Why shouldn't I buy an (this) iBook?

I’m in the process of being swayed to buy an iBook, and before I make up my mind and give the order with definite specs, I’d like some feedback. Since I already own a Windows PC with which I’m comfortable but still am interested in getting an Apple on the side don’t let this devolve into a Mac-PC fight, as that means I’ll be getting it from both camps. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m interested in positive and negative opinions on the machine itself.

The iBook I’ve got in mind is the tiny, light-weight 12’’, 1GHz. I’d like to add a 512 Mb memory module, and buy an extra battery. I’d be using it primarily for word processing on the road, at home or at other locations. That’s why the weight and size are important to me.

I’m considering buying MS Office, but balk at the price. I’d prefer to use OpenOffice as it is free and sufficiently compatible for my needs (I already use it on Windows).

I might also start using it more for websurfing, organizing pictures, a little graphic work (e.g. paintshop-like), and other uses. Those would not be dealbreakers, but it would be a pity if it wouldn’t do those well. For home use I have a supplementary keyboard, and I can hook it up to a larger monitor if I find the screen too small for extended home use. I have an Ethernet network for Internet connection to ADSL.

So, any reasons not to do it? Or to change the specs? Or helpful tips in general?

That’s the G4 yes? If it is, rather than a refurbed G3, the extra battery is probably a good idea as the G4 is a little more power hungry. I usually get a full day’s work out of my G3 iBook’s battery but that’s without using the optical drive and using the battery mode energy setting. Being a slack bastard probably helps though. You’re right on the money with the RAM upgrade. With the price of memory, it’s the best value per dollar upgrade there is. Best to max it out to the full 640Mb possible (128 soldered in + the 512).

If you really need the features Office offer, and very few people do, then you should probably get it. OpenOffice for the Mac is not aquafied yet (you’ll need to run it in X11) and the developers recommend it more for people who want to do development and compatibility work on the suite itself. An Aqua native version won’t be ready until halfway through next year I believe. If you can wait that long, it’s definitely the way to go even given all the bugs it will have upon its Aqua debut. Having said that, I’m happy with the Gimp in X11 so maybe OOo has come a ways since I used it even though you do still need X11.

It will be perfect for the other things you want it for like web surfing &c. In fact, I think it’s the best platform for those. Personally, I like the keyboard and screen as they are but you can of course, use a USB keyboard and external monitor. With the G3s, I don’t think you can stop it from sleeping when the lid’s closed (risky for the CPU?) but maybe the G4s have got around that.

I’d add Bluetooth (handier than I ever would have thought and getting handier) but yours might already be enabled. Same with Airport (IEEE 802.11b) which I use daily. Aside from that, I’ve only added a trackball (beats the crap out of mouses on planes) and a moulded mat that fits over the keyboard as I work in some pretty nasty areas that would see the keys getting gummed up with Christ knows what. There’s also a Kensington security cable for when it’s left at a hotel, home, wherever and I’m out. These last three however are applicable to any laptop of course.

I can’t imagine you’ll be less than extremely happy with it if you get one.

I have the PowerBook G4. Being raised on Dos/Windows 3.1/Windows 3.11/Win 95 thru XP I can say that a MAC is a must have, rather as your primary machine or something to play with on the side. My PowerBook was purchased as a complete replacement. I basically took a plunge with no MAC experience and boy was I impressed. (I made the desicion whilst the average computer reboots per day with XP was 4) I have not once had a problem with the machine.

As for purchasing the actual machine and software, I recommend doing it through Apple’s store on their website. Make sure to check out the education discount page and the government discout page - some serious money can be saved.

I have the 15in PowerBook, but in hindsight really apreciate the smallness of the 12in models. The 15in is just as nice, but I get nervous when handleing the machine when it’s closed just because of the length and the fact that the case is aluminum - both of which aren’t a concern with the iBook’s, but something to keep in mind.

One more thing…
Some of the software for the MAC that was primarily developed for the PC has a tendency to really suck, not all software, but some. For example, Internet Explorer has completely stopped development as of a few years ago - this is okay becuase Safari (Apple’s version) and Netscape and Mozilla are great, but if you are an IE fan, prepare to be throughly disappointed. Another classic example is AOL Instant Messanger. It is updated regularly, but really blows for the MAC. Many free better versions are available though, such as AdiumX, found at www.adiumx.com. Oh, and Windows Media player is also an aweful MAC application, but again, alternatives exist. And I still can’t get Yahoo!'s Launch videos to work on my MAC.

Hope this helped!

I should have mentioned that Apple’s suite of “life management” programs is great for pictures, dvd, movies, making your own music. It is really cool. iLife is what it’s called. You can check out the promo video of all this stuff at Apple.com

Thanks for the replies. As there appears to be no reason not to take the step, and plenty of reasons to do, I’ll be off to the shop, then. I appreciate the tips, as well; I’ll be adding the AirPort thingy, too. :slight_smile: