Good screen size/notebook question ....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by entatlrg, Aug 18, 2009.


What screen size would you choose for your main computer, (notebook)?

  1. 17" MacBook Pro

    5 vote(s)
  2. 15" MacBook Pro

    13 vote(s)
  3. 13" MacBook Pro

    9 vote(s)
  4. MacBook Air

    1 vote(s)
  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    What screen size/notebook would you choose for your laptop if -

    1. You were not going to hook it up to an External Monitor.

    2. It was going to be your main computer, (I have a desktop for downloading etc but the notebook will be used 90% of the time)

    3. Price not a factor.

    It would be used on desks, in meetings, couch, cottage, coffee shop, patio and pretty much be with me at all times.

    The work it will be used for isn't too heavy ... email, surfing, light photoshop, writing, project management software...

    (I did search previous threads, in most cases hooking up an external monitor and price is a factor, not in my case)
  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I think a 15" MacBook Pro would be good for your situation.
  3. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    If you hadn't said that you'll be taking it everywhere I would recommend the 17 since it's really the most comfortable to work on as your main computer. But since you'll be carying it and use it all the time without a monitor I recommend the 15''.
  4. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    using my 17'' right now, and I have the 13'' umbp and the mba rev b. I used to have a 9800gx2 gaming rig that used over 12 usb ports lol. The switch to a 17'' 2.8 as my primary and now my only computer is more than satisfactory for me. It is a bit on the large side, but I'm adapting to it and appreciating the superior image quality on the 17'' than compared to the 15'' from denser pixels, including the extra screen real estate. I carry it around with me almost everywhere I go in my incase sleeve and briefcase. It's not that bad. I've yet to decide if I want to switch down to a smaller laptop after I resume schooling and have to stay on campus with my laptop 5-8 hrs at a time. I know after using the 17'', looking at the 15'' screen is claustrophobic and noticeably less clear and precise--a bit murky. Maybe if they upped their 15'' res to 1680x1050 or something...
  5. BoogieTrain macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    When i was looking for a laptop, i found 12 inches to be the perfect size, not so small that i felt like i was using a netbook (full size keyboard, decent res). but it was small enough that i did not mind carrying it around. Hooking up an external monitor is a great option.

    I ended up with a 13.3 macbook, which is what brings me here, and it is a VERY comfortable size. Many consider 13.3 the sweet spot for portable laptops. The screen is very spacious (for a laptop that isnt huge) and the keyboard (esp on the macbook) is excellent!. The little bit of space around the lcd and monitor though, feels like a waste to me. Overall, I would not call a 13.3 laptop small, but it will deffinetly be more portable than 15 or 17 inch laptops.

    12 inches was ideal for me when i was in the market. Perhaps now that I have a 13.3 inch, a 12inch would feel cramped, who knows. Though, the next time im the market for a laptop i'd deffinetly look at 12 inches first.

    If you dont need too much power, you can get some 12inch "netbooks" (meaning they use atom, or similar processors) for like 500 or probabaly less (there is one from HP). Samsung has some really nice ones out.

    But yeah, um id say 12 or 13.3. best way of course is to go to a store and put your hands on different computers.
  6. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    The 17" is a little big for me.

    For my main computer it's down to the 15 or 13" MBP or the Air.

    They each have their advantages, tough decision.
  7. tayshon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2009
    Philly, PA
  8. tekio macrumors regular

    May 31, 2009
    I use a 13" macbook as my main computer, I've never found the screen too small.
  9. rcf-dds macrumors member


    Jul 31, 2009
    Cleveland & Columbus, OH
    if you're big on the portability: 13" - for sure... it's only a few pounds heavier than the macbook air and you can supe it up. you get all the great specs for a better pricetag than MBA

    15" if you got the extra cash to burn and need the extra real estate for photo/video editing etc

    but don't underestimate the 13"!!

    (17" just seems too big and clunky to me, basically a desktop)
  10. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    So you have 3 laptops? What are your other 2 doing while you're using the 17" as your main computer. What kind of bag do you carry it in?
  11. BoogieTrain macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Definitely going from a 17inch screen to a 15 with a lower resolution and pixel density, is gonna look worse, however to call the screen murky? I think that is a bit harsh and that it all relative. If you think the smaller macbook screens are so bad, "normal" desktop monitors must look the same, or even worse.

    1680x1050 is a very high resolution to be on a 15'' screen. Everything would be very small (and as far as I know, OS X has no DPI settings) and also fairly expensive to implement. I am not overly picky about monitor clarity and all (though i did pay a premium for a smaller dot pixel pitch) and i have a 21.6'' samsung at this resolution, and it looks very good. And for that matter, so does my 13.3 White Macbook's screen @ 1280x800.

    Its kind of like going from a 52'' 1080 TV to a 32'' 720. In comparison, the 720 is gonna lack detail and perhaps even sharpness, but it is still very good.
  12. rerelease macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    13" MacBook here and it's all I ever use. Highly portable, fits snugly in my backpack and the screen is large enough to suit all my needs. Perfect.
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...I'd go with a 13" MB from the apple refurb page = everything gets outdated sooner or later...
  14. chan2004 macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2007
    India, currently Zurich,Switzerland
    agree completely with the point

    there won't be much noticable difference between 15 and 13".

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