Seeking impressions of 2011 17" Pro owners

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RLRabb, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. RLRabb macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    I'm considering the purchase of a 17 inch MacBook Pro to replace a 2007 15 inch Pro and am interested in the impressions of other users of this model. I'm a writer and don't do anything taxing, but I like the advantages when I'm working that a larger screen offers. I spent several hours at the Apple Store using both the 17 and 15 inch models, and I was very impressed with the anti-glare models of each. But there are some things you can't really evaluate in that setting. So for people who own the 17" 2011 model, any input about real-world battery life, heat, fan noise, screen quality or backlighting, and the like would be welcome.
    Is it a great machine? It certainly was nice to test drive.

  2. Enori macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Really great machine;) I doubt you will ever hear fans running when browsing and writing, it gets hot and loud only when you do cpu intensive tasks. I use program (gfxcardstatus) to force using only integrated graphic chipset and I usually get about 6 hours when I am browsing, downloading, transcoding few short movie projects. Screen real estate is really awesome, my previous notebook was Macbook Air 11" and I'm very happy with this upgrade.
  3. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    If you're not going to be doing anything too crazy, you can always check out a refurb 2010 model. Contrary to the poster up there ^ with the 2011, I routinely get 9 hours of text editing/music playing/downloading/converting out of my 2010 17". My father has the "baller" trim 17" 2011, and he can get the 9 hours as well, but only if he just sits and looks at the screen.

    Since the form factor is the same, I can tell you to absolutely not listen to the people who say the 17" isn't portable. They are anemic, asthmatic individuals who can prance around with their 15" notebooks all day, but add an extra pound (and an inch in all dimensions) and suddenly their spine snaps. You're going to love it.
  4. RLRabb thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Thanks for the comments (and a good laugh, Sankersizzle).
    Keep it coming.

  5. blackbinary macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Yea, i never understood the misconception that the 17" isn't portable.

    Yes, compared to the 13" it is heavy and big. But, it is still plenty portable enough to move around with ease.

    I went from a 15" windows laptop to this, and only took on a pound in weight and maybe half an inch overall in the dimensions. I had been taking this 15" to university with me every day, walked all over campus with it, with no problems.

    You wanted info about:

    Real-world battery life:
    Apple's benchmark is probably the best for this. Their rating is when web browsing and listening to music at half screen brightness. This is a very nice estimate, and would be close to what you would do as a writer.

    The biggest hog is the brightness of the screen.
    I get anywhere from 2 hours when I'm playing a game at full brightness to 15+ when I am trying to save power.

    The MBP does have an advantage for saving power. You can make the screen turn off and computer go to sleep when you aren't active for a few seconds. Because it can turn back on from sleep so quickly, it really isn't any trouble.

    While sleeping, the MBP uses barely any power.

    This means, if your writing, you can save energy while you think of what to write. It should greatly extend your battery, and it's what I use when taking notes in University, where it's often write-listen-write-listen.


    The MBP does get hot. Any version of it does. The heat from the circuit board simply has an easier time transfering into metal than it would if this was a plastic case. Notably it gets hot by the ports on the right and at the top near the display.

    I've noticed it can be hot to sit on your lap if your doing certain tasks, or if its hot outside.

    Personally I don't mind, the keyboard doesn't get hot, so it doesn't effect me.

    Even playing very taxing games, only the top gets to the point where it might burn you, if you left your arm there long enough.

    More impressive is how fast it cools down, and one of the advantages to the mac. Try doing something stressful, and then going back to just a browser or the desktop. It really takes no time at all to cool off.

    Fan Noise:

    I have an SSD, and the MBP has been silent except while gaming. Particularly taxing games will make the fan go.

    Not really a big deal, and when doing other work (even hard work like Photoshop), I don't hear any fans.

    Screen Quality & Backlighting:

    I really like the screen. the 17" has very small text, because of its high resolution. But the text is very crisp, making it easy to read, given time to adjust a bit.

    The color and backlighting are both nice, though it is possible to get different screens, some from LG, some from Phillips I believe.

    As for anti-glare versus glossy, thats up to you in the store. I need color accuracy, and found the glossy did better for my uses.

    Is it a great machine?:

    Yes indeed.
  6. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    very big and powerful machine.
    The reason why i chose this machine is because of the 1920x1200 res.
    Also I like how I can open multiple windows and see them all at the same time since the screen is so big.

    I dont recommend carrying it everyday.
    It is a pain in the back having a 3kg piece of aluminum.

    but for carrying it once every 2 weeks, its not as bad :)
  7. RLRabb thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Thanks for the additional comments. I'm with most of you on the portability nonissue. I've been using a 2007 15" Pro with no problems for four years, and the 17" is only slightly bigger and heavier. I spend most of my time at my desk anyway, so I don't move it around all that much.

  8. blackbinary macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2011
    You might just need a better bag with more support for your shoulders. I can carry mine around all day with no problem.
  9. diannao macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    Congratulations on considering the 17" antiglare MBP. As someone else noted, you can consider an older/used model as you don't need workstation power, just the big antiglare screen. It is very helpful to be able to have more than one good-sized window open at once. If you find the default font too small, you can change the font size or zoom in on a window. You can also do without an external monitor.
  10. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    I went from 13 MBP to my current 17. For a difference of about $30 between the 17 refurb and the 15 hi-res glossy brand new (can never find this particular one on refurb), I figured what's another $30? Best decision ever! After a day or so, the 17" doesn't even feel that big anymore. It doesn't feel any bigger than the 13" was to me, and yet it has way more screen real estate. You're essentially going from 720p to 1080p (plus about 11% vertical pixel wise). There's just so much more you can do at 1920x1200, over twice as many pixels, it's a beast!

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