15" vs 17" Powerbook

budugu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2004
433
0
Boston, MA
I am thinking of getting a notebook with larger screen size than my 12" powerbook. Now that there is hardly any difference (edu pricing) between a highend 15" and 17" i was wondering which would be better? I want to upgrade arround march-june.
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
go and try them out. there's no substitute experience for accounting for differences in personal taste/preference.
 

wnameth

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2004
1,331
0
Canada
Personally, i would go with the 15", once you get into the 17" screen size, it is hugely wide.
 

wide

macrumors 6502a
May 17, 2004
746
0
NYC
It's your decision, but I would go for the 15" for a variety of reasons:

1) 15" looks better (better proportions)
2) 15" has the same performance, maybe even better video performance because of the smaller screen/less pixels
3) 15" is cheaper (but, as you said, only marginally)
4) there are less cases of screen warping with the 15" and less latches to have problems with
5) 15" is lighter
6) 15" has better battery life (I think.....?)
7) 15" is not unusually sized....in my opinion, the 17" is just too damn big to use as a portable

Another thing to consider is keeping your 12" inch PowerBook until the next generation PowerBooks come out, which is probably between June (WWDC) and September (Apple Expo Paris). Who knows what will happen....I hope they get rid of the 12" PowerBook and replace it with a 13.3" inch widescreen :D
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
There are rumors of a 1920x1200 upgrade to the 17", which, if true, would make it well worth buying - and it could be out in your time frame. As it stands now, though, the additional size is worth it if and only if you need the pixels (assuming you don't need optical in/out, and few notebook users do). But, for $200 or less, depending on your discount or lack thereof, you gain over 20% more screen space. For me, it'd be worth it. For you, perhaps not.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
wide said:
6) 15" has better battery life (I think.....?)
I think the bigger battery in the 17" keeps battery life about the same. The 12" (iBook over PB as well) rules all when it comes to life, though.
 

evilernie

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2005
306
0
Same decision

I had to make the same decision. I thought for sure that the 17" was right for me and I had the money so hey, it's a no brainer right? Bigger is better?

I decided to go to the Apple store nearby (which was PACKED) to compare the two. And you know what, I went with the 15". The 17" was just a little too big for me. The 15" seemed just right for portability. However, I also bought a Dell 2005FPW monitor to go with it! :D

The moral of the story? Check them out in person if at all possible.
 

heaven

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
553
2
evilernie said:
I had to make the same decision. I thought for sure that the 17" was right for me and I had the money so hey, it's a no brainer right? Bigger is better?

I decided to go to the Apple store nearby (which was PACKED) to compare the two. And you know what, I went with the 15". The 17" was just a little too big for me. The 15" seemed just right for portability. However, I also bought a Dell 2005FPW monitor to go with it! :D

The moral of the story? Check them out in person if at all possible.
Same here. I fell in love with the 17" as I saw it... Love at first sight
 

budugu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2004
433
0
Boston, MA
Thanks for your advice. I guess i have enough time before making that decision. I am planning to wait till WWDC and then dive in! Even though i love the 17" some how i feel that it might be a bit too large to run arround! Nevertheless it creates another opportunity to go to the apple store !
 

heaven

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
553
2
budugu said:
Thanks for your advice. I guess i have enough time before making that decision. I am planning to wait till WWDC and then dive in! Even though i love the 17" some how i feel that it might be a bit too large to run arround! Nevertheless it creates another opportunity to go to the apple store !
Maybe it is. But after a while you get used to it. I carry my PB every day to class. Trust me, everyone is so amazed when they see the 17" :D They love it!


Cheers
 

Omad0n

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2002
215
0
Seattle, WA
I was in the same predicment as well, and just got a new 17incher and LOVE it :) . Really icouldn't be happier. I went to the aple store to try and get it all figured out, but was having a very hard time. In the end I went with the 17er because the digital out is a godsend to a musician, as well as having more screen realestate. I didn't know how much love I'd have for being able to see more, until I got the computer home and was able to just do my normal routine. It just feels so much nicer on this 17er after having a 15inch flat apple lcd for so long. AS for carrying it around, well i'll be taking it to school and work, and I don't think 17inches is too large, especially if you find the right bag to travel with. I think if you could get your hands on a friends, even an older model, so you could try it out for a day with your usual activities, you'd have a much better idea of waht you want, cause then you could try lugging thte "beast" around. One last side note, true some say that the proportions look a little funny on the bigger screen, but when i look at it, all I see is beauty. I think you're making a wonderful choice in an aplloe laptop, and its great that your biggest problem right now with them is 15 inches vs 17. If you have any more questions freel free to ask.
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,245
38
heaven said:
Maybe it is. But after a while you get used to it. I carry my PB every day to class. Trust me, everyone is so amazed when they see the 17" :D They love it!


Cheers
What kind of case are you using?
 

heaven

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
553
2
dferrara said:
What kind of case are you using?
I use a Tucano second skin sleeve to protect my baby and carry it in a normal bag or in my hands.

 

zwida

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2001
587
0
NYC
If you're really looking for a true laptop, I'd get the 15. While the 17" is stunning and will turn heads and all that, it's a wee bit heavy for my tastes and has an awfully short battery life in real-world situations.

Now, if it is going to live primarilly in your home or office and just needs to get carried around occasionally, the 17" will rock your socks off.
 

AdamZ

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2004
140
0
Same situation

I am also stuggling with this. The extra price is marginal, and I don't think the 17in is that much bigger, see below. I am looking to replace my iMac g4 and would use this for everything from couch computing, professional work, and I really like its size for client presentations. I only plan on traveling with it a few times a week. Depends on what your portable needs are. One thing you can do is cut out pieces of chipboard that are the same measurements as the two Powerbooks and sit, walk, whatever to see how the size works for you. Fpr me, the 17in is perfect fit on my lap.
 

heaven

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
553
2
zwida said:
... and has an awfully short battery life in real-world situations.
Sry, don't agree on this point. I have 4 - 5 hours battery life with normal usage - just as the 15" one.

Here is what Apple says:
# 50-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 5 hours of battery life (12-inch models)
# 50-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life (15-inch models)
# 58-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life (17-inch model)
 

Logik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2004
616
0
heaven said:
Sry, don't agree on this point. I have 4 - 5 hours battery life with normal usage - just as the 15" one.

Here is what Apple says:
# 50-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 5 hours of battery life (12-inch models)
# 50-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life (15-inch models)
# 58-watt-hour lithium-ion battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life (17-inch model)
well that's impressive as my 15" with BT off, brightness down to the last notch, and wifi on only gets me 3 hours and 45 minutes.

it isn't "new" but when i first got it it got 3 hours and 20 minutes... the latest video update that was in 10.3.7 increased the battery life quit ea bit as you can see
 

Platform

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2004
2,881
0
I would go for the 17" have used it a bit and it is SO sweet with all that screen space and everything like the high enfd gpu is standard (less time for shipment)
 

Vanilla

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2002
589
0
Atlanta, GA
Well I love my 17" and its served my needs well up to now. However a laptop it is not! You can of course place it on your lap and play away but it is pretty unwieldy doing so.

If you intend to use at a desk at home and move it to a desk at your office/college etc. then its fine and is a great, great desktop replacement. However IMO if you intend to carry it around more frequently, want to work with it on your lap etc. then I think its just that bit too big and heavy.

Having switched to Mac and used the 17", although I've absolutely adored the screen real estate I've become very conscious of its size for those moments when I just want to surf at home on the couch, or want to play on a plane, access emails from bed etc. and so - particularly as I now have a permanent home base rather than moving around hotels - I have decided to move to a combination of 15" PowerBook and 20" iMac desktop.

Of course some would argue that I should go for the 12" but I just love the widescreen format too much to make that leap.

So after that ramble I'm just reiterating the point that its the level of portability you want that will determine your choice. Whatever you decide they're all fantastic machines.

Vanilla
 

Roz

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2005
21
0
wide said:
5) 15" is lighter
Anyone who thinks the 17" is too heavy needs to hit up the gym! Come on people! It's only 7 lbs. versus the 5.5 lb. 15"!

Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest :D
 

Vanilla

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2002
589
0
Atlanta, GA
Roz said:
Anyone who thinks the 17" is too heavy needs to hit up the gym! Come on people! It's only 7 lbs. versus the 5.5 lb. 15"!

Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest :D
It's a fair point, if that was only what you were carrying. Add books, documentation, lunch, powerbrick etc. etc. and it can get a little tiring.

If you are only going to/from home travelling by car (or in my case Tube) then its not so bad, I do it myself every day. However if you are travelling around a lot or - as sometimes happens to me - you need to carry a full briefcase of stuff as well as your laptop, then the extra weight is a factor.

Vanilla
 

SurfAddict

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2005
89
0
Was in the same situation

Well I ordered mine on the day of the revisions and I got it last monday. I was so sold that when the next rev cam around I was gonna by a 15" (originally I thought I wanted a 12") so when the time came around to hit the checkout button on the apple store website I just couldnt do it with the 15" SD model with 100GB hdd only 150 less on edu discount. So I am typing this at work right now on my new 17" and to be honest its usually on a table or desk but I carry it around quite often and actually have plenty of lap usage and its not that big. And btw for all you complaining about the weight I take it to school in my bag with my books and it is not that heavy 6.9 pounds extra is nothing. BTW I am a football plyr so I could have a bit of a extrapolated opinion on this one regarding weight.
 

Omad0n

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2002
215
0
Seattle, WA
piping in one last bit to this thread, for future readers. I too love my new 17 inch, and I have no problem surfing with it on the web or anything. The weight isn't a big issue to me. Just some last thoguhts
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,245
38
Hmm some more last thoughts... :)

When I bought my 15" a MR member suggested to either go 12" or 17"... I thought well, midway is always good. Right?

Well in this case, not really. The differences in portability between 15" and 17" is not really a factor. The screen size, however, is.

So I would choose your end of the extremes. I am sure there is a place for the 15", but I am currently disenchanted by it in every respect.
 

Vanilla

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2002
589
0
Atlanta, GA
dferrara: As someone who is actively considering switching from a 17" to a 15" PowerBook and 20" iMac combination I'm naturally intrigued by your comment on the 15" PowerBook.

To say that your are "currently disenchanted by it in every respect" is pretty strong and I'd be grateful if you could elaborate a little more. What has caused such a negative reaction?

Kind regards
Vanilla