13" vs. 15" - portability

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kis, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. kis macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have the 13" Touchbar. It's a a nice laptop beyond any doubt. However, I'm about to turn 40 and my eyes aren't the best anymore from all the computer work over the last 25 years. I believe a 15" monitor would be fantastic. However, I work as a teacher and I have to carry my laptop around all day. How's the portability of the 15"? On paper, 1.8kg isn't very heavy and not much more than my old 13" rMBP that carried every day for years - but how is it in real life? How about the dimensions?

    Anyone with a 15" carrying it all day?
     
  2. Baldrake macrumors 6502

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    May 22, 2012
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    Great White North
    #2
    I carry around my 15", and it's not a problem. It really depends on how much else you have to carry. I carry a big bag of stuff to work, but when I'm at work and moving around, it's just my MBP in a sleeve and the inevitable dongle to attach to a projector - not heavy at all.

    I hate to break it to you, but it's all downhill from here. You're going to need reading glasses within the next few years.
     
  3. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    thanks, I appreciate it - I usually carry a ton of books once or twice a day from one classroom to the other plus the laptop. I'm not sure whether a few hundred grams would really make any noticeable difference.

    I know, the reading glasses are unavoidable. I had laser eye surgery some ten years ago - that cured my near-sightedness but also introduced some minor issues with small fonts. By now, I guess that plus the added age-related eye degeneration has accumulated to a point where I either need a larger screen or glasses again - and if I can delay the latter for another few years, I'd be more than happy to carry a bit of extra weight. I could also increase the font size on the 13", but that would cut into the screen real-estate, which I need.
     
  4. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #4
    Before chanching laptop, make sure you use native resolution on your 13' TB MBP.

    Your screen actual resolution is 2560x1600. By default the new MBP ship at setting that render everything in 2880x1800 then scale it down to 2560x1600, which have the effect of making everything "smaller" overall.

    In the "Monitor" setting pane, select scaled resolution to be equivalent to 1280x800, it will be native resolution and everything in the UI will be a bit bigger. (but actually it will be the exact same size than normal 13' MacBook Pro used to be)

    It will probably help a lot.
     
  5. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    It truly does, in terms of legibility, but it also kills a lot of screen real-estate. Making the decision harder, however - the 15" costs a lot more, of course :-/
     
  6. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    Jun 12, 2009
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    Canada
    #6
    13.3" rMBP isn't really that portable for a 13" class (there're already sub-1kg 13" laptops available), while 15.4" rMBP right now is among the best. The screen real estate (not even resolution) made me abandon my old 13.3" Pro back then and I'm not looking back. YMMV
     
  7. Hustle macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #7
    I returned the 13" touch bar... for me the screen was just too small.

    The only problem with the 15" is that due to its size it's not that comfortbable or discreet when using on planes/coffee shops/trains etc.
     
  8. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    That wouldn't be that much of an issue - I sold my iPad Pro for a Surface Pro 4 a few months back. I mainly use it as a tablet (so font size isn't an issue - I simply move it closer :) but I can easily use that for travel.
     
  9. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    Canada
    #9
    SP4 and rMBP 15" make sense together. rMBP 15" provide much higher computing power and screen real estate, SP4 excels at portability, pen input and form-factor.
     
  10. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #10
    Not too sure what your age has to do with it. I am near SS age and can carry my 15" 2015 rMBP all day.
    I love having the extra screen real estate of the 15" because I really cannot make the fonts lower than the "Best for retina" setting without straining my eyes.
     
  11. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2012
    #11
    Is the battery life of the 15" good enough such that it is not necessary to carry the charger for a day use? I guess that helps a little too.
     
  12. graffixnyc macrumors regular

    graffixnyc

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    #12
    I posted this in another thread but it's also relevant in this one:

    I too am debating this. I currently have the i5 2.9 13 MBP with touch bar, 16gb ram and 512gb ssd. I was going to return it and get the same configuration just with the i7 instead of the i5 but in that configuration it's only about $100 less than the 15 2.6 i7 base model with 512gb so I'm debating if I should get that instead. My only worry is portability of the 15, I lug my laptop to both work and school every day (usually that's all I lug, no books or anything as most of my school reading materials are online)
     
  13. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #13
    I think the 15 inch is worth it for your eyes and the gain in productivity from more screen space. the solution might be about how you are carrying it. a good bag really helps to bear the burden. don't now what you are using now. now I'm not making a recommendation but I have a North Face, mostly because my previous from them lasted way too long. you should expect to spend over $100.

    for more information, this site has a ridiculous amount of words on the subject,
    http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/our-favorite-laptop-backpacks/
     
  14. Hotfeet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #14
    I just traded a 2011 15" for the 2016 13" and don't regret it at all. I did appreciate the larger real estate of the 15" screen, but picking up the 13" with one hand multiple times a day makes it seem like I made the right decision for me. I hardly ever traveled with the 15" so that would have made an even bigger impact. Either way you can't go wrong; they both have their advantages.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 2, 2016 ---
    As someone said in another thread, the 15" has better speed and other specs, but the 13" has a better form factor. Who knows, maybe having the 15" would be better for keeping your body in shape.
     
  15. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Switzerland
    #15
    The age reference wasn't in conjunction with the weight but rather the slowly degenerating eyesight.

    In any case, I've now decided to buy the 15" but keep the 13" until I've had a chance to test out the 15" for portability. Then I decide if I keep only the 15" or both (and sell some camera gear that has been on the chopping block anyway - season's over - been planning on switching systems next spring - to pay for it ). Keeping both was never the plan and I believe the two overlap too much to justify that, but that remains to be seen.
     
  16. Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    #16
    I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out. I originally went into the store and after first comparing the two I really liked the 15" just because of screen size I guess. So after going to the store a few times I decided on a 15" and ordered it. The more I saw these in the stores and started thinking about actually using them the 13" seemed like the perfect size. So I bought one of the base models to see if I could get by with that and I really did love it, it is so comfortable to use and would be perfect on a plane etc...

    I was going to cancel my 15" but it shipped so I figured what the hell I wouldn't have an opportunity to compare them like this so I opened up the 15" and just fell in love with it. Really the only time I notice a difference with portability is if I try and one hand pick it up but that was just when directly comparing the two now it just seems really light. I think the 15" is still really portable and I really have no problem carrying it around, using it on my lap or anything like that. It's way more portable than my 13" Lenovo work computer for example. When you open it up its so worth it too the screen and real estate are amazing. So to me you don't give up too much in portability, it's still an amazingly sleek machine but you gain a lot in screen size and power so to me it's really worth the tradeoff.
     
  17. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #17
    It's like asking if you need a sub-compact, or a compact car. You're the only one who knows that. Which is better? Well depends on your definition of better. The compact is going to have a bigger engine, bigger interior, etc, but the subcompact will be easier to fit into smaller parking spaces, etc.

    15" is portable
    13" is more portable

    You decide.
     
  18. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    @chriscrowlee the only thing I'm capable of deciding now is that I won't be able to make an informed decision until I've tried both of them :)
     
  19. Hustle macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 29, 2007
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    USA
    #19
    I've just returned my 13" tbMBP for a 15" tbMBP... for me the 15" is still portable, but the added screen size just makes it that much less of a strain on my eyes.

    I originally was sure the 13" was perfect, so it's best to try both and make you decision. :)
     
  20. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    @Hustle from what I've read so far, I somehow have the feeling that I'll come to a similar solution. I've now ordered a backpack (been carrying a briefcase), that should lighten the "burden" a bit.
     
  21. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    #21
    This isn't twitter, hehe. Hit REPLY to quote someone lol
     
  22. Zigman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #22
    I went from a MacBook Pro 13" to the MacBook 12" then realized I needed more power. Since the new MacBook Pros were not out yet, I tried out a few Windows 15" laptops. Ended up buying the new 2016 MacBook Pro and the power/size/weight is pretty amazing.

    Not sure the actual weight of the power adapter, but overall weight I think should be less than 5lbs. I travel a lot myself and I would highly recommended it. I will probably carry around my MacBook 12" as a companion to the Pro on long trips it's that light (at least for me).
     
  23. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    old habits die hard :) I often post on a mobile phone forum where they scoff at anyone who quotes too much text, that's where this is coming from
     
  24. Hustle macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 29, 2007
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    USA
    #24
    My only annoyance is the size of the power brick!!! Why is it so big. Good thing I've been getting 10 hours out of my 15" so wont need to carry the power brick around.
     
  25. kis thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    Switzerland
    #25
    I can place a spare power brick in my prep room, that shouldn't be a problem. But I'll have to buy one as, you know, they've killed magsafe :-(
     

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