15 or 17 MBP for college?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrmackie305, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. mrmackie305 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    #1
    Hello! I plan on buying a MBP after WWDC (or maybe this Tues!) to use at college next year. I will be working on audio and video editing using FCP and Pro Tools.

    Obviously the bigger screen size would make sense for these applications, but I was wondering if anyone here regretted getting the 17'' because of portability? I will be lugging this around campus, so would it make more sense to get the 15" and then use an external monitor in my dorm? I would appreciate any input on this (especially people who have used their MBP in college)!
     
  2. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

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    Chapel Hill, NC
    #2
    15" + external monitor. Esp since external monitors can be had pretty cheaply these days.

    The 17" is huge. It's hard to find laptop bags for it. And it's heavy. My mom has one, and it's beast of a machine.
     
  3. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #3
    I work with folks using a 17 MBP and I use the 15 MBP. The tote difference is huge! Get the 15 and a nice monitor. Apple, Dell or other and you will be pleased. To me the 17 seems flimsy. I am one of those folks who would like a 12 MBP and monitor.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    Since you mention FCP, I would say it depends on how much editing you think you might be doing mobile. If a lot, I'd go with the 17". FCP needs lots of desktop space. You can still go multiple monitors in a desktop environment.

    It's heavier, but the same thickness. In other words, it's similar when carrying it under your arm. The depth is only .8" more than 15" It's not flimsy any more than the 15" (which is to say it is not flimsy at all). Cases are hard to find, though. Brenthaven makes a couple that fit perfectly. Someone probably makes a sleeve case for the times where you don't need to carry accessories into the classroom.

    I may be a bit prejudiced, though, as my MBP is my 2nd 17" :)
     
  5. stevehp macrumors 6502

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    It's not a house, it's a home.
    #5
    I have a 17 and I carry it around almost every day...

    I find people on these forums that don't have the 17 always say its too big, too heavy, and hard to find a bag for.

    All that is nonsense...The weight difference is negligible and I can fit my MBP on any desk, even if its tiny...unless you have a 12 inch laptop, you wont have a computer that will fit 100% perfectly on a tiny desk in class.

    Having the size of the 17 inch screen when i am away from my house is amazing.
     
  6. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #6
    17 is way to big to be lugging around campus.

    I have a 15'' dell and a 12'' ibook and even the 15'' dell can be a pain in the ass sometimes. the 12'' is great. however, since you're doing video editing you need the pro because fcs2 won't run on the macbook. I'd wait until after WWDC though, because Steve could go out and announce a 13'' MBP and if he does, that will be the machine you need.
     
  7. Kermit the frog macrumors regular

    Kermit the frog

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    May 30, 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    From one college student to another...I've used both 15 inch macbookpro and a 17 in macbookpro. And really they are all in the same. I like the 17 inch cause its got the bigger harddrive and the extra firewire port. But If that isn't important to you then totally go with the 15 inch. But if you feel that the screen is too cramped for you then go with the 17. Its all about preference and price.
     
  8. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    I've given this same advice many times before and I always say that if you can afford a 17" MBP then you might want to consider a 20" iMac + MacBook, all for cheaper than a 17" MBP. The MacBook is much more portable than a 17" MBP and you get loads of screen estate when you're back in your room. That would be for $2598, just over $200 less than for a 17" MBP. Or if you can stretch to $3098, just under $300 more than a 17" MBP, you could have a 24" iMac + MacBook.

    I always consider the 17" MacBook Pros to be for those few professionals that really need the extra screen space while out and about, i.e. some photographers for example. I'm someone that uses loads of CPU power and general grunt. I've got a 2.66GHz Mac Pro with a 30" ACD at home yet my laptop is an iBook G4. I used to have a (what was at the time) powerful 15.4" Dell Laptop but in the end I realised that I rarely actually needed more power or graphics capability while on the road or when on holiday whereas the one thing that I really do like while I'm out and about is the extra portability.
     
  9. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #9


    Well since you already said what apps you'll be using, that be said ..


    i would go with the mid- 15" for your needs.. It has enough power for the apps n other apps @ the same time .. then buy an external screen for when your in the dorm
     
  10. RaMaz macrumors regular

    RaMaz

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #10
    either a 15.4" MBP, 15.2" PowerBook G4, 12" iBook OR PowerBook G4, 14.1" iBook, and 13.3" MacBook

    :apple:
     
  11. jordygreen macrumors 6502

    jordygreen

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    Dec 26, 2006
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    London, UK
    #11
    I have a 17" and i feel its far too heavy and big for it to be portable i wish i went a 15" instead the 17 is too big for a laptop i feel.
     
  12. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #12
    My mom has the 17" and we both think it's horribly large for a laptop.

    I would definitely go MBP over MB so you can have the extra power, useful for apps like FC.
     
  13. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

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    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    if you have the cash, I'd say get a 15" MBP + an external monitor... if that's too much $ to spend, get the 17" (although if they work out to be comparable, get the 15" + monitor, as you get a larger, and smaller, screen, i.e. 2 screens for the price of 1)
     
  14. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    That's funny, because the backpack I bought for my 15" PB, carries my 17" MBP just fine (Brenthaven RULES btw).

    No it's not. I used a 15" for the first year of college, then went to a 17". I loved the 17". It sat on my lap better, gave me longer battery life, and seeing as I used FCP and Pro Tools almost every day, the screen was MUCH better for those purposes. There's nothing like cutting a documentary at a Starbucks or in the student union on the resolution equivalent of a 20" screen.

    Bottom line: If you're using FCP and Pro Tools, and don't mind the whole extra 1 lbs., it is TOTALLY worth it to get the 17".
     
  15. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #15
    What are you...an Oompa Loompa?
     
  16. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    Jan 10, 2007
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    bleep
    #16
    What do you get when you're laptop's too big?

    Slumped from the weight like an overgrown twig.

    Hauling the laptop is harder each day.

    Lugging and lugging all...day.....long.

    .....think I'm gonna pass out.

    Oompa Loopma doompity doo... I've got another riddle for you.
     
  17. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    Washington, DC
    #17
    THAT....WAS....BRILLIANT!!!!!!!

    However, it's 1 lbs. weight difference...shouldn't make a bit of difference. It's all personal preference anyway.
     
  18. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #18
    I got a sweet deal on my 17" PB, saved about $800 on it, brand new, still in box.

    Anyway, I love this machine, but after spending a year and a half with it, I'd say that the 17-inch is kinda lacking portability. It's 1 inch thin, as the MBP is, but man this thing is an unweildly beast. I don't know about your school, but my university's seating arrangement in most lecture halls is such that I can't keep this thing in my lap comfortably because of how narrow the seats are.

    I'd say get a 15" and buy an external monitor with the money you've saved. How often will you use Final Cut when you're on the road anyway?
     
  19. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #19
    haha. Thanks. Though I meant it in the most lighthearted manner. I have serious back problems from a crash in Afghanistan. I've been using my 12" Powerbook to take notes in class. I leave my books at home. So, I, like the OP am seriously sensitive to weight issues. Just wanted to throw that disclaimer out there.

    I love my Powerbook. Wish Apple would produce a new 12" MBP. I wish Apple would do a lot of things, but I'm tired of hoping.
     
  20. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #20
    i would definetly go for the 15 and a moniter. 17" will be a pain lugging around campus.
     
  21. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #21
    The desks at my college are always really tiny and close together, so if you have a 17'' you're going to have absolutely no room to move or anything. My 12'' is the perfect size for typing notes in class and **** and it fits on all the desks perfectly. And when I have it in my backpack, I can't even tell if it's in there.

    On the other hand, the 15'' dell is a tank (it's definitely thicker than the MBP) and it barely fits in the backpack (which is supposed to fit a 15.4'' laptop). I know the MBP is a little bit smaller, so it shouldn't be too bad.
     
  22. chadi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Canada eh?
    #22

    You sir are great. ahahahhahaha.


    Anyway, I have the 17" 2.33 / 2GB blah blah. and the mac-case.com leather carrying case for meetings and the Targus 17" backpack for overnight trips / anywhere that I don't want to risk getting the leather case dirty/damaged etc; :)

    The 17" Backpack I got bak when 15.4" bags didn't exist and my PC laptop needed a case, 17" was the only option. The Mac-Case I just got recently (with the sleeve and ipod case) which is great.

    In all honesty unless you have some sort of disability all the pro's far outweigh the cons for the bigger unit. The one big thing is the money, mine cost over $3000 canadian, that's a big chunk of change. Otherwise there is no reason not to get it IMHO.

    Then again...I'm not an oompa loompa :D
     
  23. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #23
    Well, if you get the 17" you can certainly use it as a weapon in a fight. You'll be safe from campus muggers! I would flee at the sight of someone wielding one. :D
     
  24. mrmackie305 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    #24
    Thanks for all the quick replies! I'm still really not settled on a size yet. It's hard to decide because I really don't know how much and where I'll be using it at college.

    I plan on visiting an Apple store to get a feel for the size in person...so hopefully that helps! Thanks again for all your help!
     
  25. nutts macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    #25
    You should definitely visit a store and see them both beside each other. Different people will always have differing opinions and reasons.

    I have the 17" matte, which I bought purely for the screen estate. I carry it to and from the office every day (15mins walk), and I do find it quite heavy some days. However, when I bought it I was conscious that there was only 0.5kg in it between the 15", and in all honesty that slight weight saving would not make it much lighter considering the stuff I carry in my bag anyway (DS, phone, ipod, charger, mouse etc).

    The real difference though is the screen. Man I *so* love the fact I have a 1680x1050 resolution anywhere. It makes work (coding/admin) a pleasure, and when work is finished I can fire up Aperture full-screen to edit/sort my photos without having to move things around. I love it! And I'd never want a smaller screen for my work and main home machine.

    But I would sure love a 13" ultraportable for travelling on holiday with...
     

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