After seeing the lackluster improvements to the 13 in MBP, I am now trying to figure out whether I should go with a new 13 in or an old 15. Here's what I'll be doing with my MBP. I'm a graduate student in the biological sciences so I will be using the macbook for: Writing Reading Papers Editing Microscope photos with Photoshop Managing large amounts of data with Excel (1000 data points for 10-20 groups) Creating figures and graphs with Illustrator I would like to keep it for the rest of my time in graduate school (3-5 years) so I'm sure I'll want to upgrade the memory later when its cheaper and put in a larger SSD when they are also cheaper. Since I work for a university, I have access to their tech store which may allow me to purchase a brand new 2011 15 in MBP at a discount (TBD) as they bring in the new 2012 models. I would like to keep my budget under $1500, hopefully nearer to 1200. I currently plan on getting the 2012 13" MBP ($1099) with an added SSD (+$100) and apple care ($249) for a total of $1448. But given the superior CPU in the 2011 15", I am thinking about getting a refurbished or new model. If I got the 2011 model, what would be the cost to upgrade the RAM from 4 GB to 8GB and what would be an estimate to put in a SSD (128 or 256 GB)? So: 2012 13" vs 2011 15" - which one? cost of upgrading 15" ?