To buy at 15" or 17" MacbookPro


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 30, 2007
I'm looking at either one and can't make up my mind. My husband and I want to travel and wonder if the 17" would be too "heavy, bulky, etc." I have a iMac desktop--20" for creative endeavors and a 17" desktop for business, so it seems I may have a hard time adjusting to the smaller real estate screen. The MBP would be used for both artistic and business combined. What are your opinions??????


macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2006

I was having this same dilemma when I was in the market for my MacBook Pro. Should I go with the big honkin' 17 incher or the more average size 15 incher. I decided to go with the 15" MacBook Pro because of the huge portability factor. If I ever needed to bring my machine with me, the 17" would be on heck of a thing to carry around. Also, I felt that the 15" screen was large enough for the basic work I do. It sounds like you already have a 20" iMac and 17" screen hooked up to your PC. If these act as your main machines and the MacBook Pro is going to act as your road warrior machine, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd go for the somewhat more portable 15" MacBook Pro. That's just my 2 cents...

Let me know what you end up deciding upon!


May 24, 2003
Obviously you're not a golfer.
anyone who thinks there is a huge portability difference between the 17 and the 15 is kidding themselves and has probably not seen them in person.

go to an apple store and look at them side by side. its a marginal size difference.


macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2007
i'm in the same boat. i'm currently leaning towards the bigger one because of the shorter ship time and the screen yellowing problem on the 15's.


macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2005
definately the 17, for me the size deifference was negligable but the extra real estate is very noticable. :D


macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
Unless you are carrying this around ALL of the time, like a student, the difference is minimal as others have noted. The resolution difference, esp with the hi-res option, is huge. You will get much much more real-estate on the screen for photos, etc with the 17".

Try to find someone with a 17" complaining about it....few and far between


macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2007
definately the 17, for me the size deifference was negligable but the extra real estate is very noticable. :D
that's another thing, the extra screen would be put to good use as i do web design and digital audio (score editing, etc.)

the hard part is to commit to the extra 800 bucks...:eek:


macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2005
Kent, UK
I'd love to have the range of machines US buyers have from your refurb store, e.g. 17" MBP with HD display at around £1300. I looked at the 15" and both 17" models in my local store last weekend, and I instantly discounted the 15" machines. For the extra £55, I'm going for the HD display.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2007
Not where you live.
I had a 15" and it got stolen, I replaced it with a 17" and the difference is like night and day. I had no idea how much more usable it is with the larger screen.

The difference in weight is not really noticeable to me and the only problem I had with the size is trying to find a decent bag to carry it in. Most common laptop bags will just about fit a 15" but they won't fit a 17". Of course if you're traveling and it's in a backpack this isn't a problem for you.

I don't notice the difference in weight though.


macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2006
Austin, Tx
Agree with points in the previous posts. How often will you be carrying
it around?

If I was a student I'd get the 13" MB. For most of us, for occasional
travel, if you can afford it the 17 is awfully sweet. I want the HD screen!

Holding out for Oct and Leopard.


macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
In front of my MacBook Pro
Heh, I went to buy my MBP in store. I was stuck between the 17" HD and top 15". When I saw the 17" next to the 15", it looked so huge, I couldn't reason. and just had to get a 15". I assure you not a day goes by when I don't wonder... what if?


macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
around the world
I do own the latest 17" w/ the high-res screen. I am using it mainly at home. No carrying around. Just from on desk to another to bed etc.

If I would travel a lot I would definitely go with the 15" (cheaper one) and buy an extra screen. If you look at the price of the 15" in comparison to the 17" you get a really nice screen for that money.

I work everywhere in the house and have not one desk - thats why I choose the 17". I am quite happy with this machine. Best computer ever.


macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2006
I had a 17", it wasn't huge, its manageble. But the downside is that it would be hard to find bags/carrying cases etc. That said, I was using my friends 15" for a few days, loved that I can just carry it anywhere (actually more so then I did with the 17"


macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2006
The 17" doesn't really fit on a tray table in a standard airplane cabin, so if you want to use it in flight do not buy a 17". One of my hugest pet peeves on planes is sitting next to someone who is trying to wedge their excessively large laptop onto the tray table next to me. 17" is way too large to be really practical unless you're pretty much only using it on a desk. Anyone who REALLY needs that much screen real estate would have a better external display anyway.


macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2007
I own and use a 17" and a 15". Prior, I used a 12" PowerBook.

IMHO, the 17" is a great desktop replacement but I do not think it is a great laptop. It is portable but only to a point. I don't think trying to find a bag for it should really be an issue of consideration as there are loads of them about, though not as many as for the 15-inchers. Airplane use is indeed a nightmare for you and your neighbors though and since the power drains rather faster, I have rarely made it through a full two-hour DVD without dimming the screen to a mere shadow. I love this computer, but for the most part it stays at home or office.

The exception to that is when going onto a film set. Having a larger-sized fully portable screen is invaluable when needing to review dailies and takes on the fly - it has been my experience that only 4 people (5 max) can watch the 15" screen at the same time with visual clarity enough to critically watch color and movement, whereas 7 or 8 can be accomodated by the 17".

But the 15" is all a much superior computer when portability is really the purpose. In the original post, it was said that this is not a replacement, but an addition to other larger sized desktops. I gotta say, if this is to be used while away from the office or home or on vacation, or while travelling around the world or anything like that, go with the 15". The extra power, extra screen real estate is just overkill if you already have larger systems. Unless of course you can't do without it and have no other use to put that extra $800.


macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2006
Reston, VA
I would go with the 15". It's plenty of space to work with while still being easily portable. Like others have said, if you have separate desktop computers, you probably don't need your laptop to have extra screen space, unless you intend to use it as a desktop replacement.