Is a MBP 13" sufficient for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DeViAnThans3, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. DeViAnThans3 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Belgium (Europe)
    Hey there!

    I've been playing with the idea of replacing my now 4-years old Acer laptop with a MacBook Pro - which'ld become my first Apple product!

    While I am pretty good with software matters, I am always a little bit unsure on hardware matters. I did some little search around and found threads like these, but they don't completely get me over the line of a 13" rather than a larger model. Which is why I thought of putting my question here.

    I'll be using the laptop ~3 days/week for web development, word processing or entertainment mainly.
    Web development: Photoshop (rarely), an IDE like Coda or Netbeans, a browser (5-10 tabs) and possibly music player may be open simultaneously. Actual server, php engines, virtualisation or other heavy programs in the background will be ran on my windows server pc.
    Word processing: usually 1 to 2 documents, browser (1-10 tabs), and viewing up to 2 PDFs, simultaneously open
    Entertainment: Watching a DVD, usually still non-HD or reading an ebook (PDF,...)

    I probably also have to mention that I move around quite a bit with a laptop; no international travels or so, but mainly school to home movements :)

    I hope some of you guys can provide me with insight if the C2D processor can handle me?
    Or, if it is worth waiting for new MBP series? (I noticed your buyer's guide doesn't recommend buying right now :))

    Thanks a lot already!
    If you happen to have any additional questions, please shoot!
  2. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    If you can wait, I would recommend until the refresh comes. Also, I can't help but endorse the 15" model. 13 inch macbook pro just doesn't have enough screen for me, especially if you plan on having multiple windows open (unless your a expose/spaces ninja). The core2duo should suit your needs as well, but the i series processors have some definite performance increases.

    If your dead set on the 13" I believe its rumored to get sandy bridge soon somewhere around 1st quarter 2011 :D and thats definitely something to wait for.
  3. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    If you can wait for the refresh, go ahead, but if you can't the current 13" MBP will be fine. I do WAY more than what you are asking on my late-2009 model 13" MBP and I don't see any lag.
  4. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    Do you really need the DVD drive in the MBP? If not, the MacBook Air 13" is another possibility. Slightly slower processor, but it's a lot lighter and thinner.
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    He wants to be able to watch a DVD occasionally...
  6. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007

    LOL....the 15" doesn't do it for me for screen real estate....I need my 17"....
  7. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    The machine has more than enough processor power to do everything you describe; just make sure you get 8 GB RAM (from a third party, of course). IDEs and Photoshop both love their RAM.

    That said, I would wait for the next generation if you have time. It will probably have a 1440x900 screen, which will be good for development usage.
  8. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

    Jul 14, 2009
    The MBP13" will run everything you need with relative ease. Its a great computer, I recommend it.

    The biggest bottleneck will be the resolution, though it sounds like you have a more powerful Windows computer at your disposal. I assume that you can just plug the MBP into that screen whenever you need a bigger screen. That's what I've been doing, and it works beautifully.

    If you plan to use big images in Photoshop, then you may want to look into upgrading your RAM to 6 or 8GB (after market, of course; Apple charges you an arm, leg, and thyroid for it :))
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    13" screens are not that much of a transition. I came from 15 and 17" laptops myself before the macbook and really struggled with going to a smaller size because I thought it would be too small.

    I'm so glad I did. It's the perfect travel notebook and fits damn near anywhere. I don't even notice the smaller footprint and will probably be a 13" user for life. I also use a 22" external monitor for digital photo work along with a bluetooth mouse when deskbound.

    You can always add a monitor but you'll never be able to make your macbook any smaller than it is.
  10. DeViAnThans3 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Belgium (Europe)
    Thanks everyone! It was a delight to read through all your replies. :)

    What I remember from your replies, is (mainly):
    • It is sufficient,
    • though 8GB ram may be a good investment;
    • size 13" won't be a problem I think; I've worked more than once on a 13" (even though my laptop is 15.6), and some people I know also themselves recommend a 13" (I btw have an external monitor at home, if needed, so..),
    • i, at first, also doubted on a 13" MBA, but in the end I'ld regret that I think, even though a MBA looks so cool ;) I believe it's more meant for real travelers and a bit less for "professionals" :)
    • I don't immediately need the new laptop, but probably in 2-3 months my current laptop will die on me. I hope to bring up the patience then to wait for the new line ;)

    Thanks a lot for all replies! Your responses were a lot more positive than I first thought they'ld be, but your replies pushed me over the line: it'll most probably be a 13" MBP, obviously hoping that the new line still offers a 13" MBP ;)
    I'll definitively keep an eye on the forums & rumors here to keep myself updated with the latest news regarding MBP's ;)

    Thanks again guys! :)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Good luck with your new baby.

    I have the 13" MBP and its a great machine.

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