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January 25, 2003

miniBook face-to-face

So I've seen the new miniBook, and it's good.

Circumstances have conspired to give me an especially good feel for the right way to go on the upcoming PowerBook purchase. I'm spending the weekend (at least) in the company of a 500-mhz TiBook, so I can get a feel for how I like its form factor, which I've always felt is a little too big. I'm posting this through it.

The TiBook is still running OS 9, so it seems lightyears faster than the OS X Lombard PowerBook G3 I use most frequently. The extra screen real estate is nice, sure, but it doesn't seem to buy me anything I would really use all the time.

Here's a picture comparing the 12-inch miniBook and the 15.2-inch TiBook on display at the Apple Store. The new keyboard on the miniBook is a noticeable improvement on the mushy keyboards Apple has used on laptops since the Lombard, at least. I sympathize with the people saying the silver coloring of the new keyboards isn't as attractive as the translucent keys of the older keyboards.

The Atlanta Apple Store sold out its first shipment of 12 miniBooks in less than a day, but they're still quoting 2-4 weeks for build-to-order models.

More 12-inch news: Here's a link to miniBook hard drive upgrade pictures. A report this morning on Macintouch says the miniBook gets extremely hot on the left palmrest (the miniBook at the Apple Store didn't seem unusually warm anywhere).

By the way, Howard joined us, and wrote up his thoughts on the littlest PowerBook.

January 25, 2003 in Apple, Apple - PowerBooks | Permalink


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So, does the MiniBook get the NotD Seal of Approval? Would you buy one with your own money? With CD-RW or SuperDrive? You seem to have more 'book experience than anybody I sorta know.

Posted by: john at Jan 26, 2003 5:56:09 PM

Would I buy one with my own money? Definitely. Am I buying one with my own money? Probably. Unless my attitude toward the TiBook changes dramatically real quick. I'm typing this on my mini-IBM laptop because it feels better as a wandering-around machine, and I'm sorta watching the Super Bowl. The miniBook strikes me as a similar machine.

I think the Combo vs. SuperDrive question is a simple calculation -- if you burn tons of CDs, go with the combo drive. If you intend to burn DVDs,and can stand the slower CD burns, the $200 is money well-spent.

It's funny that you phrase it as a "with your own money" question, since the only Macs I've ever bought with my own money were a Mac II I bought to convert to a IIfx (about $6,000 worth), and an iMac DV I bought for Christy. Every other Mac I've owned or operated has been provided by my job, except for my first Mac SE, an early graduation present from my parents.

Here's the list:

  • Mac SE - 1 mb RAM, 20 mb HD

  • Mac IIcx - 4 mb RAM, 40 mb HD

  • Mac IIfx - 4 mb RAM, 40 mb HD

  • Quadra 650 - 16 mb RAM, 100(?) mb HD

  • Quadra 840av - 32 mb RAM, ?? HD

  • Duo 230c

  • Power Mac 8100 prototype

  • Power Mac 7100av - 40 mb(?) RAM, 230 mb HD

  • PowerBook 540c (upgraded to PowerPC)

  • Power Mac 7500 (upgraded twice to 400 mhz)- 128 mb RAM, 2 gig HD

  • PowerBook 2400c - 96 mb RAM, 1.3 gig HD

  • 400 mhz G3 PowerBook - 192 mb RAM, 6 - 20 gig HD

  • Grape iMac DV 400 - 384 mb RAM, 10 gig HD

  • Ruby iMac (400?) DV

Posted by: Frank at Jan 26, 2003 8:57:21 PM