View Full Version : Apple Laptop Buying Advice?

June 11th, 2006, 06:43 PM
Hi all,

just having finished a job, I now have the money that I could get myself a "proper" computer (so far I've been working with an iBook G3 Clamshell mostly). My criteria are: it has got to be an Apple, and screen and keyboard have to be good (I'm a programmer, so I want a device that makes me WANT to use it). The price should be around 1200, so a MacBook Pro is definitely too expensive. Right now I'm looking at either the new MacBook or a PowerBook G4 off eBay. The biggest advantage about that latter being that I could afford a 17" one.

What do you all think? I bet there have to be users of both machines around here. What can you recommend, what would be arguments for and against a G4 notebook? I tried the MacBook in an Apple shop but have never had the opportunity to try a PowerBook G4 (but know that my G3 with its 366MHz is still a good machine even today.)

Thanks for any opinions :-)

Best regards from Germany,

P.S.: Either way, the notebook will be running Dapper Drake. The installation problems on the MacBook would be fine.

June 11th, 2006, 07:42 PM
are you planning on dual booting with OSX? if not, you might want to check out something that comes installed with dapper - http://www.system76.com/

June 11th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Hmm. Interesting machines... no 17" tho, and the biggest (15.4" Serval one) has a resolution of 1280x800, which is the same as the new MacBook. Better graphics. Worse battery life, if you go by what Apple says at least. I think if they'd offer a 17" one and wouldn't have the touchpad so far to the left side (I'm a lefty), I'd consider one :-)

Do you own one? How does the keyboard feel like?

About your question; I'm going to try out TextMate. OS X itself has nothing that would make me prefer it over Ubuntu, even if that makes every die-hard Apple fan screem. It will likely be removed entirely tho.

June 11th, 2006, 11:24 PM
P.S.: Either way, the notebook will be running Dapper Drake. The installation problems on the MacBook would be fine.


I have a Black MacBook and running Dapper just great, I even wrote up a guide on how to get it running with full sound, wireless, Compiz 3D effects and all!

Check it out for an idea of the work:

Also, with a friend that also has Dapper on his MacBook we went over some of our thoughts of Ubuntu on the MacBook, you can hear that at:

June 11th, 2006, 11:33 PM
Hi topfisher, just looked at that install instructions and downloading your broadcast. Can you comment on the quality of the screen and the keyboard of the MacBook, especially as compared to the previous generation PowerBook G4s? Does it make you WANT to type? Is the screen as reflective as the newer PC notebook screens, mirror-like?

Edit: if anybody else reads this, do tune in to topfisher's Podcast -- great fun! :)

June 13th, 2006, 11:29 PM
Never buy a "Rev. A" version of anything from Apple. While they build great laptops many of their first releases have problems. From the resent thermal grease problem to the old PB 5300 (Rev. A) catching fire don't be surprised if the first version has problems. Other than that I have yet to use a better laptop. My wife's 12" PB is so quiet it's amazing. It's the nice, little design features like how the battery has five LEDs and a button to the check power level while removed from the PB. Sweet.

While extended warranties normally suck Apple's seems to be ok (not common at all).