I've forever been a fan of ultraportables. Over the years, I've owned Sony Vaio U, UX, T, TX, TZ, TT, Z. I've owned Apples including PowerBook 12", MacBook Air 13" Rev C, then the MacBook Air 11". In preparation to purchase a Retina MBP, I sold my MBA 11" and went to my local Apple store to purchase the rMBP. When I inspected it, the screen was clear and bright. However, it felt like an Air with a larger, brighter screen. The reality of paying a premium for RAM and not being able to put in an extra drive, made me think that the rMBP should really be renamed an iMacBook. It was then I decided to purchase a gently used 2011 MacBook Pro 17". As someone who primarily works at coffee shops for long hours several days a week, I always thought portability ran supreme. Then flashbacks of constantly minimizing/maximizing screens, four-finger swiping between applications when I multitask made me realize that I should finally try the mobile desktop, the 17". This week, I've been taking my 17" MBP and absolutely love it. Having the same resolution as a 24" ACD on a 17" screen is amazing. Having a true anti-glare makes me not think twice about sitting at the prized seat next to a window. Some thoughts comparing the 17" MBP to the 11" Air... The 11" for some reason seemed a bit pixelated. I guess I'm used to the Retina iPad. The 17" does not have a pixelated feel to my eyes. I LOVE the battery live. After 2-3 hours on my Air, battery life is constantly in the back of my conscience. After 5 hours on my MBP, I'm still stress free. My fingers aren't as crammed when switching from keyboard to trackpad. At home, I like using my notebook on kitchen counters, living room desks, so small things such as louder speakers are noticeable. I like the idea that the 2011+ MBP's can theoretically handle 32GB of Ram, and RAID'ing higher capacity SSD's. I can finally have the option of playing modern games at modest settings. I know I'm comparing apples to oranges, but for anyone who's admired the 17" from afar should give it a shot. Yes, this thing weighs about the same as three 11" MBA's, but I've noticed I'm using my iPad more than my 11" Air. The one spot where the Air does shine is when I'm laying on a couch. Now that the 17" is discontinued, I think this 17" will retain its value better than it normally does. As someone who updates their computer annually, I think I found a keeper...that is until/if a 17" rMBP gets released.