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Powerbook buying advice please?


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Powerbook buying advice please?
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-01, 12:14

Hi.
So, after waiting for the spectacular powerbook reveals at the Paris Expo, I'm now wondering what to do.
Basically need to buy a new powerbook, ideally now but could wait 1-2 months if absolutely necessary.
The one I'm interested in is the 12inch with superdrive. A few questions though for anyone who might have some advice....
1) When is the next big Apple event? It seems like there were - and are - plenty of signs something big was going to happen with powerbooks. For instance, here in the UK, it's now almost impossible to buy them from major retailers, the only place being the apple store which takes two weeks. one place I spoke to said they could usually order them but this option had been removed from their computers.
Also, they're doing an absurd amount of promos (cram and jam, the HP printer thing, powerbook bags for half-prices) which seem suspiciouly like stock-shifting.
And given the new imac looks like they've solved some of the G5 heat issues, who thinks it's worth hanging on a little longer? Till when? Cram and Jam finishes November 2nd...
2)Are all the paris announcements finished?
3)If I do go ahead and get the powerbook now, is 256 enough ram? Can I buy it and add it later, or will that affect applecare warranty?
4) I want to get speakers too, ones that I can sit on my desk and sound good to listen to music whilst i work, not just tinny sound like a walkman turned up loud! Anybody got any recommendations here?

many thanks for any advice you anybody can give.
all best
simon
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-01, 12:24

Sorry, as regards the ram, should have said: really only computer for word processing, itunes, internet, mail. etc.
Also, just read that the hard drive size can increase performance? is this true? have an exxternal lacie firewire 80gb drive which i use to back up already.
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DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2004-09-01, 12:37

If you can, I'd wait the month or two that you are able to, a speedbump seems likely in the coming weeks. If you can't wait, buy now, I have the 12" with the superdrive and it's an awesome machine.

1. Speedbumps of products often don't come at big Apple events. Rather, they would quietly announce it on their website and maybe put out a press release or two. So I wouldn't expect another revision of the G4 PBs to happen at a big Apple event. However, the Cram & Jam deal ends September 25th I believe. If the PowerBooks haven't been updated by than, I'd buy, it's hard to pass up a $60 USD iPod

2. Paris Expo is over and done with. Say hi to the iMac G5

3. 256 MB of RAM is enough, however, enough isn't good enough Head over to Crucial for probably the best RAM out there. They'll even walk you through picking what kind of RAM you need. I had an awesome experience with them, and free shipping too. Don't buy your extra RAM from Apple, it's far too expensive. And installing the RAM yourself will not void your warranty, RAM is considered a user installable part, and it's very easy to put in.

4. I've heard great things about the JBL Creature Speakers, I use an AirPort Express Basestation to stream audio to my receiver, it works pretty well.

Good luck with your purchase, any more questions, feel free to ask

Come waste your time with me

Last edited by DMBand0026 : 2004-09-01 at 12:38. Reason: Removed quote
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-09-01, 12:58

As for the speakers, how much do you want to spend on them? You can get some super high quality sound for $120-$150 if you get the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system (the black speakers, not the silver GMX ones). Quality should be far better than the JBL Creatures, which are pretty good but tiny and they just don't have enough power. Another good option would be the Yamaha YST-MS50 set. Very high quality for slightly under $100.
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-02, 05:57

Hi.
Thanks very much for your replies. I'm going to grit my teeth and try and hang on for another few weeks and see if this speedbump does appear!
As far as the speakers go, I hadn't encountered the Klipsch so will check both those and the yahamas out. Current front-runners were the jbl creatures and the harman kardan soundsticks, so will see how they all measure up against each other.

Thanks again for all help
all best
Simon
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counterculture
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
 
2004-09-02, 07:19

i have a jbl creature on my imac and it blows me away. i hardly use full volume but when i do there doesn't seem to be any compromise in sound quality. it's great even for parties -- brought my computer out, put on itunes, put the g-force visualizer on, cranked up the volume, and it became the star of the night.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-09-02, 09:24

Go ahead and buy. Any speedbump to the G4 line is likely to provide only minor performance improvements because of the relatively slow mobo architecture, etc. I will say to stay away from the 17" model. For some reason they seem to be less responsive in certain scenarios than the 12 and 15" models (possibly because of the extrain strain on the video card).

Anyway, one of Apple's reps emphasised (again) this week, that not only the heat but the size of the G5 chip is too large to be used in Apple's existing laptop enclosures (and they're certainly not likely to make the enclosure larger to suit the chip), and said "not anytime soon" again. As neat and tidy as the new iMac is, it's still a LOT bigger / roomier inside than a laptop.

I don't think we'll see a G5 laptop until after Tiger is released, to give some time-frame perspective. That's the next "big thing" that's coming IMO.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-02, 09:32

Thanks very much for that! All very interesting and probably just the reassurance i need to take the leap. (does this not-huge-improvement stuff also cover any potential release of a dual core g4 I have heard people talking about?)
One other follow-up question, though, if that is alright - when is Tiger expected? Is that pretty soon?
many thanks for all the advice. it's much appreciated.
all best wishes
simon
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-09-02, 10:29

I'd have to disagree with Moogs - the G4 in its current form is not going to get tremendously faster, but the next G4 used in the PowerBooks isn't going to be the same exact processor. If they move to dual-core G4s, it will make them much faster. If they use next-generation G4s with an improved architecture and a higher clock speed, they will be much better even if they don't go dual core. There won't be another PowerBook with the current 7447 processor - it has topped out at 1.5 GHz. The next ones will use a better processor, and it's highly likely that it'll have multiple architectural improvements in addition to a higher clock speed.

I'm not saying you have to wait - I'm just trying to make the point that Apple rarely does a totally lackluster update. Sometimes they're boring, yes, but it's not often that a speed bump will not make the computers significantly better. They don't just get faster processors, you also get faster video cards, larger hard drives, and maybe a few other extra features.
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-02, 13:21

Aarggh! Now I'm confused! (Though grateful for all of your advice, of course.)
Obviously I understand that this is necessarily an inexact science, but when do people feel we are likely to see an update (if at all)?
(I still find it suspicious that ALL the department stores here are out of them. apple store guy said this was because people were going back to school, but only the high school kids have gone back and i think any high school kid with a powerbook is both very lucky and also pretty unusual!)
Thanks again for any words of wisdom
Simon
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chipz
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sicklerville NJ
 
2004-09-02, 13:38

I wouldn't expect any major revision of the PB until January or March when they introduce Tiger. The PB 12" is a good buy now and I doubt if it will become outmoded very soon. It is fast, efficient and compact. If you need the larger screen, go for the 15" PB. The 17" PB is nice, but may be more than you want to carry around. I'd advise taking it for a test hike first.

TCAT
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-09-02, 14:26

A dual core G4 laptop would definitely be a nice improvement, but again unless they dramatically change the architecture (RAM, bus speeds, etc), I don't see truly dramatic improvements taking place. Also, reports on this "dual core" G4 seem pretty sketchy to me. I don't really know how much evidence there is (or isn't) for this supposed new chip, but suffice it to say if it's coming from Motorola, I'll believe it when I see it.

Tiger is still an alpha product AFAICT. I'd expect it sometime in the Spring.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-09-02, 14:34

There's always the option of getting the 12" and augmenting it with the 20" display for home use. If $3500 fell into my lap today, that's probably what I'd do, knowing now what I do about mobility, lugging stuff around, screen real estate, how I work, my soon-to-arrive EyeTV 200, DVI-equipped PowerBooks and Cinema Displays, etc.

Best of both: ultimate portability and kick-ass screen real estate.
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murbot
Mammogram Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2004-09-02, 14:59

Paul, if you stuck that post in your sig you'd cut your posting frequency in half.

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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-09-02, 15:05

Yeah, I thought of that. And a link too! A picture of a turtle on a screen.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-09-02, 15:30

Heheh. Murbot's signature should read "I buy and sell Macs... and drink a lot."
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writesimon
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
 
2004-09-03, 13:20

Okay, thanks very much everbody.
Just bought the bullet and went for it: 12 inch powerbook with superdrive, the harman kardon speakers, printer, airport express, ipod (how could I resist that offer?) and of course not forgetting applecare given the problems my ibook had in its later life.
Wow. I'm so excited. Now, if I can just wait the two-to-two and a half weeks they say it's golng to take to get here...

Thank you all for your advice. Sincerely appreciated.
All best wishes
Simon
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-09-03, 14:30

Very cool. Enjoy it! You got the whole package, huh? That's neat. I had to do my set-up a little at a time, over several months.
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DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2004-09-03, 18:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by writesimon
Just bought the bullet and went for it: 12 inch powerbook [snip]

Congrats, you're gonna love that thing I have a lot of the stuff you have listed, and it's a great combo

Enjoy
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