ZDNet writer considers 12-inch PowerBook to replace aging ThinkPad

David Berland writes for ZDNet, “This week represents an interesting confluence of events. For at least a couple of years, I’ve considered replacing my old clunker of a notebook, a 366 MHz IBM ThinkPad 570. Even our IT department has told me that it’s time to retire the system before the hard drive or the display suffers a catastrophic failure.” Berland goes on to describe how he’s narrowed down his choices to three options: a new IBM ThinkPad T40, a Hewlett-Packard TabletPC, or, surprise, surprise, a 12-inch PowerBook G4.

Berland says, “[Apple] first offered to send me the 17-inch version but I wasn’t about to lug that behemoth around.”

“The 802.11g-equipped PowerBook ($1,799 base price, $2,347 for the configuration shipped to me) arrived last week and, needless to say, it was the center of attention over the weekend. The PowerBook is packed with features and its industrial design is far superior to other notebooks. The keyboard is the best I’ve felt on a notebook. That’s right. Move over ThinkPad, which has been the keyboard ruler supreme.”

“This system oozes multimedia as though it were in its DNA. It only took a few hours for this PowerBook to seduce me into my first DVD-burning project ever. (Although it’s only 1.18 inches tall, it has a DVD-burning CD-RW drive.) . No Windows system I’ve ever owned brought out the fun in computing the way this one has.”

“While you can burn a few DVDs and rip some CDs, the true measure of the PowerBook will be if it satisfies my business needs and does it better and/or cheaper than Windows-based alternatives.”

Berland promises to keep us posted about his decision in coming articles. Full article here.


  1. Well I’m sat here watching the Portuguese football whilst listening to Crowded House via iTunes and surfing the Mac sites on a 12″ PB via Airport Extreme with DVDR drive and the RAM maxed.

    The minute I booted it up a week ago I knew I had a work of genius to play with. It’s not that often that you know that you’ve bought something which is worth every penny you paid for it.

    My G4 733 with 17″ Apple display and 19″ monitor sits ten feet from me. I love it but never thought I would be just as happy with a wee 12″ screen.

    They also don’t tell you how cool it is to bask in the reflected technolust when colleagues ask to have a quick play and then head off to work out how they can get one too.

    I love showing people all the little design touches which put Apple so far in front of other computer firns it’s not funny: the glowing light on the power cable, the charge lights on the battery, the perfect keyboard, the excellent touchpad.

    You can prise this little feller only from my cold dead hands.

  2. I am a recent switcher and After getting my 17″ iMac, I got the bug to get a laptop, when the 12″ PB came out I couldn’t resist.

    I am positively in computer heaven. The use of airport to surf the web, the g speed for file transfers, the screen, and everybody just goes goo goo over the sight of it.

  3. While I can’t comment on the new PowerBook I to have been bitten by notebook fever. My PowerMac G4/533 with a 17″ display is my absolute favorite computer to date! I’ve burned DVD’s of my son’s first year which I plan on dupping to give to the grandparents.

    I teach Digital Photography courses on the Mac and really was tired of lugging my PowerMac from one presentation to the next. So I picked up a used iBook on eBay thinking I’d just use it for the presentations and that’s it.

    Well I love the little 12″ screen and four hours of battery life I get from it!

    I finding I now use both Macs but for different tasks. My PowerMac is my base computer. I use it for collecting my emails, syncing iCal to my iPod and PALM m105 and transfering my digital photos for archiving.

    I use the iBook for PowerPoint presentations (trying to get use to Keynote but havn’t “switched” yet), checking out my .mac email online. surfing and writing WORD documents. It’s a dream for doing my classes with and even though it only has a G3/500 MHz processor it’s plenty fast enough for Photoshop Elements, PowerPoint, ImageBuddy and iPhoto (all running simultanously on 384MB of RAM).

    I can only dream how much better the 12″ PowerBook would be.

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