13" or 15" MBP - 3 Options ...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 81Tiger04, May 4, 2010.

  1. 81Tiger04 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I know there have been a million threads like this ... However, this is an important purchase - my first new computer since 2005 and it's a lot of money. As such, I would like to start a thread addressing my specific needs and desires.

    I currently have an iMac G5, which I got in 2005 before the iMac's with Duel Core Processors. It is still running great and has served me well, but I'm in the market for a MacBook. The main reason is for the portability of a notebook. I have my iMac in the den on the coffee table so that I can do whatever on the computer and watch TV - I'll be getting married soon and my fiance wants the computer back in my office.

    Here is what I will be using it for:
    - Internet
    - Email
    - Downloading music, converting from FLAC to wav, and then from .wav to .mp3
    - iTunes
    - Storing photos in iPhoto
    - Occasionally running other programs

    Basically, I generally won't be doing anything too heavy. I don't play any games nor do I do any editing with programs such as PhotoShop. I know what I have outlined up to this point says that I should get a 13". However, I still want to ask the question of whether I should get the 13" or 15" MBP.

    My reasons for wanting the 15" MBP:
    - Larger screen ... I know that some people consider the 15" less portable than the 13". I'll be using it at home, vacations, in the car, etc. I just finished grad. school so I won't be a student again (for a while atleast). Also, will the 15" soon become standard for the MBP?
    - Even though I may not need them now, it's comforting to know that the "insides" of the 15" are more likely to be "current" in 4 years.
    - The option for a matte screen - Is it worth it? 80% of my usage will be inside but I will occasionally use it outside or in the car.

    With either the 13" or 15", I'd be getting 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HD. I'm about to finish grad school so with the Education Discount, here are the options I'm looking at:
    1) 13" MBP 2.4 GHZ, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD --> $1,144
    2) 15" MBP 2.4 GHZ, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD --> $1,699
    3) 15" MBP 2.4 GHZ, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD, Anti-Glare Screen --> $1,834

    Which option would you recommend for me? Is the extra $$$ worth it for options #2 or #3?
     
  2. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    Oct 25, 2009
    #2
    If you want the larger display, get the anti glare option.

    At the same time, since you already have an iMac, the 13" is a good option.

    You just need to decide if the $700 difference is worth: the new processor, better graphics, and anti glare.
     
  3. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I don't know if these upgrades are worth it or not. That's mainly why I am here.

    Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference or not, but the MBP is my graduation gift. I have to pay the difference from the $899 MB. So I'm looking at paying:

    $245 for option #1
    $800 for option #2
    $945 for option #3
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Seeing that your only reason to get 15" is the antiglare, you could just jump for a previous gen refurb http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0GS2LL/A?cid=AOS-US-AFF-FEED

    Weddings are already slimming your wallet and that 430$ can be spent a lot wiser. Of course if the hi res screen in new 15" MBP is the deal breaker, then it's up to you is it worth 430$
     
  5. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    The anti-glare screen isn't my only reason for considering the 15". In fact, it's probably an afterthought. I like the 15" because of the bigger screen size and beefed up "insides" (I feel that they are going to be more "current" in 4 years.)
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Ahh okay. That's still IMO better because your usage doesn't need i5 nor 330M so even though you think that it might be worth it in long run, it isn't really. After 4 years these current chips are nowhere near as fast as the chips we have then. You're better off selling it after 2-3 years if you think it's not "current" enough.

    Of course, in the end it's up to you but I'm just giving you another option to go with
     
  7. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    No problem, I appreciate the input. So are you saying that it might be worth it to get the refurbished Mac that you linked? Do they look the same? How do the "insides" compare?

    Thanks again for your help ...
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    It's exactly the same from outside. The 2.4GHz i5 is about 25% faster in benchmarks than 2.53GHz C2D but for your usage the speed doesn't really matter because the C2D is easily enough for you. 330M is a lot faster than 9400M but it again doesn't matter as you're not going to play games.

    For your usage, I don't see a reason how the new one would be noticeably better, sure it's faster on paper but is that what you want for extra 430$?
     
  9. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    What about comparing the 13" MBP (Option #1) to the refurbished MBP 15"?

    I know the processors are the same. However, the graphics are different. Is that something I'm only going to notice if I were to play games? Since I have Netflix, I may occasionally stream movies. Will I notice a difference there?

    I would prefer a larger HD than 250GB - How hard is it to upgrade on my own?

    Also, I've never seen the anti-glare screen next to the "regular" screen - is there a noticeable difference?

    I apologize for all of the questions but I really do appreciate your help ...
     
  10. 2high2aim macrumors 6502

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    #10
    The Refurbished MBP is MORE than enough for you...its fast...esp for your neededs and so jump on it if you really like the antiglare and 15in...if it was the 13in I would buy the new one due to the longer battery and better video card anyways go for it.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    9400M can play 1080p with no issues, so you would only notice the difference in games. The 13" has better battery though so if that 3 extra hours is more important than antiglare, it might be better solution

    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbookpro_15_unibody_mid09_hd_h/

    Well, IMO if you can hold a screwdriver in you hand, you can upgrade the HD, just follow the instructions in the vid. Oh and it DOES NOT void your warranty

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IMO the glossy is better looking but matte is nice because there are no reflections. It's an opinion question, some likes matte, some glossy.

    There is same specced glossy 15" for 50$ less if you prefer the glossy http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC118LL/A?cid=AOS-US-AFF-FEED
     
  12. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Thanks. One problem, someone bought the refurbished model. It's "out of stock" now. How likely is another one to be posted? If I can get a 15" refurbished MBP and not notice the difference, I'm all for saving a little money.

    Man, I was excited. That's a real buzzkill ...
     
  13. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #13
    If this is how you feel, get the 15" 2.4 with Anti Glare.
    I would make sure though that the High Resolution will not bother your eyes by viewing it first in the store.

    If anti glare is not a big priority and you think you won't mind the smaller screen, consider the 13" 2.4. I would not consider the last generation hardware unless the price was considerably discounted ($500 or more off of retail).
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    It'll likely show up in a week or so.. Sign up to Refurb.me, from right-hand-side you can choose the way of notification when the model you're looking for is back in stock
     
  15. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Why wouldn't you consider the last generation hardware?
     
  16. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #16
    Why are you trying to convince the op to get a used computer for $1500, when he clearly outlined what he was interested in?

    There is no way I would ever spend $1500 on a USED computer. They can call them refurbished, but the fact is they are USED.

    OP, get one of the computers you listed initially. It does not seem like you buy a new computer often, so do not look at something you might regret later.
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #17
    Refurb ≠ used

    Most of current refurbs are brand new but are sold as refurbs because they are not current gen anymore. And does it really matter if someone has boot it couple of times if you can save +400$? You won't notice ANY difference. If I put two MBPs side by side, could you tell which is new and which is refurb? If you ask any veteran member here, they'll tell you how amazing refurbs are, they are NOT used. Full warranty and everything, just comes in brown box and a lot nicer price
     
  18. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #18
    Because first these are used computers, and second the discount is not enough. Most companies significantly discount their old hardware. Then you are planning to keep it for the next several years.
     
  19. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #19
    Refurbished == USED!

     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    So you think it's used IF it has been used for couple of hours and then returned? As I said, you won't notice any difference is it refurb or not, it's been wiped and reloaded so it's exactly the same as new one.

    Some reading for you http://www.google.com/cse?cx=011016...e:forums.macrumors.com&hl=en&as_qdr=all&meta=

    In the end it's up to OP but I have nothing negative about refurbs, they have the same 1-year warranty and 14-day return policy for a significant discount
     
  21. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Ha Ha ... opposing points of view ... not a bad thing.

    You're right, I don't buy a new computer very often. My last one was 5 years ago. Since I'm getting married, it'll probably be 5 years before I get another one. She's got a MacBook that's a couple years old so she'll probably get a new one in a couple years.

    Money isn't a huge deal but it is something I have to take into account. Since $899 is being paid for, that is a huge help. I can either get a 13" for $244 or a really nice 15" for $800. Like I've mentioned, I know the 13" has everything I need. However, I like the larger screen size of the 15". It may be more than I need today, but will it in 4 years?

    If they offered a 15" with the specs of the 13", I'd buy that. Why don't they offer that?
     
  22. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #22
    Just because of the people that buy refurbs, the majority are happy, does not mean the op will get a refurb with any issues either cosmetically or mechanically.

    I also could post a link to thread about the people that have had problems with their refurbs.
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Well, the offer about-the-same-specced MBP as refurb which I just linked (and which has now risen some discussion).

    Have you compared the 13" and 15" in real life? Also glossy vs antiglare? If there is store near by, I'd go there and have a look. IMO 13" isn't too small but everyone has its own opinion. IMO the refurb is still the best deal but I don't know has kny3twalker changed your mind with his quite unrealistic statements (they aren't used for more than few days which IMO is nothing for 400$ savings)
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #24
    Well, if OP buys new one, it doesn't mean that it's better. I could post you dozens of links about issues in new MBPs

    Refurbs have the same 14-day replacement/return policy so IF it turns out to be bad choice or it has issue, he can return/change it
     
  25. 81Tiger04 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    For the record, I'm not favoring one over the other. I just want the best MBP for me.
     

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