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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Deciding between a 15" and 17" MBP


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davide_bruzzone
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Greetings all...

I apologize if some of you see this thread and think "Here we go again... Yet another 15" vs. 17" question" but I've been reading through all the 15" vs. 17" PB posts that I can find and have found that opinions seem to be fairly evenly divided. People either love their 17" PB or they don't... So I thought that I'd try to sollicit some opinions from some (preferably) existing owners and/or people who have owned both.

First some background:

- I previously owned a 15" TiBook then a 12" AlBook. I loved both of these laptops (Obviously, one of the things that I loved most about the 12" AlBook was the fact that it was so small and light, but the 15" TiBook was never cumbersome).
- For the most part, I'll use the laptop at home and at the office. I live in NYC and have a 10 minute/block commute (on foot) so I'd be carrying the laptop in a backpack (for which I can buy a 15" or 17" sleeve). I also travel (in economy class) about 3 - 5 times a year... I'd like to be able to use the laptop at the airport and possibly on the plane (although I'm not a traveling consultant and have found that my grandiose plans to work on such and such a project while in flight often degenerate into eat the meal, watch a movie then go to sleep).
- I will, among other things, be using the laptop for (Java) development (My profession) and HD video editing/musical "pottering about" (One of my hobbies).

Given these criteria, and the fact that I quite like the idea of the 17" MBP's DL SuperDrive and FireWire 800 port (which I think would be useful for HD video capture and DVD authoring... But which could both, to some extent be gotten around with, for example an external DL DVD burner, etc.), what are your thoughts? To my surprise, I find myself leaning in the direction of the 17" model (On paper, the differences in size and weight don't seem to be that great).

Do you own a 17" PB? If so, do you travel with it? Have you ever successfully used it on a plane? Do you wish you'd gotten the 15" model instead? Or vice versa...

Your thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated...

Cheers...

Dave
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slyydrr

 
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I don't have time to post much as I have a meeting in just a few, but I wanted to mention something before I forget altogether.

I have a buddy who purchased a 17" laptop, and used it for travel every now and then. He ended up selling it to his parents 3 months later and buying a 15".

IMO 15" and 17" laptops serve their own unique purposes, for the most part:

15": Great if you plan to commute with it a good portion of work days.

17": A great desktop replacement that can go with you when needed, but not designed entirely for commute.

Anyway, good luck w/ your decision!
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Strider

 
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Not very long ago I had the 17" PowerBook and have travelled with it several times. On the move, it does feel a bit large. Also, while in-flight, don't bother with the 17" laptop. Especially in economy class - business class is different, much more space, but economy is a strict no-no. Also, its worse when the person in front of you reclines his/her seat. In fact, for on the go work, the 12" Powerbook is the best I've ever tried. I guess I'm getting the 15" MBP soon too. Lets see how that turns out. Cheers
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I mainly fly first class, but on occasion when flying economy I have noticed even with my 15 inch laptop the lack of space, but since you are between the 15 inch and the 17 inch, i am going to put my recommendation for the 17, it has a few more things (firewire 800 is a big plus for me) and when both computers are maxed out, the 17inch is actually cheaper.

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davide_bruzzone
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Thank you for your responses. They've been very helpful!

At this point, I'm leaning towards the 17" (for its DL DVD burner and Firewire 800 port and the larger screen).

I've been carrying a 2 pound book in my backpack with my Dell Inspiron 700m to get a feel for what it'll be like to carry the 17" MBP and my back hasn't given out yet (although I haven't gone on any long-distance treks).

Finally, I tend to agree with PowerBookG4 (as my experiences have been sonsistent with his) - i.e. I've found that while its always easy to crack a 12" PB or something like Dell's Inspiron 700m open in flight, even a 15" laptop can be quite a challenge on the more sadistic airlines.

Thanks again for the feedback...

Dave
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cnjohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davide_bruzzone
Greetings all...

I apologize if some of you see this thread and think "Here we go again... Yet another 15" vs. 17" question" but I've been reading through all the 15" vs. 17" PB posts that I can find and have found that opinions seem to be fairly evenly divided. People either love their 17" PB or they don't... So I thought that I'd try to sollicit some opinions from some (preferably) existing owners and/or people who have owned both.

Your thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated...
For travel, and for working around the office or the house, I find both the 15" and the 17" clumsy. I now own a 12" G4 pbook with 100g HD and 1.25meg RAM. It is a workhorse.

If my only options were the 15" or the 17", I would choose the 15". If I want a desktop (aka 17") I would lug that around instead.

YMMV

Cheers--
Charles
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lil
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I have found anything larger than a 4:3 14" laptop hard to use when flying but them I am a skint lass and always fly economy

As for the PowerBook G4—best laptop I have ever owned. Period.

The 17" Model should be seen before purchase as it is a big laptop compared to the 15" model—not saying that is a bad thing but the size differences is bigger than the two inches elude towards.

Vicky
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inflexion

 
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Be relistic about how much your gonna use it on a flight. If its occasionally then get the 17" and do more work in the departure lounge :p Also do you actually need to burn DL dvd's cause id be far too tight to buy them but thats me, meaning i dont need the DL function.

While id love a 15" for the screen res my 12" PB has seen me through a full year at uni where i could purch it on the smallest of tables/chairs and work in comfort while ive seen people struggle with larger laptops



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Harryc
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There is no arguing the point that the 17" has a couple of nice features over the 15". If you don't do a lot of air travel, and are just lugging it down the street, here are the important specs - 15" MBP weight - 5.6 Lbs, 17" MBP weight - 6.8 lbs. So twice a day you will be carrying 1.3 lbs more back and forth with a 17".
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ShillAT

 
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I would stick with the 15 inch; i have a fifteen and my friend just bought a 17. it's a pain for him because he was intending to carry it in his backpack; he's half french and goes back to france a lot; he wants to buy/trade for my MBP! i would stick with the 15 because:
-size issues. been convered
-the superdrive isn't necessary; with the money you save, you can buy a peripheral
-cheaper.

my main pro for the 17 inch would be the firewire 800
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Slilock

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryc
There is no arguing the point that the 17" has a couple of nice features over the 15". If you don't do a lot of air travel, and are just lugging it down the street, here are the important specs - 15" MBP weight - 5.6 Lbs, 17" MBP weight - 6.8 lbs. So twice a day you will be carrying 1.3 lbs more back and forth with a 17".
I think people forget that most 17" PC laptops weigh about 11-12lbs easy. The 17" MBP is half that weight and people are STILL complaining!
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slyydrr

 
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IMO, weight isn't an issue at all... it's the size. If I weren't to travel much, I would definitely prefer the 17", but since I'm on the road quite a bit, the 15" is my preference, and that's why I made the point about traveling earlier.
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Harryc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slilock
I think people forget that most 17" PC laptops weigh about 11-12lbs easy. The 17" MBP is half that weight and people are STILL complaining!
Who is complaining about the weight? There is a difference between pointing out an attribute of a device to be helpful vs. complaining.
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Stowned
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*sniffle* *cry* Oh noes! I have to lift an extra 1.3 lbs!!! Waaaaaaahhh!!! The weight is unbearable!!! WAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!

People... seriously.
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Harryc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stowned
*sniffle* *cry* Oh noes! I have to lift an extra 1.3 lbs!!! Waaaaaaahhh!!! The weight is unbearable!!! WAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!

People... seriously.
Ok, you guys are just busting balls now . I added my part, it's up to the OP if weight is an important consideration or not.
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