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22 November 2005 @ 10:00 pm
So, I'd been thinking about getting a 12" PowerBook (since, surprisingly, it looks like I'll actually have the budget for it). I've been thinking that I wanted one for quite a while -- it'd be a decent UNIX laptop, and the 12" form factor makes it a nice opposite to my current 17" monster.


Just out of curiousity, I was comparing it to the 12" Windows boxes... It actually compares fairly well there (much better than the other Macs in the PowerBook line). It's only about 20% more expensive than a more or less equivalent Windows box (as opposed to approaching 100% for the top-of-the-line), it's only a tad heavier (not enough to make a difference when both are well under five pounds), but the one area it comes up short is the one area I consider most critical -- the display. I was looking at one in one of the local Mac stores we have here, and I just wasn't impressed. The other PowerBooks got much needed upgrades recently; more resolution, brighter screens -- at least the 17" got a brighter screen, not sure about the 15". They actually look pretty good. The 12" -- not so much. It didn't get upgraded at all -- same fairly pathetic 1024x768, not very bright or sharp, nor with a particularly wide viewing angle.

Of course, I'm not going to buy a 12" Windows box. I've already got a perfectly functional Wintel laptop. But... Despite now being able to afford it, I'm rethinking getting a Mac laptop, too. The 15" (and especially the 17") is just ridiculously expensive for what you get (and doesn't have the advantage of being "pocket-sized" like the 12"), but the bottom line is that the 12" just wasn't impressing me. I dunno, it's going to be a couple of weeks before I decide, anyway, and I'll probably go look at one again when I have some time to think about it. I was in a hurry when I was looking at it, really.

One thing though -- there's no point in buying a Mac online; they charge the same sales tax I'd pay by walking into a local Mac shop and buying one on the spot. Unless you can get it etched or something, like with my iPod. (I don't actually know, though it'd be cool if you could.)
In the mood: disappointeddisappointed
Laurel Amberdineamberdine on November 23rd, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
Why a powerbook rather than an ibook? The Intel-based powerbooks are supposedly going to be out fairly soon, too.

And yeah, whatever you get, get it from Amazon. (If you don't hate them, at least.) They have rebates, no tax, free shipping, and the A9 discount.

I wasn't impressed with my iBook until I started doing work on it. At the store it was ... eh, pretty shiny case, but kind of boring.
Douglas Triggs: fountaindoubt72 on November 23rd, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
Why PowerBook instead of iBook? Much better specs. Plus, I don't like the white. Price/performance-wise, the 12" PowerBook is the sweet spot.

Why not wait for intel-based? Because I don't expect the display to change, and the intel "upgrade" is fairly meaningless to me otherwise (processor speed doesn't matter all that much to me). Except in an aesthetic sense -- I'd like to get something with a PPC chip while it's still possible. Plus, we're probably talking three months anyway. I'm thinking more like three weeks. Or less.

Amazon? Hmmm... It would save me the tax, and there's the rebate. Sounds like a deal (what's the A9 thing? I don't see any discount). Enough to move me from "maybe" to "probably" on the deal.
Laurel Amberdineamberdine on November 23rd, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
The A9 discount was offered to me for using Amazon's search engine for a few days. I don't know how you get them to offer this to you -- it just appeared on the front page one day. I used the search engine for about two days, and then my Amazon logo changed and now I get pi/2 off any order... until they decide I don't.

Maybe try looking at www.a9.com and see if it shows up there?

I guess the only thing the intel processor will do is longer battery life. I don't know if that matters to you.

The white is kinda girly looking, I guess. :)
Douglas Triggs: atomsdoubt72 on November 23rd, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I figured out the A9 thing (found a page talking about it in some blog, then I signed in with my Amazon login, and it appeared next to my checkout button, which explained it all). So, guess what I'll be using?

As for battery, it's hard to beat the five hours of battery life it's already got -- and the three I get out of my 17" (before it gets so low it starts complaining) is already enough. Of course, it gets those five hours at the expense of processor speed... But processor speed hasn't been the most important thing for a decade... Rendering and CPU-specific tasks like that excluded.

Interesting thing to note -- with the rebate, the discount, and no taxes, the 12" PowerBook actually costs almost exactly the same as the Wintel equivalent (that's probably the only Mac laptop that would). The only difference is the not-as-good display, but it makes up for it with the industrial design, I guess. Of course, given that the 17" Wintel box has already replaced my two Windows desktops, and given the fact that if I move, the 12" is more or less meant to replace my Linux box, I could see it getting a nice large Cinema display in the future.