Going from a 15” to a 13”

amroc

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 13, 2010
31
4
I’ve owned two 15 inch MacBook Pros over the last 10+ years and I’m thinking of switching to the 13” model for my next upgrade, as I’d welcome the extra portability.

My only area of indecision is over the reduced screen size. Just wondering how any of you that have done this have found it. I find other people’s opinions on things like this really helpful

Thanks all.
 

Thirio2

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2019
14
6
Maryville, IL
I bought my 15" for the power and screen size. My wife loves her 13" so much she bought a new (2019) 13". I have used her old 13" enough that when I need to replace my 2015 15" I will go for the 13". My thought is I like the portability and if I need a larger screen I can use an external monitor. The 13" just seems easier for me to use on my lap. The new 13" MBPs are powerful enough for me.
 

morze

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2019
26
16
I went from a 17" to 15" to 13" over the years. I went to a 13" on my last upgrade purely just for better portability as I traveled a lot the year I upgraded. I didn't miss the larger screen as the smaller screen was outweighed by a lighter, more compact computer, was cheaper too. So basically for me it depended on how much I had to lug it around. Having said all that, I'm keen on a 15" or rumoured 16" next as I'm mainly stationary these days and would appreciate a bit more grunt.
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,570
587
I think the footprint of the current 15" is really impressive, but when travelling I did find it a pain to use in confined spaces - planes & trains were a constant bugbear for me. Even on trains where you get a big table (to share with others), the 15" takes up a massive chunk of space.

Going back to a 13" MBP was like switching to a Macbook Air, its so small and light now.

If you have an external monitor or another machine to use when in your office, I don't think you'll miss it as you can hook it up to that instead.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,071
1,234
nyc upper east
i gone from 15 to 13 years ago and its soooo much easier to carry around, not to mention all 15inch mbp are potential prohibited item for flight now.

the biggest drawback before was 13inch had only 2 cores, now with 2018+ having 4 cores there is even less of a reason not to get 13.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,503
3,890
IMO the only downside fo the 15" is the stupid pricing (that it doesn't have i5/8GB configurations so you effectively start off at near maxed out 13" pricing - granted due to the higher power components it's marginally better value than a specced out 13") I find 13" is only suitable if you are doing one thing (one window) at once. Split screen or multiple windows get very difficult to juggle below 15"/1680x1050 resolution (this resolution is uncomfortably small on a 13").
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,860
2,405
SF Bay Area
I have tried, but always gone back to the 15" in a day or so.

From a price standpoint I find the 15" to be a better values since they start at higher memory and RAM and have more reasonable upgrades. Second, 15" have DGPU which I prefer, and a better cooling system because this. But for me it really comes down to screen real estate. To my older eyes I prefer the larger screen, especially on those 10 hour programming days.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,849
1,871
Canada
I guess it depends on your usage but to me MacOS runs a lot better with the extra processing power the 15" gives you.
 

MrRabuf

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2019
105
104
Portability is more import to me than screen size when it comes to laptops. I spent years traveling a ton and flying every week with a laptop so every ounce I could save really added up. The only reason I have a 15" now is because my employer paid for it and I don't fly with it a lot anymore. If I were to buy a personal laptop, I'd definitely go 13".
 

kp98077

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2010
947
244
I've been back and forth and at the end of they day prefer portability escipially due to recent flight where couldn't use my 15" in economy plus even (well you could but very cramped!) and same for coffee shops, I like a grab and go, something to use around the house.... I wish the Air was more powerful love that form factor!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,382
Boston
I went from a 15" to a 13" form factor and when I did I found the lack of screen real estate to be a hindrance. I really chafed with dealing with 13" vs. 15" I'm happy with a 15" laptop and I cannot see using anything smaller for my main machine.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,363
1,974
San Antonio, TX
I went from a 15" retina to a 13" nTB and it wasn't problem adjusting to the size. Since graduating college and working full time, my MacBook mainly gets used purely for recreation. The portability and footprint of 13" just makes more sense now since I'm not trying to do things like CAD in the library. It's also hard to justify a $2400 price tag just for extra screen real estate. I really wish Apple would make a 14-15" MacBook Air. The screen space would be nice without having to buy some expensive high performance machine.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,305
881
New Hampshire
Since graduating college and working full time, my MacBook mainly gets used purely for recreation. The portability and footprint of 13" just makes more sense now since I'm not trying to do things like CAD in the library. It's also hard to justify a $2400 price tag just for extra screen real estate. I really wish Apple would make a 14-15" MacBook Air. The screen space would be nice without having to buy some expensive high performance machine.
You do get faster CPUs and more default RAM too.
 

MikeyTree

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2007
298
0
Would the 13” be able to drive a 4K monitor and a 1080p monitor? I’ve heard that it can’t run dual 4K monitors.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,305
881
New Hampshire
Would the 13” be able to drive a 4K monitor and a 1080p monitor? I’ve heard that it can’t run dual 4K monitors.
Video Support
Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display at millions of colors and:

  • One display with 5120-by-2880 resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors
  • Up to two displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at 60Hz at millions of colors
  • Up to two displays with 3840-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors


    https://support.apple.com/kb/SP795?locale=en_US
 

Martius

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
375
1,151
Prague, CZ
I'm waiting for 2020 13" update. Hope they will bring 14" inch screen with reduced bezels. That would be a perfect machine = medium performance like current 13", good portability, bigger screen, not expensive as 15" (rumored 16").

So being you, I would wait till 2020 (I expect March or WWDC). They have launched 15" MBP retina 4 months before the 13" in 2012, so I think they might do it again. 16" MBP in September/October/November and then 14" in March?!

Who knows... but thinner bezels / bigger screens are surely coming.

EDIT: I'm using 15" too mainly because the screen size (2015), but I would appreciate more portable laptop.
 

kp98077

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2010
947
244
I'm waiting for 2020 13" update. Hope they will bring 14" inch screen with reduced bezels. That would be a perfect machine = medium performance like current 13", good portability, bigger screen, not expensive as 15" (rumored 16").

So being you, I would wait till 2020 (I expect March or WWDC). They have launched 15" MBP retina 4 months before the 13" in 2012, so I think they might do it again. 16" MBP in September/October/November and then 14" in March?!

Who knows... but thinner bezels / bigger screens are surely coming.

EDIT: I'm using 15" too mainly because the screen size (2015), but I would appreciate more portable laptop.
14 would be perfect!
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,147
1,810
Between the coasts
To those who still have young eyes, going from 17" to 15" to 13" may be a reasonable progression. When you get to be my age, the progression goes in the other direction - the only way to have a sufficiently large desktop is to go big.
 
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kp98077

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2010
947
244
To those who still have young eyes, going from 17" to 15" to 13" may be a reasonable progression. When you get to be my age, the progression goes in the other direction - the only way to have a sufficiently large desktop is to go big.
Or wear lol!
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,860
2,405
SF Bay Area
To those who still have young eyes, going from 17" to 15" to 13" may be a reasonable progression. When you get to be my age, the progression goes in the other direction - the only way to have a sufficiently large desktop is to go big.
Sort of. As you get older your back and shoulders get bad. And you cannot carry a 5+ pound laptop + power supply around all day like you could when you were younger.
 
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