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TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:23
I am considering getting a 12 inch powerbook for school, but after reading various reviews I wanted to clear some things up with you guys. Some reviews were also from 2003, and I wasn't sure if Apple had cleared anything up sense then.

1) I've heard the powerbook gets overheated alot. Is this just when charging, or when running multiple programs, or what?

2) I read that when placed on a desk the powerbook "wobbles" from side to side a little. Is this true? I was shocked to read that in a review becuase I'm sure Apple puts their stuff through a rigorous testing process, and something like this would have immediatley shown...

3) Any other gripes about the current 12 inch powerbook? Or maybe any good things about it?

Thanks in advance :D

TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:24
Not sure if this should be in Purchasing Advice or not....Move it if neccessary :)

rollercoaster375
2005-12-10, 22:28
I would recommend waiting until January to buy. MWSF should have some news.

TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:29
Ehhh...I was considering waiting, but the current powerbooks have such great specs that I think I'm going to go ahead and buy. I'm expecting MWSF to have iBook updates anway, not PB, but that's another thread ....

screensaver400
2005-12-10, 22:47
If an intel iBook is released, it will likely be faster than the current Powerbooks for most uses. However, professionals who use Photoshop all the time will still be better served by the older G4-based machines, until PS is made a Universal Binary.

For most people, the sort of Intel iBook expected at MWSF (see other threads) will be more than sufficient. I'll probably be selling my Rev. D 12" PB w/SD in favor of an iBook if one is released. I use Photoshop and the like, but I can deal with an extra 5 seconds for a filter if it means a system that is faster overall.

BlueRabbit
2005-12-10, 22:51
Yes, my 12" PB does get hot a bit easily. Usually only when running CPU-intensive stuff, though, such as gaming. During normal use, not too much.

As for the wobbling, it only wobbles if the table is uneven. The person who wrote the review you heard should get a better table. :)

Overall, I like it a lot. Nice and small, and the screen isn't too much of a problem because of cool stuff like Exposť.

TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:52
All these MWSF questions are driving me insane! Ahhhhhh :no: :eek: :lol:

TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:54
Thanks Blue Rabbit. So only when the CPU is used alot does it get hot? Not for just one program? That makes sense...

And thanks for clearing up the "wobbling". I new Apple wouldn't let a thing like that past them!

TheBigApple
2005-12-10, 22:56
Do most all laptops get hot easily? My dad has a 17 inch windows running laptop and it gets really hot and I HATE it, it does of course run windows so that may be part of the reason.

How about for watching DVDs? Does it get hot then?

turano
2005-12-10, 22:58
Love my 12in PB runs a little hot during heavy processing, but i do a lot of video stuff on it great and portable. light fits in any case. lower the screen brightness and extend battery life significantly.

I might wait the additional 4 weeks to see what comes out, but thats just cause i already have my mac. Oh, runs on my 20in screen awesome.

turano

rasmits
2005-12-10, 23:24
1. Hot, kinda, but not "overheated". There is a difference. In my experience, the PowerBook doesn't get any hotter then other laptops I have used.

2. My PowerBook does wobble, but it never bothered me enough to do anything about it. You can just trim the non-skids on the bottom so they're even if you have the problem though.

atomicbartbeans
2005-12-10, 23:33
Sometimes the PowerBook feels pretty hot, but it is cooler on the inside than most other laptops. The reason? Aluminum is a great conductor of heat. It's better for the computer to be able to breathe than for it to be cool on the surface, but circuit-scorchingly hot inside.

stevegong
2005-12-11, 02:14
I would really wait till january if I were you. The current 12 inch (which is what I have) is really nothing to get excited about, especially the fact that it hasn't been updated since january.

nato64
2005-12-11, 02:41
mine wables a little bit... but that may be caused that my bag broke and it feel the third day i had it. the drop warped one of the edges in so that might have done it. never heard of it on another machine so maybe this one isn't my fault.

Brad
2005-12-11, 02:54
Mine wobbled until I ripped off one of the feet. Now it sits perfectly on practically any flat surface.

Franz Josef
2005-12-11, 03:22
Yes, a little hot (but not dangerously so) when running CPU intensive apps. Personally I've never found it a problem.
No, never, in my experience.
The 12" PowerBook is still a very good laptop and better than the 12" iBook, though in value terms, the price difference looks a bit hard to justify these days. As mentioned above, probably worth waiting until Jan before you buy, but bear in mind if it is a PowerBook, not an iBook you want, they may not be updated to Intel for a good number of months after the iBook. Also bear in mind that the 12" PB is rumored by some to be discontinued in the Intel line-up.

I particularly like the 12" PB because it is very light and portable.

stevegong
2005-12-11, 11:24
Mine wobbled until I ripped off one of the feet. Now it sits perfectly on practically any flat surface.

Dude, I can't believe you did this.

The wobble thing is a pretty common phenomenon, basically with heat and a bad surface, such as on your lap, the aluminium will warp.

The fix for this is to set the pb on the edge of a table and apply a little force to bend it back.

I'm serious, that's what the techs at apple do. That's what I've been doing. It doesn't damage the computer at all, just the al has a nature of bending, that's all.

Luca
2005-12-11, 12:09
Yet another recommendation to wait. The 12" PowerBook has undoubtedly the worst value of any Mac at the moment. Based on how it compares to the $999 iBook, it should only cost about $1200... and that's taking into account Apple's rather high prices. Unless it's urgent, I'd advise waiting until they get an update, since as stevegong points out, it's been a year since the 12" PowerBook has gotten any better. And even if you need a computer right now, I'd still suggest getting the 12" iBook because it's such a better deal than the PowerBook. $500 less and it's only barely less capable.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 12:15
Well I have considered the iBook, but I really want a SuperDrive in a 12 inch screen size laptop.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 12:16
Seriously, Stevegong, they just bend it? Wow?

Oh, another Q

What (edit) revision 12 inch pb is this (a,b,c,?). And if it is a later rev., have any improvements been made since the original introduciton?

DMBand0026
2005-12-11, 12:27
The fan doesn't turn on unless I'm rending video/applying photoshop filters...CPU intensive stuff. It's not overly warm.

No wobbling here. Never had a problem with that in the year and a half I've owned this thing.

I love my computer, but I'd recommend you wait until at least January if you don't need it today.

DMBand0026
2005-12-11, 12:29
Right now I believe it's rev. D, I have rev. C and I think only one more has come out since than. Since its inception they've added a lot of things, mostly under the hood. The biggest external change was the addition of Mini-DVI.

pscates2.0
2005-12-11, 12:33
BigApple, I highly recommend Mactracker (http://www.mactracker.ca/), as an easy, quick way to help answer these types of questions!

It's a great app, totally free. Many here swear by it, and it's always my "go to" source to find out what came out, when it did and what it had.

:)

But, to answer your question, according to Mactracker the 12" is on its Rev. D (the last entry for it was the January 2005, with SMS, 5400rpm hard drive, scrolling trackpad, etc.)

The software does include the October dual-layer SuperDrive and higher resolution display updates to the 15" and 17" models, but no mention of the 12" (since it didn't receive any love that day).

So the January 2005 12" PowerBook looks to be the fourth revision (D) since it was introduced in January 2003.

In any case, Mactracker goes into much more specifics (release, discontinue dates, features added, history of each model, general specs of that specific model, etc.).

Go get it...chances are, you'll get A LOT of your questions answered. A week doesn't go by that I don't launch it 1-2 times to check something, or satisfy my curiosity...

chucker
2005-12-11, 12:35
What "revolution" 12 inch pb is this (a,b,c,?). And if it is a later rev., have any improvements been made since the original introduciton?

You mean "revision". The first 12-inch PowerBook was introduced January 08, 2003 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/01/20030108221159.shtml). September 16, it was first updated (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/09/20030916055045.shtml). Then April 19, 2004 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/04/20040419084557.shtml) and January 31, 2005 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/01/20050131091044.shtml). Finally, the 12-inch PowerBook hardly changed at all on October 19 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/10/20051019144929.shtml). So I'd say we're on Rev D. Or D.5, if you will. The default options changed in October; for example, a SuperDrive is now included rather than an option, and the 60 GB hard drive was replaced by an 80 GB one.

Really, what you're getting is a laptop that's virtually unchanged from late January, and even then, it wasn't much of a compelling option. It lacks widescreen (unlike the other PowerBooks), it lacks a high resolution (unlike the other PowerBooks), it lacks a decent graphics card (unlike even the $500 less iBook), it lets you install less, not more, RAM than the iBook for $500 less does, it doesn't have PCMCIA (unlike the other PowerBooks), nor FireWire 800 (unlike the other PowerBooks), etc. At least it has DVI and officially-supported spanning, and, well, a SuperDrive. It comes with one of the best laptop keyboards that exist, although it lacks illumination (unlike the other PowerBooks). It comes with Gigabit Ethernet, unlike the iBook. But are those features worth $500? I don't believe so.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 12:40
Thanks DMBand, I was starting to get a little worried!

Thanks guys for all of your advice, keep it coming! One thing that I have learned from my iMac G4 (bought 2.5 years ago) is that no matter what updates are released, I will still have a great product that I will love anyway. Granted, who doesn't want the latest stuff, but I think I will be happy either way.

And thanks pscates, I've downloaded Mactracker and I love it! :)

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 12:41
Oh yes, I meant revision...sorry

Satchmo
2005-12-11, 13:06
BigApple, I highly recommend Mactracker (http://www.mactracker.ca/), as an easy, quick way to help answer these types of questions!



Hey pscates, thanks for this app link. It's wonderful! It sure brings back many fond memories of our beloved Macintosh.

If anything, it really illustrates how far (and how long) it has taken for Apple to be where they are today. It also makes me realize how fanatical we Macheads are to have stuck in there. :)

Luca
2005-12-11, 13:57
It comes with Gigabit Ethernet, unlike the iBook.
Actually, it doesn't. Depressing, isn't it?

chucker
2005-12-11, 14:00
Actually, it doesn't. Depressing, isn't it?

I wasn't sure about that one, and obviously remembered it wrong. I'd call it "retardedly stupid" (even though AppleSpell inexplicably marks that as wrong) rather than depressing.

BFG
2005-12-11, 14:16
1) I've heard the powerbook gets overheated alot. Is this just when charging, or when running multiple programs, or what?

If you have it on your lap it gets hot, very hot. If you have it on a table top etc it gets hot yes but i wouldn't say that i could flip it over and cook my breakfast on it. it also gets icy cold when its asleep or turned off which i love though.

2) I read that when placed on a desk the powerbook "wobbles" from side to side a little. Is this true? I was shocked to read that in a review becuase I'm sure Apple puts their stuff through a rigorous testing process, and something like this would have immediatley shown...


I thought it was just me!! Yeah on a flat table etc mine does indeed have a rather nasty wobble... but i can't remember if it did when i first got it (there was a nasty accident where the powerbook took a bit of a knocking and needed some emergency repairs and a little bit of body work adjustment!! ;)

3) Any other gripes about the current 12 inch powerbook? Or maybe any good things about it?

Not really - it does exactly what i initially asked it to do. - be a very small and portable laptop that i could take to and around Uni running word etc, use for email and web browsing, and to log and digitise video footage. (ok the last one wasn't so ideal but when your out shooting its great to have such a small laptop)

Then again id suggest you don't go for anything til post January - you might find you can get a very nice ibook that will do just what you want ;)

chucker
2005-12-11, 14:19
As for heat: I can't stress enough that the iLap (http://www.raindesigninc.com/ilap.html) really is an essential accessory for anyone serious into extensively using an Apple laptop. The 12-inch size is available for $49 which really isn't bad at all. The thing makes usage much more ergonomic and as a very nice side effect dissipates heat, being aluminum-based. It also replaces Apple's plastic feet with somewhat nicer, stickier rubber-based ones. Finally, it optionally adds a round piece of fabric to rest your palmson.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 14:27
Do iBooks have these kind of heating problems as well?

chucker
2005-12-11, 14:30
Do iBooks have these kind of heating problems as well?

Nowhere near to the same extent, no. However, both iBooks and PowerBooks do dissipate heat to the bottom.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 14:33
I wish that the 12 inch iBook had the superdrive in it, then I believe I would switch to the iBook. This brings up the questions arising from the future MWSF...

Is heat on the Powerbook just accepted? I mean I imagined that Apple would have recognized and somehow corrected the problem. I'm sure they realize it....Is there just nothing they could do without sacrificing the PB's size, style, etc.?

And where exactly does the Powerbook get hot? I know in an iBook I used it was just the left palm rest that was a little toasty, which was easy to avoid. d

BFG
2005-12-11, 14:40
the heat is all on the bottom of the laptop - bottom leftish of the laptop if i remember rightly

MCQ
2005-12-11, 18:14
Didn't read any of the above, but for what it's worth I saw on TechBargains that Amazon has the 12" PB for $1199 after $150 MIR. Pretty good deal if you can't wait for new PB.

rminkler
2005-12-11, 18:34
I know this has already been said, but I think it is likely that the ibook update in January will be a big one, possibly including superdrive possibilities on the smaller one (12" if it doesn't move to a 13" widescreen or something)...

It's only a few weeks away.

TheBigApple
2005-12-11, 19:29
Thanks for the info MCQ, that is a SWEET deal? How long has it been going on?

I know, I know, rminkler. I was going to wait but....it's a long story. Thanks for the input though!

stevegong
2005-12-11, 22:16
guys, you're making too big a deal about this. The heat is so minor and only mac users would complain about this. Seriously, and trust me, you're making this a big deal when it's not.

I'm a lot more annoyed with the fact that I ALL macs now cannot have their hdds spun down and kept that way. That is a MUCH bigger deal.