How powerful MacBook is needed for this?

Weiss35

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2015
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I an not sure which Macbook to buy, or if a MacBook is the best option.

A little about my needs. I am looking for a device with a comfortable qwerty keyboard, that has a screen size that is so small that it feels just as natural to take it on the lap, just like a tablet. The computer should also be very thin and lightweight. I am thinking 11-13 inches. I would like a CPU and RAM that is so powerful there is little waiting time / lagging.

I will use the computer for:
  • Eclipse. I will learn some Java in the following year.
  • Coursera. I would need to have two or three programs open at the same time (Internet browser, YouTube, text processor)
  • Reading books in pdf format while writing notes on the QWERTY keyboard and having the web browser open in Quizlet, and perhaps YouTube at the same time. (Some mouse or mousepad is crucial for this to go smooth)
  • Splashtop. I will upgrade my desktop computer, and I would like to be able to use Splashtop, TeamViewer or similar as a remote screen, for quick access to my desktop.
  • Writing in Wattpad, at forums, in Word. So a good keyboard is needed.
The most important is that is quick and lightweight and small enough that I would take it on my lap in the sofa. If that doesn't feel natural, I will end up using my desktop instead.

Budget? The less the better, naturally, but up to 4-5 k dollars is ok. will buy the laptop online. Battery life isn't all that important, since it will be close to a charger at most times.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,419
658
How much do u value thin n light? If it's the utmost priority I think the rmb 12" will suit your needs. Maybe get a 1.2 or 1.3 model if you want the fastest performance.
 
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Weiss35

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2015
4
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How much do u value thin n light? If it's the utmost priority I think the rmb 12" will suit your needs. Maybe get a 1.2 or 1.3 model if you want the fastest performance.
Besides speed for the tasks mentioned, two things are very important. Good keyboard and lightweight. I guess the 12" MB has some issues with its keyboard, and 13" MB Pro has a better keyboard, but is less comfortable on the lap?
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
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Sounds as if you need a large, high resolution screen, and all the rest is comparatively undemanding.
 
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Weiss35

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2015
4
0
Sounds you need a large, high resolution screen, and all the rest is comparatively undemanding.
I will get a powerful desktop computer for the Oculus Rift, and that computer will have a large screen.

The MacBook (or other device) that I'll buy soon, should have a size that lends itself well to use in the couch, to have on the lap, it should be nonlaggy and have a keyboard that's comfortable to write on.

A large screen size would only make it so bulky, heavy and large, that it'd be stuffed in a cabin in favor for the desktop computer.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,419
658
Besides speed for the tasks mentioned, two things are very important. Good keyboard and lightweight. I guess the 12" MB has some issues with its keyboard, and 13" MB Pro has a better keyboard, but is less comfortable on the lap?
The 13" mbp will be heavier but the keyboard is classic Mac. The new rmb has the new butterfly mechanism. Less travel. But most reviewers seem to get used to it, at the expense of being so thin.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
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A large screen size would only make it so bulky, heavy and large, that it'd be stuffed in a cabin in favor for the desktop computer.
Yeah, well, the retina screens are good for reading and eclipse demands screen real estate, so don't go for something like a eleven inch mac book air--
 
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jerwin

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Jun 13, 2015
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Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.07.27 PM (2).png
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.09.09 PM (2).png
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.09.23 PM (2).png


various screenshots of eclipse @1920x1080, 1600x900, and 1280x720

Pardon the mess, I haven't used Java in a long time. As you can see, it's more comfortable with higher resolution screens. Yes, I could revise my indentation style, but at the moment I do not lack for screen space.
 
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jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
2,459
4,452
You could try running macbook or macbook pro at one of the "more space" settings-- it would depend on how good your eyes are.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Any macbook will do that job just buy based on screen size/quality and lap use. For you I would suggest the 13 inch rMBP as it's the best all round compromise on power, portability, screen quality and connectivity.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,363
2,830
With your emphasis on portability, I would try the 12" Macbook. I think your workflow will not overly tax that machine, and in truth, there is a significant difference between how portable the Macbook and Macbook Pro feels. The Macbook definitely feels like an iPad turned into a laptop - no problem carrying it around casually.

They keyboard is certainly different, but most people will be able to adapt. I prefer dedicated keyboards with long travel, but so far I am ok with the keyboard on the Macbook as it's actually much crisper than the regular Mac keyboards.
 
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