The Problem with Macs is Apple
The Problem with Macs is Apple, or rather that Apple is a hardware-driven
I’ve been gearing up to purchase one of the new sub-$1k iBooks, and on a whim
decided to Google for iBook vs Powerbook – if I hadn’t I’d be in for a nasty
surprise in a few weeks because I only have experience with Powerbooks.
There are a few potentially deal-breaking differences between Apple’s two
laptop families that exist, largely I suspect, only for business not
technical reasons. (Sources: 1, 2).
- iBooks do not support closed-lid operation. If you close the lid it
will go to sleep. Powerbooks can be connected to an alternate display
device and used with the lid closed.
- iBooks only do display mirroring, not dual-display. With Powerbooks
you can plug in a monitor or TV for an extended desktop, also you can run
a hardware-accelerated (AFAIK) full-screen DVD, Movie, Game, whatever on
one display and still have a usable second desktop. This also limits an
iBook to 1024x768 no matter the display. Also this seems kind of useless
since you can’t do closed-lid operation.
- Lastly, a minor note in the wake of the above two bomb-shells: iBooks
do not have built-in line-in audio.
- Lastly, lastly: Also I’ve heard rumors that the VGA-out adapter is an
There’s a $400 price difference between the low-end 12” iBook and 12”
Powerbook, but I think it might be worth the money. Being limited to 1024x768
isn’t terrible on a laptop (esp. given my current Picturebook’s display of
1024x480?), but it is terrible if you can’t expand that by plugging into a
capable external display. Also I used dual-displays a lot in my Powerbook
days. When I was DMing D&D games, I would have my notes on the laptop and use
the TV-out to display maps, pictures, and videos for the players. Also
Google-ing for things while giving a Keynote (Apple’s gorgeous PowerPoint
clone), or doing homework while watching a DVD on a television-set.