MBP 15 vs 17

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ix007q, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. ix007q macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2011
    Yes I know its one of the most asked questions...but Im having trouble deciding myself.
    I've looked and can't really see that big of a difference between a 15 and 17 at the apple store. I also don't want to go through the hassle of returning a computer to apple because I dont like the size.
    These are the following things to consider for my purchase:
    • Will be using it for travel, that being said is the 17 bigger than most plane tray tables? Also with the bigger screen is it a bigger liability breaking it some way?
    • Computer will be mainly used for programming, I want to get into video editing/photos
    • Price isn't a factor
    • I used to have an alienware so im used to carrying around a 12lb laptop and regretted it from the day I purchased it. 9lbs for the 17 doesnt seem too bad.
    I appreciate all input and would like to hear some of your personal views about this. Thanks
  2. ethics101 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    Do you need the big screen? I would go either 15 or 13 inch air.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Yes. But I've seen that most people don't use their laptops on planes in coach anyways, since their seat neighbors watch everything they do.

  4. ethics101 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    Longer first class flights have a lot more privacy. But unless you're working with office, an iPad us the way to go on the plane.
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Pretty much any first class seat has more privacy than coach.
  6. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    big screen for programming is nice

    unless you regularly fly business class, both the 17'' and 15'' are too big for plane tray tablets. The problem is not so much the width but the ability to open the lid.

    I did a lot of traveling with a 17'' (pre-unibody) MBP. No problems, no screen breaking. The 17'' is actually 3 kilos, or 6.6 pounds. It's not super light, but the difference between this and the 15'' model is not significant.

    If price isn't a factor, I would consider getting a big SSD.
  7. onions macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    you will have a hard time making the 17 fit on a tray table if you fly coach. so if you plan to travel a lot i really can't recommend it.

    i think the 17 is a waste. it takes up so much more space. and because it takes up more space, finding a suitable bag to carry it will be even harder as most bags and cases are made for the 13 or 15. so not only is your laptop going to be ginormous, the bag is going to be even ginormouser.

    the specs aren't different from the high end 15. you're paying a 300 premium for a heavier machine with more screen real estate. i don't think that's worth it.

    even at 9 lbs, you'll get tired of that. you can do everything you want on a 15" screen. lighter, more portable, fits in more places, on more desktop spaces, on more tray tables. pay a little more for the hi-res option and you'll be golden.
  8. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    The 2.2GHZ 15" would do you fine. It has more than enough power to do what your looking to do, and the 15" screen size will suit you better in your travels.
  9. Zendokan macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2011
    You're going to use it for programming and video/photo editing, so get a 17".

    Trust me when I'm saying that starring on a 15" screen for long periods of time while using it professionally for programming will make you go nucking futs in less than two weeks.
    Even if you connect it to an external monitor, to use most programming and rendering software, you will have to use the MBP's screen also or you are flipping through displays constantly.

    Don't worry about the size of tray tables on airplanes:
    a) they are already to small for a 15", so size doesn't matter
    b) you will not get any work done during flight when your neighbour is watching your screen or he's eating or he's sleeping (read: snorring like a chainsaw)

    If you were just using it for mails and making some presentations a 15" would be enough, but for programming and rendering go for a 17".
  10. Steve Jobs., Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

    Steve Jobs. macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2010
    I think 15 is the perfect balance between portability and usability.

    btw, I program alot, I'm a CS major.
  11. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    The 15" is too tiny to be editing images and video for any length of time.

    Well he did state clearly....

    Computer will be mainly used for programming, I want to get into video editing/photos

    For that kind of work, the bigger the screen the better.
  12. Schranke macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    If i were you i would go for the 15" and then upgrade the screen to get more pixels.
    I had a 17" laptop back in the days and i found it to be to big to do anything good when i was traveling.
    The 15" is a good size, you get the feeling of sitting with something of a reasonable size and its not in the way.

    And Go for a SSD, the best decision i have made for my computing need (except going mac:D)

    And for plane trips, get something really offensive and have it in the bag ground, when ever your neighbor take a look on you screen pull it up.
    Either the neighbor will react and say something about it, and you asking why he is reading you screen. or he will do nothing and start not looking.
  13. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
  14. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    my thoughts exactly. I have the Hi-Res 15" and do quite a bit of video/photo editing. It works fine for me.
  15. greenchiliman macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Are programming on these flights or at the destinations away from home? If not, then I would recommend the 15" hi-res and a second monitor for home/office, especially if price is not an issue
  16. frederikjan macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2011
    I'm considering upgrading my very old MacBook to a new Pro as well, and had the same dilemma as you.

    From my experience working with computers, especially for programming (I'm in SAP), vertical pixels is what you want. A 17" over a 15" won't give you _that_ much more productivity for your programming which I'll assume will be the main activity here.

    And for serious video editing, you'll want a separate (much bigger) display anyway ...

    In short, I'd go for the 15, save yourself some cash, buy a good monitor for less than you saved by buying the 15, not the 17. And stick to video/photo editing on your 15" when you're travelling, and do it on the big screen when you're at home.

    And also, as mentioned several times before, a 17" won't fit your tray in coach. And if you fly Ryanair or Virgin, it won't fit at all ;)
  17. AppleWarMachine macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
    [*]Will be using it for travel, that being said is the 17 bigger than most plane tray tables? Also with the bigger screen is it a bigger liability breaking it some way?

    Considering your needs, I would go with the 15" (high-res)
  18. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    I just traveled for the first time by plane with my 17" MBP yesterday so I'll give you my story. I had no problems using it on my tray table, though I managed to drain the battery pretty hard even though I was plugged in to empower (I was playing the sims 3). Granted though, I was sitting in First Class in the bulkhead row (first row) so I had no worries about someone leaning back, but this is also applicable to bulkhead rows of coach and in most exit rows, the seats in front are far enough away to not be a concern. As for width, couldn't tell ya, have yet to try the 17" pro in coach, though if you have an empty seat next to you, you'll be fine.

    International first and business will not be a problem at all I can guarantee you that.
  19. ix007q thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2011
    Thanks for the replies everybody. I think I am going to go with the 17inch. Just wanted to see the benefits of the 15 but I've read around and went to the apple store a few times. the 17inch it is! I sent my order in yesterday...went with a ssd as mentioned...cant wait to pair this against my windows desktop. Appreciate everyones input!

Share This Page