View Full Version : PowerBook, 15" or 17" - Can't Decide!

4th June 2005, 03:05 PM
hey all,
im kinda new here,
but i need help deciding on which Powerbook to go for.
Im studying graphic design.
I cant decide on which model powerbook to go for.. the 17" or the 15" ?

I will be using the pb as a desktop replacement for my current system, aswell as taking it to classes etc. SO its a portable desktop replacement...

Im thinking the 17" may be too big? ive been talking to a few people and they all say its too big? I currently use a 17" crt monitor at 1280x1024 in windows, I am feeling like im downgrading when i goto a 15" screen?

But i feel the portabiltiy is better on the 15?

I just cant decide..
Anyone on here designers? what would you recommend?

I also think i cant decide because of the jump from Pc to mac...
Would i be able to do the same things on a pc based notebook ?

sorry for the babble,
i feel i cant express my situation clearly

any advice would be helpful

4th June 2005, 03:10 PM
Theres no point asking about PC or Mac here :)

It depends.
The PowerBook 17inch fetures a bigger screen therefore its larger, and less portable.
On the other hand the 15inch fetures a smaller screen, and graphic designers might just need that little bit of extra space.
The 17inch is more expencive too :)
It just depends what you prefer more portable or larger screen

4th June 2005, 03:14 PM
Personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd get a 15 and spend the difference on an 17 or perhaps even 19 LCD to leave on your desk*. That way you have both portability when you need it and real-estate when you need it.

*Just in case you didn't know you can do screen-spanning with Apple laptops, meaning you can use the laptop's display and an extra monitor together. From a design perspective, you could, for example, have your actual work on the external display, and all your palettes etc on the laptop display.

4th June 2005, 03:19 PM
I was in a similar situation from you a few months back, maybe this thread (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=6310) will help B)

4th June 2005, 03:28 PM
I had nearly the exact same descision to make about 3 weeks ago. I have to take my laptop around classes and looked at both the 15 and 17 inch. The 17 inch was too big and heavy to carry around but the 15 inch was portable and the widescreen is still relatively large. I work digital imaging and the 15 inch is great except when working for long peroids of time then I use an external monitor. This was also my first Mac after using windows for many years. The Mac seems much better for digital imaging and if I were you I would definitely make the switch to Mac! There is a large number of programs that work on Mac and windows. I am yet to find a program that I require that doesn't work on Mac. (except my Anti-Virus, but you don't need it on a mac)

Good luck making your decision!


4th June 2005, 03:29 PM
Get 15" with 1.67GHz, 128MB Video Card and get an extra cinema display at home.

If money is not an issue, I think this is a quite good combination.

4th June 2005, 03:43 PM
Simonpeng is right, if you have the cash

4th June 2005, 03:46 PM
I would say the 17". I personally own the 15", but know others who carry their 17" around. The 17" isn't that much more then the 15", and therefore seems more bang for your buck.

I wouldn't worry about it being big cause it's not that much bigger or heavier then the 15". It's thinner then the 15" too. The other thing is that the 17" seems to have less hardware issues then the 15". I guess that's because it's been in the market longer then the 17"

4th June 2005, 04:15 PM
I'm in a similar situation although I do web related stuff.

The 15" is a good one to have, although I have had thoughts of going to the 17", it only effects me when I'm on the road as I have my 17" LCD on my desk that I used when I'm in the office.

4th June 2005, 05:11 PM
the 17" is fantastic, and its not heavy at all, just compare PC laptops weights...Id go for the 17" if you are graphics guy

4th June 2005, 05:14 PM
Well... I just had to make the exact same decision the other day ... Thursday morning at 9.05am to be exact.

Here is what I thought:
15" is great... its got that perfect balance between hardware/software and size.
17" is awesome... it's just huge and has that added extra "wank factor".

The 17" also has the extra VRAM, HDD space, bigger res-screen.

Yes: you can get these as built to order. But, here is where I came unstuck.

If you BTO a PowerBook, you are stuck with the screen you get. That is, if it has dead pixels on it, you're a buggered. If it has lots, you can get it replaced, but 1 stuck sub-pixel is 1 too many (I know this for a fact!).

The 17" already has all this stuff in it, so... you can actually inspect the screen BEFORE taking delivery of it. Which is what I did, loaded Dead Pixel Identifier onto the Powerbook, looked it over twice, and THEN took delivery of it.

So... that's how I came to the decision of buying the 17". I wanted the extra VRAM and HDD space. But, I didn't want to be stuck with a dead pixel or two... the only way 'round it was to go the 17".

It is HUGE, it is heavy (by about 600g). It's really meant to be a desktop replacement.... if size is an issue, go the 15" (but think hard about BTO). If you REALLY want the extra stuff, you can BTO the 15" (and be stuck with a bad screen if you get one) or just go the 17".

It's only $550 more.... :)

On a final note... I do somewhat regret getting the 17" ... it looks huge, so will be a problem moving it about a little. But, overall, I'm in love with it, and KNOW that I've made the right decision.


4th June 2005, 05:32 PM
dead pixels are really a matter of how much you push to get it replaced. if you say you do photo touchups etc etc the change it if you push the matter, so BTO is not an issue.

i personally got a 15" 1.67ghz with the upgraded graphics and 100GB HD and then added a 1GB chip to it. i couldn't be happier and i connect it to my 19" monitor at home when i need a bigger screen.

17 = overkill as it doesn't fit properly into backpacks and if you take public transport places you really don't want ot make it too obvious you have a laptop as you make yourself a target.


4th June 2005, 07:07 PM
Go with the 15", you will probably want to bring it along to some of your classes too. The 17" is just too big and awkward to carry around. But if you compare your 17" CRT to a 15" LCD they pretty much have the same screen size, maybe a little bit bigger on the LCD. So your not really downgrading, your upgrading!

4th June 2005, 07:23 PM
Purchase the 17" if within your budget ... have lugged the 15" around for the last 16 months and now have a 17" ... there's not a noticeable difference in the weights although you'll have to get a bag capable of housing the larger machine (Booq and STM have excelleent solutions) ... the new 17'' is a very capable machine, really pleased with the build and the performance so far ... manages Reaktor 5, Logic 7 etc. nicely .. teamed with Tiger ... eggsellent!!

4th June 2005, 07:35 PM
i rekon 15" and get a LCD for home :) its great :D

4th June 2005, 07:39 PM
I have had a 17" for almost a year now and use it constantly, I use it for photo editing, catalogue assembly etc and then use it as a catalogue instead of use a "paper" book, because of the screen size it makes it much more impressive to show customers.
If you get a decent bag to carry it in it's not much of a problem.

I use it most nights on my lap when watching TV and because it is wider you don't have to keep your "legs closed" as much as you would with a smaller lap top, having said that it is not so good on a plane in "cattle" class.

5th June 2005, 02:04 PM
thank you all for replying!
Ive been out again this morning looking at them.
The 15" was actually bigger then i expected, it looked like a "normal laptop" but the 17" just looked like a "BIG laptop" ..

the prices ive been quoted are

17" single dimm 1GB - $4142.90
17" double dimm 1GB - $3907.90

15" single dimm 1GB - $3853.80
15" double dimm 1GB - $3609.80
-note the 15" is fully spec'd up to the 17"

Ive also been searching around, has anyone had any luck/experiance with this company on ebay?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...mMakeTrack=true (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5205067282&fromMakeTrack=true)

As it seems really cheap!

So in the end im thinking if i can get the 17" (on ebay) cheaper then the 15" from an apple center, well its more bang for my buck really!
(also then the difference can be spent on bags/wireless router/ etc etc)

Also do macs and pc's have issues sharing the same network connection? (ethernet and broadband)

5th June 2005, 02:08 PM
also i tried out the multiscreen span today instore, i must say was impressed :) gave me ideas of doing a 15" and a monitor at home setup....

I dont really travel much on public transport (hate it) and i dont think id be wanting to carry my brand new 3G+ laptop on a seedy dangerous train/bus.

I drive too and from class, and most other places i goto.
so i guess portability isnt THAT much of an issue, as it will be driven everywhere, and then place on most likely a desk/surface for work when i get to my destination

thanks so much for your help guys!

5th June 2005, 03:42 PM
your looking at edu prices which are actually less than the non edu buy prices. but to get edu pricing you have to get it from an authorised EDU store and have to show them proof of EDU. Prices will be the same everywhere.

5th June 2005, 03:58 PM
just to add another element to the discussion. i too had this exact dilemma only 2 weeks ago. I went with the 12" pb and 20" cinema at my desk. this gives me amazing screen space and portability. or you could just get any other non-apple 17-19" screen and be a happy chap too!

for me, both the 15" and 17" were just too big to lug around to uni and such. im 90% at my desk anyway doing flash and dreamweaver stuff.

5th June 2005, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by one_nil@Jun 5 2005, 02:04 PM
thank you all for replying!
Ive also been searching around, has anyone had any luck/experiance with this company on ebay?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...mMakeTrack=true (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5205067282&fromMakeTrack=true)

Take a look at their member profile = 99.1% positive feedback

If you want to read each trader here's the link: http://feedback.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.d...&iid=5205067282 (http://feedback.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=got-tronics&iid=5205067282)

5th June 2005, 04:22 PM
Im buying the new G5 powerbook next week 17" :-) ha ha

5th June 2005, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by wheels8989@Jun 5 2005, 04:17 PM

Take a look at their member profile = 99.1% positive feedback

If you want to read each trader here's the link: http://feedback.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.d...&iid=5205067282 (http://feedback.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=got-tronics&iid=5205067282)
yeah ive read them all :)
was just wondering it anyone on here has had first hand experiance with this guy?
Seems like a brilliant price? i wonder how?

5th June 2005, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by amni@Jun 5 2005, 04:22 PM
Im buying the new G5 powerbook next week 17" :-) ha ha
:unsure: G5 powerbook eeeyy....

does it come with a free fire extinguisher ?

6th June 2005, 05:18 AM
hi one_nil, (you'll find this just replicates my earlier PM to you, but i thought i'd post it in here for completeness..)

don't bother asking me or Ozi (another guy in here who uses a 15" too) which one to get! we're big fans of the widescreen 15", but your requirements are a bit different to most who look at the PB range - i've got the Revision C 15" PowerBook w/S'Drive, with the 128 vid card, and I added an extra 1 Gig stick a few months back taking it to 1.5 Gig, and I think its an amazing machine, but I would never need the screen area on the 17", so we never thought of going bigger.

its a tough choice for you as a user who'll probably need a lot of screen real-estate, but there is a lot to be said for partnering a 15"er with a second LCD screen when at home, i've done it a few times with a 17" LCD or CRT, and its works so well, the plug & play is truly that.. - it would give you plenty of room, but you'd still have the awesome portability of a 15" machine.. BUT, it would be great to always have the 17" screen all the time.. they are thinner than a 15", but its the bulk and sheer length/width of that large rectangle that will annoy you - i know that we've done a bit of travelling with our 15" and its just small enough to slide inside day backpacs and my work briefcase within its InCase bag, whereas the 17" will have to go in a purpose-built bag? just another thing to think about - mind you, as if you don't have enough to contemplate!!

its probably not such a silly idea to get two big pieces of corregated cardbard (like the two long sides of a fruit and veg box!?), and cut out two different sized rectangles that are the same dimensions of the 15" and the 17" when the lid is closed, and then you'll have a good idea of how big they each are, and you'll be able to see whether the 17"er will be too large for you to move around/put in bags etc, or if the 15" just won't cut it as far as screen size - a lot cheaper to do this and just have a look at the size of each pretend cardboard laptop, than getting the wrong one and regretting the size or lack thereof..

good luck making the decision, either one will be a winner.

9th June 2005, 08:53 AM
Hey guys
I need your help,

Im thinking about purchasing this PB
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...ShippingPayment (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5398979474&fromMakeTrack=true#ShippingPayment)

Ive been talking to the seller, seems fairly legit, but im still a bit sceptical as to HOW he can see it for $1300AU ?

Payment is by bankcheck/western union, so I can cancel it anytime etc, but what do you guys think/know about this cheap price?

Its a US model, so ill need to just get a converter plug,
He/She has been clear on most information,
They are currently in Romania, is brand new in box, sealed, including upc? plus

"you have 15 days to return it and you will have all your money back,
In max 2 days after you will make the payment it will be in your hands"

So is the only thing i could think of is that its "off the back of the truck" being so cheap?
Is their, anyway of tracing the serial number or something, to see if this is correct?

Please help me out asap :)

9th June 2005, 12:55 PM
Invalid Item
This listing (5398979474) has been removed by eBay or is no longer available. Please make sure that you've entered the item number correctly.

Grats you on avoiding a scam. $100 says the machine never existed. If a seller mentions Western Union back away AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

9th June 2005, 01:06 PM
:) yeah, i mentioned that item in another thread, and everyone picked it for a scam,
then a couple of hours later it was off ebay, haha

Oh well,
This one it is
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...5206538752&rd=1 (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4606&item=5206538752&rd=1)