Does a couple of inches matter?!?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Should I get a 12" power book...

Or a 15" one?

My two brothers have 12" ones, and swear by them, saying their size makes them more 'useable'. I'm not convinced, and would appricate the power and screen size...

...but then the size is so handy! And would make me carrying it round London a breeze...

I don't know... help me please!



  • Reply 1 of 11

    It really depends on what you're going to be doing with it. If it's mainly E-Mail, web surfing, iChat, and stuff like that then a 12" would be fine. If, on the other hand, you want to edit pictures in Photoshop, edit movies in Final Cut Express, or even watch a DVD the 15" would be a better choice. Also, the 15" isn't sooo big that you wouldn't want to take it anywhere. I think it's the "sweetspot" in the PowerBook line; the 12" is too small, and the 17" is too big. I had a 12" and sold it to buy a 15". OK, I bought a 17" also (couldn't help myself, that screen is so beautiful!) but that doesn't leave the house much. Hope this helps, and good luck with whatever you decide to buy.


  • Reply 2 of 11
    It depends on what you are looking for.

    If you don't need the extra space when you are away from your desktop you can buy the 12 inch powerbook and a Dell 20 inch monitor for the same price as the 15 inch powerbook.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I debated the very same question when trying to decide which powerbook to get. The better graphics card, faster CPU, and RAM config (not to mention the screen) of the 15" are all very tempting attributes, however I ended up getting the 12". I could not be more happy with it. Until you own one, you don't appreciate how portable the thing really is. It weighs nothing (4.6 lbs or whatever), and really is tiny. The keyboard, however, is the same size as on the 15" powerbook, and is the best laptop keyboard I have ever typed on (reponse, and just general feel). With Exposé set so that the corners trigger its functions, I have never felt that the screen is too small; even for editing pictures or movies. I run Final Cut Pro HD & Photoshop CS on my computer, and while it probably isn't as fast as a G5 desktop (which I've never used, so I can't really compare it), it is perfectly useable.

    Ultimately it comes down to your own needs, but with the plethora of external monitors available, I think that the 12" is really the best choice, especially if you plan on moving it around much. I have a friend who owns the 15", and while it definitely isn't too big, it seems huge whenever I see it (I'm obviously used to my 12"). Regardless of what you end up getting, though, I'm sure you will be happy with it, these Powerbooks are great machines!
  • Reply 4 of 11
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    I would not get the 12". I got a 12" iBook and I regret that I didn't get the 15" PowerBook (I was contemplating which one to get at the time...). It's just too small for anything other than road trips. It's good for plane trips, maybe even some notetaking in classes, but other than that I find it's screen too small and too demanding for my eyes.

    I would most certainly get the 15" PowerBook if I had the money. But it's your call.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Well my girlfriend told me an extra 3" would just hurt so...oh wait sorry, nevermind, my bad...
  • Reply 6 of 11
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    I used a borrowed 12" PowerBook for a month or so while I was waiting for my 15" PowerBook for work. I can't imagine going back to the 12" screen and lower resolution for daily use. It is the difference between being able to have 2-4 windows open and visible/usable vs. just one. Especially if you are used to having more than one application going at a time or work with multiple terminal windows.

    If you are getting it for travel only and have another machine you use daily, then I'd go with the 12" PowerBook. I know a couple of people who started with the older 15" PowerBooks, have since gotten G5s for their desks, and now they want to replace their 15" PowerBooks with 12" ones.

    Other big differences are that the 15" has a standard DVI port (instead of the mini one), an S-Video port, gigabit Ethernet (instead of 10/100 Ethernet), a FireWire 800 port, USB ports on both sides instead of just one, and a PCMCIA slot.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    I have the 12" and recommend it highly.

    I like the 12" for it's portability. I also use the 12" when I'm at home hooked up to a full keyboard/mouse/19" monitor and I play WoW on it. It's been an awesome machine so far.

    (mine is the 1.33GHz version with 768MB RAM and Superdrive)
  • Reply 8 of 11
    mattjohndrowmattjohndrow Posts: 1,618member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Well my girlfriend told me an extra 3" would just hurt so...oh wait sorry, nevermind, my bad...

    i knew you were going to say something like that. i called it before i even read your post!
  • Reply 9 of 11
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I had a 1.33GHz 15" PB. Before the warranty ended I switched to a new 1.2GHz 12" iBook. I got pretty much the same performance (apart from GPU), same connectivity, same HD space, same memory, new warranty. The switch recovered me around 40% of the cash I had in the PB. The performance I lost was performance I am never going to use, since I don't think a Mac laptop is usable for modern gaming no matter what.

    Initially it felt a bit claustrophobic in 1024x768 but after two months I'm very happy with the iBook, and having the extra money of course. I have attached the same 19" CRT I used when I was on the Powerbook, and use the CRT for watching video which sucks on the iBook screen.

    The 15" PB was a pain in the ass to use on a flight. Too big for our small airline seats. The 12" iBook slips out of the bag a lot easier. I don't yet have a proper bag or sleeve... so I stuck the iBook in a plastic bag and into my backpack. Doing this would have scared me shitless with the PB.

    Now if you had to go without an external screen for some reason, things would be very different. The 15" PB has a good screen. And because it's widescreen, in watching video it's the equivalent of a 18" 4:3 screen. The difference is 18" quality screen to 12" crappy screen, not just a few inches.

    Frankly, I don't see much of a reason to get a 12" Powerbook when they make the 12" iBook and 15" PB. It combines the worst in both - display and price.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    My 15" Powerbook is my primary machine, and I do a lot of photo and video editing. I couldn't imagine having the 12" Powerbook. Not only do you give up an 800 Firewire port and some of the other amenities, but I've found that a wide screen is very important to me. That little bit extra screen real estate is immeasurably useful when I've got multiple bins, pictures, folders open. Forget what a full-screen movie looks like on it. The wide screen is more useful when working on multiple things.

    All that said, the Powerbook never feels "too big" when I'm out and about. I've used it on a plane and it's a comfortable -enough size. I don't feel overburdened when transporting it around, yet I feel like I've got a hefty machine that I can get things done with.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Women usually tell me that if I had a few inches less, it wouldn't hurt so much.

    Not sure if that applies to Powerbooks...

    EDIT: Nevermind, Aquatic beat me to it.

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