Is the 15 inch MBP too large for comfortable use in planes etc?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Whackintosh, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Montreal, Quebec
    My old Whitebook is a perfect size for flights (coach) but I'd love a larger screen. Is the 15 inch too large for this sort of thing without getting clutzy and cumbersome?
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I use the 17" all the time. With the 17" you cannot have a drink and have your notebook out obviously at the same time, unless you want to place the drink on the notebook. I would say no to the 15" being too large. I mean are you really on a plane that often?
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I was going to post almost verbatim the same thing...

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. CoffeeWarrior macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2009
  5. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    15" means you'll have to fly 1st class (or hope the ***** in front of you doesn't think he's at home in his Barcalounger.) I fly quite a bit and the planes are shrinking. Regional jets seem like the direction a lot of carriers are going.
    15" is too big. One of the reasons why I have an Air and a 15" MBP.
  6. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Montreal, Quebec
    I've never flown 1st class. :(

    So you've had difficulty using a 15inch in coach?
  7. flanders macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    These days a 15" is not realistic on an airplane. I was traveling not too long ago with a friend who had a 13" Air. He could use his just fine, but I couldn't open the screen on the 15" far enough to see the display. Kind of sad really.
  8. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    It depends. In my experience, if the person in front of me has their seat all the way back, I don't have room to push the screen back all the way. That said, I'm 187cm tall (6'1), so I need to push it back further than most. My girlfriend has no trouble, no matter what the seat position of the person in front.

    Public Service Announcement: You have the right to put your seat all the way back, but be nice and put it forward during the meals, and push it back slowly so you don't damage anyone's computer, knock over their drinks, or, if they're leaning forward, whack them in the head.
  9. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Jul 9, 2008
    I've used my 15" in economy / business class for years. It's hard to say. it works but my arms are so cramped! My wrists start hurting and I've nearly broken and LCD when someone backed their chair up and my notebook got stuck where the tray table goes. (it's hard to explain but people have all experienced it).

    IDK. Ideally. 12" is perfect for an airplane. 15 is doable unless you pay for extra legroom and then it's great!
  10. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2007
    I've used a 15 on Air Canada in economy internationally and I haven't had a problem.
  11. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Oh yeah. I love the 12" powerbook. It's so awesome. It fits everyw... blah blah.

    What? Every thread needs a 12" powerbook love post. I thought that was like an unwritten rule on macrumors.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I use my 15" on the plane, but it barely fits most of the time; the issue isn't fitting the computer, it's the inability to tilt the screen back to a more comfortable angle for viewing the screen.

    If possible, I usually pay a bit more for the "extra legroom" or premium economy seats. If those are not available I request the emergency exit or bulkhead seats (where you have the fold out tray table and no one reclining in front of you.

    I've flown business a few times, and it's been an utter waste of money; I'd rather just go read a book (which I end up doing anyways).

    I had a 17" before and that definitely did not fit.
  13. Warranty Voider macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    Maine, US
    My 15" fits just barely. I have to keep a drink on the palm rest. If you fly often enough, then get a smaller laptop. If you only fly a couple times a year, get the larger laptop. Simple.
  14. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    the new 13" MBP will take over from the 12" powerbook love posts I bet :)
  15. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    I personally think no laptop is comfy to be using on a airplane, especially if the dude or lady has their seat reclined all the way back.. haha..
  16. RogueVasion macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2008
    I was on a flight from Detroit, MI to Nagoya, Japan. At the time, I was using the old Macbook Pro (before Unibody).

    I was sitting in coach on the way there and it was okay to use mainly, but I couldn't move the screen back too far since the person was reclined nearly the whole flight. I ask them to put it up a little bit so I can eat and they give me an attitude (I never recline or only slightly so I don't disturb the space of the person behind me). EDIT: I usually try to ask if its okay to recline or at least be asked, just in case I have food or something out. But it took up the whole tray. On the way back, I got a spot in front of the projector where the movie plays; fits nice on the table that flips from the armrest. Downside, no legroom :(. I flew Business from Nagoya to Manila. It was nice because all the extra room and I used my points, thus equalling free. I wouldn't pay for it, but I loved it.

    I honestly believe that if you are a heavy traveller, I wouldn't get the 15" unless you absolutely need it. Your best bet would be the 13", which I plan on doing soon before my trip to California.
  17. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    I really fly all the time and a 15 inch is fine.

    One thing though, some airlines that have the trays fold out of the seat in front of you: if you have it on the tray pushed back to the seat in front, beware of the person jacking their seat back and putting a huge impulse on your screen hinge.

    Seriously it messed up my PB hinge this way.

    And for you infrequent flyers, do not SMASH your seat back for this reason, slow and steady makes sure no notebooks behind you die. This only applies to coach. If your flying business elite or something by all means recline fully.
  18. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    I fly very frequently. (As in, a normal sized passport book lasts me about a year.) Mostly international/intercontinental flights, usually economy but sometimes business. The space between seats is usually just enough for my 15" MBP, but I usually find something else to do b/c it is cramped.

    Some of this depends on the airline and the specific plane. The Asian airlines that are almost exclusively trans-Pacific flights are the best in terms of space and amenities, but there are some European airlines that do EU->NA, EU->Asia, EU->Africa that aren't too shabby, either.

    Think about this though - do you REALLY need to use your computer on the plane?

    Anyway, for those times that I'm in coach and absolutely need to use my MBP, I ask the person in the seat in front of me to tell me if he's going to push the seat back. I don't think people pushing their seatbacks back are jerks - I like to sleep on 10+ hour flights, too. Come to think of it, I see a lot of people complaining about this on many forums but I generally assume that seat in front of me is coming back and 90% of the time, it usually does. Dunno why people think it's such an invasion of personal space.
  19. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    Don't go bigger than 15 in coach unless you want space issues. My 15in uMBP fit just right in a USAir 737 coach class.
  20. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Mar 19, 2009
    I've used a 15-inch Laptop - not MacBookPro unfortunately, on a flight and it's too large for coach class. Much prefer something a bit more compact, the 13-inch will be better for travelers. ;)
  21. tony4d macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    In a prior job, I flew a lot and rode in all classes; Economy, Business and First Class.

    If I were to have a similar job today, I would get a MBA or MBP13 for use when traveling if I had or wanted to use it during the flight.

    Even in Business Class, when the seats come back they can crowd the tray and hence your laptop if you have a large screen. I much prefer to have a solution were I do not need to worry about the seat in front of me coming down on my laptop computer.
  23. DAMNiatx macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2009
  24. hd1080ts macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2004
    I fly alot (movie industry) with a 17inch MBP mostly in Business Class.

    In economy your screwed if the seat in front is fully reclined with both the 15 and 17. Premium Economy and up the 15 and 17 is fine.

    If you fly on airlines like Emirates which have 110v seat power they only support 65w adaptors, so the 3.06Ghz 15 and all the 17inch models with 85w adaptors won't work and will trip the circuit breaker.

    So if you really want to work in Economy Class a 13inch is your best bet if it works okay with your applications using the integrated graphics.
  25. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I'm perfectly happy traveling with my MBP 15" on any airline. 13" isn't much different from 15" or 10" same is same.....:cool::cool::cool:

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