12" PB, 15" PB, or 17" PB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dbomb7, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. dbomb7 macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2004
    Alright all you Mac fiends...Let's here your decision on the new powerbooks if they were all fully decked out.
  2. josepho macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2004
    Surrey, England
    If I didn't have to pay, and if I could keep my 12" PB (on its way right now) for taking to uni then I'd definitely go for the 15". For some reason, I just think that the 17" is too big to be a notebook, whilst the 15" lends itself to real power and at the same time, the ability to be picked up and carried about.

    I did consider the 15" combo, but decided that I didn't fancy the extra size and weight, as I'll be carrying about a lot, especially when I spend 1 1/2 months in Salamanca, Spain during the summer... And since the 15" combo only has the same CPU as the 12" I thought it wasn't worth it just for the bigger screen... though admittedly it has its advantages.

  3. xeriminox macrumors newbie


    Mar 11, 2004
    I am quite fond of my 12" PB and if given the chance, would certainly choose it again. Its portability is outstanding -- and as a student, portability is my main concern. If you are on the go and a smaller screen dosen't bother you, then this certainly would be a viable option for you, as well.
  4. nospleen macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2002
    If portability is an issue, I would definitely go for the 15". The increased spead and graphics card is worth it. I have a 17" and love it, but, I do not need portability. Plus, if you need more screen real estate, you can get an external monitor. I would say go with the 12, but the graphics card is not that good. (my wife loves hers though!)
  5. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004

    Give up my sweet little 12"? Never. I don't need a big screen nor the max amount of processing power. Just a really good keyboard and a really portable laptop. I walk a lot, and that 12" in its small little backpack goes with me everywhere. The minimum amount of pounds is what I want/need--and minimum amount of size so that it fits on small tables with room to spare.

    With a beautiful little screen and a keyboard that's a dream, what more do I need? (Well, better battery life and an illuminated keyboard would be nice, but I make do....)

    If you were to ask me to choose all over again, I'd choose the same. Even decked out to the max, the other two just don't tempt me. I love my 12".
  6. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    maxed out 15" no doubt. sweet, sweet glowing. tight video card. faster HD. lots of memory. good proc. still portable. yummy.
  7. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    Size DOES matter!! go 12"

    come on. what is a laptop for? portability!! if you want power, get a desktop! to me there is little power difference b/w 1.3 and 1.5 ghz. but the diff b/w a 1.5G4 and a 1.6 G5 is a LOT bigger. whats the diff b/w some monsterous wintel laptop and the 17" pb (ok the PB looks a lot better) but still, i wouldnt consider that protable. there might be cases id justify the 15" .. . such as if my parents wanted portability, both of them use reading glasses and would have too much trouble on the 12" screen, so maybe a 15 would be ok. but i honestly have never understood the 17" PB. except to say 'heh. . . mines bigger' but bigger is not better in portability.
  8. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    It all comes down to what you're going to do with your PB. For my line of work I need the 17". Being a Creative Director I work in the Adobe CS, Painter, Final Cut Pro, etc. every day. All these programs have a TON of palettes that take up valuable screen space. Sure, you can use an external monitor - and I do - when I'm at my desk. Usually though I'm at meetings, on the road, at photo shoots, etc. and I find that the extra screen size really helps in my production flow not to mention that the 17" has a WOW factor when showing work-in-progress to clients. Yes the PB 17 is a bit heavy but I find it to be entirely portable - I have it in my backpack every day and have had no problems on airplanes or coffee shops. I've used my business partner's 15" and believe me, after working on my 17" I just can't go back to anything smaller - best purchase I've ever made. For me it's not "mine's bigger," it's about productivity in what I do for a living.
  9. mms macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2003
    The exact opposite for me. I can't go back to anything bigger than a 12". I used to use a 17" Studio Display, which seems monsterish now.
  10. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003

    12" I could have bought any one of the three powerbooks a few days ago.

    but 14" was already too big.

    got a 12" and not looking back! it is awesome.

    no more problems on airlines with insufficient space.

    I dig it.
  11. Maverick macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    15-inch. All the way.

    Perfect combo of portability and features. And it looks dang sweet, too.
  12. Apple of my eye macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2004
    Fresno, Ca
    Choose 12 if you have good desktop otherwise 15 or 17 only.

    If you have a desktop system, the choice is one of preference, portability vs screen size. But if you are going to use the PB as your sole computer you should consider the 15 or 17 only. The 12 is a great computer and I would choose to choose it over the 15 or 17 if I had a decent desktop system. Otherwise the 1024x768 resolution is a deal breaker. If you want to use and multi-windowed or multi tool bar program you will be frustrated with the lower resolution machine. The 15 PB with it's increased resolution and 16:10 ratio create the perfect solution for a portable computer. If you feel you need a larger screen but want to sacrifice portablilty go for the 17. But remember with the current lineup the high end 15 and 17 are nearly identical spec wise, the only thing you gain with the 17 is screen size. Good luck.
  13. powerbook4me macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2004
    Go check them out next to each other in the store.

    I decided on a 12 incher right when I saw it :cool:
  14. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    If I go with your logic I'd just buy the 12" and an external monitor. You'd get the best from both worlds. I could only understand the 15" if you'd need the power or the screen estate on the go.
    For me it's going to be the 12" after some thinking. Portability is key here.
    And I'll just keep my 22" CRT :D
  15. mpopkin macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2003
    Chapel Hill, NC
    What are you talking about
    The 1.6 g5 sucks, i know because my school has three of them, i have a DP G5 2.0 Ghz and a New Powerbook 1.5 and my New powerbook processes Final Cut as fast or faster than the 1.6 Ghz G5, Get both a Desktop and a laptop. A laptop is for portability. the 15 is the best of both worlds. Fast and Portable. Light and nice

  16. Brettla macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    The 17 inch is nice, but i wanted a laptop, not something that is boardering on being a portable desktop, that's why i went with the 15, it's actually not much larger than my clamshell iBook.
  17. Spyharpy macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I've been jumping along all three Powerbooks unable to decide which one to get. I have a G4 tower and a 21" CRT at present. I want to go the Powerbook route to make deskspace and have some portability. I also like the 20" Cinema Display. At first I liked the 17" but found it to be just too big, the 15" just about right but difficult to justify the 20" CD with either. My friend has a 12" and after using it, I found it to be the perfect laptop for me. I like the extreme portability of the 12" and I can certainly justify the 20" CD since I'd definitely need it. So, the 12" is what sets the perfect balance for me.
  18. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    ...I don't see the 17" as a laptop... it's a portable computer.
    For me, anything bigger then the 15" starts to lose it "portablility factor"... not that the 17" isn't portable... but I wouldn't want to have to carry one all the time. (pretty to look at though!)

    ...the 15" for me would be completely ideal in size and power- but (for me) a tad pricey and since I already have a desktop- the portability of the 12" is perfect.

    My .02
  19. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2003
    Wakayama, Japan
    15" is perfect. Screen isn't too small, laptop isn't too big, I plan on buying one as soon as I graduate and land a full time job.
  20. Mac macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2004
    17'' = Battle ship (reliable, big, does the job noone else can do, awesome firepower).
    15'' = Destroyer (fast, smart, firepower, agile, noone in the air or below the water can feel secure)
    12'' = MTB (handy, fast, lessened firepower, sting-operations)

    The 15'' combines all the good charachteristics of them all. 15'' all the way.

    No - I am not enlisted....
  21. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Yeah we saw what little life rafts can do to a destroyer didn't we... ;)
    Sorry couldn't resist seeing your analogy.

    Anyway I think it comes down do one thing, besides the two things I have pointed in my previous post, how often do you move it.
    If you move it every day from place to place and really have to carry it (meaning not putting it in your car, carrying it 5 feet and putting it down again :D ) the only choice is the 12". If you don't then I'd get the 15".
  22. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I have to decide between getting a maxed out 15inch or 17inch. I really like the screen size on the 17inch, but since I like to use my Powerbook when travelling, I have decided to go for the 15inch.

    This will be my third powerbook and I have not paid for any of them. The first one I got from the government (PowerBook G3 233), the second one I got from my University (PowerBook G4 550) and this one I am getting from insurance because I lent my PowerBook G3 to someone and they broke it. :D
  23. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    hvfsl - I'd rethink the 15" purchase. I thought the 17" would be too big to travel with as well but after using mine for 5 months I can attest otherwise. I tote mine with me every day - I use it on planes, trains and yes - automobiles. I have had no problems whatsoever setting the thing on any tables or my lap. As stated before - it's what you're using it for. Doing design work clutters up the screen with tons of palettes and the extra screen real estate of the 17" makes the extra size worthwhile.

    If you're using design programs with any regularity you get so used to the extra space that anything smaller becomes frustrating. Your call, for me the 17" is the only choice.
  24. Naimfan macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    15" Absolutely. It is, IMO, perfect.

    And now that the 15 and 17 have the same processor and video card (yes, I know the 17 uses a different version of the CPU chip), I think the overall case for the 15 is even stronger.

    That said, it really does depend on what you use it for. I just think the 17" is a real niche product for those--like Aricher--who really need the screen size. And I just think the 12" looks like a toy--for me, it is just TOO small.


  25. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    my 15 in PB came in yesterday and it is perfect in every way. i think it is a good mix of size, power, and portability. the only difference between the 15 and the 17 is a bigger screen.

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