13" rMBP ($1350) or 12" rMB ($1150)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Maukey, Dec 10, 2015.


Which would you choose???

  1. 13" rMBP i5, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD

    31 vote(s)
  2. 12" rMB Core M, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD

    6 vote(s)
  3. Other (List your choice in the reply)

    1 vote(s)
  1. Maukey macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2010
    I just recently purchased a SP4 w/ Type Cover. I purchased it because I was looking for kind of a do it all device that could act as a Tablet and Laptop. I really am impressed with it as an overall package, however, 3 key factors have forced me to make a decision to return it. First, poor battery life, Second, mediocre use as a tablet, and Last, high maintenance (constant updates, patches, etc.).

    I am now kind of back to the drawing board. I have decided that I need to give up on trying to find one do it all device and just settle for a dedicated Tablet for office use and when I travel internationally, and a Laptop for my day to day uses. I know I will either be getting the 64GB LTE Model of the iPad Mini 4 or the iPad Air 2. I now have to make a decision on my laptop. I am considering either the 13" rMBP i5 w/ 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD for $1350, or the 12" rMB Core M w/ 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD. I am also open to other suggestions if there are better values out there. Here are my needs in a laptop:

    1) It needs to be able to handle Web Browsing with up to 10 tabs at a time while downloading files/videos at the same time, Viewing 1080p Videos w/ VLC/Netflix/Youtube/etc., Using Air Video HD to stream 1080p MKV Videos to my new Apple TV, on rare occasions encode 1080p videos using Handbrake, and possibly in the future use Logic Pro to create music tracks.

    2) Long Battery Life. The SP4 only got me about 5-6 hours just web browsing. That's unacceptable for me.

    3) Portability. I will sometimes carry this laptop with me in a backpack with my iPad of choice for shorter trips/commutes.

    Which would you choose in my situation and why? Thanks in Advance
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Either one will perform all of these tasks just fine. The rMBP will outperform the rMB in the heavier tasks, but not by a huge margin.

    The rMBP will win here, but not by a huge margin.

    The rMB will win here. Although the 13" rMBP isn't exactly a heavy computer at 3.5 lbs.

    I went with the rMBP earlier this year because I wanted the connectivity options and I absolutely hate the new keyboard on the rMB.
  3. trevpimp macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2009
    Inside A Mac Box
    Since I don't like the rMB keyboard I would go with the rMBP.
    And you never know when those extra ports might come in handy without needing to purchase extra accessories
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    For that use case I would get the rMB and forget the tablet. To be honest it's so thin and light and small it'll be just as portable as a standard ipad air and will do everything you need. Encoding in handbrake won't be the quickest but other than that you should be fine.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The SP4 is getting lots of updates to address the instability (and I suppose battery life), but it seems you're unhappy with it and will be returning it.

    Your list of uses are such that the rMB will fit your needs.
  6. Maukey, Dec 11, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015

    Maukey thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2010
    I honestly think it's a great device. It's really more so frustration. A couple of days ago I was streaming 1080p MP4 Christmas movies via Air Video HD for my son from my SP4 to my new ATV while surfing the web; this in itself was very cool to be doing this on a tablet so easily. I started about 9am w/ 100% battery life, at 12pm I was down to like 51%. It concerned me in the case where I'm using this on the road as a tablet. I'm so indecisive lol, looking for the perfect solution. I may keep the SP4. I really would like assurance that the battery life will see improvements because it is an amazing device.
  7. tiguanito macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Battery life is the reason why I returned my SP3 last year. The problem with Windows (like Android), is you can't get a consistent battery life. Sometimes an update, an application, a driver, etc will conflict with the suspend, or will take more CPU than expected, and kills your battery. There is a lot more maintenance with a Windows machine, it needs to be optimized. SP4 doesn't really improve that , infortunately. Otherwise it's a very nice machine. It like the keyboard of the SP4 more than the one on the IPP or rMB.
    The MBP is in a different category. If you can live with the extra weight, it's a great 13" laptop with no major issue.
  8. doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    I have owned both a rMBP 13" and a rMB 12" at the same time. It was easy to keep the rMB 12", sold the 13". I bring my retina MacBook everywhere, and it handles any action I would do on my lap or connected to an external monitor.

    I would opt for a 13" if it had quad core and 16GB ram as baseline.
  9. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles

    Now you didn't mention you wanted retina display but you say long battery life I know one you should buy a MacBook Air "13 it has a best long battery life than any other Mac line.
  10. lparsons21 macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2014
    Southern Illinois
    I voted rMB, and also voted with my wallet for it. That's because I like the simplicity of it all and don't need/use all the connectivity that is on the rMBP. I still have my late 2012 rMBP 13" that I probably will sell at some point.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd rather have the Pro model.

    Superior in every way.
  12. matt2053 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2012
    I've wanted so badly for the 12" rMB to work out for me. I've owned and returned one twice now :( I really loved the thinness. I really loved the look and feel. I really loved the fact that it was fanless.

    I'm a minimalist at heart and the design of the rMB really spoke my language.

    However for me the rMB just ended up not being powerful enough for me. There are a few use cases where it just didn't perform, mainly around screen sharing or video streaming. I often host online meetings and have to share my screen or webcam and this would sometimes grind the rMB to a halt. I would lose audio for several seconds at a time because the CPU was so busy processing the video. So if you ever have to do any kind of GoToMeetings or things like that then I strongly recommend the Pro.

    The second thing about it that bothered me was simply it being slow in general. Click, beachball, wait... ok go. Too much of that. Larger Excel files would open instantly on my Pro and take several seconds on the rMB. Installing applications seemed to take much longer too, although that's not something I do very often. Just something to note.

    Battery life also makes it hard to give up the Pro. If I turn my brightness down to about 50% and do light office work and web browsing, I've gotten over 14 hours out of this thing on numerous occasions. The rMB claims up to 9 hours but in real life usage I was getting *maybe* 7 to 7.5 hours. MBP gets 10 hours easy, and like I said up to 14 if I need to stretch it out.

    The final thing for me was screen size. The extra inch might not seem like much but it made a big difference to me. For all day usage I really came to appreciate the extra comfort on the 13" display.

    When I want to go thin and light or ultraportable, I just grab my iPad Air 2. That thing paired with a nice keyboard is quite capable in a pinch.
  13. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    Battery lover? go get and buy a Macbook Air
    Future man? go get the Macbook
    Normal man? go get the Macbook Pro
  14. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I just had this same consideration and settled on the 13" rMBP. I tried out a MacBook in the store with a few use cases in mind and it failed terribly. I had iTunes, Notes, Mail, and Safari all open. Opening new tabs in Safari, in quick succession, took a few seconds to load the favorites page. I'm sure it's a great computer but if you're going to do any kind of processor heavy work at all you're going to be better off avoiding it for now. I loved the keyboard and the size but the processor is holding it back.

    If I had the option of waiting I would have for the next MacBook but the way my finances are right now it made sense for me to buy now. There's no harm in doing either but I don't like always waiting for the next great thing.

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