My Laptop is too big!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by marioman38, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #1
    I've had my 17" MBP since December 2006, it was perfect for me at the time, I really just used it at home. I never realized just how mammoth and heavy it was until I started college in Sept. 2008. I have only brought it to school 2 or 3 times, its just a pain to carry around campus!

    I "need" a new smaller Macbook. I would love to get the refurb 15" but I won't get my iPod, and I feel the extra "7 hour" battery is important at school.

    1) Coming from the 17", the 15" should feel much more portable being smaller, and a pound lighter, or am I going to wish I skipped to the 13".

    2) The 9400M? I've searched and it seems to be comparable to my X1600? I'm hoping to get more into Photography, I use LightRoom 2 a few times a week, it seems to hang semi-often on my mac, how will the 9400 perform?

    3) Keep in mind this is my only machine. If I could afford the 15" with intigrated, I would. Will the 15" be much better for my photo work, or is the portability of the 13" outweigh it?

    I am looking only at the low end 13" or the low end 15" due to budget constraints. It has to be new for the iPod promotion, plus the new battery life.
     
  2. nefan65 macrumors 65816

    nefan65

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #2
    If it were me...I'd go the new MBP 13", and if $$ permitting, get an external monitor if you need it for the editing pieces you do. It's VERY portable, great battery life, etc...
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #3
    I would go for 13" as well. It's just more portable than 15" and you really need portablilty
     
  4. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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  5. Scott6666 macrumors 65816

    Scott6666

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    Feb 2, 2008
    #5
    I agree with the new 13". Thinking hard about buying that instead of an Air to be more portable than my 15" MBP.
     
  6. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Elk Grove, CA
    #6
    Wow, and I was about to jump the gun and go for the 15".

    If I bought the 13" I probably would never get around to using an ext. monitor, even though it sounds nice. I often use my laptop while lying in bed. Even at 4pm! My desk is cluttered, lol.

    How's the lower res of the 13" for photography? I'm coming from 1680x1050, so I assume its quite noticable? The switch to glossy will certainly be a change, and I believe they use LED backlights now or something? Thats supposed to be brighter and better for photo?

    Thanks Guys! :)
     
  7. nefan65 macrumors 65816

    nefan65

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #7
    To be honest, I can't say how the 13" would be with photo/vid editing. Professionally, I'm told it's not even close to a 15" or 17" w/ hi res option. But in comparison to a 15" Window Laptop @ 1680x1050 vs. my White MB with 1280x800, I don't see the difference. I think the colors are probably the issue, not sure.

    I did pick up a UMB 15" and 13" at Best Buy recently [not the latest and greatest just announced], and I couldn't really tell the difference. The 13" was a tad lighter, and a tad smaller, but nothing noticeable. The question is the additional 1" diagonal increase in screen size, and going to 1400x900 worth the extra $$$? Not to me...
     
  8. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #8
    Mmk, well I'm certainly no "professional". Just a hobbiest with an interest in photo. Although I started out shooting 35mm B&W with my Ilford Delta 100 film :)

    -Concerns with the new 13" "pro"-

    L2 Cache - I have 4Mb, the new one has 3Mb - I don't think I will notice?

    Processor - My 2.33 C2D vs 2.26 - Will the 2.26 be faster at Photoshop? It has some sort of new architecture?

    Video Card - How will the 9400M be compared to my X1600 w/ 256MB? Marginally slower at photoshop? Noticably slower? Or about the same?

    And Lastly. Grand Central. I fear I may be missing out on a lot when 10.6 comes out and I don't have discrete graphics.
     
  9. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #9
    Marioman,

    I just got back from the Apple store to help me make the same decision. My current laptop is also a 17" 1st Gen MBP. I love it but like you, it sometimes gets too large to carry around. But, I have traveled all around the world with it over the last 3 years and HAVE taken it to work every day for a year. It's large, but doable. Before I saw them in person I had convinced myself to get the 15" because it seemed more portable. To be honest, the difference isn't that great between the 15" and 17". If I could take the 15" around I can take the 17".

    The other aspect was screen real estate. I've gotten used to having two Safari windows open next to each other or a browser and a Word document. I do a lot of research and writing and this helps me be more efficient. You can't do that on the 15". This is tough to describe without pics but ..

    17": A full browser and a Word document fit next to each other with a little room to spare.

    15": 25% of the browser was hidden behind the document

    13" 40% of the browser was hidden behind the document.

    This is a completely unscientific and subjective approach but it helped me compare.

    My conclusion ... the 15" doesn't cut it for me. It's so close in size to the larger one that its not truly portable. The screen resolution is also too low. If my browser is going to be hidden anyway and I'll be using Expose/Spaces for my workflow, then I may as well drop down to the 13" or the MacBook Air.

    The final aspect is completely subjective. The 'lust factor'. I've realized I don't like the current designs. The black keys and border are generic and don't give me the same 'I wanna buy it' feeling that the old ones did. Keeping that in mind, the 15" is just too blah. Not sexy and portable, not thin and large. The 17" does have some lust factor. Its the thinnest 'large' laptop on the market and the screen is something else! On the other end - I don't like the 13" MBP either. The MBA is something that is unique.

    That's my opinion. Keep in mind that my main consideration is the screen resolution. I haven't decided which way to go yet. All I know is that the 15" is out of consideration. It's either the 17" or one of the smaller ones. The 17" compared to my machine has an incredible screen that does make me want it. I might even keep my current machine. It's being overhauled by Apple and meets my needs. I like the old design. I also couldn't get used to the glass trackpad. It was too hard to push it!

    It's not worth it. The slight difference in size and weight doesn't make it any more portable than the 17". It's going to feel cramped. You're going to have to get used to it and if that's the case, may as well go fully portable and get the 13" Others can chime in on the graphics card etc.

    Cheers,

    eV
     
  10. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #10
    Wow, thank you! I haven't been to the apple store yet, even though its only 20min away. I had convinced myself that I needed the 15" as well, until this thread that is. The resolution is a matter to me only for full screen apps, like photoshop or lightroom, I always have one app only, and frequently "apple tab"... sorry, I mean "command tab" between multiple apps.

    Well, the resolution issue can be fixed by a cheap $200 23" HD Dell display I suppose.

    I would still like to know though...

    Processor - My 2.33 C2D vs 2.26 - Will the 2.26 be faster at Photoshop? It has some sort of new architecture?

    Video Card - How will the 9400M be compared to my X1600 w/ 256MB? Marginally slower at photoshop? Noticably slower? Or about the same?
     
  11. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #11
    Photoshop does not use the graphcs card, except in cs4 for live zooming and rotation which even a properly driver intel graphics could handle (Mac OSX Leopard Intel drivers are crap) The 9400m is about only 33% as fast as the x1600 though. Your sacraficing alot. Seriously. You will miss the 17 inch in some aspects. Would be nice if apple put numberpads on their 17 inches though.
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #12
    You definitely need to bump that freshman 15, to at least a freshman 50 or more to increase the size of your lap and make that big 17" laptop look like a toy.

    aka, get a bigger lap. ;)
     
  13. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #13
    Haha, I don't even have a freshmen 15! lol 120lbs FTW! :cool:

    Ok well processor wise. 2.33GHZ C2D vs. the new architecture of this 2.26ghz whatever it is. I assume photoshop may be faster cause of the newer (SR or whatever they are) intel chips??
     
  14. Nasty Roo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    WA
    #14
    I suggest getting the 13". I have one myself and love it to death. You'll adjust quickly to the smaller screen (I had a 15.4" PC Laptop before my conversion) and you'll really appreciate the portability of the 13". I'm a college student myself and couldn't imagine lugging around a 17" beast. Also, as someone said before, the 15" really isn't much more portable than the 17".

    As far as the processor goes, with that small of a difference you're not going to notice it. The difference is virtually insignificant in terms of every day use.

    Plus, when you take cost into account, you're spending quite a bit more for some pretty insignificant changes.
     
  15. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #15
    I wish the 15" had a higher screen resolution. It's sad really - for the first time in 5 years there isn't an Apple machine I'm lusting after. I've got the cash to spend but none of the current offerings really meet my needs. I mean, my 2006 MBP17 has more real estate than a 2009 15" model? I don't get their reasoning. MAke a high res a BTO like it was on the 17" a while ago!

    17 is too big to lug around daily, 13 is too small and the 15 sacrifices too many features for not that much more portability.

    eV
     
  16. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #16
    17" MBP works fine for me. I move mine almost every day.

    It's no way "mammoth" or "heavy", considering most PC 15" laptops are the same size and same weight as MBP 17".

    Perhaps someone needs to work out.
     
  17. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #17

    If you meant me. :)

    It's getting a little unwieldy and sometimes a PITA to take from one spot to the other. I'd prefer something smaller at this point and that's AFTER 3 years of using a 17" in every possible scenario.

    eV
     
  18. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #18
    +1 for a higher res 15" thats why I don't feel so bad going down to a 13".

    Don't mean to extend the thread too long, but I'm just trying to notice the differences between the 17" MBP classic, and the 13" Pro.

    + Magnetic Lid
    + Newer Architecture CPU
    + 7 Hour Battery
    + SD Card Reader
    + Light Weight
    + Up to 8 GB Ram
    + Faster FSB
    + LCD Backlight Screen

    - Only one fan!? (Runs hotter?)
    - Discrete GPU
    - Front Row Remote
    - ExpressCard
    - "Slower" Processor
    - Lower Res Screen
    - Glossy Screen Only!
    - One USB Port
    - FW 400
    - Crappy Speakers

    More?

    It's in my cart. Thanks Apple for the $100 edu discount now, the iPod, and $100 off the Canon Pixma MX860 :D
     
  19. AppleiZac macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    #19
    Prepping to buy a new MBP...wondering how that printer is? like..photos/speed/etc..how do you use it...good deal for $100 after rebate?
    thanks
     
  20. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
  21. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #21
    - USD 2000? :D

    Does your classic have the black bezel, plastic keys and glass trackpad?

    eV
     
  22. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #22
    Nope, 2.33Ghz C2D Merom. The one directly after yours. Fall 2006. Silver keyboard with normally spaced keys! Matte screen! And a NORMAL trackpad! W00t!! :)
     
  23. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2008
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    Deployed atm
    #23
    How bout the macbook? You can get a uni macbook refurb from apple right now for only $949.00
     
  24. AppleiZac macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    #24
    whoops sorry didnt notice the "in my cart"...just saw the printer i was lookin at and jumped lol.
    but ya from the vid/reviews..im feelin ever more so of pullin the trigger
     
  25. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #25
    Don't sell it yet. :) I couldn't get used to the chiclet keys or the glass trackpad. It was too hard to click! The multitouch gestures were cool though!

    eV
     

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