Currently I own an iMac (C2D first generation Alu) and a MacBook of the C2D generation. Since three years I study at university and now I need the laptop more and more. When I'm at home I find myself more and more often in the possition that I don't have the right files with me on my MacBook. Not the right files means that I can't continue with the excersises (I'm studying to become an Accountant so up-to-date information is vital). To eliminate this problem once and for all I'm thinking of buying a new laptop. I like the realestate the 24" iMac offers me and also the speed of the machine (C2D 2.4 / 7200rpm hdd and 3gb mem) and I don't like the snappyness of the MacBook much (C2D 2.13 / 5400rpm hdd and 2gb ram). I chose the MacBook Pro mainly because it has more speed under the hood and also because it just looks better (I loved my PowerBook G4 ). Since I use excel much in wide Excelmaps (Profit-and-loss-accounts & balance-sheets) I want to have a large screen but with a high dotpitch (eyes aren't that great ). So I end up at the 17" MBP standard configuration which is, I think, suitable for my needs and wishes. Until today I have always worked on a 24" display for the excel maps and stuff. These all had a 1920 * 1200 resolution starting with the 23 ACD in G4-Style I had first with my PowerMac G5, now the iMac 24" which features the same resolution. The MBP is good for college and workgroups to work with large excel sheets, my point of doubt is whether a 17" at 1680 * 1050 is always fun and relaxing too look at. This is why I'm posting this thread. Do you think an external monitor (23 or 30) is necessary for me to buy also for working at home? I like the realestate on the 24" iMac but more equals better (people do are spoiled aren't they ). At home I will place the MBP on an Griffin Elevator and plugin a fullsize keyboard and normal mouse (Logitech MX400) I will get the entire setup with an ADC Student membership featuring the 20% discount once-in-a-lifetime. Summary Is it wise to purchase a 17" mbp standard for my needs? Is it wise to purchase an external monitor (23 or 30")? I would apologise for some bad English, I live in Holland and don't post on English-spoken boards much.