My 17" MBP observations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PDE, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Well, I believe I've finally found a good macbook pro! After a series of more or less problematic 15" macbook pros and macbooks, I was offered an upgrade to a 17" by the Apple Store. The last week I've experienced what can only be called unbelievable customer service and I feel that it made up for the ridiculously poor experience I've had this year with Apple computers. In fact, I've never had such great service before in my life.

    My observations:

    - wow, it's huge! But still quite portable because it's so thin. Will take some time getting used to.

    - fit and finish is top notch throughout. I'm picky but I can't find a single fit and finish flaw on it. The display shuts perfectly with no warp, all plastic and metal areas are tight and the keyboard seems even too! Update: the one thing I would comment on is the way the back of the screen bezel flexes when I push on it or grap the computer. It's not surprising given how large the surface is, but it would have felt more reassuring if Apple had put something underneath to stabilize it all so that there was no flex. As a result, the computer feels less solid than the more compact mbps. I guess the size itself makes the thing feel less sturdy and nothing can be done about that. I wouldn't want to add anything that adds to the weight or size. Given how huge the screen is, it's surprisingly portable and light.

    - The display does not slam shut. When it gets to around 20 degrees, there is a very noticeable resistance that requires me to push a little harder to get it shut. Other than that, I really like the silky smooth display hinge on this on this one. Ah, I just tried tipping it toward me! And yes, it does 'fall' and hit my hands. Ok, so that is a weakness and we'll see if it bother me in practice. The only time I can imagine that it would is if I use it in bed when laying down. However, when I adjust the display when the computer is on a desk or my lap it does stay put.

    - Sound. The sound output on this is really great. significantly better than any other laptop I've had. The pismo was pretty great too, but this one has very rich sounds.

    - DISPLAY. Ok, the bad first: the display IS brighter on the right side compared to the left. It's not too bad, but it's definitely there and it's something that I'd like to fix before the warranty runs out. It's barely noticeable though. The GOOD news: this is a significant improvement over the 15" I had. it's not quite as bright (I don't like the 15" brightness because it is largely a result of the brightness filter)but it's vertical and horizontal viewing angles are better, whites are white, there is no grain, no shimmer (it's matte version - happy to be back) and the quality when viewed straight on seems very similar to my cinema display in terms of color, contrast, brightness. I had one 15" that was pretty good in this regard but it did have grain and that weird shimmer. Besides the slightly brighter right side, this display is simply beautiful.

    -Quiet and cool. I ran it quite intensively last night and except for underneath, wher it got toasty, it remained cool and completely comfortable. The latest crop of 15" are pretty cool too, but I guess the larger form factor gives these a slight edge in this department. Heard some fans at one point, but not loud at all. I also feel the DVD drive is quieter.

    -Wireless reception seems similar to the 15" - pretty good, but still not as good as the macbook.

    To summarize, I'm excited! I'm not used to the size yet, but this is a beautiful, powerful computer that can handle anything I throw at it. I might get the display replaced in the future, but even that is not in any way urgent. Loving it.

    Here are a few picrtures I took. It's hard to see, but the picture with the two webpages shows how the left side is slightly darker. The white background shows a little, but not really.

    Attached Files:

  2. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Good review. Might get a 17 incher as my next laptop since they seem to have fewer issues. Not saying i'm not happy with mine (15") now.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Nice to hear the other side of the coin for a change. I appreciate some people have problems, big problems, with Apple's service but it's nice to get a little balance once in a while. Enjoy your MBP; can't wait to get mine next year. :)
  4. countach macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2006
    You're never going to get a unit with perfectly even brightness. From what I can see, you've got a good unit, and you'd be wasting your time trying to get it fixed under warranty, and even if they decided to do something about it, it is likely to do more harm than good. Stop looking at a perfectly white screen and enjoy.
  5. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Yes, you're right. It's very good and for most situations it's perfect. The picture above doesn't really show the difference between left and right, but even so it is perfectly fine. And you're right also about getting it replaced - there is always a chance that something else will be wrong. A

    I'm just happy that I don't want to return this one and that everything seems great so far! Very happy....and, above all, relieved.
  6. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    That looks a lot like my screen, except gets progressively yellower as you work to the top left corner.

    And my fit and finish is pretty bad.

    Does yours have the pop every time a sound is first played after silence?
  7. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Haven't noticed a pop, no. I feel the fit and finish is excellent - what's wrong with yours? The only thing I can fault is the flex in the aluminum on top when closed, otherwise everything feels and looks great. that's a design thing that Apple should have made an effort to fix. Whites are very white - no yellow - but, as I mentioned, the left side is darker and it is noticeable in real life. But it still looks great compared to what I've been seeing on the 15". No grain! I was almost getting used to the grain, but now that I have a display without it, I realize how annoying it was.

    This is obviously a much larger machine than the other ones and therefore just doesn't feel as solid. Given the choice of materials and the desire to keep the weight down, I don't know if it could be done that much better.
  8. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I just wanted to add how much I'm enjoying this matte display. I've now gone from matte (old powerbook) to macbook pro matte, macbook glossy, macbook pro 15" glossy and now this one. I thought the glossy of the 15" was better simply because the grain was hidden more. Since there's no grain on this one and whites are white, matte feels easier on the eyes and there's no reflection. I didn't have a huge problem with reflection with the glossy 15" but I would occasionally find that I was simply used to having reflections and didn't notice it. My eyes did notice it though and were quite tired. Anyway...that's a very subjective thing.
  9. hotboiled macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    baad screen

    hee all

    run and tryout the gradient ....

    My 17" screen sucks BIG time :mad: :mad:
    lots of color banding and the red in the corner is pixelated and becomes 1 red spot :(
    hook op a cinema display and you will see that the colors are f***up to :mad:

  10. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    The plastic gasket doesn't fit flush with the chassis pretty much all the way around, top and bottom. The area above the superdrive creaks when you rest your palm on it to type, the hinge creaks when you close the lid, the screen makes some buzzing noise, the pop noise from the speakers, the keyboard is coming unglued by the arrow keys, the magsafe causes some kind of interference with the speakers and makes them hum. Lid looks really warped when closed. Battery doesn't sit flush, moves around.

    Can't think of anything else right now. I am going to wait until Apple gets their ducks in a row as far as the screens go and see what this rumor of stopped production turns out to be, and probably try again on another 17". It will be my third.

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