high end 15 inch Vs 17 inch

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pauline251, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. pauline251 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    This is my fist post and i will be purchasing my first macbook pro in the next few days.
    I am undecided between the high end 15 inch or the 17inch. I have already decided not to get the low end 15 inch because i intend on keeping my laptop for at least 3 years and want it to stay current and want it to have some resale value when i do sell it. I know the high end 15 inch is overkill as i dont do any gaming, but like i said maybe it will keep more value. The reason i am thinking of the 17 inch is that the price difference between the high end 15 inch (with SSD128 and high res screen) and the 17 inch is only NZ$200. I mainly use my laptop at home so the weight is not an issue.
    Is there any reason not to get the 17 inch? I currently have an asus 15 inch (dont get me started, 2X failed motherboards):rolleyes:
  2. Terry Norton macrumors member

    Terry Norton

    Mar 3, 2011
    Your situation is exactly like mine, I seldom need it for travel. I also flipped back-n-forth on which to get. I finally decided that for a lousy $200, on such a high dollar purchase, I could have, and enjoy tremendously, the extra screen real estate.

    Heck, just the tax on these machines is around $150, for me, so why fret over $200 for the 17".
  3. Apple Geek macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    hmmm, well i would get a 15" cuz it will come in handy to carry around with
    i think 17" is just too big
    + with that extra money put a high res display on the 15" model
    but after all it depends what u will do with it !
    i want to get a 17" high end one for gaming :p
  4. shreddy macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006
    Yes, the main differentiator is the screen res. I don't use my 17" for gaming at all but for coding/software development. The extra screen space is much appreciated!

    Some folks say the 1920x1200 is too high for the screen size but I'd probably buy a 15" if it had that res! ;) I carry mine around every day in a backpack - there's not really that much difference in size/weight with a 15" once you see one on top of the other.

    Oh, and you get fantastic speakers on the 17" - everyone who hears them is gobsmacked how loud they are. Hmm think I read there's some mini-subwoofer in there somewhere? Really wouldn't surprise me! :p
  5. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    17" all the way, especially as the high res on teh 15" hurts my eyes. Not much difference in price, or weight also the sound is so much better, express and slot, and extra usb. I carry mine around a lot and is my preferred machine for travel. I really enjoy the screen.
  6. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I have always gotten the 15" for the perfect Size/Performance Ratio. But after really looking side by side, the 17" screen is worth any negatives the extra "size" "Might" bring.

    Then Again, I move my computer maybe once a day, from a desk to a desk. So I really dont need portability.
  7. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    If it were me, I would get the base 13" model. If you're even considering a bigger model, go with the 17". It looks amazing whenever I see it in the Apple Store.
  8. pullman macrumors 6502


    Feb 11, 2008
    If you don't move it around, get the biggest screen you can afford.

    If moving around is important then the 15 will be much easier to use (for instance in airplanes).

    On resale value - I think what truly will result in good resale value is, in addition to having taken care of the laptop, applecare.

    On buying a computer so that it 'stays current', well today's Snow Leopard runs very well on 3-year-old computers. Assuming the same development continues - that is that hardware becomes more potent than the OS requires - then you can safely buy the 13" polycarbonate Macbook :)
  9. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I've had both. To me it comes down to one question. Do you want to use it on your lap, ever? If so, the get the 15". The 17" is uncomfortable unless used on a desk. To me the 15" with the hi-res option is the best trade-off. Most of the res of the 17" in a smaller and more portable package. I know some say it's only a couple of inches bigger, but put an open 15" on top of an open 17". The difference is huge.
  10. ZZANG macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2011
    Planet Cybertron
    My vote is for the 15" - just use an external monitor.

    15" has always been the sweet spot for me. I mainly use mine at home, but I do like to take it around with me. But, get what YOU feel is best for yourself.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Tomb01 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    Colleyville, TX

    I am a frequent traveler, but have found that the difference in size is really not that big a deal (for me at least). I rarely, if ever, 'carry' my laptop outside of the bag (have a rolling case), and the weight aspect is not significant. My 17" 2009 is lighter than the 14.1" Lenovo laptop it replaced (2011 model is in the distribution center in Kentucky, awaiting an aircraft). Unless you are carrying the laptop 'naked' a lot (some of my colleagues do just that), the weight/size of a 17" vs a 15" is not really dramatic, especially when you factor in the accompanying things like power supply, cable, bag, etc... The biggest issue, as one of the other posters indicated, was locations where you have limited space, like an airplane. Aside from that drawback, I think the question you have to ask yourself is how you carry it. If you always carry it in a bag, then the extra one pound is hardly noticeable. If you carry it in your hands/arms a lot, then one pound over time makes a difference...

    Just tends to be personal preference, but I often deal with large things (spreadsheets, graphical interfaces for the Database I sell, multiple concurrent vmware images) where the extra screen real estate is VERY welcome.
  12. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I had the same dilemma. I bought the 17 and have no regrets. I use it on my lap all the time and move around the house. My wife's 13 seems tiny now when she needs help. The extra screen real estate is great.
  13. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Believe it or not, unless NZ is significantly different form the US, the lower spec 15 will keep better resale on the used market. Based on a percentage of the original selling price. Most used computer buyers only seem to care if it's a MacBook Pro and what size the screen is and price it accordingly. Check out Ebay and Craigslist, the price delta between the loaded and basic MBP 15 is really quite small. Back to your original question, you answered it right there, unless you're an avid gamer, get the 17 as you will be using mostly at home and will enjoy the better screen.
  14. diannao macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    Get the 17" and you'll thank yourself every time you look at the screen. I recommend seriously considering anti-glare as well.

    I've no problem using a 17" on my lap; it may depend on how tall/short you are.
  15. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    I had the same dilemma, researched everywhere, asked for feedback, and came to the conclusion to go with the 17.

    Heres what people had said: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1105277

    Pretty much there are no major downsides to the 17 it turns out, and as the title of that thread suggests, its a great time to get one since you have to pay 22 anyway to get the good 15. If paying 22, why not 25?

    One thing I would correct is about re-sale value. One thing you got to focus on primarily is the type of people who buy used of CL and Ebay; they are looking to save hundreds off these name brand laptops and you have to remember that if you get higher specs, you might not get that extra money you paid between the base vs higher end. Selling a 6700 card laptop over the guy selling the same year machine but with the 6400 card for $400 less is a hard sale. The entry levels are still 2011 flagship machines and that is what gives you your most value, the year it is and the new condition is in, not that extra little spec difference.

    When you are ready to sell the 1800 dollar 15" you will get around $1400, but when you are ready to sell the 2200 dollar 15" you will get around $1500 because of market demand. Keep that in mind, but also go with the 17 :)
  16. pauline251 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks for everyones input. I am leaning towards the 17 inch. I went to the shops and had a look at the 15 and 17 inch side by side, and the 17 inch does seem a bit large, but in actual fact its not that much larger than the 15 inch. I'm sure i can easily get used to it.
    So i think i will get the 17 inch. Not sure about antiglare though, i like the bold and bright colours of the glossy. We don't have an apple store here in NZ so i havent seen any macs with antiglare. but i have seen antiglare on the sony and eventhough it looks really nice, it seems a bit dull to me. Hope i am making the right choice.
  17. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    I just came from an Apple store, where I compared a 17" Glossy to an Anti-Glare side by side.

    Go for the Anti-glare. There are no reflections. Any loss of blacks or vibrance is insignificant compared to the loss of reflections. And unless you have a room dedicated to your MBP, you will have reflections.

    Disclaimer: My opinion.
  18. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    It really comes down to personal preference and opinion, like has been said :) Mine is glossy. Never have the slightest problem with reflections, anywhere that I have used it. That being said, I don't use it on park benches or in direct sunlight. If you'll be in an office, bedroom, etc. it won't really matter. But even when there are lights or sun, the reflection is hardly troubling for me. But having used both, Antiglare doesn't cause much (if any, that I can tell...) loss in quality of color/picture. I think it looks hideous as far as the laptop itself is concerned, personally. I mean, just the appearance of the product, but the display quality seems just as good (or very near it) to the glossy, to me! :) Don't see how you can go wrong either way!
  19. diannao macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    There are a number of comparison clips on YouTube worth watching in HD. For ex:

  20. pauline251 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks for your comments. I ended up ordering the 17 inch glossy display with the 128 SSD. Quite excited now, can't wait!:):):)
    Hope I don't find it too big
  21. zenio macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    I have both. The 17" is my favorite. The only concern I have is reading that you've ordered glossy.

    It's not glossy like other brands, it's a mirror. The glass cover is just brutal. A change Apple made a few years ago after a market study revealed shiny toys in the store sell best. The people that have never had anti-glare simply don't know any better. Eye strain (no matter how good your vision is) is an issue. Especially using it for work.

    At first glance glossy "looks nice" but are you buying it to admire or use?

    My Macs are the tools I make my living with, I don't care what they look like, I care about functionality. The 17" hi-res anti-glare is ideal for software creation and design work.

  22. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    Things you should keep in mind:

    1) The 17" is simply too big to feasibly be a portable computer. Anyone who's carried around a laptop this big will tell you that this is exclusively a desktop-replacement system, so forget any type of mobility. That being said, in my opinion the 15" is also too large for mobility needs.

    2) The resolution bump from the 15" (1650x1050) to the 17" (1920x1200) is indeed noticeable, so screen-wise the 17" is FAR better than the 15".

    3) The resell value of a 15" is slightly better since it's more popular than the 17". That being said, the difference shouldnt be that significant.

    All in all, if you are looking exclusively for a desktop-replacement laptop that won't be leave your desk at any point, I'd go for the 17" for the extra screen resolution.

    PS: the glossy screen is simply ridiculous in my opinion: WAY too much reflection.
  23. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    Let us know how you feel about your purchase (I too am in two minds between 15'' and 17'' - although I wouldn't have a doubt and get anti-glare for my tastes).
  24. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    I have to say, why does everyone keep saying the 17" is huge have you seen a windows 17" equivalent in thickness and weight? Also some 15" laptops are bigger and heavier then the 17". The glossy is not that bad, you did not notice it that much. Also the antiglare, does also get reflections. The matte screen used today is not the same as that of the powerbook day and early intel macbook pros.

    Congratulations, on your new machine you will love it.:D
  25. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    How does it differ?

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