PDA

View Full Version : No love for the 17"?



Mecha
11th June 2009, 01:03 AM
So I was about to buy the 15" MBP 2.8Ghz last night till I realised its only an extra $300 for the "17 which has bigger screen and an extra hour on the battery.

But by the sounds of it the 17" isnt very popular on the forums.


So my question is why?
Is it cost or is it size.

Also for those that do have the 17".
Do you like the size?
Is it a hassle to move around with?

If I do go for the 17" ill be using it mainly for uni so portability is a bit of an issue.

sanjay
11th June 2009, 01:22 AM
the 17" macbook pro is a beautiful machine, no doubt about it.

but its got a very large footprint, and weighs quite a bit (although its much slimmer and lighter than every other 17" laptop on the market!)

thus, its really relegated to desk duties, and its a bit of a waste getting a laptop for desk duties, isnt it?

i figure most people are happy to sacrifice the beautiful display for more portability. myself, i probably wouldnt bother with anything bigger than a 14" laptop these days, as in my opinion, a laptop should be small, light and something you'd want to take places with you :)

Lutze
11th June 2009, 01:55 AM
Don't have one but will be getting one.

Size is not a problem unless you are 120cm and weigh 20kg. Get a good backpack / laptop bag all in one.

Most people here were, in my view at least, against the 17 because of the fixed battery. Now that the 15 has one I think you'll see a lot of people change their mind suddenly.

I'm 178cm 80kg have a crumpler backpack with laptop area. I'll be taking the laptop everywhere I go. The bag also contains my dslr and lenses. It gets a bit bad at the end of a long weekend trip when I've been out and about for 15 hours a day walking around - but that's it.

wholikespotatoes
11th June 2009, 02:03 AM
Size is not a problem unless you are 120cm and weigh 20kg. Get a good backpack / laptop bag all in one.

I disagree,
I am against the 17" purely because of this size, my thoughts echo sanjay's.

I don't want a laptop this big, personally a 15" screen is big enough for me and the advantage of the extra screen space is quickly outweighed by the size, weight and awkwardness of the thing.

Granted I do see why there is a market for them, but personally I dont think it is necessarily a consumer based market.

Lutze
11th June 2009, 02:06 AM
I dont think it is necessarily a consumer based market.

I actually agree with that. I'll be using mine for work, mostly at least!

emerson
11th June 2009, 10:23 AM
I just bought a 17" MBP a few weeks back (08 model) this is my 2nd 17" mac but i also have a 13" MB.
i love the 17" screen, so much better than the 13". I still take my 17" with me, i mainly use it for home but i also take it to my GF's house.

When i travel i take the 13" as my backpack doesn't fit the 17" (i have one of these Shoulderbags Large Brink 17" Slimline Laptop Shoulder Bag – Laptop bags Australia –*STM Bags Australia (http://www.stmbags.com/products.php?id=37&name=large_brink_17&category=shoulderbags)) and it's a pain to carry a backpack and a shoulder bag, especially through the airport.

The 15's are great but i watch a lot of movies and TV on my 17" so thats why i prefer it.

Phase
11th June 2009, 10:26 AM
Seriously considering the 17" myself.

For one reason.

That insanely nice screen. The resolution is absolutely to die for, and it puts the 15" (which I own) to shame.

The battery life is also pretty staggering.

resonance
11th June 2009, 01:47 PM
Don't have one but will be getting one.

Size is not a problem unless you are 120cm and weigh 20kg. Get a good backpack / laptop bag all in one.

That would be me :-)

Well kinda. 174cm and 55kg. So a bit of a light frame. And considering I ride everywhere on a bicycle, I want something pretty small and light.

If the new 13" had an Active graphics card (Rather than the 9400m, the 9600GT) It would definately be tempting.

For the most part, I like the graphical and processical oomph in my lappys, but I want them to be as small as possible. Screen size doesn't bother me, because if I want a big screen, I'll hook it to a Data Proj or Monitor, the latter being what I have at home for games and the such.

Its all a matter of preferance really. I know alot of people who take their lappys to do corporate presentations in rooms without AV equipment, where I work though, its not an issue as we have Projectors coming out the Wazoo.

They do look amazingly good on the screens, but I always thought that on the base (keyboardey area) it seemed like they really didn't know what to do with the extra space.

dotnet
11th June 2009, 02:13 PM
Seriously considering the 17" myself.

For one reason.

That insanely nice screen. The resolution is absolutely to die for, and it puts the 15" (which I own) to shame.

The battery life is also pretty staggering.

Oh, I hate you! I've been agonising over this since Tuesday and finally convinced myself to adopt the responsible, modest and unselfish stance. Then you post this and the agonising starts all over again... :rolleyes:

Cheers
Steffen.

bennettnz
11th June 2009, 02:50 PM
I have a 17 and it is indeed incredible but if you need to take it places it's a pain in the arse. I won't be buying another. It's just too big for traveling around and still heavy enough to be a drag. I 'll go 13 or 15 next time. It all depends on your usage - if it's going to be desk bound 90% of the time then yes it's an option otherwise think carefully about the weight and size issues.

dche5390
11th June 2009, 04:15 PM
1920x1200 *drools*

It has a VERY nice display. Heavy and bulky. Had to buy a separate bag for it. But I loved it, until I destroyed it.

(-_-)"

Big problem for economy class.

pengu
11th June 2009, 04:31 PM
I'm using a 17" MBP from '07.

It depends what you use it for, and how much you use it. I use mine all the time for work, which is generally on a desk, but it's at different desks, depending on whether I'm at a clients office, at home, at a friends house, etc.

It's not well suited to working from your lap, and it's probably to big to use comfortably in economy class on a plane.

As for the weight: a decent bag and you shouldn't notice it. The 17" is only half a kilo heaver than the 15", and under a kilo heavier than the 13".

Brains
11th June 2009, 06:25 PM
The MBP17, as noted above, is predominatly a tote-top (something you drag from desk to desk), not a laptop. It's not something you can whip out quickly and do a bit of work then chuck it back into the briefcase.

No, as Phase points out, the best thing about the MBP17 is its optional matte screen, which also happens to be the only true 24 bit LCD screen available in an Apple laptop. The only other laptop on the market with a 24-bit panel is the impressive (and better featured, and heavier) Hewlett Packard Pavilion HDX.

If you do photo-work or image-work and need something accurate whilst in the field, then the MBP17 with matte is your only real choice.

dekco
11th June 2009, 06:34 PM
im only 165cm, and i find the 17" the best laptop to lug around for my uni lecs/tutes. I do get a lot of stares as to why my laptop is HUGE compared to theirs :p, but the display is just a killer.

chrissara
11th June 2009, 06:49 PM
Ultimately you have to sit down, take a deep breath and ask yourself:

"What am I really going to be using this laptop for?" and not "What do I think i will use the laptop for?".

I speak from personal experience. I have owned 6 Apple laptops in the last two years (yes six) which I have on-sold. Three of those were 17" models. Why did I buy them (the 17" ones)?

Impulse. More powerful graphics card. 1920x1080 screen. Big Dick syndrome.

Why did I buy it? I thought I would be playing games on it, doing video editing and photo editing in addition to my normal daily word processing, voice dictation, emails and web browsing. At that time I was not doing any photo editing, playing many games or video editing. My purchase of the 17" MBP did not change this.

Took maybe 2-3 months to realise this and off I go to sell the MBP.

Get caught up in the next round of Apple MBP updates.....media machine of Apple strikes a chord and rinse and repeat.

It is only in the last six (6) months I have really sat down and said "no more". I know work on the principle before I buy of realistic expectations (and budget).

I have not used OSX for close to 6 months now (been on Vista and Windows 7). Why? Because all I do with my laptop is word processing, voice dictation, emails, web browsing and iTunes. Also the fact that my work place has programs that are Windows centric, such as our accounting program (Locus) and our Network Diary program.

Yes it would be nice to have a 17" MBP, but for me a 13" or 15" will suffice.

At the moment I am happy with my HP TX2613 tablet laptop. Hell, even I question why I need a 12" tablet PC. The only reason I got it was its size and the thought I would read books on it (by turning the screen around). Guess what.....I rarely read ebooks on the bugger BUT the ability to rotate the screen is useful when showing clients or staff certain things or inputting data on the rare occasion via the touch screen. So whilst I am not using it for what I thought I would, it turns out that the laptop fills my daily needs.

If only Apple brought out a tablet PC (Modbooks are overpriced in my view).

In saying all this I am sorely tempted, sorely tempted to look at the new 13" MBP. But how can I justify purchasing it? I cannot, but by god, that impulse is there.

Phunky
12th June 2009, 06:36 PM
Would you say the 17" is too big to use on one's lap while seated?
With ADC discount, the price of the 17" is just above $3k which is very tempting

Lutze
12th June 2009, 06:43 PM
Would you say the 17" is too big to use on one's lap while seated?

It is.

A) it's hotter than hell and will melt your skin.

B) it's like having a 3kg baby on your lap for hours. I should add that it's a 3kg baby with red hot poo in it's nappy.

C) sitting with a notebook on your legs is a great way to eyestrain, back pain and general ill health.

Hope that helps :)

Phunky
12th June 2009, 07:06 PM
Ahh thats some sound advice :D

dekco
12th June 2009, 07:36 PM
It is.

A) it's hotter than hell and will melt your skin.

B) it's like having a 3kg baby on your lap for hours. I should add that it's a 3kg baby with red hot poo in it's nappy.

C) sitting with a notebook on your legs is a great way to eyestrain, back pain and general ill health.

Hope that helps :)
while a + b is true for 17", i used a 13" and it was equally as painful on the eyes/back

iCameron
12th June 2009, 07:38 PM
Size is not a problem unless you are 120cm and weigh 20kg.

This is VERY true, if your a smaller type person, the 17" just simply isn't for you. For me, im fairly tall and large so i have no problem carrying it around for 6+hrs a day, and love all the power and the large screen when i need it..

Go to a shop, pick it up and if it feels awkward and too big, then it's not for you.

chrissara
12th June 2009, 07:42 PM
Aye and there lies the problem.....the ease and portability of a 13" (and perhaps a 15") versus the power/specs and resolution of the 17".

IMO a 17" is a desktop replacement, a 13" is a true portable laptop and a 15" is the middle ground.

Putting a higher res screen on a smaller laptop can defeat the purpose.....even on a 15" laptop a 1920x1280 screen is questionable (particularly for ones eyesight).

Really it is horses for courses. I thought the 13" had less heat than the 17", but yes both do generate a bit of heat.

iCameron
12th June 2009, 07:49 PM
IMO a 17" is a desktop replacement, a 13" is a true portable laptop and a 15" is the middle ground.

In general yes... but don't get yourself caught up in a trap that the 17" is a desktop replacement for all people as you might find you do not fit into this generalization. I run mostly CAD programs all day, in VMWare something that could easily be done on ANY laptop, but i find with the 17" it just has alot more power, while still the portability i want. =D

Also, in economy class i was able to use my laptop just fine with it sitting on the fold-out table. Although cramped a little still very much useable.
Phunky in terms of sitting on your lap, how big is your lap? the weight i find is not really noticable at all though the heat is but if your wearing jeans the heat isn't too bad just never use it while sitting in your underwear (it burns... oh god it burns)

Phunky
12th June 2009, 08:21 PM
the weight i find is not really noticable at all though the heat is but if your wearing jeans the heat isn't too bad just never use it while sitting in your underwear (it burns... oh god it burns)

lol thanks for the advice
I remember seeing a pic of someone frying an egg on the bottom of an older mbp

chrissara
12th June 2009, 08:35 PM
Actually it is my sausage I am more worried about frying ;)

On the point of 17" being classified as "portable" - given that they are now bringing out 18" and 20" laptops, one wonders.

iCameron
12th June 2009, 08:55 PM
On the point of 17" being classified as "portable" - given that they are now bringing out 18" and 20" laptops, one wonders.

Portable is a case by case basis. It all comes down to what you define as portable. and how you weight performance vs. portability

Abaddon
13th June 2009, 09:32 AM
Well obviously its horses for courses. To me the new unibody form factor has mitigated the size issue. I've written in another thread that I find this laptop (17") lighter and easier to lug around than the 15" Dell it replaced.

And I haven't had any heat problems with mine. Maybe I just don't tax it enough :laugh:

In the end though, by all means look at what you intend to use it for, and how often you're going to be carrying it, at 3 kg it's still a bit of weight to carry. But you do get a beautiful machine that's a joy to use. And you know what? IMHO, it's OK to get something because you want it, not just because you need it.

Cheers, A.

Phase
13th June 2009, 09:35 AM
On the point of 17" being classified as "portable" - given that they are now bringing out 18" and 20" laptops, one wonders.

I've seen a 21" laptop, and it's portable by name only

It would be like driving a semi trailer to work in the cbd.

Yes you can technically do it, no, you sure as hell wouldn't ever bother.

dekco
13th June 2009, 11:50 AM
Well obviously its horses for courses. To me the new unibody form factor has mitigated the size issue. I've written in another thread that I find this laptop (17") lighter and easier to lug around than the 15" Dell it replaced....
i was another one who have experienced this "issue". i was using a asus lappy 15.4", moved to mbp 17" and all my bags could swallow up the 17", not to mention the weight difference was minimal. so i felt that i actually gained without having to lose anything; in this case, i gained a kickarse computer for the weight of a lousy 15.4" :p

Lutze
13th June 2009, 12:12 PM
while a + b is true for 17", i used a 13" and it was equally as painful on the eyes/back

I agree with that... that's why I carefully worded it to be "notebook" and not 17" notebook.

<< not as daft as his avatar suggests!

dekco
13th June 2009, 03:01 PM
sorry Lutze, didnt read carefully, barely skimmed thru your post :)

skip73
13th June 2009, 06:02 PM
I have also owned 6 Apple notebooks in the past ranging from the 12” Powerbook to 15.4” and now the 17” Unibody Macbook Pros and they have all be awesome machines.

The extra battery life was also appealing to me at the time as well as the 8GB memory capacity for when Snow Leopard comes out but obviously this can be taken out of the equation now that all models have been updated.

My advice is think of screen real estate - do you really need it? I use Aperture quite a bit so I love the higher resolution and have not regretted my recent purchase, however, if the 15.4” had a higher resolution as well, I could imagine I would be quite torn.

As already advised, you need to have a think about how you are going to use the laptop to justify the the increase in size and weight. In it’s defense, the increase is not that much from the 15.4” so if you can handle carry one of those around OK then the 17” won’t be too much hassle. In fact, after owning my 17” for 4 months now - it feels like the 15.4” I used to own.

One negative thing to note is the choice of bags and cases for the 17” isn’t as good as the 15.4”.

dekco
13th June 2009, 09:40 PM
you mite like to try some 15" bags, esp those made for PC, as i find it swallows up the MBP 17" quite easily. currently using my freebie gift bag from asus (15.4"), now it houses my 17" mbp when im at uni.

avcs458
24th June 2009, 11:12 PM
The reason(s) you might choose between a 13, 15 or 17 are ultimately entirely yours - only you can weigh up the pros and cons as they apply to you.

If you have a genuine need (not want) for the large screen and, as in my case you will spend many hours a day in front of the screen then bigger is better.

If you need the screen area, do NOT be put off by the comments about portability, size and weight. A 17" MBP is lighter, much thinner and the same footprint as most 15.4" non Macs.

I find some of the posts that refer to carrying it all day quite humorous - if those posters spend all day carrying it only to use it occasionally then I would question whether they truly need such a large screen and suggest they would be better off with something more suited to carrying rather than using.

I travel the world with mine for work and when at home ride a bike everywhere with it comfortably inside a backpack designed for a 15" laptop. The only time I find it too big is when I need to use it in economy seats.

Happy hunting

EMKarelia
25th June 2009, 04:36 AM
I have a MaCbOoK Pro 17". I would recommend you putting the 300 dollars on a mac 17". If you work at home don't really travel lots the 17" screen works like your desktop computer monitor. 15" is not that heavy so its good for transportation. I just got really used to the 17" works the best for me.

gareth
25th June 2009, 05:08 AM
Just buy the 17 from the apple store and if weight is a problem swap it for the 15

my 2 cents

ldubbs2k2
26th June 2009, 02:49 PM
I have a 17" MBP, bought in March 08. I upgraded to the high res screen and while it's a beauty to work on, the screen falls down on itself. I've taken it back to the Mac Store a few times, there's nothing they can do (so they say lol).

Just wondering if the new 17" MBP screen is tighter?? e.g. can you pick up your laptop, tilt it forward without having the screen close by itself???

curious

EMKarelia
28th June 2009, 04:12 AM
I went for the size. And i love it!

Phunky
28th June 2009, 09:52 AM
Apparently the 17"'s battery life is shorter than that of the 15" in real life usage despite the 8 hour claim, so that might be another consideration for anyone out there

dotnet
28th June 2009, 05:09 PM
Apparently the 17"'s battery life is shorter than that of the 15" in real life usage despite the 8 hour claim, so that might be another consideration for anyone out there

Tell us more, please. Where, and to whom, did this become apparent? Do you have a link?

There are configuration options that could arguably affect battery life, like HDD/SDD choice, choice of panel type, amount of memory... Side-by-side comparisons should start with configurations that are pretty much identical.

Cheers
Steffen.

Phunky
28th June 2009, 05:23 PM
Ok maybe a bit of an exageration, just that Ive come across a couple of threads on macrumors
macbook pro 17 getting around 4 hours on a full charge while using the internet? Why? - Mac Forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=731612)
Anyone got 8 hours on their 17"? - Mac Forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=732965)
15" MacBook Pro Battery Tests: "Eight, freakin, hours" - Mac Forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=719253)

dotnet
29th June 2009, 12:03 AM
Thanks for that. I wish AnandTech would describe the parameters of their battery test a bit better, so people can actually attempt to reproduce their results.

Cheers
Steffen.

Mecha
30th June 2009, 02:28 AM
Thanks for your input guys.

I decided to go with the 17".

Currently very happy with the purchase and haven't found any hassle with portability as of yet.

markpalavra
30th June 2009, 02:45 AM
I just had to drop into this thread because of all the talk of height and weight and how it somehow correlates to your ideal laptop size, lol.

I'm 6'4" and 90kg and I bought a Macbook Air, because I hated carrying around my 15"!! So nerr!

Different strokes for different folks, check out the different machines, purchase the one you like the most/can afford.

Phunky
30th June 2009, 10:02 AM
I went ahead and ordered a 15"
I figure whilst the 17" is only $300 more, if I am going to be using it on a desk then I might as well just hook up a 24" external monitor anyway ;)

gehenna
30th June 2009, 10:08 AM
The extra resolution is a godsend when you're not plugged into an external monitor. I'd never go back to anything less than 1920x1200 on a laptop panel now

dekco
30th June 2009, 02:14 PM
im still on 1620 x 1050 :(. but i do love the 1920 x 1200 screen

simonm
30th June 2009, 07:01 PM
I've placed my order for the 17" 2.8 GHz with 500 Gb 7200 drive. I wish there was a faster shipping option! Order is stating estimated delivery 8/7/09! :frustrating::( Maybe with the price drops Apple are taking lots of orders...

sennen
2nd July 2009, 11:52 AM
I've placed my order for the 17" 2.8 GHz with 500 Gb 7200 drive. I wish there was a faster shipping option! Order is stating estimated delivery 8/7/09! :frustrating::( Maybe with the price drops Apple are taking lots of orders...

ordered mine [same specs] thru designwyse last thursday and got it on tuesday. beautiful machine, truly, and so-far so-good (can't help but get nervous reading on the net about other people's issues!). hope you receive yours soon!

gehenna
2nd July 2009, 11:55 AM
i've had two of the current 17's in the last 5 months or so. The first one was great - no issues at all. The second one is great - no issues at all. I don't know what people are complaining about because I haven't had a need to research any known faults with it but can confirm there are at least 2 in the general populous that work very well :)

sennen
2nd July 2009, 12:16 PM
that's the thing about the net, isn't it, you hear more about the problems/complaints than the warm fuzzy good news stories...

(i'm just afraid of jinxing myself!!)

pengu
2nd July 2009, 01:34 PM
that's the thing about the net, isn't it, you hear more about the problems/complaints than the warm fuzzy good news stories...

(i'm just afraid of jinxing myself!!)

it's not about the Internet. It's human behaviour. We complain when something is broken, but don't say a peep when it's working well. The Internet has just made those complains so much more accessible.

dotnet
2nd July 2009, 11:01 PM
Are people actually using 13" and 15" MBPs on the go? I mean, they're not exactly hand-held computers. Surely they'd be put on a desk/lap/whatever when being used, too?

It seems to me that the additional weight/size of the 17" is a disadvantage *between* uses but a clear advantage during use.

Cheers
Steffen.

Geoff3DMN
2nd July 2009, 11:05 PM
Are people actually using 13" and 15" MBPs on the go?

I use my 13" inch unibody when I'm out and about just about every day. It gets put onto car seats, airplane tables, my lap, motel room chairs and tables... basically anywhere.

That's the reason I went for the 13" this time... the 15" was too bulky.

Sure if Apple release a netbook some time I'd probably buy one, but until they do the 13" will have to do.

dekco
2nd July 2009, 11:24 PM
my friend is using the 13" unibody on the go. Personally, i use my 17" for uni :p

gehenna
2nd July 2009, 11:32 PM
It seems to me that the additional weight/size of the 17" is a disadvantage *between* uses but a clear advantage during use.


My 17 goes everywhere with me. Everywhere. I use it at cafe's, at work, at home, wherever and whenever. I don't even notice the weight - it's far lighter than my old 15" Toshiba Tecra A7 that I used to lug around with me everywhere as well.

dotnet
2nd July 2009, 11:35 PM
I use my 13" inch unibody when I'm out and about just about every day. It gets put onto car seats, airplane tables, my lap, motel room chairs and tables... basically anywhere.

That's what I mean, you put it down somewhere, and don't use it while walking down the street. I have done all of the above with my wife's 17", too, it is just as happy to be used while resting on some surface as a 13" would be ;)

Cheers
Steffen.

dekco
2nd July 2009, 11:48 PM
My 17 goes everywhere with me. Everywhere. I use it at cafe's, at work, at home, wherever and whenever. I don't even notice the weight - it's far lighter than my old 15" Toshiba Tecra A7 that I used to lug around with me everywhere as well.

agree wholeheartedly! my 15.4 asus lappy was heavier and alot more clumsy :D:D, so a 17" to me is light.

MissionMan
3rd July 2009, 12:16 AM
Has anyone had any extended waits on the 17". I'm ordering one for delivery at the end of the month (Non-glossy & 500GB 7200) and need to know how much lead time to give.

dotnet
3rd July 2009, 12:57 AM
Has anyone had any extended waits on the 17". I'm ordering one for delivery at the end of the month (Non-glossy & 500GB 7200) and need to know how much lead time to give.

Mine said 3 business days till shipping, and is now (after 3 days) in "prepared for shipment" status. Fingers crossed. I didn't order the 7200 rpm disk, though, stock-standard but with matte display.

Cheers
Steffen.

BLADEY
3rd July 2009, 08:23 AM
I ordered a stock 17" yesterday and it's being delivered today.

MissionMan
3rd July 2009, 10:29 AM
I find it interesting to see how people sacrifice usability for portability but I guess it depends on your profession and how much time you spend on it.

My personal perspective is that I use my machine for business all day, every day. Worrying about half a kg of weight a small increase in size for a 15 min to half an hour trip vs 8 hours of working with a larger screen is an easy decision for me, plus, Apple's decision to remove the express card slot on the 15 doesn't make it an option.

dekco
3rd July 2009, 02:12 PM
that was a very silly move, apple effectively *imo* made the 13 + 15" consumer levels, and left the 17" for the power users + professionals

Lutze
3rd July 2009, 02:14 PM
that was a very silly move, apple effectively *imo* made the 13 + 15" consumer levels, and left the 17" for the power users + professionals

If you look at the topic we have on the forum about use of Express Card it's really only the very higher end that used / use it.

dekco
3rd July 2009, 04:23 PM
good point Lutze, like, i was close to getting a mobile BB modem (expresscard), as i dont fancy a "bar of soap" hanging off my notebook. now lets say i did get it, id be pretty much forced to get the new 17" or a refurb 15" with expresscard slot.

end of the day, different people different needs.