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Ask Max: Need advice with purchasing a used laptop.

Asked on 04/12/2007:

I am making a transition from 9-5 to freelance graphics and would like a laptop, but I'm on a budget. My desktop machine is a mirror door G4, 1 gig dual processor with 1 gig of RAM, running OS 10.4. I'm using mostly Creative Suite 2, and frankly, that Mac is doing the job, but is no speed demon. I would like something comparable in a laptop, I'm afraid anything less will not run InDesign and Photoshop. I'd like wi-fi, to check email and surf the net on the run and I'd like to be able to run CS2, not for heavy duty work, but just to be able to work on the fly, make small changes at a customer's office, show pdfs etc. and painting in Painter 9 on lunch breaks or vacations would be a definite plus. I've been looking at your certified pre-owned list. What is the minimum machine you'd recommend for me?


I would recommend the last generation of iBook G4 for a cost effective portable G4. In addition both a 1 GHz or 1.2 GHz iBook G4 would run your Adobe applications and they are inexpensive durable portables. A listing can be found here, but you can also call in for other available deals. The screen is going to be small but this is more a portable portfolio for you than a desktop replacement. The iBook can connect to external projectors for demonstrations with the client and allow you to make edits as needed. If you look at spending any more than what an iBook would cost, you would be close enough to a MacBook price to just buy it new. The MacBook's glossy screen presents outstanding color.

Hope that narrows your choices a bit.

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