expressing my dismay


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
Orlando, FL
well, I guess this isnt really a question, its more of a statement. Im going to college next year and I have oodles of money saved up. I want to head into mac because I am sick of windows. I am totally in awe of the 17" powerbook. Everytime I see it, I want it even more. I was discussing this with my dad and he laughed when I said thats what I wanted. He said it was way too big and that I needed something I could take to class because I would end up wanting to. I also like to play some cs but could give it up for the 17" powerbook, and if it wasnt for my dad I probally would have already. I was thinking of maybee getting a dell with a new dell moniter and plugging something like a 12" pb into it, but eventhough that sounds like a good setup and one that would probally suit me better, I just cant let go of the 17" powerbook. Its sooo perfect and so clean. I guess I feel that if I got the 17" pb Id always kick myself saying I should have gone the other way. The 17" just seems so different and so cool. You comments?


macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2003
It is rather large. And the desks at college are rather small. I know there are many folks on these forums who love their 17", but isn't a laptop supposed to be portable? Isn't that the whole point? Just my opinion: I think you'd be better off in the long run with something smaller.


macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2005
As a current uni student in engineering I would say that you likely won't want to use a laptop during class. When the fans turn on they can be quite loud and annoy people even if they're not going full tilt. (Just being on would annoy many people as the profs don't always speak loudly) As for CS, I'd suggest buying an apple because you then won't play CS and will hopefully do more actual study. :)

I'd still recommend to you a 15" however, as it is a bit more manageable than the 17" in terms of bringing it on campus (which you very well may want to do) yet has the same features when you add on a couple of options.

Have a look at the college/uni you're going to be attending too and see if they have a wireless network. I should point out though that even if they don't support Macs you still may be able to connect. (Or maybe not, it depends on their network)


macrumors 6502
May 20, 2004
Depends on your needs. If you really really really really want the 17" PB, I guess go for that. I don't want to talk you out of your decisions.

I would highly recommend a 12" PowerBook though, especially for students, who always have more than just a computer to carry--and books are heavy enough as it is. For mobility, 12" PB is better. For desktop use, 12" PB is pretty much just as good (plug it into any generic monitor). For the wallet, 12" PB is MUCH cheaper. To me, the 17" Books are more of just a status thing.

Your father is somewhat right, the 17" books are big, and relatively heavy. If a few months down the line, you will be debating whether or not to take your laptop to class with you because of its size/weight, what's the point?

Is the 17" PowerBook cool? Yes, very cool.
Is the 17" PowerBook suited to your needs? Probably not.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
I bought a 15" powerbook and use it two days a week for school. It looks alot bigger in person than it does in the pictures (or behind the bars at compusa). Anything more would be way to big to carry around with books, etc.

If I went more than two days a week, I may have gotten the 12" with a seperate monitor. Remember you will have to carry it protected (in a sleeve or case), and a 17" would be huge with all of your books too. Mine is already heavy enough with just it and two books.


macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
17" is indeed too big for college life.

Those things are pricey and you have to think you'll be using it for a few years. That's a mighty big commitment to make now before you even know what your needs really are.

Next year when you get tired of dorm life and move a mile off campus, you gotta lug it with you. It's bulky, takes up alot of bookbag space, you have to worry about someone stealing it, you have to worry about damaging that massive screen, dropping a bookbag, breaking a strap, anything.

The battery life sucks, so you'll ALWAYS have to look for a wall outlet. I mean seriously, you got a 90 minute lecture by the time you're done you rbattery will be wavering at the 30 - 40% mark. That's after one class!

A 12" powerbook, small, portable, and cute. Maybe grab a 20" display for your dorm, bluetooth mouse and keyboard... when you get back just plug her in.

That would be an awesome setup and you would be much happier with it, trust me.

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
Rob, I am an undergrad at the University of Minnesota (huge). I bought a 15" but now I want the 17"! You and I are a lot alike. Go for the 17"... once you experience the resolution and sheer perfection of it you'll never go back, I promise.

Honestly, are you REALLY going to take notes in class? I thought I would too but in my smaller classes it's really pointless, and in the larger ones you can bring something as big as a 17" because there are these huge lecture halls at my school. Besides, it builds your upper body! :D

Don't listen to these old hub-ubs trying to knock some sense into you. They're all cranky because they didn't even have typewriters, hehe. YOU'RE IN COLLEGE! This is the time of your life! The question is are YOU ready for the 17" Powerbook? :D

Rofl. And congrats on switching!


macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2005
Virginia, U.S.A.
Honestly, the decision among the PowerBooks depends on your needs as a student. Art majors at my school, Virginia Tech, are (strangely enough) required to have 17" PowerBooks for the curricula. I am in engineering and that college allows us to choose between any strong enough Windows laptop or a solid 15" PB.

My PB has been performing well and I appreciate the screen space. A friend of mine has a 17" PB and it is wonderful, the screen is spectacular. However, it is less portable and ergonomical for my needs, but suits him well.

The choice certainly depends on your own needs, but don't count out the 17" PB if you're being enticed by it. Try one out sometime and pick it up. Think about how large of a bag you'll need to carry it around in. Consider as many issues as you can think of before buying the 17. Anyone can get by with a 12" PB, and the 15" fits many others as well, but the 17" PB crowd is slightly slimmer in numbers because of the trade-offs.

I suppose that is paralleled by the thicknesses of the PBs, decreasing thicknesses as the screens get larger (the corrolary being less people owning the PBs as the screen size increases).

Anyways... :)


macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
The perfection of the 17"?
I'm not sure what that means.... The 2+ hours of battery life really leaves me wanting more.

I can understand wanting a 17", but it doesn't make any sense in this situation. Why exactly do you need 1440x900 to type notes from lecture?


macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2004
i walked the path of the 12"

i recently graduated-
and had a series of 12" Ibooks
(3 or 4 of them to be exact)

and ended up w/ a 12"PB attached to the 23" screen (apple)

i went 12 b/c of size
i never took notes in class
HOWEVER found myself out on the quad sitting cross legged working on the wireless network and writing up papers...etc
accessing the library, net resources for finding articles from journals...etc and e-mailing the papers to prof's or myself to be printed...etc-

then going to a school computer lab, logging in and downloading my papers before printing them-

in my room, however-
for much of college i had a G3 Tower w/ a 15" monitor
just to goof round on-
however- i found that i used the iBook 10x more in the room than the tower-
and in the end sold the tower to have the desk space for the iBook-
(workin on the couch is fun for a few days- but not months on end!)

as for the 15 vs 17...etc
they are all awesome machines- understand that-

i'd go w/ the 12" and the big dell monitor if i were you-
get a BT keyboard and mouse to go w/ the rig and when you are in the room operate the machine closed book-

then have the freedom of size w/ the 12" to roam the campus w/ it should u need it-
and not worry about it's sheer size

the 12" is SMALLER than an 8.5"x11" piece of paper.
remember this.
the 17" well- it is smaller than your bed.


macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2004
Leipzig, Germany
going with the 12" is just a matter of consistency.

no one is gonna believe you got a 17incher ... being a freshman.

hm...well seriously

I'd go with the Dell 24" and the 12" Pb! Portability AND size. when you need them. where you need them.



macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
Orlando, FL
dont most kids in college use 14" or 15" windows laptops in class? those things look very similar to a 17" size wise im sure because they are so much more massive.

What about when I go home for breaks n long weekends, will the 12" pb get annoying?

p.s. can I use one bt keyboard and mouse to control both the powerbook and a desktop?


macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2004
yellow said:
Buy a 12" PB, a HUGE flat-panel monitor, and a Mac Mini!
Why get a Mini too? If your going to have a desktop and portable, the desktop really ought to be more powerful if you ever expect to use it.

I feel old, and I was in college I saw one undergrad bring a computer to class. The rest of us used pen and paper. We never had to worry about battery life, just whether we were going to run out of ink. That was way back in 2003.

If you plan to carry the computer everywhere, the 17 incher might be a little big and cumbersome. Then again you may be built like a bull moose and will carry a hundred pound pack. If however you will just bring it to the library every now and then, to work without distractions, you should find the 17 incher perfectly manageable.


macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2005
Man I wish I was going to college next year :mad: But I have been there done that 10 years ago :eek: feel old!

Man get the 15 inch. and use the saved money for BEER, your new best friend.

Seriously you will have lots of things to spend the extra money on, Girls, beer, ummmmmmmmmm girls ;)

my .02



macrumors member
Feb 19, 2004
I have the 12" and could never see myself hauling a 17" to class, the 15" is a better choice, but I really love my 12".


Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
Portland, OR
Jsmit said:
Why get a Mini too? If your going to have a desktop and portable, the desktop really ought to be more powerful if you ever expect to use it.
Mainly because I don't know how loaded this cat is. If you can afford a G5 desktop (non-iMac), go for it. I can't. :)


macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
Ha! You just want the 17" PB to stand out in the college crowd. Nothing else. A 15" PB would be the perfect size for school. Hell, even a 12" PB is more than enough, and the 12" battery life would go well for campus life.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
Orlando, FL
well, if I do go with a 12"pb and a desktop then ill probally just get a PC desktop. If I already have a good mac for everyday use, then Ill get something powerful for gaming, like counter strike, and save some extra bling.

Sundance Kid

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2005
So you guys think definetly get the 12 inch? I was thinking a 15inch cause it would be easier to use, and it was the extra stuff on it. !2inch has a better battery life though. I'm going to university in a few months to get a major in history. Wouldn't having that begger screen be nicer for taking notes in class and writing papers? What do you people with 12inchers think about what i said?

If i get the 15inch i probably won't be getting a extra moniter.