15" vs 17" Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by axu539, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #1
    Since I canceled my order the other day to make a change, I've been thinking about whether or not a 15" will really suit me well. For the record, I had ordered a 15" 2.2 GHz with the hi-res antiglare display.

    I went into the Apple store yesterday and played around with the 17". I was pretty amazed at how much of a difference the larger screen makes. It's absolutely beautiful.

    I am now wondering about a couple things that will help me make my decision.

    My two options are:
    15" 2.2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Hi-Res Antiglare
    OR
    17" 2.2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Antiglare

    (I'm buying the Apple SSD because upgrading at $90 isn't a bad deal, and I like the Apple support it comes with; I have lots and lots of external storage, so it really isn't an issue. I might even pop my old 1 TB WD Scorpio Blue back in if one day I decide I want that much internal storage again, and shift the SSD into my old Optibay.)

    Is the 17" noticeable less mobile? I already have an 11" MacBook Air to carry around on a day-to-day basis, so by "mobile" I really only want to be able to carry it in my backpack from point A to point B (both places with tables/desks), without feeling a significantly larger amount of weight in there. Also, is fitting the 17" in most backpacks an issue?

    To answer a major question in advance, I plan on using the machine as my main computer, in my room. It will routinely be used to run Handbrake encodes, and other forms of HD video processing. I watch A LOT of movies, but don't actually do any video editing (though I might pick that up this summer).

    Another thing I'm wondering about is if the 17" runs cooler or warmer than the 15". I realize both have the same processors and GPUs, but I was wondering if the larger form factor allows for better heat dissipation in general.

    So, is the much much nicer screen real estate worth the sacrifice in portability and the ~$300 price hike? Thanks for any opinions you guys have!
     
  2. nowstime macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #2
    I'm in the same boat as you...can't decide between the highend 15 or 17 both AG.

    If you have a MBA 11...go with the 17. Of course it's less portable but you will go point A from point B in a Car right? If you have a car portability means Home --> Car --> Place you have go --> Car --> Home...so you will be carrying it around for less than 20 minutes a day...15 inch is pretty heavy anyway...

    If you get the 15 inch, every time you look at it, you will miss the 17 screen...which is awesome. But if you get the 17, once in a while you will say "man~ it's heavy...but once you sit down and do your thing, you will love the screen"...

    The pain goes away when you have the 17 in front of you...just need a larger bag...
     
  3. ssmed, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011

    ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    The 15 is difficult enough to use on public transport. The 17 would be impossible to use on a plane unless you were in 1st class as well as being difficult in some lecture theatres and work spaces. However if you don't mind the weight and have the room, from what you have said I would go for the 17.

    I notice from your profile that you have an air. I would wait for a new iMac if I was you.
     
  4. diannao macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #4
    The selection of computer backpacks/sleeves is much more limited for a 17" but you can probably find something you like.

    Perhaps people with more SSD experience can comment, but for this would one want more memory and an external/optibay HDD?

    I think it will be, having envied my colleagues with the 17" MBP while I make due with the 15". You have an Air for tight spaces.
     
  5. auero macrumors 65816

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #5
  6. iPhone1 macrumors 65816

    iPhone1

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    I went through this same debate when I bought my MBP last year. Ended up getting the 15" HR AG and have no regrets. Looking back the 17" would have been too big for travel. The resolution on the 15" is perfect for me.

    If you don't expect to lug your laptop around airports, ferries or other travel modes then go for the 17".

    But if you don't need all that extra screen real estate, the 15" will not disappoint.
     
  7. macaddict3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #7
    yep i agree with ssmed get a 11.6 inch as a portable and a 17 inch as a base but if u dont want to spend alot, i suggest a 13 inch and a cinema display maybe?
     
  8. Gatorinsd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    #8
    It's only a $200 price increase

    FYI, it's actually only a $200 price increase. The 17's come with a hi-res screen, standard, which is a $100 option on the 15's. (No low-res option on the 17).
     
  9. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    The difference is only a couple of inches, the 17" is only slightly bigger than my 13". If you need the screen size go 17", it's not as big and heavy as everyone makes out.
     
  10. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #10
    For traveling, the only thing I need to do is bring the machine home from college (a 4 hour plane ride). On the plane, it won't be coming out as I have my 11" Air.

    I'd love to have an iMac instead, but I can't take that on planes very easily. And a 13" is out of the question, as I already have a portable, and I'd very much like the quad cores.

    After hearing all your opinions, I'm leaning heavily toward the 17". I'll let everybody know my decision after I order!
     
  11. raremage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #11
    Given that you have an Air for mobility usage - on planes, in class, coffe shop, etcetera - I think the 17 would be your best bet.

    I just "downsized" from a 17 to a new hi-res 15 because the 17 is simply too unwieldy for me; if an Air were a viable mobile alternative for me, I'd probably have stuck with the 17" for office use, but I have to bring a powerful laptop with me to clients every day. The 15 works better for that purpose IMHO.
     
  12. iPhone1 macrumors 65816

    iPhone1

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #12
    go for the 17". Now here's another decision to make: 2.2 or 2.3 Ghz quad core?
     
  13. T-bag Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #13
    I was in the same boat as you (almost), though I have a late 13" MB, not a MBA. I ordered the 17" AG SSD yesterday.

    I too found myself in the apple store thinking how much better the screen real estate is on the 17". The dimensions-differences are minor, but still noticeable. I have a normal backpack, and I think it will fit in it. Gonna get a sleeve for it so I can put it different bags. Make paper-model from the dimensions and try it out. ;)

    Having both 13" (11" for you) and a 17" makes more sense to me than 13"+15". If I had ordered the 15", the 13" would've eventually been sold I guess. The 15" size is good if you only want 1 computer.

    Since you have the MBA, get the 17".
     
  14. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #14
    2.2 for sure. The 100 MHz and 2 mb boost is not worth $250 to me. I read that the performance increase is only something like 4%, and that's only for processes that actually max out the CPU. Since nothing I do is actually mission critical, and it's not like I'm using the machine to do any job or make money, I'll be fine having my Handbrake encodes take an hour instead of 57 minutes :).
     
  15. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 31, 2010
    #15
    Sounds like my mindset right now! Thanks for making my decision easier!
     
  16. raremage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #16
    Speaking from experience, it is much harder to find a great bag for the 17 than the 15. Booq makes some nice bags specifically designed to fit the 17.

    Most of my old laptop bags were just ~that much~ too small to fit the 17. It just doesn't quite fit into most bags.
     
  17. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 31, 2010
    #17
    Any recommendations for a messenger bag maybe? How's Timbuk2?
     
  18. dwhynman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #18
    Yes I think I agree with that now too. I did order my 17" with the 2.3 but now that i am waiting for it I feel that was a waste of money. I do think the RAM and SSD were good additions but the minor CPU bump is probably not worth 250.
     
  19. raremage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #19
    I have a Taipan slim case (http://www.booqbags.com/Laptop-Sleeves-MacBook-Sleeves/Taipan-slimcase-lightweight-laptop-bag)

    I know Booq makes messenger bags and the Boa gets great reviews, but I have never owned one.

    I have owned a Timbuk2 messanger in the past and personally find Booq to be higher quality, and the prices are comparable. of course, you can probably find just as many that prefer Timbuk2 over Booq, so I suggest reading up on them and see which feels like a better fit.
     
  20. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 31, 2010
    #20
    Hey hey, don't let me rain on your parade. You've got a fully loaded MBP on its way. Enjoy it! It seems that you have the funds available to buy the machine! If I had disposable funds, I'd definitely spring for the 2.3 GHz, but as this is a machine I've had to save for a while to buy, I need to get the most out of my money. The 2.3 upgrade is only a luxury.
     
  21. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #21
    Ok, thanks! I'll look into it. Making my MBP mobile won't be my first priority, as it'll probably just be tethered to my desk fro the first couple months I own it.

    At this point, I think I'm going to have to visit the Apple store one more time to get a feel for the 17" vs the 15".
     
  22. T-bag Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #22
    I know from other forums posts here that this one is big enough: http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/accessories/bags/PRDOVR~30329/30329.jsp

    I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a huge 17" messenger bag if you're using your MBA on the go. The 17" will go easily into bigger backpacks, duffel bags etc. The jcrew bag i linked to is nice for other purposes than a laptop. Personally I don't like dedicated computer bags. Sleeves are easy to find. And then you don't have to pay extra to have a macbook pro "specialized" bag.
     
  23. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #23
    Go for the 17". That's a beast of a machine! Did anybody else notice that front page GeekBench chart that a stock 2.2GHz 17" can beat the crap out of the upgraded 2.3GHz 15"? :eek:
     
  24. axu539 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #24
    The 17" has better heat dissipation due to its larger size, and therefore it allows for higher and more sustained Turbo speeds.
     

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