13 inch macbook pro vs 15 inch macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dinosaur385, May 18, 2011.

  1. dinosaur385 macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    hi, for high school next year, i'm required to have a laptop. i already know that i want a mac, but i just don't know which one. i will be using the laptop for most of my classes throughout the school day and for homework after school, so i don't want something that would be really small and hard to look at. (i know that i prefer larger screens over small ones) i dont really care about the portability. i am just wondering if $600 more is worth it for a bigger screen.
  2. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    May 15, 2011
    If you're buying something for the size of a screen - don't buy a mac. I would advise purchasing a Mac if you are going to take advantage of Apple's build, not a screen size. With that being said ...

    If you really want a Mac and you're only going to be doing school work on it, there is no reason to pay more money for a 15'' over a 13''. Hell, get a refurbished older model or something unless you have specific programs that you are trying to run? Anything extensive?
  3. Goohfy macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2011
    13'' i5, since you probably won't be running anything too powerful, and you can easily upgrade the hard drive and RAM in the future, but you could just as easily save more money buying a 2010 refurb since you won't be demanding much.
  4. dinosaur385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011

    yeah, i love macs because of their functionality, how quick they are, and how long they last. that's the reason why i wanted one in the first place. the screen size was the only thing that i was unsure of. thanks for the input so far
  5. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    May 15, 2011
    Well, if you aren't going to be running any insane programs, you should look into getting a refurbished older model - you will save a lot of money and it will make a lot more sense considering what it will be used for.

    The 13'' screen is fine in my opinion. You'll be able to see your work just fine.
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Assuming that your parents are purchasing this computer, and you are at a private institution (hence, the "requirement" for a computer), it sounds like cost is not necessarily a major factor.

    You have not told us what you will be doing on the computer. Making another assumption, I assume you are just working on the Internet, writing papers, writing notes, and so forth. So, my recommendation would be to get the 13" Macbook Air and an external monitor for use at home. Unless your school supplies massive desks in each class (many institutions have chairs with those tiny fold up tables), then a big computer will be unwieldy. In addition, there isn't much point in having a huge screen to type lecture notes.

    If my assumption is incorrect, and cost is a factor, why not just get a netbook with an external monitor? I know you said you wanted a mac, and I have one (13"/8g that I do my work on), so I can certainly appreciate the value, but there are other options out there for the kind of work you plan to do on it. Netbooks have plenty of power to do school work, they have far longer battery life (some as much as 14 hours), they are extremely light, and you can usually find excellent ones well under 500 dollars. If you spill a drink on it, have it stolen, or some other unfortunate accident, then it is no big deal. Over the course of your high school career, you could buy a new one every year and still spend less than you would on a 15" Macbook Pro. If you go this route, my recommendation would be Asus. I think they are the best manufacturer of these computers.

    If cost is a factor, and you are dead set on mac, then I agree with the previous posters. Make sure to look at refurbished models. Or, you could get a used one. Over the next few weeks a lot of people will be trying to sell their Macbook Airs because there is supposed to be a model update soon.

    Good luck in your classes!
  7. Tydog07 macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    Graphics threshold

    How much can the integrated graphics hold on the upper end 15"? What is the threshold when the discrete graphics card will turn on and start pumping? 1080P youtube videos? iMovie? FCP? Basic flash games?
  8. crush500 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    In high school you won't be using anything very CPU intensive so I'd recommend getting a refurbished 13" MBP or possibly even getting a refurbished Macbook. The 15" is going to overkill. Unless you just want a computer to do some video editing, photo editing, gaming, etc on you won't need anything special.

    I might even recommend going with a Macbook Air. You say portability isn't a problem but you haven't had to carry around a laptop all day. Once you start carrying it around all day you'll see the value in portability. The 15" isn't too bad but you'll start to feel the size difference when you have to carry it around for 6 hours a day.

    Macbook Air would be more than what you would need. I used a 120 GB HDD for high school and never got close to filling it up. I wouldn't worry about the lack of storage space in the MBA. A standard Macbook would also be more than enough for you.

    Don't overestimate the value of a laptop either. I find most of the time I print my homework and other class work off and do it by hand rather than using the computer. I love computers but when it comes to school work they seem to make things much harder than they should be. You'll probably be suprised how little you actually use your computer for school.
  9. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    As a college student, 13" is the way to go. If you want to game, build a separate PC for $500 or so. Much better than buying a 15" because the GPU is upgradable.
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I would second this. A 11 or 13 inch MBA (Macbook Air) and a tower pc you build yourself is a great idea. I quite enjoy building computers, but haven't done so for many years :(

    Anyhow, I second what some of the other people have been saying. Walking around all day with a heavy computer that is way overpowered for you is really unnecessary, especially if all you really need to get through the day is an iPod and a bluetooth keyboard (taking notes).
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    YES! I agree with this. Here is a link to some advice I gave about studying in another thread.

    I am a PhD student, so my situation is obviously a little different, but I think the advice still holds true for high school, and I recommend at least considering it. Everyone has to find their own best way to learn, and this system may not work for you. Whatever you do, though, don't lose sight of your goal; namely, to learn stuff.
  12. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    I'd recommend the 13" i5. The built-in optical drive may come in handy if you need to use software that comes with any of your textbooks while on the go at school.
  13. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Good point. If you got the MBA, you'd probably also have to purchase an external drive at some point. They are inexpensive.

    I would guess that you'll have no need for the optical drive at high school. It just seems unlikely, but I haven't been to high school in a long time :)
  14. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    when did high schools require a laptop as mandatory? thats stupid

    anyways because its high school, go for a 13inch, hell even the white macbook will do fine. u dont need to spend 2 grand for a computer for high school. if it was university than go all out but by the time ur done high school, you'll buy a new one for college anyway, so buy the basic one as u dont need the power of the 15in
  15. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    Get the 17" so you can stand out in class and get all the girls.
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Might as well get the iMac then, so the base will rest comforatably on your desk. But, don't forget the firefly, battlestar galactica, or better yet, Wrath of Khan wallpaper. That will be sure to impress both guys and girls. At any rate, it will generate lots of interest and questions. I haven't had any success with mine yet, but my day is coming :)

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