is 17 inch laptop too big?/ 17's in public others opinions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tim100, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    It's personal preference first I guess, but like many here I remain undecided as to what's the "best" for my needs.

    For sure I often side with my 13" MBP, screen is beautiful, clear, resolution is great on that notebook, (better than it's hi-res competitors), small, portable, so easy to take everywhere .... so there's no issue there, except ...

    I spend so many hours a day, everyday staring at a notebook screen it would/does make more sense to use a larger screen, or the largest screen I can handle, right? After all it's your 'window' to the internet, bigger should be better, I don't travel much so even a 17" would work, although I'm sure I'd find it large on the lap, coffee shop, patio etc.

    15" should be a good compromise for me then. Right? While I really enjoy the 15" screen I can't help but think the notebook still seems large. I don't feel I need a screen larger than a 13" most days, I don't like having multiple web pages open in front of me, most often there's no need for what I do, and you can only concentrate on one thing at a time anyway, right? :)

    There's arguments for and against each screen size ... I even have a 24" ACD, but I find myself most comfortable with 13" in hand, on the go, or on the couch, it's always there. The 15" I think twice of moving from the table or bringing it will me, it is heavier, larger, clunkier...

    I wouldn't be surprised if smaller laptops/notebooks gained market share and became more popular. Personally, I prefer a 13" screen or larger, anything under that, for all day, working often, is too small. I wish the iPad was a super thin clam shell design with a physical keyboard and more work oriented/input capabilities.

    So my guess is the iPads, netbooks of the world will gain in popularity because of their 'take everywhere' design but as 12/13" notebooks become thinner, cheaper, more capable people will gravitate to the larger screen, OR before too long devices like the iPad will (wirelessly) connect to an external display, keyboard and have more processing power, then the game will have changed forever............
  2. Trygil macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    Not to be facetious, but aren't you describing the Macbook Air here?

    To the OP, I use a 17" notebook at work all day everyday (although it's a Dell), and the screen real estate is great. However, I'm often moving between two different offices and home, and the weight of the machine becomes quite apparent very quickly.

    I'm currently in the market for a MBP and have recently decided on the 13" model. I'll be increasing the frequency of movement of my work location within the next few months. That being the case, I absolutely cannot see myself lugging this current machine around with me. While it's a great machine (with an i7 to boot), it's just not worth the extra performance IMO.

    The way I see it, I was able to do my job (web development with Flex, ColdFusion, Java, PHP, JavaScript, and a few other technologies) on a C2D until I got this machine and was not noticeably bottlenecked by the CPU so the processor should still be able to handle my needs.

    My thought is that a 17" is great if you rarely move your machine. Even if you moved it between work and home everyday, I think it would be acceptable as long as you weren't performing a physically strenuous commute (e.g. biking).

    Otherwise, I think 15" or smaller is the way to go.
  3. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    i love the big 17 screen with high res. however i think the trend is smaller, lighter, less power. i have debated many times on here that people would buy a 17 i7 if they had the money over a 13 c2d, i am not sure if i am right about that. does anyone have a chart that shows market precent for netbooks vs 13 vs 15 vs 17?
  4. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Like me you've experimented with a few screen sizes, what's your favorite so far?

    Apple would hit the ball out of the park if they ever introduced a 15" notebook, thin as the Air, under 4lbs, 4gb ram, 256ssd .... I'd have no problems deciding and making that my main or only notebook / computer.
  5. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    i prefer the 17 and 13 over 15. between the 17 and 13 a toss up. if i could only have 1 13 or 17, stay tuned.
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I carry my 17" MPB around almost every day.

    All depends on what you need.
  7. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Did you return your 15"?

    Here's a link to a post/poll about screen size if price was no concern. Not many voters yet (148), but so far 15" seems the choice.
  8. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    It really depends on your preference, if your someone who is just taking it back and fourth between home and work, go for the 17, if you fly a lot, go for the 13, the 15 seems like a pretty safe all around bet though.
  9. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    yea the 15 was returned. here are my observations

    1) it is a good compromise size
    2) when using it i am missed the extra 2 inches and res of the 17
    3) footprint of 15 and 17 about the same

    verdict what you give up in screen and res you dont get back in portability.

    13 vs 17? stay tuned
  10. robrob71 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010
    Cost was absolutely not a factor for me in buying a 13" C2D. My normal tendency in any technology purchase is to over spec what I need - partly to "future proof" my purchase and partly because like any tech geek, I aspire to the fastest/latest etc.

    I bought a 17" laptop a number of years ago partly because I thought it a great idea that you could have such a large screen in a portable format. I was soon disabused of the value of a 17" laptop for my particular needs. It may sound obvious, but it never crossed my mind that the weight, and the size of shoulder bag to carry it in would be an issue due to the amount of travelling I do. I found it tiresome. I also realised quite quickly that it wasn't a simple task to pull the laptop out in the plane and get some work done. It was also a pain to constantly take it out its bag repeatedly for airport security checks, and when in the house, it simply took up too much room.

    I think the size of laptop you buy is dictated by your usage pattern. When I bought my MBP recently, I had to admit to myself that I really only use a laptop for intensive web browsing, email, managing iTunes and the odd bit of iWork type work. So, 4GB and a C2D was perfect for me, and the 13" screen to me is the perfect size. I also bought a 27" iMac at the same time as the MBP so that I had the best of both worlds.

    I can see that intensive users (musicians/designers/creatives/gamers) will really benefit from a 17" screen and an i7 processor. Similarly, I'm sure that if you could put an i7 in a 13" form factor, it would have a market.

    If you need the power and don't mind the real estate it takes up, a 17" MBP is the perfect tool. It simply wasn't relevant for me, irrespective of price.
  11. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    i think i prefer the 17 to the 13. the 17 is almost 3 times the price, it just shows how nice the 13 inch is and what a great value it is
  12. Gitgat macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    I had a 15 non unibody MBP core duo when they first switched to intel duos, loved it.
    now i am on a year old unibody MBP 17'

    The thing is big, its not the size thats the issue, its the weight.
    doesn't feel like much in your hands, but in my backpack i carry 2 Pro DSLR bodies and a few lenses in a kata bag. Its manageable to carry all day by itself, but once you drop the 17' MBP in the weight difference is extremely noticeable.
    Though i do take it EVERYWHERE with me. and the screen is B E A UTIFUL. I actually prefer this screen to my high end dell monitor and my old 20' cinema display i use for photo exiting.

    Day to day the screen real-estate and the resolution will spoil you rotten.
  13. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
  14. jamesbond05 macrumors member


    May 24, 2010
    I found the 13 too small and the 17 too big. And so I got the 15, its not too big and not too small :)
  15. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    17 works great on a table or desk. its harder to use on a lap or couch.
  16. germ79 macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2005
    I love my 17" MBP. I too went through the same dilemma before I bought it. It is wonderful on a desk as well as on my lap on the couch. I use it all day at work and when I'm at home I almost always use it on my lap. I love it and do not find it difficult to transport in the least. Hope this helps!
  17. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
  18. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    Same here, although I don't mind the 17". I feel the 13" is way too small.
  19. saxon48 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
    Depends on how much you travel, and what exactly you plan on doing.

    For lots of CPU-intensive activities, go with the additional power of the 17".

    For maximum portability and lots of travel, 13" is the way to go.

    15" is good ol' middle ground.
  20. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    I prefer 17" because I need large real estate while on the go. But I can also understand why smaller screens are popular. If 17" MBP were much thicker and heavier like your average cheap PC, I might have settled for 15".
  21. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    OK, some may think this funny, but, in my experience, this preference is correlated with height. I notice that under 5'5 or so tend to prefer 13", 5'5"-5'8" prefer 15", and 5'9" and up prefer 17". In the end, it is whichever *you* prefer.
  22. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    Hmm. Counterexample here. According to your theory, I'd prefer 13". But I definitely love my 17" MBP. I know I look ridiculously tiny when using my laptop though.
  23. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I've used 17" MBP while standing up.

    Works fine on the lap and couch.

    Btw the 17" weights the same as many 15" PC laptops.
  24. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    I wouldn't suggest you get 17 inch PC laptop, because they're bloody heavy, big and ugly.

    However, the MacBook Pro is a total different story. Slim and Beautiful
    If you can afford the price, I'd choose the 17 inch rather than 15


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