Do you have or have you ever had a 17" portable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JPP, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. JPP macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007
    If so - please tell me your experiences of having one compared to a 15.4" screen. Does that extra 1 inch or of screen estate make a big difference? I'm only interested in the size of the machine and bulk not the internal whizz bangs.

    Some here have said they regret getting a 17" because it's too big and cumbersome. Some have said they have one because of the screen size.

    I'd like to get some great feedback in one place. Looking at the 17" macbook pro I like the screen size a lot but in its entirety it does seem a lot heavier and more cumbersome. It seems to me you couldn't pick it up and move it around with one hand as it's a bit to heavy so needs two hands to be safe. Is it easy to get in and out of sleeves or hardsleeves? Does it really fit on your lap? Is it really a laptop or is more a desktop replacement that goes with you into the bedroom?

    I have a 15.4" macbook pro and I adore it but I have this scratch at the back of my head that I just can't itch about my missing out on a much nicer, bigger screen.

    Should I upgrade? I've only had the 15.4" a month or so so could sell it now and hopefully get a good price. Another quandry is should I just wait til the new ones comes out and then get a 17" but then I might not get as good a price for my current macbook pro as if i were to sell now...

    I don't want to have to upgrade again for at least 3-4 years. And I don't travel much - the portability is mainly around the home and to the coffee shop!

    Any words o' wisdom?

  2. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I got a 17" as a 'free' upgrade from Apple from a 15". It feels like a very mixed blessing. No doubt, having the 17" display is fantastic and a luxury to have on the go. At the same time, the 17" has a very cumbersome footprin and always seems a little awkward to handle to me. As you said, I don't feel comfortable handling it with one hand and, in general, I feel more careful with it because of this. It also weighs more, and although it's not that much more I can still feel it.

    The only reason I'd recommend a 17" at this point is the better quality display compared to its smaller sibling. I couldn't deal with what I consider a very poor quality display in the 15" model.

    I guess it just depends on how mobile you are and whether you'll be lugging it around on the subway and bus, or if you're just going to throw it in the front seat of your car and walk a few hundred feet to your office....
  3. dreamfocused macrumors member


    Jan 14, 2007
    I have a 17" MBP and I love it. Like you, I don't move around much, only in the house, library, coffee shop and have never had a problem with portability. you can easily carry it with one hand with the lid closed (like holding a thin library book) it's not that much heavier and i love the screen real estate. I have a Booq PowerSleeve and it goes in and out with ease. No problems what so ever with the portablilty. It's not that much bigger/heavier compared to your 15.4".

    I'd say wait until a newer model comes out or at least when Leopard comes out. Sure you might not get the most resale value but your current one is still the latest model. If you don't really need to get it right away, i would wait. but that's my opion only.
  4. JPP thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Hi PDE

    Why do you consider the display in the 15" model to be poor? Is it a question of resolution? Backlight? Would be really interested to hear.

    I am worried about the foorprint being that little bit too large. Whilst I won't be moving around geographically I don't have a lot of room in my house - no desk or dedicated area for a computer hence the reason I wanted a laptop- but I do put the macbook pro away each night in a hardsleeve and do move it from room to room a lot...

  5. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    I've had a 15" Titianium and my 17" MBP is not much heavier. I've taken it on planes (economy), cafes, it warms my lap (but not uncomfortably), it's stealthy quiet. It's brighter, the real estate for having mulitple windows is fantastic.
  6. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I agree that the weight is not that much of an issue. To me, the footprint is more of an issue. It's just a bit awkward, never fits where you want it to fit and when you need to move it on the table it's not as easy to just grab it and/or slide over. It isn't that much bigger than the 15" but the 15 is already quite large so, to me, that doesn't say much. It's interesting how when I now look at the 15" they seem small and very portable...

    As for the 15" display, my main gripes are the poor viewing angles, graininess and, to a lesser degree, the uneven backlighting. I just haven't felt satisfied with the 15" displays since the lower resolution 15" powerbook 1.67ghz - they were evenly lit, had good viewing angles and no grainy texture , albeit also not as bright as the current ones. The 17" has better viewing angles and almost no 'grain' compared to the curren 15". However, the backlighting can be quite uneven on them.

    It seems like the ideal laptop would be a combination of the different models Apple offers, but that none of them bring it all together. Just my opinion .
  7. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    Over the last several years I've owned 12", 15" and 17" PowerBooks and have sold off the 12 & 15. Honestly I would never buy anything smaller than a 17" in the future. I'm on the road constantly with my 17" and have never found it to be cumbersome - planes, trains, etc. Love it.
  8. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I agree that once you've been using a 17" macbook pro, it becomes difficult to go back to a smaller display. It's really a trade-off between the luxury of a large display and the inevitable size/weight that goes with that. Having said that, it sounds like for your purposes the 17" would be fine.
  9. capone2 macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2005
    once you go 17 inches

    cant go smaller.

    i have had 2 15's and now my second 17. Its worth the money, and carrying it feels no different to me than the 15's. Its the greateset thing apple has created in the past 5 years.

    Waiting for the 19" its coming. The powerhouse media center gaming notebook..... get ready.
  10. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I was just looking at my girlfriend's macbook and thinking about what it is that really makes them different, besides the hardware/LCD specs. The feel of the macbook is " pick me, use me, throw me around, have fun!" while the feel of the 17" is "Lift me up but don't mess with me, I'm serious, big and stable, work hard and enjoy your work"

    Having both doesn't make sense to me, but I sure like that little macbook! gadget lust is endless...
  11. jordygreen macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2006
    London, UK
    I have a 17" laptop and i feel its just a little too big for portability wise i mean using at the desk is good but for portability its too big and bulky and heavy to be carrying around. You can save money buy the 15" and then buy a bigger external display for at home that is what i will be doing.
  12. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I've had a 17" C2D since this Monday - it replaced an Acer Aspire 1692 15.4" machine. I haven't noticed anything as far as bulkiness, I guess it depends on what you are replacing. Across the board this 17" is 0.9 inches wider, .4 inches thinner, .8 inches shorter.

    I think that a lot of you guys are spoilt by Apple - this 17 inch is almost smaller than my old 15.4 clunky PC laptop. A 17 may seem big compared with a 15.4 inch Mac.

    Go to Best Buy and check out the Macs next to PC portables.

    This 17" is a sexy as anything!
  13. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Of course it's much nicer - and much smaller - than the 17" PC laptops! But that doesn't make it small! I don't think it's bulky, but I do think it has a huge footprint. The thinness, coupled with relative light weight is what makes it possible to have as a portable. The PC laptops with 17" displays that I've seen would not work well as portables.
  14. SPinc33 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2005
    I'm calling shenannigans. I've got a 12 inch Powerbook that I can barely use in economy. My hands are always uncomfortable and I can't even tilt the screen back enough. How do you do it with a 17incher, man...are you a hobbit?
  15. BenHoleton macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006
    My wife has a 17" MBP, and she needs the screen real estate since she is legally blind. I have played with it quite a bit, as i am in charge of adding programs, et al (she isn't terribly techno-handy). I wil admit after using hers from a bit, it's hard to go back to my 12" iBook, or my 15" powerbook. And the 17" isn't that heavy. She takes around school all day and doesn't complain.
  16. eyemacg5 macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2006
    Derbyshire, England
    The alienware one?

    I have a 17" Toshiba Satellite P100-188, its great for on the desk and sits next to the mac lovely but is as heavy as anything in my bag maybe its just me but my brothers 15" Comaq Presario isn't much lighter. I would say it is portable if you get a 17" mbp because of the thinness and I would love one. I say go for it!
  17. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    I just switched from a 17" pc laptop to a 15" mbp and i couldn't be happier. although i thought i would miss the extra screen size i do not feel i am missing it at all (although this may be because they have the same screen resolution the pc laptop is 3 years old now)

    i thought that with the 17" would be fine to carry around and use on a daily basis, however i found that it was not portable the dimensions were too large to manage on a regular basis, not to mention the weight!!! they are not something you can pick up with one hand quickly and easily on a whim (not a major difficulty but harder than a smaller laptop)

    i know a 17" mbp will be smaller and lighter than the one i have but i feel there are 3 options;
    1. if you are going to be using it reguarly and moving it around a lot ie. commuting main laptop for work/home - go for the 15"
    2.if you want a laptop to keep inside the house.etc. or are not going to be transporting it reguarly - go for the 17" if you still need some portability/ the option to move.
    3. if you aren't going to be doing any of these you should probably just get an iMac, save some money.

    i thought a 17" would be fine to carry around, but truthfully it was too cumbersome and inconveinient, i ended up using it as a desktop machine. Think carefully and consider what you will be using it for and don't make the same mistake i did.
  18. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    I have a 17" and I love the huge screen size. I use it on the desk, during lectures, train rides and even in bed. Its great and isn't too big to carry around. The weight isnt that bad since im still a young person.
  19. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    lol classic
  20. jonharris200 macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    London, UK
    Have used both 17" and 15".

    Like others, I don't think the difference in weight is all that great (specs should confirm this). However 17" is definitely harder to transport. I switched downwards to a 15" briefly and hardly noticed the decreased screen estate.

    If I were choosing between the two now, I'd go for 15".

    However, my new 13" black MacBook arrived today (complements my 20" iMac) and I couldn't be happier! Plus, they gave me 2GB RAM (refurb). Top dollar!
  21. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    I had a 17" that I took on the plane all the time. It took up the entire tray but it worked fine for me.

    I really enjoyed the 17" PB that I had, with the 1440x900 resolution. It wasn't that big and once you purchase a decent bag for it (which can be hard to find) it really goes around everywhere just like a 15" laptop would.

    Fortunately, when I upgraded I purchased the 15" MBP, which had the same resolution as the 17" (and far cheaper). I was so used to the resolution so my 15" MBP feels like my old Powerbook. I'd agree if I had the higher-res 17", my 15" would feel small. I don't know how my gf manages on her 12" iBook. I could barely multitask with my old 13" Macbook.

    If I were you I'd buy the 17". There's really nothing quite like it.
  22. craigverse macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2006
    Reno, NV
    I've had two!

    My first 17" portable was a powerbook G4 that was stolen after I had had it for about a year. Now I own a 17" Intel Core (not 2) Duo.

    The extra screenspace is a must have and the size had never really bothered me.

    Quick question though... and maybe I'll find it later in the forums but I've been looking and haven't really had any luck/ Where can I find a compatible draft n solution that will work with my core duo and my new N airport?
  23. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2006
    sorry but to me a 17 inch is more of just a desktop.. but 15 is more portable
  24. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    I carry my computer with me everywhere. There's no way I would even consider buying a 17" model. Come to think of it, I can't imagine carrying anything larger than my Macbook, which is already pushing it in my opinion.
  25. LUNA macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2007
    I never thought of buying a 17 inch. To me, if I want a large screen, then 17" is too small. If I need portability, then 17" makes laptops too big. It is just my personal opinion that laptops should be as small as possible. So you can easily carry it around, and when you sit down, you can hook it up with a large external monitor and enjoy. So, if you are not on the go at most of time, why not just buy a smaller laptop, and save some money for a nice external monitor? I think the price difference between 15" (base model) and 17" allows you to buy a 24" LCD. That way, you are not limited by portability, neither the real estate of screen.

Share This Page