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Summary:

In the past 4 years I’ve gone from the 17″ PowerBook, to a 15″ Powerbook, to a 13″ MacBook. Each time I’ve upgraded the system, but clearly downgraded the display size. I get by because of the 20″ LCD I connect to on my desk at […]

In the past 4 years I’ve gone from the 17″ PowerBook, to a 15″ Powerbook, to a 13″ MacBook. Each time I’ve upgraded the system, but clearly downgraded the display size. I get by because of the 20″ LCD I connect to on my desk at home, so the shrinkage hasn’t been as difficult as it may seem.

The speculation from Insanely Great Mac, that 15″ MacBook Pros may be dropped from Apple’s Pro line of notebooks makes me wonder how people feel about the size options that Apple offers in their notebook line. They observe the drop in cost on 17″ LCDs as an indication that Apple may just go with the 17″ MacBook Pro rather than continuing the 15″ version.

My knee jerk reaction was to blow the idea off and call IGM crazy. But the more I think about it, the more it makes some sense to me. The features in the MacBook Pro (15″) are very similar to those found in the MacBook (only in 13″ currently). So a 15″ MacBook model at say, a $1799 price point could make a big difference for a lot of prospective buyers on the lower end. And based on Apple’s clear division (since the Intel move) of their notebook lines being split up by size, the likelihood of the 15″ version of the MacBook Pro slipping out of sight seems pretty legitimate.

But while I can see some possibility in a move like this, I can’t help but feel the 15″ MacBook Pro model is one that people would be a bit sore at losing. 17″ of notebook is a bit much, especially when you’re carting it around in your bag, walking all over a city for your job (been there, done that, have the traps to show for it…). Losing optional sizing in the Pro models could very well put many consumers off.

How would a shift of this nature fly with you?

  1. Personally, I have a 17″ PC for work, but I prefer my 13″ macbook. While I started off wanting the real estate that the bigger screens provide, I found that I loved the convenience of having the smaller, easier to tote, screen. After this 17″ dies, I’ll try to downgrade my laptop monitor once again.

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  2. I have a 15″ Macbook Pro, and I’m really loving the size of it as a desktop like replacement. But if the Macbook was out at the time of my purchase, I would’ve chosen the smaller 13″ ones purely because of the mobility that I could gain. I don’t lug around my MBP too often anymore, and I don’t think I would move a 17″ around at all.

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  3. I’m using a PBG4 15″ right now, and I would be upset to lose that option. I’m holding out for jaguar (and some time to save up money) to buy a new intel based macbook pro next year. If I’m not given the 15″ option I’ll have to go with the 13″ (17″ is just not portable). This machine is my primary computer, and I just don’t expect 13″ to cut it for constant use.

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  4. For me, mobility is king – and I’m in love with my 12″ PowerBook. When I switched from a 15″ 1400×1050 PC laptop last summer, I kind of freaked out for a few weeks, but I gradually fell into a new workflow that allows me to make the most of my limited screen real estate. Creative use of Exposé, Quicksilver and Growl (and a lot of cmd-tab) gets me through the day.

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  5. I’d be very upset if they dropped the 15″ laptops from the Pro line. I was up in arms when I heard they weren’t keeping the 12″ size for the Pros. Some of us want power in a small form. I’ve been holding out on purchasing a new laptop and hanging onto my 12″ iBook just because it fits in my backpack when I head to the library or lab to do projects and research.

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  6. I just got a second-hand Core Duo 15″ MacBook Pro to replace a 20″ iMac, and it’s the perfect combination of portability and screen size. 17″ is far too big to lug around, and the 13″ MacBook’s screen is just way too small for my usage.

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  7. With mobile broadband cards picking up in popularity, this is an area in which Apple seems to lag behind. They switched to the expresscard format instead of the older pcmia standard which cut the new MacBook Pro’s out of consideration for these cards (until the become available in the next few months) If they switch the 15″ to the Macbook line, they should look to keep the expresscard slot built in, and even consider adding it to the 13″ model as well. But if they do “downgrade” the 15″ model, why even have two notebook categories – just call them all a Macbook….

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  8. At the moment I own a 15″ MacBook Pro, and as a stand-alone machine it is really nice. But actually even 15 inches is pretty much when it come to carrying that thing around with you every day. I’m also deeply in love with the 13″ MacBooks, so as soon as I can actually afford all this stuff, I’ll have an iMac and a MacBook.

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  9. I would say it would be a real bad move to lose it. It is the one laptop that every truely wants when they see it. The also have a better weight, power, display ratio than the mb. I just bought a mb from a 15″powerbook, and I like it, but I must say I miss having the extra 2 inches and I usually run dual head and the display is noticably smaller next to my 20″ lcd. The weight is almost exactly the same for less display and no integrated video. I will say, it is a lot of bang for the buck, but not having the option to buy the mbp would be dumb. I really can’t image apple doing it. I have the core duo black one and it is twice as fast as my iMac G5 2.1Ghz and even apeture is fast and there is not dedicated video on this thing.

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  10. I think they’d be insane to drop the 15-inch, but then I thought that they weren’t very smart to drop the 12-inch either. There are two types of people who buy and use laptops, and if they drop all of the small form factor laptops in the Pro range they’re ignoring one of the two. That just doesn’t make sense for Apple.

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