16MBP vs <next> MBP 13

wegster

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2006
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After all the griping I've done over the past years with 'Apple has no system I would pay for' due to lack of > 16GB, crappy keyboard, missing ESC key on the goofy touchbar...looks like the 16" MBP has actually made moving from my 2015 MBP a possibility as it actually checks all the boxes I refused to move on.

Meanwhile, I'm traveling a lot more for work, COVID-19 impacted of course, so looking at the expectations from the next MBP 13 refresh is actually putting me in a 'hmm, uncertain' place...which is of course much better than 'Apple has nothing to sell me to replace my existing MBP.' :)

Assuming the expected upcoming 13" refresh includes new scissors keyboard with physical ESC key, and a 32GB option... it's becoming a touch choice between than or a 16" MBP.

I typically connect to a 38" LG UW-QHD screen, and have thought about adding a second or putting my 34" UW-QHD LG on top. This is my home office, while the once in a blue moon I'm in the work office, a pair of 27" HD typical displays.

Storage-wise, work uses OneDrive (eh..) while I've got external drives available as needed, but mostly have been OK but tight on 1TB on the existing system + external drive sometime for large but generally temporary data files. So for sanity, will go with 2 or 4TB, as I will likely be doing some more data analytics on larger data sets moving forward. 4TB is likely overkill, but will see what the pricing looks like.

While I have bought my wife 13" MBPs and now an Air, I haven't personally had a 13" MB/MBP since a Santa Rosa white macbook, which I ran out of RAM upgrade-ability on but served well - a decade+ ago. ;)

For a single 34-38" QHD screen, I'm assuming the Intel integrated is reasonable enough nowadays without turning into a jet engine for everyday use? (I'd be ok adding eGPU if I needed to in order to add a second one).

Anything to truly consider in a <next update> 32GB 4 core MBP 13 vs a similarly specced MBP 16?

I don't do graphics work or game on the MBPs - multiple VMs including SQL server, other DBs, Ubuntu, various dev tools- gcc/g++. python, R Studio, etc. While I'd absolutely love the 8 core MBP 16, for the first time in quite some time, like ever to date - I think I can say I actually don't need it, which is kind of cool in itself.

I do need to travel already with a mega-dongle, as I need to connect to present <wherever and on whatever> plus have actual need to join multiple networks, so the dongle also includes ethernet.

Traveling via air with an MBP15 is just not reasonable to get work done unless in first class, IMO...can barely manage when traveling with a Dell Surfacebook clone, so there's the real dilemma - although I do think the MBP13 should be sufficient. Would still prefer having a native USB-A port but I know that ship has sailed, so I expect to still be 'dongled' no matter which path I take.

Anyone in a similar situation and considering?
Anything I really should consider not mentioned?
 
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ascender

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2005
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We have a pool of laptops and for the last two weeks I've done a fair bit of traveling with a 16" MBP in the UK.

Despite all of its advantages over the 13" MBP, trying to use it on the move in planes & trains was a nightmare due to its footprint. I found it impossible to use on smaller tray-type tables; sometimes using it on my lap wasn't possible due to limited space and even on larger tables provided, it would use up all "my" space with nowhere else for food/drink/paperwork.

For pretty much every normal productivity task I never hear the fans. I've also got used to usb-c now and find it quite good for traveling as I take my laptop psu now plus a selection of cables which allows me to charge phone, iPad and watch all from that single psu.

In hotel rooms and offices, the big screen comes in to its own (conference calls are great, using it for music and movies at night was nice too), but honestly, in all other locations it was a PITA.
 
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floho_hh

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2020
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Despite all of its advantages over the 13" MBP, trying to use it on the move in planes & trains was a nightmare due to its footprint.
Thanks for the clear response. I have started feeling weak for the 16", despite being constantly on the road... just for the sweet power upgrade with a regular keyboard (toting an early 2015 MBP 13"). You made it clear that this is not the way to go... more time in waiting to spend, I have.
 
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wegster

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2006
424
147
We have a pool of laptops and for the last two weeks I've done a fair bit of traveling with a 16" MBP in the UK.

Despite all of its advantages over the 13" MBP, trying to use it on the move in planes & trains was a nightmare due to its footprint. I found it impossible to use on smaller tray-type tables; sometimes using it on my lap wasn't possible due to limited space and even on larger tables provided, it would use up all "my" space with nowhere else for food/drink/paperwork.

For pretty much every normal productivity task I never hear the fans. I've also got used to usb-c now and find it quite good for traveling as I take my laptop psu now plus a selection of cables which allows me to charge phone, iPad and watch all from that single psu.

In hotel rooms and offices, the big screen comes in to its own (conference calls are great, using it for music and movies at night was nice too), but honestly, in all other locations it was a PITA.
Yeah, this was exactly the quandry I was in - have traveled with my 15" MBP, and the 13" is just a lot handier on a plane..

As it turns out - as much as I was leaning on the MBP 13(14?) for that reason, I came across a pretty decent deal, and picked up a new-in-opened-box MBP 16 at a reasonably good deal (~$500-700 off):
2.4GHz 8 core - ok, probably wouldn't have paid the extra but would have gone quad-core.
32GB RAM - check.
2TB SSD - check
AMD 5500 with 8GB RAM - for my purposes, would have likely stayed at 4GB
Even with the upgrades I might not have chosen, I still came out ahead on the $, so can't complain.

I've got a USB-A challenged Dell Surfacebook clone from work, so have adjusted into the world of dongles for the most part, but picked up a dock for the home office, combo-dongle for work office.

It's sitting on the desk transferring files before I set it up the rest of the way at the moment...

Hoping to not wind up with buyer's remorse, but in the worst case if I do feel a real need to move to the 13/14, I shouldn't lose too much on it anyways...and great to know the fans don't immediately go into overdrive like my 2015MBP has been.

I also picked up a combo power adapter - Anker 100W with USB-C and USB-A for the travel charger, so should be reasonably good to go there. I'm not a fan in general of non OEM chargers for macbooks, but Anker's done pretty well by me over the years vs the never-ending stream of completely unknown brands, so fingers crossed.
 
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