13" vs 15" rMBP for old eyes?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marc55, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. marc55, Nov 12, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013

    marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    I've been thinking about the 15" rMBP, but the 13" is nice little savings, but the concern is that the screen may be too small for older eyes. My current PC has a 15.6" screen which I find a nice size, but the 13" doesn't seem to be too much smaller.

    I know I could go to the store and surf for awhile, and I plan to do that; however, a short time in a store is not always all telling.

    While saving a few $$ is nice, I don't want to get something I'll be disappointed in down the road.

    I don't want to try one out for two weeks and return either, as that is not really fair, so I'm looking for some insight from you guys who have actually had both sizes.

    Thank you
  2. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    Either way, the text will look SHARP on the retina screens.

    It even looks sharper than my iPad Air and my iPhone 5, probably because I sit further back from the screen.

    I think the 15" is less cramped and text is bigger because it is a larger resolution, but either way text will look be sharp (I have yet to see a 13" retina, but I would expect it to be just as sharp).

    If you are comfortable with the 15", then I would go with the 15", but I don't think the 13" would look any worse. In fact, I wonder if the 13" has a higher PPI
  3. MaclandValhalla macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    The 15" inch retina screen has slightly fewer pixels per inch than the 13" retina screen. When you combine that fact with the increased screen real estate, I think the 15" becomes the obvious choice, as long as money isn't too much of a concern.
  4. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    I always thought text by default was bigger on the 13 vs 15"???
  5. MaclandValhalla macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    Everything is bigger on the 15" screen because it has lower pixel density than the 13" screen.
  6. Kartram macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2013
    I would suggest you spend some time at the store, both are equally good. I use both machines they have their own merits.

    The MBA 13 has a 1440X900 resolution and not as bright, but i like to use when i am coding. It is light weight and battery lasts longer between charges.

    The rMBP has a brighter and much clearer screen that will offer clarity, it is nice in its own regard. But, my eyes cannot distinguish between the two. My favorite machine is still an old 15 laptop with 1366 x 768 resolution.

    Hope that helps!
  7. JimBannister macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    Owings Mills, MD
    The default "Best for Retina" resolution on the 13" is sized to look like 1280 x 800 whereas the same on the 15" is 1440 x 900, so the 13" is scaled bigger. A larger resolution (or apparent resolution) means smaller elements on screen. At the same time, the 15" has the larger overall screen size, so that should offset the difference between the scaling of the elements on the screen somewhat. I'm not a mathamagician, but if I'm not horribly botching my numbers, the elements should be VERY slightly larger (about 2.56%) on the 13" in real world physical space.

    The other thing to note is that I'm using the "Best for Retina" scaling. You can change the options so that either screen uses a larger scale than that to make it easier to see, though admittedly at a potential reduction in sharpness.

    Best of luck choosing the best computer for your needs!
  8. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    The way google chrome browser zooms in is just PERFECT for all kinds of eyes I found. So this will help on top of which ever MacBook PRO you so choose.

  9. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    been using my new 13 inch for a few days now - not as much as I would've liked because busy elsewhere - but enough to know that 1650 x 1080 is good enough for my eyes.

    I started with 1280 by 800, tried 1400 x 900, that was totally fine and then 1650 x 1080 and haven't gone back down.

    maybe if i was to use it for a full working day i might step down.

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