Journal: News & Comment

Thursday, October 23, 2003
# 4:07:00 PM:

Good deal

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Dori at Backup Brain compares Apple's new 12" G4 iBook to the very-similar 12" G4 PowerBook.

Apple has intentionally crippled the iBooks (as well as the consumer-level iMacs and eMacs) so that—even though their video chips can drive two independent screens at once with an expanded, multi-monitor desktop—when plugged into an external display, they will only mirror whatever appears on their internal one. PowerBooks have no such limitation. There is a dual-monitor hack for iBooks, and I know two people who have applied it without trouble. Is the hack the same for these new models?

Assuming it is, I did a custom-config test on the Apple Canada site for similarly configured 12" G4 iBooks and PowerBooks the way I would like them. The difference was large—about $2000 Cdn for a G4 iBook with 640 MB of RAM and otherwise maxed-out (except for Bluetooth, which would add another $75), and nearly $2700 for a similar G4 PowerBook with only 512 MB of RAM.

If the display hack works, and you don't mind a bit of extra weight, a slightly less-nice keyboard, a plastic housing instead of aluminum, less cache, and a few other minor differences, why would anyone buy a 12" PB right now?


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