After buying my twelve inch beast all those weeks ago I considered doing a point–by–point comparison of the 12" PowerBook and some other 12" notebook, in the same vein as the G5/Xeon shootout, just to see if the claims were true; that Apple’s notebooks are great value compared to the competition. But alas, I grew lazy.
Well, here it is. The Apple PowerBook G4 versus the IBM ThinkPad X31.
|Display||12.1" TFT, with a natural resolution of 1024×768 pixels||12.1" TFT, with a natural resolution of 1024×768 pixels|
|Case dimensions||10.9" × 8.6" × 1.18"||10.7" × 8.8" × 1.19"|
|Processor||1GHz PowerPC G4 with a 512K L2 cache||1.4GHz Pentium M with a 1MB L2 cache|
|RAM||256MB DDR266 SDRAM||256MB DDR266 SDRAM|
|Hard disk drive||40GB Ultra ATA/100||40GB ATA/100|
|Optical drive||“Combo drive” DVD–ROM/CD–RW||“Combo IV” DVD–ROM/CD–RW|
|Video||NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 (32MB DDR), with video out||ATI Mobility Radeon (16MB DDR), with video out|
|Wired Connectivity||56k modem, 10/100 Ethernet, 1 FireWire 400 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports||56k modem, 10/100 Ethernet, 1 FireWire 400 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports|
|Input||Full–size keyboard, touchpad||Full–size keyboard, trackpoint|
|Wireless connectivity||“AirPort Extreme” 802.11g, Bluetooth||“Intel PRO” 802.11b, infrared|
|Operating system||Mac OS X 10.3||Windows XP Professional|
|Bundled software||iLife ‘04 (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand), QuickBooks, FAXstf, Art Directors Toolkit, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, Graphic Converter||PC–Doctor, IBM Rapid Restore PC, Norton AntiVirus 2003, Access IBM|
Evidently, there’s room for bickering amongst the two. One born Macintosh, the other born Wintel; one with a touchpad, the other a trackpoint (or ‘nipple’ for those in the habit of anthropomorphizing their computers); one adheres to the 802.11g standard, the other 802.11b. I could go on for… oh, minutes more.
To my eyes, the PowerBook has but one inferior quality: it’s a pound heavier. Ouch. A whole pound. Then again, when you’re buying an ultra–portable notebook, a pound might matter; of course, so might Bluetooth, or Wi–Fi that’s five times faster, or the world’s most advanced operating system, or $101, or bundled software that encourages its owner to do things with his computer instead of shielding him from his computer.
But hey, I’m biased, and you knew that already. Time for bed.