College students' opinions!! 13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lu0s3r322, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. lu0s3r322 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    #1
    I'm going to college next year and I was just wondering what current students think of the difference in portability between the 13" and 15" macbooks. I'm stuck between the higher end 13" mbp and the lower end 15" mbp which only differ in screen size, correct?

    I'm just not sure how often students really use their laptops in class or lug them around so opinions would be very useful, thanks!
     
  2. gibbz macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #2
    I am a grad student and have had the 13" UMB since Oct. It is the best laptop I have had in terms of portability and power. I say 13" if it fits your needs. And you'll get to enjoy some nice upgrades over what I have.
     
  3. sukanas macrumors 6502a

    sukanas

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    Nov 15, 2007
  4. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #4
    I had a 12'' Powerbook all through college. Great machine, I'd go more portable. I have had a 15'' MBP since they were introduced, and i'd say go for the smaller one if you plan on toting it around.
     
  5. Taevt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #5
    I'm torn between the 13" or the 15". I can see pros and cons of each. This will also be my first Mac computer. My last real experience with Mac was an Apple IIe when I was doing that whole K-12 school thing, so way outdated to say the least.

    Personally, I have a pretty decent Windows PC that I use for gaming (What I'm posting on now) that's connected to a 24" widescreen monitor. I'm torn between screen sizes because of a few things:

    13": I like the portability for when I do need to be on the go, I overall like the spacing between on the palm rest area and the general aesthetics, like lacking the speaker grill area and thinner on the sides. Screen resolution is kind of meh for me overall, but after looking at the Windows based laptops we sell where I work, the screen resolution was the same if not better than some of the larger screen counterparts. A plus for it is I can just hook it up to my 24" widescreen if I really want a bigger screen while at home.

    15": I absolutely love the extra screen space. A bit heavier, but still lighter than what I was looking at with a windows based alternative. My on-the-go needs change quite a bit, sometimes I'll do roadtrips almost every week and sometimes I won't do that for a few months, so the increased portability of the 13" over the 15" is on the fence for me. The extra money spent on a 15" macbook with nearly identical specs as the higher end 13" I was looking at is almost not worth it to me, as I won't be getting the 15" with the better nVidia graphics card.

    So overall, I think I have myself talked into a base higher-end MBP 13", and I might just upgrade to a faster/larger hard drive later on. My main concern is that I'm pretty indecisive and I don't want to not absolutely love the choice I make, as the amount of money spent will be considerable, at least for me.

    Okay, I'll end my rant here, I was just really bored and reading through the forums and figured I'd make a random and useless post. :p

    TLDR version: I'm not sure if I want a 13" or a 15" but I think I talked myself into a 13" and this is my first mac computer after using Windows based PCs for a long time.
     
  6. Dan in PA macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    #6
    I have the 13" uMB and found it to be the perfect size...my university has pretty small desks and it fits perfectly.
     
  7. sportsfanMAW macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #7
    I'm going to college next year as well and am getting a 15in. The reason being I have a 13in now and I really want the extra screen space. I'm also getting the mid range mbp because of the discrete graphics card for light gaming and light video editing. I find that the extra two inches won't be that much more to lug around, and for the extra power its def worth it
     
  8. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #8
    13" 13" 13" 13".

    Seriously, more portable, smaller desk footprint, solid battery life, and faster than I even need. Also, great price!

    P.S. UCSD is the best school in the world. It's a proven fact. : P
     
  9. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #9
    I have a 15 and it works great. Its esp. nice if you get one of those 4 hours gaps between classes and need a little hulu break.
     
  10. fk51785 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    South Florida
    #10
    I recommend the 13 inch notebooks because of its light portability to carry class.
    Also get a LCD screen and use the 13 inch as a desktop when doing projects or research papers.
     
  11. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #11
    Having used a 15" MBP during my final 2 years at uni, go with the 13".

    Portability is a factor, but what really did it for me were the lecture halls with tiny folding "desks". It was always somewhat awkward to handle the 15 incher on those tiny desks, while those with smaller laptops seemed to be more comfortable.
     
  12. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #12
    I've got a 12" PowerBook for taking notes and such; works perfectly, fits on the tiny UC desks very easily. ;) That said, if I didn't have a Mac Pro and a 22" LCD to do real work on, I'd kill myself. So if you're trying to get an all-in-one machine for all your needs, the larger screen real estate should not be discounted just because of the larger size, trust me!
     
  13. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #13
    As a college student, I would have gotten the 13" if it wasn't for the GPU. I need the 9600 for the graphics programming I do.
     
  14. ryannn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #14
    It really all depends on your major. If you're an arts major you may benefit from better graphics/memory where as I am a business major so things like my laptop's graphics/memory are pretty irrelevant.

    I ended up going with the 13" MBP because in the end, all I do on my laptop is course work, listen to music, and surf the web. I have a separate desktop with Windows on it for when I want to play games or I need more screen space. I saw no point in spending the extra money for a slightly bigger screen (as I mentioned before, I wouldn't utilize the better hardware). I currently have a BlackBook and I have plenty of screen space as it is, and if I really need more I can just hook it up to the monitor for my desktop and there's always the option of putting more RAM and a SSD in it later for a bit more speed.
     
  15. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #15
    I have the 15 and still don't find it to be enough space. I can't imagine working on the 13. Think about when you want to have essays and research windows open at the same time. I've never had a problem with space and this 15. I have a bunch of friends with the 17 and they've never had problems either.
     
  16. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #16
    I agree that it's all about your major. For my major all we do is take tests and write, write, and write some more. Did I mention reading until your eyes bleed? No graphics needed in Political Science. But if you are an engineer, graphic design, art, etc. you may need a discrete graphics card.
     
  17. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #17
    Do you have to use SPSS? I hate that program with a fiery passion.

    sorry, off topic...:eek:
     
  18. ryannn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #18
    Contradictions?

    I rarely have problems with my 13" BlackBook as far as screen space goes (when I do I have an 24" monitor). I can fit both a Safari and Word window side by side just fine. The Safari window will sometimes go a bit off the screen but it isn't really that huge of a deal and doesn't usually bother me.
     
  19. kindablue09 macrumors regular

    kindablue09

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #19
    I love SPSS. Ever tried doing an ANOVA by hand? not fun...

    and for the thread.

    I have a 12" and it got me by for 3.5 very nicely. I'd go w/ the 13 and hook it up to an external display for movies and such.
     
  20. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #20
    I've never even heard of it. :eek: What's it used for? :D
     
  21. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #21
    Back off topic... How can you love SPSS?! It has the worst UI I've seen, runs like it's emulating an emulator emulating DOS running in Rosetta. But it does save a lot of time. ;)
     
  22. JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #22
    I say get the bigger display. I just bought a 17" today, after having a 15" for a year. It was worth it, and it's not much heavier or bulky.
     
  23. ELab2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #23
    I'm a student as well and I decided on the 13". There are definitely upsides to the 15" and the bigger screed would have been a nice benefit but I think the pros for the smaller out weigh the pros for the larger. The biggest things for me was portability and desk footprint.

    Desks obviously vary in size but its nice to be able to have a pencil or small notebook and other basic stuff on a desk as well as your laptop which is pretty tough most places with the $15in. Also if you're on a smaller desk there's a better chance someone will catch your MB with a bag or jacket and knock it off the desk if you've got the 15".

    transportation is obviously easier, and for me it was just that a 15" with a case or sleeve is tougher to fit and take out of my backpack or other bags and I didn't really want to get a new bag.

    edit: and yeah major obviously plays a big factor, I'm a law student so fancy graphics and artwork don't come up too much
     
  24. Crash1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #24
    Well, it would really depend on your school and major and how you like to take notes and stuff during class. I have the 15inch mbp which I feel is plenty portable, but, at my school, most students don't bring computers with them to class, so mine pretty much just sits in my dorm. If you feel you will have to lugging your laptop around then I'd get the 13inch, it's going to be smaller and lighter which is always a good thing if you're going to need to carry it. I personally prefer the screen on the 15inch as it seems brighter and has a better viewing angle but I think most people feel that the 13inch screen is more than adequate. You should check them out for yourself.
     
  25. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #25
    Dude, you should be shot. Excel is much more user friendly. But yah, SPSS is the standard for stats. But SPSS is freaking EXPENSIVE!!!!!! Its like $60 for a 6 month license, thats crap. And the price goes way over $1000. Fing stats for psych........(bitterness grows)
     

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