Is 15'' small for serious development?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sioannou, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. sioannou macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2010
    Nicosia Cyprus
    Just wondering what you guys think. Since I've beginning use my 15'' as my primary development machine I feel I am missing some small but important features a bigger screen could offer.

    I've tried many times to write a code on the 15" screen but I don't feel very comfortable with it. Mainly, because most of the times i need Xcode to be side by side with my browser which is impossible in 15" screen. Of course when I am at home I use my samsung synchmaster 2232bw 22" but again I am kinda of missing the two monitors where I have the browser open in one screen and on the other visual studio for example.

    Of course there is a solution to this and this is called thunderbolt displays, but for the moment there are out of my budget :p

    When I am in the road I could use the laptop's screen for checking the code etc. I've been playing around with this issue recently and I've came across with a temporary solution. I've enabled the "minimize windows into application icon" which helped me a lot because I was always searching for the correct firefox window in my dock. I know the apple + tab key combination and spaces which actually I am using a lot, but are there any applications which you think that could make my life easier when switching from application to application?

    2. Do you also find the 15" a small screen for using with Xcode or is me that I am used to like big screens?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Then it's too small for you.

    Non-Thunderbolt displays show exactly the same code, you know.
  3. ericrwalker macrumors 68030


    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, NY
    I don't see a need for anything bigger than a 13" screen, others want a bigger screen. The screen is usually 18 to 24 inches from my face.

    Others don't like a small screen, so to each their own.

    Sounds like you need a 17" or bigger.
  4. sioannou thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2010
    Nicosia Cyprus
    What I mean is that with Thunderbolt displays I could have two screens connected to my mbp . (displaying different things NOT mirroring)
  5. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I think you are inching closer to a MBP 17"...

    For my development work, I find that a higher resolution is a must, but an external monitor is not always a must.
  6. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Get a 17inch than. sounds better if you don't like 15inch although it will be more expensive.
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Do you have the standard or the hi-res 15''? The hi-res has exactly the same resolution as your external monitor.

    The 17'' has about 25% more pixels than the 15'' hi-res. This is quite notable, and could make a difference for you.

    I'm fine with the 15'' hi-res.

    Connecting two external displays is a different issue and has nothing to do with the 15'' vs. 17''.
  8. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Subjective question. Depends on the "serious" developer that you ask. Polling others won't help you determine your preference.
  9. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Use a smaller font size and sit closer to your computer.
  10. yamaki macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2010
    I'm an iOS developer (with 20/40 vision, near-sighted) with >100,000 users and I've done everything on MBP and MBA 13". I just use Spaces with Chrome in full screen mode for browsing and then Xcode in my main space. Works great.
  11. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    You could just the 13" if you want to travel with it and cut down on the weight and connect it to a 27" TB display. Sure, the display will cost you another $1000 but this is an alternative. 17" on a laptop isn't my cup of tea so I wouldn't suggest that (notice the first person reference there). If you don't need portability, iMac is ideal for your usage. On the other hand, you could always buy a $400 TV and connect the HDMI to your Mac. I have a 32" and I plan on doing just that after New Years. If only I could somehow do it wirelessly...
  12. mbp17xxx macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    if its your primary workstation go with 17", for carry and use in desk/bed.

    but if you plan to use the mbp anywhere you go, the 17" might be a bit big to use in your lap or public places, a 15" hi-res would be more mobile.

    for me the min I can use for dev is a 15" 1680x1050, If you don't mind carrying the 17" around, go for the bigger one.
  13. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    there is a mini-dp -> DVI adapter in the apple store that lets you use virtually any external monitor with the macbook pro. No need to spend $1000 on apple's thunderbolt monitor.
  14. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    He wants to connect two external displays, not just one. A splitter should do the job, I'm not sure what the maximal resolution is that the GPU can handle.

    Amazon has cheap splitters:

    edit: After a bit more search, I'm not sure if the cheap splitters will do the job (or, rather, I'm quite sure they won't). Have a look here:
  15. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I am using Xcode, and Adobe CS on a 13"...15" should be fine.

    Though I am planning on purchasing an external monitor very soon here :)
  16. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    My 15" mid 2010 hi-res anti-glare works for development work. I wouldn't want to use a low-res model.

    Yet that said, I greatly prefer my new 17" hi-res anti-glare MBP for the same work since I have more room for two or more windows to be open concurrently. I've been using 17" MBP's for several years now and find them ideal for my usage. At a mere one pound more than a 15", with a footprint only marginally larger the size & light weight make it easily portable for me. Best of all is it's gorgeous & very spacious display.

    Your preferences may differ.

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