Does size REALLY matter?

KidZgOtMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 20, 2010
164
0
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
As I previously outlined in my previous thread I will be a freshman in college and I am getting a MBP. I will be majoring in Office Administration but I might transfer to Computer Information Systems. Is 13" really that small that it is bad to run multiple applications? I mean, compared to Acer 10" laptops I think 13" shouldnt really be a problem. I'm not thinking about buying a 15" because I think they are overpriced and I will mostly use it to run MS Office apps, social networking, surfing the web & working in Photoshop. Are those extra 2" really such a big issue? I'm already paying almost $1300 including tax, so why waste almost $700 more including tax for 2" extra? That sounds ridiculous, especially if you have to work hard to save that money.
 

_Matt

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2005
440
0
I had a 15" MBP non-unibody and I now use a 13" unibody MBP and I have to say that I often miss the extra 2" and might go up to a 17" for my next MBP.

For what you're doing and what I'm doing, the 13" is a great little machine. It's really powerful for basic needs and easy to carry around. I'm in college too and the smaller size does make a difference both in studying space and carrying weight.

I think you'll be very satisfied with the 13". I have no complaints whatsoever. :D
 

paintballswimgu

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2010
320
0
yes. Don't let anyone tell you differently. 15" hd-antiglare is the sweet-spot. 13" is way to hard to see. But 17" just hurts...to carry of course
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,595
2
Seattle, WA
I owned the 13" MacBook Air for over a year and have owned 15" MacBook Pros since they originally came out in 2006. While using the MacBook Air the screen did feel a bit small and cramped compared to the 15". After I sold the MacBook Air I was glad to go back to the 15" screen, it felt a lot more comfortable to me. It is not only the extra 2" that you gain, but also the resolution. Personally I've never felt comfortable using screens smaller than 15".
 

Outbreak

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2010
29
0
I will be getting the 13 inch and be doing the same basic computing as you stated in your original post. I have a 15 in Acer laptop and the 2" can really help but my suggestion to you is what I am going to do. The 13 incher is the most portable of the MBP's, so while at school you shouldn't really be bothered by the smaller screen. When you're at home just plug into a ~200 dollar 22" Screen(you can find some good deals online). I feel this is the best route to go.

Also, you're not paying 700+ extra for 2 inches, you get a spec bump that may be useful for those willing to spend it
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Back when I was in college (the PBG4 days), I started with a 15" TiBook 1GHz. That machine unfortunately got stolen and I later ended up with a 12" PBG4 1.5GHz to replace it (mostly due to funds - Apple notebooks were a lot more expensive back then). I LOVED the portability of that machine, though the lower screen resolution was a hindering factor at times.

I wouldn't quite say that the 15" MBPs are overpriced. It's more along the lines of "you get what you pay for". The 15" models all come with faster processors (Core i5 or i7 as opposed to a C2D) and discrete graphics (GeForce GT 330M as opposed to a GeForce 320M IGP) in addition to a larger screen.

You did mention that you'd be working in Photoshop as well, and you can use all the screen resolution you can get there. If you do decide on a 13" MBP, an alternative would be to keep an external monitor parked on a desk for that type of work if you want extra desktop real estate... But you would need an adapter if you use a 3rd party monitor with a DVI connection.
 

bigjobby

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2010
1,040
0
London, UK
I think for what you're doing a 13" should do the trick. However if you're thinking about CIS I would definitely consider a 15" purely because of the extra real estate especially if you're dealing with coding, data flow diagrams etc. It wouldn't be the end of the world if you're stuck with a 13" as you can use 'Spaces' if you need to but it isn't as handy as seeing all your app windows on one screen.

Otherwise spec-wise, the 13" should handle the demands of the CIS course.
 

KidZgOtMac

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 20, 2010
164
0
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
I will be getting the 13 inch and be doing the same basic computing as you stated in your original post. I have a 15 in Acer laptop and the 2" can really help but my suggestion to you is what I am going to do. The 13 incher is the most portable of the MBP's, so while at school you shouldn't really be bothered by the smaller screen. When you're at home just plug into a ~200 dollar 22" Screen(you can find some good deals online). I feel this is the best route to go.

Also, you're not paying 700+ extra for 2 inches, you get a spec bump that may be useful for those willing to spend it

True, but the MBP will not be my only computer, I have a desktop.
I think for what you're doing a 13" should do the trick. However if you're thinking about CIS I would definitely consider a 15" purely because of the extra real estate especially if you're dealing with coding, data flow diagrams etc. It wouldn't be the end of the world if you're stuck with a 13" as you can use 'Spaces' if you need to but it isn't as handy as seeing all your app windows on one screen.

Otherwise spec-wise, the 13" should handle the demands of the CIS course.
Yeah, I think it will do, I'm probably just concerned because I've never actually been up close to a Macbook Pro 13"
 

HasanDaddy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
581
0
Los Angeles
It's a personal preference, ultimately

That said - I'm with the other guys - anything under 15" is very tough to work with, imo

I had an MBA as my primary computer for a year - while I didn't notice it when I used, the moment I switched back to a 17", it felt like a liberation
 

Brien

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2008
3,116
853
You get used to what you have. I went through a 12" iBook and a 13" MacBook and they were just fine. Have a 15" MBP now, and I love it, but I'm sure if I went back down to a smaller screen I'd be fine.
 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Mar 2, 2009
3,376
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
I owned the 13" MacBook Air for over a year and have owned 15" MacBook Pros since they originally came out in 2006. While using the MacBook Air the screen did feel a bit small and cramped compared to the 15". After I sold the MacBook Air I was glad to go back to the 15" screen, it felt a lot more comfortable to me. It is not only the extra 2" that you gain, but also the resolution. Personally I've never felt comfortable using screens smaller than 15".
I have to admit you make a good point. I don't mind the 13" at all ... until I use my wife's 15" MBP to check email or something ... then I think 'wow, nice screen'!

But. the mobility factor of the 13" wins me over.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,595
2
Seattle, WA
I have to admit you make a good point. I don't mind the 13" at all ... until I use my wife's 15" MBP to check email or something ... then I think 'wow, nice screen'!

But. the mobility factor of the 13" wins me over.
Trust me, going back from the MacBook Air to a 15" MacBook Pro was a big drop in the mobility factor. However, after using the 15" MacBook Pro again for about a month I had gone back to using it the same way that I was using my MacBook Air. There's only a pound difference between the 13" MacBook Pro and the 15" whereas there's a two pound difference between the Air and the 15" Pro. So I would imagine that the transition would be even quicker. The 15" screen more than makes up for a bit of loss in portability in my opinion.
 

Xenophon

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2010
131
0
New Delhi, India
True, but the MBP will not be my only computer, I have a desktop.
Then I'd stick with the 13' and save myself some money. Presumably you won't do your photoshopping outside, sitting on a bench? I've got a 13' macbook and am a frequent traveller. For me the portabilty factor is more important than the screen real estate when on the move. In my office I hook it up to a 24" cinema display. Ymmv.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,595
2
Seattle, WA
What screen did you go with on your 15" MBP? hi-res/AG? Are you mobile with it often, use it on your lap etc?
I have the old non-unibody MacBook Pro and it's a matte screen (Can't stand glossy, the reflections distract me too much. That was the main reason other than financial for selling the MacBook Air) And yeah, I use it for taking notes in my college classes and whenever I travel, so it is fairly mobile. I do use it on my lap, however I have it on a laptop cooling pad that I set it atop.
 

elleana

macrumors regular
Nov 30, 2009
229
9
Whoa, 14 posts in and no snide comments on the post title? :D I'm proud of you guys.
 

DoorMouse

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2010
46
0
Sydney
I had a 15" Powerbook for 4 years which i loved- but when it came to get a new laptop I wanted that extra portability for university, so I went with the 13" MBP.

I haven't had any trouble with the size of the 13"- I can still manage to get two open documents or word and internet side by side (a little manouvering required, but workable), and it fits better in my bag and is much lighter than my old 15" (although obviously the powerbook would have been heavier then a comparable MBP today). It's easier to carry around uni and use in lectures where the desks may be small etc and the extra lightness is useful if you're still having to carry around a tonne of books.
 

stefan1975

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2010
605
0
Whoa, 14 posts in and no snide comments on the post title? :D I'm proud of you guys.
it is not about length, it is the width that matters.

anyway the size of the screen matters less then the resolution.15" is great when it has 1680*1050 px. you can show lots on that.13" would be fine too at 1366 or even 1440. but 1280*800 is just too small for comfort.
 

nineohtoo

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2009
257
0
SF Bay Area
I agree with those saying resolution is more important than screen size. My last Windows computer before returning to OS X was a Lenovo X300, and I loved the resolution. I really wish Apple would offer 1440x900 on a 13.3" screen. Going down in resolution took some getting used to, but it didn't bother me too much. Then one day I got to play with a friends 15" MBP, and it made me miss the extra pixels again.

I think since you already have a desktop at home you should be fine with the 13" MBP, especially with portability. You could always get a monitor. I myself am looking into the older aluminum 23" ACD to go with my 13" MBP.
 

Euroamerican

macrumors regular
May 27, 2010
141
53
Boise
Sorry to boil it back down to money, but that's what finally was my deciding factor.

The 13" 2.4ghz MBP is $1,199.00
The 15" 2.4ghz MBP is $1,799.00

The 13" AppleCare is $249.00
The 15" AppleCare is $349.00

If I had added a hirez screen and anti-glare, then $100.00 to $150.00 more!

So, I get a better video card, a bigger hard drive, a better and bigger screen, and a pound more in weight for $700.00 to $850.00 more?

I really, really wanted the 15"; but the 13" came up to $1,400.00 odd dollars out the door and that was enough money spent on a laptop for me. I'm giving the extra money to my church.

A month into using the 13" MBP has revealed the following:

I'm getting used to the screen size and the Glarebook screen actually doesn't bother me like I thought it would.

The speakers are not nearly as "stereo" and loud as those on the 15", but I knew that when I made the final pre-purchase instore evaluation.

The 13 is "heavier" than I'd like, once you add the parts and a bag. I can see why people would want an Air or even an iPad for ultimate portability. I guess this also means that I can see why a person would say that the 15" isn't really that much more of a burden!
 
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