Torsten Curdt’s weblog

Powerbook vs MacBook Pro

my powerbookSo when I joined joost last year I got a new machine for work. A 17″ MacBook Pro (Core Duo) that replaced my private two year old 17″ Powerbook (G4). And frankly speaking I am not really thrilled.

  • Display: Compared to my old Powerbook the MacBook Pro screen basically sucks. It is bright – that’s true! But the variance in brightness is just terrible. Now mine even turned out to get some white spots. Since we wanted to get that fixed under warranty I now got a new machine a few weeks ago. (So my second MacBook Pro!) The homogeneity of the brightness is better – but still not up to the level of the old Powerbook.
  • Harddisk: The second MacBook Pro I got came with a 7200 rpm drive. Oh my god! In my Powerbook I also had a 7200 rpm drive – which actually was more quiet than the 5400 rpm of the previous MacBook Pro. Now this one is humming and vibrating so much that I went to an Apple store to get their opinion. At least they agreed that this is not OK like that. Seem like I need to get that fixed, too.
  • Light sensor: With the MacBook Pro the light sensor sometimes seem to get into a feedback loop – the screen light influences the sensor. If you have your screen on auto dimming that can lead to an interesting dimming game. On, off, on, off…
  • The case: This machine is only 2 months old now but the case already starts to make noises when you just lay your hand onto it.
  • Wireless:In certain situations I had major problems with wireless where the Powerbook just worked flawlessly.

After I switched to Mac I used to smile at people having these cheap looking windows laptops. I used to tell people “just get a Mac” when they were frustrated with their machines. Now I refrain from doing that. In the end Apple just does not live up their previous quality standards anymore. A sad story! Does this necessarily have to come with growth and success they are seeing?

All this plus the lock-in they are trying to pull (in all sorts of areas) becomes more and more annoying. Mac OSX is still the platform I prefer to work on ….but – things have been better. I hope Apple does not ignore voices like mine.

  • Steven
    @ MADS:

    Your quote, "That's what you get for being a fanboy ;)".---You were kicked out of your house at a very young age, weren't you?
  • Bill
    I just got a 15 inch early 2008 MacBook Pro (on clearance for $1250!!!), and I've seen the following differences on the screen with the 15 inch PowerBook G4 1.33 that I have -

    1) Keyboard and Screen backlighting are much brighter.
    2) The MacBook doesn't run as hot as the PowerBook does when playing games.
    3) The MacBook has about 4x the gaming performance in Halo and TenebreQuake, especially when turning on FSAA.
    4) Color seems much richer on the PowerBook, but whites are much whiter on the MacBook after adjusting the screen. Color adjustment is also a bigger PITA with the MacBook Pro's screen.
    5) The MacBook Pro's screen is MUCH sharper than the PowerBook's. Everything is crisp.
    6) BlueTooth performs exactly the same.
    7) In Verbose Startup mode, you can see what appears to be a BIOS screen on the MacBook Pro; the PowerBook G4 starts up with the grey screen before going into console boot messages.
    8) WiFi performs exactly the same on B and G networks.

    If the color gamut of the screen was better, the MacBook Pro would prove to be a vastly superior machine. However, as is, it's a very worthy upgrade.
  • jerry
    thanks helped a lot!
  • cr
    If your macbook pro heats up you can download something called (smc) it gives you the option of controling the speed of your fans anything above 3000rpms keps it pretty cool. Its so awsome
    You can run it like forever and it will stay as cool as the screen. Google it! I promis you won't regret it. And its free.
  • That's because Apple does design nor manufacturs the machines. It's all done by Intel. Yet another point against the intel switch (Yeah I know I bitch too much about that)
  • ed
    I wish I had a newer macbook or macbook pro as the core2 duo is much faster.
  • I have a similar speced Dell Laptop to my macbookpro, and I still prefer the macbook.

    the macbook feels nicer, and seems to run faster.

    if only it didn't heat up and burn my lap
  • That's what you get for being a fanboy ;)

  • dan
    first revision halt...
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