Thinking about getting a g4 laptop to replace the Pismo...How weary should I be of the Titanium PB, and how much should I be paying for one?
A few weeks ago I bought a 1.5 GHz Powerbook G4. I paid $700 for it. Depending on the speed I have seen TiBooks for as low as $250.
I was looking at one to replace my pismo as well, but after talking to iantm, he has told me horror stories of these machine, the cracking hinges, flaking paint, sub par wifi reception, and many other issues from these machines as they age.
In it's place, I bought a 12" iBook from wegner. the 500mhz icebook. Cost me $200, but that's with a good warranty (which is just about to expire, only 60 days), and nicely refurbished. It's a very nice, sturdy machine, and despite a few cosmetic problems (feet fell off, ring around the battery lock is cracked, crack in the display bezel), all it well. This should do me nicely until prices of the 12" powerbooks come down under $200, which should be a few years. I plan on buying a 1.5ghz one eventually, with all the bells and whistles. The only problem with them is they can dent.
Used Titanium G4s in working condition are starting to get pretty rare. If you really want to consider one I'd strongly, *strongly* recommend not buying it sight unseen, and be willing to walk away if you see problems with the hinges or a cracked frame no matter what the price.
At this point a good share of the Titaniums I've seen that still work have at some time been dropped or banged on one of their front corners, which tends to cause the metal plate around the keyboard to separate from the frame. The damage isn't obvious at a look but makes the whole unit feel "flexible" when handled. People still seem to have the gall to charge $400 for machines in that condition. The description might say "worn" or "a few scratches", but you're not going to know if it's actually suffered structural damage without getting your hands on it.
Note that the early Aluminum PBs have problems at well. I'd be very wary of the 1.0/1.25Ghz first rev 15" models. (Most of the "white spot" units should of been fixed by Apple, but they also have memory slot issues.)
The used prices for all these machines are high enough you might seriously want to consider biting the bullet and getting a refurb MacBook instead. They're *much* faster, if nothing else, and they have comparable screen resolution to all but the very last generation 15" Powerbooks.
Well, I've had a TiBook or two for several years now and I'm not "weary" of 'em yet. I really like the formfactor, while they aren't quite as robust as I'd desire they still hold up pretty well.
What's the budget here? Knowing that will considerably influence any recommendations.
i wouldn't reccomend the 1ghz albook. i have one, and it's a very good computer. however....one of my memory slots did stop working for no reason in particular, and apple is stupid enough not to cover it even though it's exactly the same as the 1.25ghz models that are covered.
while the tibook has its issues, i still want one for myself. i say sand away the flaking paint and paint it black, and bend some sheet aluminum around the hinges and screen bezel to give it some extra hold (there are instructions online somewhere). it's so easy to upgrade that i'd take the time for repairs.
And another thing - the TiBook was the first PowerBook I've had that was worthy of replacing a Mac desktop for most all my usage. It's that big-big screen and the capability to hold lots of RAM.
The 12" AlBooks are real nice, but that lo-rez LCD just doesn't cut it for fulltime use. I'd love to move to a 15" AlBook, but can't quite fit the cost (yet!) into my budget. I have been keeping my eyes out for a 1280-rez AlBook with a busted LCD for cheapish, being I have a couple of extra of those LCDs around . . . no joy yet, but I'm patient.
Sometimes you find an ad that seems way too good to be true: http://kansascity.craigslist.org/sys/427550913.html
the 12" powerbooks are excellent desktop replacements. 1024x768 is the same res as my desktop's 15" LCD, so I'm used to it. These are very nice machines, and if I ever get one, I plan on no longer using a desktop. Maybe I could find one with a busted LCD and swap in the one from my iBook, but I doubt that is possible, since one has a VGA signal, and one has DVI (the 1.5ghz one is the only one I want)
I love the pismo...without selling the pismo, my budget is around $250, but I could stretch it to $300 to $350. Shoot me, by all means if I am wrong, but I never thought that the 12 inch 500mhz ibook was a serious replacement for the pismo. However, I would also entertain the possibility of dropping a g4 chip into the pismo, but I would also replace the LCD (seems a bit dim and has a couple of dead pixels) and I would need to replace the fan as well. But if the performance was comparable to a real PBG4, then I can't complain. Although a 14inch ibook seems attractive...
I personally thing all iBooks are junk compared to PowerBooks. I went from an 867MHz 12" to a 1.33GHz 12" iBook and it felt like a POS. Performance wise and physically. The biggest limit in Pismos is the video card. A G4 chip would definitely improve performance though.
never ever get an ibook. i still have my 933 14" one, and it's rotting in the closet. one of the most horrible computers i've ever used.
Maybe it' just that I got lucky or have good karma, but my iBook has been fairly solid for 5 years... Just recently the power adapter has been getting a tad flaky at the machine plug.
How much do you want for it?
the case is absolutely destroyed, so i don't think you want it. i'll probably erase the drive and install a bare-bones copy of os x to get it running as a picture frame machine. easier than trying to fit the parts in the clear case from my dead 12" ibook.
Since this month 10.5 Ships most of the Original G4 Powerbooks are being excluded even the 1ghz model is a bit of a gamble considering the main requirement for leopard is 867 mhz. But in my opinion go with a 1.33 Ghz Powerbook if you're on a budget, or get a 1.50 Ghz Powerbook if you want to have the most ram and proformance possible. I hope this helps.