Does size matter?? 12" or 15"...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Eddo, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Eddo macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2004
    Hey guys,
    Everyone was so helpful with my first post here a couple of days ago I thought I'd get some more advice. I've basically decided to go for a PB over the updated iBook (to be honest I didn't need much persuading!) I thought I was all set to purchase a 12" with Superdrive, possibly even a BTO faster HD. I went to check em out at a store but the guy told me I'd be better off with the 15", citing the lack of screen real estate on the smaller model. His argument was that Macs are all about graphics so getting a small screen undermines its purpose in life.

    Now, if money wasn't an issue I guess I would go for the 15" (I already own a TiBook which I'm passing on to my parents, so I know how sweet that widescreen looks!). Unfortunately I don't have unlimited funds. The Combo 15" isn't too much more but I kinda wanted that SD for burning movies and backing up my photo library. Whichever I choose it's gonna be my only computer ie. a desktop replacement. I travel a lot so portability is vital.

    As well as the usual web surfing, iTunes and word processing I'll be doing a lot of work in Dreamweaver, Photoshop and iMovie - but I'm not a gamer. Will I miss that desktop space? At the moment I'm using Jaguar but hoped Expose would largely solve the problem if I purchased a new 12".

    Any ideas, anyone? I'm open to BTO options too...

    P.S. I found this comparison but it left me more confused than ever!Click here
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I simply could not imagine doing Photoshop work on a 12" screen.

    Sure, you can dock your palettes & use tons of keyboard shortcuts but you may find it just a little restrictive.

    I can't imagine Dreamweaver being too fun to use on the same size screen, but I have less experience with that app.

    (And your store guy saying that Macs were all about graphics is being a bit simplistic, if not misleading.)

    Exposé may not be the panacea you hope it is. What you need is a decent hands-on demo...
  3. sarae macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    madison, WI

    I've had my 12" for about three weeks, and absolutely love it. I take it everywhere. I do a lot of work in Photoshop and sometimes it gets a bit small - but nothing that bothers me enough to necessitate hooking it up to a larger monitor. I was trying to decide between the two, and ultimately chose the 12" because the 15" just felt too big.

    I would suggest: playing for awhile on a 12 and on a 15, seeing what you like. No one else can tell you what is best for you; tons of people have the 15 and love it, and just as many people love their 12.

    Guess that's not that helpful, is it?
  4. iRez macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2004
    I work on photoshop and illustrator on my 12" Reb PB as well, and love the thing. Sure having more pixels would be nicer, but there's nothing you can do with the 15" screen that you can't do with a 12" screen. Although the 15" is a supurb notebook, I still wouldn't trade my 12" for the world. I hardly ever notice it's in my backpack.
  5. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    my oh my

    my take on this from experience is this:

    why have all the power of a pbook, when one only has a small screen?

    it seems almost like a waste. go for the 15" pbook.

    power and good screen size with you all the time. yeah :)
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i have a 12" the screen size is no problem to me at all, however, at times i wish i had the 15" to be honest

    every person is different though, only you can decide what works best for you

    if you have an Apple store or other Mac reseller near you, head over there and play with both models, see if the 12" works for you, personally i know a lot of people here need/want the extra space of the 15" for Photoshop or Dreamweaver, i get along fine using Photoshop with no problems, its annoying at times though

    its up to what you need and that, if you do get the 15" though, remember you can always get an exteral dvd burner at some later point
  7. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Here's a crazy idea:
    Get the 12" PowerBook, and then pick up a 19" CRT for home. It'll serve you while your funds remain limited, give you more real estate for PS than the PBook, and you'll only have to suffer through the smaller 12" screen when going mobile. Then, you'll have to start on saving up for that 23" Cinema Display you know you've had your eye on...

    Of course, I bought the 15" PBook myself, so don't listen to me!

    EDIT: Here's a decent monitor for $250, which will give you a $150 head start on the ram you'll buy from Crucial for your new PBook.
  8. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    A 15" 1.33 with SD and the 5400 rpm hd runs $2324 from Apple (base RAM).
    The 12" costs $400 less, and you can buy a 19" CRT for $252 (see post above) and still have enough money for a 512 stick from Crucial (see link below).

    If you can live with the 12" screen for mobility, you can still have all the real estate you want at home. The best of both worlds IMHO.
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The 12" is the ultimate portable computer, but lacks screen real estate.

    Get an external screen, dual screen is awesome!
    Its so nice to have a screen for broswing and one with tunes & amsn.
    Or when im working with programming, one screen for terminal and compiling and one for the text editors.

    If you are working with photoshop and dreamweaver the 1024x768 isn't enougth, get the 15" (1280x854) or possibly a 12" inch and a 17" lcd (1024x768+1280x1024!!) :D
  10. Eddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2004
    Thanks for the advice. Getting a separate screen for home is a nice idea but to be honest I don't think it's practical for me as a long-term solution. Like I said I'm often away from home and come June I'll be off to New Zealand for a year, so I can't see myself lugging a 19" CRT through passport control!

    How about the 15" 1.33 with just a Superdrive BTO? Worth the extra? The price soon starts creeping towards the top-end 15" model but I'm really not too fussed about the fancy keyboard and HD space isn't crucial even if I'd like the extra speed (I've got a 60GB Lacie Pocketdrive so my total would be 120 GB).

    Also, what do you guys make of the performance differences between the 12" and 15" (see here)? I'm especially surprised to see the 12" perform better in certain general tasks - remember it's up against the top 1.5 GHz model...
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Lucky guy! What are you going to NZ for? Which city?

    15" with Superdrive: Sounds fierce.
    Get enough RAM, though.
  12. matthutch macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Perth, Western Australia
    i have an original 12" powerbook, and i do a great deal of work in PS Illustrator etc, and a fair amount of work in dreamweaver.
    the truth is the screen can seem too small some times, however there is nothing that stops you from using PS etc because of it.

    If you are going to new zealand for a year my advice would be get the 12" with the SD and then extra ram, then when you get to new zealand pick yourself up an external moniter to use while your at home. Moniters here in australia are not all that much, and you can get a bargin on some really good ones some times, and i would imagine the prices would be similar in NZ.

    But as was said above, if you can go into an apple store or reseller do it and go in and have a play around on the different machines. It really is the only way you can make your mind up.

    Personally it would take me a lot to give up my 12", the portability of it is absolutely awesome, and if you are travelling - even for a short time - it is absolutely awesome - from experience they seem to fit better on those little tray tables in planes then many bigger laptops.
  13. debroglie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    My first powerbook was a 12 incher. After using it for only a couple weeks, I decided that I could not deal with that small of a screen. You can read and text everything ok, but there are just not enough pixels there to really be efficient in your computing. I then decided to buy an external LCD. That solved the problem when I was at my desk, but I use my computer on the road or at the library a lot and the screen size would always be a pain whenever I went out.

    Then, I bought a 15 incher and I have been in heaven ever since. I sold the LCD because I don't really need it anymore and it was a waste of money for me with my 15 incher. The extra 3 inches makes a huge difference, but even more than that I *LOVE* the widescreen aspect. Whether you are using word or photoshop, having the extra portion for palettes is so nice.

    I really don't find the size of the 15 incher as restricting its portability at all. It is still very light, thin, and small - espcially compared to my roommates's Dell! :eek:

    Also, the keyboard is user-replaceable on the 15 incher (big deal for me at least) and you also get the PCI card slot and firewire 800. The built in s-video and dvi ports are great too, I don't have to carry around the mini-dvi adapter anymore.

    I am so glad that I have my new 15 incher over the 12, but I also know several people who greatly prefer their 12 inchers. Go to the Apple Store and play with each one.
  14. Eddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2004
    Thanks guys,
    I've pretty much decided to go with the 15". Getting a CRT isn't practical right now and a lot of the guys who are happy with their 12" models seem to have either a home display or a desktop which allows them to appreciate the tiny laptop for its extra portability. I think all round I'd be better off with the 15" 1.33 GHz with a SD BTO. Thanks again for all the advice, now to melt that credit card...
  15. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Well i asked a few girls and they all said no matter what anyone tells you size does matter :eek:
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Well, I was too polite to say...

    But it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it...
  17. debroglie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Good decision, going with the 15 inch. However, if you don't know how many DVDs you'll be burning I would suggest getting the combo drive and putting the money towards getting the 1.5 with a combo, a faster HD, and/or RAM. Remember that if you get the 1.5, it comes with 512 instead of 256. If you later decide that you want to burn DVDs you can get an external, they are fairly cheap. Most people don't need to burn DVDs on the go so an external would be fine. Also, the combo drives are faster, if I'm not mistaken
  18. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    i second this

    i like the idea of going for the 1.5 too. along with the xtra ram, you also get the cool lighting keyboard... then you just have to choose whether you want the SD in the computer or not. :)
  19. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    i'm kinda in the same boat ---

    been looking into getting a laptop since i spend a lot of time outside my house --- and i would love to be able to correct my images right away after i take them

    now i'm torn because even though i have a 19" Lacie monitor that i would love to use with a new PB -- i wonder how often i would really get a chance to do is since i spend so little time in the house
  20. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I think that the 15" is just right, especially if it's for your main computer. The 12" is kind of small, although very portable. The 17" may be just too large, if it were used as a desktop would be great for movies. My wife has the 15" and loves her PowerBook.
  21. Eddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2004
    OK, So I'm gonna get the 15". What's the deal with sales tax in the U.S? If I get a computer from the apple store and have it shipped to Chicago, how much extra am I looking at? Am I right in thinking that I wouldn't be charged if I bought it from Amazon instead? But then I couldn't get it built to order :( On the other hand Amazon is offereing a $150 mail-in rebate, but am I eligible if I'm not a U.S citizen? Now I know that technically I could claim back any sales tax because I'm not an American tax payer, but then I'd probably have to declare the thing for UK tax which is even worse. It's all very confusing :confused: - I just want my PB!
  22. debroglie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Find an online resaler that is out of your state, you won't have to pay tax then. Try MacOutfitters , they are great people to work with. I just bought my 15 incher from them.
  23. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    London, England
    i have a 12" pb and do a bit of photoshop work on it. i think a bit more screen estate would be nice but not essential. you just have to work a little bit more. i thik you should weigh up is the extra cost (for getting hte 15") worth the amount it will be needed.
  24. atomiton macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2004
    only small people say that.
  25. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Never presume...

    Check my profile and then tell me I should be worrying about my size... sheesh!


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