Another should I get 13' or 15' question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Frozzie, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Frozzie macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Should I buy a 13 or 15 inch MacBook Pro? Well, I will be using it for three main purposes:
    a) iWork + Office
    b) iTunes
    c) Chrome Browser

    I have thought about three factors which will determine my decision...

    1. Specs: Aiming to use MBP for at least next 5 years. Will I regret getting 13' because it has integrated graphics, and from previous experiences, I feel dedicated GPU even makes browsing experience and UI animations in Windows much more smoother (more pleasing for eyes at least), at least on Windows but I don't know if this is case on OSX.

    2. Speakers: Heard there are differences in speakers between 13' and 15' versions. Is it wiser to get 13' + good quality 3.5mm speakers/headphones instead?

    3, Screen size: Is 13' good enough size for word processing/browsing? Any experiences of feeling 'I wish I saved up for bigger screen on 15'... I found 11' laptops too small, using 15' laptop which is okay.

    13' should serve me good, but will I regret in couple of years' time?
    15' should be best of everything, but will I regret spending too much money?

    I won't know these answers until I can be convinced by existing users, so I really need advice from casual users who only use computer for browsing and word processing, especially if you have been using 2006/7 MacBook models and how they feel using them today.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I use an 08 aluminum MB, and it's still completely fine for everything I do, including occasional gaming. The new 13" is more powerful in every measurable way, so I can say you will be fine with it for quite a while, especially just for casual use. The screen size really isn't too bad either. I use a monitor with it at my desk, which is a great solution for when you don't need to be mobile, but it's also great for when I want to move around.
  3. sngx1275 macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2009
    I went from a 15" powerbook (1.67, hires) to a 13" 2009 MBP and I use it for what you would. I can honestly say the 13" size is fine. I even have Adium taking up a bunch of pixels on the right side, and my dock on the left side. Web pages fit fine, in fact, on forums (and a lot of blogs) if I was to make the browser take up the full screen I'd end up with a lot of whitespace on either side.
  4. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
  5. MrBullet macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    If you are thinking you might regret buying the 13'' then I wouldn't get it, in the long term, paying an extra £200 or whatever is well worth it.

    Yes, the 13'' will do everything you need perfectly and easily (integrated graphics is a bloody pain, but if you're not into serious gaming etc then this shouldn't be a problem) but if you don't get on with the 13'' in the future, then it will be a more pricey option upgrading instead of forking out that extra cash initially.
  6. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    Personally I think 13" is the perfect size/weight for the average user who wants a balance of power and portability. The question for you is screen and weight, and it's personal preference. Because what you listed won't push a machine made in the last three years. So test drive both machines.

    When it comes to Mac, think of it this way. 13" vs. 15" is expensive. You can likely buy one 15" and configure it up to tide you over for the next four years. Or you could buy the base 13" early 2011 model, then two years from now sell it, buy the next base 13" model (probably an Air) and it will likely be a wash price-wise. And I'm guessing two years from now the base 13" will smoke a 15" made today.
  7. dakine17 macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2011
    For what you are doing, 13" should be good enough. I'm more of the "gotta keep the laptop clean" type so i ended up buying the 13" with a keyboard protector. This is where your speakers question comes into play. the speakers for the 13" are also underneath the keyboard thus minimizing the sound quality when the protector is on. I ended up selling it and buying a 15" for the sound and the screen size. the 13" is just a bit to small in screen estate for my eyes.
  8. JohnBossu macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    the 13" will be more than enough for you, its also more portable. If you want to get bigger screen try an external monitor for home use, thats what I do. I don't play games on on MBP though so I just cant tell whether the graphics are that bad, but for everything else its fine.
  9. spagthorpe macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    The 13" is a great all around machine, but I personally think it is hampered by a so-so screen. Lowest resolution, no anti-glare option. If they had just put the screen from the 13" Air on it, and made anti-glare an option, I think I'd own one.

    For size, weight, power, it's tough to beat. I'm sure Apple put a lot of thought into crippling it so that so they didn't take away from other models.
  10. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2011
    i was in the same boat when i bought mine. i went with the 13 and upgraded ram and ssd. i use iWork a lot and browsing, iTunes music and vid-without external speakers. i plan on getting a tbd in jan with my taxes so screen res isn't a big deal right now. if your going to more into gaming then i would say 15 but 13 is great plus you can upgrade everything over time.

    either way you made the right choice
  11. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I'm going to go against the grain and say 15". For that long of a usage window I would want a quad. Software is getting better and better of taking advantage of the available cores. I really love quads.
  12. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
  13. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
  14. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    So the consensus is clear...get a 13" or a 15".

  15. Frozzie thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Probably going to get 15, I am going to need some help from my parents. The fact that I won't be gaming means I should get 13, but I think extra investment for 15 will be worth it in longer term - especially having a dedicated GPU means I can have peace of mind :) :D

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