September 16th, 2003

opus

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...

This morning, the following products were announced during Steve Jobs' keynote at Paris Expo 2003:
  • An updated 12" PowerBook G4, which falls in price, has a faster 1GHz processor and a "Digital Video Interface (DVI) port for connection to any of Apple's flat panel displays";

  • An updated 17" PowerBook G4 which gets a speed bump to 1.33GHz with 1MB on-chip level 2 cache, supports a maximum 2GB RAM, a Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics card and a 2x DVD-R/CD-RW drive;

  • A NEW ALUMINIUM 15" PowerBook G4. If that wasn't enough, how's about a backlit keyboard similar to the 17" model, a 1.25GHz processor with 512KB on-chip L2 cache, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics card with 64MB DDR RAM, and support for up to 2GB of 333MHz DDR RAM and an HD of up to 80GB capacity? Dude. Sweet;

  • A new, wireless Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, with adaptive frequency hopping to keep a better connection reliable up to thirty feet away, and 128-bit encryption in data transfer. The keyboard uses four AA batteries which last nine months between them; and the mouse uses two AA Lithium batteries that last three months between 'em.
All the new PowerBooks come with OS X 10.2.7 pre-installed, and the 15" and 17" models are available right now. If I can get one of these on the special finance deal, the promotion of which expires in less than two weeks, I would be so unbelievably happy.
opus

...EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...

I spoke to a really nice Irish bloke at the Apple Store just now, to confirm a bunch of stuff about the finance promotion in light of this morning's PowerBook announcements. (All of Apple UK's sales and support operations are based in Cork, I think.) So far, this is what I know:
  • Yes, I can apply for 0% interest finance over ten months on the new PowerBooks;
  • Yes, I can build to order (so that'll be a 15" PowerBook G4, with a 1.25GHz G4 processor, one 1GB DDR333 SDRAM chip, and a 5400rpm 80GB Ultra ATA HD then);
  • No, I can't bundle peripherals into the order, just a three-year protection plan (no £120 rebate for bundling an iPod, then);
  • No, there's nothing stopping me from ordering these peripherals separately (Airport Extreme, here I come);
  • Yes, payments start when the order is dispatched, giving me a little leeway given the estimated 4-6 week build time on the 17" PowerBook;
  • They close at 6pm tonight.
So, my intentions are as follows:
  • Buy the PowerBook and protection plan over the phone ASAP before the promotion expires at the end of the month;
  • Buy the Airport Extreme Base Station separately at a shop, if I can get a deal on it;
  • Whore myself for a 40GB iPod for Christmas.
Sounds like a plan!
frustration, computer problems, oops

...EEEEEEE — ugh.

Guess what? I'm torn between the 15" PowerBook and the 17" PowerBook.

It wasn't so long ago that given unlimited funds I would have chosen the 17" over the 15" in a heartbeat, but now the 15" PowerBook has been brought almost up to par with its 17" sibling I'm finding it a lot harder to choose. I had a twenty-minute window earlier between Dad finishing his dinner and the store closing to decide on the model I wanted, and I couldn't decide. I hate being indecisive.

My main concern about the 17" PowerBook is it's just too large and unwieldy, even though it's not unreasonably heavy. I would definitely like the extra real-estate though, and it's not as if I can't afford the extra cost if I purchase the PowerBook under a finance plan as intended. If I get a 15" PowerBook, I probably won't be able to help thinking what could have been had I bought the 17" PowerBook.

Looking at the feature comparison table, there really isn't that much in it:
Model:15" PowerBook G417" PowerBook G4
Specifications:1.25GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache
1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
80GB Ultra ATA drive (5400rpm)
DVD-R/CD-RW
AirPort Extreme Card
Backlit Keyboard & Mac OS
AppleCare Protection Plan for PowerBook
15.2-inch TFT display
1280x854 resolution
ATI RADEON Mobility 9600 - 64MB DDR
56K internal modem
Power Adapter
Battery
1.33GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache
1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
80GB Ultra ATA drive (5400rpm)
DVD-R/CD-RW
AirPort Extreme Card
Backlit Keyboard & Mac OS
AppleCare Protection Plan for PowerBook
17-inch TFT display
1440x900 resolution
ATI RADEON Mobility 9600 - 64MB DDR
56K internal modem
Power Adapter
Battery
Cost:£2,522.76 ($4,006.90)£2,819.78 ($4,478.66)

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djw has advised me against buying any of the Aluminium model PowerBooks, because of its supposed lack of support for foreign UNIXes and I forget what else. I've also talked with rahaeli, and I'll probably consult her again tonight, as she is already the incredibly proud owner of a 17" PowerBook and loves it to bits. As a last resort, I can probably go into John Lewis tomorrow and test out the 17" before I make my final decision. Any help and advice would be appreciated, however, which is why I'd like you to fill out this poll if you could.

Poll #180833 Decide on my new PowerBook G4

Considering both the provided comparison table and my opinions on the matter, which model of PowerBook should I choose?

15" PowerBook G4
13(46.4%)
17" PowerBook G4
9(32.1%)
You'll probably hate me for this, but I suck at choosing just as much as you do. Choose whichever you like best
6(21.4%)