13 inch Pro vs 15 inch Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by os16, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. os16, Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    os16 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    First of all this is my first post, so I apologize if I have put this in the wrong thread.

    Now, my question to you guys is this : I am planning on purchasing my first Mac, and I cant decide on wheter i should go with the middle of the line 13 inch, or the baseline 15 inch. I have previously owned a 15 inch acer, and I am happy with the size, so I am afraid that going smaller would maybe feel cramped. I own an external monitor, but I dont really want to be hooked up to that one all the time.

    When it comes to price, I live in Norway, so its going to be around 3200 dollar for the 15 with protection plan, and around 2100 dollar for 13 inch with protection plan. I feel like 3200 is alot to spend on a laptop however, but I am planning on keeping it for alot of years, so..

    I am going to be using the computer for just general use, like internet, watching youtube, movies, writing, but also hopefully for xcode (iPhone app development, if I can wrap my head around it.)

    I have tried both the computers in the Apple store, but that did not make me any wiser. Since I couldnt sit down and really take my time with them.

    So, if anyone has any input, or advice. Or maybe you have been in the same situation, any help would be very very appreciated!


    Edit : Also if this question has been asked before, I am sorry. I could not find the thread.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    13" rMBP dual core i5 with a the Iris GPU
    15" rMBP quad core i7 with the Iris Pro GPU.

    From the specs alone you're getting a faster CPU and much better GPU. From the physical dimensions, you're getting more screen real estate.

    While I understand budget is a major concern, I think the 15" rMBP is an overall better machine and worth the increased cost.
  3. Thares macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011
    Dresden, Germany
    Well for your use I think the 13" is enough. For movies, you'll want to buy an external display. I switched from an 13" air to the 15" rMBP and sometimes regret the switch. Mainly, because I now use a Dell 27" display and found the 15" sometimes too big to use it on the train or when carrying it around.

    Also, I always buy refurbished products. You can save a lot of money this way.
  4. os16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    Thanks for both your good answers!
    I guess both of the models are powerful enough for my needs, so it really comes down to the screens. Wish Apple stores had a few chairs to sit on or something, so you could really take your time with the product and see if it was the right one.. Oh well.. I have no clue at this point, maybe I should just wait to see what Apple brings in the fall, and see if that clears up the decisionmaking.. But anyways, thanks for taking the time to answer, and if anyone else got input or have experiences themselves it would be great to hear.
  5. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    If you really want the bigger screen, the 2012 baseline 15" rMBP is externally the exact same computer, but with IvyBridge, SATA SSD, and a gtx 650m. Graphically, it will perform a little better than the 2013 model. You can find them for as little as 1200$ on craigslist or ebay. If you don't trust those venues, you can pick one up on the Apple refurb store for less than 1600$. Especially if you are going for the baseline model, the 2012 rMBP is a much better deal than the 2013 model. Just my personal opinion, as some really value the PCIE SSD and the slight Haswell bump (even though the rated battery life didn't change). The 2013 13" rMBP is a completely different story, and I would recommend getting that one over the 2012 model. It wasn't really advertised, but they did a pretty big redesign and dropped the price by 400$.

    If you want a 15" rMBP baseline model, I can't more highly recommend the 2012 version. You may want to buy Apple refurb or on Craigslist to make sure you don't get a screen ghosting model. Since you live in Norway, I don't know what your options are, but look into Apple refurb. You can save a lot of money, and get a very similar computer with Applecare.
  6. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    The mid-level 13" rMBP is plenty for your stated purposes. Its portability (especially footprint) is terrific if you plan on traveling frequently. If your laptop will just stay at home and function as a desktop obviously the 15" is more powerful with greater screen real estate. $3k+ is an awful lot to drop on any laptop though. Mad3 has some good advice recommending a refurbished 2012 15" depending on availability/pricing for you.
  7. HarryWild macrumors 65816


    Oct 27, 2012
    If you can afford it; bigger is better!

    It does not weigh that much more either! Both can be carried on backpack or in a laptop business cases.

    I would go to a store that has both and just go from one to another until you made up your mind!
  8. os16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    Thanks for the helpful answers! Love this forum :)

    I must say the 15 inch is really tempting, especially since im already used to the 15 inch size, but then again the price tag isn't really that tempting..
    But from what I've read and heard the 13 inch is fine for browsing the web (which is the area where I worry 13 inch is too small), since you have the option to use "reader", or whatever its called, to enhance/increase size of the text. Which is nice.

    So I guess i'll just have to go to the Apple store again and try them out some more.. And maybe ask them kindly for a chair... :rolleyes:

    Anyways, thanks again guys!
  9. willentrekin macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2013
    Just wanted to corroborate this. I bought a 15" 2012 rMBP this past Thanksgiving, refurbed from Apple. It's awesome. I got it based on the bezel size; it's not *that* much bigger than a 13" (especially given that the 13" MBA has a larger footprint than the 13" rMBP). It's not as though it's UN-portable, even if others are thinner or lighter.

    I used the money I saved to buy a retina Mini, which I also love.
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    If it hasn't been brought up yet, you should definitely consider looking through the Refurbished section on Apple's web store.
  11. os16, Jun 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014

    os16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    Thanks for answering!

    Buying refurbished has been brought up, and I am sorry, but I forgot to mention it in my last post - that the thing is, its really hard to get my hands on a refurbished model where I live. They aren't even available at the apple.com/no store. So thats why I cant really consider the refurb model.
    But thank you anyway for taking the time to help! :)
  12. taelan28 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    13 inch. That retina screen makes it feel like 15 with its sharpness.
  13. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    The 15" is quite "luxurious" for web browsing, and XCode to be sure, and will perform very well for any of the tasks you described. I would recommend it over the 13" if you plan on keeping it for awhile, it will really be nice to have that extra screen real estate for your app development. I'm not sure how much it costs in international markets, but the 2.3GHz CPU upgrade is nice too. It's $100 in the United States, and adds some oomph to the already fast machine. Also as it says on the Apple store "please note that the memory is built in to the computer, so if you think you may need more memory in the future, it is important to upgrade at the time of purchase". Saving a few hundred bucks isn't worth it if it means a shorter lifespan of the computer, if you plan on keeping it 5 years or more.

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