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View Full Version : Should I buy a macbook or an ibook?



DebB
15th May 2007, 05:26 PM
Hi. I have been reading lots of good reviews about the new macbooks and am considering purchasing one soon. However, for every good review there seems to be a negative story too. I have never had a laptop of any description before and am by no means a 'power user'. I need it as a workhorse to run some music software for my students, record music from my keyboard onto CD, (I'm a music teacher) use word processing and basic DTP, burn DVDs and edit home video & photos. I would also like to be able to easily plug it into a TV at school to share programs with my students.

Now, there are two issues here - would a 2nd hand/discontinued ibook do all of these things well enough?, and secondly, is the new macbook a lemon? I would appreciate any replies as I have only just come back to macs after a long absence (last used performas!) and the OS 10 interface and new hardware are a complete mystery to me. It used to be "a mac is forever" but is this still true?

Thanks,
deb

nicwithsticks
15th May 2007, 05:37 PM
An iBook might do the trick, but they lack audio inputs, so an external soundcard would be needed. These are pretty easy to come by however, and aren't to expensive.

The MacBook is a great laptop and should do everything you need without any struggle. You will need to buy an extra adapter to plug it into a TV, they are about $30-$40.

As for the "Mac forever" mantra, you should be fine. I've been using Mac's since the days of Performa's and OS X is pretty simple to get the hang of, I think you'll be fine.

If you can, I'd get the MacBook. There are a few refurbished models in Apple's stores that are cheap as, and the current model is due to be superseded soon, so a price discount on them shouldn't be too far off.

Best of luck!

Byrd
15th May 2007, 05:40 PM
The iBook, in general, has had many more issues than the Macbook. However, late model G4 iBooks had most of the logic board issues ironed out, and are good solid machines.

These days however, it's all Intel - if you can afford it, go the MacBook. The G4 processor will be OK for the tasks you have in mind, but if you want to do more audio stuff, the Macbook will be considerably faster.

JB

forgie
15th May 2007, 06:23 PM
If you're a teacher, I'd say definitely go for a Macbook. You can use windows on it in several ways, so if you need to do any windows only stuff (some schools require this) you'll find things much easier.

BiRDBRAiN
15th May 2007, 06:40 PM
I bought a Macbook a month or so ago and don't regret it.

I use OS X for most of my webdev stuff as well as running Windows, it also runs great for my Windows based development stuff (Visual Studio, etc).

So much faster than my old G4 Powerbook for stuff that needs a bit more grunt.

AnthoMac
15th May 2007, 07:23 PM
Another score for the Macbook. You'll appreciate the extra horsepower it packs compared to the years old G4 chip plus it'll get you through a good few years especially since software seems to demand more power these days.
Quite personally though I'm happy with my PowerBook G4! Runs Audacity and Word fine.

mivory
15th May 2007, 07:45 PM
The macbook has a much brighter and clearer screen and the keyboard is better. It is also faster and better. No internal modem for dialup/ faxing though if that's a consideration. Other than that, definitely the macbook. Im a teacher too, and have an ibook g4. Never had an issue with it- except the battery recall thingy. I've read a few issues about macbooks, but these are taken care of by apple anyway. I suspect a new model soon, so either wait until the 2nd hand prices to drop (soon) or bite the bullet now and suffer a loss in value soon.

Brewster
15th May 2007, 08:24 PM
As everyone one else is saying; go Macbook, it will be useful for much longer than an iBook. I've owned both and they are worlds apart.

doofus
15th May 2007, 09:14 PM
I have an ibook and although it is a great laptop. It would be nice if was a little faster sometimes. Also it doesn't have the ability to easily run windows if required. Go the Macbook!

trailblazer
15th May 2007, 09:33 PM
Theres a few iBooks cheap on eBay at the moment!
1.2GHZ~1.33GHZ G4's

mechcon
15th May 2007, 11:01 PM
new(ish) macbooks are out, check the specs, might be to your liking

jubilantjeremy
16th May 2007, 12:59 AM
However, for every good review there seems to be a negative story too

That's cause every bastard that gets a slightly noisy fan or a dead pixel jumps on mactalk (or equivalent..) and whinges about it!! :) Mac users are notoriously picky.

In general, though, I think you will find that the macbooks have the same (who knows? maybe less?) rate of failure/problem as the brand name pc laptops. I think it's a case of the people who get a 'dud' love to complain, while the majority - who get perfect machines - just get on with whatever they're doing!

Apple warranty is really good in my experience. If it's broken, they replace it.. I had some really good experiences with them a while ago.

Two people I help out with 'computer stuff' bought macbooks and they love them. And they bought them pretty early on in the macbook life, too - so their chances or getting a dud macbook would be higher. Most in my cirle of uni friends have macbook pros too.

Plus if you're a teacher you can probably salary sacrafice, with an edu discount..

- Jeremy

jubilantjeremy
16th May 2007, 01:02 AM
I'll add that i have an 800Mhz g4 ibook and while I'm glad I got it (i can't justify the expense of anything more) I wouldn't really recommend it to someone who's trying to decide between the two. It's pretty slow with a few apps going and the screen is very dim. I do push it hard though!

Azabu
16th May 2007, 02:05 AM
Macbook runs rings around the ol' iBook G4. Planning to replace mine with the Macbook.

Dante Kyar
16th May 2007, 02:14 AM
Plus the Macbook just got upgraded, so now would be a good time to buy one...

decryption
16th May 2007, 06:27 AM
The MacBook, at $1749 EDU price (sounds like you're a teacher), with a DVD burner, 120GB HDD, etc. is great value. An iBook is so old - almost 18 months old. Don't bother!

Squozen
16th May 2007, 07:45 AM
An iBook is an embarrassment when compared to the might of the Core 2 Duo architecture. :)

Johnny Appleseed
16th May 2007, 09:00 AM
Plus the Macbook just got upgraded, so now would be a good time to buy one...

Yup, not only have they upped the RAM and HD (which you otherwise would have had to do yourself), they've lowered the prices!

DebB
16th May 2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks so much for the responses. It does sound like the macbook is the go. I have to admit I wanted one from the moment I saw them... they seem so cheap compared to the macs of old I was wary of quality issues. I also wasn't aware they had upped the specs, though perhaps I will wait until the new model arrives. I gather no-one knows when that will be?

Deb

decryption
16th May 2007, 05:13 PM
Thanks so much for the responses. It does sound like the macbook is the go. I have to admit I wanted one from the moment I saw them... they seem so cheap compared to the macs of old I was wary of quality issues. I also wasn't aware they had upped the specs, though perhaps I will wait until the new model arrives. I gather no-one knows when that will be?

Deb

The Apple online store is saying they'll be delivered in 1-2 business days. So I guess they're available now :)

coljac
17th May 2007, 02:33 PM
I just bought one of the "old" macbooks - the 'middle' white one, for $1699. That's much cheaper than it was on Monday! Given the incremental nature of the update, I think this is a good time to get a relative bargain on a machine with only slightly ageing specs.