Powerbook 15" or 17"

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by joshwest, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    Im in the Market for a powerbook going to load it out but should i go 15 or 17? The 17 just seems a bit much to me for a laptop that i will be carrying around with me everwhere the 15" seems like a perfect size but side by side the 17" looks like it could work too, how does everyone like their powerbooks? why did some go with 15" and some with 17"
  2. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I went with a 15" PB because the 17" is simply too large to be carrying around. And I really like my PB.
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    The 15 inch PowerBook is definitely easier to work with on the road from my limited experience. :)

    You won't regret either though.
  4. LFrascogna macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    If you have an apple store in your town, go try out the 15 and 17. I've had a 15 for 4 years, and I still wish it was just a bit smaller. I know everyone else here preaches bigger, faster, etc. But I think a 14" powerbook would be perfect. Either way, I used a friend's 17" and I thought it was possible the largest "portable" computer since some of the original laptops. Calling that monster a laptop is a bit deceiving. Unless you are planning to use this more at home than in class or work, go with the 15". Just my opinion.
  5. YoYoMac macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    I might be in the minority

    Well, I have owned a 17" and let me tell you, it was sweet on the road. Yeah, it's big, but that is the point isn't it? You don't order a 17" unless you need the screen real estate.

    Can you tell us what your going to do on your laptop? Are you editing photos? Video? Making music? Or are you just surfing the web, and iLifing (I think I made a new Mac word) it? I used my 17" for editing photos, graphic design and some home video stuff in FCP and iMovie. I really appreciated the extra room on the screen. I also used keynote in the class room while teaching. So I carried it almost every single day for a whole semester, and I don't have back problems because of it. :eek:

    Did I have a hard time traveling with it? No. I teach English in China (conversational, not grammar, so don't tell me about my writing mistakes :rolleyes: ) and I travel back and forth during the summers and during the winter holiday, I travel from China to Thailand and back. I never had a problem with the 17" being to bulky or heavy. You think to yourself, "goodness, 6.9 lbs!" and then once you look at it your like, "that thing is huge, it's going to weight a ton!" But you pick it up and it doesn't. Looks can be deceiving.

    With all that being said, I think mad jew was right in saying that you'll be happy with either one. Just know that there ARE people who think the 17" isn't too big for travel.
  6. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    As a previous owner of both a 15" and 17" powerbook (and the current owner of a 12"), I must say it COMPLETELY depends on what it is that you do.

    Yes, it is kinda heavy (still lighter than most PC laptops, especially at that size) and tough to open on planes. Its battery life is a little lacking.
    HOWEVER...man, the power, speed and screen size of this thing were great. It was AWESOME to open this puppy at a coffee shop or in class and get the envious stares from people around me. It was also cool to know that I basically had a desktop replacement that I could take from place to place.
    Recommendation: Unless you do a ton of travelling (class, etc), this is a great machine.

    Lighter, but still noticeable in my backup. Nearly ALL the pros of the 17" (minus the screen, of course) and what I think would be perfect for those needing a little extra power but also require portability. Still kinda big to open on an airplane.

    The ULTIMATE traveller's notebook. Smaller and lighter than most of my books, better battery life (the specs may not say that, but I can say from real world experience it's about 15-25% than the other two).
    No, the screen is not as big, but it's just as nice and sharp. I LOVE being able to carry this thing one handed (the others were a little too big for me to trust myself).
    It's fast enough for all that I do (photoshop, FCE, word, keynote) but when I play Halo I do long for my old 15".

    I will eventually buy a 20" ACD to go along with it. Price wise, it's about the same as a high end 15" and still less than a 17".

    My recommendations? Unless you have ONE place you do most of your work (I just got a job at a magazine, so I leave my monitor there), I would get the 15". If you want something else, it's really easy to trade down (I sold my 15" to my sister, who doesn't carry it around as much as I did).

    NONE of the powerbooks have such huge drawbacks, I never would have traded any of them for the other while I had them.

    Note...my 17" got stolen and I couldn't afford another, so I got the 15". I owed my sister a ton of cash, so I gave her the 15" as payment and got a 12".
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    15" is the perfect size for almost everything, but the 17" WILL (mark my words) be better value in the long run, even if you don't do multimedia content creation for a living. it might seem a bit large at first, but it'll become just right after a while.

    that said, i have had two 15" powerbooks since 2002 and find the screen adequate even for the multimedia content creation (read: pro audio work), and although the 17" screen would make my life easier, i'm fine with this smaller one too. BUT if i was buying one today, i'd definetely go for the bigger one. it's not that much more expensive anymore. plus, the bigger laptop has bigger battery, and the current 15" version has the shortest battery life ever.
  8. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    I concur..

    JFreak is right about the battery life...
    Max on the 12" is about 5.5 hours (with screen turned down, everything wireless off, etc), 17" is about 4.5 (same specs) and the 15"....maybe about 3.5 (MAYBE).
  9. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005

    is there any 2nd market companies make a longer lasting PB Battery?
  10. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    voids warranty
  11. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005

    are you serious? thats pretty shady, so how will they know if you use another battery? you could just have a backup apple one? thats like them voiding a warranty if you use a aftermarket firewire storage device... werid
  12. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    My wife chose the 15" PowerBook due to size. Just thought that the 15" was better for portability. A god deal price wise also.
  13. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2005
    I started off with a 12" iBook, decided I liked the look of the Powerbook better, so I got a 12" Powerbook. After having that a while, I decided that the 15" was much more appealing. So, I traded my 12" for a 15". But everytime I go into an Apple Store, I just find myself drooling over the 17". The only place I take my PB is to school, and that's not very often. Since my PB is my main computer, I think the 17" might be a good option for me?! I find that I'm also torn between the 15" and the 17". I'm sure I'll end up keeping the 15" because it is a very, very sexy machine, and it does seem much more portable.
    It really depends on each persons situation. If you are not going to be taking with you alot, and it will be your main computer, I would definitely recommend the 17", however, if you are going to be taking it with you everywhere, by all means go for the 15".
  14. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    I have owned my 17" PB for almost 2 years now and I have to say that I love this thing. At 6.9lbs it is litter (and looks smaller and probably is if you calculate the H x W x D) than my friends 15.4" Sony Vaio A230. This summer I was commuting to school with it-where I was doing an intership. And I have to tell you that having full desktop replacement was just awsome. My coleege had a 15" PB and the screen jest felt to small, though sometimes I get impression that my screen is too big :D
    I do graphics stuff and use Photoshop a lot so screen of that size was the only way to go, and it is just much simpler setup without external display.

    Which ever one you go with, you gona love it for sure.
  15. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005

    Im pretty Sure im gonna go with a 15" just for portablitiy reasons, i alerady have a 20 iMac g5 as my home unit so, i think the 15" on a icurve will be sufficient my next q is should i wait till after expo?
  16. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2005
    Sorry if the following points were already made, I'm on my way out the door and didn't have time to read the entire thread.

    Go with the 15", IMO. I have one and it's lighter, not too large to carry around, and very very comfortable to use. The screen size is perfect (for me anyways) and the entire layout of the machine is just as I would personally want it.

    I think you'd be happier with the 15", and save a little cash too so you can buy some accessories for it. :)
  17. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    accesories pssh, with student discount + 200 $ and you can get a 20" display with the difference in prices between the 17" and 15".. :cool: thats what i think im going to go and do, im just debating on waiting till end of sept or just plop down and get it next week
  18. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I have a 2 year old 17" and have used my biz. partner's 15" on several occasions. The 15" feels very cramped after getting used to the 17". If you need the screen real estate get the 17". I have had zero problems with it on the road. Not too heavy - fits in the Brenthaven backpack like a glove. No problems on airplanes, cars, trains, etc. I would never get anything smaller ever again. I absolutely love this machine. It handles everything I throw at it FCP, Photoshop, etc - the extra screen really makes a difference when you're editing on-the-fly in the field and need something to show roughs to clients on. If you will be needing a bigger screen when you're out and about go with a 17" - you won't be sorry.
  19. jamesW135 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2005
    I think the 17'' is way to much the 15'' is perfect.
  20. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    Well for "mobility" 15" but if you are not the lazy type..........get the 17"

    The screen space you will always be glad for and it will run a little cooler as well ;)
  21. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I faced this dilemma last year!
    I couldn't decide either...

    I went for the 17", but I have mates with both 15"and 12" PBs.

    I am very glad I did! Love it! I recently asked a couple of other mates if their 15" broke what would they buy - and several said 17".
    I think it all depends on where and how you are going to use it... and also how much screen real estate you need.
    For the most part when I use it - I sit at a desk, table, counter and wanted the best. I don't use it on flights much - but have, and it has been fine. The extra big screen - WOW! And boy am I regularly happy I have it! Whenever I use a mates 15" I struggle.

    I carry my 17" quite a bit in either my briefcase or my backpack - and sure you notice it is there - but I also notice the 15" as well when i carry a work Windoze laptop or have transported mates 15".
    It is very much personal choice. I'm sure I would have been happy with the 15" but the extra screen (especially on the sides) to allow for other apps, extra formatting, function boxes, oh yeah and that complete WOW factor whenever I use it! I wouldn't have it any other way.
  22. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    I think when I get out of college in 3 years, a 17" Powerbook will be bought. People that complain about the weight have to remember that many PC 15" laptops weigh 7-9 pounds which is more then the 17" PB at 6.9 lbs. Case in point Dell Inspiron 8600 15.4 Widescreen is 7.1 lbs and the Inspiron 5150 15" 7.9 lbs.
  23. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    its not the weight thats a issue its just pulling it out and flipping it up without to much envy in the room ;) i like the 17" but the 15" will be parked against my 20" g5 Imac and i think it will fit a bit better than having the 17".. and also with the student discount plus 200$ i can get a 20" Apple Display for the price difference between the 15" and 17".. i think thats a better plan
  24. ph0rk macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2003
    the 17 is not really worth it, imho -
    If you need real estate, add a monitor to a 12 or a 15 and/or use a desktop.

    the 17 is bulky, and i'd wager more fragile than either the 12 or 15. I'd use the $699 difference between that and the 15 for a good bag with a semirigid sleeve (brenthaven or tom bihn), ram, and so on.

    I was actually originally going to geta 12" (i would have preferred a sub 3lb laptop, but oh well) but got the 15 because they added the backlit keyboard to the base 15 (my last thinkpad had the built-in keyboard light).

    the 15" with a good semirigid and shock absorbing sleeve is 14.5" x 11.75" x 2.25" - thats bulky. imagine the 17! (try about 16.5" x 12.5" x 2.25" - that would barely leave room for a book and power adapter in most messenger type bags)

    I can't help but chuckle at every person with a 17" laptop I see - powerbook or no. I have trouble thinking of a situation where the extra 202880 pixels (thats barely bigger than an mpeg-1 video!) would be a necessity - meaning you'd be unable to do what you needed to do with the 15"

    A laptop left at home because it is too bulky is a waste of cash.
  25. joshwest thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    i was going to go ahead and load it out to 128 vram, and 2 gig the ram.. not gonna up the hd to 100. becaue i think 100$ for just 20 more gigs is rediculous.. maybe after revision they will have the 120 gig hd an option for upgrade, and the 699 for the 20" is what im going to do from the difference of the 15 and 17... Do you have any links of the websites for the cases your talking about sounds like a good investment everyone is telling me go timbuk2 because of the non zipper, so scratches. I already ordered a nice messenger bag just want to get a good case

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