MBP 15" with External Monitor OR MBP 17"??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MiniMini, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. MiniMini macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2007

    I'm planning to switching to MAC. I've always been a PC user and I've been using a 14" laptop (matte screen) as desktop for the past 4.5 years. Since I have a litttle spare money, I'm thinking about buying a MBP and I was wondering if I should buy a 15" MBP or a 17" one. Can you please give me your opinions please?

    My Computer Usage:
    - Use as Desktop
    - Web surfing/ emailing/ online messaging
    - Basic Photo editing
    - Storing lots of photos
    - listening to music
    - Occasionally watch DVDs
    - Maybe learn graphic design
    - may bring to coffee shops (though have never done so)

    Reason I'm choosing a laptop: I can bring it with me when I choose to. I rarely bring my laptop out with me. I think the MB is really handly but the screen is a little too small for me.

    I think that the 17" MBP looks GREAT and the price difference isn't huge (if I'd upgrade the 15" one to 160 HD, there will be only $300 total difference using the Educational discount). Also, I think the 17" MBP is not too big compared to PC laptops.
    P.S. I'm only considering about buying an external monitor, it's not a firm decision at all.

    Here are the questions that I'd like to ask:
    1) Would you rather get a 15" MBP with an external monitor or get a 17" MBP?
    (or get a 17" AND an external monitor if budget allows??)

    2) Would you think that it'd be a waste if I get a 17" MBP and get an external monitor someday?

    3) What are some of the reasons to get a 17" MBP (instead of a 15" MBP with the same processing speed/HD/RAM)?

    4) If I get a glossy screen MBP, and buy an external monitor with matte screen, will I need some time to get used to the screen difference?

    Thank you so much for helping me decide.
    (this is my 1st post here so please don't be harsh if I asked stupid questions)
  2. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Digital World
    Don't buy until Santa Rosa and Leopard. With Leopard you are going to get Resolution Independence feature and hopefully 15" MacBook Pro Resolution will be 1650x1050(I think) and 17" MacBook Pro Resolution will be 1900x1200.
    I recommend the 17" MacBook Pro because it has a better screen resolution, one more USB Port, not that much bigger, better with working with videos and games, runs cooler (I think), has a 7200 RPM Harddrive option and you'll just enjoy more screen estate. You probably don't need a second display with the 17" MacBook Pro because A) The screen is already big enough B) Leopard's Resolution Independence which means you could set a 9000x7500 Display if you want to (in theory with resolution independence). That's going to be real world quality and I will definetly wait until Leopard before making the move.
    Hope this helps, NazMac21
  3. ahuman7341 macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2005
    Fairbanks, AK
    1.15" with external screen seems much better for you,
    You can get the most screen for your money in that case.
    You use it as a desktop most of the time your never really without your big screen.
    It will be lighter when yo do move it.

    2.No, I use a 17 inch display and no where is it enough display space for me so i have an external. Then you can never have TOO much screen real estate.

    3. Screen size is the only advantage that I see.

    4.I have a matte screen on my iMac and a CRT which is glossy and I dont notice it, but I don't think its the same situation.

    In your case I would really choose a Mac Pro. It is much faster and the same price. If you needed a mobile computer for your very rare cases you could use your old pc laptop.
  4. Magnum26 macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2007
    Wroughton, UK
    There are only subtle differences as far as I can see between the 15" and the 17". For a start the screen size and resolution. 15.4-inch has a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels compared to the 17-inch's 1680 x 1050 pixels. The other differences is if you want speed over storage the 17" MBP offers a 100gb 7200rpm where as the 15" only offers the 160gb 5400rpm option. The other difference is the 15" has a 6x double-layer SuperDrive compared to the 8x double-layer SuperDrive that comes with the 17". There are other small things better with the 17" than the 15" for example the 17" has 1 more USB port and boasts an extra half hour battery life, the last thing I can see apart from all that is the weight of 3.1 kg for the 17" compared to 2.54 kg for the 15".

    Thats everything that I can think of the next thing is down to you. Do you go for the slightly smaller, lighter 15" or do you go with the 17" with a few more features but slightly heavier. As You have said before you will be using it on your desk for work and hooking it up to a external monitor so in my opinion I would go with the 17" as I am going to do once "Santa Rosa" chipset comes out.

    Hope that helped. :apple:
  5. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2004
    Nagoya, Japan
    Personally, I think the 17" is too big for normal laptop use. It's more for pro photographers and filmmakers who need something portable with a big screen.

    I suggest a 15" and a large display (say 20"), or if you're not going to play games or use Aperture, a Macbook (13.3") and a huge display. :) Apple's 23" cinema display is beautiful, and no more expensive than displays of equivalent quality from other makers.
  6. Magnum26 macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2007
    Wroughton, UK
    The 17" is mainly designed as a "desktop replacement" and has a good resolution for your photo editing, and has the performance to be able to do anything that you throw at it. I have a iMac Intel Core Duo and it handles Photoshop, Dreamweaver and more with ease. I had a friend with a 17" and he said it wasn't a problem carrying it around the place, after all its only 3kg. If you want to store a lot of information over data speed recovery you can opt for the 200gb 4200rpm hard drive in the 17" that you don't get for the 15", it may sound a bit slower, and no doubt it may be up if it's portability, speed, storage and screen space you want go with the 17".
  7. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I have a 15" MBP with a 20" ACD, that's my answer. :)
  8. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    17" MBP. The resolution is the same as the 20" ACD.
  9. MiniMini thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2007
    Thank you so much for all of your input! :)

    And Magnum26, your explaination is very clear! Thanks a lot.

    I was favoring the 17" mbp and so far, my mind has not changed yet.

    I can't wait to get a MBP!
  10. Magnum26 macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2007
    Wroughton, UK
    Your very welcome. Don't forget to send me some pics of your new baby MBP when you get it as i'm looking to get one soon!

    Good luck. :D
  11. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    For anyone this is going to be a personal preference, but I would go with the 15" and a 20" or larger external LCD. I would do this for the increased portability you'll get from the 15" versus 17" MBP.

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