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Cuppa500
20th August 2004, 08:41 PM
Hi All.
I am currently planning to purchase an Apple notebook. It will be my first Apple computer (replacing my aging windows PC)

I had planned to buy a 14" ibook (1.2Ghz/768Mb ram/60Gb HD/superdrive/bluetooth/airport extreme) but yesterday came across the following at slightly less cost than the new ibook.


Factory Refurbished powerbook G4
15 inch screen
1.25GHz
512mb ram
80Gig hard drive
Superdrive
Airport Extreme card
Bluetooth

I would welcome any advice on which may be the better option for me, & what differences I would notice between the two models in everyday use.
The main things I would use it for are as follows:-

email/web surfing/web forums.
word processing
digital photography manipulation & storage (at home & whilst travelling in our motorhome)
If possible I would also like to replace the conventional television I have in our motorhome with the notebook (to save space)

A couple of specific questions come to mind:-

Would I notice any appeciable difference in speed between the powerbook with 512Mb Ram against the ibook with 768Mb ram? (different processor & bus speeds?)

I believe that the ibook has no PC card slot, whereas the powerbook does. Would I need the Pc card slot, to obtain Tv reception?

Is the screen display on the powerbook noticeably better than the ibook? (Higher resolution?)


Thank you in advance for your advice, which I will appreciate greatly given that it's not an easy matter to just 'pop' into my local Apple shop, as it's a 5 hour round trip to the nearest one.
regards,
Ian

Disko
20th August 2004, 11:04 PM
I'd go a powerbook over an ibook any day. But then you've got to think about if warranty is something you value as well, as the powerbook probably wont have the same warranty as the new ibook.

The powerbook is definatley the better machine & it is what i'd get given these choices.

Ozi
21st August 2004, 12:56 AM
Yup. Go the powerbook. The display, and its possibly use as a TV, make the powerbook the CLEAR winner. I have looked at an iBook and my pBook side by side, and the powerbooks just have BETTER screens. Clearer, brighter, better contrast, more pixels. Better in every way. Even the angle at which you can view them is better on the pBook. Also, the pBook has a plethora of ports which the iBook does not. PCMCIA is one, but there are many more. (Go to www.apple.com.au/iBook and www.apple.com.au/powerbook and compare the two: the pBook is simply more flexible in its uses, due to the added ports.)

Battery life on the powerbook is worse than the iBook, but for a motor home I assume you will have it plugged into the battery or the campsite power source all the time, so that isnt a problem.

As you live SO far from an apple store (and my condolences on that) I recommend you call ahead, and arrange for them to have a skilled sales person to devote a good hour or more to you and you alone. Then when you get there, request both an iBook and a pBook to play with for a good half an hour. Take a DVD with you, one with both fast action, colourful scenes, but also slow darker stuff. (ie. Matrix Reloaded.) Then watch the DVD on each computer, watching the same scene on each one. This will not only push the CPU and the RAM to the limit, but also fully expose the weaknesses (and strengths) of each computer. I also suggest that you pick them up, look at them from all angles, and if necessary, go equiped with a tape measure if you need a computer which will fit into a certain space. ie. A shelf in your motor home. Also, for TV use, you will need to ask about what is needed to connect to TV, and you will also need to investigate buying speakers, as neither the speakers built in to an iBook or a pBook will be load enough to fill your motor home with sound. They are little tinny laptop speakers, and you will need to buy other speakers for any kind of decent TV or movie experience.

Be pushy with the salesperson. You will be spending a lot of money, and they NEED to ensure you make the right choice.

On a more personal note, where do you live?! :lol: And i love watching movies on my pBook: the screen is better than our TV screen, and does the "Highway Chase" in the second Matrix movie flawlessly. It looks better than the movies, as there aren't the typical spots and hairs that cinema projection systems have. The LCDs are great. :)

So yes, the screen of a pBook IS noticeably better. I have 1280 x 854 resolution,
http://www.apple.com.au/powerbook/graphics.html but the ibook is only 1024 x 768, for both the 12" and the 14" iBooks. http://www.apple.com.au/ibook/graphics.html

Go for the powerbook. As for performance, I think the powerbook would still edge out the iBook. 512 MB of RAM is fine for what you need to do, and powerbooks tend to have quicker internals (BUS speed, caches) and also, the extra 20GB of disk space will be a HUGE help for photo storage.

In my mind I have no doubt that the powerbook is a better choice. But like I say, make the apple salespeople WORK to get your business. :rolleyes:

~Ozi

bergerac
21st August 2004, 08:03 PM
Hey, if dont mind can I ask where you found that powerbook? Im currently looking for something similar, prolly a slightly lower spec but everywhere seems to want ridiculous amounts for second hand/refurbished powerbooks

Cuppa500
21st August 2004, 08:29 PM
Thanks for your replies Oz & Disko. Despite never having actually seen a Powerbook' in the flesh', I phoned & put a deposit on the factory refurbished model today. :D I have seen & briefly played with a 14" ibook & was very impressed, so I reasoned, that whilst your advice (Ozi) was sound, that travelling up to Melbourne & back (I'm in the Strzlecki Ranges, south of the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland) to test run a pair of notebooks with a 'foreign' operating system (to me) would not be particularly useful. It would have made more sense if I was already familiar with using an Apple I think. But after much soul searching & taking your advice, I decided that the Powerbook (with 3 month warranty) was the go. :D Hopefully I should get it sometime next week.
As well as being excited about the new aquisition, & the possibilities it will enable over & above my clunky old PC (Pentium2/350Mhz/128Mb/Windows98se) , I'm already starting to worry that one of the prime reasons I wanted a new computer, ie digital photography might be a problem with the Apple :( I have a new Sony DSC-T1 still camera, but the driver supplied with it is compatible with Mac OS9.1 or later, but not compatible with Mac OS X. I spent a while searching the net for a driver, with no luck this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my mate's (the one with a new ibook) advice, that I shouldn't need a driver, that I'll simply be able to plug the camera's usb cable into the notebook & it will all just work, is correct :unsure:
Regards
Ian

Cuppa500
21st August 2004, 08:35 PM
Bergerac, I've ordered it from the Apple Centre, Ivanhoe.

www.power.com.au

http://www.power.com.au/pdf/Aug_sale_18.pdf

They told me that my 1.25Ghz/15" wasa the last of the six listed.
Regards
Ian

yinyang
21st August 2004, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by Cuppa500@Aug 21 2004, 08:29 PM
I'm already starting to worry that one of the prime reasons I wanted a new computer, ie digital photography might be a problem with the Apple :( I have a new Sony DSC-T1 still camera, but the driver supplied with it is compatible with Mac OS9.1 or later, but not compatible with Mac OS X. I spent a while searching the net for a driver, with no luck this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my mate's (the one with a new ibook) advice, that I shouldn't need a driver, that I'll simply be able to plug the camera's usb cable into the notebook & it will all just work, is correct :unsure:

apple in the us are selling the dsc-t1 on their online store...

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebO....10.3.24.1.15.0 (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/72002/wo/Ml7XkVKZHjVc2WfvGcHZW4pl7NU/1.3.0.6.10.3.24.1.15.0)

so i doubt there will be any probs!

i'm about to purchase a dsc w1 and haven't even worried about it not working with my pBook - things invariably 'just work' with macs/os x ;)

good luck and congrats on the choice!!

Cam
21st August 2004, 11:05 PM
You can get TV reception with either one with a good USB tv capture module :)

I personally havent tried an iBook but im a owner of a 15" Powerbook. I would say, go for the Powerbook! + its the strength of the metal casing around the powerbook has gotta be a bonus for someone who travels so much.

But congratulations on choosing a Apple! Good choice.

Ozi
22nd August 2004, 01:28 AM
pleased i could be of any assistance. My Ricoh 4MP is "plug and play" and when I went around to a friends house and connected her printer to my computer for the first time, OS X detected it and already had all the software and drivers necessary to print to it. I suspect that your camera will just *work* with the pBook, no problems.

Off course, if there are any issues, post on this forum and Im sure someone will be able to fix it! :) Congrats on choosing Apple. :D

Oh and I have friends who live in Morwell, and the Strezlecki Ranges must make for some very pretty photography! enjoy.

estoyloco
22nd August 2004, 09:40 AM
Hey not sure if you have committed to getting a powerbook from the firesale ..BUT I WOULD STRONGLY reccommend checking out the TRADINGpost as i have seen a few in there lately that aresameprice, USED but hhave the EDU warranty remaining! so thats the remainder of 3 years(probabyl 2) which is better than the 3months POWER.COM.AU offer... or nextbyte or compnow...

JUST a thought! please just give it 5minutes of your time so you have explored every possibility and dont feel cheated at the end!

I wouldnt BUY the FIRESALE ITEM with only 3 months WARRANTY!(unles you can buy a warrranty!)

ALSO GET the POWERBOOK!

EG's: (imnot affiliated with any of these dudes)

look in comtrader, guy is selling one with warranty till DEC 2004, but he'sselling for $2800 , comes with heaps of software! PLUS im sure you can go into apple and get a warranty update for around the MONEY you save from buying inthe second hand market

another guy in trading post selling the latest 15" SD model for $3500 ( he has a website too) says that they are new so i gueshtat means 1 year warranty!!!


MAKE sure that before you buy in 2nd hand market, you ask for

RECEIPTS
Check serials
Call apple and ask abouth machines origin tomake sure its not international or there are no warranty upgrade restrictions etc!

common sense!

HOPE you find this helpful

PS this is all from MELBOURNE area... not sure if your close to any other capital cities...

Cuppa500
22nd August 2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Cuppa500@Aug 21 2004, 08:29 PM
I have a new Sony DSC-T1 still camera, but the driver supplied with it is compatible with Mac OS9.1 or later, but not compatible with Mac OS X. I spent a while searching the net for a driver, with no luck this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my mate's (the one with a new ibook) advice, that I shouldn't need a driver, that I'll simply be able to plug the camera's usb cable into the notebook & it will all just work, is correct :unsure:

I've since 'spoken' (via email....isn't the 'net a wonderful thing) with another DSC-T1 & Mac owner, who has clarified things for me . The camera *is* simply 'plug & play'. All it needs is for the usb setting on the camera to be changed from 'normal' to 'PTP'.No extra drivers required. Phew! :rolleyes:
regards
Ian

elvis
22nd August 2004, 10:44 AM
I'll be getting a 12" iBook pretty soon (it was ordered a few days ago, I believe), through my work.

All of the mobile guys are going 12" just for size and mobility. I really can't be stuffed lugging around a massive notebook when I'm using it 99% of the time for network troubleshooting and testing.

The ibook with wireless and bluetooth addons, and a bit of extra RAM comes to just over AU$2000. That is a top price for a small laptop, and challenges anything name-brand out there in PC land (Dell/HP/IBM). We were considering getting no-name PC centrino notebooks for the same purpose, but decided against it for quality and warranty reasons.

None of us will be doing anything artistic on these. No large photo manipulation, graphic design, or anything like that. Mostly just tech support stuff, as well as keeping all of our schedules synced via email and iCal (a dozen roaming techs need to know what the others are all doing, and where their next jobs are at).