Possible Purchase

It is not yet a done deal, but there is a good chance that I might be buying a brand new iBook soon. I’d be getting it at a little break from retail and this is the newly upgraded higher end iBook – 14″ screen, 1 GHz processor, 40MB hard drive, etc. Apple is really clever with their pricing scales, particularly for laptops. Say you start out looking at the very bottom end iBook. For only another $200 you can get a significantly bigger screen with more HD and a faster CPU. OK, you decide to move a step up. Another few hundred and you can get into the Powerbook line with the metal case and such, etc. Before you know it, you have walked up $900 from where you started at, each step feeling perfectly rational and like it was worth the extra money for the increased value. When I really think about it, though, the difference in specs between the high end Powerbook that I had been lusting for and this iBook isn’t that great. It is a 1.5 GHz CPU vs 1.0 GHz, bigger HD and more ram, but then the price different is more than twice what I will be paying for iBook. With the extra $1400 I save, I can buy another iBook in a year or two when the specs will be just like the Powerbook I didn’t buy now. I’m still tickled crazy about the 350 MHz blue and white G3 that I bought used from a friend for $350 last year.

What I am most looking forward to is the battery life. The Apples have battery life hours longer than my Thinkpad, even years ago before the battery had been through so many charge/discharge cycles. My wife gets 4 hours on her Powerbook, I’m lucky to get 90 minutes on the Thinkpad. I also like the thought of getting OS 10.3 on this laptop. I can set it up with Eclipse for Java development, XCode for Mac development and the Zaurus cross compiler I put on my desktop Mac. That would be one badassed mobile development machine!

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

5 thoughts on “Possible Purchase”

  1. which power book does D have? The new ones aren’t getting four hours. I don’t have any regrets about my PB purchase though. The only bad thing is my dell desktop is wasted now and I don’t think i will ever plug it in again.

  2. There are a couple of posts on Boing Boing about the 15 inch Powerbooks having screen problems, so sticking with the 14 inch might be smart in economy and function.

  3. JX, She has the 15″ alumuminum powerbook. Once I stop using the Thinkpad, the old ITRU Dell will be the only machine in my house that runs Windows.

    Jim, I don’t know what the percentage of machines with those problems are, but I haven’t run across anyone that has it. Whatever the manufacturing problems is, my guess is that it isn’t evenly distributed – there are good lots and bad lots. Was the iBook excluded? I thought it was some percentage of all the Mac laptops. I never get extended warranties but I am considering getting it for this purchase.

  4. The screen problem was fixed in manufacturing, but if you happen to get one it gets fixed for free. I think the longest the laptop is out of your hands is like 2 days, they are master fixers. Get rid of windows box and just use VPC!

  5. So the order has been in for over a week, and I still don’t have it. I’m told it could be A MONTH before I get it! God help me. I would have bought it even knowing it could have been this long, but I would have done better self expectation management and not got myself worked up and impatient.

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