fast Windows & Linux (dual-boot) notebook, and a decent desktop Windows machine.



My wireless network is currently a wireless-b configuration with a netgear router. Will the airport extreme card pick that up ok?



Finally, how slow is the ibook or power book going to seem? I am used to my Pentium-4 2.66 MHZ notebook. Is it going to seem dreadfully slow?



I am going to buy whatever model I get with the standard 256, but I will order, on the same day, a 512 stick from Crucial. Is it easy to add the stick on these macs?



Finally, what should I get? The ibook or the power book? I would love to save the money and get an ibook, but I LOVE the looks of the powerbook. Which of these notebooks are smaller? I think I'm giong to get the 12 inch screen because my current notebook is big and honky with a 15 inch screen, and I want one now that I can haul around easy. I do like using my notebook as a desktop plugged into a monitor a lot. Can I plug my regular flat panel sony LCD into the notebook or do I need an adapter?



One more thing, I haven't used a MAC OS for about 7 years. Is it going to be really hard for me to pick up again? I never mastered it. Will I quickly be able to get the airport card working with my wireless network?



Oh, should I get the .mac sub? It seems expensive?



I know I asked too many questions, but I would appreciate your help. Are these notebooks reliable? Could it last me 3 years? Should I get extra warranty?



Oh, I'm going to get an ipod with it too, but I have used those in the past, so I know what I want. Thanks.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    reddingoreddingo Posts: 21member
    Well I was planning on getting an iBook, since they're cheaper and have a longer battery life.



    But then all this fuss started about current models not being able to support the next Mac OS version, so I'm holding out a bit to see what happens.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    quagmirequagmire Posts: 558member
    I would go for the ibook. You are just going to use it for ichat(aim), web surfing, and emailing right? The 12" powerbook is smaller and lighter then the 12" ibook. But, the ibook is a whole lot more durable then the powerbook. A person ran over his ibook twice with his suv and it worked great. No damage to the case but, the screen was f**ked up though.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    (The current model iBooks WILL support the next OS due next year... it is peculated that some perfomance enhancing features may not work ... but the new OS is still far from finished)



    Otherwise...



    The 12" iBook is just slightly larger than the 12" pBook ... not a lot though.



    The airport extreme WILL work with ANY 802.11b or 802.11g network ... the base station does NOT have to be an Airport.



    The pBook has a faster processor AND a faster bus thean the iBook... so it is noticeably faster with stuff like Photoshop or iMovie .... but you really can't tell a difference with normal websurfing and such.



    The MacOS is so much more efficient than XP, that even though the G4 processor usually benchmarks a little slower than fast P4's, you'll really never see a difference in actual use of the machines. ... especially with the pBook.



    Personally, I get my $$ worth out of .mac ... but not everyone would.

    I also never buy extended warranties ... but I've never had a problem with any of my macs.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Thanks for the quick feedback. I did plan to use Photoshop on it some, so perhaps I should go for the power book. Well, I'm going to give myself a week or so decide, so that I can make a confident decision. If anyone else has input, I'll be glad to read it. Thanks again.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    What about the external monitor though? Can I use the LCD I use on my PC now? What kind of adapter would I need?



    Will I be able to share files/printers easily with my PCs? Is there any documentation online that would walk me through the OS? Does any documentation come with the notebook? Do you get recovery CDs with macs?



    Thanks again.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    You get recovery CD's with all new macs.



    You'll get some limited documentation (enough to get you started ... the OS is really rather intuitive.



    An external monitor will work with both ... with the iBook, it will merely mirror your iBook's screen. With the pBook, it can be a second monitor. You'll need a cable that goes from the mini-DV connector on the 'book to the DVI input on the monitor. I don't think it comes with the 'book, but I'm not sure.



    I share a printer connected to an old iMac over the 802.11b network ... works with an XP machine as well.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    Let me say this about speed and simplicity:



    I had a 2 Ghz Windblows Box prior to getting my first Mac, which was an OLD hand-me-down PowerBook G3 (400Mhz) last February.



    Guess which machine I used more? Yep, OS X is THAT GOOD.



    Simple, Elegant, Exceedingly Pretty!



    Welcome back.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    jambojambo Posts: 3,036member
    Purchasing Advice goes in General Discussion...



    Moving there...
  • Reply 9 of 29
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    What about the external monitor though? Can I use the LCD I use on my PC now? What kind of adapter would I need?



    Will I be able to share files/printers easily with my PCs? Is there any documentation online that would walk me through the OS? Does any documentation come with the notebook? Do you get recovery CDs with macs?



    Thanks again.




    If your pc flat pannel is svideo, then eith a pbook you are good to go, if it id VGA you eill need an adapter but it should work just peachy.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Thanks again for all the help. Is the RAM accessible via a door on the bottom of the ibooks and power books? I read a post by someone who took off their keyboard, but I guess that was to install the wireless card?



    This is going to be a tough decision. However, I think I want to get a superdrive, and so that would seal the decision on the Powerbook. I wish I could see the ibook and Powerbook in front of me, but I live 2.5 hours from an Apple Store, and I don't feel like a 5 hour total drive.



    Will G5 notebooks be out in the near future?
  • Reply 11 of 29
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    Will G5 notebooks be out in the near future?



    ha. no.



    on a more serious note--my 12" 1.33Ghz pbook feels faster than any windows machine I've ever used. macs are just better--ignore the processor speed issue.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    One more thing, I haven't used a MAC OS for about 7 years. Is it going to be really hard for me to pick up again? I never mastered it.



    You're probably better off not having used MacOS for a while. OSX is not your father's MacOS, as I'm sure you know. It's different...better, but different. I've read that folks coming from Windows or Linux often have an easier time adjusting than die-hard OS8/9 users. That's probably because an OS9 user thinks he's just upgrading his OS, and doesn't want to have to learn any new ways of doing things. Coming from Windows, you'll have a more open mind about learning the Zen of OSX.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    ha. no.







    Is there a technical reason why we can't have G5 notebooks? Since I do not know anything about macs really, I do not understand why they wouldn't be on the horizon.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Oh, I did have another question.



    The superdrive will probably be the deciding factor between if I get the ibook or Powerbook. If I think I need the superdrive, I will get the powerbook.



    I have a lot of non-commercial DVDs that I have made on my set-top DVD recorder (home videos, TV recordings, etc.) If I get the superdrive, would I be able to take parts of those DVDs, put them into my hard drive, and edit something clean that could then be put onto another DVD? Would the included imovie software allow me to do this?



    Furthermore, would the basic software on the power book allow me to simply copy a non-commercial DVD? How long do you think that would take to copy a DVD to the hard drive and then put it back onto a second DVD to share videos with family?



    Do you know what kind of changes will be made on the new ipods coming out this fall?



    Thanks so much. I'm going to ebay to see "real life" pictures of the ibook and power books. I find the pictures on Apple.com do not show what the notebook will look like in a normal condition. ha-ha. The "look" factor is something else I'm considering. I probably find the power book more attractive, but the ibook isn't far behind.

  • Reply 15 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    I have a lot of non-commercial DVDs that I have made on my set-top DVD recorder (home videos, TV recordings, etc.) If I get the superdrive, would I be able to take parts of those DVDs, put them into my hard drive, and edit something clean that could then be put onto another DVD? Would the included imovie software allow me to do this?





    Yes. Yes.



    You will also be able to copy non-copywrite-protected DVD's ... I'm not sure, but I'd guess it would take about an hour to burn a FULL 4.7 GB dvd.



    Any iPod news would simply be speculation, but the general consensus seems to be that there will be an update in time for xmas.



    The mac notebooks that have RAM slots under the keyboard are designed for easy access.... it's not a problem. (my old iBook is like that)



    There WILL be a G5 powerbook .... eventually. Next spring/summer ? Right now, the general consensus seems to be that the G5 processor just runs to hot to be able to cool it adequately in a notebook enclosure. But this is merely speculation... nobody ever really knows what Apple has up thier sleeve.



    Seeing the machines in person before you buy is really not necessary... look at the specs, and buy what you want/need. Either one is guaranteed to be more compact than any compareable intel/amd notebook. And other than color (and plastic vs aluminum), the iBook and pBook have more or less identical form-factors.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    how would both of these fair with final cut express?
  • Reply 17 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Although I realize it wouldn't be ideal, can you plug a PC USB keyboard and mouse into a mac, or will that not work?



    The knowledge, friendliness, and helpfulness of this board is exceptional. Thank you.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    Although I realize it wouldn't be ideal, can you plug a PC USB keyboard and mouse into a mac, or will that not work?



    The knowledge, friendliness, and helpfulness of this board is exceptional. Thank you.




    iirc it will work, the windows key will act as the apple key, not sure if extra media keys (web, email, vol) work.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by a_greer

    iirc it will work, the windows key will act as the apple key, not sure if extra media keys (web, email, vol) work.



    Oh, that would be great. I can have my PC notebook and my mac notebook at my desk, and simply plug my keyboard and mouse into whichever one I'm using.



    This powerbook versus ibook thing is driving me mad though. With my education pricing:



    12" ibook with 60 gig hard drive and airport card : $1137.00



    12" Powerbook with superdrive: $1599.00



    $462 is a substantial chunk of change to burn DVDs. Of course, the powerbook would give a bit better performance with better processor and video card.



    Still, by saving $462 I could immediately buy a .mac subscription, Office for Mac, and getting my 512RAM stick from crucial would not be such a blow by saving on the computer.



    How are people supposed to decide these things? Overall, I think I would be happier with the Powerbook, but not much happier. I would like to do something with the mac that I don't do now with my PCs, and the video editing with ability to put it onto DVD would be something fun.



    The $1137 for the ibook is so incredibly affordable, and that attracts me as well.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    ibook.....here why

    bundled software includes appleworks

    6hr bat life

    1gz way fast enough

    looks cool

    strong and if you don't need a pcmia card slot who cares

    cheaper

    attention getter

    my wife loves it mucho, had choice of pb 15 too big 12 too small 14 just right and only in the ibook

    matches her ipod

    i could either pb or ibook glad so glad for the ibook



    now if you are going to use virtual pc, hmmmmm it uses a lot of ram, max ram in ibook is about 640... pb i believe you can get 2gb in



    now if they could make a pb 13 wide aspect now then i'd rethink things

    ibook near perfect never regretted it.



    regardless of which you buy please get a .mac subscription it is so easy to use and helps in sooooo many ways
Sign In or Register to comment.