can't decide between 13 inch or 15 inch

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Omgitsdesmond, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Omgitsdesmond macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2012
    #1
    Okay, so... I'm not exactly sure what I'm wanting here. Feedback I guess? Basically, I'm looking into buying my first Mac for school, preferably a laptop. I have a perfectly fine working Windows desktop computer that can pretty much play any games I feel like throwing at it, at least on high settings - not always ultra. I also have a PS3 and an XBOX and a Wii for gaming. So basically, I'm covered in gaming machines. I just need something to take to school with me for school work, and maybe the occasional game on the side.

    I will be starting to go back to college in August. I have no idea what I will be majoring in at this point. Mostly general ed requirements for a few years, then I will decide on majors when I have to. I am "artsy-fartsy" though, and am also a giant nerd. So I suspect my major will reflect something along the lines of those traits.

    My issue is I can't for the life of me figure out what laptop/notebook I want. At first I wanted the nice-top-of the line Macbook Pro 15 inch. Now I realize that's just over-kill.

    Next I thought about just getting a Macbook air. But I have an iPad 2, so a current spec'd Macbook air would be sort of pointless.

    So Ive come down to the base line 13 inch Macbook pro or the base line 15 inch Macbook pro. I do make Youtube videos on occasion, do a bit of web design work, but so far that's as much processing power as I would need. I'm not seeing the need to spend an extra 700 bucks on a slightly faster processor and a dedicated graphics card when I already have a decent desktop. Unfortunately I will probably change my mind again tomorrow. And then the next day.

    I am probably waiting for the refreshes to happen before I purchase. Does anyone else use the current 13 inch base model for video editing, school work, and light gaming? Do you regret not getting the 15 inch?

    Dang, this post was epic. Sorry!
     
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #2
    The 13-inch is fine. Try to get a refurb to save even more money.
     
  3. Speedrope macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2012
    #3
    I know its not the answer you're looking for but its all a matter of preference ... everyone is different. Cost aside, do you value portability over raw power? Power users will prefer the larger laptop, people on the go might prefer the size of the 13in. I see more students with 13in models than anything else but then again, it's up to you. Regarding gaming, I just found these benchmarks online comparing 2011's hd3000 vs the rumored 2012 integrated hd4000 ... these will pertain to the 13in pro and air models.

    http://compare-processors.com/forum/hd-graphics-3000-vs-hd-graphics-4000-benchmark-t319.html

    The 15in macbook pro should (but maybe not) have a more powerful discrete gpu ... I'm a light gamer as well. I use my macs way more for art stuff but still game every once in a while and want great visuals. Diablo 3 is coming out and I am definately gonna play the @#$#% out of it and want a great performance from whatever apple announces laptop-wise this year. Personally, im anticipating the entry level 15in mbp but it really depends on what they announce ...
     
  4. chrisvee macrumors regular

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    #5
    Since you already have a PC -
    This.
     
  5. PeterJP macrumors regular

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    #6
    Huh ?

    A MacBook Air is in the same league of performance as the MacBook Pro, whereas the iPad 2 is several factors of performance below it. As in: serious computer vs. pocket calculator. If you don't need a high end MacBook, a 13" Air should be on your to-investigate list.


    Peter.
     
  6. Queen6, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #7
    13" Air or 15" MBP, resolution of the 13" Pro is frankly crap far too little working area, I have tablet`s with more real-estate.

    I would wait for the refresh of the 13" Air, btw I have a high end 15" MBP & i5 256Gb 13" Air I have always discounted the 13" MB immediately due to the low resolution display. MBA is a very different beast compared to the iPad, one is for consumption one is for productivity on the go and therefore not comparable 13"MBP is simply a cost compromise entry level system...
     
  7. Omgitsdesmond thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I guess I meant as far as portability is concerned, having an ipad 2 and a macbook air for taking to class... In class with a macbook air I would wonder why I didn't get the macbook pro - more hd space, faster processor, stuff like that. If I was in the mood for a light packing day, I would just grab my ipad. and I don't need a lot of power, no, but I think I would want more power than the air currently provides. I am still sort of considering it though... I go back and forth all the time, and probably will until I actually make the purchase. lol.
     
  8. Speedrope macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Apple is gonna streamline everything. They are gonna ax the 13in macbook pro, spec bump and slim down the 15in and 17in macbook pros. They will then have 11 and 13in airs and slimmer "airlike" 15 and 17in pros. They will eventually get rid of the air and pro monikers and everything will just be called the new "XX inch" macbook.
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #10
    And your position with Apple is.............
     
  10. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #11
    janitor i mean custodial engineer
     
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #12
    Tim Cook. It's about time he joined MacRumors......today.
     
  12. mzjin macrumors 6502

    mzjin

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    #13
    Except the 13" Air (having owned 2) has a much worse screen and is slower but more expensive than the 13" Pro.

    Now that SSDs have droppers so heavily in prices, a 13" Macbook Pro + a $130 Crucial M4 128gb SSD is a speedier system than an Air, along with a cheap 8gb upgrade.

    I'm looking forward to the 13" Macbook Pro refresh, but wouldn't bother considering any Air lines except for the 11.6" ones anymore.
     
  13. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #14
    If you're going away in August, you might as well wait unless you desperately need the machine now. Not only will the new models be out, but the current models will still be available as refurbs, probably at slightly lower prices to boot.

    Also, the current models will be available new at lower prices too, if you don't like what you see with the new models.

    As for which model to get, I'd say that the 13" MBP has enough real estate for text documents and web browsing; Lion's full screen mode is extremely helpful in that respect. If you find the Air difficult to focus on and find the inferior colour gamut a problem for your eyes (or your requirements), the 13" MBP is a good alternative that won't loose too much.

    If you're doing photo/video work, you'll need to weigh your options based on weight (sorry for the pun), power, expansion requirements etc. If you are choosing between the current Pro and the Air, think very carefully about this last point; you cannot upgrade any components in the Air. I personally only deal with text documents, PDFs, browsing (though with numerous tabs), on my MBP and find that I really was pushing the limit of 4GB of memory; while the main reason I upgraded to 8GB today was because my iMac needed more memory, the MBP will find this helpful as well.
     
  14. mzjin macrumors 6502

    mzjin

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    #15
    The 13" Air's viewing angles, color saturation, and accuracy are really really bad in comparison to the 13" Pro. It's the one and only reason anyone spending so much on a laptop should stay away form the 13" Air.
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #16
    just a word of advice.....go into college with a major already picked. College is quite the expensive place to diddle daddy in various classes while deciding what you want to major in.

    Have a goal from the start. Even if it changes, it is better than going in clueless.

    Most majors have major specific classes starting in year one in addition to gen ed stuff.

    As far as a computer though, the 13 will be more than fine
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    :p
     
  17. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Having owned a 15" and 13" MBP I prefer the 13" for its portability and cost. And I prefer its "crap" :rolleyes: resolution over the 15"...

    I have an early 2011 2.3GHz and it does everything I need, including image editing. The only thing I added was a RAM upgrade to 8GB and a $35 Power Support anti-glare film which substantially improves the display reflection-wise without introducing artifacts or color-shifts.

    If I was in the OP's shoes I would go with a base model 13" and a good quality external display. (I prefer CCFL backlit monitors; NEC has thirty models starting at $300 MSRP.) An external display is going to be a significant benefit when you are spending long hours at the Mac and you need access to multiple windows. I use a high-end 24" NEC display with my MBP.

    With some careful shopping (including Apple's refurbs) you can get a 13" MBP, nice display, external drive for backups and a keyboard/input device for less than the cost of a base model 15" MBP.
     
  18. sean800 macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #19
    Is this something that's actually likely to happen? **** I hope not. So what, the only macbook that is on the low(by apple's crazy standards) price end is some stupid 11" air?
     
  19. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    #20
    That's the reason I personally avoided the Air. Later I would realise that the lack of memory expansion was more of an issue than I first thought!
     
  20. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #21
    Sounds like a 13" mbp would be perfect for your needs. You don't wanna be lugging a 15" mbp around college everyday, 13" is heavy enough. Spending the extra money on a nice 24" display should seal the deal for you.

    I'd wait for the refresh coming up soon to finally decide what u want to do.
     
  21. Omgitsdesmond thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2012
    #22
    Psychology or English is what I'll be declaring for now, if something artsy comes along later, so be it.

    ----------

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I will of course be waiting a few months for the refreshes, plus I still need to save a little. Unless of course the refreshes don't actually happen, which is possible. I'll give it until July. I went into the Apple store yesterday and played around with them, I'll be doing that again soon.

    At this moment, it looks like I will be getting the 13 inch macbook pro...
     
  22. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #23
    Do you want a 13" laptop or a 15"?

    Go use both in the store, pick the one that feels right.

    1280x800 may be limiting depending on the apps you run.
     
  23. Sangdushi macrumors regular

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    #24
    Get the fifteen since ou already have an iPad.
     
  24. Fleet would mac macrumors member

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    #25
    He's waiting for the refresh, so there's a good chance that there will be at least a 1440 x 900 option available then.
     

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