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is the 17 inch MBP too big?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Is the 17 inch MBP too big? I was thinking about getting one to replace a 15 inch and wonder if the 17 inch is out of the mainstream, it seems most buy the 13 inch. What do you think of the 17 inch, too big for a portable?


I am not a frequent travel and use my notebook at home wirelessly.
post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

Is the 17 inch MBP too big? I was thinking about getting one to replace a 15 inch and wonder if the 17 inch is out of the mainstream, it seems most buy the 13 inch. What do you think of the 17 inch, too big for a portable?


I am not a frequent travel and use my notebook at home wirelessly.

It's certainly larger than the typical laptop today but Apple makes them so thin that their 17" doesn't feel like the heavy burden that others do. I'd say go to an Apple store and see if you can handle the size. Since you're not traveling much the 17" could be the right model as it has a higher resolution screen and the longest battery life in the group.

He'll I'd buy one if I didn't need to travel that much.
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post #3 of 55
It's pretty hard for me to tell whether it's a 17" or 15" uMBP at a glimpse.
They're are very close in weight and size. Both are portable enough and still both are heavy compared to subnotebooks (or <1.2kg ultraportables)

I'd newer say that 15" will provide any noticeable advantage in weight or size.



post #4 of 55
That's a subjective question and largely depends on what you plan to do. I know a lot of people who carry around 17" machines that are much heavier than the MBP. On the other hand, there are those like me who consider the 15" to be too big let alone the 17.
post #5 of 55
I have had 12", 15" and 17" Macbooks/Powerbooks, these days I always go for 17"!
post #6 of 55
Ditto. Once you've had a 17" the 15" looks small, especially its limited resolution. If you're going to be using your laptop as your only computer I'd say the 17" is absolutely necessary. If you have a desktop you use and you just want a portable too, maybe go the 13". The 13" definitely has a cuteness factor to it, while the 17" looks like a beast! The 15" is kind of a compromise on both accounts imnsho.

Pulling a 17" out at a cafe kind of makes you look like a nerd, but a Mac nerd which isn't so bad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BNOYHTUAWB View Post

I have had 12", 15" and 17" Macbooks/Powerbooks, these days I always go for 17"!
post #7 of 55
A 17" laptop isn't that out of the ordinary. MBP's are quite thin, and lighter than most. If you want to see a big heavy portable, here's a Dell
http://www.dell.com/content/products...en&s=dfh&cs=22
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

Pulling a 17" out at a cafe kind of makes you look like a nerd, but a Mac nerd which isn't so bad...

Pulling out an Air will make you the Übernerd except if you carry it in a manila envelope ROFL
post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BNOYHTUAWB View Post

Pulling out an Air will make you the Übernerd except if you carry it in a manila envelope ROFL

When it comes to a café computer, I would drop the bucks for a dirt cheap netbook. Everyone and his brother has one now, oh, except Apple. Übernerd! As for a notebook for home use, I would go with the 13" @ $1499 unless you must have the better graphics. Use the extra dough for an external monitor.
post #10 of 55
The 15" is probably ideal for your situation though the 17" is not big and it's only 6.6 pounds. As has been mentioned before, I think the only thing that might make people get the 17" over the 15" is the matte screen option.
post #11 of 55
I'm in the same boat. I occassionally like using my laptop in the lounge, would the 17" sit nicely in my lap?

For me, I have to decide is it worth spending $500 NZD for the bigger, anti-glare screen.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

Is the 17 inch MBP too big? I was thinking about getting one to replace a 15 inch and wonder if the 17 inch is out of the mainstream, it seems most buy the 13 inch. What do you think of the 17 inch, too big for a portable?

This really depends on how you are comfortable with situating your workflow. For instance, I currently have a 15" MBP and an external 22" Acer DVI monitor. When I'm at home, I connect it up to the Acer and when on the go, the 15" screen size will do. I find that 13.3" is a little small to be doing a lot of computing on, and 17" would probable not be worth the size/weight disadvantage vs the 15" size/weight for myself. My next computer purchase though may vary well be a 17", but that is a few years down the road for myself. I hope that helps, 15" + big external for dual screen = awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BNOYHTUAWB View Post

Pulling out an Air will make you the Übernerd except if you carry it in a manila envelope ROFL

post #13 of 55
Thread Starter 
I will not connect it to an external monitor. The size of the notebook is the size of the screen that I will use as my main computer, so it will be a 13, 15, or 17 inch screen no external monitor.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

I will not connect it to an external monitor. The size of the notebook is the size of the screen that I will use as my main computer, so it will be a 13, 15, or 17 inch screen no external monitor.

No one can give a credible answer to your question without knowing the essential applications that you plan to use. For e-mail and web browsing, there's no need for a 17" screen. If you're doing complicated Photoshop work then you have an entirely different need and will want the large screen.
post #15 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

No one can give a credible answer to your question without knowing the essential applications that you plan to use. For e-mail and web browsing, there's no need for a 17" screen. If you're doing complicated Photoshop work then you have an entirely different need and will want the large screen.

just basic computing, web, email, itunes, word.

I like the high res screen, longer battery life, and the 17 has the best speakers. Is it worth $800 more than the low end 15 that will be enough power to meet my needs?
post #16 of 55
If your eyesight can handle the high resolution of the 17" MacBook Pro, get that. It's difficult to envisage anyone being disappointed with that machine. Added bonus is that you can get the non-glossy screen (glossy may look good but the reflections can be very annoying (I've got a 15" MacBook Pro)).
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post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

Is the 17 inch MBP too big? I was thinking about getting one to replace a 15 inch and wonder if the 17 inch is out of the mainstream, it seems most buy the 13 inch. What do you think of the 17 inch, too big for a portable?

I am not a frequent travel and use my notebook at home wirelessly.

If you don't travel frequently the 17" will be the better notebook IMHO.

If you DO travel frequently the 17" might be a bit large. I have a 17" MBP and it is often too big to:
  • Run on a dinky airline tray in coach (better on some airlines and seats than others)
  • Fit in hotel room safes
  • Heavy to run from one terminal to another to catch a connector
  • Use comfortably in bed/on your lap

On the other hand, the 17" has enough room to drive demos on it's own screen and enough screen real estate not to feel cramped without a monitor. Plus in the new line up, the 17" is the only one with expansion capability.

The 17" is overkill for your needs in 2009. On the other hand, perhaps not so much in 2012.
post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I have a 17" MBP and it is often too big to:

Use comfortably in bed/on your lap

Not too sure about this last one. I was fortunate enough to get to play with a 17" for a few days and didn't have much trouble using it on my lap.
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post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

I will not connect it to an external monitor. The size of the notebook is the size of the screen that I will use as my main computer, so it will be a 13, 15, or 17 inch screen no external monitor.

No one would buy a $2000 desktop with a 17" monitor these days, they would say it was too small. No manufacturer would even offer such a package. But that is what you are considering. Why? Have you ever used a notebook as your only computer? It is an ergonomic nightmare. The neck strain, alone is reason enough not to do it. If your keyboard is at the right level, you will be looking down at the screen. If the screen is at the right level, you will be reaching up to the keyboard. You are going to have to attach something to it eventually. My advice is to buy an external display and use the computer in closed lid mode. Unhook the display when you want to travel. The amount of time you spend away from the desk and what you do with the system dictates what size monitor the computer should have. The exception would be if you only use your computer to check email and do less than two hours a day total web surfing and word processing. More than that, and you should have an external display. By the way, if your workload is that light, you should not be considering a 17" anyway unless your eyesight is poor and you need to run it at low res for larger type. Good luck with that.
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post #20 of 55
17" is too big for me.

To me 13" is as big as a laptop should be, for me.

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post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

No one would buy a $2000 desktop with a 17" monitor these days, they would say it was too small.

Don't think screen size. Think resolution. The 17" MacBook Pro has 1920 x 1200 resolution, giving a huge screen real-estate. The issue with the screen being 17" is that you need good eyesight to use such a high DPI monitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

Have you ever used a notebook as your only computer? It is an ergonomic nightmare. The neck strain, alone is reason enough not to do it.

I've got a laptop with external keyboard, mouse and monitor. When at a desk, I use those, with the laptop's screen as a secondary monitor. When using the laptop on its own, I don't sit at a desk, so I don't suffer from any of the problems you're talking about. Use it lounging in bed or on my lap slouching on a sofa - no neck pain, no back pain, no problem.
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post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Don't think screen size. Think resolution. The 17" MacBook Pro has 1920 x 1200 resolution, giving a huge screen real-estate. The issue with the screen being 17" is that you need good eyesight to use such a high DPI monitor.



I've got a laptop with external keyboard, mouse and monitor. When at a desk, I use those, with the laptop's screen as a secondary monitor. When using the laptop on its own, I don't sit at a desk, so I don't suffer from any of the problems you're talking about. Use it lounging in bed or on my lap slouching on a sofa - no neck pain, no back pain, no problem.

This is the first case I've heard of anyone claiming they need or even want 1920 x 1200 resolution for e-mail and web surfing while lounging in bed or slouching on a sofa. People generally only need that resolution for graphics work or major multitasking with multiple apps open. Are you sure you really want that?
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

This is the first case I've heard of anyone claiming they need or even want 1920 x 1200 resolution for e-mail and web surfing while lounging in bed or slouching on a sofa. People generally only need that resolution for graphics work or major multitasking with multiple apps open. Are you sure you really want that?

I guess you need to ask the OP, timr100
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post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I guess you need to ask the OP, timr100

Thanks... got mixed up by that!
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I've got a laptop with external keyboard, mouse and monitor. When at a desk, I use those, with the laptop's screen as a secondary monitor. When using the laptop on its own, I don't sit at a desk, so I don't suffer from any of the problems you're talking about. Use it lounging in bed or on my lap slouching on a sofa - no neck pain, no back pain, no problem.

That's fine for occasional use. I was responding to the idea of using the laptop as the primary computing experience. If your primary computing experience is couch slouch, then you don't need anything remotely as powerful as a 17" MBP. That is a desktop class machine and should be used with the appropriate externals when possible.
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post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

That's fine for occasional use. I was responding to the idea of using the laptop as the primary computing experience. If your primary computing experience is couch slouch, then you don't need anything remotely as powerful as a 17" MBP.

I disagree. When I had a 17" at my disposal, I did plenty of coding (the 1920 x 1200 res was a real boon) for hours on end whilst lounging on my sofa. You don't have to sit at a desk to get real work done.

The 17" does seem like overkill for general consumer computing, but if that's what the guy wants, why not? 17" is an advantage if you're going to be using the machine to watch DVDs etc.
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post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I disagree. When I had a 17" at my disposal, I did plenty of coding (the 1920 x 1200 res was a real boon) for hours on end whilst lounging on my sofa. You don't have to sit at a desk to get real work done.

The 17" does seem like overkill for general consumer computing, but if that's what the guy wants, why not? 17" is an advantage if you're going to be using the machine to watch DVDs etc.

Do we have any idea what the original poster wanted to use the computer for?
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post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

Do we have any idea what the original poster wanted to use the computer for?

I was under the impression this was going to be the original poster's only Mac. Doesn't want an external monitor. My cousin bought her first PC just this year. She turns 83 in a few days. Silly woman got a Dell with a 17" screen. She has to park her nose about six inches from the screen to see it, even with her glasses. You people with good eyesight make me crazy. There is no such thing as a notebook screen I could be comfortable with. I don't believe the 17" is too big as long as you can see the text. On the other hand, it do cost too much. That would be the primary reason my cousin has her Dell. Had she purchased a Mac, it would be a hundred times easy to help her with it. Trying to help someone over the twisted pair with Windows tech stuff can get very ugly. My advice to the original poster, get the 17 inch MBP and leave it at home. Buy yourself one of the many netbooks to travel with. Windows isn't the end of the world if you don't have to use it all the time. Also, it is very easy to create a dual boot setup with Windows and Ubuntu. Linux is way cool until you have to figure out how to mess with it. Ubuntu comes with just about everything needed to hang out at the coffee house with.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

Do we have any idea what the original poster wanted to use the computer for?

No, but that would be helpful.

I had a 17" for five years and initially got it in lieu of a desktop. I don't use it to run photoshop, but I do appreciate the real estate. I can program and run Stata and all of its windows opened up to a decent size. I can be typing a document with two pages open at once, which I really like. When developing models on larger spreadsheets, it is helpful to have the additional real estate.

But mobile computing with the 17 is to mobile computing with something like the MBA kind of like car camping is to backpacking.

It is not "too big" but it is a pain to take on planes, to carry with you throughout the day, and so forth.

I now have a desktop computer, so my next laptop will be significantly smaller.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

Do we have any idea what the original poster wanted to use the computer for?

well, in post 15, he said "just basic computing, web, email, itunes, word". It's odd that we're managing to have a conversation about it without much involvement from him
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post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

well, in post 15, he said "just basic computing, web, email, itunes, word". It's odd that we're managing to have a conversation about it without much involvement from him

Totally missed that one. I just see these types of threads as springboards for interesting conversation. I can't imagine asking for that kind of advice on a board like this and expecting anything particularly useful.

...And I still say that the 17" is too much computer for that type of use. Frankly, the current crop of 13 inchers are overkill. In fact, I'm starting to think he should just get a Dell.
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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

...And I still say that the 17" is too much computer for that type of use. Frankly, the current crop of 13 inchers are overkill. In fact, I'm starting to think he should just get a Dell.

A Dell Mini 9 and hackintosh it.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

A Dell Mini 9 and hackintosh it.

You will have to get your Dell Mini 9 used or refurbished. It is gone from Dell's lineup.
post #34 of 55
Any client I've had who bought a 17" - AND travels fairly often - REGRETTED getting the 17". It really is a monster to lug around on those trips to Paris and the Fiji Islands... But perhaps that says more about the person who buys one - it was always the kind of who absolutely had to have the 'BIGGEST, BESTEST, FASTEST - I HAVE THE MONEY AND I WANT TOP-END!' In this consumptive culture we have where Bigger Is Better -- I had a hard time convincing clients that sometimes Less Is More....
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post

I'm in the same boat. I occassionally like using my laptop in the lounge, would the 17" sit nicely in my lap?

For me, I have to decide is it worth spending $500 NZD for the bigger, anti-glare screen.

Personally, it depends on what you're going to use it for. I'm running a 13.3 inch screen, white macbook - it was difficult at first to get used to having had a laptop prior which was 14 inches and a desktop that was 20inches. Once you get used to it though, you'll find it more comfortable than the 15 or 17 inch.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintoshtoffy View Post

Personally, it depends on what you're going to use it for. I'm running a 13.3 inch screen, white macbook - it was difficult at first to get used to having had a laptop prior which was 14 inches and a desktop that was 20inches. Once you get used to it though, you'll find it more comfortable than the 15 or 17 inch.

Graphic and website design, at the moment I'm going for the 17 inches ooooh yeah
post #37 of 55
Thread Starter 
Anyone who owns a 17 notice eyestrain/headache from the high res screen?
post #38 of 55
If you have a docking station at home, the question may be irrelevant. You can use the 13 inch screen itself when you want a portable computing experience (coffee shop, sitting in front of the TV), and the docking station with a 20 inch or larger monitor when you want to do serious work that requires a more formal environment like a computer desk.

The only problem with this is that there's no external mouse that offers the equivalent experience of the multi-touch trackpad.

I say this even though I own a 15 inch MBP.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by timr100 View Post

Anyone who owns a 17 notice eyestrain/headache from the high res screen?

Coming from a previous 17" with 1680 x 1050 resolution I definitely noticed myself straining a bit to read some text, but this was mostly on poorly formatted websites and can easily be overcome by a variety of techniques. Sometimes I use the quick zoom (control button and two finger scroll up and down). Most aspects of the Finder and browsers can also be customised for larger font and icon sizes so it's really not a big deal. Just set the zoom level you find best in Safari/Firefox. I even discovered (by accident) you can use the pinch gestures to control zooming in browsers!
post #40 of 55
I was really torn between the 13, 15 and 17" MBP models. This will be my first Apple computer. I have owned laptops/portables since the days of the original compact suitcase style computers. The 13" is definitely the most "cool" model and it is easy to transport. If I flew more, I would get the 13" model, as the 15" will be a tight squeeze in coach. However, my laptops tend to mostly only move around the house as I have a company Dell 14.1" I usually have to travel with. I almost ordered a refurbished 17" MBP 2.66Mhz from the Apple web site. However, I made a wooden model of its dimensions and realized that it would not fit in any of my laptop bags or travel cases. So, I settled on the 15" MPB. It seemed to be the best compromise.

I just ordered a 15" MBP 2.66Mhz model. While I may never need the extra Graphic's ability, (I don’t play games) I like knowing that it is there. I do occasionally do some 3D modeling. The fact that you can turn the 9600 video processor off to save battery power is a great feature. In other words it “future proofs” the laptop a little. I tend to keep laptops for a long time. My current HP is about 9 years old. I also decided that if I truly want a portable, I would watch out for a good deal on a used Macbook Air....

Anyway, that is how I made my decision… (it took nearly a month)
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