MacBook Pro 13 inch, 15 inch or 17 inch. Could use some help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thealch3m1st, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. thealch3m1st macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009

    I think this has been discussed in some other thread but the circumstances are a bit different so here I go.
    I'm going to college this fall (Computer Science major) and I want to buy a new computer ( I have a 2008 15" MBP 2.2Ghz with a 20" Samsung LCD -1680*1050).
    I'm a bit confused on what to buy. Here are my options:

    - The first thing that went through my mind was a 13" MacBook Pro(1499 model). I love this one because it's small and this makes it more portable but the screen is to small for day to day use and I'm not to happy about the graphics chip either(I like to play some games from time to time-X Plane & other stuff) so I thought a 24" LED Cinema Display might help with the screen size + keyboard and mouse(apple) totaling up to : 2298 US $ (1399$(student discount) MacBook Pro+799$(student discount) Display + 100$ Keyboard and Mouse)

    - 15" high end MacBook Pro(the 2.8 Ghz one) + Mighty Mouse. This totals up to 2149$ (2099$ MBP w Stud.Disc. + 50$ MM) so I don't really have money left for the display which kinda sucks but I can live with the 1440*900 screen certainly better than with the 13" 1280*800 one.

    -17" MBP. This one made it through my choices because of the screen. I love the freedom a 1920*1200 screen gives you and I certainly won't need the cinema display here, but it seems a bit big for carrying around campus( I would like an opinion here from an actual owner). 2349$(2299$ MBP w Stud.Disc + 50$ MM)

    I intend to use the computer for some Photoshopping (here is where I need the screen resolution), coding ( Coda, Xcode...) and occasional gaming.
    The price doesn't really matter because the variation isn't that big 2298$ vs 2149$ vs 2349$, and my budget is 2400$.

  2. darkpaw macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
    London, England
    I'm downgrading from a 17-inch Late 2007 MacBook Pro. The 1920x1200 hi-res screen was excellent, but a bit overkill, really. I got it to replace my desktop Mac G5, and ended up buying a Mac Pro as well!

    The 17-inch MBP is very large, and quite heavy. Lugging it around campus will be a pain.

    I used a 15-inch MBP the other day and ordered one straight away. The res of 1440x900 is large enough to do everything I need to do on it: Xcode, Photoshop, movies. The weight difference is only 500gm, but it's noticeable.

    You certainly can't use a 13-inch MacBook Pro for Photoshop. There's just not enough room for the palettes.

    I'd go with a 15-incher and get a new screen later, IF you think you need it. Plus Apple will likely have other screens out then, too.

  3. Joruus macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Had a 15" PowerBook first when i started Studying, it was so heavy i couldn't bear to carry it 3+ Hours a Day so got a 12" one, guess would do the same now :)
  4. mike1123 macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    I'm going through the same dilemma, but I'm leaning towards the 15". It's nice compromise between screen resolution and portability -- the 17" is extremely tempting, but I think it might be a bit unwieldy if not heavy. Btw, you forgot to include sales tax in your budget; with it, the 17" goes over $2400 (assuming you live in a state that charges sales tax).
  5. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    It all depends on how important is portability for you.

    1. 17" is only 20% heavier than 15" and it's not a dealbraker for me.
    Biggest problem of 17" so far is it's main advantage - screen size and therefore larger footprint. Using notebook bigger than average may seem a bit unusual (especially on laps)

    2. Let's make it clear. Neither 15" nor 17" are portable, I'll be sick of carrying them in a shoulder bag all day long. Backpack is only option for me. 1.1Kg Sony TZ, 1.3Kg Air or 1.5Kg Sony Z - they are portable, at least weight-wise. 2Kg 13" Macbook is compromise between portability and usability.

    3. 15" has 1440*900. That's 12.5% more than 1280*800.
    17" has 1920*1200. That's 33% more than 1440*900 and 50% more than 1280*800. No comments. 15" doesn't give me noticeable advantage in real estate. But it's just me. I'll be more satisfied with 15" 1680*1050 though...

    Summary: I wanted high resolution. I accepted weight issue and got 17". 15" will give me weight issue but won't provide good resolution.
  6. threename macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    internet sharing

    Hi. I am wanting to take the internet connection from my AT&T Wireless card and create a network via airport. Does anyone know if this is possible? I heard that it was but is not supported. HELP
  7. cu2010 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2009
    new york city
    i think the new umbp 17" is lighter than the previous models. :confused:
  8. thealch3m1st thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
  9. matteconcepts3d macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
    13" and photoshop

    "You certainly can't use a 13-inch MacBook Pro for Photoshop. There's just not enough room for the palettes."

    Try the 'tab' key. Works like a charm...
  10. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    I had a 15 ti powerbook
    then a powerbook 12 inch.
    then a 15 powerbook
    then a 17 inch powerbook.
    Then a macbook 13.
    Now I am on a 15 macbook pro classic and want to upgrade.
    personally my favorite all around was the 12.
    In those days it didn't seem to lack to much power.

    Personally I am not sure about which one I would get now. I am leaning towards the 17inch cause I haven't had one of those in a while. And the screen real-estate on those are amazing.

    But the 13 inch pro seems great for portability.

    so you gotta choose what is most important to you.

    whatever you get I am sure you will be happy.
  11. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I'm a bit confused as to why you need to buy anything.
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    QFT. The 15" MBP I have is the heaviest and most unwieldy laptop I have ever owned, although I must say it is nice for using around the house.
  13. Heavenly macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2009
    Northwestern University
    The 17" is perfectly fine in my opinion because I used a 15" Dell before and this is much thinner+lighter and only 1" bigger in depth/height. For guys I think you'd need to look at a bag with a laptop compartment big enough for it; I kinda go everywhere with a tote bag and my Macbook fits perfectly inside it :)
  14. trismeplz macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2009
    My vote if for the 17" The extra screen real estate do makes a difference and the higher resolution is makes watching movies and games more enjoyable!
  15. andrew upstairs macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Downtown Los Angeles
    Me too. :confused:
  16. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

    Jul 7, 2008
    The 17" really isn't that cumbersome as people make it out to be. Like I always say:

    "As long as you don't have muscular dystrophy, you can carry a 17" MacBook Pro."

    The extra resolution is well worth it. Don't be a weakling, get the 17". I have no troubles with portability around campus.
  17. n19htmare macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    Do people not check dates of these threads?

    That's the FIRST thing I do before replying to a thread that comes up in a search or before I quote someone.
  18. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    woops didnt realize how old this thread was. what did you end up doing thealch3m1st.
  19. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd go for the 15". I might be getting one myself sometime this year :D
  20. Greenman85 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009

    he has a 2008. it's still ridiculous to buy a 2000+ computer a year later
  21. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    I don't see why you need a computer either when you already have. The 2.26 should honestly do you good.
    I would go for the 15" to play it safe though, just my opinion.
    I would get irritated mobbin around with that 17".

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