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

MacBook Pro - 15" or 17"


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horkmaster

 
Member Since: Oct 19, 2007
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Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a macbook pro to purchase. Originally I was set on this 17 incher. However, I noticed that the processor is a bit less advanced than the more recent models and a ram upgrade (to 4GB) would not be possible. I'm eager to play some games on my laptop when I have the free time, so I'm sure I want a powerful computer.

So, I'm thinking about buying this recent 15 incher. It has only 2.2GHz processor (as opposed to the 2.4 model--which is MUCH more expensive) but can be upgraded to 4GB and is probably more powerful than the old 17".

So I'm thinking that the 15" is a better buy because it is more up-to-date and powerful than the old 17". Is that true? And will I miss the nice big 17" screen?

Thanks!

EDIT: I also need this laptop to last for the next 4 years of college and keep me happy during those!! Should I just go crazy and buy the newest 17" model for 3k?? Or should I settle with something and keep it throughout college or what?? What's the best course of action to take?? I need your advice!!
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illusionist

 
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What will you be using the computer for? Will you travel a lot with it? If you plan on bringing it with you a lot, say class, home for holidays, library, you may want to look into the 15 more closely. 17 is a bit large, and is more of a desktop replacement.

But a big factor is what you plan to use the computer for as well. This can make a difference in the specs you get, i.e. hard drive speed, RAM, video card, etc. If you do get the 15" and decide that you need more space later for specific tasks, you could always hook it up to an external monitor.
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horkmaster

 
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Hey,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm going off to college next year and my 12" powerbook just broke down. Instead of brining my computer to school like most people do, I'm just buying a new laptop. I figured I would like the 17" more because it would by my desktop replacement and it will be a liberal arts college so I won't have to worry about getting in people's ways at classes and whatnot, if I even bring it to class. I really don't want to regret not going all the way and getting a 1920x1200 hi-res glossy screen, and settling for a 15". I'm pretty set on the 17", unless you can really persuade me.

I was wondering if you knew any technical things that should keep me from buying any macbook pro now. Is there a new model coming out soon? Has the display for the 17" MacBook Pro switched from "CCFL" yet? Or is this the perfect time to buy?

Thanks!
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Michael415

 
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Sounds like your pretty much sold on the 17 and have thought it through with your needs. Nobody knows when apple will update the MBP line and last i heard the 17's screen has not been updated yet. But I personally wouldn't let that be a break point there is nothing wrong with the older style screens at all. Perfect time to buy a new mac is when you need it There will always be upgrades/updates so waiting is a waste of time. The only thing I would wait for is a few more days and get a machine preinstalled with leopard, only because im lazy.

All that being said I have used both versions and now prefer the 15 for toting around. Its easier to lug, fits a bit better on smaller coffee shoppe tables and feels like less of a production when I use it.

Personally I think ur best setup possible would be a 15 with an external monitor around 20 inches. I use the cinema at work and the extra desktop space is great. You wouldnt need to stick with apple for the monitor though, many manufactures produce just as good a monitor considerably less. I bet with some creative shopping you could get the 15 and the monitor for about the same as the 17.
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laidbackdave

 
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i am more inclined to get the 17 hi rez glossy cause i hope to get the newer macbook pro when it comes out ???? and hope it has blu ray so i can output the dvds screen to my 26 " high def tv

15" screens dont output to full hi def rez settings

if i was using it for school and college and desktop replacement i would go for the 15" as it has the same processor and graphics card as the 17 and only real difference is the screen size

love the look of the new leopard operating system it was that sold me to go for a macbook pro instead of a dell m1730 that i had on order last week , cause vista is a minefield of problems to me

It will cost a bit more and take time to get used to i am sure but i think i will enjoy it more and be tearing my hair out less than with vista

The tour guide of leopard is fantastic , i just wish they would update macbook pro tomorrow and i could get it next week , but i guess i am going to have to be patient till then and use my old reliable dell 9200 xp2 version

Eight yrs Win -Wants MacBook Pro, Blu-Ray - 17" Hi Res - 2.4Ghz - 2GB RAM - 200GB @ (7200)
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artic5693

 
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You may have to wait until Macworld or WWDC next year to get the next revision. It most likely won't have blu-ray, but it may because Apple is on the "blu-ray board" or whatever it is called, I can't remember right now. The 15" graphics card is underclocked due to insufficient space for cooling. if you are a gamer or plan to do video editing or any high GPU demanding task get the 17"
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Michael415

 
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Okay just for fun I ran a few numbers and here is what I get (assuming you get a student discount):
17" w/upgraded screen $2667
15" w/ 23" HD Cinema Monitor $2666

Shouldn't be much of a contest.
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kfordham281

 
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I'd go with a 15" and external monitor. If you ever want to transport the laptop the 17" is HUGE.

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fleurya

 
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I completely agree with the last 2 posts. Get the 15" for portability and an external monitor for gaming/movies. Even with a 17" screen, I wouldn't be happy playing games on it. I'm a student too and lugging the 15" around is as big as I'd want to deal with. I couldn't imagine an extra 1+ pounds and a computer that takes up more space. (makes a difference when you're walking far with a shoulder bag)

With a 15" and external monitor, you have the best of all: portability, power and big screen for gaming and movies. With a 17" you'll eventually feel frustrated coming up short in all these areas.

"Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"
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brendan67

 
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i want them to make a 13in widescreen or smaller
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horkmaster

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
I completely agree with the last 2 posts. Get the 15" for portability and an external monitor for gaming/movies. Even with a 17" screen, I wouldn't be happy playing games on it. I'm a student too and lugging the 15" around is as big as I'd want to deal with. I couldn't imagine an extra 1+ pounds and a computer that takes up more space. (makes a difference when you're walking far with a shoulder bag)

With a 15" and external monitor, you have the best of all: portability, power and big screen for gaming and movies. With a 17" you'll eventually feel frustrated coming up short in all these areas.
Ok thanks everyone I see where you are coming from.

BUT I WANT THE HIGH-RES! Agh. I feel like it would be a waste to not spend the extra money to get a 1920x1200 and bigger screen! And also, isn't half of the fun of having a laptop being able to watch movies/play games on the run? Bigger screen is a better experience!
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horkmaster

 
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Ugh I think I may settle with the 15", same specs but no large screen and sexy resolution. Is the 17" just too big? AHHHHHHHHH. BUT I WANT THE HUUUUGE DIFFERENCE IN RESOLUTION. HELP. SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH EITHER COMPUTER!!

I have honestly never been more torn about a decision! which is actually very depressing. I could go either way at this point.
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To add to my experience, I have rarely been in a situation where I've wanted to watch movies or play games on my laptop away from my own home. Unless you travel a lot for business or something similar, you probably won't either. Even if you do, not having high res isn't really a huge issue in my book. What you're going for is convenience.

Anyway, if the high res is your only hang-up, think critically about how beneficial it would actually be, how much you would really make good use of it, and weigh that against the benefits of the 15" model and see which seems most reasonable.

Good luck on your choice.

"Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"
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Geeky1

 
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Personally, I cannot use the 15" MBP period. I can deal with the base model 17" MBP for a little bit, but it would drive me insane in short order. You need to go to the Apple store and play with all three models.

I, for one, REFUSE to use a system with a screen resolution lower than 1600x1200/1920x1200 for any length of time. Given the situation you're in... that the laptop has to last you through college, I'd get the 17" with a WUXGA (high res) MATTE screen (again, personal preference; I think the glossy screen looks cheap), the 7200rpm/160gb drive and 4GB of RAM (upgrade it after you get it, don't pay Apple's prices). And MAKE SURE you get AppleCare. You'd have to be either fairly wealthy or insane to buy a notebook without an extended warranty, regardless of who makes it.

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Michael415

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
To add to my experience, I have rarely been in a situation where I've wanted to watch movies or play games on my laptop away from my own home. Unless you travel a lot for business or something similar, you probably won't either. Even if you do, not having high res isn't really a huge issue in my book. What you're going for is convenience.

Anyway, if the high res is your only hang-up, think critically about how beneficial it would actually be, how much you would really make good use of it, and weigh that against the benefits of the 15" model and see which seems most reasonable.

Good luck on your choice.
I can also echo what fleurya said traveling with a 17. Besides the previous reasons I mentioned its heavier and it gets old toting the 17 inches around with your other stuff and fits poorly on ur lap on planes icluding business class, coach I couldn't even imagine.
No offense to other posters but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a 15 inch screen unless your doing critical work (and if your doing critical work why would you be using a laptop screen?). IMHO the difference is noticeable in screen area, from a 15 to a 17, but put that 17 next to one of the cinema displays and you will see the light.
As someone else suggested go down and mess around with the various configurations, other than what has already been said little more can be added and ultimately its something you need to live with and if your already feeling like you 'settled' your never going to be content.
I also have a slightly different philosophy about maxing out a computer when you buy it, I never understood that. I understand upgrading the display and processor but not the HD or the ram especially. These things can easily be added in the future and as the technology becomes more mainstream the prices drop making it more affordable when you may need it to keep your computer competitive. Good luck with your decision.

Last suggestion, check out mom and dad's homeowners insurance and make sure your covered by it. If not get renters insurance so in case someone walks off with your shiny new laptop or accidentally spills soda on it your not screwed.
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