2011 MacBook Pro - 15" vs. 17"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FNDchairman, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. FNDchairman macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    I am considering purchasing an Apple MacBook Pro for the first time. I have previously always been a loyal PC (mainly Dell) user, but am in the mood to try something different for a change. I had originally ordered an HP Envy 17 3D, but almost immediately regretted it. I was relieved when they told me it was delayed and asked me if I wanted to cancel, which I did.

    I know that the specs for the top end 15" and 17" MBPs are identical this time around, which actually makes my decision harder. I would normally always go for the top end 17", but now I am wondering if the 15 would be better. Other than the display size, are there any other advantages to the 17"? I'm thinking in terms of heat output, speakers, ports, etc.

    I really am torn. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
    To your left or right
    the 17" has a third USB port and an ExpressCard slot. but other than that you are just paying for a bigger screen
  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Depends on how you plan to use it too. The 15" sounds good for you. Not many people go for the 17" unless they know they NEED the extra 2 inches.
  4. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    Describing your daily usage and what you do with your laptop computer will greatly improve the accuracy of your replies :)
  5. edifyingGerbil, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

    edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    in benchmarks the 17" runs slightly faster than the 15" (both 2.2GHz, i believe it's on the anandtech review); it was theorised that perhaps this was due to greater heat dissipation in the larger chassis of the 17" which does, indeed, run slightly cooler.

    of course, another explanation is that perhaps the 15" had more thermal paste than the 17" and so that caused atypical results.
  6. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    This is true. However the heat dissipation is such a small difference in terms of performance, i couldn't notice it at all in my 15" and 17" (15" is mums :D).

    If you have the choice, and don't carry your laptop around for 3 hours a day.. then definitely go for the 17", you won't regret it ;)
  7. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    I just bought a FULLY upgraded 15" MBP.. it's awesome. I do say that if you're worried about screen size, go for the higher resolution screen on the 15". Then you don't need to worry. It's a huge difference compared to my other MBP with the standard res.
  8. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Anything smaller than a 17" is not a real laptop. I promise you. Go with the 17.

  9. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I second this.
    But i prefer anti-glare. Whatever suits you :)
  10. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    I met a video producer (skiing flicks, extreme sports, that sort of stuff) on the plane once and while he loved the laptop overall, he absolutely hated lugging around the 17" model.

    It's big - really big. I think it may have overlapped the tray table on all four sides and it may have been wider than his seat overall.

    Like others have said, know your usage patterns before buying. If you're traveling a lot, keep this in mind.
  11. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    17" screen is really nice.

    In comparison the 15" feels a lot more cramped for screen real estate.
  12. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    Uhh. Ok. Then what would it be?
  13. darknite38 macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Well, according to him, a laptop that is 17".
  14. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    A compromised laptop.
  15. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    I was a PC guy too and a couple years ago got my first MBP a 15" MBP When I went to buy a new MBP in 2010 I grappled with the same question

    Now I just sold my 17" MBP and guess what I'm getting a new MBP 17" AG

    To me the difference in weight and size between 17 & 15 is negligible while the extra screen space of the 17 is great.

    BTW while I still build my own desktops, no PC based notebook comes close to the nearly perfectly designed MBP. it really is a work of art in form and function. Light durable aesthetically pleasing powerful yet with top in class battery life it doesn't get any better

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