Dang it back to square one?! 13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by van2010rulz, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. van2010rulz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    #1
    Well i have my heart set on a Mac(i think) and i went to my school and used one of the schools Macbook laptop 13" and i think it's going to be too small for me. I was going to go with the Macbook Pro 13" but now am reconsidering. The only things i will be doing are: Office, Skype, Safari, bit of iLife stuff, itunes. Now i have a 23" dell monitor to hook up to and won't really be running around with it, but won't have it plug into the monitor all the time.
     
  2. djasterix macrumors 6502a

    djasterix

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  3. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #3
    I think your post already says you want a 15...
     
  4. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #4
    Get the 15"...the 13" is barely anymore portable and it isn't as good ;)
     
  5. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #5
    That is true. I take my 15" everywhere now, and it is just fine.
     
  6. tuna macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #6
    I've been playing with them side by side very regularly for a couple weeks (I've had a new unibody 13" checked out from the university library to do video editing, a friend who I hang out with all the time has a new 15" unibody). The MBP 15" is actually a relatively large and heavy computer. Its a little surprising. It seems pretty large even for a laptop with a 15.4" screen: Its definitely thinner than most competing 15" laptops, but as far as length, width, and weight, its on par to heavier than other 15"ers I've used. Part of that is that it has a much bigger battery than most laptops come with and gets much better battery life so you have to take that into account.

    I'm not saying that the 15" is not portable, but its a substantially bigger computer.

    As far as internals 13" vs 15" (assuming you can get an education discount), you're really talking about $1100 (for base 13") vs $1700 (for base 15"). As far as CPU, the 15" has the next generation architecture and is significantly (maybe 25% on average for the lowest models) faster. As far as GPU, with the 15" you get discrete graphics, again probably 30% performance improvement. RAM is the same. HDD imo is irrelevent because 250GB 5400rpm vs 320GB 5400rpm, if you're like me then neither option is near acceptable and you'll be replacing it yourself with maybe a 500GB 7200rpm or 640GB 5400rpm (either one ~$80 @ newegg).

    One thing that only rarely gets brought up hear is that you will get significantly better battery life with the 13". The 13" has only nVidia integrated graphics, while the 15" has both Intel integrated and nVidia discrete graphics. Discrete graphics is much more powerful but uses much more energy. With the 15", there is no way to completely turn off the discrete graphics and the OS will turn it on even when you don't want it, and it really hurts the battery life. Apple quotes 10 hours for the 13" and "8 or 9 hours" for the 15". According to reviews, 8 hours would be about accurate as far as the computer actually achieves some percentage of 8 hours battery life that is consistent with the proportion of claimed battery life that most laptops get. So 15" should have ~20% less battery life.

    My choice? If I had the money I would get the base 15" and upgrade the screen resolution, and like I said replace the hdd myself when I needed to. 1TB laptop hdds are coming. With the Core i5 and discrete graphics, the 15" is much more "future proof" than the 13" with the Core 2, which unfortunately is already obsolete technology. Walk into a Best Buy and check out the laptops, I doubt that they even have any that aren't on the new Core i3/5/7 architecture (to be fair, Core 2 Duo should be comparable performance to those Core i3s).
     
  7. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

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    #8
    For what you'll be doing I think the 13" will suffice. However, for the price you'll be paying (regardless of whether it's a base model or a custom config) it's probably best you get a 15" if you want the best bang for your buck. As I see it, MBP's ain't cheap....none of them. So if you're going to get one, get one that will serve your purpose even if it's a little more expensive. I checked out both the 13 and 15 and ultimately decided on a custom config 15. The 13 was really nice and I liked that smaller form factor however, the specs that were available on the 15" ended that argument real quick. For a little extra money (actually a lot more extra money come to think of it) the 15" offered a better processor and better screen which is what I was mainly looking for. Had the 13" been available with the i7 and hi res screen then I definitely would've gotten the 13.

    I'd say just get a base 15", maybe even an i5 if you can swing it and you should be fine. While the 13" is smaller and easier to transport, the 15" isn't that much difference in terms of size/weight so you'd barely even notice the difference running around with it.
     
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #9
    Get the 13" from microcenter for $999 (new version with the 320m, 4GB RAM) and save yourself $800 from the base model 15".

    You'll get used to the 13" size and after about a couple weeks, you'll think the 13" is big enough (hell after a few weeks I thought the 17" looked the same size as a 15", pretty small) because you wont be comparing it to a 15" mbp regularly. Also I bet you'll find yourself using your dell monitor more often than you'd like.

    If I were you though, I'd get the 13" mbp from microcenter for $999, and use the rest to buy the 24" LED Apple Cinema Display for $799 after student discount. That would equate the same price as the 15" 2.4GHz i5 after taxes and then sell your Dell monitor.
     
  9. Sequin macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #10
    Sort of OT, but why is it worth to pay a ridiculous amount for a computer monitor? Is there something mega extra special that makes it worth paying almost as much as a laptop for a screen?


    Anyway, it sounds like you already want a 15", but are just looking for others to tell you to go for it. I also found the 13" Macbook too small when I used the ones at my school. For a while I even grew impatient saving up for the 15" and almost gave in to the 13"... until I went to the Apple store again and saw how itty bitty it is. If you're not doing much on your computer other than web surfing and IMing and such, then maybe you don't need all that space, but I do a lot of web design and graphics so I can't imagine making my space in Photoshop smaller D:
     
  10. Rithem macrumors 6502

    Rithem

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #11
    This. I take it everywhere, well to class at least. It's fine and isn't really heavy. It's like 4-5 lbs if I remember? Suck it up and carry it.
     
  11. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #12
    Mega extra special about the 24" LED ACD is that it has an LED backlighting with an H-IPS panel which is superb. No other company offers this specs.

    I really miss my 24" LED ACD, I'm waiting for the 27" to be announced but if nothing comes by December, I'm buying the 24" LED ACD again!

    The 24" LED ACD calibrated properly looks amazingly stunning! Even after a year and a half of usage, every time I turned on the 24" LED ACD I always get mega eye candiness. @_@
     
  12. Fasailmac macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2009
    #13
    i had a 15 inch macbook pro for my second year of university. The weight wasn't the issue, its the overall footprint of the notebook, it was very uncomfortable keeping it on my lap for 3 hours in a rather small seat. Also i don't recommend getting the 1440*900 screen, the resolution felt much smaller then the 13 inch. I ended up getting the 2.66 pro 13 inch and am loving it. It fits on my lap comfortably and im able to place it on those note stands attached to lecture hall seats.
     
  13. van2010rulz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #14
    Ok sorry my bad. I wrote the thing at midnight my time. Sorry i haven't been on lately. So my question yes is still the same, but if the have my 23" do i really need the13" or is it best to go with the 15" to be safe.
     
  14. goldenlotus macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2007
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    Brooklyn, NY
  15. antster94 macrumors 6502a

    antster94

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    London, UK
    #16
    Real helpful, of course it's better as it costs £500 more, but for the price and what the OP is using it for I would recommend the 13" and maybe an external monitor for use at home.
     

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