13" or 15" for college?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bsarmini, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Bsarmini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #1
    Okay so power-wise aside, which size would be better for college? I don't need the extra horsepower that comes with the 15" I'm looking strictly in terms of the screen size and portability of it. I know that the 13" would be more portable but seeing that I would be on the laptop for hours on end sometimes I think that the bigger screen size would be better. So if anyone that has actually been to or is going to college can give their input on each one that would be great. I'm currently leaning slightly more towards the 13" for the portability but don't wanna regret not going for the bigger screen later on.

    Just some questions I had in mind were like:
    Will the 15" be too bulky to move around?
    Has anyone with a 13" ever wished they had the extra screen size?
    Is the weight difference a noticeable hindrance?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #2
    I am currently a college student and I've actually used both the 13" and 15" rMBP while attending. I started with the 13" and I have to say the portability was phenomenal. So easy to throw in a backpack and take to class. But ultimately I swapped for a 15" model (which I have been using since 2013) because as it was my only computer I wanted something with a bigger screen. I don't have any issues carrying it between classes. I did notice the weight difference at first, but now I'm used to it and the 13" screen seems really small now. One thing to note though is the 15" doesn't really fit on those flip up table things that most lecture halls on my campus have, but I just put it in my lap instead. Not a big deal, but something I noticed after switching.
     
  3. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Get the 13". Portability in this situation would trump the screen size all the time. It takes up less footprint while deployed and lighter to carry around. With the price difference, you can always get a big external monitor of you need something bigger.
     
  4. Bsarmini thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #4
    That's my concern exactly but also was worried about it's footprint while I'm using it like you said in the lecture hall.

    Also considered this. Especially since I would be on the go frequently. Idk it's a tough choice honestly
     
  5. dreamsINdigital macrumors 6502

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #5
    I have a 15" MacBook Pro. When I was in college, I never really had an issue with the size. I used it in my lap and not on the fold out tables in lecture halls. The weight however, was noticeable, especially since I biked to school. It shouldn't really be an issue anymore though, since the new retina Macs are much lighter than the old non-retina Macs.
     
  6. uptempos macrumors member

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    Jan 25, 2015
    #6
    I say if you can get a decent deal on a 15" I would do that..for me real estate matters more....especially when I was in college...Being able to split the screen writing paper/ side by side with other sources/webpages...that real estate makes a difference.. and you won't always be lugging around an extra monitor. Not sure if the deal is still going on...but best buy had 200$ off and 10% movers coupon brought it down to 1620.
     
  7. Bsarmini thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #7
    Thanks for the input guys that's definitely what I was looking for. I wasn't sure if the 13" would provide adequate space to multitask things but I think I'm leaning towards the 15" at this point. Speaking off of pure speculation, is it a safe bet that the 15" would be updated before July? I'm going overseas for a month and would like to have it on the trip.
     
  8. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a

    kwokaaron

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    Sep 20, 2013
    #8
    If you're talking about processor updates and stuff then probably not since the Broadwell chips that is most likely to be used in the 15" hasn't been announced by Intel. It could be possible that the 15" gains the Force Touch trackpad and faster flash storage (like the new 13" now has) before that but I'm inclined to believe the reason they didn't update the 15" was because they were waiting for new processors to go with it. Therefore imo I would say that they probably wouldn't have any significant updates with the 15" before July.
     
  9. Bsarmini thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #9
    Wow so quadcore broadwell processors are really expected to take that long to ship out? Man intel needs to step their game up skylake isn't that far off at this point.
     
  10. radioking macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2012
    #10
    I would say get the 13" especially if you have an iPad and can use Duet Display. That way you have the portability and smaller footprint when you need it but could use a dual screen setup in the library or anywhere else. Then get an external monitor if you are going to be doing a lot of work in your dorm/apartment.
     
  11. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a

    kwokaaron

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    Sep 20, 2013
    #11
    Don't want to mislead you or anything so I'll just give you a link to an article. Now, "mid 2015" is pretty vague so it could be possible that a new release comes out pretty close to July. If you're not in a rush you could probably wait a bit.
     
  12. Bsarmini thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #12
    Hmm I'm optimistic considering Apple generally receives the chip sets ahead of time. Thanks for the link. I could probably hold out till the summer and see where it goes from there.
     
  13. Derived macrumors regular

    Derived

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    #13
    I picked up a cMBP in October of 2012 for my final year of school, and never once did I think it was too big...maybe in one classroom, but it was hardly a big deal. I can't do work on a 13" screen, just not big enough. Also, the extra power means it still feels fast and does everything I want it to.

    A retina machine is over a pound lighter than mine, and much slimmer. If I had one of those, wouldn't even be a contest. It's totally a personal preference thing, but really either will fit in a backpack just fine, and most classrooms in college have plenty of space for a 15" MBP.
     
  14. Starry macrumors member

    Starry

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    California
    #14
    I have a 15" rMBP and will be heading to college in the fall but I utilize the extra power. I think a 13" would be best for you since you mentioned you don't need the extra power and you can always buy an external monitor.
     
  15. dreamsINdigital macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Since the resolution of the 13" can be scaled to 1680 x 1050, I don't think it would even be an issue if you need space for multitasking.
     
  16. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #16
    It depends if you need the screen space while out and about or at your room. If the former, then definitely go with the 15" as it'll give you more room during class to put stuff side by side. If you only need more space while in your room, then you could get by with the 13" model and an external monitor.

    Personally I use both the 15" screen and an external monitor to help me spread things out a bit more. Then I can have my paper and one article on my MBP screen and a couple of different sources on the external all visible at the same time for me to jump around between. When I'm in class I still have room to keep my notes on one half and a relevant article we're discussing on the other half. Sometimes I also just keep my web browser on the other half which can be distracting lol.
     
  17. David58117, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015

    David58117 macrumors 65816

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  18. David58117 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 24, 2013
    #18
    Portability and battery life trumps power/ screen size for college.

    I went from a 15" retina (and cMBP before that ) to a 13" retina - and the 13" is perfect! Also the battery is so much better than the 15".

    Another consideration is cases. I tried a slipcase with the 15" and it was awkward to carry, while the 13" was light and was like carrying a tablet around.

    Anyway if all you're doing is slides/notes, an iPad trumps a MacBook. That's what I used when I went to school, and being able to hand write over slides was great. Also there are some good audio recording apps on there.

    But my wife is finishing her PHD on an 11" air, which she loves. She has an extra screen in her office she sometimes uses, it seems to work well.
     
  19. kave macrumors regular

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    Oct 31, 2012
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    Sweden
    #19
    And, you don't have to put up with all the bugs regarding changing graphics card in the 15".
    In the old days, I was always using a 17" MacBook Pro, but after 2 years with a 11" Air I am going for a 13" retina.
    It is the perfect size for most people.
     
  20. larrysing1963 macrumors regular

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    Aug 16, 2014
    #20
    I would go 13", and use the money you save to setup a good external monitor in your living location for when you are home.

    Better portability, lower price, but the best of both worlds when you are "docked" with an external monitor.
     
  21. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a

    kwokaaron

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    Sep 20, 2013
    #21
    He doesn't have to worry about that if he gets the low-end 15" model though.
     
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #22
    Just personal preference

    They will both do everything you want.

    Me personally I'd have a 13 inch and an external screen for working at home.
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #23
    Get the 13" for portability and lower price.

    You could consider taking the $$$ saved, and buying a desktop display (24" or 27") for your room.

    Best of both worlds -- portability, and "extra screen real estate".
     
  24. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

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    Jul 12, 2013
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    New York
    #24
    I'm a college student and I purchased the 15" rMBP (late-2013; bought it in late December of 2013). The laptop has been great to me. The performance is amazing, the screen is amazing and it's the lightest laptop I've ever owned. Sure, it's a couple of pounds heavier than the 13", but to me, the 15" is so much better; especially when watching Netflix! It all depends on personal preference. I could've gone with the 13" but I wouldn't have been very happy with the screen size. 15" is perfect, not too big, not too small. It's good for writing papers, watching movies, etc. I've never had a problem with it when carrying the laptop to school. Since my professor let us purchase the eBook version of the textbook, I have it available on my laptop so I go through the Kindle App while in class and take notes that way. If portability is important to you, then maybe the 13" is better for you, but the 15" isn't all that heavy, just a couple of pounds heavier than the 13" would be.
     
  25. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #25
    Get that 13" MacBook. You don't want to be lugging around a mammoth looking like Steve Erkel in front of those college girls- trust me.

    The 13" is super fly. Not only will you be able take that thing around smooth as butter but the chicks will dig it too.

    Seriously, get the 13" and never look back.

    P.S. You're going to need that extra money for all the beer you'll be buying out in college for the dorm parties you'll be going to. Either that or the frat fees you'll owe.
     

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