15" rMBP for College?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zerka, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. Zerka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    #1
    An age old question. I'm a senior in high school and I need to get prepared for college. I'm definitely going to be buying an rMBP, but I'm not sure which. I'm currently using a 15" Y500 that weighs 6 lbs. With the laptop+backpack experiences I've had, this thing is a bother. Do you guys think a 15" rMBP would be suitable in terms of a college student in terms of size? I won't be carrying it very far, the school I'll be attending has a very small campus. Also, I realize the power to functionality ratio for a college student is less than what I'm buying. I'm sure I'd be able to get all my work done with an entry level MBA, but I like the power and performance, even if I don't necessarily need it. I know I probably won't need all the screen real estate to complete my work either, but, again, I just prefer it. So what do you guys think? Would the 15" be a good buy for me?
     
  2. Gesturthor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    Reykjavik
    #2
    i personally prefer the 13" model simply because it has a smaller footprint and is lighter. Also the battery life is better.
     
  3. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #3
    You could probably get by with the 13" Pro, the entry level, which is what I have. It does everything I need it to do for college with ease. You could take a step up and add a different CPU to it on Apple's website if you want, But i doubt that you will need it. It's up to you honestly. 15" is about a pound heavier i believe than the 13". I prefer the 13", my old Windows laptop was about the same size.
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    #4
    Another vote for the 13" Retina, the 15" brings little to the table unless you actually need to leverage the additional performance. The 15" has several tradeoff`s for the level of performance it can attain, the 13" has few if any for your scenario.

    Currently owing 12", 13" & 15 Retina`s

    Q-6
     
  5. motime61 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    #5
    I bought a 13 inch rmbp but returned it due to the UI lag and just generally choppiness for a premium notebook. I temporarily have invested in the thinkpad t450s which for a little more than half the price offers 15+ hours of battery, a better keyboard, great built quality, easy upgrades (upto 12 gb of ram etc) and pretty decent OS experience with the new Windows 10.

    The retina mbp will have a better screen and a better trackpad. It is miles better than the mb air so I would definitely recommend it if you want to stick with macs.

    I personally am actually very interested in the 15 inch rmbp but I have held off on purchasing since a new one is just around the corner, so I plan to use the thinkpad until the skylake rmbps arrive in a few months. Thinkpads have not been updated with skylake processors so the t450s can be had for an extremely good price. You should also consider the dell xps 13, it is a pretty good machine but I would choose the macbook pro over it.

    I assume you will be starting college in September so it would probably be wise to wait out for the skylake macbook pros as they should offer a substantial upgrade and you will be able to find the current macs at even more discounted prices. Another reason for sticking with a PC till skylake notebooks arrive is windows 10, it is a major upgrade and quite a joy to use, Apple has not released a major update of it's OS yet and it probably will in the coming year. Anyways, some considerations.
     
  6. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #6
    Get a 2014 rMBP 15". It will last you for a long time. Also it's not that much more than a 13". Don't get the 2015.

    But honestly at your age I could have never been able to afford such a premium device, but if you can put funds together why not. Just take care of it and it will take care of you :)
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    I love the large display of the 15" rMBP, but the consensus here is the 13" is a better choice, since you'll not only be carrying a laptop, but books, and the smaller form factor just plain works better in a college setting.
     
  8. tim1000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    #8
    Can you explain more about your opinion MBP 13 vs 15?
     
  9. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #9
    I've had to carry around laptops far heavier, so a 15" rMBP is incredibly light for it's size and performance. I bought mine almost purely for some extra gaming and the screen size.

    The 15" rMBP is lighter than the old 13" cMBP, so for me there's no real trade off other than footprint for me.

    Plus, my philosophy is always get what you really want. If you want the screen size, you are the going to hate your 13" the second you see someone else with the 15".
     
  10. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #10
    The 15" is practically a desktop replacement.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    13" is far better for the portability aspect.

    Costs a good deal less, too.

    If you want "more screen space", get a 27" display for your room.
     
  12. Zerka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    #12
    Thank you all for your replies.

    So what if I wanted to usey new laptop as my new primary machine? My current Y500 has everything I need and I'm looking to replace it, so this rMBP will be for college (research, word processing, web browsing, basic tasks), but also everything else (maybe some games, maybe some video work if I get back into it, a VM, etc). That's why I was leaning more towards the 15", but would a 13" be able to satisfy?
     
  13. Queen6, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    #13
    Sure the 15" is heavier, has a larger footprint including the power pack impacting portability. Given similar loads and conditions the 15" will heat up far more, battery life is equally impacted more so with the dGPU. All this also results in higher levels of fan noise. When an external display is plugged in the dGPU is used by default, once again temperatures soar.

    15" Retina is more akin to a desktop replacement for those that require high levels of performance in a portable platform. The 13" Retina is more a true portable with decent around performance with few if any trade offs. The 12" Retina MacBook of course is all about portability, one again bringing takeoffs for it`s diminutive presence.

    Of all Apple`s current portables the 13" Retina MacBook Pro is by far the most balanced, offering the best value for money. The 12" & 15 Retina`s are more niche and do delver very well, equally you pay considerably more for the privilege one way or the other...

    n.b. For those that travel frequently it`s also worth mentioning that 15" rMBP rarely fits into hotel room safe`s.

    Q-6
     
  14. friedkimchi macrumors regular

    friedkimchi

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #14
    What are you doing in college? Since you mentioned that you could get by even on a MBA, it's not too much processing/graphics based.

    I too would go with the 13. I notice most of my college friends buying the classic MBP instead even though its an old product simply for the future expansions as needed. It's much cheaper as well.

    Your options: All 13" options
    Classic Macbook Pro [Able to change RAM, swap out optical Disk drive with a new HDD, LOTS of ports]
    Retina Macbook Pro [Boots insane fast, huge battery life, amazing screen]
    Macbook Air [Huge battery life, just works with no hassle with the screen, potential bad screen/TN Panel]
     
  15. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #15
    What degree you are getting definitely comes into play. If you have to do heavy simulations or graphics or anything, the 15" might make sense. I am currently at the end of my masters degree and I have been using a late 2013 13" rMBP for a little over 2 years now. I have been running everything from big spreadsheets in Excel to complicated Matlab simulations in Windows on a VM to heavy math processing in Maple and a bunch of heavy renderings. I also now use it for Lightroom and other things. The 13" is a very capable machine (mine is 2.6 GHz i5). Sometimes it requires a bit of patience (especially renderings) but other than that it has been perfect for my needs. I can recommend hooking it up to a large screen and external mouse and keyboard when at home.

    By the way I chose the 13" solely because of the size. I could have easily used the power and additional screen estate, but I usually drive 20+ km per week on my bicycle and I generally feel the 15" is just too big to lug around with me. However, that of course comes down to a personal preference.
     
  16. radus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    #16
    would I have to buy a new laptop I'd choose the Dell XPS 15" 9550 i7 - 15.6" very small foodprint, very fast, windows10, skylake, thunderbolt 3, onenote with locale storage, touchscreen, brighter screen.

    apple is a little bit behind and if you know how to use windows there is no reason to go with apple, in 2013 there was no reason not to takte the 15" retina macbook pro but today ...
     
  17. c0ppo macrumors 6502a

    c0ppo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    #17
    I'm just like you. Get the 15" rMBP. Slightly heavier, but no big deal. But you will appreciate additional power + especially screen size. Just go into any store and try them out, then and only then you will know what to pick. But somehow I know that will be 15" :)
     
  18. SDAVE, Dec 25, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015

    SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #18
    750m is a fine GPU. OP can go 2014 rMBP since 2015 is too overpriced for it's capabilities. It's around 1700-1800 new. I bet OP can get it for like-new at around $1200-1300 which is a steal imo.

    I also guarantee you that you'll never use TB3 on your Dell. Skylake is no big deal.

    MBP is just a better laptop overall. Portability/longetivity/Higher quality over new-ish features like TB3 and Skylake is no biggie. Also Dell stuff is built out of plastic. The battery is cheap, power brick is cheap, etc. OP can install Windows if he wants. The trackpad on the MBP is second to none. It's a beautiful IPS display as well.

    As a student you're looking for value/performance and the 2014 rMBP is a monster.

    If OP wants 13" (strongly advise against it, since no dGPU. He/she may want to play a game or two) then it should be around $1100 for a brand new one. But the 15" has better speakers/bigger screen/dGPU/Better CPU. The best the 13" can do is broadwell.
     
  19. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #19
    4.5lbs is not heavy, especially in a backpack. I use to carry a 5.6lbs cMBP around for 3 years of grad school, and it wasn't that heavy either. I'd go for the 15" for the extra screen size, which really comes in handy for writing papers. Late 2013 or 2014 models with 750M can be had for a reasonable price, and you get a much faster computer than any 13" rmbp.
     
  20. motime61 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    #20
    Too bad the 2014 750m model cannot be had from the refurbished store for a good price in Canada, anyone here know good alternatives to apple refurbs?
     
  21. Amethysa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    #21
    B&H sells 2014 rMBP 15" with 750m for $1799.
     
  22. motime61 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    #22
    Almost $2500 CAD plus tax :(

    It is actually the same price on Apple's refurbished store with the 11% discount.
     
  23. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #23
    Bingo. No tax for Out of NY.

    Also check ebay I bet you can get new ones for $1600...or even slightly used ones for less. People don't realize how fast that laptop is so they just dump it and get the 2015, which actually has worse GPU performance (there are plenty of forum posts here).
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #24
    Looked at both the 13" and the 15", while the size of the 13" would have suited me better. I didn't like the GPU it was using nor the RAM size, and the new 2015 base 15" was sitting in the cage at Best Buy for $1600.

    So I jumped on it rather quickly.

    Key points for switching to the 15" were a step up in GPU, quad core processor, and the 16GB of RAM.
     
  25. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #25
    Try open box items at Best Buy. Mine offers incentives for buying open box and using Best Buy credit card. 2015 mid 15" MacBook which is normally $2499 I got for $1514 before taxes.

    I too debated between the sizes but figure id rather have a little more power for future proofing than a little more portability
     

Share This Page