15" Portibility

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gman021, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Just want to here from the 15" rMBP users who do a lot of traveling/carrying with their computer. Possibly compared to a 13" if you ever had one.

    Never thought I would go for the 15" due to it's size, but Iris Pro, Quad Core, and the slim size are making me reconsider.

    Would also appreciate if someone had a picture of a cMBP 13" on top of a 15" retina.
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I can tell you the 15" rMBP is way more portable than the 15" cMBP (I've both). The 500g difference really makes up a lot.

    But I still carry my cMBP when I'm working on photoshoots outdoors because it's got an antiglare screen (the retina's IPS screen is also super, but it attracts glare like a solar flare in daylight).
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have both, the 13" cMBP and a 15" rMBP. The 15" rMBP is fine in terms of portability, and the increased screen real estate is a huge plus. I'm actually in a resort now using it and find it to be great.

    Since I'm not at home, I cannot snap a picture of both as requested, but you can compare them at your local apple store.
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I went from a 13" MBA to a 15" rMBP and I travel a lot
    While it is obviously heavier, I don't really notice that much at all
    And the extra screen real estate is well worth it for me
  5. fenjen macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    I have the cMBP and a case logic backpack (https://www.caselogic.com/en-us/us/products/laptop-cases/laptop-backpacks/156-laptop-tablet-backpack-_-bebp_-_115_-_black) and when my backpack is empty aside from the laptop I can barely notice it at all. As the rMBP is even lighter I reckon it won't be a problem to take it with you.

    The 15", however, isn't really the best lap laptop in my opinion. I'd much rather just take my gf's 13" Macbook air if I go sit on the couch or something. I mostly use my 15" on a desk (but, as I said, it's a cMBP so the rMBP will probably be more comfortable to use on your lap).
  6. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I had a 13" cMBP for a semester in college, no trouble carrying that around. I was hesitant getting the 15" rMPB because of the slightly larger footprint, wondering if if it would be to heavy to carry around or to fit on my desk or lap. Went through with it because I needed the power of the 15". Honestly, its not really any different from the 13". Its thin which makes it much easier to carry around than the cMBP, and there is no noticeable difference on a desk or lap. In turn, I think the 15" MBP is quite portable! Especially when compared to the bulky 17" Asus gaming laptop I used to carry around. Even so, I much rather the form factor of the 13" rMBP, I just wish they had quad cores and higher end graphics.
  7. fskywalker, Feb 17, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014

    fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    I bought my first 13 inch MBP back in 2010 when started my Law degree (night program) since wasn't sure a 15 inch would be appropiate for the small desks at school. I later upgraded to the 15 inch retina series due to its smallest footprint (versus the old 15 inch MBP) and its awesome retina display. The 15 inch can be carry around, but you will need a big bag or backpack to make it fit. By july 2013 I bought an used 13 inch rMBP to compare it to mine and decided the smallest size was a better choice for me. (Sold the 15 inch rMBP; later upgraded it to the current 13 inch Haswell rMBP model).

    Here is my former 2012 15 inch rMBP (2.7/16/768 with Samsung display) and my former 2012 13 inch rMBP (2.9/8/768) side by side:


    The following pictures I got them on the web. This one shows the 13 inch rMBP on top of the 15 inch rMBP:


    This one shows the comparisson of the 13 inch MacBook Pro versus the 13 inch rMBP (2012 model):


    I still have home my old 13 inch MBP (now belongs to my son), so if you need more pictures comparing the old 13 inch MBP to the newest Haswell 13 inch rMBP let me know. :rolleyes:

    It is true the 15" rMBP is smaller (than the old 15 inch MBP) and about as heavy as the 13 inch MBP, but the 13 inch rMBP is by far more portable than the 15 inch rMBP. If you need the extra screen real estate or the additional raw power of the 15 model with its quad processor and dedicated GPU (in all Ivy Bridge 2012 and early 2013 models, in some late 2013 Haswell models), go for the 15 inch rMBP; if you want better portability go for the 13" rMBP.
  8. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    The 13" is a pretty fast computer and it's screen is beautiful, but the 15" is noticably more so, especially in regard to speed and overall agility. So after using the 15", the 13" feels like a 2 year old model; i.e. you have to put up with slight pauses for it to get things done as they are not performed nearly instantly as they are on the 15".

    There is a moderate price to pay for the 15", however, in terms of overall weight and portability. So every potential owner will have to weigh the tradeoffs.
  9. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I used to have a 13" macbook, then switched to 15" when bought a pro. The only time I wish it were smaller is when I'm on an airplane.
  10. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    I lug mine around for 12 hours a day in a backpack. I wouldn't ever consider going down to a 13"

    If you are concerned about portability, just make sure you choose an appropriate bag to carry it in...the computer itself is extremely portable.
  11. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    This is certainly something to consider if you fly a lot, I find my 13 cMBP just barely usable on the tray tables in coach...
  12. zI INFINITY Iz macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2013
    I wanted to buy the 13" rMBP as well, after which I got the chance to buy the base 15" model for around the same price as the 13" model I had my eye on.

    Quad Core and Iris Pro did it for me as well, which is a significant difference in power from the 13" rMBP. While it's larger in size, you do get a larger display. I think the difference in screen size is "+10" points for the 15" rMBP, while the difference in portability is only "-5" points. It's really nice to have the big screen to work/play on, while the larger size isn't that bad.

    My previous main laptop was a 13" Dell XPS ultrabook, which is more like the MBA. At first I thought the 15" rMBP is quite larger, so I didn't move it as much as my Dell. After 2 weeks that changed though. Now I see the 15" rMBP as light and slim. So I guess it's a matter of getting used to. And when I work on 13" screens, I can't believe I used such a small screen for so long :p
  13. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    id say the same as people are saying above, both computers are very portable, not all backpacks can hold a 15" so id make sure you have that otherwise go for it.

    I went from a 17" pc to a 13" mac and thought id miss the screen real estate but the 13 does fine for me.
  14. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    So you got that from playing around at a shop?


    We have both early 2013 models and for general use they seem just as quick to me. Maybe the new ones are different.

    If hade to carry one around all day i would go the 13", if it was mainly at home and the occasion travel trip 15".
  15. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    11" MBA is my weapon of choice when flying or traveling ultra-light....
  16. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    Yea the 11" MBA is the best for that purpose and the only real difference.
    Between 13" and 15" MBP not so much but the 11" MBA is the best just for traveling and not need that extra cpu power
  17. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    I travel with my 15in 2011 MBP all the time for work.
    It's not a problem to carry around, my Crumpler bag has a very comfy strap
    and it's just not an issue.

    On flights however, unless you have business seat or get lucky with space
    it's often impossible to open and use on the tray ... and if someone puts their
    seat back ..... !!!!:eek:

    iPad is the item of choice on planes :D

  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    My 2011 15" MBP barely fits into a business-class table.

    Once it's on the table, it's impossible to do anything else (besides using the MBP).

    Fortunately the seat next to me was empty, so I moved my MBP to the table there and used my own table for handwritten work.

    Attached Files:

  19. MrDavros2U macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    I just purchased a 13" pro on Sunday. I really REALLY wanted the 15", but really couldn't justify the price difference seeing as how I started my search for a rMBP specifically for travel and not as my primary machine. I have a 27" iMac at home and another machine or two where I do my heavy lifting.

    I have been able to run a VM, nothing seems slow or has hesitation and I get around the lack of screen real estate by hooking up my 24" monitor to it.

    The biggest deciding factor though was a co-worker of mine telling me the 15" was not very usable on a plane. I get the chance to test the new 13" this afternoon on a flight so I will be able to speak from experience later on tonight if you are interested.

  20. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Having only 4GB of RAM on my 13" rMBP (won it in a raffle, so upgrading RAM wasn't an option), I couldn't run a VM at all. But yes, I concur that it's very portable and light for travel (it's barely 200g heavier than a 13" MBA).
  21. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2009
    I went from a mid 2012 12" MBA to a mid 2012 15“ rMBP and do miss the MBA weight difference but you get use to the 15“ quickly and performance beats it out of the water so everything evens out in the end. Before getting back into Macs, i was lugging around a 6lbs 15" Sager.
  22. Gman021, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014

    Gman021 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I was able to stop by the Apple store and take a picture of the 13" classic MBP stacked on the 15" rMBP. Couldn't find this picture anywhere on the internet.



    I handled one for about 5 minutes. May take a little getting used to the bigger screen and slightly bigger size, but it's worth it.
  23. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    Absolutely not true. For mainstream usage and single threaded applications, there will be virtually no appreciable difference. Of course if you are running more intensive programs that utilize the superior quad-core processors then the difference will be much greater. But to imply that the 13" feels dated is simply not true at all, especially since both machines share the same PCI SSD.

    In regards to the original question here are my thoughts. I think there are two ways to think of portability as it relates to current notebooks. Footprint and weight. I originally had a 15" Haswell rMBP and later opted for the 13" model so I'm familiar with both.

    The weight for both is negligible and for all the talk about the Air being so light, unless you have a physical limitation of some sort, both rMBP models are fine to carry around daily. The footprint (overall size) of the 13" is where it shines. While the 15" is much thinner than its cMBP predecessors, it still has the length of a bigger machine. The 13" has a more compact overall size than even the Air and there is very little wasted space (i.e. the keyboard on an island of the 15"). The 13" will easily fit in almost any type of pack and it is very comfortable to simply carry around with one arm as well.

    I think the minimal footprint of the 13" rMBP is actually its greatest asset and I actually prefer the additional 1/2lb of weight than the Air because the block shape (especially the thicker screen) feels much more durable and solidly built to me. The 15" is an incredible piece of machinery with its additional screen size (which seems much bigger in real usage from the 13" than just 2.1") along with all that additional power under the hood. But assuming Iris has enough juice to meet your needs, I think the 13" is the much better buy for this generation if portability is one of your primary factors.
  24. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    I fully agree with you, guess there are many like us that had the 15" rMBP but opted for the 13" rMBP due to its good specs and superior portability. I have no regrets with my switch and unless they do a 15" with a smaller footprint (the wide bezel could be made smaller eventually) the 13 inch size rMBP is a keeper. ;)
  25. diman1881 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    No portability issues at all with the 15 rMBP

    As long as you have a good bag you should have no issues. The only time I noticed a slight annoyance was on flights when it's larger than the trays on the puddle jumper flights. I recommend a well designed bag to offset the weight. I use the Booq Viper courier. http://www.booqbags.com/images/products_800h/VCR-GRY2.jpg

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