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Mobius One
17-05-2005, 06:26
Currently, I own a Toshiba Satellite laptop that, for a number of reasons, I've chosen to replace. The biggest factor, however, is that it's too large and heavy. It's got a 15" screen and it weighs near 7 or 8 pounds, which is all well and good at home on my desk, but it does a number on my back when I'm carrying it around at school (being a full time university student).

Thus, my main requirement is that the new laptop have a long battery life and most importantly, be thin and light.

Anyways, after doing some research I've narrowed my potential purchases to these two candidates.

The Dell Inspiron 700m and Apple iBook G4. Both have 12" screens (the Dell is a widescreen) and weigh under 5 pounds. Unfortunately, since the Dell will run me about $1850 (CAN), and the iBook about $1425 (CAN), it's currently becoming more and more evident that I'll have to go with the ibook. I'm only working a moderately paying summer job, so yes, price is a factor.

In terms of what I'm using it for, it's mainly for basic surfing, word processing, music/video, and the odd game or two (although I turn to my PS2 for the real gaming). I'm a full time university student, and so I need it for typing notes, writing papers, etc. I don't run Photoshop, high system requirement games, or any other processor intensive software. However, this could just be because of my current system's lack of speed; with a more capable system I might be inclined to use more programs than I do currently. This being said, though, I think the 256 MB of RAM and 30GB hard drive of the 12" ibook should do fine for me for the time being. I can always upgrade the RAM and buy an external HDD, anyway.

The iBook, however, is a Mac, and I have zero experience when it comes to using them. I use an HP USB printer, and a Creative Labs Muvo USB mp3 player. Are these compatible with it? Are there any other Mac specific issues that I should be aware of? What's the learning curve going to be like for a born and bred Windows user like me, who's never touched a Mac, much less used one? What about programs like MSN messenger, etc? Are there Mac equivalents, or even better, ways to use these Windows program on the Mac?

It's a mouthful of questions, yes, but the gist is this: with the above in mind, is the ibook G4 a good choice, and will it fulfill my needs sufficiently?

So I guess what I'm asking for is help in this decision. Any help at all would be appreciated, especially from people who own an ibook.

Thanks in advance,

-Mobius One.

Drabant
17-05-2005, 12:42
Just stay away from Dell, that's my tip. The quality of Toshiba is several times that of the quality of Dell. Well, that's just my experience, but it's bad enough for me to stay away from Dell as much as I can.

Kargos Bloodspit
17-05-2005, 13:13
The iBook, however, is a Mac, and I have zero experience when it comes to using them. I use an HP USB printer

If the HP printer is 5100 series, 5600 series, or 5850. You're gunna have a lot of trouble installing it.

I take it you've considered other brands of Windows running laptops?

did a quick google came up with this:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1293901&CatId=927

either way though, best you do the searching. Make sure you've looked around a lot before you make your final choice.

Brother Munro
17-05-2005, 13:37
I'd go with the iBook, despite what Kargos Bloodspit said I don't think you'll have many problems with your printer. Even if you have zero experience on a Mac you'll be a proficient user in a matter of weeks, it is a very easy OS to get to know and use well.

Minister
17-05-2005, 14:03
Buy a Mac.

I'm currently using a 1.33 Ghz powerPC G4 Lightweight (I've got heavier textbooks) and has a battery life of about 4 1/2 hours most of the time (it can go up to 6 if you are stingy with the power) and is about 2-3cm thick. Runs Mac Office (the best of the Microsoft Office series, because it isn't built for windows). HP PSC1215 USB printer/scanner combo runs also. Can't voice an opinion on MP3s or anything, but iTunes makes a nice on-computer player.

Adium is flat out better than MSN, and talks to MSN, AOL and half a dozen oters. Soundsets are also rather good.

Games are restricted, but if you're primarily a console man then this is not too much of a problem.

The OS itself is flat out better. The F9 feature is the coolest feature ever when you are using multiple programes and the search capacity is also superior. There are also lots of small programes of coolness either available with or for a mac. The system architecture is not all that diferent from windows for opperating things (although the single button mouse/keypad takes a bit of getting used to).

Oh yes, and it requires you to do something very stupid before it will crash.

:0)
17-05-2005, 14:21
Buy a Mac.

I'm currently using a 1.33 Ghz powerPC G4 Lightweight (I've got heavier textbooks) and has a battery life of about 4 1/2 hours most of the time (it can go up to 6 if you are stingy with the power) and is about 2-3cm thick. Runs Mac Office (the best of the Microsoft Office series, because it isn't built for windows). HP PSC1215 USB printer/scanner combo runs also.

You just posted that exact same thing half an hour earlier.

Minister
17-05-2005, 15:19
I do apoligise for that. I was distracted by conversation and must have hit the button without thinking. I will correct my error.

Mobius One
20-05-2005, 06:54
First off, thank you one and all for your responses. Combined with feedback from friends who have Macs, I've definately decided to go for the ibook instead of the dell. That is, once I have the money for it, which will hopefully be next month. :D

A question regarding customer service; does anyone who has dealt with Apple customer service have anything to say about it, positive or otherwise? Hopefully, I won't have to worry about customer service, but it's good to know that the support is there if I should encounter a hardware problem.

Thanks again to one and all for your responses.

-Mobius One.

Minister
20-05-2005, 10:34
THe order I placed got bounced about the EU a bit, but that was mostly because they upgraded the line half way through the order (if I'd ordered a day or two earlier I would have saved over a week, but I would be down by about 40 GB of hard disk).

Other than that, the only experience with customer service I've had is the little "an update is available" box that pops up occasionally.

BTW, remember if ordering direct to use the educational discount if you are a student of any kind.

Brother Munro
20-05-2005, 12:53
Yeah, it seems that TNT have finally found Scotland, my iMac took ages to find its way to St. Andrews. Ringing Apple Customer Care is very quick and easy though, and they all know what they are doing. Plus you get a lovely Irish accent :D