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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Mac Book Pro 17" Battery Life? and Other Questions...

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Member Since: Apr 13, 2007
Posts: 11
inertkinesis is on a distinguished road

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Some of you may have read my two-day-old (maybe one? I dunno...) thread about timing a switch to the MBP from an Alienware laptop. This is a continuation of that thread, and I've made a new one because I have some questions that are pretty far from the original question.

By the way, my Alienware sold today after about four hours of being up, for the Buy It Now price of $2800. So long as it's not a scammer, I'm in the clear. (And happy about it! )

My main question is this: how is the battery life on the 17" MBP versus the 15"? The Apple site would suggest that it's better on the 17", but somebody suggested in my previous thread that it's the other way around. What's the real story?

There are a few reasons I'm attracted to the 17": more screen real estate (somebody suggested an external monitor, which I have and which would be very do-able, but I would rather not because of limited desk space in a college dorm), the extra USB port (again, I could use a hub, but there's that desk space thing again), and the faster optical drive (not a big deal, not even a minor deciding factor, just a perk).

Another reason I'm attracted to the 17" is the option for a smaller, 100GB 7200rpm hard disk. I'm have a very large (600GB) external drive that I keep my big data groups on (photo archives, video, .wav or lossless files of my music, etc.), so I would rather have the greater access speed with less space. The big drive's also FireWire 800 capable, so that is about as good as it gets. Are there any big flaws in this chain of logic that I'm missing? (I'm asking because of my unfamiliarity with Macs and how they work. Perhaps I'm missing something important?)

So I guess my big question is why not the 17"? (Aside from the money and the weight, the latter of which isn't a problem and the former of which I can figure out. :bone

Thanks again, folks,
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Smell The Glove

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Member Since: Feb 02, 2007
Posts: 130
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I can't say for sure, but my guess would be the 15" battery will last slightly longer - because of that extra screen space that's being lit up on the 17" MBP. For the record, I just calibrated my brand new MBP battery the other day and with a DVD playing constantly, the battery lasted for about 2:40. Not fantastic, but not bad at all considering it was constantly working the SuperDrive.

If you get a peripheral that uses FireWire instead of USB, that might open up a USB port for you with just the 15". You'd still have an extra one with the 17", but you can always use a hub if you really need it. There are plenty that don't take up all that much space and if you're creative, you can work out a little something to mount it on a wall by the desk, side of the desk, etc. to save the desk space.

If you don't need to haul the 17" MBP around with you to classes, you might be just happy and fine with that one after all.
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