17" PB or 15" PB. I can't decide! (its also my first purchase!)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by derekmcwilliams, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. derekmcwilliams macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2004
    In the UK
    To say that Im a decided person is about right. I trawl and trawl and trawl to find info on stuff before making a decision about buying something.

    Usually decision making is easy. EXCEPT NOW.

    Im looking at the 15" PB and the 17"PB. IM not too fussed about the soon to come G5 or Tiger. - these laptops are refined creatures as they are currently.

    Now I used to be someone that went for shiny pretty things. Its a good thing that I still am.

    Im flogging my PC cos Im going to be moving house and moving around a lot. IM looking for a replacement Mac laptop. I dont like using external monitors (I dont know why!) so screen size is important.

    My main criteria is:
    * Portability
    * Battery Life
    * Useable Screen Size
    * OS Stability

    Thats about all really. Im looking to you guys to provide me with the pros and cons of going either way. Youre advise is greatly recieved!

  2. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    I think you already gave the answer as Portability is higher rated ten Useable Screen Size. Go for the 15", much much more portable. The 17" is not really portable, but you can easy carry it around in your house.

  3. Koree macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2004

    Since you mentioned portability, hands down the 15 inch, Still plenty of screen space to work with, both are equal on computing power, and OS stabability, is well, the same on both of em. And don't worry about OS stabability on a mac :) And according to apple, both have about the same battery life.
  4. derekmcwilliams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2004
    In the UK
    Im slowly being convinced that perhaps the 15" is the way.

    One question though, does the 17" really buy me extra that much more real estate?

    Out of experience, how much extra battery does the 17" guzzle?
  5. mrviga macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004
    I got the 17", and I couldn't be happier. Just the oohs and aahhhs from my friends when they open it up for the first time and see the gigantic screen...priceless. Battery life is respectable at about 3 hrs 45 mins. Not bad at all. Also, portability with the 17" is not that bad. I don' see how about 1 pound and 2 inches diagonally will make or break the portability of this machine. I take mine everywhere, even to class, and I have no problems. I have a Ogio Metro bag, and the computer fits like a glove, and the backpack design saves you shoulder. When I was getting mine, with the edu. discount, I also noticed that the 17" was only about $100 more, so I figured it would be worth it for the extra screen real estate.

    Either way you go, both are amazing machines, and you won't be disappointed. :)
  6. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    I would get the 15, I have had both and the 15 is the way to go. It is the best of both worlds. IMHO.
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    My first Mac was the 17" PB. The screen is amazing!! I found it portable enough to carry around with me every day - but others may disagree. If you want it to be *really* portable - go for the 15". If you want more screen - the 17" is a knockout (and it helps convert those sitting around you!)
  8. reaper macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2004
    19th Hole
    For what it's worth, I'm going to school in the fall and I have decided on the 17".

    I look at it this way. It's only slightly larger, and while it makes a difference in certain bags, if you get one that is going to fit the 17" it won't really matter that much and it will be just as portable (unless the extra pound is too much, which for some people it is).

    Also, I'm the type of person who likes to have the best of everything. I know that if I got the 15" I would always regret not getting the larger screen.

    Oh yeah, I'm also about 6'6" so it's the right proportion for me! :D (always worth considering!)

    - reaper
  9. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I bought a PB 17" 1.33 BTO - ordered in the end of November - received on Dec 17th. There has not been one day I have not used the laptop. Nearly every day I am on the road with it - bringing it to/from work, WiFi bars and coffeeshops, etc. I have used it on planes, trains and yes, automobiles - wholly portable. I purchased the kensington auto/air adapter and have even used the laptop to edit video during a 12 hour road trip. It's physical dimensions are not that much bigger than the 15" and after a few weeks of using it you'll find that the weight and size are not an issue. I even find the 17" sits better on my lap than the 15" when I'm lounging on the couch, on a train or in bed - the wider footprint fits perfectly.

    I find the 17" to be the best screen size out of the bunch and WOW do DVDs look great on it! My biz. parter bought the 15" and after using each other's machines for a few days he regrets not getting the 17. For me, after using the 17" every day I couldn't go to a 15" - it feels waaayyy too small - esp. for graphics/video apps. where there are a ton of palletes cluttering up the screen. I occasionally use a dual monitor setup when in the office but 8 times out of 10 will just use the PB's screen - love it.

    As far as battery life goes - well, the 17" sucks up the juice faster than the 15". I bought a second battery for times that I know I won't be around an outlet to recharge. Not a big deal to me at all.
  10. HardHatMac9 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2004
    Go with the 15"

    I debated this issue for about a month. After two weeks on the 15" I couldn't be happier. It is a great balance, unless you are doing video/music editing, I think you will be satisfied with the 15"
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Hopefully, you have the chance to go play with both of them in a store. Hands-on experience is better than reading anything.

    The 17" gives you more screen real estate. That's really its sole advantage. If the extra pixels are worth $300+ to you, then you'll be happy.

    My brother had a 17" for work. He travels extensively. He ended up switching to the 15". Yeah, it's only a pound and a few inches different, but, lugging it everywhere, that adds up.

    Bottom line: you'll be happy with either. Base your decision on the $300 cost of the added screen real estate (might easily be worth it to you) and the portability - the 17" is just plan more effort - albeit marginally more in many cases - to lug around than the 15". But it looks more impressive.
  12. wiregen macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2004
    I was in your shoes about 2 weeks ago.
    I couldnt decide with a 17" 128MB 5400RPM HD or the 15" variant with a single 512" MB stick.

    on a 15" the stick YOU would have to pay 80$ extra for...but with all the calculations its about 160$ difference with the 17" and the 15"

    I chose the 17" , im telling you right now, screw the hype it kicks ass! Then again I do use my laptop for DJing and music production so the screenspace helps a lot. As for battery life I can verify that I can about 3:40 hours running half brightness and BT off wifi on.

    I use the booq powersleeve17 it helps me carry everything around. If I go to class and carry books, I just use my targus backpack to carry my powerbook.

    your choice..just depends on ur needs....the 15" resolution is weird, you can only fit like a page and a half on the screen, the 14" you can fit about 2 pages side by side...well thats my input
  13. Calvinatir macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2003
  14. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    I was in the same situation until today when I finally orderd the 17 inch Powerbook from apple.com. I cant wait, since this is my first Mac and I wanted one since I saw my friends Tibook.
    I'm starting College in the fall and consider myself a power user. I spent a lot of hours in front of my PC, doing photoshop and other stuff. So for Photoshop 17 inches are great, especially since its so much nicer to work on a full two page spread. I dont mind carrying around the extra 1 pound and 1 and a half inches or whatever it is. For me the extra size and weight is not a big deal. I caddy in the summer and am used to having some weight on my shoulders.

    Either way, you cant really make a Mistake, although I think if you have to chose, the choice is really between the 17 inch and the 12 inch.... Power vs Portability...
  15. gdl96 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2004
    new jersey
    Well I've been trying to decide between the 12" and 15", and after reading this thread, I think bigger is better. I don't plan on getting an extra moniter to go with the 12", so I think it might drive me crazy looking at the small screen all day. 15" it is.
  16. BackInTheSaddle macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2002
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    17" or 15", You'll Love Either One

    I've owned all flavors of PowerBook and I think they are all great machines. No matter which one you choose, 15" or 17", I think you will be happy.

    If portability is really REALLY important to you, I'd go with the 12" though. I have a 12" 1.33 GHz PB and it's amazing how handy and easy it is to travel with. It is the only PowerBook that is a pleasure to use on flights. The 17 is really unusable on an airplane IMHO. The only negative of the current 12 is that it seems to get a lot hotter than my other PBs.

    The 17" screen can't be beat though so if you need a big screen that is the way to go. Other than that though, I think the 17 is a bit unwieldy so unless you use it primarily in one location, you're gonna get tired of lugging it around.

    15" strikes a good balance between screen size and portability, and it will save you a few bucks which you can put into an AppleCare plan or the uplevel 15 instead of the base. Go with the 15 unless you absolutely have to have the biggest, baddest screen.
  17. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    Like many others who have already posted in here - I too ummed and ahhed forever about switching...
    and then for just as long over whether to buy the 15" or the 17".
    A mate of mine bought the 15" a week or so before I ended up bying mine...

    I went for the 17". For many of the same reasons above...
    and I am very very very very happy with it!
    Glad I didn't get the 15", and when I was over at my mates house the other night - and was looking at his machine, and using it a bit - I was very happy to get back on my 17"!

    I think both are great machines...
    But I was keen - if I was switching to get the best powerbook for me.
    I figured the larger screen - was a big plus me!

    I've carried it around a few times since I bought it (see my signature), in either my backpack, or old laptop case (inside a stm sleeve of course!) and had no problems.

    The weight difference to me - when I picked up both in the shop - wasn't a big issue... If you wanted PURELY portability then the 12" is very cool... but for me - when I switched I knew - I'd be quickly NOT using my old laptop or PC anymore - and I was right.
    at work - I have no choice - but at home - I had to jump back on the PC the other night - and YUCK!

    I've become a Mac snob very quickly! and proud of the fact...
    so whether its at home - on the desk, on my lap, on the couch, or on the table - i'm much happier I have the larger screen...
    even portability - every time I have wanted to use it - it either ends up on a table / desk / surface (including my bed and couch so far) or on my lap.... and I really appreciate the extra screen space - so I can have iChat, MSN Messenger, and a heap od other bits and pieces spread around the place.
  18. TestMe.dk macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2004
    Copenhagen DK
    15" inch

    I'm properbly not the right to give advice, hence I've only just changed to mac myself. I'm now the proud owner of a PB, 1.5, 15" with all the upgrades graphiccard ect..

    I'm mainly gonna use it for photoshop and writing articles, and I'm going to be on the road often as well.
    I thought about getting the 17" as well but after playing around with it at the store decided to go with the 15" anyhow.
    If it would have been a windows machine, I would have said go with the biggest screen, because of the operating system which doesn't work anywhere near as good as OS X, as to giving best usage of your desktop screen (work invirement) - keep in mind that I've just changed from Windows, and have been using PC's since they came out.

    I only had this Powerbook for two days now, and so far this is more than enough screen space, for doing photoshop apps and so on.. Obviesly like everything else, you'll ask for more once you've gotten use to it.

    Hope this could help you in your decision making..

    and please excuse any misspelling on my behalf, English is not my first language..

    By the way, SuperGlad to finally be a mac owner!! Now the future suddenly looks bright and happy! :D

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