Getting a MBP again, 15 or 17 inch?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Merlyn3D, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Merlyn3D macrumors regular

    May 15, 2006
    So I'm gonna get a macbook pro C2D now that most of the issues are fixed, but I'm running into the issue of which one to get, the 15" or the 17". Are there any problems with either? Any particular reason to get a 17" over a 15" or vice versa (for those who have either already)?
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I've had both, and I prefer the 17". I'm not one for moderation. :)

    Also, historically the 17" has had less "issues" than the 15". Not scientific, but the evidence is around.
  3. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    I've had both the 15" and 17", but the CD versions. I'm kind of an accessory whore so I like the 15" because there are more options for bags and other cases. But the 17" is just.. beautiful.

    I think it's true that the 17" has had less issues. The one I had was absolutely perfect. I never noticed a single thing wrong with it. The 15" I have now has pretty much the same specs as the 17 (BTO), so as far as performance I don't think there was a difference. I just needed a smaller one to take to school.
  4. Dynatos macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2006
    I think I'll be getting the 15" before I return to school in January. It just seems a heck of a lot more portable than the 17".
  5. Trishul macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2006
    Sarasota, FL
    I was going through the same situation just over a week back. After adding the 160gb (fastest, coolest most efficient drive) to the 15" the price difference between that and the 17" became pretty narrow, making the decision even harder.

    The possible downsides with the 17", maybe the screen was too high res, text was bigger and slightly easier to read on the 15" and final cut pro seemed perfectly useable. The wrist area on the 17" felt too big, i'm used to resting my palms on the edge of a laptop and was worried about scuffing from watch and bracelet etc.. but then found Marware Protection Pack, which seems cool and also fixes any possible gap issues, and finally portability - but i realised the only time i ever noticed my laptop size is on an airplane, and i'm not exactly flying around the world every day. So i ended up reasoning, at least with 17" i can resize the resolution and/or make txt bigger within software etc.. and never get that feeling "i wish i had just a bit more screen estate". The 17" is pretty much just an inch wider when closed, it really isn't that much bigger or heavier, if you like at them side to side, still bigger than the average laptop i suppose, but a lot skinnier than any 17" i've seen!!.

    but the points i found on the net which helped tip the scale. 8x DVD burner, i knew i'd always be wishing i had this when burning a disc for a friend/client on a 6x, if just to save 10-20 seconds or whatever. I think previously the grphics card on the 17" didn't need underclocking as much as the 15", due to the size and more room for cooling etc.. (hence why there is an 8x), but i think with the C2D neither version is underclocked (??), eitherway the fact that the bigger chassis offered more cooling and the potential for slightly better performance... added to the fact i always secretly lusted over the 17" Powerbook since it was first introduced, but always considered it the ultimate in luxury, it is one of those Dream products, and has a bit more 'cool' factor over the 15", i ended up ordering the 17" which should be arriving here any day now.

    If you don't have portability issues, don't mind the shipping delay, and if price isn't an issue, get the 17", if i'm not mistaken they have a stronger resale value than the 15" too!!
  6. timmillwood macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2006
    i have the 17" and it is great, i really need the extra screen space, if you don't need the extra screen space go for the 15" because the 17" is very big and heavy!
  7. hamsuplo macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Irvine, CA
    Get a 17 if this is going to be your only computer.

    I have a PC and dual 24 inch Dell 2407wfp's. One for the PC and one for the C2D. Naturally I prefer my 24 inch at 1920 x 1200 over 15" or 17".
  8. PeterSmith macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Cambridge, UK
    I have had one of the new 17" MBPs for nearly two weeks now, passing on my trusty 15" PowerBook to my (delighted!) wife ....

    I initially plumped for the larger screen because the main use I make of my laptop is writing LaTeX files (so it is very good to have the source file, the resulting PDF and various tools all onscreen at the same time). Incidentally, the 2.33 Ghz C2D machine does in fact typeset large LaTeX files at seven to eight to speed of the old 1.5 Ghx G4 -- so that is wonderful.

    My 17" MBP is pixel perfect, the screen is even, it runs very cool, and the overall build quality seems as good as the PowerBook it replaces. Given what I've read elsewere about the issues people have found with the 15" MBP, I'm glad for that reason I made the choice I did.

    But -- to come to the point most relevant to this thread -- what I've been surprised to find is that the size and weight of the bigger machine are really not issues (at least if you use a computer as I do -- move it round the house a bit, take to the faculty and/or libraries, take it on a few visits away). It fits in the same computer bag, and since I'm always carting around two or three books as well, I don't really notice a significantly difference in portability. Equally, it still pretty comfortably fits onto my lap in various positions, for late-night emailing/surfing in front of the television. So in my judgement the extra real-estate more than trumps the very slight loss of portability/on-lap manageability.
  9. Dynatos macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2006

    I'd argue that there's no difference in quality between the 15" and 17". The main difference is the fact that many fewer people purchase the 17" than the 15", so the amount of people complaining is fewer - resulting in people assuming that the 17" has fewer problems.
  10. PeterSmith macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Cambridge, UK
    There could well be something in that! (It would be interesting to know what the sales ratios are.)
  11. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    I went from 15" Matte to 17" Matte and back to 15" but this time Glossy.

    The 17" was great, but it was more of a pain when I was on the go. I often walk and work at the same time, so 17" was just too awkward to work with. Also, the 17" has a different hinge. It's clutch system isn't near as tight as the 15" and doesn't really like to stay open if you are using it while reclined.
  12. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

    Apr 26, 2003
    I've had both and decided to keep the 15". Surprising as it may sound, the extra size and weight of the 17" tipped the scale in favor of the 15" MBP. Looking at the specifications one would tend to laugh off the small delta between the two - but not so in real life use.

    Both are nice - you are the only one that can answer the question though.
  13. boaredtodeath macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2006
    Resolution was it for me

    For me I just could not get used to the resolution on the 15" (coming from a T60p thinkpad) so am getting rid of my 15 and getting the 17"

  14. topgun072003 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you need portability, then I'd go with the 15inch. I love mine to death. I think the 15 is on the upper edge of the portability spectrum. Sounds like these people like their 17 inch MBP. I'd probably still go with the 15 inch. I think its the perfect size.
  15. tjcampbell macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2006
    Certainly the 15". 17" is gorgeous but too tedious to transport. If it is staying stationary then just buy an iMac. If you are moving about, the 15" certainly provides a balance of raw power and convenience.
  16. inf macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    Just ordered 15" model, just because it's more portable than the 17" and also, I'm a poor student, and in Finland we pay biggert taxes so the prices are higher here :mad:
  17. PeterSmith macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Cambridge, UK
    I am genuinely surprised by the claims implying that a 15" is much more portable than a 17". There really isn't that much in it!

    My 17" fits in the same Targus bag I had for my old 15". And the weight differential is not significant ... I certainly don't notice much difference.

    I guess if you are carting your machine around a lot, then you might want all the weight savings you can get (and then you'll wait for that rumoured 12"!!) But if (i) you move your laptop to just two or three different locations a day, and (ii) the extra real estate is genuinely useful to you, then really you needn't hesitate about going for the 17" machine.

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