Cannot decide on 13" or 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Micjose, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Micjose macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2009
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    Portland, OR
    #1
    I need help deciding which mac will suit my needs. a 13" or 15"? And I'm hoping to keep this laptop for a looong time. I'll be using it to make music a lot and use photoshop once in awhile. any suggestions?
     
  2. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #2
    More info needed...finances, actual use, how long do you want to keep it, mobility, etc.

    From what you said the 15 given it is a quad core CPU, which in a year or so will become the standard in CPUs for laptops (w/ release of Ivy Bridge).
     
  3. Micjose thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Well I'd get the 15" if its REALLY necessary. I'll be using it everyday to make music most likely with Logic Studio and I plan to keep at least 3-4 years hopefully longer. and I would be taking with me all the time from home to school and back however i dont think it should make much of difference how much weighs.
     
  4. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #4
    The 13 v. 15 is a pretty big difference if you carry it for longer distances, or if you want the smallest possible bag. With that said, the stuff you get with the 15 over the 13 made it worthwhile to me, and if you can afford the 15, I would get that. If not, the 13 is plenty capable so it comes down to personal choice. How high of screen resolution do you want?
     
  5. rwd hero macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #5
    I got the 13" because I was going to carry it just about every day to work. The 13" really is extremely portable, and pretty powerful for its size. I got the strongest procession available at the time just to make sure it would age a little better. Wether or not I really would be able to tell the difference I don't know, but I absolutely do not regret my purchase. I have had mine for 2 years now and it is just as fast as the day I got it. The only thing I would do different, i wold have bought it with only 2 gigs of ram, and the smallest hard drive available and upgraded it myself.
     
  6. Criticalmass macrumors member

    Criticalmass

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    Apr 12, 2011
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    Everywhere
    #6
    13.3 for your usage. max out the ram and upgrade the hdd yourself
     
  7. Micjose thread starter macrumors member

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    Portland, OR
    #7
    whats the difference in weight?

    I also didn't think about screen res, but i can see how it can affect using photoshop. However i wouldn't be using it too often it would be more like a side thing for fun.
     
  8. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #8
    The 13" is 4.5 lbs. The 15" is 5.6 lbs.

    Do you work out? :cool:
     
  9. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #9
    It's only about 1 pound but considering how most bags are carried on your shoulder on one side, it makes a big difference. The MBA came about and I know a lot of people who will not buy any other computer because of it's weight and size. If you run, you may have noticed that something as light as an iPhone can offset your form and balance slightly (hence the carry systems that elevate the electronics as high and as close to the center spine as possible. This is also why the 'backpack' exists as it tries to distribute the weight more evenly. You will notice people with briefcases tend to lean to the opposite side that they carry the case on, which is an automatic response to offset the weight. It is not good for the back.

    When I would carry a lighter bag with just the 13 it was a noticeable difference, but my bag now generally weighs over 35 pounds from various materials for the varying organizations I represent, so 1 pound didn't make much a difference. If you are a student, you likely will carry all sorts of crap to and from class and home.

    Another thing to consider is bag size, as you need a larger bag to hold the 15, and a massive bag for the 17-20 inch computers.
     
  10. Micjose thread starter macrumors member

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    Portland, OR
    #10
    yea i should've thought about that. I ride my bike to and from school and it's about 4.5 miles and half the time is uphill. So I guess the 13" would be more ideal :)
     
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #11
    In your case, the 13 may be a better bet also because of the size. It is plenty capable...even my 2009 Core 2 Duo 13 inch MBP still runs similar Benchmarks with current i3 laptops, and it is 2 CPU generations ago.

    Some guys have raved about bags that use woven composites (carbon fiber I think) that are well padded but weigh well under 1 pound. My bags are ballistic nylon, and ballistic nylon is not very light despite its high strength. IIRC it is actually cycling companies that make these, but if it is carbon fiber, it will be expensive (but the last laptop bag you ever buy).
     
  12. Micjose thread starter macrumors member

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    Portland, OR
  13. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #13
    What I hear is that recording more than 10-12 channels of audio on the 13" using Protools gets pretty laggy. If your recording needs will stay below that level for the next 3-4 years than the 13" should be fine. If you see your needs expanding beyond 15 channels than you'll want to buy the quad core now.
     
  14. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #14
    My #1 reason for a 15" was the screen. I hate being bound to work at home with an external monitor and thus wouldn't go below a 15" screen size and wanted as much resolution as possible. I also would never have bought a MBP if glossy was the only option.

    As for weight I doubt it makes a difference when riding a bike. Maybe if you carry it. I do carry it often an with usually almost nothing else in the bag I don't really feel like I would need a lighter laptop. But I weight over 200 lb with <15% body fat which is to say why complain about 1 pound when running around campus and later head to the gym.
    A shoulder bag full of books might be uncomfortable but that is a lot more extra weight than the difference between 2 notebooks. Fortunately in my University they don't make you buy countless useless expensive textbooks that you can throw away a semester later. We use pdfs and stuff easily stored on laptops for classes and books only at home to read or to look up stuff for homework.
     
  15. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #15
    I've been a 15" user since 2005. I am finally giving in and want a 13" so bad after using my girlfriends for awhile. I was one of the guys that always said "15 is the sweet spot". Nothing sweet about it really. Over the years I have carried my laptop around less and less. Now that I am moving to new york and getting rid of the my car I am trying super hard to find a good deal on a 13" and get rid of the 15".
     
  16. komseban macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2010
    #16
    Portability is a main issue, but for me screen size is the main issue. I initially purchased a 13" late 2010 MBP for school use thinking I wouldn't need the larger screen estate on the 15" because I only photoshop for a hobby. Big mistake for me. I don't have an external monitor and it's like hell staring into a 13" screen while vectoring. Not to mention, I can't have very many windows open when I'm multitasking.

    I wouldn't care about the extra weight difference. If I could, I'd travel back in time and agree with my mom about getting the 15".

    But ultimately, I'm sure it comes down to:
    1. How much are you going to be moving around
    2. What will you be doing in PS.
    3. If you have an external monitor at home

    *edited for strange sentence structure
     
  17. rhart00 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2009
    #17
    I always thought 13" was the sweet spot (being a previous owner of a 13" white macbook). I recently upgraded to the 2011 15" after using my 13" for 5 years. I couldn't be happier. The extra screen real estate is very nice. That being said, I would have likely considered the 13" again if the specs were right.
     
  18. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #18
    Any time my friend. You will enjoy it very much. If these machines were not far better than other laptops, we would all be crazy to pay their ridiculous price and pay it again, and again, and again when we upgrade (mind you that money gets better things, but anyway you look at it the MBP is an expensive machines). Once you've experienced it you will know what I mean, as it is hard to initially justify spending $1,500-$3,000 when you can get a decent laptop for $500. Afterwards, it is impossible to buy another computer.

    IMO, the number 1 feature of the MBP is its trackpad. You will never be able to use a standard trackpad again, and even the multitouch trackpad from Dell (which is a decent trackpaid) doesn't compare. I find myself cussing other laptops with small trackpads and using OS X trackpad commands and watching absolutely nothing happen.
     
  19. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #19
    Having moved into the 13 from a Dell with a 15.4 and much higher resolution there are definitely something's I miss about having the larger screen.
    However, the 13 has it's advantages in foot print and weight. Whether its a pound or more, it's less than my previous laptop. When you're carrying the backpack in an un-ergonomic manner, the one shoulder method, ever bit helps.
    Screen wise you lose a little bit. For years and looking at it I thought the 13 would be too small. One day I plopped myself in front of a 13 at an apple store and played with it. Then after that sat in front of the 15.
    The 15 is nicer but the foot print erased any gains that unit had in what I was looking for in portability.
    The 13 is bigger than the number suggests
     
  20. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #20
    yeah I agree that the 13" specs are weak, but all I use my laptop for is web browsing, itunes, and word processing. If I did anything intense on it then I would probably be sticking with 15", but it's gotta go :p
     
  21. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #21
    I can't agree more. The trackpad makes a world of a difference.
    If my Dell had a similar track pad it would have been a difficult decision to by the mbp
     
  22. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    Nov 14, 2010
  23. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #23
    We overlook it a lot but a good trackpad makes or breaks the computer IMO. It is kind of like no matter how fancy the cellphone is, if it gets poor reception, you are going to like it a lot less. It's one of the signature aspects of the MBP, but it makes you wonder why no one else has 'caught up'. Even the touchscreen technology used by Apple has only recently been matched by others. My assumption is that they chose to research and play with these long before other makers but who knows.
     
  24. propower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #24
    If your main use is Logic Studio and you use VI's (virtual instruments) the 15 is the MUCH better choice. A true Quad i7 shows up as 8 processors and in real use will give you more than 2X the audio processing power of the dual core i7 in the 13.......

    -Lee
     

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