12″ PowerBook vs 15″ MacBook Pro

The recent addition of a 1.83GHz* MacBook Pro has ousted my 12″ Powerbook from my insanely geeky heart. This is a rather substancial upgrade for me for a myriad of reasons. I know I’m behind the curve here, as a lot of other people have let the world hear thier impressions about their Macs, but I would like to add my own unique perspective. Or some other self absorbed blogger-like reason.


First, and most obvious, is the pure blistering, bare knucle, balls to the wall, raw adreniline pumping speed. Ok, so it’s not 1,000,000 times faster or anything, but it sure is fast. I’m talking about overall speed. Nothing seems slow anymore. Multiple Safari tabs open, not a problem. Dashboard, Adium, Firefox, Safari, NetNewsWire, Mail, and iTunes running, not a problem. I know OS X offloads a lot of GUI to the GPU and the newer video card plays a large role in the snappiness of things, but this machine can hold it’s own against an equally fast G5. How do I know you ask? I use a Dual 1.8 at work. I sit in front of it (and the Macbook) for hours. It’s just as quick, if not faster.‡


After using this machine for a few weeks I’ve come to appreciate more the smallness of the 12″ PowerBooks. My wife asked me to hand it to her and I felt like Andre The Giant. Those things are small!
I’m starting to get use to the form factor of the MBP, and over all I enjoy the size. I am quite amazed at how well everything about the machine feels. It’s really thin, with plenty of space on its surface for easy typing.
The size of the screen is also something to get use to. Remember, I went from 1024×768 to 1440×900. That’s quite a few more pixels. And it’s wider, so I’m having to adjust to how I arrange my workspace.

Other Touches

Backlight Keyboard – Neat, and useful as I’m a bit of a night owl.

iSight – Cool to not have to carry a seperate one with me all the time. I keep putting my fingers on it when I open the MBP. I have a feeling that’s not good for it.

Front Row – Too Cool. I can sit back, watch some flicks or listen to some tunes. The interface is simple, as is the remote, but they both do their job well.

Boot Camp – While not an initial feature when I purchased the machine, a welcome addition to it’s abilities. I’m not a Windows hater or anything, but jumping into XP every once and awhile really makes you see the diferences in the two OSes. I don’t see anyone switching away from OS X due to the use of XP. But I do see people booting into XP for things like PC games (my major reason) or those quirky PC apps that ya just can’t shake.
*The .83 is kinda weird. Why not just 1.8? If memory serves me right, Macs in the past have all been rounded to the first decimal place.

‡Yes the G5 at work only has a 64MB video card, so my comparison is a smidge off. But it does have 2x the RAM…for now!

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