Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

22 July 2005


At my office, through various circumstances, I ended up with a 12” PowerBook and a 15” PowerBook. I don’t need two computers. One would suit me just fine. So I’m planning on selling the two and scaling back to one.

The question is, which size of powerbook do I get?

I want to clarify, this is my office computer, not my home computer. These laptops are owned my my company as will the one I get to replace them. I will be free, as before, to take the PowerBook home, play around with it, and whatever. But for most of my home freelance work, I use my iMac.

I have had, at some point, all three sizes of PowerBook and enjoyed their unique features quite a bit. This is a great (true) story about how my 17” PowerBook was stolen while I was in Vancouver, and subsequently recovered with all sorts of weird stuff on it.

The 17” is a fantastic machine, though quite large. It’s size is also it’s greatest strength. You can be anywhere and really feel like you have a desktop computer in front of you. When using a 17” powerbook, I don’t feel like I am compromising.

I really like taking my powerbook to a cafe to work from there in an afternoon. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do today. We just got a Caribou Coffee open here about a mile from my house and they have free wireless-ness.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 12” is a fine beast to work with. I love how small it is, yet it is so powerful. I took it on our month-long journey through Europe and never really felt like it was a burden to carry. But, when I do sit down to do real work on it, the 12” screen feels very small. I almost always need to plug it into an external monitor to feel like I have enough elbow room to feel comfortable.

The 15” PowerBook is right in the middle. It has quite a bit more screen space than the 12” but not nearly as much as the 17”. And of course, more bulk to carry around than the 12” but not nearly as much as the 17”.

So this is where you come in, which one should I get? The 12” for it’s excellent portability, and rather nice price. The 15” for it’s general moderateness on both the screen and portability? Or the 17” for it’s extra power and super screen?

I’ll tell you which way I’m leaning, but bear in mind I can be swayed back. I’m leaning away from the 12”. I love the portability, but when I get to where I’m going, I prefer the extra space. I also don’t like the nuisance of plugging into a monitor at work, not to mention the clutter on the desk. I realize I’m being kinda nitpicky, but it’s something that I deal with on a regular basis, if I can do without using an external monitor, then great.

So, what do you think?