How much bigger is 17" than 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dotdotdot, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    After months of deciding which laptop to buy in the next few months, I finally settled on a 15" MacBook Pro. But now that the 17" was just released, and looks like an amazing laptop, I'm again confused.

    It will be a desktop replacement in college, and I'll take it to all of my classes. The weight, at under 7 lbs, is not a big deal for me at all. I'm worried about the size.

    I love having a 1920x1200, 17" display for tons of screen real estate. I edit movies, and edit photos, as well as basic web design, so having the space is important. However, I don't want to have the burden of a laptop that is too big.

    How big is it? Is it true I won't be able to use it on airplanes? On desks in a college class or lecture?
  2. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    May 9, 2008
    The Iron Throne
    I was going to be sarcastic and say 2" difference.

    But really, the 17" isn't really convenient for taking to college classes everyday. It's too big for the desks, too big for airplanes (unless maybe you're in a roomy first class seat), etc.

    You mentioned it being a desktop replacement, and for that I would say go for the 17" version. But then you say you'll be taking it to classes every day, and for that I would not recommend it.

    The 17" is a great machine, but it's a behemoth and not nearly as convenient for constant toting around. So you have to answer that question for yourself - are you hoping for a desktop replacement, or something that is usefully portable? Whichever way you lean, get that model.
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Its no more clunky than the 15" version really, while carrying it around in a bag i dont notice the difference between them, and when on the desk they 17" doesnt have a much bigger footprint than the 15" version, because whilst it is 2" bigger the screen takes up more of the bezel meaning the whole laptop isnt proportionally 2" bigger, therefore people who complain about it being too big to use on planes are talking complete bs. In my opinion the new 17" is also more portable than the 15" version due to the 3-4 hours extra battery life.

    You could wait until it comes out then go to the store to see for yourself, but the old 17" has very similar dimensions to the new one if you need a comparison now.
  4. isethx macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2008
    15-inch MacBook Pro

    0.95 inch (2.41 cm)
    14.35 inches (36.4 cm)
    9.82 inches (24.9 cm)
    5.5 pounds (2.49 kg)1

    17-inch MacBook Pro

    0.98 inch (2.50 cm)
    15.47 inches (39.3 cm)
    10.51 inches (26.7 cm)
    6.6 pounds (2.99 kg)1

    not much really. the 17 is a bit more to hold on the lap, but it really is not much more. everyone makes it out to be a huge beast, but it's not. sure a 13 inch screen is much better for the road, but the 17 inch is fine to move around the house and travel with in MY opinion at least. i love the screen size!!
  5. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    Agree with isethx - it is not the beast that everyone makes it out to be. Having said that if you want more portability the 15 inch is the way to go...
  6. dingus macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Yeah the footprint of the 17" is about 15% larger, but if you're talking portability you shouldn't overlook battery life.
  7. vkt macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I've carried 17" laptops around for the past 5 years and never had an issue with the size. It's really not that big once you get used to it...I've never been in a situation where the laptop was "too big" to use.

    The single most important advantage of the new 17" MBP over the 15" is the screen resolution. 1920x1200 is a proper, professional resolution for design. 1440x900 is an absolute joke.
  8. NightSailor macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2008
    Size Differences

    Thickness Difference: + .-3 Inch (.09 cm) [not noticably thicker]
    Width Difference: +1.12" (2.9 cm) [a bit more than an inch wider]
    Depth Difference: + 0.69" (1.8 cm) [2/3 of an inch deeper]
    Weight Difference 1.1 lbs more (.5kg)

    I am buying a 17". I'm going all in for the faster CPU and the SSN. But I'm on a fence about the display--I prefer matte finish, but I don't see much in reflection in my girls MacBook. If you are looking straight at it, I don't notice the reflections. I have to look for them. If you have a lot of blacks, then the reflections are obvious, but not annoying. I'm leaning towards the standard display because I feel it will be stronger and last longer--I plan on getting ten years or more out of this machine.

    My advice is go for the bigger one. It is not heavy, it is not all that big. It is the smallest 17" on the planet. Go order it right now.
  9. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
  10. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    I thought it was a good chunk larger and ended up going with the 15" for the reasons its portable!
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Sadly, these two statements are pretty much contradictory. Laptops that are considered true "desktop replacements" should really be thought of as "barely portable," but the Marketing Department probably nixed that idea.

    You're right on the money regarding the screen, though - the 17" screen is about more than 2 extra inches, it's the extra pixels of resolution. And yes, that much screen real estate is quite noticeable. Think about it - the 24" iMac runs at 1920x1200, same as the high-res 17" MBP.
  12. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    Get a 15'' and a $300 eee pc to take to class. You will still save a bunch of money.
  13. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    Yah a joke, 1440x900 is absolutely terrible, worst screen ever, mite as well not even make that size:rolleyes: give me a break, "professionals" get an external screen or a desktop
  14. adamvk macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    how about a 15" macbook pro and an external monitor?
  15. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    thats what i was going too say.. a 15 and a nice dell monitor
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Some comparisons.

    Display (Pixel) comparison:
    • 15 inch --> 1440 x 900 = 1,296,000
    • 17 inch --> 1920 x 1200 = 2,304,00
    The 17 inch has about 1.8 times the number of pixels.

    Size comparison (cubic inches):
    • 15 inch --> 0.95 x 14.35 x 9.82 = 133.87
    • 17 inch --> 0.98 x 15.47 x 10.51 = 159.34
    The 17 inch is about 19% bigger.

    Weight comparison (Pounds):
    • 15 inch --> 5.5
    • 17 inch --> 6.6
    The 17 inch is 1.1 pounds or 20% heavier.

    Overall, you get a lot more screen real estate for about a 20% heavier and bigger laptop. Additionally, the battery in the 17 inch will last longer, although it is not replaceable.

    If you prefer a smaller portable footprint, get the 15 inch and connect it to an external display when in your room.
  17. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    Oh blow up! Trying to read anything with a res like that on a 15" is difficult. Not impossible but it sure isn't comfortable.

    I'm a photographer and I use a external monitor. Far better than any laptop screen regardless of screen res.
  18. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    15" vs 17"--an old girl friend once yold me...

    The differene between an 'ooooh' and an "ahhhhhh" is 2 to 3 inches. So there you have it! :D

    Mr. Ahhhhh

    P.S. Seriously, go with a 15'' an a large external monitor.
  19. bzboy01 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2008
    17" or 15"?

    Well, I have used both in the last couple of months and I truly believe that a 17" is definitely bigger and heavier than a 15" macbook pro. I went from a 17" 2.6 Hi-Res to a 15" aluminum 2.8, and seriously I don't like it. Hi-Res 17" screen is more important to me and thus I am again upgrading to the new 17" macbook pro. The 1900 x 1200 resolution is very important to me. I have based my decision not on the screen size but on the screen resolution. So to me screen resolution is more important. I suggest you need to decide as to what is more important to you; the size and the weight or the resolution? I chose Hi-Resolution...
  20. vkt macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    Portland, OR
    All I was saying is 1440x900 is a really low resolution for such an expensive computer. 15" @ 1680x1050 would make a lot more sense.

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