MBP 15" vs 17" Differences vs Value

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by harcosparky, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Wow ... things do happen fast. Just bought a new 27" iMac because portability was not needed, then I get a phone call, " Hey Sparky, this is Wallace ... wanna come work for me? " I'm thinking, yeah why not .... retirement isn't all that exciting anyway. So now I have to buy a notebook, and was looking at the 15 vs 17?

    $300 USD cost difference .... what do you get?

    So the obvious differences ...

    larger screen
    express card slot
    3rd USB port

    I'm thinking maybe better off with the 15" and spend that $300 on RAM or maybe something else.

    Problem is, my wallet likes the 15" ... my poor old eyes would like the 17".

    I qualify for Education pricing but would like to keep total package under or close to $2500 USD.

  2. sunnyj macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2010
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    you might be able to get a apple refurbished 17" for the price of a brand new 15". refurbs come with a 1 year warranty and are eligible for apple care.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The 15 would probably actually be better. The 17" has a pretty high resolution screen that makes the text and images small, if that would cause problems.
  4. clickclickw00t macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    you can adjust the size for text/images/etc with the settings. Trackpad makes it easy to zoom.

    I personally like the 15inch better. The 17 is too big and heavy for me. Yea it's nice due to the extra screen space, but you have a 27inch iMAC so I doubt you'll need another 17 inches of space.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    by your post it seems that your main reason (not necessarily concern) for purchasing is portability, in which category the 15'' would be better for you to be hauling around in comparison to 17''. if it is in fact a concern, then obviously the 15'' is smaller an easier for you to carry and store somewhere. you already have the desktop and if the 15'' specs can handle what you need (i'm sure they could, it's a great computer) then i believe it would be the ideal choice for you. good luck.
  6. MacMadHatter macrumors newbie


    Jun 4, 2011
    The 17 if you plan on working with multiple documents at once while on the road. I have one and I do not regret it at all. You can go the Refurb route and probably get a free ram boost. A lot of times I've gotten more than the spec's of ram from a refurb off Apple.
  7. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    To help put this into perspective consider this. If you look at the fact that the 17" MBP is just 1 lb. heavier than the 15", still less than an inch thick, with a slightly larger footprint, the 17" is very portable.

    I've got both sizes and by choice I've carried it to work daily for quite some time. The extra room provided by the 17" display is great for working with multiple windows.

    If you take into consideration most 17" laptops are far heavier, thicker and bulkier, suddenly the MBP doesn't seem so big afterall.
  8. diannao macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    If there's a question about being able to read the screen, then you definitely should spend time trying different apps on each screen in an Apple Store.

    The 17" has a high resolution screen. The base 15" has a lower resolution screen, which may be easier on your eyes.

    If your eyes are comfortable with the 17" screen, get it -- I'm very happy with mine, which has the antiglare screen, so it has much less glare/much fewer reflections than the standard glossy screen.
  9. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Thanks for all the input, the decision has been made.

    The winner is ........

    17" 2.3 Ghz / Hi-Res Anti-Glare / 4 Gig Ram / 750 GB HDD

    So far looks EXCELLENT
  10. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Cool. IMO, 17" is more of a desktop replacement than a portable laptop due to it's size and weight but that is entirely based on personal preference. Have fun with your new MBP.
  11. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    should probably go with the 2.2ghz. i doubt that it's worth $250 to go from a 2.2.ghz to a 2.3ghz.
  12. acedickson macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2004
    I second this, that much extra for such a small speed bump isn't worth it, IMO.
  13. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    In looking at my use and needs, it will be used more as a desktop, but portably. I don't see myself pulling a notebook out in say, a restaurant and using it.

    Just need to carry it from one fixed location, to another.

    Heck if it wasn't for my preferred mode of transit ( motorcycle ) I might have bought a 21" iMac and carried it in the car. LOL

    But the iMac requires access to electricity and some places I will go to may not have easy access.

    I agree, however I am not a 'mail order' person when it comes to spending $2500 or so. I like to pick it up IN PERSON where I can check it out before I accept it.

    The only way to get the Anti-Glare at the Apple Store was to suck it up and buy the 2.3 CPU.

    That's how it goes I guess.

    It's for business use, so the cost will be written off.

    Now I need to find some more Memory.

  14. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I'd strongly suggest you check out the SSD options. It is, by far, the single most noticeable upgrade you can make.
  15. Heavertron macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2011
    Agreed. When you are dropping that much money anyway. Plus the SSD is shock resistant for when you are bouncing over pot holes on the motorcycle.
  16. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Already considered them, quite extensively.

    In reality they are not cost effective at this point.

    Perhaps if the technology matures a bit, and they get the price point down, they will become cost effective.
  17. sunnyj macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2010
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    ive ordered the same computer as you. heres a list of things i got from OWC. i plan to put the SSD in the dvd drive bay and move the dvd drive to a external enclosure. the SSD will be my boot drive
  18. bpeeps macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2011
    $2700 computer + $700 third party supplies! Holy smokes.

    You could have gotten all that, the SSD, a boatload of more power in the top-line iMac for 3200. Or even the base Mac Pro with an Apple Cinema Display for 3500.

    But I assume you want the portability...
  19. sunnyj macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2010
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    ^^ i have 4 2009 mac pro's in the studio but i need a power house laptop for editing viedos in the field. :cool:
  20. Chazn macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    High End 15inch definitely.

    17inch is too expensive. If you want a larger screen you might as well go with the iMacs.
  21. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I have a 17in and its just great.
    It also depends on what you do.
    Watch movie, play games, graphic designing, etc.
    And if you need a lot of space to work, 17in is for you because you can open multiple windows and still have some space left.

    3rd USB port is important for me also and expresscard slot, I use a adapter so it can read SD, microSD, Memory Stick Pro Duo, etc

    And the 1920x1200 display is just beautiful.
  22. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You assume correctly.

    Yeah but the BATTERY LIFE in the top of the line iMac really sucks! :cool:

    FWIW - I just bought a 27" iMac about two weeks ago.

    Having owned this 17" for almost a week now, I can pretty much say that those who say it's not very portable, have not used one for any real length of time.

    It's NOT a 17" Windows Notebook ---

    I had a problem finding a case for the 17" MBP because most of the cases on the shelves in the store were for 15".

    I remembered reading that a 17" MBP footprint is about the same as any 15" Windows notebook and I can tell you that is true.

    My 17" MBP resides happily inside a 15" notebook case!!!

    ALSO the ant-glare screen has been good for me and on the 17" that cost $50 ... on the 15" it costs $150.00.

  23. Bobby Corwen, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011

    Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    1. Anyone who says the 17" is bigger than the 15" is lying, they are practically the same size. You should dismiss any notion that one is "more portable" than the other when making your decision. If you put one on top of the other, they are like the same thing. If one is just sitting closed on a table somewhere and you look at it without knowing what size it is, you will have a hard time distinguishing if it is a 15 or a 17. They are both the same for all intents and purposes except one has a higher resolution screen and an extra USB port.

    2. The space between 15" and 17" is not some human logistical sweet spot for the perfect size. The 17" is the sweet spot, --everything else is a compromise due to not having enough money to spend.

    3. SSD should be high on your priority list because its the one component that gives you that next generation speed increase and improves upon a long-time weak-link in the speed of the processing chain.
  24. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX

    So, despite evidence to contrary with facts, the 15" and 17" are the exact same size? Really?

    In fact, 1.5 lb makes so little difference that everyone who bought the 3lb MBA when they could have gotten the 4.5lb 13" MBP. Kinda like the difference between the 5.5lb 15" and the 6.6lb 17". Absolutely no difference?

    I respect your opinion that the 17" may be the best laptop for you. But please don't call other people liars or infer they are wasting their money. That's kinda rude.
  25. snapper64 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stopped reading there :)

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