The 5 Best -- and 5 Worst -- Apple Laptops of All Time, Ever!

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jack jack jack

why do you think that the clamshell ibooks are bad?

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Ruby19eo

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alharbi

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 جلسات راشد الماجد

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porqpine

From the first day I saw a titantium powerbook, I knew I had to have one. Sleek, sexy and only 5 pounds with a 15" screen, this was laptop nirvana. I finally scored a Gigabit Ethernet Powerbook and I haven't looked back since. After 7 years, I wouldn't trade this 'book for love or money: in fact I continue to lug my trust Ti-book back and forth to work despite the brand-new Dell Windoze laptop my employer just bought me. All because of the ease that Mac OS X inspires and the almost mind-reading capabilities of my 'book. And even though the new Macbooks are sweet to look at, Apple really got it right with the Ti-book line. And one last thing: didja ever notice how the Windoze laptops always turn out copies of the latest Apple offering? That should tell you something.

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maxman69

Haven't been here in years. I came to this site to get a review on an older digital camera, but no archived reviews (that I can find). There is so much flash that it takes like a minute for each page to load. Then, for grins, I click on the best/worst features. I am posting this from a 1.25 PBG4, my main computer, that I LOVE. You seriously dogged this as one of the worst ever because of when it was released? Lame. My everyday ipod is an iPod Photo, which I really, REALLY prefer as an iPod to my iPhone, (I can get all my shownotes, chapter info, I can operate it without looking, and I don't care if I drop it.) and the first Mac I ever bought new was a Key Lime SE. I ordered it about 2 hours after the keynote at which Steve announced it, and finally sold it on eBay in 2006 for $750. It was my first OSX machine. As a charter subscriber to MacAddict, all I have to say about this place today is "BLECH!"

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pjonesCET

I disagree with the assessment that the aluminum Powerbook was the
worse. I have the 17" version and have been well satisfied with it.
My only disappointment is That I bought it just before they went to
intel versions. There was talk and rumors of it being released. But It
was released just few months after my purchase. But I allways end up
getting next to the newest Technology. always have since I bought my
first Mac. Life member: VPEA, NESDA, ISCET, ETA-I, Who's Who."If it's fixed, don't break it."http://www.phillipmjones.net

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macs4me

I happen to own the keylime ibook that still works perfect. I was so excited back in the day when it actually was THE high end macbook. Firewire! Yeah! I made my first imovie with my digital camcorder. The deign might not have been for everyone but I tell you what it sparked a lot of conversation where ever I took it. Especially in the airports where I was able to watch DVDs to pass the time. What a machine my "Mean Green"

Ron

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privateice

1) It is SO lame to judge an iBook by its design. The G1 iBooks lacked some caching or other that made them slow as gin. THAT's a great reason to say the G1 iBooks were lame.

2) The gray iBook SE was not a G1 iBook. It was a G2 iBook. And I owned one, IT ROCKED. God, I loved the carrying handle. The additional cache made it speedy. I wore that old iBook out. And unlike the Icebook, it didn't scuff or discolor around the hand rest.

So let's see, the analysis was superficial and the iBook picture is wrong. Y'all can do better.

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Steve Hagberg

I remember the Powerbook 180, not the 150, was the last Powerbook with a Trackball, The 180 was my first of four Powerbooks. It was a very polished workhorse. My wife sold her 140 after using mine and bought a 180. I replaced it with a 540C which was awesome except for the poor keyboard. I loved being able to plug in another monitor and have one spreadsheet on that monitor and a different spreadsheet (or even the window of a different application) on the main monitor. I have missed that capability in every laptop since. The 540 had it's problems, but it was very advanced for it's time. Since then I have owned a Wallstreet which was replaced by the Powerbook G4 15" with a graphics card for the 17" screen, which is my current "dialy driver". At almost three years old, it has lots of life left in it, until it eventually gets overwhelmed by software updates, which is the common demise of Apple laptops. But don't get me wrong, I love being able to scroll by dragging two fingers down the trackpad as well as all the other improvements!
Now, when is the Powerbook/MacBook coming out with the iPhone-like touch screen? HP has a touch screen computer out..... It seems that it should be an Apple.
The above four Powerbooks represent my entire professional and personal needs for computers since 1992. I feel that Apple has earned my patronage.
Steve

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photolab

If Apple really wanted to offer the "professional" power book user a real note book computer, they would produce another “Pismo” style power book incorporating internal dual batteries, interchangeable Blue Ray dual layer DVD super drive, 6-8 gigs of ram, 2.5 mhz intel processor, 500 MB hard drive, built in wifi, blue tooth and fire wire in 15 and 17” matt or glossy screen. Now that’s a real “POWER BOOK”

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oldmacguy

Well, I dunno. My wife had been wanting a notebook, and when she saw the lime green iBook, she said "That's the one!" We just relegated it to secondary status to her Macbook Air. The old iBook still chugs along with 584 mb of (that's the max it will hold) RAM and the last version of Tiger, although OS X on the 800x600 screen is a little problematic (lots of scrolling back and forth). She loved the color and the carrying handle. Not everyone who owns a computer is a geek.

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Falstaff46

Nice to see so many are keeping the PB 5300 battery myth alive. Too bad it was only in two pre-production machines, never any actual production machines. Also interesting no one ever blames Sony as they manufactured the defective battery in question. So you can take your unit out of the fire proof safe. It won't flame out on you as the issue was corrected before the PB was released.
I have to agree that the PB 1400 was an incredible machine and is still preferred by many road warriors for it's great keyboard.
An emate is more pda than laptop. you must have needed to find that 5th real bad. Good luck getting it to browse YouTube, as in "aint gonna happen".
The Duo''s were cute but had awful keyboards that did not work half the time, at least not until the rev F versions.
The Duo that should be on the list is the 2400, though never sold in the US it still has a huge following, especially in Japan.
I have to agree with the comments on the 12inch Alum PB. Mine is a workhorse and the small size makes i easy to lug around and it always delivers. And with enough ram, runs Leopard respectably, at least mine does.
All for now fellow Ludites.

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Adam Berenstain

The 1400 had a a great keyboard and was E-Z to upgrade. It was boxy in a good, "Volvo" way, too. Nice to see the Duo getting its...er...due, though. That was a fun little machine. I had a 2300c for a while. No old-fashioned trackball on that model: it employed the latest in "track-pad" technology. Ahh, those were the days when "notebooks" were things made out of paper and all laptops were made out of plastic.
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MacSince87

Not only did I purchase one of the worst iPods of all time, the 4G (see http://www.maclife.com/article/feature/5_best_and_5_worst_ipods_all_time_ever_0), I apparently bought two of the worst Apple laptops of all time; the Graphite iBook and the 15 inch PowerBook G4.

Say what you will, all three of these purchases have served me well (my wife still uses the iBook, originally purchased in 2000).

I'd still rather buy some of Apple's worst products than some of Microsoft's best.

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hesshaus

hesshausCurious.  I'm the guy that recently purchased a 15" Titanium POWERBOOK G4 on E-bay.  This is my first Mac, and so far I am very satisfied with it.  In the article on the Best and Worst Macs produced, which has caused all of these comments, I understood the article to say that that the G4 was one of the best, not one of the worst. Did I misread something?  

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ckilner

The Powerbook 150 was my first Mac - I bought it for law school for $799 (edu discount) and its passive matrix screen helped it go all evening without plugging in (unlike PC users). A 33.6 modem was all the connectivity I needed back in the day (and I still have it today, but don't use it). I think it gets a bad rap - it could take lots of memory, cheap IDE HDs, and had great battery life... for 1/2 the price of other laptops. It was a great email and word processing laptop for its day (think netbook circa 1994). The Indigo (Firewire) iBook was my second Mac ($799 refurb). It is a classic and my daughter still uses it. It is hobbled by its 800x600 screen and impossible to access HD. The 800mhz G3 iceBook was my third Mac ($799 refurb... mmm I see a pattern here) and I still use it as my backup/travel mac. It is hobbled by its G3 chip not being Leopard-compatible, but runs Tiger great. I found a Mac Portable and a Duo 280c and enjoyed the Portable more (but not on the lap!). The Portable was blazingly fast with System 6.0.8 and had tons of pro apps on its Conner HD (Word 4, Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, Filemaker, etc.). It was sold (~$200) to a museum and the Duo was given to a friend for a photo frame project after it started falling apart (it had been set up with games for the kids). The 040 chip didn't seem any faster than the 030 chip in the PB150, but the 640x400 screen was noticably smaller than the 640x480 on the PB150, the battery ran out faster, and the keyboard/trackball were much harder to use.

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asiafish

 "Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say."   - 1969 The Beatles 

While the Titanium was the future, the little 12" PowerBook was Future Perfected. The new aluminum MacBook comes close to matching the magic balance that the 12" PowerBook struck back in 2003.

I still have my Rev B 1.0 GHz model, and while I also have a 15" MacBook Pro, the 12" remains the machine I grab for short trips. It is still in daily use, and remains an entirely pleasant and capable machine even today. It runs Leopard, Office 2008 and Acrobat Professional 8 just fine, and the only real performance issue is slow application launching.

It even still looks the part. I had it at the Apple Store to buy a new battery, which they actually had in stock, and customers asked me if it was "the new model".

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vicomposer

I liked the Tangerine and Blueberry ones, but didn't like the Indigo and Key Lime.However, I adored my Graphite iBook SE. I remember shelling the extra 200 clams for the color, the tv commercial was really cool too. I don't plan on ever getting rid of that machine, have great memories of that one (my MacBook's pretty nice too!)....and the handle was great, really convenient!

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frankly

I still have my PowerBook Duo 230 in a closet at home. I did recently throw away the dock though because it had been sitting in a shed for years so who knows what was living inside of it ;-) I loved that computer and still think it was one of the best designs Apple ever made. You are absolutely right to include it on the top 5 list. The small dimensions and low weight of the Duo can not be emphasized enough. I did not hesitate to carry that thing with me to class or wherever when I had it. I also added the internal modem to mine, which required taking it completely apart. I bought the modem from someone on CompuServe at the time. Man, I miss CompuServe.

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honemastert

The last of the M68K machines. 68040, with dual smart batteries on either side. Open close the lid, for automatic standby, the thing could run in sleep mode like this with occasional use for a couple
of weeks!
Yes, I also had a 5300c. It went back for repairs at least 5 times. It was the straw that broke the proverbial 'camels back' at my company and turned us into a Windows.. (yuck) shop.

1400c was what this machine *should* have been!  To this day, Macs of any shape/form are verbotten at my workplace.

Fortunately, no one can tell me what to use at home, where there is not a Windows machine in sight :-)

http://www.timschneider.org

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muttdog

I call my lime green Clamshell "Barbie's First Mac" and I always get lots of attention when I haul it out at my neighborhood Starbucks. Say what you will -- if I ever get around to writing that bestselling novel it will be hammered out on that old laptop.

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Ray Aguilera

How difficult is it to get text off the eMate and into OSX? Tips greatly appreciated.

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Ray Aguilera

The nerds I work with convinced me to buy an eMate off eBay during this week's podcast. Place your bets now to see how long it takes Mac|Life's geeks to get the thing browsing YouTube. Ha! -- Ray Aguilera Reviews Editor, Mac|Life
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hesshaus

hesshaus    It's nice to know that the powerBook G4 that I purchased on E-bay is considered to be one of the best computers Apple has produced. Still learning, I am impressed with what it can do, and it's many features.

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Roberto Baldwin

I still have the 5300 and I'm still afraid it'll burst into flames and kill me when I'm not paying attention. I keep it in a fireproof safe, just in case.
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LeftClicker

Nice, Robbie.  Remember, it'll be while your Twittering.

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stevescherer

My first computer was a PowerBook 160. I loved this computer. With 12 Megs of RAM, an internal 14.4 modem and a 120 Meg hardrive, this was a graet computer. Don't forget the grayscale screen!

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tedbragg

Take a look on eBay or Craigslist -- the colorful laptops are still fetching upwards of $400 or more. There has never been a laptop as cool, nor will there ever be again. Wish I had one.

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tedbragg

Take a look on eBay or Craigslist -- the colorful laptops are still fetching upwards of $400 or more. There has never been a laptop as cool, nor will there ever be again. Wish I had one.

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