I’m in the market. When I switched to Mac about 18 months ago, I bought one of the first generation MacBook Pros. I loved it then, I love it now. Mostly. What I don’t love is that those first generation Pros maxed out at 2G of memory. Sounds crazy to say this out loud, but that’s no longer enough.
I currently own a 15” model and have always thought it was the perfect size. The perfect fusion of size, weight, travel-ability (as opposed to just plain portability) and screen real estate. By and large, it has been. It travels fine and I’ve never found myself desperately wishing, “Man, if only I had another 500 pixels.” I always just assumed that my next generation laptop would also be a 15”. But then I started reading. Seems that some other folks were also in the market and they were looking hard at the 17” model. Moreover, they were making some pretty compelling arguments.
Reading only gets you so far, though, so last weekend I went to one of the local Apple stores to put my eyes on one. Aside: In the interest of full disclosure, I also went to lay my hands on the Air. I knew it wasn’t the machine for me, but…it’s just so pretty. That is a staggeringly beautiful piece of computing hardware. The size of the 17” MBP, admittedly, is still a little daunting to me. One of the reasons that I’ve only owned laptops for the last 10 years is because I have a frighteningly minimalist design aesthetic and I love the small footprint. The 17” model looks like part laptop, part briefcase and part desktop to me.
On the other hand, looking at all of that screen real estate and thinking thoughts about how I could put it to use (save your pr0n jokes) made me drool just a little bit. Some kind of Pavlovian thing, I assume. Two inches doesn’t sound like much, but the difference in resolution between the 15” and 17” is remarkably significant. I didn’t realize that until I stepped into the store and saw them next to each other.
So now I find myself on the cusp of being the proud owner of a 17” MacBook Pro. After all, I used to be an infantryman. According to the badge on my old uniform, I used to be an expert infantryman; I’ve carried more weight than this. Plus, I spend a lot of time developing and doing all sorts of other power user-y things that hog screen real estate and I don’t spend that much time traveling. Um, right?
Anyway, I’m not quite there yet, so I’d be interested in hearing from anyone that cares to chime in. In addition to the question of 15” or 17”, I’m also waffling on the matte or glossy screen option.