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12" Powerbook: Slick and Sexy, But Not Without Issues

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the looking-at-the-machine dept.

Portables (Apple) 359

Gentu writes "Two very good reviews on the 12" Powerbook have been published today. The first review can be found at the Washington Post and is very positive but not very thorough, while the second one found at OSNews is an in-depth review of the popular Mac laptop, tackling down many issues that future purchasers should be aware of. 'The new 12" Powerbook is nothing more but an iBook on steroids with a G4 in it' OSNews concludes, but the overall read is very interesting."

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359 comments

FP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269753)

He complains about the heat? I bet he's never used a TiBook...

Re:FP? (2, Informative)

truenoir (604083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270059)

Well, this is a G4 laptop with no fan (according to the article). The larger 'books have fans, and so may actual cool down a little more.

AMD logo (2, Funny)

_typo (122952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269755)

What's with the AMD logo. Did they get an Athlon in one of these things?

Re:AMD logo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269760)

I predict a redunant and off-topic moderation to your post in the future as several other people post the same thing and the slashdot crew changes the icon.

Re:AMD logo (2, Funny)

stev3 (640425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269763)

Mmmmmmm, x86 on Apple hardware. That's gotta be the best price/performance ratio out there!

Re:AMD logo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269773)

They are confused because AMD released barton ( XP 3000+ ) today.

Re:AMD logo (5, Funny)

CountZero007 (39755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269819)

Yeah, they finally crammed an Athlon into a laptop... the case is metal, so the whole thing acts as a 12" heatsink :)

If you overclock it, it does a cool impression of the T1000 from Terminator 2!

AMD logo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269756)

Why this AMD logo ? Isn't it an Apple story ?

Hot PowerBooks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269757)

Poured down your pants.

In SovietRussia Powerbook has sex with YOU tsarkon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269767)

In Soviet Russia, Powerbooks has sex with YOU!

oops? (0, Redundant)

moriya (195881) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269768)

an Apple story showing an AMD icon. We're still a month and a half off 'till April 1st though.

Just bought a new 15".. (5, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269775)

The 12" is really just a hopped up iBook. It doesn't have DVI, making it incompatible with all of Apple's displays .. including the Cinema display. I don't know why Apple did this.

Lots of people have bitched about the scaled back memory too. There probably isn't a technical reason why it was limited to 640Meg, and there's no L3 cache onboard. Those issues wouldn't have bothered me as much as the lack of DVI.. I mean, apple themselves have sold it pretty heavily.

Anyhow, my TiSD should be here soon.. I won't even get into the mystery shipping on the 17". 17" makes a great desktop replacement, but if you're going to multihead it with a very large display it's kinda moot.

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (5, Interesting)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269793)

Maybe it's so much like an iBook because they're looking to phase out the G3 processor? When they do that they can just move the 12" Powerbooks down to the $1200 price range with a slow G4 processor and eliminate the iBook line altogether. I know if I had the option I would've bought the 12" Powerbook instead of the 12" iBook I bought in October even though it would've been about $400 more. The G4 alone is worth it. As for the 17" Powerbook.. is anyone buying these things? I can't imagine lugging a 17" iMac's display around all day. I'd rather have a 15" Powerbook with the same specs as the 17" (800 Mb Firewire, DDR ram, etc.)

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269960)

Some people might not lug this around, they might keep it on their desk as a space saving option. Ever think of that?

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270211)

A PowerMac under the desk and a cinema display on top of it would save more space.

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (3, Interesting)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269824)

Fankly, we tend to use our older Ti's over out new ones at work because they have vga. Our users seem to have problems with the DVI-VGA adaptors for some reason when they're doing ppt presentations on the road.

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (2, Interesting)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270221)

Our users seem to have problems with the DVI-VGA adaptors for some reason when they're doing ppt presentations on the road.
Oh good, I'm not the only one who's seen that. I rent projectors and had a few PO'd customers that blamed it on me. Of course, then I also see them unplug the adaptor from their TiBook by yanking on the cable.

Luckily, I've added some projectors with DVI inputs to my inventory. Solves many problems.

Re:Just bought a new 15".. (2, Informative)

tbmaddux (145207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269915)

Lots of people have bitched about the scaled back memory too. There probably isn't a technical reason why it was limited to 640Meg...
The 12" PowerBook has a single slot that can accept a single 512MB SO-DIMM. The remaining 128MB RAM is soldered to the motherboard, just like on the iBook. So why did they do that? I'm not sure... the 12" PowerBook is thicker than the other PowerBooks which have 2 SO-DIMM slots, but perhaps there were other space issues to deal with.

Wow... (4, Interesting)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269776)

Well done slashdot!! An extremely relevant news article (im not being sarcastic).

I'll go read the articles and see... I was planning on ordering the 12" Powerbook this evening :)~

So does anyone here that owns a 12" PB have anything that should be brought to my attention before buying one? I've never owned a mac before but Im quite interested in this Powerbook because of how small it is and also it means I'll have a portable Unix based laptop. Im a student learning C++, Java and AWK right now.
Thanks for any info.

Re:Wow... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269875)

A student buying a 3k$ laptop to learn awk :) lol

Re:Wow... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269905)

check what do i know? [whatdoiknow.org].
todd bought one recently and posted a long rant on it.

You shouldn't use OSX for Java (5, Funny)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269986)

because after you use it on OSX you'll grow disillusioned with other implementations thanks to Apple's improvements in the JVM and Swing/AWT :)

Re:Wow... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270107)

Disclaimer: I've had mine less than week and it replaces a PII 300 MHz Inspiron 7000.

I don't agree with all the complaints in the OSNews review. To wit:
  • I didn't have trouble with the touchpad for longer than it took to find the acceleration settings, < 1 min.
  • The LCD isn't fantastic, but it's better than the 15" one on my old Dell.
  • The fonts might look bad to someone used to a powerbook, but they look better than any linux distro I've seen, including RH 8.0

I've compiled a fair bit of code on it and it seems fairly quick--at least as fast as my PIII 933 Desktop--and has reasonable battery life, 3-4 hours while compiling. Haven't really had time to benchmark the compile times on my own code. I'm quite happy with it.

Bottom line, if you want something really portable, I'd go for it. If you're looking for a desktop replacement, I'd look at the bigger ones.

Final note: get more ram. I've noticed that the front left corner does get hot, but I have a feeling it might be related to HDD usage.

Re:Wow... (5, Interesting)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270297)

don't buy the Powerbook. The 800Mhz 12 inch iBook is a MUCH better deal - and is actually FASTER in normal use ( the PPC 750fx has 512KB L2 cache vs the G4's 256KB). The price difference is so large that you could put a top spec IBM Travelstar AND max the RAM and it still wouldn't cost as much as the pb.

If you don't believe me, check out www.barefeats.com where they have a comparative speed review. If you want a Powerbook, go for the 15inch model, if you want an OSX portable - 800Mhz iBook is the king.

MHz vs. GHz (3, Insightful)

mj (123061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269784)

Call me naive or whatever, but this new powerbook comes with a 867MHz processor.

And while I realize that's not a direct measure of speed, I have to ask:

Is apple falling way behind? How do these systems compete with the 2 and 3 GHz intel systems coming out?

The reviewer stated that this model was much faster than their 450. Well, ya, its double, but its not a 2.4GHz chip or anything....??

Thanks for your comments,
mj

Re:MHz vs. GHz (5, Interesting)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269817)

Whilst you're right that the Motorola RISC architecture that Apple utilise cannot be compared MHz for MHz with an Intel CISC device, they have been lagging for a little while in trms of raw power (MIPS). However, their speed/performance ratio is quite high.

I think that the general feeling of the Mac-hardcore is that Motorola just do not invest enough time or money in development of their chips.

Someone more knowledgable than me can correct this fact though. Were Apple also not once considering swicthing to Intel (?!).

Probably all lies.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (5, Informative)

danaris (525051) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269840)

This is true: Motorola has, over the past couple of years, been moving their focus more and more away from Apple, and desktop systems in general, to focus on the embedded market. It is largely because of this that this year's last models of PowerMacs (that is, the ones that will come out late this year) will sport IBM PowerPC 970 chips. IBM won't be leaving the desktop/server market anytime soon, and it looks like they are now forming a partnership with Apple that will benefit them both. (How weird is that? IBM and Apple...)

Dan Aris

Re:MHz vs. GHz (5, Informative)

extra88 (1003) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269927)

(How weird is that? IBM and Apple...)

How about "not at all?" From the beginning of PowerPC Macs, the PowerPC was the domain of "AIM": Apple, IBM, Motorola. They all had a formal agreement of some kind regarding the chip's development. I think it kind of fell apart, probably around when Motorola developed Altivec, but IBM has never stopped making PowerPC chips for themselves, Apple, and others. I think IBM makes all the G3 chips Apple buys today. IBM has long done a better job of keeping up with advancements in chip production and keeping yields at a higher level than Motorola. Higher yields means cheaper and faster chips. Unfortunately Apple needs Altivec and Motorola hasn't been sharing.

Use of the IBM 970 chip is still rumor, one I haven't really paid attention to though. Has Motorola finally licensed Altivec to IBM or did IBM make their own version of it? You can't have two different kinds of G4s so if the IBM chip doesn't have Altivec it would have to be called something else ("G5?") and the G4 would have to replace the G3 in the iBooks (or, as someone else mentions, the iBook dies in favor of the 12" PowerBook). Even so, if there's a new Altivec-like chip feature, it'll take a long time for apps to be updated to take advantage of it. Apple would use it immediately, followed quickly by Adobe Photoshop, but many apps would wait until their next upgrade cycle.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (4, Informative)

Toraz Chryx (467835) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269994)

The PowerPC 970 has altivec execution hardware.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (4, Informative)

Pathwalker (103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270172)

if there's a new Altivec-like chip feature, it'll take a long time for apps to be updated to take advantage of it.

Not really - most apps that are Altivec enhanced use vDSP [apple.com] from the VecLib framework rather than manually writing Altivec code.
Apple would just have to provide a new version of the VecLib framework that uses whatever vector processing is available in the new target CPU.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (1)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269970)

(How weird is that? IBM and Apple...)

I keep thinking of the hammer thrown at the big-brother screen.

This 1980's...

Re:MHz vs. GHz - it's not always about clockspeed (4, Insightful)

caveat (26803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269861)

Well, most PowerBook owners really don't seem to be concerned that an AlienWare desk/laptop with a 3.06GP4 can run Photoshop so-and-so times faster; they seem to be more into the idea of a gorgeously-designed machine with an OS that allows them the ease of use to actually work efficiently, while still allowing them all the power they could ever want. Laptop people tend to realize much more than desktop people that a computer isn't always and end unto itself; most of the time it's just a tool for getting the job done, and they'll choose the best one available.
Plus they have that great ad with Yao Ming and Verne Troyer...still can't figure out why they didn't premiere it during the Superbowl, though.

Re:MHz vs. GHz - it's not always about clockspeed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269978)

You're forgetting that the Alienware machine is 10 freaking pounds. That's not portable IMO.

Re:MHz vs. GHz - it's not always about clockspeed (4, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270076)

Laptop people tend to realize much more than desktop people that a computer isn't always and end unto itself

Amazing, isn't it, how people end up on the CPU treadmill? I just bought a digital camera. Already have a film SLR -- decent enough, and certainly a better picture than any digital camera under $1800 or so. What I needed was a complement to that. The kids are nine, they're old enough to enjoy taking pictures but not old enough not to waste hundreds of worthless frames learning how on film. The SLR's big to lug around, too, so a decent little digital made sense. For what we were doing, a 3 MP model seemed fine, and small-but-not-ultra-compact -- emphasis on durable, for the kids. I narrowed the models down, read some reviews, and chose something at that sweet spot. It happened to be one of the Sony models -- because it has a nice little design that's easy to tuck in a pocket and a decent little interface. Seemed better-engineered than the comparable Canons.

Apple gets that. They understand how to pitch to different market segments. Their machines have design sense, they're meant to work with you. They're durable. The OS is pleasant -- the kids haven't given me much chance to use the new camera, but they tell me iPhoto is easy as can be... :-) And they're using it on the 17" iMac that's displaced the PCs in the household because it'll fit in a weird spot and it's better at the stuff we actually do.

But why do people not "get" the whole tradeoff idea except for portables? The hutch/shrines people set up for their computers are surreal. (Hide it in the basement, please, honey.) Or look at that /. article last week about upgrading your machine to play games -- that's technology for its own sake, for people who can only be satisfied with a shooter if they know they're getting a respectable FPS rate. For some reason people "get" it for portables, but not for desktop systems. Weird.

The Myth (2, Insightful)

ciryon (218518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269891)

Have you heard about the Megaherz Myth [maconline.com]?

The PowerPC CPU can't be compared to Intel/AMD's since they operate very differently.

Still, yes, Macintoshes are falling behind when it comes to raw speed. But cleverly designed software makes it a lot faster to work with a Mac.

Ciryon

Re:MHz vs. GHz (3, Insightful)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269950)

Look at it this way. Intel's fastest processor is something like 3.06 GHz. AMD's fastest is, what, 2.1 GHz (sure they call is 3000+, but that's just marketing). Fastest PowerPC is 1.42 GHz.


So who's falling behind whom? Intel CPU is 50% faster than that AMD, except the AMD is actually about the same performance. PowerPC isn't half the speed of the Intel, but it runs fast enough that 90% of users would never know it was "slow". Add on the fact that if you want Mac OS you only have one choice (and if you have only spent a few minutes with it at a store, you don't know how beautiful it really is).


Hmmmm.... maybe CPUs really aren't as important as they used to be.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (5, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269958)

Is apple falling way behind? How do these systems compete with the 2 and 3 GHz intel systems coming out?
How fast is the processor actually running on those portable 2 and 3 GHz intel systems? When running full speed, how much battery life are they seeing?

I'll bet you still can't watch a DVD straight through while on battery with those intel systems.

Re:MHz vs. GHz (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270111)

Is apple falling way behind? How do these systems compete with the 2 and 3 GHz intel systems coming out?
The reviewer stated that this model was much faster than their 450. Well, ya, its double, but its not a 2.4GHz chip or anything....??

My 500 MHz iBook is much faster (at least 1.5X as fast) than my 700 MHz PIII desktop, which also has 1/2 again as much memory. And last I checked, there were no 3 GHz laptops. (Keep in mind, by the way, that [roughly] the higher the clockspeed, the shorter the battery life).

Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (1)

JimR (101182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269787)

My 9 year old HP Omnibook 600CT is showing it's age and the 12" Powerbook is almost exactly the same size (and has a higher resolution screen, larger hard disk, optical drive, similar battery life, etc).

But has anyone got this thing dual booting Linux and OS X? If so I would be very interested in getting one.

Re:Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269809)

At the Gentoo booth at linux world I saw them installing Linux on a Powerbook

Re:Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269903)

The question has to be why would you want it to boot into linux. Don't get me wrong, Linux is great, but if you've got OS X why do you want something that is basically the same (minor differences) but without the flexibility of running all your aqua apps.
Bob

Re:Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (3, Informative)

GeorgeH (5469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270042)

I have Yellow Dog [yellowdoglinux.com] running on my 15" Powerbook, and it runs quite well. Bottom line is that I rarely use it, because OS X is a capable Unix and with Fink [sf.net] I don't really need to keep a second Unix around (even though I do). BTW the Powerbooks have a nifty graphical boot loader built in (I believe it's built in, could be a YD feature), so I just choose between the disk with the big X on it or the disk with the big penguin on it.

Re:Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (3, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270120)

The graphical boot loader is part of Apple's firmware, I believe; and I believe it is universal.

Re:Has anyone got Linux running on one of these? (4, Informative)

giminy (94188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270217)

Yes I run Debian on my powerbook. Or used to. There's not as much point to it now because apple released their accelerated X11 server. Combine that with fink and their development tools and you can compile most of the common linux software (like I use gimp and a few functional programming tools). Okay so some things require a little bit o' porting still, but most of the common stuff will run.

About all you get by running linux on a powerbook is buggy power management, firewire, and no modem driver or video mirroring.

fs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269798)

fucksticks! once again, the truth needs to be told: ONLY faggots, ass-reaming cock-licking hemos, er, homos, use and/or talk about apple products. so slip down your bvds, ladies, and grab your ankles; here comes your dream ass-reaming big dick 8=====================D

My take... (5, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269818)

I have one of the previous 12" iBooks, (dual USB w/combo drive), and it appears to be one of the best kept stealth business tools around.

I originally headed out to buy a Ti, but this one was put in front of me, and discounted heavily, as it was a floor demo. Big deal, if it didn't work out, I'd just pass it along to a family member. Now, I'm in no hurry to let it go.

The 12" iBook has a form factor that happens to fit my needs exactly. I've had original PB's and Duo's, and felt I knew what I wanted when it came time to go portable, again.

In my case, I wanted a real portable...not something that shouted 'identity crisis'...something that was 1/2 desktop machine and 1/2 laptop, not doing either well. I wanted something to use with my digital cameras (still and movie), while adding as little as possible to the amount of tech bulk in the process. My iBook weighs a bit more than a Ti, but it's smaller, and that was what I really wanted. Performance is great...the screen is bright and it works...and works...and works. Long battery life. Outputs to the TV in the hotel room. Wireless networking in the airport. Burns CD's on demand. Command line if I need it. Nothing like a Unix based notebook to make you feel like you're toteing a tool instead of a wanna-be workstation. I've never thought about using it as a primary machine, but with all it has going for it, I'm sure it would do just fine. As soon as my Mac guy has a demo G4 12" iBook, I'm going to trade up.

Re:My take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269908)

i did something similar.

got the 10" sony vaio for $1000 and have been very happy ever since. Ironically it has the same MHz speed as the Apple 12".

Re:My take... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269979)

I bought my son the 15" Vaio (no burner, but will play DVD's) he wanted last year... they are nice. It was $1400...the deom iBook only cost me a grand (DVD/CD-RW). I like the Viao's, and wouldn't mind having one if I was forced to use Windows on the road. Great color.

Re:My take... (1)

MKalus (72765) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269971)

I'll second that I was also looking at the TiBook and then ended up buying the 12" iBook and love it, pretty light compared to my old Dell and I am seriously considering buying another Mac now as a Desktop replacement down the road.

M.

Really? (5, Funny)

dogzilla (83896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269821)

"The new 12" Powerbook is nothing more but an iBook on steroids with a G4 in it"

Anyone else find this quote amusing? "The new Porsche is nothing more than a VW Golf on steroids with a much better engine in it."

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269860)

reference to same crappy lcd screen, same slow hdd, slow bus, limited memory capacity etc etc.

the G4 itself does not add much...

and ddr on a mac is a joke... so far.

they(apple) need ibm to pull their collective asses out of the tar pit that is the G4...

G4 - 8=========D

970- 8====================D

if ya know what i mean ;-)

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

MyGirlFriendsBroken (599031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269894)

"The new Porsche is nothing more than a VW Golf on steroids with a much better engine in it."

Sort of, but the origonal 911 WAS nothing more that a VW bettle on steroids with a much better engine in it. Indeed is was possible to take a 911 engine and put it in your bettle as the engine mountings etc were the was.

And yes the qoute is amusing, especially as I get the feeling that this was the intention when designing the new PowerBook.

Re:Really? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270123)

Uh, no. The Porsche 356 was based on the Beetle. The 911 has the same general layout, but (thankfully) has rather better underpinnings.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269921)

Yes, but then a new porche does not come in the same body as a VW Golf, but made out of aluminium instead of... aluminium?

Bob

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270072)

Yep, I do find the comment slightly trite, but I do understand what they're getting at.

To use your analogy, a VW Golf with a Porsche 911 engine inside (assume it fits...) would still not be a 911. You would need better steering, rear-wheel drive, better brakes, better noise control, different trim...a whole set of system changes to go with it.

They're saying that with a Powerbook line, you expect a certain quality of things about the system - DVI seems to be a stand-out, as does the better quality LCD. You don't seem to get those with this machine however, so hence the 'only' an iBook on steriods quip.

Cheers,
Ian

OT: eBay (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270229)

The crimes of eBay are a disgrace to it's pig latin heritage!

eBay protest cry:

IX-NAY ON THE EBAY!

Apple users are faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269829)

Before, they went on about how G4's were faster than anything on earth.

Now they talk "interface".

Give it up, they are overpriced wank machines.

What's with the negative quote? (1)

bhorling (42813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269834)

"The new 12" Powerbook is nothing more but an iBook on steroids with a G4 in it" OSNews concludes, but the overall read is very interesting."

What is any new laptop but a (faster | smaller) version of an existing one with a (bigger | smaller | higher resolution) screen, and varied form factor? The quote seems to imply that (incremental) improvements are not a good thing.

"The new 18Ghz laptop is nothing more but last year's 17Ghz on steroids with AMD's ThunderCougarFalconBird processor in it"

Re:What's with the negative quote? (4, Insightful)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269943)

The new 12" Powerbook is nothing more but an iBook on steroids with a G4 in it

What is any new laptop but a (faster | smaller) version of an existing one with a (bigger | smaller | higher resolution) screen, and varied form factor? The quote seems to imply that (incremental) improvements are not a good thing.

Not at all. You perhaps need at least a passing familiarity with Apple's product line to understand what the author is saying here. The iBook was designed as a budget laptop, with students very much in mind. The 12" Powerbook superficially looks as if it is from Apple's 'Professional' product line and has all the bells and whistles that would imply. The reviewer appears to be saying this isn't the case.

Looking at it another way, apparently the 12" Powerbook is more an incremental improvement over the older iBook than an incremental improvement over any previous Powerbook as it might have appeared.

lag? (3, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269839)

>Yippee, I can resize Safari and even IE now with >not much lag

Because it should obviously take an 867mhz processor that fries your lap while working to redraw a 1024x768 window 'almost fast enough'. What is it with GUI designers these days?

Re:lag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269962)

>What is it with GUI designers these days?

The odds are good that in this case it is a memory paging issue and not a CPU issue. 256MB is okay, but my recommendation is at least 384MB to avoid that type of issue. With several applications open plus the OS the VM will probably have to be hit somewhat often.

Re:lag? (2, Informative)

truenoir (604083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270102)

It could be noted that the laptop is using Quartz Extreme, and therefore the graphics processor is doing all the work for this. You can run OpenGL screensavers as a wallpaper in OSX without hitting the CPU (using QE).

Re:lag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270197)

that is the wonderment that is quartz extreme. it is run in software alone. rendering moving objects is directly tied to the cpu as of right now. 10.3 may change this to a hardware based solution. we shall see.

PB 12" has no L2 cache :( (1)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269843)

This is probably the biggest thing keeping me away from buying one of these in the future. I have been hearing that the L2 cache helps out in alot of situations. And some of you are complaining about heat? I can't put my iBook SE on my lap for more than 30 minutes :P

no cleartype in os X 10.2? (5, Informative)

sdavid (556770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269844)

One of his complaints was the lack of cleartype under max ox x. If I recall correctly, cleatype is subpixel rendering, and that has been supported since Jaguar was released. In fact, it's the primary reason I upgraded from 10.1.5.

Re:no cleartype in os X 10.2? (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270015)

OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" indeed has subpixel rendering.

It doesn't have "ClearType" because "ClearType" is Microsoft's trademark for their own specific subpixel rendering technology.

If people are indeed complaining about the lack of ClearType in OS X, then Microsoft marketing has won yet again.

Re:no cleartype in os X 10.2? (2, Informative)

dusanv (256645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270153)

OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" indeed has subpixel rendering.


Yup, it's under System Preferences->General

Re:no cleartype in os X 10.2? (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270241)

And the reviewer didn't have it on. (It was amajorly touted feature in OSX upon launch) The PowerBook 12" screens and iBook screens, in my opinion, are FANTASTIC, they EASILY beat out any PC laptop screen of that size. I do agree with the iMac screens though, I have never really liked them. The new Cinema Display is in no way related to the 12" 15" screens that Apple produces, they are produced by Philips, just happen to be manufactured in the same factory. The new 20.1" is a site tobehold in the Apple store! I think the author also makes a mistake in the video card review. Admitted, it's not the best, but it's also better than ANYthing, even Apple desktops from 1 year ago. Finally, and not exhaust anyone reading, this IS the thinnest thing you will ever see with an optical drive. It's so thin it will amaze you to see it closed.

Models (5, Funny)

jasonflacid (642681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269878)

The iBooks are like models. They are nice to look at and nice to play with and fondle, but when it comes down to it, they have a lot of flaws and will most likely vomit after every meal and have a weird sexual past.

Re:Models (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270000)

At least they *have* a sexual past...

Re:Models (4, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270134)

The iBooks are like models. They are nice to look at and nice to play with and fondle, but when it comes down to it, they have a lot of flaws and will most likely vomit after every meal and have a weird sexual past

I have no problems with mine. Maybe you've been feeding yours at the wrong four star trattorias?

I don't have any problems with my iBook, either.

Re:Models (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270176)

The iBooks are like models. They are nice to look at and nice to play with and fondle, but when it comes down to it, they have a lot of flaws and will most likely vomit after every meal and have a weird sexual past.

Oh, ok.... That would explain the sticky residue on the keyboard...

The Good: (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269916)

"Yippee, I can resize Safari and even IE now with not much lag."

ROFLMAO, speaking of low expectations :-)

(if this is "good", wait until you see "the bad")

Watch out for OSNews reviews (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269945)

OSNews reviews by Eugenia are notoriously biased and loaded with emotional rhetoric. Take what she writes with a grain of salt.

Ouch... (3, Funny)

BinaryCodedDecimal (646968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5269956)

From the article:

Number 1 issue is heat. The thing burns. After 2-3 hours of continuing usage, the laptop just burns like a hot cake on the lower left side

Kind of reminds me of this [theregister.co.uk].

Maybe Apple will ship it with a pair of insulated iPants for true laptop comfort?

Where... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270002)

...are the 17" Powerbooks?

I can't live this busted old 15" Ti much longer.

oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270130)

This guy doesn't know what he is talking about at OSnews. Come on, slashdot. Post a review that makes sense.

New XServes today, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270160)

Today Apple released new Xserves and the mythical (until now) Xraid: http://www.apple.com/xserve/ [apple.com].

"With your choice of single or dual-processor 1.33GHz PowerPC G4s, up to 2GB of 333MHz DDR SDRAM, two 64-bit 66MHz PCI slots (plus a third combination PCI/AGP slot), dual Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, USB and four independent ATA/133 drive bays that hold up to 720GB of data, Apple's best-in-class 1U server outshines not just its 1U competitors, but even many 2U systems. And if you want to add even more storage capacity, Apple's new Xserve RAID solution holds up to 14 hot-swappable Apple Drive Modules -- a phenomenal 2.52 terabytes of data -- in a rack-optimized storage enclosure. "

EURODANCE?? (4, Funny)

cygnus (17101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270171)

The sound coming out of the speakers is pretty good quality. Not as good as in the 17" model, neither as good as the one found in most Compaq laptops, but still, not bad at all. Fully acceptable playing my favorite Eurodance radio station... ;-)
dear GOD.

the HORROR.

Heat Issue (4, Informative)

dusanv (256645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270191)

Let me say I am a happy owner of the 867 15'' PB. When these first showed up people were complaining that they were too loud. So Apple responded and removed the fans. Now it's too hot! Oh well, pick one, fans or heat. Seriously, according to Motorola the 1 GHz G4 (7455) outputs 30W max (unless Apple put in something else not listed on Moto's site). That's a lot for a laptop and definitely warrants a fan. My PB has two fans. One of them has two speeds and the low speed is almost constantly on but it doesn't bother me because it's almost completely inaudible (I can hear it only if there is absolutely no other sound in the room). However after 15 min of UT the other fan kicks in and that one *is* audible (not too bad though). When you stop UT the other fan dies...

LCD's suck? (4, Informative)

imag0 (605684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270209)

Quoth the article:
Number 2 issue is the quality of the LCD screen... but the one used for this Powerbook is the same as the one found on the 15" iMac and the iBooks

Being a dual USB iBook owner here myself I am wondering where he's getting his information. The LCD on this laptop is exellent. Crisp, clear, AA works wonderfully and subpixel rendering is peachy as well.
As for whimpering about motion blur, even this iBook is a previous generation (G3 500) system, I get none of that here. Must be talking out his ass.

12" powerbook vs older machines (2, Interesting)

vegasman (639402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270237)

Based on this article it looks like if I add a $400.OO Sonnet g4 upgrade to my powerbook prism (g3, 266mh, 40GB HD, 392mb ram, firewire card, 14.1" screen) I will have at least as good a machine. Has anyone done this? If so what is your experiance with third party upgrades? Would you do this or buy a new 15 or 17 inch?

sick of the "on steroids" cliche (4, Funny)

muckdog (607284) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270284)

Ahhh... ibook on steriods. Does it mean that this new powerbook has little balls and dies after 40 hours of use?
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