MacBook Pro - 15" or 17" ??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Nikos, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Nikos macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    So I was going to pick up the 15" MBP but figured I'd wait for MacWorld 09 to see what they announce. Sure enough it was the 17" MBP.

    Some Comparisons:

    After student discount, 15" is $2,299 while the 17" is $2,599, that isn't much of a factor.

    15" Weight and Dimensions (HxWxD): 5.5lbs 0.95 x 14.35 x 9.82 inches
    17" Weight and Dimensions (HxWxD): 6.6lbs 0.98 x 15.47 x 10.51 inches

    Again, the difference seems very minor, as the 17" is only a pound heavier, just over an inch wider and just under an inch deeper.

    Specs aside, and considering only portability, is there any legitimate reason (other than price) NOT to get the 17"? Does anyone know the dimensions of the previous generation 17" MBP? Seems like it was a lot larger from what I remember.

    EDIT: I think these are the specs of the old one:

    17-inch MacBook Pro
    • Height: 1.0 inch (2.59 cm)
    • Width: 15.4 inches (39.2 cm)
    • Depth: 10.4 inches (26.5 cm)
    • Weight: 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed

    I guess it will be large afterall. The 15" seems a lot smaller in the store for some reason, but it's only less than an inch wide and deep.
     
  2. dylanmac macrumors newbie

    dylanmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    Well if you're only considering portability. The 15" would better suit you.

    But it also depends on what you plan on doing with the laptop (Gaming, graphic design, photography, etc) and if you want to upgrade the processor along with getting 8 gigs of memory.

    When I'm out and about my 15" suits me perfectly. When I get home and need a larger screen for gaming and whatnot, I just plug it into an external.

    Best of luck on your choice!
     
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #3
    The previous 17" had the same dimensions. At the end of the day what it comes down to is that is $300 of your hard earned cash worth 2" screen real estate to you and a 3 hour extra battery life. to me it is, which is why i bought it, i love the extra screen size for coding, gaming, and doing graphic design and being able to have two windows open side by side when making websites, but really its up to you.
     
  4. Nikos thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Thanks for the replies guys :)

    I use my desktop most of the time at home, which handles all of my gaming needs. The only game I'd play on the MBP is World of Warcraft, and I'm hoping the 9600M GT won't struggle with it at 1920x1200. I'm used to playing at that resolution on the highest settings. I've accepted the fact that I might have to turn shadows to low in OSX.

    Other than that I don't need to lug it around every day, so that's not really an issue, but I will be taking it places. I DJ and Produce music so I'd be using it at gigs. Some booths are small but in the end I don't think ~1" will make that much of a difference.

    My main reason for going with the 17" is the higher screen resolution. Maybe I should go back to the Apple store and see if I can live with 1440x900. That might be the deciding factor. :eek:
     
  5. dylanmac macrumors newbie

    dylanmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    In your situation the 17" would be a good choice since you aren't dragging it around everywhere and when you do you'll probably need the high resolution with your audio software. I am jealous of that resolution.
     
  6. Nikos thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    I keep thinking that 15" is the sweet spot, but once I think about the 17"'s resolution I'm back to comparing again. People keep saying that the 17" is too big and could get annoying, but I don't see how an inch makes that much of a difference. Maybe I'm missing something.
     
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    Perception is everything.

    The Air feels significantly more portable than the MacBook even though the specs say it shouldn't be that much.

    For you the difference may be negligible especially if you don't take it everywhere, travel by car, and have very spacious work environments.
     
  8. dingus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #8
    8-hour battery life, hi-res screen. Do it, guy.
     
  9. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    IMO for a 17" 1920x1200 is too high resolution. I have a 22" 1920x1200 desktop monitor and even that has a bit small text. 24" is IMO optimal for that resolution.

    Not to mention 17" is already large enough that I don't consider it very portable. Especially for DJ gigs where space is often limited to begin with.

    I wouldn't bother with the 2.53 GHz 15" either. Save yourself several hundred bucks and just get the base model. A mere 130 Mhz won't matter at all and since you won't be using it for gaming, the larger VRAM won't be an issue either. More RAM and HDD space is certainly never a bad thing, but you could just wait and see how you do with 4 GB and since DDR3 memory prices will most likely drop a lot this year, it'll be cheap to upgrade those later on.
     
  10. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #10
    i was looking at the site and the "old" MBP 17" arent on the clearance site yet... I paid $1700 for mine. If they had a 17" on there (either 2.5 or 2.6ghz) for $1800, i would buy it. I am starting to do a lot of coding (web design) and graphic heavy stuff, so the 17" would be fine....

    ALTHOUGH, the 15" is actually bigger than i thought it would be. In the store they look kinda small, but at home on the desk, or in starbucks, the screen size is really actually decent!

    But i do know that switching between computers is a pain! (if you have a desktop at home)...if you dont have an external display, i would seriously look at the displays. The $300 you save can get you a realy nice display. I wouldnt go any lower than 23" or 24", especially since the prices have gone waay down in the last few years.

    sorry if i contradict myself:):p
     
  11. apersianboyCOM macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    I have the exact same dilemma as you...
    I'm a student too and I've been thinking about getting a 15" MBP with 2.5GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB 7200rpm. I was going to order it this week actually until when I saw the new 17" MBP yesterday and I fell in love with the unibody design (hated the old design MBP).

    What I loved about the 17" from day one was the fact that it's got HD resolution so watching HD films on it would be really good, and the colours just look so much richer and more vibrant.

    I don't know what it would be like to carry around everywhere though, it's like 3KG! (which is only 500g/1.1pounds more than 15") but I like it! I will be using it as a replacement for my desktop and as a laptop for graphic/webdesign and burning movies onto DVD and listening to music and stuff. I would probably take it to university twice a week!

    Also, which is better? the matte screen or the glossy?

    By the way, this will be my first mac :)
     
  12. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    Don't forget the extra USB port XD. Though that does mean there's more power.
     
  13. gr81mgbgt macrumors regular

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    Mar 18, 2008
  14. Nikos thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    Thanks for the input everyone!

    Just to clarify, I use my desktop 95% of the time at home, which is connected to the previous generation aluminum 23" ACD, so resolution at home isn't an issue at all. Although since this laptop will be a lot more capable than my previous MacBook, maybe I'll use it more at home.

    1440x900 seems kind of low to me. I set my desktop resolution to that for a few minutes to see what it was like, and when I went back to 1920x1200 I felt relieved. One advantage of 1440x900 will be less stress on the 9600M GT when I'm playing WoW on the laptop. With the new content, even some gaming PCs struggle in new areas so running the game at that resolution will be easier than at 1920x1200.

    darngooddesign makes a great point though. Even though the dimensions are close, perception IS everything so I think I'm leaning toward the 15" version again. Though I'm sure I will love the 17", it might end up seeming to be a little too big at times. Maybe not though. I need to flip a coin or something!
     
  15. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #15
    The 17 inch is huge.

    I cannot see myself using such a laptop
     
  16. Crash1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #16
    It may not seem like a lot, but, in a laptop, a pound is A HUGE difference. You'll notice it. If you need this laptop to be more portable and you don't need the bigger screen size for anything then I'd say get the 15inch. Like, if you were to pick the two up and compare them side by side, you'd be blown away by how much heavier the 17 feels. I've compared the 13inch mb and the 15inch mbp. The mb weighs 4.5lb and the mbp weighs 5.5lb.. it's a world of difference...

    Also, weight aiside, just the dimensions btw the 15 and 17 are going to be a huge difference in actual feel even though they might appear close on paper. I own a 17inch laptop, and trust me, that thing is huge and unwieldy. Even without the weight factor, it wouldn't be something I'd want to carry around anywhere.
     
  17. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #17
    If you live close enough to an Apple store, why not compare the two (after the 17" comes in) in person? While they won't let you carry it around the store, you can pick it up and feel the weight difference and see the size difference.
    When I was buying my MBP, I couldn't decide between matte and glossy. As soon as I saw how much better looking matte was, I knew which one I wanted.
    Either way, you'll be happy with whichever MBP you choose.
     
  18. Nikos thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nikos

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #18
    Thanks man, this helps a lot!


    I'll definitely go to the store and compare when they come in, just wanted to get some feedback from people with experience.

    I just found these and the 17" looks huge compared to the 15"! The numbers are hard to believe, it looks like a 24" display there. The black border of the video on the 15" could have something to do with that though. It would be awesome to work on, but not so sure if it would be comfortable when lounging around or when I'm on the go. As much as I'd love to have it, I think the 15" is more viable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #19
    The hi-res 17" makes it almost unusable for me. Type and images end up tiny compressed into a 17".
    I am far happier with the idea of a 15" and then putting the extra cash towards the 24" Apple monitor.
    That way, one has the best of all worlds.... more portability when one needs it, and a screen big enough to make the hi-res images worthwhile and comfortable to look at.
     
  20. auero macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #20
    Agreed! I loved my 17" but the amount of time I used to squint and lean in to read text sucked.

    I'm glad I bought the new 15". For that extra money I could buy a second battery and applecare!
     

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