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Ask Max: Which is better; the 15

Asked on 12/29/2008:

I've been debating between purchasing the 15'' or 17'' MacBook Pro, and I'm hoping that you can help me come to peace with this.

So I’ve always been more keen to buy the 17'' because I've always thought bigger is better. I'm a web developer, and so I do both coding and graphic work, and I always thought the higher screen resolution would be better for my development. Whenever I look at the pros though who use MacBook Pro's, they all have the 15''. Whenever I look at laptop reviews, they always say that the 15'' is top notch, and the 17'' isn't.


So why is the 15'' "better" then the 17"? For someone who does web development, which one would you suggest?




The 15" vs. 17" MacBook Pro debate is an interesting one and it is similar to the SUV Vs. sedan debate. In each case it boils down to space verses mobility. Just like the automotive analogy, both laptops can go the same places but the bigger units are harder to maneuver in tight spaces. It takes more energy to move the 17" around and operate it than the 15" MacBook Pro. The main advantage to the 17" MacBook Pro was the screen size, until recently. Now it has screen size and the availability of an Antiglare (AKA matte) screen.


If you want the larger screen real estate, and do not care about hauling around a few extra pounds and inches of computer, the 17" MacBook is a good choice. If you want a new MacBook Pro with an Antiglare screen, then the 17" is your only choice.



I have a 15" system at work and at home, my lap is just not big enough for the 17" Mac laptops. For my money I think the Unibody MacBook Pro is better than all previous models of MacBook.


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