Trying to decide - 15" 1.25GHz or 17" 1.33GHz powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Xacent, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Xacent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I'm trying to decide whether or not to go with a 15" 1.25 GHz powerbook or the 17" 1.33 GHz powerbook. I'm looking at the stock setup in both so essentially the machines are identical except for the clock speed.

    Originally I wanted a 15" but the store I was planning on buying from says they are on back order and delivery date with the superdrive is anyone's guess. Furthermore the 17" at this place is in stock and the same price as a 15" at other stores in town.

    So given the choice between a 15" and 17" at the same price what is the better choice. I'm a student and I plan on taking the PB to the lab on a daily basis.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #2
    If you are going to be taking it with you back and forth, just keep in mind the size of the 17", it's a real beast. I'd love that kind of screen space, but the 15" to me is just the sweet spot.
     
  3. John Manjiro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Sapporo
    #3
    I'm going with 17"

    I'm looking for a new machine before I start med school next year. I carry my current Dell laptop around with me every day to and from my job, by foot, bike, or car, and plan on doing the same next year. I've decided on the 17" for several reasons.

    With regard to speed-related specs, more important to me than clock speed is the fact the RAM comes on one DIMM. I plan on upgrading to 1 GB but not with Apple memory. It costs $90 dollars to make this upgrade on the 15". Not a dealbreaker, but it closes the price gap slightly.

    Portability is a concern of mine, but I hope that it will be unfounded. I plan on buying a backpack, rather than shoulder pack, to carry it. The one I'm looking at isn't particularly sexy but it seems very functional and not extraordinarily big (actually, not any bigger than their bag for 15" laptops).

    The size is the biggest asset of course. I've spent more time than is healthy in giant Japanese electronics stores looking at and playing with both models. I find that for web surfing, which is something I would do mostly by trackpad, the layout feels better on the 17". The big speakers are nice. And of course the screen is amazing.

    The reliability of the 17" versus the spottier 15" was what made me first consider the bigger model, but I don't think it's a very important factor anymore in my decision.

    Sorry I don't have any advice based on, say, experience, but I hope this helps all the same.
     
  4. i_wolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #4
    hmm.... this is a bit of a dilemma. the screen on the 17" is gorgeous... but , size and weight..... would make me go for the 15". I think it really is the sweet spot because you still have a gorgeous big screen but it is also more portable. However if you do serious vid editing, and you really really need all the screen realistate then go 17".
    I thought that all powerbooks were upgradeable to 2gig ram though!?!?!?? If it was me, i would spend the money on the 15" and with the difference in price that you were willing to spend on the 17" i would put extra ram in the 15" ;) Also do the 15" and 17" not use the same speakers?????????
     
  5. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    I went with the 15" simply because of the price. The 17" is quite a bit more, and I don't think its worth it. But if they are the same price....I would say go for the 17". I really don't think it's all that big, plus it's really thin.
     
  6. John Manjiro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Sapporo
    #6
    15 and 17 are upgradeable to 2gigs of RAM, 12 goes to 1.25, no? But 2 gigs of RAM is very expensive. It's more reasonable for now to look at the cost of upgrading to 2x512MB of RAM, which is more expensive on the 15". It's not much more; it's less than the standard price difference between the two, but I think it's something worth keeping in mind, especially if you are already getting the two for the same price.

    Got me on the speakers. I don't know and can't find on the powerbook page any specs about them, so they may in fact all be the same. But the keyboard space alotted to them is twice as big on the PB17. Don't know how this translates to sound quality, I just assumed it was better on the 17". Anyone else know?
     
  7. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #7
    Actually, the 15" has better speakers. The 12" and 15" both have a third midrange speaker whereas the 17" model only has the two, so strictly speaking, if you want the best sounding laptop of the two, then go for the 15". As far as the RAM issue, they both go up to 2 gigs.
     
  8. Xacent thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Thanks for all the input and opinions guys. I settled on the 17" and ordered it last wednesday. They say it'll take 10 business days to arrive, so I'm on day 4 of those 10 painful waiting days.

    Now I'm toying with the idea of getting a third party memory upgrade (512Mb) and a 7200 rpm drive to really crisp things up a bit. Maybe I'll wait till I have had a chance to put it through its paces a bit. I know I won't be disappointed, its my first mac and I'm pretty excited.

    Oh yeah I also ordered an isight and a bluetooth apple mouse so I hope those are good too!

    Thanks again for the replies, they were very helpful.
     
  9. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #9
    Good luck, that sounds like an awesome setup you are getting. I'd suggest getting a memory upgrade through Crucial, they are high quality and have insanely high levels of reliability. They also have free shipping and the MacRumors link shop has a discount with them from what I see. As far as 7200 rpm drives go, all I can say is that I've heard incredible things about Hitachi's new 7200 rpm laptop drive. I personally have the 5400 rpm Hitachi that was BTO through Apple and I couldn't be happier with it.
     

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