Pros Does just about anything you need a computer to do
Cons battery life
Summary I'm taking issue with your three summaries, shown here. The last two are not so bad, but the first one irritated me:
What's it for: Basic desktop home or small-office productivity, including e-mail, Web surfing, and word processing; watching DVDs and listening to CDs.
Who's it for: Home or small-office users who want solid graphics and processing power. [the "solid...power" saved it]
Business use: Small-office productivity tasks, including e-mail, Web surfing, and word processing, as well as working with high-end creative apps, such as Adobe Photoshop. [high-end saved this one]
This makes the PowerBook sound as though it's for ... well, you said it, actually: the home user, the small office. Your summary relegates it to the simplest of tasks. The things that any cheezy Wintel machine can do.
As a computer consultant since 1984, I can tell you with utmost certainty your analysis is far too limiting. This machine is a workhorse crammed in a tiny box. It's Unix under the hood; its the freedom of Mac OS, and, when you are forced into it, it's even Windows via Virtual PC. The PB can run circles around (as you misname) similarly outfitted Windows laptops. I can run MiniTAB statistical app in Windows, while in the Mac OS I browse the Web, play music, analyze network traffic, serve a FileMaker database, and run Office apps ... tasks that would choke any Wintel machine at twice the RAM and twice the GHz.
The PowerBook is far more than a recipe storage bin for a housewife running AOL. This is a machine for a power user. (No offense, please, to housewives or to AOL; it was the only thing I could think of. Well, maybe to AOL....)
Pros Simple & productive Mac OS X & included apps, stunning design, slot loading DVD+-R drive, FireWire 400 & 800, Bluetooth, illuminated keybaord, ambient light sensor for screen brightness, light weight
Cons Mac OS X doesn't always have easier shortcuts than Windows, Hard drive doesn't get big enough, Only 2 USB & 1 FireWire 400 ports, slot loading drive is in front rather than on the side, no right-click
Summary This is the most amazing computer that I have ever laid my eye on. Originally intended for editing and graphic work, within a week it became my primary computer, and I take it EVERYWHERE with me. Mac OS X is much more intuitive and user friendly than Windows XP, by leaps and bounds. The environment allows for more advanced video, website, photo, and graphics programs, that are industry-leading software titles (namely, Final Cut). Plus, the Mac OS X has some amazing features like Expose, which shows all your windows instantly, and "command-tab," which acts like "alt-tab" on Windows but rather than giving a disgusting gray box with no purpose, lets the user interact with it by the keyboard arrows or mouse. The one thing I miss is how Windows lets you navigate through almost everything with the keyboard, and this is not the case with Mac OS X.
Anyone who argues a Mac is slower because it's processor clock speed (GHZ) is lower has no idea what he is talking about. My Dell had a 2.0 ghz P4 (maybe two years old) and the PowerPC blows that thing away. The only problem I have had was with some corrupt hard drive files, which was replaced, no questions asked, at an Apple Store in a nearby mall. I have had so many hardware failures with Dell and the like, having to send in for parts and deal with Customer Service Reps that can't speak English. Never again. Granted, the 90-day free tech support is definitely chinsey.
From the design standpoint, this is a beautiful piece of art, besides for being a technical marvel. It has BOTH style AND substance, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The ports are placed along the side with the main fan unexposed, hidden behind the big, crisp 17 inch display. Made out of aluminum, the case would never get hot enough to cause any "damage" down below, unlike some of our PC friends. Below there is an exposed button on the battery that gives a status of charge level with five LED's. The 802.11b/g ("Airport") and bluetooth Antennae are built into the bevel of the display allowing them to receive a clearer signal. The power adapater is tiny, and has a smart system for swtiching tips for other countries or for an included extension, along with clutter control for the cord. There is a ring on the plug for the laptop that elegantly glows amber or green according to the charge status. The keyboard automatically illuminates from underneath fiber optic lighting when it gets darker, thanks to the ambient light sensors that also automatically adjust screen brightness to match one's surroundings. The display stays shut with an ingenious magnet system, and while "asleep" the LED indicator on the button to pop it back open slowly fades in and out, as if breathing. Finally, the APPLE logo on the front cover lights up when the computer on, using the light from the LCD display, which is just a brilliant final touch to the package.
The design is amazing, but not perfect. The slot loading DVD/CD +- R/RW drive, despite it's coolness and convenience, is located on the front panel of the computer, making it hard to access while the computer is on one's lap. There are no shortcut keys for iTunes or DVD playback or anything; instead, the Function keys are smaller and double as brightness, volume, display, and keyboard illumination controls, despite the fact that there is tons of room for something else.
The other big problem, though not design related, is the hard drive limit. When I purchased my PowerBook, it was limited to 80GB and I constantly have to move files over to an external drive, and usually have only a few gigs (once, only a few hundred megs) open. I do a lot of video work, which is definitely one of the things that the PB tears apart, but that of course requires tons of space regardless of the platform.
You've probably heard everyone cry about Mac users are gay, they aren't compatible with anything, and now the latest claims that viruses are attacking macs. All lies. The first one doesn't need any explaining, just people being naive as usual. If anything, Macs are MORE compatible than Windows computers. Mac OS X runs the critically acclaimed iLife suite and advanced Mac apps like Final Cut. It runs every industry standard productivity and art program, including Microsoft Office (which clearly has more features than its Windows counterpart). Documents produced in multi-platform programs are almost 100% of the time compatible with each other. The Mac can write and read any DVD or CD, can connect to any Flash drive, can connect to Windows networks and printers (well... internet connection works seamlessly but file and printer sharing, while it works, is rather cumbersome). The virus hype is untrue, there are no viruses at this time that run on Mac OS X and maliciously just kill the computer and steal and delete data. That's hype for Symantec, who wants your money (even though there are cheaper and even free alternatives that are better... check download.com, Windows users).
And finally, price. Yes, it is expensive. But I ask you this: have you heard anyone who has bought a budget computer be completely satisfied with speed, with crashes, with tech support? Even partially satisfied is rare. I went the budget route with Dell a few years ago, and it was just frustrating and I wound up spending more money on support and new parts to make it work for what I needed it to, and that money easily makes up the difference between bucking up now for an amazing computer running the uncomparable Mac OS X or buying a computer that is slow, hard to use, and full of viruses and scams and spyware and crashes and other problems. Is it worth your sanity to buy a good computer you love or a bad computer that makes you hate technology?
Well, you either read that whole thing, or scrolled to the end, so in one sentence: Get this computer; get any Mac, and you will never go back to Windows and will actually enjoy your computing experience.
Pros Elegent desgin, very fast and powerful, excelent screen resolution, large display, 100 gig HD
Cons Extreemly expensive, only comes with 512 of memory for a $2700 laptop, in my opinion memory is so ceap they should give you at least a gig, slow CD-R burner only 24x
Summary I've had many laptops in my experience all of which have been PC/Windows based laptops and I am a hard and fast Wintel guy. I'm actually an IT Consultant. But this laptop is by far the best I've ever used. Extreemly stable very easy to use and extreemly functional. Comes with iLife 05 which is an excelent suite of software unlike the crap that other guys give. I actually want to use the iLife 05 software, versus the jumbled mess of software that the other guys give you that has no intergration. This PowerBook has seemless intergration of all the software and hardware, truly exceptional vs. the competition. The wireless protocalls both Bluetooh and Airport Express both work flawlessly and extreemly fast. I was able to hook up to my Windows network enviornment very easily and pull down files from my Windows PC's with no problems at all. One of the best laptops on the market. The SuperDrive is excellent despite the slow CD-R buring speed (only 24x), took me approx 8 min to burn a 17 track audio CD in iTunes. I also craated a few custom movies in iMovie and created the menues and burned them in iDvd and it worked perfectly and the redering time wasn't bad at all either, as I was expecting it to take it much longer.
If you're in the market for a new laptop and are willing to spend a little, look no further than the 17in G4 PowerBook.
Pros Has a big, beautiful screen with better clarity and color than my old 21” studio display.
Cons Yes it’s expensive, but I seem to remember seeing a fully equipped 17” Sony VAIO for about $200 more at my local Sony Style. A strong light source will create a faint apple logo on your screen if it’
Summary Purchased mine through Apple and got Macromedia Studio MX 04 for $399 more. What a deal! BTW, I’ve had no problems with Dreamweaver or Flash on this machine so far. With a gig of ram, these apps run about as fast as they do on my P4 2.6. There are so many nice touches on this machine. Big things like a screen and keyboard that automatically adjust to ambient light conditions to little things like a power-light that fades in and out while the computer is in sleep mode. When you get one of these PowerBooks, you really get the sense that the design guys at Apple sweat over every little detail. Oh, and I’ve had no problems with dead pixels (haven’t found a one). Purchased the Apple Bluetooth keyboard / mouse and both are working as advertised. Now a word about the Mac OS. I’m traditionally a PC guy – they were always less expensive and software was, ahem, more available. I’ve done my job both on XP pro and Panther and I have to say that OS X is by far the more robust of the two. XP is frankly a step back for Microsoft. I’ve had explorer crash more times than I can remember when searching for multiple files or while saving to some deep sub-directory (taking your application along with it). After a year working on OS X, I have yet to experience near the amount of productivity robbing crashes and hangs that I suffered through with XP on a multitude of PCs. The thing to remember here is that you’re not just buying a shiny piece of hardware; you’re buying a productivity suite. If your work allows you the option of choosing between the two operating systems, get the Mac. The time you spend aquatinting yourself with the new operating system will more than pay off in the end in a better user experience. If you’re shopping for a new 17” notebook, you’ll be very happy with the new PowerBook.
Pros Many...attention to detail, engineering, OSX, SMS, scroll trackpad, and the list goes on.
Cons Being as I'm so ingrained in XP, there were a few things that took getting used to...very MINOR learning curve, however.
Summary A philosopher once said, "God is that being of which there is no greater." If this statement would be applied to the laptop arena, one could say "The Powerbook is that machine of which there is no greater." By this measure, then, it is perfect. Realistically, you wont take this home and have Jesus fling you some IMs...buuut I wouldn't exactly be surprised if that happened .
In any case, there are a number of great features that are standard on the PBook that the laptop buyer would love, and surprisingly are not standard on any PCs. For starters, although the XP community may not approve of the OS or architecture, there are few who contest the fact that this is the sexiest laptop on the market. The slick, minimalist design is an aesthetic ideal that many PC manufacturuers aspire to.
From a more practical perspective, there are a number of intuitive hardware features. For example, the Sudden Motion Sensor technology is a boon for those who frequently carry their book on the go and risk giving it a good bump. The computer has a few gyros inside that can detect sudden movement in an instant and lock the hard drive writers so that they dont scratch the disk media and corrupt data.
Another great feature is the scrolling trackpad. Although a very simple and common sense technology, Apple pioneered this innovation. In the past, if you didnt have an external mouse scrolling in documents on a laptop was a bit of a pain. Now, on a Powerbook you can drag two fingers in any direction and it will scroll...up, down, and all around.
Perhaps one of the coolest features is the illuminating keyboard. I didnt even know about this until after I made my purchase. When I was sitting in a low light environment, the keyboard slowly backlit and displayed all the characters in an inviting hue akin to moonlight. The way it powers up is very cool as well. It doesnt just come on at full strength, it slowly increases illumination over the course of a second or so. The best way to describe it is to think of the auto dimming interior lights on some newer luxory cars...it doesnt just turn on or off but slowly dims up or down. This isnt a monumental feature, but illustrates Apple's attention to detail in providing a luxory/high end consumer device.
Along with the dimming keyboard, the monitor itself changes brightness based upon ambient light. This may or may not be a huge feature for some, but certainly conserves battery on the go. Speaking of which, the battery itself has a very nice brushed aluminum button that, when depressed, lights up several very small green LEDs indicating battery status. It is much more refined that similar tech from other laptop manufacturers, but must be seen to be appreciated. Finally, the back of the screen has a neat glowing Apple, which confirms to all the jelous onlookers that, yes, you are on the top of the range Apple portable.
Moving inside the computer, we find a peppy 1.67 PowerPC G4. Some would say that this processor is seeing its age. I would argue against that assertion. Although it is not in the same league as the G5, the G4 sports plenty of power, especially considering how [very] thin and light this computer is. Coupeled with that is a nice Radeon 9700 128mb graphics card that is sure to provide all the horse power you need (unless your a heavy gamer).
My system is equipped with the above, plus 1 gig of ram. Im not a hard core frag-master, but I run Knights of the Old Republic with all features absolutly maxed out. Needless to say, it is very playable and visually stunning. I have yet to try doom3, the universal hardware benchmark, but several sources have confirmed that it is very playable on the Powerbook in question.
Considering the software that drives the guts of an Apple, one would certainly conclude OSX is worth ample merit. It is universally regarded as a very capible and intuitive OS by those with technological expertiese. In this user's opinion, it is leaps and bounds better than windows.
For one, Apple writes its code based upon a very specific set of hardware. Windows, on the other hand, writes code for a billion and one different hardware types. This lends to driver conflict and a messy connection between foreign hardware and the OS.
Also, as we are well aware, windows is suceptible to spyware, malware, and virus. With the resources it takes to run these bad programs, or remove them, performance is lost. An apple system will run clean for years. A windows system is bound to be infected at one point or other.
For example, I had a Dell that I managed meticulously. I never clicked on any popups, suspect email, or visited any shady sights. Furthermore, I ran the latest norton virus protection. Even after all these precautions, my system still contracted an IRC Bot virus, which is something you DONT want to have, especially if your connected to a network.
Beyond this, the interface of Mac OSX is very intuitive and pleasing to look at. There are a lot of neat visuals that generally make being behind the computer a more engaging experience that transcends the mundane, dull interface that windows force-feeds you.
Generally, I find the OS easier to use. Programs delete when you want them to delete, and don't leave traces of themselves on your hard drive, for example. In general, I find OSX ideal due to the fact that it only enhances your computing, it doesnt make it more difficult or detract from the expereince.
However, one major concern when moving to mac, especially for student's and business professionals, is Microsoft Office compatibility. Although I hate to admit it, I do have Microsoft Office for Mac on my Powerbook. It is actually better than the windows version, and this isnt my sole opinion. Beyond this, all the documents I have typed transferred seemlessly to Windows computers. As my need for Office involves more writing than anything else, I have yet to use excel or powerpoint. However, there are many instances on record that state the transition of Office files from Mac to PC are seemless, or very close to it.
I could sit here and write a book on the benefits of Mac computing (have I done that already?). My main goal is to show people that Mac is a very viable platform for the home user and professional alike. It is secure, stable, and will work for you. If your willing to embrace OSX, the Mac will introduce you to a whole new level of productivity.
That being said, there are some users that just prefer Windows for one or the other reason. That is perfectly okay, and if you like Windows I encourage you to stick with it. However, if youre like me and are sick of the generic, unstable atmosphere that windows has generated, at least give the mac a try. Do some research, feel out the Apple side of the fense.
I encourage anyone considering the switch between OSX and Windows to try out the Macs avalible at public libraries and universities. I did this and am very glad. It enables you to get a feel for the OS, figure out if you really like the interface before you make the plunge.
As an example of this idea, you wouldn't room with someone you've never met before, would you?
I mean you very well could, but its a gamble. Its possible you could get along with the person very well from the start and everything would be fine. However, the more likely result is that there will be a bit of a conflict between the two of you due to a lack of understanding. If you just took a bit of time to get to know one another before the move, things would have worked out smoother. Similarly, before you move in with a Mac, get to know it. Figure out if there are any misunderstandings between you and seek to correct them before the plunge.
Just like many things in this world, some people are for one OS, some are for others. Figure out what works best for you and go that route. If you think Apple may provide a better experience than the competition, or even if you like the stylish hardware and interface, I encourage you to test them out first hand. It cant hurt and can only broaden your perspective and provide you with a concrete defintion of the Mac first hand, for better or worse.