MBP 17 for a student - how portable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by addoh, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. addoh macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    Hey guys,

    After TONS of thinking, researching etc I've come to the conclusion that a MBP 17 might be my best alternative. I edit photos, sometimes on the go, and watch videos/browse the web.

    Thing is I want something GOOD for editing photos, but still can't purchase an iMac or a desktop system since I live with friends in a small apartment, stay with my parents every other weekend and so on. I also need/want to bring my computer with me to the university one or a few times a week, when doing projects (I'm in med school so nothing too high tech).

    Anyway, I've written my story in the MBA forums, I only came here to ask you guys: how portable is the MBP 17 really?

    I'm 6'2, 185 ibs, very athletic. Weight shouldn't be an issue. Size might be a problem in lectures, but I don't need the computer then anyway.

    I simply wonder if some of you regularly transport your 17 MBP, and how you find it. Is it very cumbersome? What bag do you use?
  2. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2010
    I carry my 17" MBP around once or twice a week. It's not bulky or even very heavy for that matter. Portability shouldn't be a problem.

    I use the "Glove" sleeve by RadTech. I love it.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
  4. addoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    I just put a 6,5 ibs physiology book in my backpack and carried it from work, didn't even notice it. I guess 17 MBP will be as portable as 13 for me, with the only downside being the footprint. But, as I said, I'll mainly use it on tables/in my lap at home. I'll get an iPad 2 for the rest..
  5. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    I've carried around heavier ones for work in the past. I used to carry a 10 lb Sony along with extra battery, charger and cables and the bag, it all came to nearly 20 lbs all told. It didn't bother me but I was younger and stronger then. The mbp 17" is almost a quarter that weight. I think it weighs less than a lot of textbooks. My biggest worry would be the cost of it getting damaged or losing it. Us older guys know that what used to be considered portable was 4x what the mbp 17" weighs and it wasn't that long ago. Now everyone wants their laptop to weigh only 2 or 3 lbs, including me <grin>.
  6. thuglove macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
  7. vulsker macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    I got a 17 inch and love it. The heft makes it feel more of a machine than a normal laptop but doesn't cause any issues to me carrying it. The difference between a 15inch and the 17inch are so minor its ridiculous. Plus the resolution on the 17 is awesome! Plus, I use a swiss ibex backback.
  8. BAC5.2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    I think your only issue will be footprint. A 17" MBP would just be too big for me.
  9. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    A 17 inch laptop won't fit on a lot of desks in a college lecture hall.
  10. addoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    I know, but thing is I rarely used my 13 MB during lectures anyway. I find I'm less prone to listening when having my computer open in front of me, and I almost never take notes. I'm starting my second semester and will try to take some hand-written notes this time. I'll probably get an iPad 2 for surfing at the university when studying (basic research etc). Seems like a nice setup with a PORTABLE desktop computer (17 MBP) for everything I do, and an iPad 2 for surfing/research/basic notes.

    I just found this bag:


    Which seems nice, the Medium size to be specific. Fits the 17 MBP, and probably a couple of textbooks. Will be heavy, but I don't mind the workout...

    Also, it should fit my Canon 5D + a fixed 50 1.4 without problems, making it PERFECT for short trips to Barcelona or the likes.
  11. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    its not that its heavy, its the amount of suface area the 17inch macbook has which is quite a bit.

    personally the 15inch is best of both worlds
  12. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm 5'10" and 105 lb (I don't know why I can't gain weight?) and I can carry a 15" daily with one hand. You'll have no problem with the 17" whatsoever :D
  13. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    It's too big for most desks around college and for most backpacks. It's also the heaviest laptop from Apple. I have a 15" and it doesn't bother me all that much, but after 1-2 hours of carrying around it's not comfortable at all, imagine a 17"! Just get a 15" with HR display.
  14. dblock05 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    Difference in weight/size between the 17" and 15" is minimal.

    Although, I have a 17" and I'm going to pharmacy school in August. Our "desks" are big enough so it isn't an issue.
  15. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    but increase in surface area is pretty significant
  16. addoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks a lot everyone, you really help! I'm pretty much set on the 17 MBP now, for reasons listed in previous posts. When I have even more cash I'll get an iPad 2.

    But...now to a perhaps even more annoying dilemma:

    Buy now or wait? My 2008 uMB is fine really, except for screen and performance with photo editing. I really want a new laptop though, and my dad needs my uMB since his old Asus has gone to *****.

    I could put up with waiting until Christmas, but all the current rumors are so damn vague and nothing at all seems to be trustable...

    If I wait I'll just get 4 Gb RAM for my uMB and pile up the remaining cash. Then I'll buy a high end 17 MBP as soon as they are updated, no questions asked and no buyers remorse whatsoever since I know I'm getting the latest and greatest. The other option is to buy the best 17 MBP now, give my uMB to my dad (which means he'll help me fund the computer, I'll probably pay less than 50% for the 17 MBP...). Then, whenever the update comes, be it this Christmas or April 2012, I'll sell it and get the new one.

    I'm fully aware noone can really help me with this, since NOBODY knows what's coming, but aaargh!
  17. Uffish Thought macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2011
    The iPad and 17" MBP is a great combination. I use mine the same way; reading, web, social stuff on the iPad, everything else on the MBP.

    I read a lot of PDF articles on the iPad, and wouldn't if I had to open up my notebook.

    The weight isn't an issue with the right backpack. I have an Adidas backpack that has a notebook sleeve right up against the back, and it fits the 17" perfectly.

    It's a big compromise working on a 15" screen once you have had the 17", I'll never go back.
  18. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    they wont have new ones till early next year. u my as well buy now or u could wait and use a n old computer for school for a semester and a half
  19. dblock05 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    If you're in med school, you'll be in one building for the next few years.
  20. LostParadox macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2011
    I do quite abit of photo editing as well and i use the MBP 15" (see signature). I have had no issues thus far with it. However the 17" MBP is a power house from what i'm told and i have many friends that carry the 17" around daily. You cant go wrong with either. best of luck =D
  21. addoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    What do you mean dblock05? =)

    And LostParadox, I think 17 will be fine for carrying! There were several times last semester when I carried a 25+ ibs duffle and a 25 ibs backpack from my parents house all the way to school and back. A pain, sure, but doable. I don't think 1 ibs extra on the laptop will be much compared to that =).
  22. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    I think the 17 inch is plenty portable. For it's form factor, it's the best-in-class. Slim and light compared to most 17+ inch notebooks. It's about the size of a "PC branded" 15.6-16 inch laptop, so it's not that big. I also have and iPad 2 for my "portable" needs. The MBP acts as a desktop with the ability to go as needed and the iPad 2 as my on-the-go machine. Works for most cases, the MBP fills the rest of the needs. Thought about getting a Thunderbolt display for the ultimate docking experience for the MBP, but I think it's a little redundant with a 17 inch notebook. If I had the 13 or 15, probably more likely.
  23. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    I don't care how "athletic" you are I'll carry around a lighter notebook any day of the week than a heavy one. Just putting that out there....I'll take a 13" maxed out air over a 17" just my preference...
  24. addoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    Of course weight isn't a POSITIVE thing, but it matters less if you're well built. A 120 ibs woman would probably suffer more than me from that extra 1.5 ibs.

    I was actually dead set on a MBA 13 ultimate, but I realised I want a portable desktop more than an ultraportable. I think MBP 17 + iPad 2 gives me a lot more than just MBA 13, to be honest.
  25. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I would seriously go for a MBA and an external display. Powerful enough for anything that needs to be done outside and amazing when you're home.

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