Going from 17" MBP to new 15" unibody

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Angelus, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    Hey, i was wondering if i could get some advice about a possible switch to a new 15" unibody MBP.

    My current computer is a 17" hi-res glossy Santa Rosa Macbook Pro 2.4GHZ, 4GB RAM, 160GB 7200rpm.

    Through some strange twist of fate my mum dropped my 6 year old 667 DVI Tibook at home one day and broke it. She initially thought that was that until she decided to give the insurance company a call, explain what happened and see if they could do anything.
    Anyhow, they collected the laptop and took it away to see if it could be repaired. About 2 or 3 days ago they phoned her and said that unfortunately they couldn't get replacement parts to repair it so instead they offered to replace it with a new 15" unibody worth roughly 2000 euro!!!

    Now I'm currently abroad working in New Zealand but i'll be back home in Ireland for a few weeks in March. I really enjoyed using my 17" for the past year and my main uses are amateur photography with a canon 450d, itunes, gaming, stop motion animations etc.
    The hi-res screen is beautiful and has alot of screen real estate which is perfect for photos, movie editing and dvds.
    It is heavy though and i especially notice it when travelling. Also there is the issue of the potential graphics failure. I have a well padded crumpler backpack but its still a significant weight to carry. I remember that my 15" Tibook was lighter and much more portable.

    I really like the look of the new unibody MBP and I especially like the fact that its more durable in construction and easier to upgrade the hard drive. I'd probably stick with a traditional HD for the moment but having the option to literally pop in an SSD in a few years is very appealing.

    The unibody Im looking at more than likely is the 2.53GHZ model with 4GB RAM, 320GB HD 5400 rpm and 512MB graphics card. If possible, and the insurance company will allow it I would like to pay an additional excess to maybe customise that to a 2.8GHZ with 320GB 7200rpm HD.
    I would collect the laptop when i get back home to Ireland and then give my mum my current 17" macbook pro.

    Now my question is this. Does that seem like a step forwards or backwards? The situation is unique in that money is not an issue because either way the broken Tibook is gonna be replaced. Has anyone gone backwards from a hi-res 17" to a 15" mbp and if so was it worth it for the extra portability?
    I realise that its not a major upgrade cos the systems are only a year apart but on the otherhand it will be essentially getting the latest and greatest for free which might come in handy for Snow Leopard.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
  2. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    You should make your decision based on the features and usability alone. The weight of the of the unibody 15" is heavy and on par, if not "feeling" a bit heavier than the 17". I'd say, keep your 17". Make sure you're not just getting caught up in the "latest and greatest" and giving up your 17" just because of that.
  3. MKnight macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
    You won't notice a performance difference since your current 17" is still an amazing system. I would just ditch the current 160GB drive and replace it with a 320GB WD "Scorpio" 72k RPM drive instead.

    You will notice a huge improvement just with the HD upgrade alone.

    If you are really dead set on upgrading, I would wait until mid 09 when we have quad core mobile processors and a refreshed 17" MacBook Pro.
  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Yeah, as cool as the 15" unibody is... your current computer is pretty much worth it. Swap the hard drive, as mentioned above.

    The only nice thing is that if you custom order through Apple, you can get a 2.8GHz 15"... that'll cost you though!
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Well you are loosing a significant amount of pixels, which could be an issue for you or it could not be. You can always buy an external display though.

    Weight wise, they aren't too different (2.5kg's versus 3kg's) and the foot print (the new 15" is slightly bigger than the previous 15" MacBook Pro - almost like a 16").

    It is a good deal, and never-the-less you should go for it. It isn't the end of the world if you don't find it sufficient - you can just take your 17" MacBook Pro back and sell the Unibody MacBook Pro on eBay and use the money to buy your mum a white MacBook and then you'll have a fair bit of cash left over too ;)
  6. Angelus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    Thats a good idea

    Thats a very good point. I dont necessarily need a new laptop but that being said its essentially an offer to have the latest and greatest for free.
    Like you said its all gonna hinge on the screen real estate. When I get back to Ireland I'm gonna know within 3 min of playing with it if the screen will be enough.

    On a side note, my mum already has a white macbook so whichever of the two she gets it'll be a significant upgrade and then my sister can have the white macbook :)

    Thanks for your advice. Its very much appreciated.
  7. catdog02481 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Funny, I jumped on the new 15" unibody MBP with the 2.8Ghz and 128SSD and although it is solid and fast, it does not feel as special as the 17" HiRes Matte 2.4 MBP i am typing on now. In fact the screen quality on the 17" is vasty superior and the ONE thing i really was looking forward to in the new 15" compared to my prev. gen 17" was an LCD hinge that would enable me to use it in bed, lying down but what do you know, Apple managed to mess up the new 15" hinge which has picked up the bad habit of the 17" of not staying up beyond a certain angle.
    If you need something new get a unibody MB and keep your 17"...
  8. MBPDiva macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    on Orion's Belt
    I would stick with the 17" display. No way am I going from 17" to 15". Size really does matter. :p
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I made that move, and I am quite happy with it. The 15" is a lot lighter and I decided it was better to have quality monitor at home to use.
  10. CaffeMacchiato macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2008
    I would have gotten a 17" mbp (unibody) if there was one to get, instead of the 15". Stick with your current 17", wait till Steve Job ..., and a cheap 17" unbiboday mbp!
  11. airattack111 macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    I say get it and decide which one you like better and give the other one to your mom. Or even sale it like one guy said, buy a regular macbook and make close to a grand.

    The 17 inch high res screen is amazing, I kinda wish I waited for a 17 inch unibody. But portability is kind of a problem when I was using a 17 inch, it's not that it's too heavy, it's just to long/wide, I would always bump into things with it. And it's not something you can whip out easily on the go because it's so big. Maybe it's because I'm kinda skinny idk.

    I wish the 15 inch had a 1920x1200 option for like photo editing and stuff. The 1400x900 looks good when browsing the internet and stuff but can get a bit crowded when using photoshop.
  12. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    I was going to say the same thing about having a monitor at home, but instead I'll just second alphaod's post.
  13. infernohellion macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2006
    Going from 17" to the 15" would be a downgrade for me...


    No, it's just that the most important thing about getting my next laptop is that the screen must be 17" or above.
  14. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I agree with others above. Don't buy it if you're not sure about the downgrade in resolution (you'll lose about 43% of your pixels). The 15 MBP screen has way too few pixels for my purpose, with a few windows usually open at the same time. Also, the pixel pitch is rather large for a laptop and it makes font look blotchy. I just bought one because I absolutely had to (old one was falling apart), but would have otherwise waited for Apple to catch up with the competition in terms of high resolution screens on smaller laptops. And if you're super lucky they'll even put a 16 inch monitor in the same frame as the current 15.4 inch laptop, slimming down the enormous bezel a bit in the process.
  15. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    PS: I realized that you're getting a new one from the insurance company anyways. Can you ask them to pay the excess to a unibody 17" MBP when/if these come out on Jan 5?

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