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#1 diveh2o

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:02 PM

Right now im using a Sony Vaio and its gettin old (seems to be holding up fine, but its heavy, has poor battery life, is bulky, no DVD burner, etc) ... So im looking to get a new laptop in the near future.

I have a 160 GB Lacie external hardrive and an 80 GB LaCie portable hard drive that i bring with me on trips. These are both formatted for a PC, but I believe Mac will read them without me having to clear them and reformatting them.. Is this right or will I need to reformat?

I think I will make the switch over to mac. The question is Powerbook or iBook (G4 or G5 instead if they come out soon...). The Powerbook has higher screen resolution and a better graphics card and is compatible with better monitors. The ibook isn't widescreen (smaller?), and from what i understand is a little bit more durable, perhaps better if i am going to be traveling?

what do you think?
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#2 anthp

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:42 PM

Hi Roger,

Congratulations on your decision. I recently made the jump from PC and have hardly touched my PC since.

I have an 12" iBook which I really like, but I will also be looking to get one of the Intel-based PBs when they are released in 2006. My girlfriend has fallen in love with the iBook (it is beautiful after all) and I could do with some extra grunt for when i start working with the bigger D200 files.

I got an iBook because when I compared it to it's PB cousin, it had better battery life, similar weight, more RAM capacity and (at the time I purchased) very similar processor speed. The PB has the advantage of support for higher rez external displays and DVD burner (along with a few other little things) but these come with a really high price penalty. Some of the larger PB's (15 and 17") also have PC card slots and support for even higher rez external monitors (eg Apple 30" display if that floats your boat).

I have occassionally missed an internal DVD burner, but have an external one and portable HDDs I use instead. You will easily be able to use your current external HDD's as backup on the road and no, you won't need to reformat them.

I can't comment on the relative robustness of each product. My iBook has been excellent so far tho and it has already been across Central America and parts of Australia.

In terms of performance with current software, I don't think there is enough in it to justify the price difference between the iBooks and the PBs. I would imagine this is an artifact of the artificial ceiling imposed currently imposed by the G4 speed/heat limitations.

However, my iBook runs CS2 fine and I can't detect any difference in speed compared to a friend's 17" PB (1.33 vs 1.67) - we both have the same amount of RAM. Nikon Capture on the other hand is a dog on macs (even more so than PC). I can't comment on other software. Of course any basic office/web software runs very nicely on any mac.

Now in terms of future software...Although the current PBs are spec'd with the minimum requirements for running Aperture, it is almost certain that the next generation will run it much better. The likely jump in processor speed (via the Intel chips) in the next gen will significantly assist in running Aperture and no doubt better video cards, with support for Core Image, will also enhance performance.

So I guess it comes down to the eternal question. Do you really need it now, or can you afford to wait til next year. Normally, my feeling on this is that you may as well get it now because things will always be on the improve. But in this case, I think macs (well laptops anyway) are on the cusp of making a significant leap in performance with the switch to Intel and if you can afford to wait until next year you may find you can use your 'puter for longer.

Hope this helps.
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#3 elbuzo

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 04:13 AM

I recently switch from pc to a 12 powerbook and an additional hd large monitor , and i'm very happy with it.

I choose powerbook over Ibook because the dvd burner . Besides the external memory , for my peace of mine is worth the hassle to have a dvd as physical back up , especially in long trips .

External hardrives sometimes dies . It happens once to a friend , defintly not a happy thing.

Saludos

El buzo

#4 diveh2o

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:30 AM

great thanks guys. I have heard of powerbooks denting when they get dropped and that they are more for desk-desk transportation rather than desk-boat-airport etc. transportation. el buzo do you know anything about this?

I think i would go for the 15" because for now I don't have a monitor and 12" is just too small to be editing pictures on... I'll be running CS2 and aperture


thanks
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#5 tdpriest

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:41 AM

And now for the question that makes me a laughing stock...

... for professional reasons I am tied into PC machines, so I have always used my high-end PC to run Photoshop. I spend sufficiently long considering what I do when editing that the up/down load speed isn't really an issue (more of an annoyance!).

There are cheap and there are tough PCs out there in the Microsoft-haunted wilderness. Why do I need a sexy Mac?

B)

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#6 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 11:17 AM

I have heard of powerbooks denting when they get dropped and that they are more for desk-desk transportation rather than desk-boat-airport etc. transportation.  el buzo do you know anything about this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


My 15" titanium powerbook has been around the world three times, splashed by saltwater on dive boats, dropped on the upper right corner once (from a kitchen counter onto hard tile floor), flung around by baggage monkeys on American Airlines puddlejumpers, sat on, gone camping in Australia's northern territory and been snowed on. I broke the hinges on the monitor when the fall to the floor happened, but the machine itself just kept on keeping on. The hinge design has been completely reworked in the Aluminium models, and would probably survive the fall that mine had.

It is scratched, battered, bruised and cracked in a couple of places, and ready to retire. It has not been babied in the years I have had it (3 years this month), and I have no hesitation in replacing it with a newer aluminium model.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#7 Fishooter

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 07:12 PM

Don't underestimate the strength of the PBs. I have taken a 17" all over the Southern Hemisphere for the last two years. It has taken a beating.

I even dropped it off a table in a hotel in the Falkland Islands. When it fell it landed flat on one of the table legs bending ad denting the underside and keeping the top sides from closing properly.

But it still works fine, in fact I am wiriting this on it right now. If I could do it again though I get the 12" PB. They small and have the memory and power to handle all the image proceesing tasks you might have to carry out in the field.

I am sure you'll be happy which ever way you go.

#8 diveh2o

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the help.

I am still concerned as both of you described "cracks" or dents" signifigant enough to impair the physical operation of it.

I see that the drops don't seem to have any effect on the actual electronics, but I wonder if these drops would have dented and cracked an ibook?
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#9 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 10:21 PM

The iBooks have polycarbonate shells, and are probably even tougher. I got the P'book for the decent video out and larger screen, I use it as my day to day work computer.

My main take home: while the powerbook has had some dings, it has survived incidents that would have utterly destroyed a lesser machine, and has never been rendered unusable in the process.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#10 Rocha

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 03:58 AM

My 15'' PB was also abused in many ways. And it still works fine with no problems on its physical operation (it opens and closes normally).

About your other question (PB vs IB), I don't think there will be a G5 Powerbook. I think the next upgrade will be to Intel processors. Those will certainly be faster (and not much more expensive) than the current G4's, and I am waiting for them to do my upgrade.

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#11 diveh2o

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 08:48 AM

Any idea of a time frame for when they might come out with some new laptops? Maybe I should wait...
Roger Kirkpatrick
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#12 JackConnick

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:53 AM

I have a 14" iBook 1.33Mhz. I added a 1GB RAM card. Runs PS very nicely. BTW, you can buy a change of platform license and sw from Adobe for CS that's not very expensive for your apps for your mac, contact customer service.

I doubt you will see G5s very soon, they haven't been able to make them small enough without having too much heat, etc. One of the reasons they are switching to Intel in a year. That does mean running Aperature on an iBook may be pretty slow.

You can get the iBook with the DVD "Superdrive" burner, no problem. I didn't and I miss it for backup as I shoot RAW. I would get one with an 80GB drive and bluetooth.

The iBook is very tough, but I bought a neat case called a "skin" that is made from memory foam. It stays on all the time and is great protection from drops and wetness, etc. Cheap, I think I found it online for $15.

Check out Apple's refurbs from their online store, if you can settle for a slightly slower processor you can save quite a bit. They have the same warranty.

I do have an "issue" with video on my machine and it is going back for service, they send out a DHL pack and you send it back, may take 7-10 days.

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#13 anthp

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 01:51 PM

Any idea of a time frame for when they might come out with some new laptops?  Maybe I should wait...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Rumour has it that Intel macs (which may be PBs or iBs or mac mini or all of the above) will be release at Macworld in Jan 06 in San Fransisco, but then rumours are just rumours... :P
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#14 Paul Kay

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 12:38 PM

I carry and use a 12" Powerbook with DVD burner wherever I travel. It seems reliable enough (3 years old but treated carefully) as it has given no trouble whatsoever, and was bought because it was the smallest and lightest of Apple's offerings. I often use it to run an Apple monitor on my office desk too.

As for toughness, well I have a Graphics Designer friend who has worn holes in the corners of his 15" powerbook, snapped a hinge, worn out the DVD drive and used the machine for at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the last three years. It is thoroughly battered but with the exception of the DVD drive, still works fine - running a secondary monitor much of the time too, and plugged into his office network.

When I upgrade, I may go for the 15" as it will run the bigger new monitors which I don't think that the 12" will do now. Although I'd consider the iBook, I reckon that the smaller Powerbook is easier to stuff into hand luggage in a neoprene sleeve and this will probably sway me.
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#15 tie

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:00 PM

The 15" has a significantly better monitor than the 12", not just in size but also in brightness, angle of view, color quality. Side by side, there is a big difference.

Nobody knows exactly when Intel Powerbooks will come out. A January prediction seems extremely optimistic, both on the hardware and software sides. More likely (IMHO) the middle of next year. Powerbooks were just updated recently.

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

#16 Drew

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 03:19 AM

Alienware Area 51 computers are the best laptops for photo/video work in the field now. Just saw one in action. 240GB Raid 0 and 17" screen doing WideuXVGA and P4 3.8ghz chip. It's a portable workstation. It's ugly but it works. It's also a windoze machine but I can live with ugly and windoze. Now I just have to find the crack where OSX can be loaded to it and I'm set. I love FCP and Soundtrack, so I'd love to see OSX cracked (sorry steve!)

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#17 t-bohn

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 01:43 AM

Used to have a 12" ibook... lacked the SD...
I now have a 12" PB with SD. Added 1GB RAM and works great.
I use it on tour and to download and check pictures. The SD burns the backups...
The 12" display is too small to do any serious work on it.
At home I have a 21" that connects to the PB which works perfectly.

When it's time to upgrade I'll certainly go for the 15" for the higher resolution and better overall display performance.

Cheers
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#18 RogerC

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 03:42 AM

I've had a lot of macs. In my experience, iBooks are tough enough for kids, powerbooks are tough enough for adults, even adults who travel a lot. But maybe not my wife, she trips over her powercord at least once a month. But her old Ti powerbook still works. Thin laptops, mac or windows, are always more fragile, but they *are* laptops, and built to take some abuse.

I've dropped my Al 17", and it's fine.

You can stiffen them up for travel a bit by adding eepz pads to the screen (do a google search) and the thin sleeve at the same site will protect the hinge by keeping the laptop closed in a fall, I use them and like them, I keep the sleeve on through xrays (around 25 business trips this year, no problem).

Wait until macworld in early jan for announcements, but they will be announcements, if there are new books, they may not be out until lat jan or feb. But there could be a new architecture or price drops, it's worth waiting.

#19 Paul Kay

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 06:49 AM

From what I gather it seems unlikely that Apple will produce G5 Powerbooks as the G5 processors are power hungry and hot. So this may well mean that the next series of Powerbooks are going to be Intel based. This will probably mean teething troubles BUT if you don't mind buying 'last year's technology' should mean that as the G4s go theywill probably drop in price (I'm banking on picking up a bargain early next year as my existing Powerbooks are starting to creak).
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#20 RogerC

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 08:47 AM

i don't think there will be teething problems. There haven't been in any of the last chip changes or architecture changes (32 bit, 64 bit, 6800, G3, g4, g5). The only ones that got me were when the mac II came out and they put color in.