12" or 15" PowerBook

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Okay, I am in college right now and I need a notebook pretty bad. I am positive that I am going with an Apple(My first mac.) but money is tight. My plan is to order it hopefully next week. I am now getting a bit confused and this is my problem, I cannot decide if i should get the 12in or 15in powerbook. My main use will be writing papers, digital photography and film editing. Film will be my major next year when I transfer to film school.

Here is what I have picked out between the two.

Specifications for 15" PowerBook

* 1GB PC2-4200 DDR2 - 2x512 SO-DIMMs

* 100GB Ultra ATA drive @ 7200 rpm

* SuperDrive DL (DVD+RW/CD-RW)

* AirPort Extreme Card & Bluetooth

* Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English

* AppleCare Protection Plan for PowerBook (w/or w/o

* ATI Mobility Radeon 9700

* 15.2-inch TFT Display

* 1.67 Processor



Specifications for 12" PowerBook

* 1.256GB DDR333 (256MB built-in + 1GB SO-DIMM)

* 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400rpm

* 8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)

* AirPort Extreme Card

* Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English

* 1.5GHz PowerPC G4

* NVIDIA GeForce FX GO 5200 with 64MB DDR Video Memory

* 12.1-inch TFT Display

* 1.5 Processor


Don't get me wrong, I love the price of the 12", but the display may be alittle small for my personal preference, but I can make due with it. The 15" is the perfect size for me, since I will be watching alot of movies on it. And the extra processor speed would be nice. Now, I don't plan on getting a new notebook or computer for awhile after this, since my PC is a really good machine. Next year in film school I want something that will allow me to bring my work home so I can still edit, etc...

Do you guys consider these huge difference? Will both perform the same functions at the same speeds and qualities? Is one going to be better for me down the road? Any other comments will be of great help.


patrick zander.


I will probably add memory to the 15" eventually, the 1GB is enough for now. Also, I have a fair amount of Word documents on my PC, is it possible to get those on my new Mac????


I'm new here, hello everyone


  • Reply 1 of 2
    Overall the 15" PB suits your needs more, but are you going to lug it around a lot? I'm 60+ and lug mine, but wish it was a 3 pounder. At least you're young. The benefit of the 15" is that it gives you a fair amount of space when you're using it and can be attached to a large display in the dorm. (I use mine with a 23" display in the office.)

    You might look at options, like buying a used or refurb iBook for taking to class and an iMac for the dorm room. Good deals on ebay for the iBook and you can get a refurb iMac before going to school off Apple's web site.

    In the end go with what you really like as you'll be using it for a while. Get the minimum RAM from Apple, though, and add RAM from a good 3rd party supplier, like Crucial or egghead. That saves a hunk of money.

    AppleCare for me is not an option - it's a requirement. You get hardware insurance that you only have to use once to be ahead and you also get 3 years of very good tech support, which can save you a lot of pain.

    Transferring doc files is simple. Burn them on a CD for a long term back up and just copy them over to your documents folder in Finder. It will work with either Office for the Macs, and also Pages if there is not a lot of complex formatting.

    Have fun in school!
  • Reply 2 of 2
    I will be moving around with my notebook, but I doubt I will be bringing it to class to take notes or anything. Mostly going to the Coffee Shop to do homework, taking it to other peoples homes, etc... For the most part I will be using it in the dorms, but I still want the option to go to the library and do my work on my notebook. I can't imagine 5.5LB being to heavy for me to walk a couple of blocks, not that big of a difference compared to the iBook or anything like that.

    Thanks for the input, I think I am going w/ the 15", but I am willing to go with a 12", I just thinking long term right now.

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