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MacBookPro 15" vs. 17"


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igere

 
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Hello, I 'm new to this forum and was looking for a little input. This will be my first Mac purchase.

I am currently trying to decide between the 15" vs 17" MBP. I will be using the laptop primarily for photo editing via P-Shop CS2. I know portability is typically much worse with a 17" laptop, but after checking the specs, the 17" is only 1.4" wider than the 15". Depending on how accurate the screen is after color calibrating with a program such as Spyder or Monaco (not sure if this will work with a laptop) I may go with an external monitor that is larger and can be color calibrated. If so, then 15" may be a better choice, but the 17" is very tempting. Every bit of extra screen real estate is nice when viewing photos, but then again, so is ease of transport and portability. Anyone care to comment. I don't have an apple store nearby, so I can't go physically check them out easily.

Just tossing this around before I dump 3 grand. Thanks for the input and advice.

Chris
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Warren

 
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Hi Chris, welcome aboard. The only thing I can tell you is, I purchased a refurbished 17" for $200USD less than a new 15" model. It has the same 1 year warranty as a new machine would. It will arrive tomorrow, so I can't, exactly, tell you how it is, compared to an "untouched" machine, but I can't believe that it will be horrible. Think long and hard. I did and have a feeling this decision will be a good one. Good Luck!
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fleurya

 
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I had the same problem, but eventually went with the 15". I'm glad I did as the 5.5 pounds along with a book or two is already hefty enough walking around. I wouldn't want another 1.3 pounds. Also, I don't know if you're a student, but I've seen people with 17" laptops in class and they just seem more cumbersome and take up more desk space. If you're getting an external monitor and will be using it for the majority of your work, I'd say get the 15".
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I, too, went with the 15". Price was not a factor, the difference between a MBP15 spec'd at 2.33/2G/256M-VRAM was fairly small.

My reasoning was as follows:

(1) Main reason was the keyboard. On the 17, the keyboard feels significantly farther away from the front edge of the notebook. Trying to type on it at the Apple Store, I found the 17 downright uncomfortable. In fairness, this might simply be based on my long-time use of 15" notebooks, making that "fit" perfect out of habit.

(2) The weight difference, while not huge, is noticeable.

(3) The bigger screen is a hindrance in cramped spaces, like on an airplane. Also, its higher native resolution makes text and icons look very small.

I frequently hook my MBP to a 24" Sony widescreen flat panel, so on those occasions that I need more visual real estate I have it available. I do wish I had the 8x Superdrive instead of the 6x, but somehow I've managed to go on living life.

The most important thing is that, whichever you choose, you're getting an awesome MBP.
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I love my 17"MBP, as it allows my wife to sit at our imac. I use the 15" very little in comparison to my 17". I just love the screen size and I also have a couple of macbooks that my wife and I use when we go on holiday. But 17" MBP all the way so much so I am buying one for my wife, as we always have our machines on.

The weight is not noticable at all, also the extra usb slot is useful, I like it as I am usually found in our lounge on my bean bag wit my 17"mbp. The keyboard is a little further back, or it feels that way, but I much prefer it as I am not then resting my palms on thw edge of the laptop. The macbook has sharp edges, or ours do. Cases, are the only pain I found for my 17". Also it feels faster then my 15".

Who dare's wins... :ninja:
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igere

 
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Thank you all for your replies. I am not a student, although portability is still somewhat of a factor for me. I am often traveling via the airlines for work, but will almost always be carrying my company IBM laptop (hate it) for that. Most of the travel the MBP will see is occasional airline use, but mostly trips to local WIFI hotspots. I plan on using it with an LCD projector for slideshow presentations also.

I don't currently own an external monitor, and I'm not sure if I need one at this point. The point about keypad comfort is an interesting one... I hadn't thought of that. I might run to Circuit City and check out their 17" laptops just to get an idea if I like the larger size. Other than the screen size of the 17" I see no real advantage for me over the 15". Granted, bigger is always better for photo post processing. I plan on the Core 2/2g Ram/ 2.33 version of either one.

Thanks again for your input. Decisions, decisions.

Chris
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igere, before you make a decision, consider that you said you would use it for photo editing. Think about all those palettes that CS2 usually needs you to have on screen. Those extra inches of screen real estate will be really valuable. If photo editing is a major concern, I would recommend the 17" MacBook Pro.

Another thing to note of course it that you can plug in an external keyboard to the MacBook Pro and use that as well as the internal. That may help perhaps somewhat with your concern about keyboard distance? Just a thought.

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If you plan to use photoshop and dont have an external screen, it should be an interesting choice to say the least. My wife has a 20 and a 24" imac and she is always suggesting that I need to buy a bigger screen. But as she only amuses her self in photoshop. I have managed to side step that.

But honestly pop in to a store and look for yourself. There are many advantages over gettinga 15" MBP, they are the extra usb, more comfort using the keyboard, it's faster, dont ask me how but it is that bit faster then the same spec 15" also you can order a 7200rpm hardrive. It's weighs very little more an dif you are not using as portable. Then I would look into it. It lloks big initally, but once you start using it everyday, everthing else looks cramped and small.

I used to be a road warror with every one of my 17" powerbooks and now MBP.

Who dare's wins... :ninja:
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One more thing, just a word of caution. I don't know if this is true for all 17" macs, but I have seen a lot of people complain that the hings doesn't hold the screen in place well unless it's at a specific angle, which Apple considers within specs ,so they won't fix it. I just thought I'd let you know about that in case you want to investigate a little before making a final decision.

I don't understand what the big difference is in screen hinges between a 15" and 17". My 15" is solid enough to hold the screen at any angle and I'm sure it would do so even if the screen was 50% heavier.

Barring that, it sounds like the 17" is a good choice for you. Are you getting the matte finish screen? I hear it's better for serious photo editing.
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My 17"er has been around the block, atleast twice, and I can say the hinges have a perfect amount of tension. they hold the screen where ever you want it.

I, too, was in this very same dilemma. Choosing between the already familiar 15.4" screen that I use on my company laptop and the never before seen 17". I'm very glad to have chosen the 17. It's lighter than my Sager 3880-V, with 15.4" screen and only slightly larger in overall dimension, and has plenty of space to have a web browser and multiple applications open, all within sight.
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Stephan936

 
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I just bough a 17", mostly for faster hard drive (I believe it will make a difference, it is 33% faster after all!) & the extra usb will come in handy when It's used as a desktop and hooked to tons of crap...

Stephan
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igere

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
Are you getting the matte finish screen? I hear it's better for serious photo editing.
Thanks for the feedback regarding the hinge. Without seeing them in person I am leaning towards the 17" at this point and will definitely be going with the matte finish for color accuracy. I still want to go check them out.

Chris
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Warren

 
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Chris, I've got the glossy screen and it truely is a sight to behold. Don't you just hate decisions?!? hehehe...
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mblphnlvr

 
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I would say just get a 17 inch. I use my powerbook at work with an external monitor and I love having both screens there to give me that much more space.

With that said, most of the time I find it such a pain to be using the laptop's screen to do anything simply because it is so small (and also dim, but the new ones are better).

My uncle just gave me his 17" MBP and I am loving it! It's screen is just so much nicer to look at than my 15". I'm sure though that I will still find it useful to have two screens going though just because it seems to help me with the way that I work.
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igere

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren View Post
Chris, I've got the glossy screen and it truely is a sight to behold. Don't you just hate decisions?!? hehehe...
Fortunately, I already wrestled with that decision, and even though I really like the clarity and vibrant look of the glassy screen, I do a lot of printing on an Epson 2400 (13x19" prints), and I need my output to be as close to what I see on the monitor as possible. My brother has the glossy screen on his MB and it truly looks awesome! That being said, the apple matte screens I've seen look excellent as well. Another tough decision, almost as tough as 15" or 17"! Can't wait to see them in person. Does anyone have any pics of a 15" next to a 17"? Its tough to get an accurate idea from Apple.com

Chris
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