17" MacBook Pro > 15" MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NoCleverSNForMe, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. NoCleverSNForMe macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    I'm upgrading from the consumer line of laptops to the professional line for the first time in my Mac life (for six years, since I was 15). I started with the 12" iBook, the 14" iBook, back to the 12", and now the MacBook.

    My friends are also huge Mac fans, but whenever I mention I want the 17", they gave me a disgraced look, as if I've decapitated several puppies.

    "OH, NOCLEVER...WHY ARE YOU GETTING A 17-INCH LAPTOP? ARE YOU COMPENSATING FOR SOMETHING ELSE? MWAHAHAHAHA..." (this one was said to me by an Apple employee when I visited the store, by the way)

    But really, it's only ONE POUND heavier than both the MacBook and 15" MacBook Pro. It's only an inch or so thicker...so what's the big deal? Didn't Apple release a study that having more screen space equals more productivity?

    The reason why I'm posting this is to get some opinions from 17" MacBook Pro owners. Is it REALLY that bad as some of my friends say? Is it really too heavy for you to take with you to work, school, etc.? (Forget battery life---I'll always have an extra battery with me as a backup, I'm talking the size and weight here) Do you really need to hire an assistant to carry it with you? Or is the 17-inch MacBook Pro the underappreciated machine amongst Mac fans in Apple's lineup?

    I mean, whatever it's like---it's certainly better than Dell's 17-inch "King Kong" Inspiron.
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    They are a little unwieldy, that's all.
    If you can cope with lugging it around then go for it.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    I do not have any experience with laptops but you could just stick something that is of the same weight in your bag along with your normal things. Do that for a week and you will have a good appreciation as to how much the laptop weighs and if you can cope with it.
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I dunno - when the 17" PowerBook G4 first came out I thought it was gratuitous...why do you need such a massive laptop? I also thought the 15" PowerBook was too big...

    Then I bought a refurb 15" PowerBook. Now it feels completely normal to me, and is incidentally smaller and sleeker than any PC laptop I've encountered among my co-workers.

    I still think the 17" is a little too big, but maybe if I had one I'd change my mind just like I did with the 15" PowerBook.
  5. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004

    I had my mate's 17" PB for a few weeks and it dwarfed my 15" PB. Weight wise there wasn't really much in it. But I'd be a tad self-concious if I was sat in a cafe with a 17" PB.
  6. johnee macrumors 6502a


    I don't have an apple laptop yet, but i have had two thinkpads, and here's my experience...

    I carry my laptops everywhere. my first was heavier but smaller size. My current one is a bit lighter, but larger (however, only by an inch or so). I tend to like the heavier/smaller one as it was a little more nimble. I found that the lighter/larger one is actually prone to being banged around when walking around furniture, or turning a corner and suddenly doing a funny dance to get out of someone's way as they turn the same corner.

    and as for the study, I haven't seen it, but if apple (or any other business) says something, it's to sell more stuff.
  7. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I have a 17" MBP, and a 17" PB before that. I do not find them heavy, or awkward in the least. They are slim and light and I think the slightly larger size makes them actually balance better in my lap (although I seldom use it that way). For me, the payback is significant. I hate small screens. If Apple offered a 20", I would have that.
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    King Kong... heh. I find my XPS M1710 a more useful transportable desktop than the 17" MBP, but by the same token I find the 17" MBP a more useful machine than the 15"... which is why I decided to make the 17-inchers my sole Macs after my Great Mac Disposal. They balance fairly decent battery life (mainly because of the 'meh' GPU) with the screen size.

    It's certainly a noticeable increase in weight - but since I find the 15" MBP's on the heavy side to begin with for what they are, I don't think it's a huge deal as long as you're not walking miles and miles. For actual portable use I prefer significantly lighter machines which don't exist on the Apple side (even the 12"'s have been very hefty in terms of weight). As you say, the extra screen real estate makes for a notable increase in productivity, especially if you spend the majority of your time mobile with just your notebook and not with an external display. I think the added productivity for heavy mobile use does offset the weight.

    I don't think the weight is the issue: As others have pointed out, I'd have to say the biggest difference is be in terms of unwieldiness. i.e. The 17" is a large-area item and it won't fit on an airline / railway tray. The chances of you accidentally bashing it against something in everyday handling is also bigger than the 15" article.

    My use for a 17" notebook is point-to-point, i.e. getting somewhere (but not using it in transit) and sitting down with it. I would however find it very hard to live with if it was my only notebook which I had to take everywhere.
  9. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I think Apple 17'' laptops are fine, the PowerBook G4 17''(Rev E) was big, but so fine for a 17'' laptop. Big, yes, but you could bring it with you. Personal I'd never want one, but there is a market.

    Then there are PC laptops, that are as big as my iMac G5(minus the stand), I can't see how people could even use them. My friend has one, and its more like a desktop.
  10. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    I love my 17" PB. I don't find it too tough to carry around, but I do wish I had a MacBook (13") for note taking in class, especially in really cramped lecture halls where the seats are just wide enough for me to fit my beast on my lap.
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I had a PB G4 17", now a MBP C2D 17". They aren't really heavy, and the extra wide does make is a better balance on the lap. It's only 1" thick, so carrying it isn't an issue. The larger screen is awesome. I doubt if I'd ever go back to 15". You also get an extra USB port, faster DL drive and 256MB VRAM.

    The only negative I can possibly come up with is would be a lack of proper fitting cases/bags. The Brenthaven was the only one I found with a perfect fit (it's designed for MacBooks), and it's a bit expensive as bags go. But, compared with the price of the MBP, it's worth it.
  12. NoCleverSNForMe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Thank you all for the posts. It gives me clear insight on what I am going to do: I am going to buy a 17" and see how I like it. If I'm unhappy, I'll return it and pay the restocking fee. I know I'll keep thinking, "What if..." if I don't at least TRY it.

    But some of your posts tell me I'm going to be quite pleased with the purchase.
  13. Fuzzy Orange macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Jul 29, 2006
    I love the 17'' MBP. I mean, who doesn't like carrying something around that is reminisent of a cafeteria tray?

    ....Just kidding. (Kinda) ;)

    Anyways, I just got a 15'' MBP yesterday and am loving it. The size is perfect for me. I thought the 17'' looked a bit too unwieldy to take around, and since I have a desktop, don't need the extra space.

    And Sesshi, if you don't mind me asking, why did you get rid of your macs anyways?
  14. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    For the record - i used mine just fine on a Southwest Flight last month. I'm not skinny either :eek: But it fit and i got some work done! LOL, and last August a super skinny "chick" had one and had lots of room on her tray/lap on US Air.

    And I only put the airlines because darned if they don't all keep their planes set up differently. My incase sling bag fit nicely under the seat in front of me too!
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Heh. Now you come to mention it... :D

    If you MUST know, it's here.
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I have also unpacked the 17" MBP (just about fit) and the Dell M1710 (Bent tray? That'll bend right back, honest :D ) on planes but it's a cramped, juggly experience and not something I'd like to do on a regular basis. With my G11, I've even got room for booze and peanuts.

    The question begs to be asked:
    Why are you going to an Apple Store with no pants on?
  17. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    17 inch is amazing, you should see those babies screen space, so much stuff can be open at once everywhere, I wanted to get one but didn't because I needed to haul it to school (a tight classroom) every day
  18. jhero macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2005
    Not near an Apple Store
  19. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    Is the 17" really that much bigger? I mean the 15" is actually 15.4". So the difference is what, 1.6"? Does that really make a big difference?
  20. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    I've seen your posts recently and I have wondered the same thing. Although I don't share your conclusions, I now have a better understanding why you switched back and it provides some needed context to your recent postings.

    That being said, you do seem to take joy in promoting Windows platforms over Mac on a Mac-focused forum and riling the mac-fan base, which seems like a waste of time to me personally; but, to each his own entertainment.
  21. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I still use Macs - in fact, probably more in terms of number than most members here - so there is still a reason for me to hang out here. If I had more spare time I could probably be really annoying as I could actually respond in full to all the FUD. But fortunately for me and you that is unlikely to happen.

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