MBP 15' or 17' for college student?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Emrtr4, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Emrtr4 macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2006
    Okay, so I've already ruled out the MBA because while the size is great, it simply isn't powerful enough.

    So now, do I go with the 15' MBP or the 17'.

    I have heard mixed things though about how much college students actually take their computers to class. Next year I will be a starting freshman studying international relations and I cannot imagine that I will need to bring my computer with me too often. If I get the 15 I will need an external monitor, but if I get the 17 I will not; and could save room on my desk-heck, I wouldn't even need to buy an external keyboard with the 17.

    Thoughts? Am I an idiot to even consider the 17' for college?
  2. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    seems you have made a decision already. the 17 MBP
    base on your short description on how you'll use it..

    what you NEED is a Macbook
    what you WANT is a MacbookPRO
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Well, dorm room space is limited. I don't know how well a seventeen foot MacBook Pro will fit in there...

    But a 17" MacBook Pro should be no problem whatsoever. Go for it!
  4. Emrtr4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2006
    ahaha, my bad. Yes, I think a 17" mbp will fit just fine.
  5. MPHL macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2008
    I am college bound as well and I just got my MBP. I went with the 17'' with the High Def screen and I couldn't be happier :). I'm fully confident that you will be more then happy with it. I think having 30% more screen real-estate for only 2'' more if definitely worth it.
  6. Sonicjay macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    lol, beat me to it

    Why do you say you'd need an external monitor with the 15 though?
  7. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    I just got mine for school (Engineering) and I got the 15" for a couple reasons:

    1. It was the only one I could afford :D
    2. The 15" seemed less obtrusive (not like 17" is any more)
    3. Didn't have a need for the higher resolution or 512MB VRAM
    4. 1440x900 doesn't require the resources as much as the 17" (negligible though)

    I probably would have gotten a 17" if I could have affored it more.
  8. bamaworks macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Lexington, KY
    Without a doubt the 15" will be a lot better to carry around...
  9. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I went with the 15" when I got mine two years ago. I think it was a good choice. It's easier to carry around and if I need more screen real estate I hook it up to a 20" external monitor.
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I would say 15 myself for portability reasons. 2 inches doesn't sound like much until you are carrying it around. I used to think Id never take my laptop to class when I went to a campus....boy was I wrong. I used it all the time to type notes in class (us left handers have horrid writing) and I found it easier to organize my notes too on the computer. Not to mention if the prof was talking about something I wanted more info on I always had the internet at my finger tips. Not to mention the time between classes as well I had internet to play on.

    If you want to use an external in your dorm by all means do, its a great option. Back in my living area where I work (which is smaller then a dorm) I have a 26inch monitor set up that I plug into each night and work on. In the daytime I carry my laptop to the office and work on it there. Its a great setup.
  11. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    Get the 15"

    It's a much better form factor for carrying around. The 17" is a desktop replacement.
  12. teh0ne macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2008
    Have you had a chance to really play around with a MBP or even a MB? 13.3" really is more than enough space for your everyday computing.
  13. moranej macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2008

    I'm an engineering student and somehow survived my first 3 years using a dell inspiron (idk how) but im switching to a mac. Do I need to spend 1700 + applecare on a MBP? Can I get away with a macbook for matlab and maple, cad, etc?
  14. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2006
    Tyler, Texas
    Get the 17". I love my 15" as it is just perfect for me (sure I'd like a HD 17" but it would be all want and no need) but I'm sure you wouldn't want to have to hook up an external monitor (and pay for a monitor) every time you go back to your dorm room. I just started back to school this past spring for my MBA and while most students don't bring their computers to class I definitely do as it makes for taking notes a lot easier and faster and I can browse the internet when the lecture or classroom discussion gets a little boring.
  15. liquidh2o macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2004
    I went with the 15" for the portability. You can get a 20" LCD for the price difference, and it wouldn't really take up all that much space on your desk.
  16. teh0ne macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2008
    I don't know why you'd want to use Matlab over Mathematica, but a plain vanilla MB would handle what you've stated easily.
  17. gusious macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2007
    well,i have the same problem with you...I can't decide whether i should get a 15 or a 17 MBP.....Tough decision.....
  18. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    If you plan on taking it to class, get a 15", the 17" form factor becomes unwieldy if you are constantly taking it in and out of your backpack.

    Considering the base MBP runs $2000 and the 17" Hi-Res runs $2900, the extra money could go towards a very nice 24" Monitor, you could even pick up a used 30" at that price point.


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