I sat down at the local Best Buy (unfortunately no local Apple Stores until I move back to Philly) and compared both the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pros .
I currently work on a 13″ MacBook, so the 15″ would definitely be a step up. Extra screen space is not just welcome, it is needed. Although my MacBook is ultra-mobile, I could not handle the 13″ MacBook Pro anymore for development.
Instantly I realized that the MacBook Pro 15″ is a great balance between productivity and mobility.
The 17″ model is a different planet however. Xcode wasn’t installed on the demo machine, but I opened many application windows to help imagine my workflow.
The extra 2″ PLUS increased resolution makes the 17″ screen enormous by comparison. Where the 15″ feels like a laptop with a bigger LED, the 17″ is a workspace (to quote someone on some forum, I can’t remember quite where).
I couldn’t resist. I finally settled on the 17″ model.
I use Spaces heavily in my typical workflow. My workspace divided into 4 spaces, which really optimizes my screen real estate. I think I may be able to cut that down to just 2 Spaces with the 17″ (possibly just 1).
I’m not terribly concerned about the weight. it really isn’t that much bigger or heavier than the 15″ model. Both models are significantly bigger than my current MacBook and will require a new “wardrobe” regardless.
I did think long and hard about getting the 15″ and an external monitor. However, my work patterns aren’t set enough. I work mostly at home, but also coffee shops. I never know where I’ll be. I may also begin renting a workspace rather soon (indy hall).
My thinking is the 17″ machine best fits my unpredictability right now. I can worry about later when it comes. Maybe that is short sighted, but work only ever gets done NOW, nothing ever gets done later (but thats another post in itself).
Now if my shipment can ever make it out of Shanghai Anchorage.