In the days of ultra portables: Has anyone switched back to a 15.6 or 17.3" laptop?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Misskitty, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Misskitty, Jan 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Obviously right now, the craze is ultra portables, people going nuts over 11-13" laptops, chromebooks, ultrabooks. Ive used 13.3" laptops for the past 5 years and its great for portability. But now, I dont need to carry my laptop around very often and when I do, I sure miss the larger screen. The larger screen is definitely more appealing to me now than its ever been simply cause these 15.6" and 17.3" laptops are built with lighter than ever materials. We see 15.6" laptops under 5.5lbs, 17.3" laptops under 7.5. Something I thought we would never see. To me, if i was going from my current 2011 13" MBP that weighs 5.2 to a current 7lb laptop offering 4" extra screen real estate, it would not be an issue at all.

    WHen at home, I have my MBP connected to ext monitors anyways, but a 17.3" or even 15.6" beats out a 13.3" anyday for screen real estate. Ive been comparing 15.6" laptops to my 13.3" MBP and honestly, the newer laptops today have come down so much in weight, size due to manufacturers making full use of the chasis, and a 15.6" footprint isnt all that much larger than my current 13" MBP, and definitely not much heavier cause my MBP weighs 5.2lbs! I have a 2011 MBP and i personally think after trying out these new laptops, that mine is a brick.

    I was at Best buy today and was playing around with the new Dell Inspiron 17" with core i5, 8GB ram, high res display, for $900. Now, Ive never been a fan of Dells ever, never owned one, never even considered one. Until I saw this one and boy I was thoroughly impressed. I mean very thoroughly impressed.

    Wasnt expecting to, but when i got my hands on it, you wont believe when I say it, but wow this things build quality rivals any macbook pro. The keyboard on this thing is amazing, very well could be the most comfortable laptop keyboard ive ever felt. There was absolutely zero keyboard flex even after pounding on the keys really hard. I couldnt get my hands off it, as i was at the station for 20mins. I actually had to feel quite a few times if it was plastic or a metal chasis cause the build was so impressive. No creaking, no flexing, ive never seen a dell with such high end build quality. It has backlit keys, full keyboard (none of these gimped cramed half sized keypads). I know its a beast, but is quite light for a 17", but most importantly boy did it make me reappreciate the large screen again from when i used to have 17" 11lb beasts. Its just so nice to have the larger screen after using tiny 13.3" screens for the past 5 years.

    Lets just say I was oh so tempted to buy one to try out and see if I can get back into a 17" now that they are lighter than ever. After some very forceful self control, I was able to get myself out of the store. But Im at home now, and will be going back to Best Buy shortly to play around with it some more. Might take one home just to compare to my 13" MBP to see if i wanna go big or go home :p
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I played around with Dells new line of laptops at the store. I thought the build quality was actually very good - much better than any other Dell I've owned in the past. Not to mention, it had a reasonable weight and seemed slim enough. Better than what HP and Toshiba are putting out.

    Though, I'm not sure if I'd say its better than a MBP ;)
  3. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Thats what i was refering to, ya Dells new line, pretty impressive for build quality. Feels like a premiere product.
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Yeah. If I were in the market for a cheap PC laptop, I'd definitely pick one of those up.

    Not sure how I'd like Windows 8 though.
  5. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Never could stand a 13" laptop, I'm on a 15" now and a 17" Macbook was my dream, until apple killed it.

    Thanks Apple, ya dream killer!
  6. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
  7. Misskitty, Jan 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014

    Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Well I wouldnt say Dells new line is exactly cheap at $900, its definitely their top end line or one of them and it clearly shows in the build quality. But for $900, this is a ton of bang for your buck, when a 15" RMBP would cost you $1600 more for one with similar specs. Ridiculous.

    I have a friend who has a 17" laptop, and its sure nice when she uses it in the living room. No more having to run to the desk for the bigger screen when you want to type something in word or do a spreadsheet, a 17" is big enough to handle that, whereas a 13" is too small and a 15" is barely big enough. She uses it on her desk as is, no need for external monitors, extra wires, extra stuff to plug in and out. Quick, easy to take with you, simple setup. She doesnt mind the extra weight cause she doesnt take it out much.

    Now, if only i could get rid of my 13" MBP for a reasonable price, id do it in a heartbeat. I just know, I would much prefer a larger screen. Even playing with the new 15" RMBP, I knew within the first 10 seconds that i much prefer a 15" over my 13"...and honestly the footprint is not that much larger and the weight felt the same as mine now, so theres pretty much no compromises by going bigger. I just cant justify dropping 2K on a computer anymore.
  8. wordoflife, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Oh sure, I wouldn't consider $900 cheap either. I guess that's for the 17 inch model? I suppose I was particularly talking about the cheaper 15 inch models that go from $400-$600. But I'm sure they both have the same build quality in them. And yeah, Apple laptops aren't particularly cheap. But like I mentioned before, although how nice the new Dells are, I don't think I'd consider it equal to the build quality of a MacBook Pro. Not to mention some of the features that are specific to the rMBP, such as the (expensive) retina display.

    Now, not everyone needs those features so it is completely understandable. Currently I have a 13" MBP, but I really do like the 15" MBP. If I kept my computer at home most of the time, I would definitely get the 15" model. (Well not really because it costs so much). But I would like to have it.

    Personally since I move my computer a lot, I sort of like the 13" size.

    Overall, I wouldn't mind a bigger size. But between two computers, I'd rather go for the OS over the screen size. So it'd be very hard for me to buy a new Dell laptop. But if I was good in Windows 8 and didn't mind using it, I'd buy a PC laptop hands down. I personally have a bigger issue using Windows 8 than I do using OS X on a smaller screen.
  9. gsugolfer macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    I downsized. I went from a 15.6" PC to an 11.6" Chromebook. I don't think I'll ever go back up in size.
  10. TSE macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    15" is my sweet spot. I am on a 2011 MacBook Pro right now, and the new MacBook Pros, while being nice, aren't a necessity as they aren't THAT much faster as Intel has focused more on energy-saving rather than speed.
  11. Jschultz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Unless I was in a position such that I could not have access to a larger monitor, I don't have a need for a larger notebook. For consuming media and surfing the web, my Chromebook is the perfect size.

    For getting actual work done in Excel, I absolutely need at least 20" at decent resolution. But, I don't mix work and play with my personal computers all that much.
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I don't want anything smaller than my 15" MBP.
  13. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    I've always used 17 and 18 inch Laptops, currently on an Alienware 18 as my mobile machine.

    I can't stand small laptops, whats the point? Maybe size, but as far as weighs goes, I have muscle structure.
  14. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    I'd like to switch to a full sized rMBP, but it just doesn't make sense considering my needs.

    If it was my sole machine? Sure. But for now it makes sense to have something like an Air and a desktop at home for the heavy lifting.

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