Best and Worst PowerBooks

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
iantm's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 2 2005 - 14:01
Posts: 709
Best and Worst PowerBooks

Hey everyone, saw the best and worst computer you've ever owned topic, and it brought me to wonder what the best and worst PowerBooks Apple ever made were. For me, the greatest 68k based PowerBook would be the 180, the worst 68k PB - the 150. I have a soft spot for the 180. As for PPC (5300 to date), I'd say that the Pismo G3 chassis is the greatest PPC PB, while much maligned 5300 would be towards the bottom. Just marginally faster than the 540c, and not as well equipped.

The iBook (dual USB and subsequent models), titanium and aluminum PowerBooks are great, beautiful, wonderful machines, however they show dirt and wear much moreso than any previous laptops. The iBooks (dual usb and G4 12") I've owned have driven me insane from how the polycarbonite scuffs. As for the PowerBooks I've had (AI 12" and 15") every scratch was heartbreaking. Short of how fragile the aesthetic values of the PowerBook G4 and iBook (dual USB and G4) and the tortured ergonomics of the PowerBooks (wrist rest digs into my arms), they may be the best machines Apple has ever built.

- iantm

coius's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2004 - 13:56
Posts: 1975
hmmm

Obviously you saw my "bad iBook" post. so that is the worst. The worst 68k is the 190. I had a hell of a time keeping that thing working.
The best machine i have had, was my Pismo (which I just sold) I had spilled coffee into that thing 3 times. Always booted right up with no problems. The thing just kept going. The worst PPC PB would be the 5300. It was modeled off of the 190. and the 190 was a bad design.

herrhanz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 24 2004 - 09:14
Posts: 43
best powerbook

My best powerbook is my current one, a G3 lombard, the 333 MHz version. The best things about is: you can put in 2 batteries and go on and on for hours.
The worst one is my brothers. Also a lombard, the 400 MHz version. We had several lombards, the only one still alive and kicking is the 333, all 400's have at least dead cache, most of them are just dead. My 333 is also a lot cooler than the 400 ones, the only problem ever with the 333 is a bad hard drive.
The nicest looking powerbook: the 15" Ti ! (I'll keep on dreaming)

Hans

Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 211
Concepts or Functionality

As a concept, the Duos were brilliant. In reality, the functionality was compromised -- RAM upgrades, for example, were unaffordable for the 68030 models. But everything else was gorgeous, especially that wonderful injection mechanism when you fed the Duo into the Dock.

Phil

Offline
Last seen: 15 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2003 - 16:21
Posts: 584
B&WPBS

Assuming this topic covers both PowerBooks and iBooks, here's my opinion.

Best PowerBook: Pismo. Solid as a rock. The TiBooks seemed more solid when new, but we all know how THAT turned out. All PowerBook G3s are hard to scratch, and the Pismo of course offered the most bang-for-your-buck of all of 'em.

Worst: The Dual USB- late 2004 iBooks. These all stink like a car full of wet dogs. Shocking manufacturing plant(misses the screw holes half the time and used to ALWAYS put the screws in far too loose), disgusting screens(however the 14" is a big improvement on the smaller model), common video failures on logic boards- and the polycarbonate outer shell. If one of my computers has ONE obvious scratch, I get rid of it. Sadly, I could never own an iBook because just to look at it is to mess it up. Urgh.

Close contenders for worst: 5300(duh) and 1400- nice design and all, but... the plastics around the hinges were built *way* wrong. Felt fairly flimsy overall, too.

astro_rob's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: Mar 19 2005 - 12:28
Posts: 320
My Best & Worse - 68k PowerBooks

I've owned a number of PowerBooks, but staying within the area I prefer (the 68k models), I'd say that the very best had to be the 500 series; I own a 540c, and it has everything going for it, such as design, construction and durability. I still use mine for running most of my System 7 applications.
The worse 68k model for me is a toss up, and I'm sure that people will disagree with me on this. The much maligned 150 is there, for sure, but this machine was designed compromised to begin with, and it is what it is. However, sitting right next to it is the original 100. Those leaky capacitors on the LCD screen are a problem, and from conversations I've had with other PB enthusiast, that problem started manifesting itself early on. In many ways, the 150 is a better machine than the 100.
But Apple's worse is usually far better than many PC manufacturer's best, and I used a 150 for a long time, bumps and all.

Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 12 hours ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 18:53
Posts: 904
TiBook 1Ghz is the best

The Titanium Powerbooks are the last to offer the dual boot feature. After having booted into OS 9 (as opposed to that abortion known as "running in Classic Mode" from OS X to OS9) you can still transfer files from ProDOS8 formatted media. At least I do with a CF card. That means that I can transfer word processing and other files from an Apple //e to my (mostly) modern PowerBook.

This long, backward compatible legacy, cool looks, DVD creation, easy usage of the current Mac OS, and speed of 1 Ghz makes the Titatium PowerBook 1Ghz THE BEST PowerBook of all time.

(And besides that, c'mon, it has titanium! How many other objects that you can own, other than white paint base (TiO2) and supersonic jet/rocket parts, are partially made of titanium?!?! Titanium. . . uhmmmm. . . . saying that just strokes my ego like stroking a cat. . .. uhmmm. . . )

Mutant_Pie

Offline
Last seen: 15 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2003 - 16:21
Posts: 584
You ever taken a Ti apart? No

You ever taken a Ti apart? No? Then you won't know that plastic and other such nasties hold that 'Book together, not titanium. The Ti content is alarmingly low, so much so that the titanium panels are the flimsiest parts. Tightening the screws in the bottom of one to a normal level can make the base warp horribly.

The AlBooks win the cool-shiny-toy contest hands-down.

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 1900
Ti tough, plastic and glues weak

. . . the titanium panels are the flimsiest parts. Tightening the screws in the bottom of one to a normal level can make the base warp horribly.

Well, errm, I hate to say this but if the panel is warping as you tighten screws then you were doing something horribly wrong or something else was already far out of whack.

Also the titanium itself is actually quite strong(*), but the glues holding the plastic bits to the Ti panels aren't exactly as robust as they might be. The plastic bits tend to separate from the Ti after awhile, leading to a floppy, wobbly 'Book. Well, the plastics aren't exactly tough either, but that's pretty well documented, eh? Blum 3

dan k

* I've beat the crap out of junked bare panels and they hold up pretty damn good under severe abuse. Biggrin

Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 12 hours ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 18:53
Posts: 904
Re-Read the post. . .

You may care to re-read my post. Besides coolness factors ("Tite-Tane-Nee-Uhm". . . uhmmm, just say it outloud slowly for coolness) I was addressing functionality and actual use, not your personal problems at hack attempts.

The AlBooks may arrive shiney, (shiny would have to do with your lower legs), but scratch easily. Besides, taking coolness advice from someone who use the handle "Disco Inferno" in the year 2005 is questionable at best.

Mutant_Pie

chris501's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 9 months ago
Joined: Apr 5 2005 - 04:35
Posts: 232
ok...

...no reason here to get personal...

however, i'm completely on your side. besides the great functionality, the titanium books have been the last models you could put on your thighs without getting "sunburnt"..., well, actually not really sunburnt, but it hurts real much having an AlBook on your feet for over one hour when these bastards are up and running.

and, yes, i've tested it. it does hurt...

Offline
Last seen: 16 years 4 months ago
Joined: Jun 16 2005 - 13:57
Posts: 18
owch! ;)

I agree, they are painful! My 12' that I got for my b-day, I wan't to sell it and get a 1 ghz DVI model so I don't burn myself!

Offline
Last seen: 15 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2003 - 16:21
Posts: 584
Failed hack attempts?

Excuse me, but I'm a qualified technician working at an AppleCentre(www.mac1.com.au).

Titaniums' bottom cases can and do warp inwards toward the screws when you tighten them at all- you need to be *very* careful to just do them up so they stay in.

And they're flimsy pieces of crap second to none but the current iBooks. I know this... I see more than 3 different examples of unnecessary damage to them a month.

As for my alias, it's an anachronism, which you don't need to understand. Smile

Offline
Last seen: 8 years 8 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 38
Re: B&WPBS

The TiBooks seemed more solid when new, but we all know how THAT turned out.

Yep, the OLD cases ware sucky, but the newer ones seem to have been revised. My mom got her case completely replaced under AppleCare for free, and it looks and feels beautiful.
Best PPC: TiBook
Worst PPC: 1400
Best 68k: 100
Worst 68k: Duo Lineup

H77
Offline
Last seen: 13 years 11 months ago
Joined: Feb 21 2005 - 21:34
Posts: 40
best and worst

I think the worst 68k PowerBook would definitely have to be the 190 or the 150, and the best 68k PB would be either the 180 or the 540/550. As for PPC, the 5300 takes the cake for worst, and the best being the 2400.

coius's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2004 - 13:56
Posts: 1975
sadly...

the crappy 190 that I had was better than the now replaced iBook G3 900
and I thought before that nothings was crappier than the 190

Offline
Last seen: 8 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 70
Clamshell iBook

Tangerine with its max res of 800x600 (an Apple computer that won't display the Mac standard of 832x624?) and only one USB port. Not the worst in the bunch, but certainly some questionable decisions on features.

tony b.

Offline
Last seen: 12 years 8 months ago
Joined: Mar 19 2005 - 23:37
Posts: 23
the much-maligned iBooks

I loved my Lombard (before a sublet killed it with 16 oz. of Gatorade) but I have to speak up for the iBooks that are taking a beating here. I have a Clamshell (Pre-Firewire) that is a great little portable for surfing and writing, listening to tunes- good battery life (original battery still gets close to 3 hours). Durable as hell. And I have a early 2004 14 inch iBook that performs very well (albeit with Maxed RAM) on everything from ripping CDs and DVDs to Photoshop to the basics. My only complaint is the handprints that you get near the trackpad over time (actually cheap to replace, but no less annoying), but other than that... I mean it's not G5 tower, but it's a nice little low-budget portable. It does what it's designed for admirably.

You can't blame a compact car for not being a Ferrari. I mean you CAN, but is it really fair to the A+ compact car?

macintoshme's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 19 2004 - 20:55
Posts: 150
Best and Worst

Speaking strictly of the computers I have owned. I regard the 3400 as the best PPC book. It could fly with maxed ram and talk about comfortable. Other than getting a tad hot, it was perfect, I loved the keyboard. The track pad was awesome. I admit it was rather large and bulky. Most of the space behind the screen is empty. For that reason alone, I beleive it was able to survive in my 70 pound backpack for half a year. The Worst PPC book, is a tossup between my extremely comprimised Duo 230c PPC and the 5300c. I still have a softspot for both, and would never pass either up.

The best 68K I have ever owned was my 280c before the upgrade. It could play mp3s better than my 230cPPC with similar specs.

The worst 68K would have to be the 190 if it is at all similar to its predecessor.

Log in or register to post comments