iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life) - Portable

This is a discussion on iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life) - Portable ; I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook. The main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive in the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other differences ...

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Thread: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

  1. iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook. The
    main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive in
    the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other differences -
    analog audio input, MiniDVI, faster RAM bus and CPU - I'm not sure I
    care about. (Price is not an issue and the applications I use probably
    won't have perceptibly better performance on the PowerBook).

    A couple of questions, which might not have easy answers, but I'll try:

    * How does battery life compare between 12" iBook and 12" PowerBook,
    given same RAM and OS, WLAN switched off, dim screen and no optical
    drive activity? For that matter, what is the nominal battery life?
    store.apple.com doesn't even give a ballpark number for the iBook (no
    technical specifications link!).

    * What will the larger video RAM in the PowerBook get me, if I choose
    to install a dual-boot system and run MacOS as well as Linux? Is it
    worth caring about?

    * How well is power management supported under Linux? In particular, is
    sleep properly supported? On x86 machines, I have a constant battle
    with ACPI. I haven't found any good references on this point amongst
    the web sites of people running Linux on portable Macs.


  2. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    in article 1111524157.469339.15080@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om,
    larwe@larwe.com at larwe@larwe.com wrote on 23/3/05 6:42 AM:

    > I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook. The
    > main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive in
    > the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other differences -
    > analog audio input, MiniDVI, faster RAM bus and CPU - I'm not sure I
    > care about. (Price is not an issue and the applications I use probably
    > won't have perceptibly better performance on the PowerBook).
    >
    > A couple of questions, which might not have easy answers, but I'll try:
    >
    > * How does battery life compare between 12" iBook and 12" PowerBook,
    > given same RAM and OS, WLAN switched off, dim screen and no optical
    > drive activity? For that matter, what is the nominal battery life?
    > store.apple.com doesn't even give a ballpark number for the iBook (no
    > technical specifications link!).
    >
    > * What will the larger video RAM in the PowerBook get me, if I choose
    > to install a dual-boot system and run MacOS as well as Linux? Is it
    > worth caring about?
    >
    > * How well is power management supported under Linux? In particular, is
    > sleep properly supported? On x86 machines, I have a constant battle
    > with ACPI. I haven't found any good references on this point amongst
    > the web sites of people running Linux on portable Macs.
    >

    I can give you my reasons for going with the 12" iBook after owning a 14"
    powerbook. Basically the iBook is
    - tougher (for a road warrior). My powerbook is gorgeous but just does not
    stand up to constant travel - maybe I'm just too rough?
    - has much better WiFi reception
    But
    - can not run dual independent monitors so for powerpoint presentations etc
    you are stuck with video mirroring (ie same on screen as on monitor)
    - the 12" weighs about the same as the 14" powerbook

    Battery life in my real world experience was better in the ibook (4 hours of
    use, dimming screen, no WiFi) but I suspect that is because batteries are
    just better now than when I got my powerbook. Both have much much better
    battery life than our Toshibas we have at work.

    Cheers

    Nigel in Oz


  3. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    larwe@larwe.com:

    > I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook. The
    > main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive in
    > the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other differences -
    > analog audio input, MiniDVI, faster RAM bus and CPU - I'm not sure I
    > care about. (Price is not an issue and the applications I use probably
    > won't have perceptibly better performance on the PowerBook).


    If you're not going to use demanding applications -- I'm thinking
    iMovie/iDVD -- why do you need a SuperDrive?

    My philosophy: whatever you are buying, get the best _that you can
    afford._ Performance wise, that means a PowerBook.

    Davoud

  4. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    In article <1111524157.469339.15080@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>,
    larwe@larwe.com wrote:

    > I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook. The
    > main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive in
    > the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other differences -
    > analog audio input, MiniDVI, faster RAM bus and CPU - I'm not sure I
    > care about. (Price is not an issue and the applications I use probably
    > won't have perceptibly better performance on the PowerBook).
    >
    > A couple of questions, which might not have easy answers, but I'll try:
    >
    > * How does battery life compare between 12" iBook and 12" PowerBook,
    > given same RAM and OS, WLAN switched off, dim screen and no optical
    > drive activity? For that matter, what is the nominal battery life?
    > store.apple.com doesn't even give a ballpark number for the iBook (no
    > technical specifications link!).


    I have the 14" iBook G4/1GHz/640MB and my wife has the 12" iBook
    G4/1GHz/768MB. The battery life in both iBooks is about 4 to 4.5 hours
    with Airport WiFi active and the screen at full brightness.

    Hand in hand with the better battery life, is less heat generated so it
    is not as hot sitting on the lap.

    > * What will the larger video RAM in the PowerBook get me, if I choose
    > to install a dual-boot system and run MacOS as well as Linux? Is it
    > worth caring about?


    Someone mentioned the iBook only allowing video mirroring, but you can
    install "Screen Spanning Doctor":
    http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
    to allow using 2 screens with the external screen supporting up to
    1280x1024. I have used this on my 14" iBook G4/1GHz.

    > * How well is power management supported under Linux? In particular, is
    > sleep properly supported? On x86 machines, I have a constant battle
    > with ACPI. I haven't found any good references on this point amongst
    > the web sites of people running Linux on portable Macs.


    I have no idea.

    Bob Harris

  5. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    Hi Nigel,

    > > I'm contemplating the purchase of either an iBook or a PowerBook.

    The
    > > main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive

    in
    > > the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other

    differences -
    > >
    > >

    > I can give you my reasons for going with the 12" iBook after owning a

    14"
    > powerbook. Basically the iBook is
    > - tougher (for a road warrior). My powerbook is gorgeous but just

    does not

    Hmm, this is an interesting one. Hadn't read this fact anywhere. Thanks
    for that.

    > - can not run dual independent monitors so for powerpoint

    presentations etc

    I'm a Scott McNealy type - I believe that world productivity would
    double if PowerPoint was abolished. I use transparencies and markers
    for presenations when I can. Besides, it is against my religious
    beliefs to use Microsoft software. That aside, the dual-display feature
    is something I've never used. I only connect my laptop(s) to a monitor
    when I'm at a desk and want to use a bigger screen and external
    keyboard - in which case I turn off the internal display anyway.

    > - the 12" weighs about the same as the 14" powerbook


    It's still quite a bit lighter than my HP boat anchor, though

    > Nigel in Oz


    Heh. I escaped Oz several years ago.


  6. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    Hi,

    > > main thing in favor of the PowerBook is that I can get a SuperDrive

    in
    > > the 12" unit. I like the small 12" form factor. The other

    differences -
    >
    > If you're not going to use demanding applications -- I'm thinking
    > iMovie/iDVD -- why do you need a SuperDrive?


    I generate quite a lot of data and need to keep a fairly large number
    of documents (well, data files) on my hard drive. Some years ago my
    essential work-in-progress documents folder crossed the 700Mb mark, so
    it no longer fits on a CD-R. It's simply convenient to me to be able to
    burn the entire folder to one DVD. And it's much harder, on a laptop,
    to upgrade later than it is to buy the drive preinstalled.

    > My philosophy: whatever you are buying, get the best _that you can
    > afford._ Performance wise, that means a PowerBook.


    For practical purposes, the machine is free (it's tax-deductible and
    it's being paid for with otherwise uncommitted extra-curricular
    income). So I can afford either the iBook plus a new iPod Photo for my
    wife (she currently has a second-generation 10Gb iPod), or just the
    PowerBook by itself. I just want to be sure I don't make a decision
    I'll regret.


  7. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    Hi,

    Bob Harris wrote:

    > G4/1GHz/768MB. The battery life in both iBooks is about 4 to 4.5

    hours
    > with Airport WiFi active and the screen at full brightness.


    This is good news, thanks.

    > Hand in hand with the better battery life, is less heat generated so

    it
    > is not as hot sitting on the lap.


    That, and the ability to fit better on an airplane table than my 15"
    laptop, constitutes most of my lust for a 12" PB/iB.

    > Someone mentioned the iBook only allowing video mirroring, but you

    can
    > install "Screen Spanning Doctor":


    It's OK, I really have no use for the feature anyway. Never used it to
    date in any machine I've owned.


  8. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    In article <1111524157.469339.15080@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>,
    larwe@larwe.com wrote:

    >* How well is power management supported under Linux? In particular, is
    >sleep properly supported? On x86 machines, I have a constant battle
    >with ACPI. I haven't found any good references on this point amongst
    >the web sites of people running Linux on portable Macs.


    Well, you can always avoid the whole problem by recompiling your
    applications for Mac OS X. X Windows is nicely integrated.

    --
    Art Gorski * Mac Integration Staff * Rice University * Houston, Texas
    Remember to remove NOSPAM from address when replying via email

  9. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)


    Art Gorski wrote:

    >
    > >* How well is power management supported under Linux? In particular,

    is
    > >sleep properly supported? On x86 machines, I have a constant battle
    > >with ACPI. I haven't found any good references on this point amongst
    > >the web sites of people running Linux on portable Macs.

    >
    > Well, you can always avoid the whole problem by recompiling your
    > applications for Mac OS X. X Windows is nicely integrated.


    I develop for, and write about, open-source Linux applications. Moving
    this to a proprietary OS is not an option; my writing and consulting
    career is Linux-based. Yes, I could run Linux inside Virtual PC and do
    the rest of my work in MacOS. But this is painful and silly. Plus I
    don't want the headache of, say, trying to import my Evolution email
    into a MacOS package.


  10. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    larwe@larwe.com wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > Bob Harris wrote:
    >
    >> G4/1GHz/768MB. The battery life in both iBooks is about 4 to 4.5

    > hours
    >> with Airport WiFi active and the screen at full brightness.

    >
    > This is good news, thanks.


    I'm in something of the same position. However, I could maybe use the
    larger screen so I just ordered a refurbed 15" Powerbook. However, I was
    wondering how well Airport is supported under linux? A (brief) glance at
    the ubuntu linux website seemed to indicate it didn't work - hopefully that
    was an old posting otherwise I'm stuck using in my office when I need to do
    linux work.

    Thanks,
    Steve

    >> Hand in hand with the better battery life, is less heat generated so

    > it
    >> is not as hot sitting on the lap.

    >
    > That, and the ability to fit better on an airplane table than my 15"
    > laptop, constitutes most of my lust for a 12" PB/iB.
    >
    >> Someone mentioned the iBook only allowing video mirroring, but you

    > can
    >> install "Screen Spanning Doctor":

    >
    > It's OK, I really have no use for the feature anyway. Never used it to
    > date in any machine I've owned.



  11. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.sys.mac.system.]
    On 2005-03-23, larwe@larwe.com wrote:
    > I develop for, and write about, open-source Linux applications.


    Linux specifically, or generic unix? Most generic open-source unix
    packages these days will build out of the box in osx. So from that
    perspective, doing your development in osx is no worse than doing it in
    bsd or solaris or any other non-Linux unix variant.


    > don't want the headache of, say, trying to import my Evolution email


    Evolution doesn't run under osx? I thought it did.

  12. Re: iBook vs PowerBook (and Linux battery life)

    On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 2:10:10 -0800, larwe@larwe.com wrote
    (in message <1111572610.579479.26600@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.c om>):

    > Hi,
    >
    > Bob Harris wrote:
    >
    >> G4/1GHz/768MB. The battery life in both iBooks is about 4 to 4.5

    > hours
    >> with Airport WiFi active and the screen at full brightness.

    >
    > This is good news, thanks.
    >


    And if that is not enough, OWC is selling the NewerTech high output
    replacements for either ibooks or powerbooks. They claim "up to 50% more
    battery life".

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer...y/BAPIB111V48/

    Steve C
    >




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