Is 12" large enough for a student laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by KeyMs92, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. KeyMs92 macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2015
    I'm intrigued as to why Apple decided to go for 12" as the screen size. Was this purely intentional and did they consider this the best size for the market they were aiming for? Or was it a technicality that prevented them from going 13" or 14"?

    Given that it is 12", do you guys think this is large enough? I think the 'market' that I mentioned is people (e.g. students) travelling with this laptop and using it for browsing (finding articles, social media etc.) and office applications.

    Of course, I'll only know for sure when I try it out in the Apple Store, but since I live in the Netherlands that'll probably be some time away. In the meanwhile, I'd like to gather your opinions.
  2. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    Perfect size. For me anyway. All these things are a compromise though. :)
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I did my degree on a 12" iBook with a 1024x768 screen.

    The new MacBook will do just fine.

    Until of course you need to copy your assignment to a USB drive to copy it onto the ancient PC in the lab to print your assignment because the online file storage system the Uni set up doesn't work and the WiFi is slow and the prof won't accept electronic copies. Then, you'd better have remembered to bring your USB adapter.
  4. scabello macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    I think it is too small as a student laptop. I bought one and it will be here on the 16th but i plan to use it as a notebook. If you are thinking this would be your singular PC then no way.. Too small. Get at least 15" and lug that monster but you have something comfortable to use when you sit in front of it for hours

    I plan to take mine with me everywhere and i will use it a lot but i doubt i will ever sit in front of it for 2 hours or more. That would be painful and is where the bigger PC and screens come in.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    I think it's the smallest size they could go while still accommodating a full-sized keyboard. Considering how there's barely any bezel surround the keyboard, Apple was clearly trying to minimise the footprint without compromising the typing experience.

    From what I have read in the reviews, the 2304x1440 resolution (which works out to 1152x720 pixels worth of effective screen estate) is actually quite cramped. You really want to scale the resolution to an effective 1440x900 (the same as the 13" air) so your workspace doesn't feel so claustrophobic. At least they went with 16:10. I imagine you will be running most of your apps in full-window mode to maximise viewing space as well.
  6. vanimal, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    vanimal macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2014

    It will be fine if you aren't used to the 13.3" screen of a MBA etc. I seen one in person and played with it. It's smaller than it appears on the web, to some that's not a big deal. It's about the footprint of a 11" MBA.

    If you were tight in cash, or didn't want to crush yourself with debt you could get a 2014 MBA for $799 brand new and a 13.3" screen and still light That's about a $500 difference give or take. Plus whichever dongles you need. So another $80?

    Ultimately up to you. After playing with one I'm holding off for V2 hoping for a 13.3" screen. For me the perfect machine would be the current MBA she'll with a retina. But that will never happen.

    The 13.3 vs the 12" screen is a very negligiable difference once you see it in person. Also there A LOT more wrist rest space on the MBA 13" compared to the MBR because like I said picture a MBA 11" footprint. But I'm not sure how big your hands are etc. Unforchunatley I have big bear paws lol.
  7. scabello macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    Come on.. Be honest here. You know your life would have been easier with a 15" screen.
  8. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Not if they needed frequent mobility.
  9. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020


    Feb 15, 2015
    I believe 13in is perfect, but 12 is also excellent.
  10. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    Yes. Its a great size because the dimensions arent 16x9 like the mba.
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    People used to get a lot of work done on white iBook G3s/G4s, 12" Powerbooks, and PDQ/Lombard/Pismo Powerbooks. All of these had the same resolution of 1024x768. Interestingly enough, the 12" and 14" iBooks all shared this same resolution-the 14" model just made everything bigger without any real increase in working area.

    The 1152x768 effective resolution of the new Retina is bigger than the above computers, and not that much smaller than the screen on my 13" MBP(1280x800). I get a lot of work done on that computer. 1152x768 is also the same resolution as earlier model 15" Titanium Powerbooks-back in the day many people considered those desktop replacements.
  12. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Why wouldn't it be enough? It has the same screen real estate by default as the 13 inch rMBP and can go up to 1440x900.
  13. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Sole computer no, too limited at present 13" MBPr is a better choice. Companion to a desktop or larger Notebook yes

  14. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    12" is fine for a student laptop. Remember, it can always be run in the default 1280x800 HiDPI or 1440x900 HiDPI with little noticeable quality difference at a normal viewing distance.
  15. matt2053 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2012
    Just to clarify, the 13" MBA is 16:10. Only the 11" is 16:9.

    The effective resolution of the New MacBook is 1280 x 800, which is the same as the 13" MacBook Pro, just squeezed down onto a slightly smaller screen. Which is fine with me, as the assets tended to look a little large on the MBP 13 to me.

    Also for student stuff you should also be able to change the scaling to an effective 1400 x 900 resolution, which would give you the same screen real estate as a 13" MacBook Air.

    This was my biggest concern about the new MB as well. But after using one in the Apple Store yesterday I felt like it was fine for my needs. I will be using it as my main computer for work, all day every day.

    Eventually I'll get an adapter so I can use an external monitor, but right now those don't start shipping for 3 to 4 weeks.
  16. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I'm used to a 13.3" inch screen, but 12.0" is fine IMO. Especially seeing as the full-size keyboard determined how big the display would be. 13" is my ideal size, though.
  17. Phightinphils macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2012
    I'm a student with a 15" MBPr. That thing is a pain in the ass to pull in and out of my backpack non stop all day. It doesn't even fit on the little desks that pull out in the lecture halls. I love it, but now that I use it daily at college I want a 12-13".
  18. No-Me macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2011
    When I was in University I used my 11" MBA all the time. At home I had a bigger screen, but for on the road the 11" was perfect. First the tiny desks perfectly, the 12" Will be even better :)
  19. Florals macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2013
    Or you get yourself something like this so that'll never be a problem:

    I did the majority of my undergraduate degree using a horribly underpowered netbook with a 10' screen. A 12' rMB should be just fine.
  20. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    That's the major issue. Being able to fit one on a desk. This 12 should be perfect for school.
  21. msb3079 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    collingswood. nj
    This is my only other issue with the MacBook. I have the 13" rMBP now and love it. My MacBook is on it's way now. I think they could have gotten more aggressive with the screen/bezel and fit a 13" in the exact same casing. The black borders seem to be almost identical to the rMBP. Better than the old MacBooks, but these have been this way for many years. They could have fit a larger screen, and i'm sure they will at some point.
  22. JohnnyQuest macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    I used the 15" Pro I have now in college, and hated lugging it around. Borrowed a family member's 11" Air for a few weeks and it was great to carry around, but the screen was slightly too small for certain tasks. I think 12" would be perfect.
  23. 5errated macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2012
    it'll be a lot easier to carry along with your heavy books, and you could just get an external monitor for when you're home if the screen is too small
  24. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    My guess is that the considerable thinness of the new screen forced them to keep the bezel size from the other retina screens.
  25. msb3079 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    collingswood. nj
    Is it really any thinner than the rMBP? I mean even if it is.. can't be by much.

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