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pavinder

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2009
155
98
I’m about to upgrade from a 2014 MacBook Pro 15”. The new 16” is only slightly larger & heavier, but because of its far better portability I'd prefer to get the 14”.

Two main concerns with the 14” though. Firstly, I do a lot of Photoshop work so am concerned about reducing the screen real estate (even though the pixel count is higher). I already use the highest “more space” scaling setting on the 15” and am perfectly happy with the available space that gives in Photoshop.

Secondly, typing on my 15” my palms rest on the flat areas either side of the trackpad. But testing the 14” at the Apple store, the narrower width meant every time I used the SHIFT/CTRL/OPT keys my hands would slip off the edges of the machine. Kind of uncomfortable.

So my 2 questions are really for other users who’ve gone from a 15” to the new 14” model:

1 How did you find the Photoshop experience in terms of available screen space once various palettes are open? My concern is that even with “more space” scaling it might not be enough. Did you just adapt to the new size after a while?

2 Is the “hands off the edge” ergonomic issue something you get used to quite quickly, or does it remain annoying?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

TSE

macrumors 601
Jun 25, 2007
4,004
3,411
St. Paul, Minnesota
The best advice anyone can give you is everyone is different and there's a reason why Apple offers a two week return or exchange. You could try the 14" for a week or two, see if you like it, and if you don't you can move up to the 16".

I had 15" computers my entire career because until very recently, the 15" MacBook Pros always had the GPU performance that was required of my workloads, and like you, doing Solidworks on a 13" computer with a 1680x1050 scaled resolution didn't sound particularly fun.

Apple Silicon changed all that, though. GPU performance was increased dramatically for the smaller laptops and the 14" MacBook Pro with SwitchResX (an $8 purchase) makes the display of the computer incredibly powerful. On my current MacBook Air, my screen resolution is 2048 x 1332 at all times with no problems in performance or my eyes. It'll be even better for you on the 14" screen.

The edge of the deck, for me IS indeed annoying, but you get used to it quickly. At least, I did. But I can't tell you if you will get over it or not. Again, this is a great opportunity to make a purchase, see if it is something that you even notice or can get over, and if not, you can return it.

New MacBook Pros likely in October, too. Just noting that you might want to hold off if you can.
 

pavinder

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2009
155
98
The 14" MacBook Pro with SwitchResX (an $8 purchase) makes the display of the computer incredibly powerful. On my current MacBook Air, my screen resolution is 2048 x 1332 at all times with no problems in performance or my eyes. It'll be even better for you on the 14" screen.

The edge of the deck, for me IS indeed annoying, but you get used to it quickly. At least, I did. ...

New MacBook Pros likely in October, too. Just noting that you might want to hold off if you can.

Thanks for your comments, and especially the SwitchResX recommendation - it sounds ideal to alleviate real estate concerns.

And yes, well-noted about the expected new models. I'm hoping that will help me find a current model at a discount.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
I’m about to upgrade from a 2014 MacBook Pro 15”. The new 16” is only slightly larger & heavier, but because of its far better portability I'd prefer to get the 14”.
Here's my $.02

If you don't think the 16" is too big and you don't need a high level of mobility, the 16" is a better option, BUT I felt it was too large. I'm a 15" laptop fan, and I usually opt for that form factor, but I felt the 16" MBP just too big and so I opted for the 14" model.

As for your #1 question - I don't use PS, but using similar apps, I do find the tool bars to look a little too small. I tend to scale the display so that I have less screen real estate but larger fonts - I have old eyes with poor vision

#2 question - it doesn't bother me
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68030
Aug 15, 2020
2,894
3,166
SF Bay Area
An external 4k monitor, if this is an option for you, is going to make far more difference than 14" vs 15" vs 16", it will be in a different league. You can then also put some palettes on the MBP screen.
 

elmarjazz

macrumors regular
May 26, 2010
212
114
Coming from an MBP 15” 2015, and MBP 17”ers before that, yes, going 14” or 16” is the ‘big’ question. I got an MBP 14” because it is enough processing power, and price, and going small just to try a true very portable form factor (I was a bit shocked at how really small the 14” was compared to my 2015 15” in person). Everything is good except maybe the screen size for text (I’m using More Space to get as much as I can on the screen) which I am hoping I can adjust to. With photo editing, my logic was that I could use my iPad Pro to dock palates or just an external larger display. The XDR display is pretty amazing for B&W photography [or anything!] and viewing at ’laptop’ distances, but the other side of that coin is just a larger image on a good external display at ‘desktop’ distances is very nice too. Portable editing [and just showing work in a close personal setting] and at home a large display is what I thought of as the best options.

As for the trackpad… we’re coming from basically the same 15” form factor. I’ve not had any problem, and the larger trackpad on the 14” is useful.
 

pavinder

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2009
155
98
An external 4k monitor, if this is an option for you, is going to make far more difference than 14" vs 15" vs 16", it will be in a different league. You can then also put some palettes on the MBP screen.
My questions are specifically about working on the laptop. As I said, I'm thinking about portability not home use.
Yes, an external monitor would obviously be bigger than any laptop screen, but that's a different conversation entirely. If I were going to be using an external monitor then I probably would buy a Mac Mini, not one of these expensive laptops!
 
Last edited:

pavinder

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2009
155
98
I'm a 15" laptop fan, and I usually opt for that form factor, but I felt the 16" MBP just too big and so I opted for the 14" model.
Yes, this is my feeling - for portability even the 15" can sometimes be a bit too much for me. It really fills a small bag and weighs it down.
#2 question - it doesn't bother me
Nice to know. I think I need to get a bit more hands-on testing time to see how I feel.
 

pavinder

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2009
155
98
I was a bit shocked at how really small the 14” was compared to my 2015 15” in person... Portable editing [and just showing work in a close personal setting] and at home a large display is what I thought of as the best options.
I hear you. I do a lot of editing on the go, so portability is quite important. I do show my work to people on my laptop often, and for that I think the excellent screen on the 14" will be fine for fullscreen presentation, but my concern is mainly about limited screen real estate while editing.
As for the trackpad… we’re coming from basically the same 15” form factor. I’ve not had any problem, and the larger trackpad on the 14” is useful.
Yeah, the bigger trackpad is very nice! But the space to rest one's hands is much narrower on the 14" than the 15".
 

doolar

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2019
633
1,096
I came from a 15" MBP and landed on a 14". I only do some light photo editing, but a bit of video editing. I would say that the 14" is on the limit for serious long time editing regarding screen real estate. I manage just fine though, and I think most people would, at least in a pinch.

But the 14" is in my opinion a lot more portable and lappable. So I went with the 14" and have zero regrets. Of course, I could just connect an external monitor.

Hands on the edge? No biggie for me, but I use an external keyboard a lot - still I have done hours of typing and it's not a problem for me. Is it as comfortable as my work M1 Air? No. But that's probably the best laptop design ever for typing on the go.
 

elmarjazz

macrumors regular
May 26, 2010
212
114
Yes!, although I haven’t had any issues with the 14” keyboard and it is a very good one, and for occasional portability with the also excellent trackpad it does fine all-in-one, but I’ve taken the plunge with an external keyboard which I love (IQUINIX F97) and with a mouse and/or trackpad is my ‘ideal’ for home use.
 

elmarjazz

macrumors regular
May 26, 2010
212
114
If doing editing on the go and showing people your work also, on the go, is important, the 14” is pretty much perfect. The 16” is just ‘big’ in comparison, but maybe better if it’s used often - for the screen size - in this way. As for the trackpad… The 14” and 16” are the same keyboard/trackpad [even if the 16” has more area to the top and sides] and are in the same position relative to each other. I don’t think you will see any typing/trackpad ‘handling’ (;-) use differences. Either you will need to adapt to the layout or find some other ‘way.’ I would just give it a try, you have some time to see how it goes, and if it really is impossible to work for you, return it.
 
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