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

What to get 15 or 17 inch PB


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paco2869
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Hi, i'm new to the forum. I plan on getting a mac for college in the fall. I plan on majoring in computer enginerring/comp sci. Right now i'm between the 17" and 15" power book. I plan to use it for notes in class and everything else you could think of. This will also be my first mac so I'm not to sure on what to look for or anything so any help is greatly appreciated.
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tariq
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I'm getting a 12" PowerBook for University this fall just because its really portable and light so I can take it with me without a problem. It's been said that the 17" is too big to lug around to class everyday, although I'd like to see the look on people's faces when you pull it out in class The 15" on the other hand is still quite large, but is obviously more portable.
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MoltenLava
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If I were in your situation, I would get a 12" laptop, and a separate 17" or 20" screen for the desk. 17" Powerbook weighs in at hefty 7 pounds. You do NOT want to lug 7 lbs laptop around every time you go to the class. Sure, it'll be a great show off item. But it's simply not practical. It's meant to be for someone who use it on the desk most of the times, and occasionally need to bring it to the conference room.

Even the 15" Powerbook is marginal at 5.7 lbs. I had a 6 lbs laptop before, an IBM 600X. I did not enjoy carrying it around often. On the other hand, my 12" iBook (5 lbs) and 14" Sony Z1 (4.5 lbs) is a breeze. For me 5 lbs is the mark where the portability stops.
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trenollet
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I agree with the others on this one. You might be better off with the 12" and an external display for back at the house.

However, if you are going to pick between 15 and 17, then save on weight and go 15... You'll be glad you did after lugging it around the first week.
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cakman2
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I have the 15 inch and its highly portable. I plan to use it for Business school this fall in Miami.

Make sure to get the student edition of Office. It has really increased the usefulness of my PB. All the programs have great additional Mac features. The notebook in Word will be invaluable.
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paco2869
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I'm leaning towards the 15" now. But I have one last question. Is the transition from a pc to a Mac fairly easy? I've only had limited time on a Mac. Never really used one alot.
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firsteggprez

 
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It is so easy! I just got my new powerbook (17 inch) last weak and it was my first mac! It was verys simple!
Especialy network conections with pc's wich at my house we have like 7 so im a little lonley with my mac but it deffinetly keeps me company!

-Chapman Film School: Class of 2012-
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knapster
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I have a 15" Powerbook (latest version) and being unused to laptops, it is tiny. I can't imagine how small the 12" really is. The paradox is how large the screen seems (weird).

Anyway, go for the 17" if you're using it as a desktop replacement only with occasional transport. I've moved around with the 15" no problem (with a proper neoprene cover in my rucksack) although such a featured computer is rather heavy no matter how compact it is....

Limitations on the 12" are the graphics card, with the 15" you get the ability to drive a nice large display, so you get the portability and a desktop replacement in one.

The speakers are a little disappointing though...how are they on the 17"?
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MoltenLava
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There really is no limitation in the videocard that comes with 12". You won't know any difference unless you are playing games. Even in games the performance difference is marginal.
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wickedbusa
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I have a new 17 inch Powerbook and I have no trouble lugging it around. I ride a motorcycle and I can't even tell that it is in my backpack. Sure it's big, but it's not THAT big. Compared to my old 12 inch iBook, the display on this thing is monstrous. I have no regrets about getting a 17 inch.
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Osiris22x

 
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook Black, 15" iMac G4, 24" iMac (soon!)

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Ah, the display dilemma.

I've got a 12" Powerbook and am seriously considering upgrading to a 15". I don't know, this little 12" is so portable it would be hard to give up. The 17" on the other hand is just silly, it's so big and heavy. I used to carry a Dell Inspiron that was 7.6 lbs, and it was horrible. My back hurt at the end of the day, from carrying it around.

Roger Michaels
Apple Certified Consultant
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MickMAC
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I have a 17inch and I love it. I do a ton of freelance design and use if for everyting I do. I do plug into a crt monitor for color correction though, the monitors are not the best for calibrating. Though I have been able to get mine pretty close. as for size... ya it is big but that is what I wanted. I think of it as my portable desktop unit, not a laptop. If you going to take it to class I would go with the 15, but the 12 in my opinion is way to small for anything but emai. but that is me I use all the monitor I can for graphics programs and pallets...

for collage non graphics go with the 15
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