13" or 15" MBP for College Student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Steven89, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Steven89 macrumors newbie

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    Queens, NY
    #1
    I'm a college student looking to get a MacBook Pro, preferably within the next month. I'm wondering though, which MacBook would be best for me.

    In the case of the 13" MBP, I like it because it's small, and with a sleeve can fit into my North Face bookbag. It seems to be mostly what I want, seeing as how I won't be running any powerhouse applications (like Photoshop) in excess. On the other hand, the 15" MBP is more powerful and comes with the option to buy with a 500GB hard drive and has the option to add a bit more features than what's found in the 13". I will be using the computer a LOT (many hours per day), and while battery life does not concern me because I will be purchasing a HyperMac.

    What do you all think? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks...
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    iThink you should learn to use mroogle or the search feature. If the hard drive is the sole reason as to why you would look at the 15", that problem is fairly easily and inexpensively solved by a user done upgrade. As for the bag their are a couple of threads floating around here currently, I love my Booq bag, other recommendations will be for Crumpler, TimBuk2. I also had an STM bag and loved it, but the Booq fit my needs a little better then the Large Loop.

    People will recommend getting an Incase sleeve, while I owned a couple of them, they are not the greatest of things in the world. I love my Incase Hard Shell, but I would recommend either a Booq Vyper or Applesac. These options will allow you to use your regular bag.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    Here's a link to many threads that asked the exact same question.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    I'd get the 13" MBP, and just upgrade the harddrive and RAM yourself. :)

    Buy the RAM and HDD from somewhere like OWC, or Newegg. It's fairly easy to install, and will save you money.
     
  5. joehahn macrumors regular

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    CT
    #5
    im a college student and i just got the 15'' MBP i had no real problems with the choice seeing as though i really wanted the bigger screen for watching videos on hulu and regular dvds. if all you want is portability then by all means go for the 13"
     
  6. armenakadino macrumors member

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    #6
    You can allways buy a after marked 500gb hd and it will be better then apples because it will be running 7200 rpm, thats what I did I have a 13in unibody macbook the size makes the world of a difference 15 inch computers are no fun to carry around campus the 13 in just feels like one of my books and a light book at that
     
  7. freesonwang macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2009
    #7
    Was an incoming college student two years ago and faced the same 13'' vs. 15'' dilemma (between WhiteBook and the classic Macbook Pro). I ended up getting the Macbook Pro and one thing I didn't realize was how annoyingly heavy it is. A 5 lb laptop is an actual weight you feel in a backpack or bag (so even carrying just the laptop, it was just annoying).

    You said that you don't use any powerhouse applications? That settles it then. Get the 13'' and be more portable.

    The 1 lb difference is very noticable! (The 13'' MBP is 4 lbs, I believe).

    I just realized the above poster said the same exact thing as me. Lol.
     
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #8
    The difference back then was that there was an extreme gap in performance.
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #9
    And I think you should write that properly :p.

    In your situation I'd opt for the 13" Macbook Pro. You can always get a larger drive when the prices and sizes match up. I have a 13" unibody Macbook and there's nothing that bugger can't do (save for the big powerhouse games). Plus it's compact.
    You won't go wrong with either but I suggest you opt for the 13" and put some aside for future upgrades.
     
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #10
    iThink it's become a habit. But it's good that we agree on the solution for the OP.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    The older plastic MacBooks were around 4.9 lbs. The previous 15" MBP was arong 5.2 or 5.3 lbs.

    They'd both be noticeable in a bag. ;) Even now, at 4.5 lbs, it's not much lighter than before. I think the new 15" MBP is actually a bit heavier than the previous model (it's around 5.5 lbs, I think), which isn't surprising, since it's also slightly bigger than the "classic", non-unibody version.
     
  12. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    #12
    The 13 inch MacBook Pro does offer an option to buy it with a 500 GB hard disk. It is also 4.5 pounds compared to the 15 inch 5.5 pounds. I would go with the 13 inch if I were you (cause when I go to college next year that's what I'm doing but in the mean time SENIOR YEAR, WOOT, PARTY). :cool:
     
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #13
    Graphical performance, yes. In real-life usage, outside of heavy 3D apps or gaming, performance between the MacBook and MacBook Pro has always been fairly similar.
     
  14. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #14
    yeah, the only major differences between the 13"MBP and 15" MBP are the size and performance options...

    From Apples Site (huh, i oddly got directed to the uk, not us site... wierd...)

    13" options

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz or 2.53GHz
    2GB Ram or 4GB Ram
    Nvidia GeForce 9400M
    160GB or 250GB HDD

    The rest is standard...

    15" Options

    Intel C2D 2.53GHz, 2.66GHz or 2.80GHz
    4GB Ram (upgradeable to 8GB)
    250GB, 320GB, 500GB HDD
    Nvidia Geforce 9400M or Nvidia Geforce 9400 with Nvidia 9600M GT

    rest is standard...

    Personally if your not doing anything that requires much, I would go for the cheap 13" and just do the Ram and HDD upgrade yourself, save yourself some money that can be used on a big screen to hook up to ;)

    Protip: Check to see if your college gets a discount here and fill your info in according to the page. I go to DeVry Online and I get like $200 off Macs, so really look into it.

    (btw, on a side note, what type of memory is used on the new unibody's? looks like a cross between SDRam and FB-Dimm on ifixits site...)

    Hope this helps
     
  15. Steven89 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Queens, NY
    #15
    Thanks everyone. I think I'll go for the 13" with upgrades.

    Sorry about that Miles.

    Null, I do qualify and will be purchasing my Mac from the Apple Store on 5th Ave. here in NYC. I'm thinking of getting my Mac by July 20th because if I do, not only will I qualify to get the free 8G iPod Touch (which I'll probably sell once an updated version comes around), I'll also get a printer for free or little money.
     
  16. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #16
    Good to hear, when does the iPod offer expire? And a little off topic, but some "Expert" on Apple's Chat said that max resolution supported by Display Adapter > External Monitor is 1440x900. Is this correct? I'm thinking this guys full of it.
     
  17. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

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    NY
    #17
    I'm a college student, and I have the original 13" Macbook aluminum, and I couldn't really imagine getting a bigger, heavier computer. At times, I almost wish I had the Air :p What I would do is get the 13", do the RAM/HD upgrades, and if you money left over, get an external LCD for doing work. I have a 24" LCD and it's great for doing some research, editing, or anything really.
     
  18. Disavowed macrumors regular

    Disavowed

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    #18
    I decided to go 15" mostly because I need the landscape while reading, multi-tasking, and yes, movies look beautiful on the larger screen....when I have time to watch them.

    Think about it: You have Pages, Firefox, Adium, FB, iTunes, and/or Skype open at the same time; that 13" screen REALLY seems small, to me at least.
     
  19. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #19

    QFT, thats exactly what I'm thinking of doing. Kinda wondering if its worth 300 to upgrade the cpu on the 13 from 2.26? to 2.53... I know it would be better, but still... is it worth it for people on a budget?
     
  20. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #20
    Ever heard of Expose / Spaces?
     
  21. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #21
    For your money, you will find better value upgrading the hard drive and RAM rather than a <300MHz increase. I mean, if money is not an issue, by all means go ahead. But for a college student, that money can be better spent on beer or condoms of course. :cool:
     
  22. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #22
    heh, good point there... Ive just never been one to go and not get the extra CPU...

    so the 13" MBP, 2.23GHz, 4GB Ram, 160GBHDD (Ive got a 320GB in the mail on its way... I love how Dell's Tech Support screws up and sends me duplicates..) sound right?
     
  23. chrislaw macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

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    central ohio
    #23
    13".

    upgrade yourself. As an engineering student at OSU I love the portability of the 13" and it's all i need and more with my upgrades that i performed myself (4gb ram and 500gb hdd)
     
  24. Disavowed macrumors regular

    Disavowed

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    #24
    I should have said "running" not OPEN.....thanks, D*@K
     
  25. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    California
    #25
    Why do a handful of people say 2.23GHz, does it say 2.23GHz in About this Mac or somewhere else? Sorry, I'm just wondering.
     

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