13 or 15 inch 2017 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andrewtm, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. andrewtm macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I had the 13 inch w/ TB for about two weeks and I loved it. The portability was great but I did find the screen somewhat small in some circumstances, so I returned it to try the 15. So far it's been great, but it is somewhat heavy/wide, and does get a little warm.

    I'm a senior year college student and will be mostly bringing my laptop to the library and classes. I'm majoring in computer science and minoring in art/design so I will be using graphically intensive programs like photoshop, maya, etc. I had a 2009 MacBook Pro and photoshop was tolerable on that, so I have no doubts I'll have issues on the new 13. The thing is I've never used Maya and I don't know how it would run on the 13, or if the 13 is good enough for my uses. Today is the end of my two week return period, so I kind of have to make a decision now and I'm struggling.

    Perhaps I'm being too picky on the portability aspect from reading everyone's opinions too much since this is my biggest concern. I use my laptop often on my lap to watch movies, I also use it on the desk at the library and hooked up to an external monitor. So I'd really only be lugging it around my house/taking it to library and class.

    Based on my uses, which do you guys think would be the best option? Since I'm graduating in a year, I feel like I should not entirely base my decision off getting a "college laptop".
  2. Adam Henry macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2014
    I just returned my 13 for a 15 since I have an ipp that I use for traveling along with my work laptop. the 13 is a great laptop but since I don't take it out of my house I switched to the 15. in your case I would stick with the portability of the 13 as it fits much better in a backpack and is pound lighter.
  3. malikkamran macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2016
    I got iPad but find 13 inch alright as it is more portable and 15 would be too heavy
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Since you are doing graphically intensive work I would get the 15". The dGPU should come in handy.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    2" "difference" doesn't sound like much, but in the real world (for many folks) the 13" is just much easier to carry around and use.
  6. andrewtm thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. Apple is giving me an extended 5 days in my return policy to decide.

    I do love how the 15 is better for graphics, but I find it gets extremely hot, especially when on my lap and it is kind of big/heavy to carry around even though it's lighter than the previous gens. I like how the 13 inch form factor is more portable.

    the issue I have is since I don't know how much I'll really need of that extra power from the 15 inch I don't know what to do. I imagine I'll be doing some 3D modeling but not like crazy scene animations. Perhaps I can get the 13 and maybe an eGPU down the road if I really have issues.
  7. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I never get the weight comments. It's a pound difference.
  8. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2011
    I was about to say the same thing. Sorry, but it’s pretty pathetic crying about ONE DAMN POUND!! Start lifting weights or something if you can’t handle that. The 15” is by far superior if you are doing any type of intensive work, and the weight difference is negligible.
  9. peraspera macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2016
    The one pound and 2" inch difference in size may be negligible for someone who only takes their MBP to and from work once a day to use on their desk. However, it may well make a big difference in a realistic perception of usability for someone who schleps their MBP from place to place dozens of times a day.

    Most people also seem to find the 13" to be easier to use on busses, trains, small student desks at college and in economy class on planes although that is probably more due to size rather then weight.
  10. kindaichi81 macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2015
    if you value portability -> 13-inch no brainer.
    powerhouse -> 15-inch.
  11. blahbrah macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2006
  12. andrewtm thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2012
  13. WickedPorter macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2012
    Everyone has their unique situations and associated preferences for this.

    My quick personal consensus after owning both the 13" TB model and the 15" TB model:
    1. The 1 pound difference does not bother me one bit, I can barely tell the difference, as both units have a hefty dense / solid feel to them.
    2. For 1lb and slightly larger footprint, I like the extra power and larger screen.
    3. I've had no luck attempting to fit either the 13" or 15" comfortably on an a domestic economy tray table. Disclaimer: I'm 6'2" / 240lbs and nothing but an iPhone Plus or (maybe) an iPad mini fits comfortably on a tray table for extended periods, and even those still kill my neck by looking down at them for more than an hour. Because of this, I avoid attempting to use any of my devices with screens for extended periods on domestic economy flights.
    I've never had heat issues, on my lap or otherwise, with either model. I may be lucky here... if these things do get hot, I'm typically not doing those intensive tasks with the computer on my lap, I'm usually docked at a desk. When portable, I'm usually not doing much more than surfing or checking e-mail/writing...
  14. blahbrah macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2006
    Yeah that's about right. It might run fine, but they aren't listing it on the Mac side even though it appears to have some support in Windows.

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