Traveling with a MBP 17" Unibody?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by The Grue, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. The Grue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I am in the market for a new laptop, and I'm very interested in the new MBP 17". The combination of the long battery life and great size / weight ratio are really appealing. I currently carry a 5lb ThinkPad plus a 9 cell extended battery, so the weight would be similar, for a great 17" screen rather than a decent 14.1.

    However, I am the definition of the 'road warrior'. I'm routinely on at least 6 flights per week, and I'm concerned about the actual size (not weight) of the machine for use on an airplane. My ThinkPad measures 10" deep, and the MPB 17" is 10.6", so not a very large difference on paper, but I'm trying to figure out how it would work in the real world.

    Has anyone had experience yet trying to use one of these in a coach seat on a US domestic carrier? Is it actually possible to open the screen far enough to be able to see it? Can you type effectively? Can you position it on the tray table so you can use it and still put down a cup of coffee :) ?

    Any feedback appreciated.

    BTW, this forum has been a great resource as I try and gather information for my upcoming purchase.
     
  2. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #2
    I find it difficult to open the 15" MBP all the way while on the tray, so i would imagine that the 17" would be difficult. using it on your lap should be no problem though.
     
  3. James Cole macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #3
    IMHO I wouldn't do it... Ive had one of the classic mbp 17'' for 3 years... I did travel a lot and Ill tell you, it quickly becomes a hassle... and in the plane if the guy in front of you has it seat reclined the most you can open the screen is about 90 degrees.
     
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    Location:
    North Korea
    #4
    In what was does a screens resolution affect the angle you can open it at?
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    I travel with the 17" MBP almost every day.

    While in coach the MPB is ok for watching movies.

    No computer with a full size keyboard allows you to have coffee next to a coach tray.
     
  6. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #6
    I currently have the 15" unibody, and I think that it's the MAXIMUM size you would want on a plane. I was happy to open it up to a 90° angle. I found the MacBook to be very easy to use on planes, so if you are the roadwarrior, why not get a MacBook with a 17" Pro or iMac or something? :p Now if you fly business, that's a completely different thing..
     
  7. The Grue thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #7
    James,

    Thanks for the advice. Was your experience in trying to use it on the tray table, or in your lap? I kind of expected this would be the case on the table, but I was hoping that it might work in my lap.

    Thx
     
  8. The Grue thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #8
    Consultant,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I actually do manage to get the coffee in with the ThinkPad - I hang about 1/3 of the machine off the table, and I can fit the cup there, and the machine isn't really in danger of falling. I was joking about this with the 17" machine. Now if it had an older style CD-ROM drive, that could double as a cupholder...
     
  9. The Grue thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #9
    Patriks7,

    Thanks for your advice and your experience using the 15 incher and the MacBook on the plane.

    If I'm going to stay with a small screen, I'd just stick with a ThinkPad since I already have all the accessories, pick up the little Sony Z series, or even go really light and go to the Rev B AirBook (which I'm considering anyway, since I can get a good local deal on a barely used one with the SSD). The MBP 17 seems much better than the equivilent PCs in that weight class (HP HDX, Dell XPS Studio 16, Sony FW Series). A lot more competition in the smaller categories.

    One thing keeping me away from the AirBook, MacBook, etc. is the lack of discreet graphics. I'm looking for a single machine that I can use for work (by making a VMWare image of my work machine), personal use, and the occasional game to kill time while traveling. I also don't want to have to carry a spare battery around anymore, which was one of the appeals of the 17".
     
  10. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #10
    Thats a lie

    :D
     

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  11. James Cole macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #11
    Nope on the tray table...
     
  12. kp98072 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #12

    Hi there I am considering the 15" MBP unibody, which you have. How hard is it to carry around? so it does fit ok on the plane? thanks
     
  13. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #13
    I carry it everyday with me to school and so far I have had no problems with the size/weight. So far I flew with it once (from NYC to Vienna.. 8 hours :eek:) and the screen opened just enough on the tray for me to be able to clearly see the screen. Maybe if I'd have put it on my lap I could have seen it better, but I was half asleep and didn't want it to fall down incase it would fall down :p But in about 3 weeks I think it is I will be flying again (Vienna to Mallorca, so only 2 hours) so if you're interested I can give you a report on how it is on the smaller planes.
     

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