PDA

View Full Version : still thinking about laptops



Rhys
11-04-2004, 02:44 PM
I'm still playing with the idea of buying a laptop.

I've looked at the Windows-based laptops and am looking at the Apple laptops at the moment.

I considered running Linux on a Windows machine but from previous experience of Linux, the visual system doesn't really grab my enthusiasm in the same way as does Windows or Mac.

How different in effective speed would a Powerbook G4 800mhz be from an equivalent IBM (for example)?

I've seen an 800Mhz G4 going for $995, which is a bit more expensive than the equivalent PC based system. I'm wondering (aside from the alleged 6-hour battery life) whether the G4 is better than a Windows system.

I'm interested in using it for reading CF cards via a PCMCIA or USB CF reader. Then I want to write the photos on the cards to a CD or a DVD (preferably a mini DVD).

I'd also use it for internet communications and word processing.

Any suggestions/comments?

Billiam
11-04-2004, 06:31 PM
The only modern Apple I've spent time with is my schoolteacher fiancee's i-book runnung OS9. It has not been a very reliable machine (it's in for service yet again, after what appeared to be a hard drive failure). I'm used to the last several enerations of Windows, and I find the Mac user interface to be a bit clunky. The one button mouse concept drives me nuts. OS10 may be better, I've not spent any time with it. Apples aren't cheap, either. Both the hardware and software come at a premium to Windows.

Unless you have a compelling reason to use a Mac, I suspect you'd be better off sticking to a Windows machine. Of course, for many a white-hot hatred of Microsoft is a plenty compelling reason! :D

Rhys
11-05-2004, 06:49 AM
The only modern Apple I've spent time with is my schoolteacher fiancee's i-book runnung OS9. It has not been a very reliable machine (it's in for service yet again, after what appeared to be a hard drive failure). I'm used to the last several enerations of Windows, and I find the Mac user interface to be a bit clunky. The one button mouse concept drives me nuts. OS10 may be better, I've not spent any time with it. Apples aren't cheap, either. Both the hardware and software come at a premium to Windows.

Unless you have a compelling reason to use a Mac, I suspect you'd be better off sticking to a Windows machine. Of course, for many a white-hot hatred of Microsoft is a plenty compelling reason! :D

It's more the longer battery life that interests me - and of course the resistance to viruses...

Jim Last
11-05-2004, 07:03 AM
With the difference in price you could always look at getting a second battery :)

Virus protection is always a reactive business, it is all about how reactive the company is and how reactive we are in updating :)

randomgr
11-05-2004, 10:12 AM
resistance to viruses: when selecting between windows, linux and mac, windows is certainly more prone to viruses because most viruses are written for windows.

However, when selecting between different hardware for the same operating system, windows in our case, you can't make a choice that will help you with viruses.

Battery life: If you are thinking x86 (processor architecture on which windows works) then you should keep in mind the mobile versus normal processor. A mobile processor is one built to spend less energy than normal ones. Mobiles: Pentium M and Centrino. (I recommend the latter) There are laptops out there that have normal processors like the ones used on desktops and therefore have a short battery life. (I call these plugtops =)) As far as apples are concerned I think they are pretty good with battery life. You might also want to consider this (http://www.tomshardware.com/mobile/20031125/index.html) as an alternative.

Don't misinterpret the 800MHz of the G4 processor: it's a different architecture than what we call IBM compatible (x86 processors)

I cannot help with the decision of windows vs apple. I personally use linux most of the time but this option needs a lot of time to devote on reading manuals. (btw, I am really thinking of trying an apple laptop)

For the things you say you want the laptop (internet+word proc+cf+dvd writer) you shouldn't even care about the processor's speed. Anything available on the market is more than enough for these.

Rhys
11-05-2004, 11:40 AM
resistance to viruses: when selecting between windows, linux and mac, windows is certainly more prone to viruses because most viruses are written for windows.

However, when selecting between different hardware for the same operating system, windows in our case, you can't make a choice that will help you with viruses.

Battery life: If you are thinking x86 (processor architecture on which windows works) then you should keep in mind the mobile versus normal processor. A mobile processor is one built to spend less energy than normal ones. Mobiles: Pentium M and Centrino. (I recommend the latter) There are laptops out there that have normal processors like the ones used on desktops and therefore have a short battery life. (I call these plugtops =)) As far as apples are concerned I think they are pretty good with battery life. You might also want to consider this (http://www.tomshardware.com/mobile/20031125/index.html) as an alternative.

Don't misinterpret the 800MHz of the G4 processor: it's a different architecture than what we call IBM compatible (x86 processors)

I cannot help with the decision of windows vs apple. I personally use linux most of the time but this option needs a lot of time to devote on reading manuals. (btw, I am really thinking of trying an apple laptop)

For the things you say you want the laptop (internet+word proc+cf+dvd writer) you shouldn't even care about the processor's speed. Anything available on the market is more than enough for these.

Well, I would want to do photo viewing etc too. I think the difference between $1000 for a G5/G4 and $800 for an IBM laptop is so minimal that it's hardly worth consideration. Sure, I can buy a cheapo laptop for $700 (Dell's current offer - plus 10 weeks to get the $100 rebate from them before it drops to $700) I could buy an Acer too but I want something that'll last and be well supported.

From my experience of 90 minute laptops, I find 90 minutes is just not long enough. Apple claims 6 hours. That'll do me nicely.

As far as second batteries goes, that really doesn't interest me as it adds bulk and weight.

Terracotta
11-05-2004, 01:41 PM
From a different perspective, people doing science & working on their laptops we've found that though Apples have better battery life, spend a lot longer doing things. An eMac G4 1.25GHz can only just about keep up with my, old, VAIO R600 running at 933MHz & when we had to lend our artist/graphics designer a VAIO A117Z (1.7GHz Centrino) he was blown-away with how quick is was compared to his 17" PowerBook (1.5GHz G4). Okay I'm not talkin' web browsing/emailing/word-processing, I'm talkin' about writing & using data verification programmes, scientific calculations and models, photoshop, illustrator, things that take real power and stress the machine.

Another item of note is that unless you're doing a huge amount of walking about often the package size is way more important than the weight, my personal preference is a top-end AlienWare Sentia (2GHz Centrino) weighing in at a shade under 3.2kg, but then again no other laptop got close to it in performance terms for the size. The only time I notice how heavy it is is when I'm carrying it around when it's not in its bag.

haikai
11-05-2004, 02:47 PM
i used a friend's g4 powerbook running OSX a few times and was dumbfounded as to how slow it was (this was like two years ago and i thought it was slow!). i can't say i'm thrilled with apple performance compared to what i'm used to on intel/amd based machines (even when comparing the top ends of each), but i favor speed over looks so perhaps i am biased :o .

as for viruses/spyware/malware, i figure if you keep a separate partition for your photos/work then hopefully it'll minimize any data loss should you be forced to reinstall the OS.

it sounds like your battery requirements are the most important here... if you test drive a powerbook and find it acceptable in performance then it sounds like a no-brainer (that is, if it really can do 6 hours of battery life... i hope they don't mean it can run 6 hours if it isn't doing anything else aside from being turned on!).

hai