Upgrading from 15" to 17"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MikeyTree, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    A friend of mine is selling her 17" MBP (unibody 2.66), and I'm seriously considering buying it. It has a 128gb SSD, and she's selling it for about $1900.

    I have a mid-2007 15.4" MBP, 2.4 Ghz, upgraded to 4mb ram. It runs wonderfully, and I don't really need to upgrade. However, the extra screen size and the unibody perks (battery life and trackpad, mainly) are very appealing to me, and it does sound like quite a deal, especially since I'm hoping to sell my current laptop for about $1000.

    Does this sound like a good upgrade, or am I just being greedy? :)

    Also, for those of you who have switched from 15" to 17", did the extra weight and size become an issue after you switched?
  2. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    We upgraded from our 14" iBook to a 17" MBP and I've got to say that I can't imagine going back now that I've worked on this screen. I so thought a 17" screen would be too big in a laptop, but I've got to say that it's totally awesome. Now, we don't travel with it daily or anything so obviously the portability is not a concern for us.
  3. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    I had one of the original 17" MBPs, but it was just too big. I sold it and bought a 15" 2.5 Core2Duo and have been happy ever since.

    I bought a notebook for portability. When I had the 17", I never did find the right roll-on computer bag. I had trouble using the 17" on a plane, the tray tables weren't quite deep enough, and if the guy in front reclined his seat, I was couldn't adjust the screen to my liking. When I sat in the passenger seat of the car, the 17" was always too big to comfortably sit on my lap to work or watch a movie. My 17" was one of the ones that ran really hot and my 15" is no problem at all.

    When I got the 15", I rationalized that I could get a large monitor if I needed it on my desk, while still enjoying the portability that I require. Never have gotten the larger monitor for my desk. YMMV.

    If battery life is that important for you, it is a valid consideration.

    How important is the portability factor to you?

    Is it the glossy screen? You either like it or you don't. (I don't.)

    A 128 GB drive is just too small for me.

    Does she have AppleCare on it and will it transfer to you? That's a value added option to consider, especially if you computer is going to be out of warranty soon.

    To play devil's advocate, with an education discount, you could get a brand new 17" MBP with better specs for $600 more than she is asking. Plus, you would have the 1 year warranty. Refurbs are also an option.

    If you were my brother (or sister), I'd suggest you to pass on this deal unless there is some really compelling reason you want it. It's only marginally better than your already have and the price isn't something that makes me want to jump on it.

    Let us know what you decide.
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    I can think of VERY few reasons to own a 17" notebook. If you want to use your laptop as a desktop machine, then hook it into a nice big external display. If you want a computer to take with you, then I would imagine you don't want a massive computer weighing in at over 6.5lbs and with a huge footprint. Internal display resolutions have gotten high enough these days that the number of pixel displayed on 15" MacBook Pro is the same as the 17" Powerbooks (with the exception of the very last model). If you want a portable system, keep your 15". If you want a bigger screen, go to Best Buy and pick one up.
  5. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    +1, the only reason I can think of is to show off to friends, but even that is becoming more difficult due to Apple's price cuts :p
  6. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
  7. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    I'm really on the fence about this. What might make a difference for me is that I'm a really big guy, 6'3" and husky, so it fit comfortably on my lap the one time I tried it. I'm just not sure the extra expense, and hassle of selling my 15", is worth it.

    I have no idea whether she bought Applecare, but it is a consideration.

    That's what I thought too, when I bought my 15". I even bought a 24" monitor, but took it back after a couple weeks because I didn't like being tied to my desk at home.
  8. Perrumpo macrumors 68000


    Jul 12, 2008
    I felt the same way going from my 14" iBook to a 15" MBP.

    Being a college student, I take my laptop with me often. Not only would I feel silly lugging a 17" around or having it out on my desk while in class, but a 17" wouldn't even fit in most book/messenger bags!

    Bottom line, imo:
    If you want portability used solely around your home, go with the 17". If you plan on taking it elsewhere, stick with the 15".

    Also, don't let the perks of a unibody lure you towards her 17". You can upgrade to a unibody while keeping the portability of a 15" for much less cash than the cost of upgrading to her 17". I bought my 15" unibody, 2.66, 4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD for $1300 on here.
  9. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    I think that I've decided not to buy it. Although I'm still waffling, the bottom line is that I don't need a new computer right now. Mine still works very well, and does what I need. When I upgrade in a year or two, then I'll consider buying a 17-inch, but for now I don't need to spend the extra money, and don't want the hassle of selling my current computer.
  10. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    Congratulations. I think you have made a good decision.
  11. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    I have a 17", it's only portable in the sense that you can take it with you and use it at other destinations. But not portable in the use it on the go type of way that a smaller laptop would be. If I buy another one it might be the 15" just to add more portability.

    As for the deal, I think it was good to turn down. I don't think it's worth a $900 price to upgrade from what you have.
  12. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    If you want to make the 17" portable, it's very possible. I have no problems using the 17" as a portable machine, but it does sit on my desk quite a bit now. It's a different and unique decision for each individual user.
  13. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    That's the impression I got from using it. It's not too big for my lap, and the extra 1.2 lbs of weight would be annoying to carry, but I'm a strong guy and could handle it. I already can't use my laptop on planes, so that wouldn't be an issue.

    What made my decision was the price. Not only would it be about $800-$900 more than I could sell my current 15" MBP for, but I would also have to buy a bunch of additional accessories to make it usable, like a new case and a mini display port-to-HDMI adapter.
  14. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    I love the 17" HD screen. No way a 15 cuts it imo.

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