Macbook Pro 15" or 17"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sword, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. sword macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2007
    I'm trying to decide between buying a 15" or a 17" Macbook Pro for college, but I'm not sure if the larger screen size of the 17" model is both worth the higher cost and larger overall size.

    I own a 15" Macbook Pro from '06 that I have beaten to hell, and I've always loved it's size. Thing is, whenever I have been working on projects or writing code, I have felt cramped by the screen size. To anyone who owns or has owned a 17" MBP: does the larger screen size really matter that much? Also, does the overall larger size of the 17" inconvenience you at all?

    Now to ask an over-asked question: Glossy or matte? I plan on using the computer outside as I have with my current laptop, so I'm leaning towards the matte screen.

    Regardless of which model of macbook pro I buy, I'm planning on buying a large display for my dorm room. The decision is mostly screen size vs portability for me.
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you ask me, the only good choices are either 13" or 17".

    15" has neither portability nor screen real estate, i.e its only slightly smaller physically than 17", but significantly larger than 13".

    If having big screen on the go is important, get 17" - you may not even need an external screen as the resolution on this thing is 1920x1200 and the quality is the best I've ever seen for a laptop.

    If you're fine with a smaller screen on the go and would like to carry around a smaller laptop, get the 13" and an external screen.
  3. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Mar 19, 2009
    Unless your eyes are young and very healthy - the 13-inch MBP is really not for you. The 15-inch model is a far better choice over the 13-inch IMHO, although if you really want to get some serious work done then get the 17-inch model.

    If you mostly plan to use your laptop in your own study or room, then the glossy is amazing but if you want to use the laptop while travelling or outside then go for the matte finish. :cool:
  4. gniss39 macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    I currently have a 13 inch blackbook now and am considering upgrading to the new MBPs. The question is do I want 15 or 17 inch? I know the 17 " isn't that much bigger yet you gain so much with the screen resolution! I'm gonna go to the local university mac store and try them out to see if that helps me decide.
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005

    Both 13 and 15" have the same DPI, but on 17" it's much higher (= smaller objects on the screen = more strain on the eyes)
  6. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Yes, why harangue over 2 inches of screen size when for the price difference between the 15" and 17" you can get a 20+ " external monitor? That'll solve your screen real estate problem very efficiently.
  8. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I will agree with this ^^^
    If the 17" was the only thing you wanted to own then of course I'd go with that but since you are wanting a bigger display for your dorm, then the 13" or 15" is the way to go.
    I bought the 17" because it's my main unit and the only thing at this point that will be added is a Wacom Cintiq that also can be used as an external display so for me it's the best of both worlds.
    Had the 13" MBP been designed with a FW port when it was a MB back in '08, I would have jumped at the small size and bought the Dell 22" external display for most of my programs.
    Last even if you do say I'm going all the way with the 17" MBP, the size is 15" x 10.5" which I believe is only about an inch bigger than your 15" for footpad space. Course you could also get a mStand to place your new MBP on and gain a few inches under the MBP but that depends upon your desk size.
    Either way enjoy your new MBP and post pics with the final outcome :D
  9. twixx007 macrumors newbie


    Jun 24, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I got the 17" because....

    I just bought the 17" MBP because I am a web developer and do a lot of coding. I also meet with clients sometimes and I want to make sure they are not hunched over my laptop due to a small screen. I went with a 17" for the matte screen (the 15" and 13" doesn't have this option) and 500GB hdd. Also, I like having the express card slot versus the sd card slot in the 15". The data transfer rate in the 17" is 3.0GB versus the 1.5GB in the newer 15" MBP.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Have you been under a rock for the last couple of days? ;)
  11. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    The 17" feels a lot less portable than the 15". For me it was less about lugging it around, than being able to open it up and work on it in smaller spaces.

    I had a 15" before and upgraded to the 17". Love it, but just not practical to carry around all the time when you're on the go. I now keep the 17" mostly at home (although I'm using it at Starbucks right now!), and got a MBA for my daily travel to and from work.

    I prefer the matte screen over the glossy, but that's really a personal preference thing that you need to decide for yourself.
  12. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Personally I find the 15" to be the sweet spot. I own both a 13", which I treat as a netbook, and a 15" which is my general work machine. The 13" is a tad too small and not much lighter than the 15". I bought it b/c I knew it was going to be a 2nd laptop and wanted to save some $.

    The 17"ers are nice, but you can't use them in a coach seat on a plane. I image the same might be true in a college auditorium... at least the ones I had lectures in back in the day. I know the new ones are build more for comfort and computers, so I could be wrong. But the 17" is about a 1.1lbs heavier than the 15". Not sure if I'd want to be carrying around 6.5lbs around campus. 5.5lbs is bad enough.
  13. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    I like my 15" and have no problem carrying around. If you want a notebook to be really portable get the 13" and an external:)
  14. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Will be purchasing a 15" MBP in next but now highly considering
    upgrading to a 17" for $200 more.

    Can anyone absolutely confirm that the 17" is too big for airplane
    coach travel?

    I know back in the day the 17" laptops were awfully huge. However,
    Apple's unibody design only adds about an inch (more or less) over
    the 15" so I am skeptical about whether it really is anti-coach friendly.
  15. EMKarelia macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2009
    i would pay 300.00 more and get the 17" Macbook pro.

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