Torn between a 15" or 17" Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kasei, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. kasei macrumors 6502a

    kasei

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Ok guys I need your help. I have been ready to switch to a Mac for over a year and I am prepared to take the plunge. However I am really torn between the 15" Powerbook and the 17" Powerbook.

    I have to travel every other week via plane so I need something that will travel well. This will be my main computer and I will not be buying a monitor. I stood in the Apple store for an hour trying to decide which system I should buy. I have read and seen first hand some of the production problems with the 15" PB and I am sure those glitches will be solved very soon. I am of course waiting until next week to buy the system as I am hopeful we will see an update or a price break. Hell I would take both.

    Is the 17" worth the additional $400?
     
  2. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    Sep 13, 2003
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    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #2
    Re: Torn between a 15" or 17" Powerbook

    As airport seats are getting smaller, unless you fly Business/First

    what kind of work do you do?
     
  3. kasei thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kasei

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    #3
    I am a consultant for a large company. My flight is only 1 hour and 15 minutes so I am not too worried about that. I use a large variety of applications from Word to Dreamweaver so I have been in the need of an operating system that can handle multiple applications running at the same time. I am also working on my MBA so I will be in front of the laptop for long hours writing case studies.
     
  4. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #4
    Well the reason i ask is that

    i guess it comes down to whether you need the screen real-estate the extra 200 horizontal pixels offered by the 17 inch vs the 15 inch

    i think you'de be fine with getting the 15 inch if your working in word or dreamweaver ... in FPC and photoshop you'de benifit from the extra screen size ... but people use to edit on the 15 and never complaint so i can't see it being an issue

    the extra 400 can go a long way for getting more Ram and since you mention that you need to run a lot of software .. the extra Ram can do a lot of good
     
  5. raptorhigh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    #5
    The 17 is HUGE, and I mean HUGE. I have a 15 inch TiBook, and I woudn't trade it for anything. I think the 15 is the perfect size, especially if you are going to be traveling. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you would love either of them. But, keep portablilty in mind.
     
  6. VAG macrumors member

    VAG

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Greece
    #6
    Also in my opinion have in mind the battery life.
    Cause a 17" TFT "eats" more battery than a 15" ;)
    And since you travel alot better have 4hours+ charge than 3...
    +the portability...... 17" laptops generaly are for those who use them most in a business office and take them to home to "finish" a project/job etc.

    I'm a webdesigner and I recently bought my first Mac (iBook 12") just to do some presentations to customers and to design the easy parts of a project along with my PC.

    LaterZzz
     
  7. KBFinFan macrumors 6502

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    May 30, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #7
    As a very happy owner of the 15" I would have to recommend it. The screen is HUGE.. the 17" screen is just overkill unless you need that extra space for graphical applications or publishing magazines or what not.

    Feature wise both are pretty much equal.. so that isn't a major factor in my opinion. Take the $400 and get an iPod or some other gadget like an iSight.

    The 17" is 'cooler' I guess due to its extreme display but isn't reconginzed by most people- on more than one occasion I have been asked if mine was a 17"...
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #8
    All you need is the 15, its alot of screen i had to magnify the text to be able to read it, i think the 17 is to much for the average user. Spend the extra $$ on memory or software
     
  9. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #9
    I can't imagine trying to use a 17" on the plane. Heck, I felt cramped using my old Toshiba Libretto years ago.

    As for the screens, the DPI is identical so the stuff won't be any "bigger" on the 17". You'll just be able to fit more on the screen. All of the powerbooks have the same DPI so everything on the screen is the same size on each model. The only difference is how much stuff you can fit on the display.

    You can always use big external displays at each end of the flight if you're working at fixed locations where you can store a small amount of equipment.
     
  10. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #10
    Thats was a solution i thought off ... but he specifically says he won't be getting an external monitor ...

    either-way i still think the 15" is the way to go ... it's a happy medium of functionality and portability
     
  11. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #11
    I would not want to try and use a 17" on an Airplane, flying in Europe coach is a challange with the 15" Al powerbook.

    I would definetely recommend the 15", unless you really need the extra pixels of the 17"
     
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    The production problems with the 15" have now been solved by Apple. Although I did have to exchange it because of production faults, the one that I now have is flawless, easily the best Laptop I have ever owned.
     
  13. donniedarko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    I work in the snowboard industry, and type this from Innsbruck. I fly every two months to europe, and as much stateside. I have a 17" 1.33 and find that it is fine for travelling. The hardest thing was finding a good bag that protect it. I couldn't find a messenger bag that was good enough so the company I work with let me design one...Problem solved. That was the hardest problem. I fly econ and sometimes biz, unless your rockin' a 12" it is a pain with any laptop... The 17" screen is without a question incredible. I had a 15" and I have no issues with the 17". Ideally I think a G5 and 12" PB with a .Mac setup would be solid. Expose makes any screen work well, I suppose, if size is a huge issue a 12" might be the one. Thing is really sweet for travelling. I find that people often poo poo the 17" but I'm not tripping at all. Good luck and enjoy whatever PB you get.
     
  14. kasei thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kasei

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    You are right about finding a bag to carry the 17" in. I have been looking for months. I finally contacted the guy who runs bagreview.com and he suggested I grab a Booq lap top sleeve and find a backpack to put it in. The Booq sleeve is very versatile and has ample padding for protection, but I have not been able to find a backpack that can accommodate the size of the sleeve.

    I checked out oakley.com and they have some really cool backpacks, but the 17" sleeve won't fit in them. I also took a look at the Brenthaven backpack and it looks like that is the best way to go. It is pretty obvious Brenthaven focused on protection of the system and didn't worry about appeal in the designing of their backpacks. However the Brenthaven seems to be the best fit for a 15" or 17" Powerbook. There is very little size difference between the Brenthaven for the 15" and 17" so carrying either system would virtually be the same.

    If I remember correctly I can get a student discount because of the Executive MBA program I am in. So I will be able to save $300 right there.
     
  15. donniedarko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    The bad thing is a nightmare... If you think it is going to cost you to much hit me with an email and I'll hook you up witht the bag I designed for the company I work with, if I can get one. It actually is a dj bag. The booq bags are ok. The brenthaven bags are alright. For me I want something that has some style to it. I forgot the website but this one company I found makes really slick bags, but they don't make anything for 17", I offered them a snowboard if they could one off make a bag for me... I haven't heard back- I didn't and don't want a back pack. I almost got the Halliburton attache but it didn't make sense- Oakley bags are cool, you might want to check out Clive too. From what I figure they don't work for 17" either- good luck
     
  16. Maclicious macrumors regular

    Maclicious

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    #16
    I went through a few bags for my 17 inch, finally setteled on the Booq sleeve, which is a bag in its own right. It makes my 17" finally portable--I take it everywhere.
     
  17. diehldun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #17
    Why does everyone think the 17" PB is SOOO big?????

    geez... i thought when I was about to get my new PB 17" that it was as big as a 747, but now that I have it, it really isn't that big! (seriously, not sour grapes). in fact, when I use it, I ask myself "how could i have bought a 15"? The screen size is perfect."

    and speaking of air travel, I just came back from JFK on JetBlue. If you are ever flying with them in Terminal 6 @ JFK, you gotta bring your laptop. They've now got free wireless internet there! I popped out my gorgeous 17" PB, and instantly, was on AIM. About (not joking) 6 different people walked up to me and ask what laptop I was using. And right after, another guy sat next to me and took out a brand-new alu 15" PB. it sort of reminded me of that new apple powerbook comercial where three people sit next to each other with the three different sizes.

    but anyways, back to the topic. we compared the sizes 17" vs. 15", and to be quite honest, it's not THAT much bigger! It does feel a little odd, though, carrying it around in your hand. and the 17" is soooo thin; it's simply amazing.

    on the airplane, I took out my PB and put it on the tray table ahead of me. There was about 1 cm. on both sides. a little tight, but fine. And what a coincidence: the guy with the 15" PB sat on the same row as me! We both turned on our PB's, and while i was using iTunes, he was watching a DVD. Even though I wasn't using DVD-player, mine died out sooner than his (i was using Microsoft Word). he had enough space to put a can of coke beside his.

    overall, if you can afford to pay so much for such a high-quality machine, why not pay $400 more for an even-more nicer laptop? I certaily think it was worth it, and never once have i regretted purchasing the 17" model. granted, it's a little wide, but in the end, it pays itself when you see how many different applications you can open on one screen.

    so the bottom line: the PowerBook 17" works perfectly fine for me, and probably you- both on the ground, or in the air.

    P.S: went through security @ SAN and JFK; both times, they asked to see the laptop, and i swear almost everyone nearby turned their heads when I opened my pb!
    :D
     
  18. diehldun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #18
    James Craner

    What airline do you fly? Did you fly on a prop-liner? My friend's 17" PB was able to be placed on a tray-table on coach on BA in Europe easily. (saw it with my own eyes).

    i though the 15" fitted quite comfortably when flying back from JFK on an Airbus A320.
     
  19. kasei thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kasei

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    I fly AmericaWest out of Burbank. Unfortunately JetBlue does not fly out of Burbank yet. It would be really nice to be able to use the wireless features in the airport. I can usually upgrade to business class if the flight isn't over booked.

    Actually I am not too worried about using the system on the plane. I am also considering picking up a power adapter that will allow me to plug the system into the plane's electrical plug for the long flights to Japan.
     
  20. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

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    Connecticut
    #20
    the 15 should be fine. put the extra money to more ram.
     
  21. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #21
    Re: James Craner

    It all depends on what size of plane, not the airline. I fly between Bristol and Munich on a small BA plane ( about 100 seats ). Trust me you don't want to be using a 17" on that.
     
  22. blueflame macrumors 6502a

    blueflame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Studio City
    #22
    I agree

    I have a 17 PB i wouldnt trade it for anything. I absolutely love it. It is now to big at all. In fact, it is noticabley thinner than the 15. that is the only thing that makes it feel odd, is that it is soo thin for being wide. i tke it with me everywhere, and i have a incase design backpack.
    i love it. I would reccomend the 17 to anyone, except extreeme portables, who need the 12.

    just my opinion
    Andreas
     
  23. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #23
    The 17" isn't THAT much bigger than the 15". Get over it people.

    I travel a lot too - with my 17" - it serves me well. I love the extra screen space and know that I would have kicked myself for another three years had I not splurged a little on the extra $$.

    The bags aren't that difficult to come by (people here are whining a lot). Now that other companies are making 17" widescreen laptops, you can go to Bestbuy and pick one up.

    My bag is incredible - and is made especially for the 17" powerbook. Check it out - excellent company:

    http://www.willowdesign.com/WillowAppleCatPORT.html#17Powerbook

    (I went with the MissionLight case - a little cheaper when I bought it...)
     
  24. donniedarko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    Nice one on the bag site...I can't believe why there is more options on 17" bags. I really need a messenger bag that isn't to loose...The one I ended up designing is good, but lacks in the protection. I got a sleeve for me 17 which helps. I really want a back sling..so if anyone knows Holler at a fool- Thanks. happy new year
    donnie
     
  25. kasei thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kasei

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    Thanks for all of the advice. I have decided to go for broke and buy a 17" Powerbook this week. I know some of you said it is huge and hard to carry, but after looking at the specs and testing both models and considering I will need to hang onto this system for at least 2 years, I will need every bell and whistle I can get. It is very tempting to wait around for a G5 Powerbook, but I am sure a couple of revisions will be needed before that system is running smoothly. Unless Steve surprises us...

    Thanks again...

    Cheers
     

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