Still stuck between a PB17" and PB15"! Help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ozone, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Well... after being swamped at work for a couple of weeks, I finally made it to the Apple Store across the border to try out a PB 15" and PB 17" side by side. I was there for 90 minutes; ended up typing a bunch of scientific jargon just to feel how comfortable with either. I read as many past threads as I could and figured this trip would make up my mind. Still not sure!

    I don't know what it is, but I REALLY like the feel of the 17". There's more wrist rest space it seems "up and down", and of course side to side, so it just feels more comfortable. I tend to think a lot between typing so I like to rest my hands. I guess it's supposed to be a desktop replacement and so it looks and feels like it should to me! I'm intending this purchase to be my main computer.

    My wife, who has a 15" TiBook, said the 17" seemed a little too big, and when I closed it up and picked it up, well, it is a bit on the big side. My wife is usually right with her intuitive commetns. It just looks big, and it feels a tad awkward: I'm worried that I'll drop the thing when I try to slide it into a case, etc. And it could be awkward to cart it around and place on small tables at the fronts of lecture halls when I give seminars around campus. I hate taking too much on planes if I can avoid it. That being said,
    I only travel out of town about 3 to 4 times a year, so I figure I'd want to buy the unit that would make me comfortable the majority of time, as opposed to few times I travel.

    I even thought about a 12" and then buying a separate monitor to span, but I don't find the 12" has enough space around the keyboard to be comfortable, and I don't really want to clutter up my desk with external keyboards. But then I thought maybe I should see if I like spanning a PB 15". So, right now I'm typing this on my wife's 15" TiBook - spanned to an older external 19" CRT - to see how it appeals to me. Maybe this combination is better than a 17" PB. I just don't know - I think I still prefer to look "straight on" to the screen. And to make it worse, cost is less of a factor: with an educational discount, the price difference between a similarly configured PB 15" and PB 17" is only about $120 Cdn (or $10 US - ha ha).

    So, I'm figuring it comes down to these points:
    1. Everytime I open and use a 17" PB, I say, "Damn, that's one fine screen and nice feeling keyboard."
    2. Everytime I pull out and put away a 17" PB - because I'll be taking it between home and work EVERY day, I say "Damn, wish it was just a little smaller."

    Sorry for the long post. Any insights from people who bought a 17" and then wished they had a 15", or people who bought a 15" and wished they got a 17" instead? I'm driving my wife crazy, so I've got to make a decision soon! Thanks.
  2. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I ummed and ahhed over this situation for ages as well..
    I have three good mates with 15"... and played with theirs as well...

    Seems all the 15" owners love their 15", and
    all the 17" love their 17"!

    Several mates - have admitted to me though (15" owners) that if they had to buy a new one today, and money wasn't that much of an issue... two thirds have said they'd buy the 17!

    I bought mine as mostly a portable desktop...
    Use it at home and work, and haven't had any problems with the size or the weight...
    in fact I am very glad I bough the 17" for the extra real estate!
    Means I can have full browser open + MSN / ichat / other things on the side - without having to reduce my main app window (whatever that might be)...
    alternatively - comparing two docs, using two main Finder windows to move things around, or Excel + Word, or Powerpoint + Word open I'm glad for the widescreen and very glad I bought the 17!

    Both are great... the 15" is good..
    I preferred (and bought the 17) and haven't looked back...
    oh yeah and the WOW factor alone is GREAT!
  3. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    You know, some people would buy a 21" PB if Apple had one just to compensate for what they're lacking...

    Anyway, I'd get whatever's most comfortable for yourself. I actually wish I bought the 12" PB 'cause the 15" PB is already so big. The 17" PB is just abnormal in size.
  4. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    i was gonna say, the 17 inch is like Enzyte for the soul :D. I personally love my 12 incher, but I figure...eithr go for miniature ultra-portable, or get the full fledged monster, it's not much more with EDU pricing than the 15.
  5. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    im going to give you the same advice that i give everyone with this dilema.... firstly it depends on your needs....

    secondly i think that the 15inch has all the good points of the 12 (portability) and 17 (lovely screen + semi large rests) but none of the small screen of the 12 and largeness ( im not comparing to the pc world, because its easier to carry than most winlaptops.) of the 17

    it is a wonderful screen on the rev c 15inch and it is portable... and of course exremely powerful....

    at the end of the day i say that the 17 is for users that need large real estate (graphical editing ect) that need to move there work sometimes..

    and the 12 is for people that want to carry it on the back all day (collage, uni things like that)

    and the 15 is if you want it all... but not quite the portability of the 12 or imho overly huge screen of the 17

    hope this doesnt makee you anymore confused...which ever you get you will love..

    good luck nad let us know how it goes


    EDIT - brain may know people that would get the 21inch but i know people that would get a 10...
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Just a few thoughts for the 12".

    Been looking at adding a second Mac to the house. And the 15" and 17" models were on my radar. I already have a 12" rev. B.

    It looks like at this point I'll be back t the 12". I span the notebook at home. And i find that the 12" fits airline and train trays better. Even with my ham sized hands, the keyboard is easy for me.
  7. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I have the perfect solution..... buy both :D lol, just kidding. I have a 15" that i just picked up 3 weeks ago and i love it. I bought it because i need it for college. I find the 15" to be a perfect balance between the 12" and 17". I don't care about getting a bigger screen because i have no ned for it, other than the fact that i could rub it in my friends faces and watch them drule. BUt thats beside the point. I would say get the 17" only if you need the extra screen room or if you will be using it almost always as a desktop. I don't see the point in getting a bigger screen if it is not needed. Unless your doing heavy graphicall work like AL-FAMOUS said, you probably don't need it. The 17" is also on the bigger side for transportation. I think if you don't need the bigger screen get the 15" and max it out.
  8. hello world macrumors newbie

    hello world

    Apr 13, 2004
    For me there was no issue - it was the 15" or nothing.

    I bought my PB for it's portability. But since I've had it, I've hardly used the 533 G4 tower I have at home or the Dual 1 Ghz tower I have at work, both which have 17" LCDs.

    The 17" PB probably doesn't look big in the store, but put it in any other context and it's just plain obscene.
  9. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    I've got a 15", and it's barely useable on an airplane - but I use it all the time. No way you could get a 17" open in coach.

    If you're not going to use it on an airplane, and you've got the bucks, go for the 17".
  10. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for all the great tips!

    Thanks to all for the advice! I'll mull it over and decide soon. I notice that one thing people have commented on is working on the plane and that the 17" is probably too large. I'm inclined to agree. However, after working as a consultant for 2 years and a prof for 3 years, I've flown maybe 40 times in the past 5 years (not as much as the real road warriors) and every time I say I'm going to do work on the plane... I never do! I'm not really much of a DVD watcher either: I just like screen and space. Do I need it? Not absolutely - I just like to be greedy!

    Ha! I guess my decision will have to be made sooner and later. My Windows desktop that I've been using - after 4 years of faithful service - has suddenly decided to conk out.
  11. heaven macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Well, i've got a 17" PB and used it yesterday on the flight Vienna - Moscow without any problems (Economy Class) , and he really isn't that big like everyone says...

    I'm so happy with this PB, go for it! Trust me, its awesome.. :rolleyes:
  12. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks to all!

    Thanks to all for your help, especially to Vanilla, DJY, and heaven, for their comments. I placed an order earlier this week. It's through work, so I'm not really sure when it's going to show up.

    17" PB/512 MB ram/80 GB HD @ 5400 rpm/128 MB vram/extended warranty/.Mac/extra AC adapter... for about $4000 Cdn

    My only worry is that when the quote came back, it didn't say anything about the extra 128 MB VRAM, eventhough our purchasing department specifically had it written down as part of the request-for-quotes. I hope Apple Canada didn't overlook it. I'd hate to send it back and then wait some more.

    I got to admit... I held off for a long while because first I couldn't decide between a 15" PB and a 17" PB, and then I realized I shouldn't limit myself to only Apple. I have Windows software that I like and my university doesn't have much Mac support. So, I looked all around for various 15" and 17" Windows laptops. Some had specific features that were a bit nicer (have you seen the new Sony XBrite screens - to die for!), but for the upper price ranges, almost none could offer the best all around value as a PB. Sure, I could buy a $2000 Cdn Windows laptop, but I wouldn't get a whole lot. And a similarly spec'ed out ThinkPad was going to run me $6500 Cdn. And to top it off, I had yet to see one that was 17" or for that matter 15" as beautifully designed or as lightweight compared to an Apple.

    My wife figures I'll be very happy... and I can't wait - I think my tablet PC is really starting to choke under the heavy daily use.

    Well, here's hoping that the PB can do what I need it to do. See you all around.
  13. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    you'll be a happy happy man.........have you tryed apple before??.....this is great!..i've been a mac users for 3 weeks now, before this i was a zero to the left, with mac and it's OS, and let me tell you.....i'm amazed with the easiness and the performance and the feel of the computer!....

    trust did the best thing.............GOT A MAC.............of course you could have gotten a GREAT Windows based machine.....but that's the problem!...WINDOWS!......a little bit unstable!..... (i like windows, don't get me wrong.............but after trying os X, the unpracticability of windows is a front row issue for me..........before i didn't kow HOW unpractical and how unstable it was.........well just because i didn't have anything to compare it to....but now i know! ;)

    you'll be very pleaced..................oh and by the way.......GREAT choice buying the 17"...............and i got the 15" and it was because i couldn't afford the 17"........but the screen real state it's amazing! it's the top of the line powerbook! so it has the highest resale value.
  14. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    Congrats Ozone!
    You will absolutely LOVE IT!

    I know I am!!
  15. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    With both fully loaded with RAM and all options, the price is very close. I have the 15 inch and at least 2 people thought I had the 17 inch. I was split between the 12 inch and 17 inch so I ended up with the 15 inch. I wish I could buy all 3 fully loaded.
  16. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Exactly what I ordered 2 weeks ago. You will be very happy, and trust me, after week of your PB you will laugh at the other PC notebooks when going through CompUSA or Best Buy. They just don't compare.
  17. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    What a great community of Mac users online! Thanks again. And now I really can't wait... my Tablet crashed again - fifth time in two weeks. One of those spectacular "can't even save" crashes - I don't even get to see the blue screen of death. And of course, I have no clue what is causing it: it started seemingly at random. It's got all the virus check updates, XP updates, etc. - sigh - figures.
  18. papersushi macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2003
    As I posted on the other posts that I own a 17'' PowerBook and I went through the same debate between 15'' or 17'' before. If you commute between work and home with your car, size or weight is not a facotr. Because all you do is take it in and out of the car. If you ride subway or bus everyday and need to carry it with you all the time, then you may want to consider the 15''. 17'' is about almost 2 pounds lighter than most 15'' Dell Inspiron laptops.
  19. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    I own as 17" and love it.

    I backpack it on foot and train to and from work, and its heavy but fine.
    Its only half a kg / ~1.1 pounds heavier than the 15 and that extra screen space is trully excellent for mst apps, vids etc.

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