PB 15 + 19" LCD or PB 17

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by maclamb, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #1
    I was about ready to bite the bullet (pull the trigger?) and get the PB 1.67 15 when I went to the apple store this weekend to look at the 17. I must be psycho to think about the 17 b/c it seems so big.
    My usage: I work at home two weeeks a month and travel to my office and live out of a hotel 2 weeks a month. I do a fair amount of work (office-y stuff, web, Java dev, maybe some web design+PS, etc) in my hotel room and thought the PB 15 a great improvement in screen size over my IBM Thinkpad.
    Now I'm thinking about the PB 17".
    From someone who has one - it looks HUGE - and would make a great desktop replacement - but how does it travel?
    Weight and bulk
    In and out of a sleeve for Security at airports
    Sitting on one'e knees
    Opening on an airplane?
    For me it's only $ 150 diff in price w/ my discount (i can get the pb 17 for $2159)
    Or - get the PB 15 and an extra 17 or even 19 inch LCD to keep at the office?

    Is it really workable as a mobile laptop - or is it more of a "luggable"?
    And - is the extra screen size (+ weight + bulk, etc) really needed fror what I do - not many pallettes open, etc...
    I guess I'm leaning towards the PB 15 + LCD
     
  2. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #2
    That's a tough decision to make. If I was faced with the same choice I'd probably go for the 15" PB plus a 19" LCD . . . or (maybe even better?) a 12" PB plus a 20" or 23"/24" LCD.
     
  3. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    thanks - - i agree - a tough choice.
    I tried a 12" and it's just too small for me - I'm a big guy and like the extra room of a 15 or 17
     
  4. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #4
    If you can afford it, go for a 15" with a 20" LCD. 19" LCDs almost all (if not every one) have the same resolution as a 17".
     
  5. Rob587 macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #5
    My practical side says get a 15" with a 20" lcd...... my clean side one machine looks better.
     
  6. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #6
    I guess that extra inch or two makes a difference when it's sitting on your lap, but if you put the 12" on an airliner tray table, there's enough room for a mouse or trackball. Besides that, you'll get way more battery life from a 12" compared to the 15" and 17" - enough to watch a 2 1/2 hour DVD or do 4 hours of word processing. They keyboards are completely identical size-wise.
     
  7. Cid_Matrix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #7
    17" Powerbook and very happy

    Just wanted to give you my 2 cents.

    Before I got my 17", I too was contemplating getting a 15". I decided going with the 17" because I do a lot of web development, some PS and I need to run Virtual PC more than I really want to. This meant that I wanted to have as much screen space as possible. I know, it's only 2 inches, but, compared to my 15" ThinkPad, it feels like I have a whole lot more.

    As far as weight. I don't remember how much my ThinkPad weighs, but, it doesn't feel much heavier. My 17" is definitely much thinner :D .

    As far as traveling with it. Well, I've taken only one airplane trip with it, and, I was happy with it. It does take most (if not all of the tray), so, you really can't have anything else out.

    I got the RADTECH sleeve for it, and I think it is great!! I've had it for almost six months and I still get compliments.

    No regrets.
     
  8. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #8
    I would go for the 17" if I were you. A 17" inch desktop replacement laptop which is 1" thin is just beautiful to look at and a joy to use. The weight difference is just not that much. If I had around $2500 at the moment, I would get the 17" or the 12" and a 20" monitor. The 15" does not make sense to me.
     
  9. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #9
    I too will need to run VPC for a couiple of Java/UML Modeling IDEs (Rational Software Architect) that won't run on Mac - so that's a good point about the screen and addresses my other posted question about speed 1.5G vs 1.67 for VPC.
    What do you run on VPC? How's the performance?

    Though I may still lean to the 15 as being more portable friendly and then get the 19 LCD - though the 17 makes more $ sense than a 15 + 19" lcd...

    What about carrying the 17 around at work - pulling it in and out of the sleeve/bag - although my Coach Leather bag IS just wide enough to accomodate the 17...hmm coincidence? :D
     
  10. Cid_Matrix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #10
    VPC7 - A Love / Hate Relationship

    The title in this posting pretty much summarizes how I feel about it.

    First, I love the VPC because it does give me the ability to run any program that hasn't been ported to OS X. So, you have to love it just because of that.

    As far as performance, well, I guess it depends on what sort of tasks are you running within the VPC environment AND how do you have the settings configured. To elaborate, after I first did the install, I configured it to use only about 386MB for RAM (not enough). I know have 512MB allocated, with the CPU running one less than the maximum and if I remember correctly, I have the MMX settings turned off. This seems to work for me. Of course, I do have 1.5GB of RAM installed (I know I should've maxed it out, but, oh well). Opening closing programs, running MS-Access is very responsive. The only time I see any sort of lag is when is doing CPU intensive tasks, e.g. ColdFusion tasks. When this happens, I see the CPU usage on "Activity Monitor" go up very high (it actually hits 100% for several seconds). As soon as the tasks is done, it goes back to what it was.

    It may be worth mentioning that when it takes hits 100% the laptop fan may kick on. This is when I hate it. I think that when the laptop fan is running, the laptop is being overworked. I'm assuming having a faster processor may help, although I'm running using the 1.5Ghz, so, I'm not sure if the 1.67Ghz will be much different. (THIS IS WHY WE NEED THE G5! or dual-core G4)

    Since I do extensive ColdFusion development, this is a necessary evil. I guess you might ask why don't I just use my ThinkPad for the ColdFusion service, well, I thought of that. But, I don't like the idea of carrying two laptops home every day. Although at times, I have considered buying a PC for home and use it for the ColdFusion service.

    But, the way I see it, VPC allows my 17" to be completely independent of another machine. That I love.

    If only Macromedia ported ColdFusion to OS X :rolleyes: Oh well, I guess I can dream and wait.
     
  11. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #11
    Cid - good points

    I intend to take the ram to at least 1.5 G and give VPC 1G when I run the program(s) i need - They are BIG memory pigs.

    I do have a separate PC desktop at home and at the office - so VPC would be "convenience" when on the road/in the hotel - so I can live with some of the limitations.
    The real question is to whether to go for the 17....what's your "feel" about it - luggabe or portable...

    honestly...My thought right now is the 12 was too small for me and I think the 17 will be "too big"
    and the 15 will be "just right"... :p

    I may pop down to the Apple store again tonight to look it over again...
     
  12. Cid_Matrix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #12
    Look at the numbers

    I understand your dilema. I sincerely believe buying a computer (especially a laptop) is a very personal choice. So, it will come down to you as to what you'll be happy in the end.

    Having said that, let me tell you the specs of the laptop that I was carrying:

    ThinkPad A22p with 381-mm (15.0-inch) TFT display
    Weight is approximate.

    * Width: 322 mm (12.95 in)
    * Depth: 262 mm (10.5 in)
    * Height:
    o Front: 38.1 mm (1.5 in)
    o Rear: 43.1 mm (1.7 in)
    * Weight:
    o 3.49 kg (7.7 lb) with Li-Ion battery pack and CD-R/W drive in Ultrabay 2000

    Now, the current specs of the 17" PowerBook (which I assume is very similar if not exactly like mine).
    * Height: 1.0 inch (2.6 cm)
    * Width: 15.4 inches (39.2 cm)
    * Depth: 10.2 inches (25.9 cm)
    * Weight: 6.9 pounds (3.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed

    So, you see, even though the 17" is wider, it is thinner and lighter.

    To be fair, here are the specs of the 15". Of course it is lighter and smaller, but again, screen space is less as well.

    Size and weight (15-inch models)
    * Height: 1.1 inches (2.8 cm)
    * Width: 13.7 inches (34.8 cm)
    * Depth: 9.5 inches (24.1 cm)
    * Weight: 5.6 pounds (2.5 kg) with battery and optical drive installed (8)

    Hopefully this helps you out.

    Oh, before I forget, the hardest thing for me was finding a brief case that will properly handle my 17". There weren't that many choices that I was happy with. Tumi has an option ($400), I even tried that, but I didn't think my investment was properly protected so I returned it. I ended up buying one that cost me about $50 and I think is GREAT! It is well protected, sturdy and it even has enough room that I could carry my ThinkPad in there as well. But, as you can imagine, then the bag gets really heavy.
     
  13. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #13
    Just when I thought...

    ...I had decided on the 15, now I am considering the 17 again. Ah the luxury of choice.
    As it turns out, my Coach leather briefcase has a padded Laptop pocket that is, ready? exactly 15.5 inches across - it should fit the 17 perfectly....hmmmm a sign?
    :rolleyes:
     

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