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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > PB 15" v 17"

PB 15" v 17"
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hui
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Aug 6, 2003, 01:19 PM
 
Currently, I own a 15" PB 1GHz with 1GB RAM. I have managed to persuade my dad to buy a new laptop for my bro (he had a compaq), as it was getting dated. I recommended the Mac as it's great for multimedia and this would help him a fair bit in school. He has now given me permission to buy any mac (laptop) I choose. My question is, should I go ahead and buy the 17" as I already have the 15" (my bro wants the 15" but he has offered that if I want the 17", he would buy the 17", give it to me, and take my PB as my PB is less than a year old). What advantages does the 17" have over the 15"? For current 17" owners, is it much heavier than a 15"? I would have to lug my laptop around quite a bit, to uni and back home. I also fly quite often and would like to take my PB with me!
I'm currently studying computer science at university and have found the 15" to be perfect. It's just that the 15" is SOON to be outdated and it's just such a pity to buy a brand new PB so near it's "extinction" period, no offence to anyone! Help appreciated ASAP as I'm going to the store tomorrow to buy the laptop for my bro. MAny ThaNKS!
     
AssassyN
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Aug 6, 2003, 01:22 PM
 
I would recommend the 17" PB over the 15" PB usually, however, since you stated you'll be doing a lot of "lugging" and "traveling", I'd say stay far away from the 17" PB. I purchased the 17" PB for college as soon as they came out...within a month I realized it's FAR too big to be hauling around daily. I then sold it and got the 12" PB instead...the advantages of the 17" PB over the 15" PB are minute to say the least, and you'd be much more comfortable carrying a 15" laptop than the massive 17" PB.
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ae86_16v
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Aug 6, 2003, 01:44 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
I would recommend the 17" PB over the 15" PB usually, however, since you stated you'll be doing a lot of "lugging" and "traveling", I'd say stay far away from the 17" PB. I purchased the 17" PB for college as soon as they came out...within a month I realized it's FAR too big to be hauling around daily. I then sold it and got the 12" PB instead...the advantages of the 17" PB over the 15" PB are minute to say the least, and you'd be much more comfortable carrying a 15" laptop than the massive 17" PB.
Ditto, I brought a 17" PB about a month ago, and sold it last week. The screen is absolutely gorgous, but it was too big. Couldn't take that thing anywhere.

So this week I brought a 15" PB 867MHz, got a really good educational deal at school for it.
     
dwalls32
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Aug 6, 2003, 06:39 PM
 
But would you say the weight/size would be worth ot if your college major were Graphic Design?
     
RealMac
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Aug 6, 2003, 06:47 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
I would recommend the 17" PB over the 15" PB usually, however, since you stated you'll be doing a lot of "lugging" and "traveling", I'd say stay far away from the 17" PB. I purchased the 17" PB for college as soon as they came out...within a month I realized it's FAR too big to be hauling around daily. I then sold it and got the 12" PB instead...the advantages of the 17" PB over the 15" PB are minute to say the least, and you'd be much more comfortable carrying a 15" laptop than the massive 17" PB.
I'm just suprised that after that massively long 17" powerbook review, you sold it. I've seen it in person though, it's huuuge. I guess there's something mental about the idea of carrying around a $3k laptop around in your backpack and being stared at whenever you open it..

I have a 20" cinema display and the size of that sucker is still pretty darn big. Heh.
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AssassyN
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Aug 6, 2003, 06:48 PM
 
Originally posted by dwalls32:
But would you say the weight/size would be worth ot if your college major were Graphic Design?
Nope. The 15" screen is plenty big (plus you can hookup an external monitor/display)...you'll regret having the 17" PB the first couple times you seriously travel with it.
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CrazedVW
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Aug 6, 2003, 07:40 PM
 
Aye. I just bought a 15inch 867mhz PB last weekend. I thought about the 17inch but its just too big. I use my laptop quite a bit in class and the 17inch would have been too big to fit on the desks in some of the lecture halls. I also tend to keep a notebook (the old fashioned kind) out at the same time and that definately would not have worked.
I gotta admit though, the 17inch screen is absolutely gorgeous.
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Tomster
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Aug 6, 2003, 07:41 PM
 
I had the exact same computer you did, the 1 Ghz Ti Powerbook. I just upgraded to the 17" and never looked back. One word: silence. No more freaking fans that come on with a 15% cpu load. To be honest, the TiBook ran much cooler than the 17" but that resulted from the twin turbo prop plane engines Apple was so kind to included. I would trade heat for quiet any day of the week. Even still, the 17" at the hottest is still better than my buddy's Dell.

In terms of portability, I had no issue there. My bag happened to fit a 17" computer so all I needed was a new sleeve. Same bag, same footprint. For those who state it was difficult to lug the thing around, it might be true. It is a whopping 2" wider and all of .7 inches longer. This could be an issue if the dimensions of the TiBook barely cleared the narrowest place one had to traverse. (I don't know how, but for some it could be a problem.)

In terms of weight, it is a bit heavier. 1.4 pounds heavier. One has to ask himself if he could handle that weight. No sarcasm is intended by that. A pound and a half can be a huge weight if one has a few miles of walking a day. For me, it wasn't that big of a deal. I carry so much gear that the extra pound and a half was hardly noticeable.
     
Naz
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Aug 6, 2003, 08:04 PM
 
Originally posted by Tomster:


In terms of portability, I had no issue there. My bag happened to fit a 17" computer so all I needed was a new sleeve. Same bag, same footprint.


mind if I ask what bag and sleeve?
Nazaire's Art - -- iMac 500 DV SE --- 17" PB
     
hui  (op)
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Aug 7, 2003, 12:02 AM
 
Am very tempted to go with the 17" simply because I already have a 15" in the house and coz it's newer etc with the MASSIVE screen. Don't get me wrong, if the new 15" were out today, I would get one, due to portability reasons. I just don't see any worth getting an outdated version just months before the release of the 15 alubook. Argh! Is there any difference in performance bet the 15" and 17"?
     
alpha rays max
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Aug 7, 2003, 12:10 AM
 
I looked at the 17" because it's got a great display but it's really too big for day-to-day use, carrying it from class to class at university. Plus it was quite a bit more expensive.

I, too, ended up getting the 867 15". I've had it almost a week and I don't regret getting it at all. Although I would recommend waiting for the update if you can - I just needed a new laptop now, so waiting wasn't really an option.

Just depends on your budget and how useful a 17" display would be to you vs. the portability factor, I suppose.

There's no way I could pull that out in class with the tiny desks we have.
     
AssassyN
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Aug 7, 2003, 12:12 AM
 
The 15" AlBook may *never* come out, seriously, Apple's given NO hints towards that.

As for performance, the 1Ghz TiBook & 1Ghz 17" AlBook are nearly neck & neck in everything; the 17" AlBook gets VERY slight gains in certain areas due to a marginally faster front-side-bus and RAM (but it can't truly take advantage of it with the slow bus). The graphics tend to be more powerful in the 1Ghz TiBook; the GeForce 4 440 Go was a weak choice in the 17" AlBook. The other benefits of the 17" AlBook are AirPort Extreme (though AirPort works just fine in the TiBook), FW800 (very few devices utilize that right now), and Bluetooth (which 80% of users never use). In my honest opinion, with the latest price drops on the 15" TiBook, the huge price difference does not make up for the very slight gains in performance, plus I'm sure it'll be awkward having a 17" notebook on a typical school desk & plane tray table.
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alpha rays max
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Aug 7, 2003, 01:00 AM
 
True - but it would seem an awfully bad decision to discontinue the 15" model completely (which I assume is what you were inferring the alternative is), and I really see no reason to keep one model with a Ti enclosure. But you're right, it may not come out. Who knows. I don't even care anymore since I got my TiBook. I'm super-impressed with it and won't even be looking for a new laptop until at least the Rev. B 15" AlBook comes out (talk about some speculation!)

Also, I agree with you on the price drops point. That's the only reason I even started looking at the PBs - the new education discounts. That was what finally made it affordable for me.

And as for the airplane tray table - I just got back from a cross-country flight (roundtrip - Richmond to Portland, OR) in economy on United. The 15" worked just fine - I was actually surprised at how well it fit! The 17", now that I can see having a bit of a problem with unless you're sitting in business or first class.

Originally posted by AssassyN:
The 15" AlBook may *never* come out, seriously, Apple's given NO hints towards that.

...

In my honest opinion, with the latest price drops on the 15" TiBook, the huge price difference does not make up for the very slight gains in performance, plus I'm sure it'll be awkward having a 17" notebook on a typical school desk & plane tray table.
     
Z-4
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Aug 7, 2003, 07:00 AM
 
I'll suggest that you go with the 17" Pb.. I bought one two weeks ago and never thought of touching another 15" laptop again. here is some pic to drool about...LINK, i bought this bag for it LINK for travel purposes. i also got this sleeve for my school bagLINK
     
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Aug 7, 2003, 08:11 AM
 
I love the 17" laptop, and while I've only used it for a few seconds, I was instantly impressed with it.

It felt like a true portable g4. It was sleek, fast, and sharp.

The tibook was awesome tho, I tried one.. enjoyed it, I still really love the classy looks and if I had to buy a laptop right now would have a tough decision... of course price would make me get the tibook.. but....
the frame on the outer edge irritates me, especially with my luck, if I babied it, it'd still look awful..

However the powerbooks struck me as solid.. I could see one of those lasting me years.. if my IBM laptop has lived with me for 6 years now I'm sure an aluminum --- or TITANIUM laptop will outlive a plastic one.

Honestly, I say.. it's a measley 1lb more.. an inch wider, and etc...

If you want the 17", go for it.. I love the alumium finish and if I have the opportunity to get one later this year.. I will.

Of course I'm waiting for another revision.. No way I'd buy a laptop almsot a year from it's release date.. not even if I had the money NOW.

Although it'd be awfully tempting... still.
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hui  (op)
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Aug 7, 2003, 01:58 PM
 
First, let me thank all you people for you invaluable information. To inform you, I have purchased the 17" laptop (very excited, it's coming to my house tomorrow). I was swayed by the huge screen. In comparison, it made my 15" (where im typing from now) look small. After seeing the laptop in my bro's own eyes, he is still deciding whether to keep it,
An interesting thing was that they actually are discontinuing the 15" 1GHz Ti book. Think they are trying to clear their store of all the 15" to make way for the new 15" (this was not an official store, just a reseller).
Will tell you more about the 17" when i finally get it. Thanks again
     
AssassyN
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Aug 7, 2003, 01:59 PM
 
Congrats, but seriously, after the first couple days of lugging it around constantly & flying with it, tell me if you still have absolutely no regrets.

P.S. - Telling everyone their information was "invaluable" was quite rude.
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geekwagon
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Aug 7, 2003, 02:39 PM
 
Invaluable means "can't be assigned a monetary value" and is usually a good thing (ie worth more than all the money in the world).

I think you must be thinking of "un-valuable".

--

In any case, I am sure you will enjoy the 17". I have one and while it is big, it's not really any bigger than most of the PC laptops that you see in places like Best Buy in size or weight. A lot of this is due to its absolutely amazing thinness.

That said, I don't carry it around other than to school, work and home just because I mentally have a problem lugging around a $4k laptop. The size is much less of an issue for me. I shouldn't worry about it, since it is insured, but there you go. I have been seriously considering getting an iBook for lugging around most of the time (just to do Java development on, mostly.) I love having the power with me when I do bring my 17", however. I just can't bear to think about it getting all scratched up or dented. My work-supplied Dell on the other hand, that thing gets tossed around and beat to crap
     
Tomster
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Aug 7, 2003, 03:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Naz:


mind if I ask what bag and sleeve?
I use the previous generation Timbuk2 Computer Commuter bag in the Mogwai size. The fit is perfect! Timbuk2 has since discontinued the bag . The current Transit series is too small to hold the 17", but for some strange reason, they still offer a 17" sleeve. I use a Waterfield Design sleeve. Fits like a glove and fantastic quality and service to boot.
     
NewOldbie
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Aug 7, 2003, 07:51 PM
 
It's a tough call. If you have multiple computers, there is a fine line between 15 and 17 that will keep you up nights making that decision (life's tough huh?).

I just bought a 17 almost a month ago. I've used it quite a bit and love it. If you will only have ONE computer, I recommend it HIGHLY over anything else, until the AL 15 comes out.

If you already have a desktop or have a separate display AND have to move your computer around everyday, I think a 15 is a better choice. I would dare say a 12 AL is the best choice but some of the options are IMHO, limited.

I used to lug my Powerbooks down long airport concourses and will say even 1-2 lbs makes enough difference to make me take notice.

I haven't traveled with my 17 enough to make a decision. As things stand right now, I like the screen real estate, but I've been spoiled being on 19, 21 CRT displays and Cinema LCDs for ages and anything smaller (looking at my old Powerbook Duo) feels really cramped.
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craigthomas
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Aug 8, 2003, 01:54 AM
 
I personally would never consider the 17In. When I'm portable, I want to feel portable. When I'm at my office, I use a 22in Cinema Display (with my TiBook 1GHz). It's awsome. The 12in. is too small (no DVI too). The 17in. is too big. The 15, ahh, just right. I do think there will be a AIbook at 15in. I just think there is a great demand for this size. My guess is that it would out sell the 17 and 12 inch PowerBooks.
     
hui  (op)
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Aug 12, 2003, 06:51 AM
 
P.S. - Telling everyone their information was "invaluable" was quite rude. [/B]
AssassyN, I think you are mistaken. As geekwagon pointed out, you mistook the word invaluable with unvaluable. Invaluable means priceless, hence meaning that the information you gave me is priceless hence meaning that I will treasure it.
Cheers
Hui
     
   
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