Those who own 15 or 17" MBP's, please help.

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
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First off, this isn't going to be a wait or buy now post. I've already decided to buy asap. I like the MBP's right now and am happy with their current specs.

My question is aimed at those who own 15" or 17" MBP's.

As I said I plan to purchase my first mac soon, and I have it narrowed down. Despite my sig, I keep switching from the high end 15" to the standard spec'd 17". The only difference between those two as far as price is 200$ so that's no issue there to go for the 17". Yet what I want to know, and hear experiences about from you, is are you happy with the screen size you choose?

I am attending college for web design (the art side of web design, I'm going for a BFA), so I will be using adobe applications quite often. I've worked shop on a 15" toshiba, until I sold it cuz I'm done with Windows, and never had an issue as far as work space. The resolution was 1280x800 so it was your standard 15" screen. I considered the 17" MBP because of the bigger screen, thus more work space, but now I'm wondering if it's really going to be worth it. One of the things I'm looking for is, battery life, portability, work space, and performance.

So if anyone can help me decide, and please don't just say go to "Apple Store" and mess around, because you are so limited on those machines there to make a proper decision. And, because I've already done that.

Thank you in advance.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2006
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Then there's your answer. If the 1280x800 didn't bother you, then it's a safe bet the similar resolution of the 15" MBP won't trouble you either. Especially considering that you're also concerned about portability. The 17" certainly feels bigger. You'll need a larger bag.

In the end the trade off is portability vs. screen resolution. I went for the latter.

I've worked shop on a 15" toshiba, until I sold it cuz I'm done with Windows, and never had an issue as far as work space. The resolution was 1280x800 so it was your standard 15" screen.
 

iMav

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2008
340
5
Columbus, WI
Since you say money is not a factor, what are you referring to regarding whether going with the 17" is "worth it"?

Both have great battery life and the specs are available from Apple. It really is a personal preference. Since you've already determined you can work fine with the 15" screen, there is nothing left except what you want to carry around.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
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Seattle, WA
I don't have the latest MacBook Pro, but I find that the 15" screen is just about right for a laptop when using Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. It is a lot more portable than the 17" screen and a lot lighter as well. A friend of mine has the 17" and it is very large, I couldn't imagine carrying that around all the time. The 15" is a much more reasonable size.
 

Jay42

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2005
1,344
419
Go for the 15". Enough screen space without being too cumbersome and you can always pick up a cheap external display for serious work.
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
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0
I guess I really didn't ask a question. I am wondering, since I'm spending 2k on a machine, is it worth it to go up to the bigger screen or is it wiser to stick with a 15". I guess, I will have to wait for those who use the 15" and 17" with shop and illustrator and such, and see what they have to say as well.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2006
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A 15" MBP can work relatively decently with PhotoShop and Illustrator as their GUI is very configurable and collapsible and easy to control from just hotkeys leaving you to work with nothing but canvas.

It's when you start working with apps requiring multiple viewports and floating windows open all at the same time when you lust for higher resolution screens.

Again, I'd say you're probably fine with the 15" MBP. I used one for years and it was fine for 2D. Eventually I upgraded to the 17" MBP (mainly for 3D apps like SI2010 under VMWare and Maya natively).

I guess, I will have to wait for those who use the 15" and 17" with shop and illustrator and such, and see what they have to say as well.
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
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15 minutes in the future
I guess I really didn't ask a question. I am wondering, since I'm spending 2k on a machine, is it worth it to go up to the bigger screen or is it wiser to stick with a 15". I guess, I will have to wait for those who use the 15" and 17" with shop and illustrator and such, and see what they have to say as well.
I don't use either of those programs but I carry my 17" around school all day. I am 5'7" and not muscular (16 y/o) and I do not find the machine to heavy or cumbersome. The 17" screen is amazing! I don't know if you know this but it has the amount of pixels as most 24" displays!
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
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I don't use either of those programs but I carry my 17" around school all day. I am 5'7" and not muscular (16 y/o) and I do not find the machine to heavy or cumbersome. The 17" screen is amazing! I don't know if you know this but it has the amount of pixels as most 24" displays!
Yeah, the display is better than my desktops screen. My monitor is a 20.1" matte. I use shop on it and I find I have a decent amount of space. I can't really get a feel for how a 15" or 17" will feel in my hands or in my bag due to security reasons. I guess I'm thinking the 15" might be more cost efficient because I can buy a 7200 rpm drive while I'm in store and still be under the 17". Yet at the same time, I feel as the screen space in the 17" would be perfect for what I'm going to be working on and with.

Aye, such a brain teaser.
 

spinnerlys

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Sep 7, 2008
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forlod bygningen
I have a 12" iBook, then a 20" iMac, then a 13" MacBook, then a 15" MacBook Pro (which got stolen) and now a 17" MBP.

I have to say, the 17" took a while to get used to, due to the higher pixel density, but I would never go back to a 15" portable, as the bigger resolution outweighs the 500g of more weight of the 17". I find it highly portable with a backpack and even with a shoulder bag.

I use Lightroom and Photoshop with 12MP images and the resolution just offers more space to work with. Also video editing doesn't require a second monitor.

I use the 13" from time to time though if the work does not require the big screen.
 

akjorge

macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2009
7
0
The 17" is a beast. It's too big to use on an airplane (at least in a coach seat), and really isn't much fun to tote around on a regular basis.

I'd recommend the high-end 15" and get a nice monitor for wherever you do most of your work. I just picked up a 1920x1080 24" Acer monitor at Costco for $169.
 

J&JPolangin

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Jul 5, 2008
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...do you really want to be carrying around an expensive, high theft item with a value of $1700+ (low end 15" MBP on up to the top of the line 17" MBP) all the time, just something else to consider...
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
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...do you really want to be carrying around an expensive, high theft item with a value of $1700+ (low end 15" MBP on up to the top of the line 17" MBP) all the time, just something else to consider...
Well I'm not buying a laptop to use at home only. What is the point you're trying to make?
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
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15 minutes in the future
The 17" is a beast. It's too big to use on an airplane (at least in a coach seat), and really isn't much fun to tote around on a regular basis.

I'd recommend the high-end 15" and get a nice monitor for wherever you do most of your work. I just picked up a 1920x1080 24" Acer monitor at Costco for $169.
The actual footprint is a problem I ran into while at school. The 17" MacBook Pro does not fit on my desk along with a textbook. I solved this problem by placing it on another desk and using a wireless keyboard. I would say that the weight of the 17" is not at all a problem (it's the lightest in the world actually) but the giant footprint definitely is. Oh and the 17" MacBook Pro has a higher resolution than that monitor.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,703
563
Seattle, WA
I have a 12" iBook, then a 20" iMac, then a 13" MacBook, then a 15" MacBook Pro (which got stolen) and now a 17" MBP.

I have to say, the 17" took a while to get used to, due to the higher pixel density, but I would never go back to a 15" portable, as the bigger resolution outweighs the 500g of more weight of the 17". I find it highly portable with a backpack and even with a shoulder bag.

I use Lightroom and Photoshop with 12MP images and the resolution just offers more space to work with. Also video editing doesn't require a second monitor.

I use the 13" from time to time though if the work does not require the big screen.
I completely agree. I have both 15" MBP and 17" MBP and I will say that I enjoy far more to use Photoshop and Lightroom on my 17" machine. If offers far more workable space, so much so that my 15" MBP is relegated to sitting by the sofa in the living room where it is used for light/secondary duty.
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
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0
I completely agree. I have both 15" MBP and 17" MBP and I will say that I enjoy far more to use Photoshop and Lightroom on my 17" machine. If offers far more workable space, so much so that my 15" MBP is relegated to sitting by the sofa in the living room where it is used for light/secondary duty.
See that's where I'm stuck. I will be mobile with it. Couch, bed, kitchen, class, work, but I also want to get the best I can. I mean from what I'm typing the 17" sounds perfect for what I'm studying, the 15" sounds perfect for mobility.

I will be using this to game, do school work like using adobe applications, internet.
 

gaps

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2009
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Gilbert, AZ
I just bought my first 17"MacBook Pro (early 08) from a friend of mine and have to say that I have zero complaints about the size. I carry it in an Incase neoprene jacket inside a normal size backpack with room to spare. I have used it on an airplane, in coach with the person in front of me reclined, multiple times and have no problems doing so. For me I came from a three year old 17" Toshiba Qosmio that was a brick and so it made my MacBook Pro feel smaller. If I was buying one of the unibodys I would go for the 17" because of the larger screen, longer battery life, extra usb port, and expresscard slot. To me it is worth the extra $200. If I was going to go smaller or was really concerned with portability I would get the 13" with a 24" Apple Cinema Display refurb!
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
48
0
speaking of which, can someone explain to me the point of an express3/4 slot? why is everyone so upset that they lost it in the 13"/15" MBP's?
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
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Well I'm not buying a laptop to use at home only. What is the point you're trying to make?
...just that the machine you propose to use is a lot of $$ and carrying that around a college campus might not be the wisest decision (especially depending on its location)... say you've got your machine with you and friends want to go some where fun after class, etc... its an easy target for theft or accidental damage...

For my university time, a nice desktop for the heavy stuff and a cheaper laptop for my time out and about was the way to go for me = what's for you is for you to decide.

Good luck with your school.
 

Kupoback

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2009
48
0
...just that the machine you propose to use is a lot of $$ and carrying that around a college campus might not be the wisest decision (especially depending on its location)... say you've got your machine with you and friends want to go some where fun after class, etc... its an easy target for theft or accidental damage...

For my university time, a nice desktop for the heavy stuff and a cheaper laptop for my time out and about was the way to go for me = what's for you is for you to decide.

Good luck with your school.
While what you say is true, I don't live on campus, it's an art school, not really a university, and while a desktop would be the best route, I'm not home enough or long enough to be able to sit down and work. I'm always on the go, thus a powerhouse laptop is the best choice for me. I am on my Windows Custom desktop here, but it hardly gets more than 5 hours of use out of it a week.
 

zer0tails

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,224
0
Canada
get the 15" macbook pro. Golden rule: You'll enjoy a laptop you use often. You'll use the 15" MBP more often and carry it around more because it's more portable than the 17".
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,777
5
dallas, texas
I love my 17" and find it plenty portable. If I traveled on a plane multiple times a week, that might change. The "Golden Rule" is just whatever fits you best.
 

elklakedoug

macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2010
1
0
Rochester Hills, Michigan
MBP 15" Problems

I love the capabilities of the MBP 15" - I have 2. Bought one for my wife 3/1/09 and another for me 10/1/09. :)

I'm currently frustrated with Apple, however, as my wife's has had 3 hard disks replaced and one main/mother board replaced in 9 months. Mine just crashed as well - bummed i didn't back it up this past few weeks. So now they'll replace the HD on this too.

Apple is not quick to help on my wife's - we'll see how they are on mine...

My point - talk to them about how they'll service your MAC before you buy it. I do recommend the Apple Care...
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
I went from a 17" MacBook Pro (1680x1050) to a new 15" MacBook Pro (1440x900), although I mostly use it with external monitors (30" at home, 24" at work). The newer 17" MacBook Pros are 1920x1200, and the pixel density is just too high for me. I have too much trouble reading text at that small a size, and Mac OS doesn't have resolution-independent scaling so I went with the 15 and am happy with it.