Is the portability of the 13" worth the 2" sacrifice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hieveryone, May 31, 2014.

  1. Hieveryone, May 31, 2014
    Last edited: May 31, 2014

    Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I use to own a late 2013 MBPr 15" 2.6/16/512

    Then I switched it out for a late 2013 MBPr 13" 2.6/8/256

    Recently I've been missing the beautiful 15" screen, so I stopped by my local Apple store to check it out.

    I do love the screen size, but it has a huge foot print and feels way more bulky and heavy than the 13"

    In a way I'm glad I switched to the 13" because I do need portability. I live in a 4 floor house and spend a lot of time at the library and school.

    I take my 13" MBPr everywhere so it's definitely easier to carry than the 15"

    What do y'all think?
  2. dezmen macrumors member

    May 23, 2014
  3. Master D macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2013
    I have the 13" as well & wondering if I should have gotten the 15" or the iMac..., great machine though.
  4. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    I personally feel that the difference in screen size isn't that big a factor. It's more of a tradeoff of performance for portability. For me, more important than screen size is resolution. Bumping either display up to 1680*1050 is good enough for me.

  5. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I personally love the 13" form factor! I think the 2" sacrifice is worth it, but too bad the hardware doesn't suffice for me :[ Unless they make a 13" rMBP with quad core and dGPU, Im stuck with the 15"
  6. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    Before getting my 13" MBA I always had 15.4" Windows laptops, and I was a little concerned about "downsizing". However, I have never really noticed a size different. The keyboard is more comfortable than on my 15" laptops and the screen seems to be the same size.

    In fact, I had to break out my old Windows laptop and I couldn't tell a difference between my 13" MBA screen and the 15.4" Windows laptop screen with them sitting side by side.
  7. squidkitten macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2012
    This sounds weird, but I currently use a 13" 2010 MBP and I'm planning on buying a rMBP in August or so, and I was just going to get another 13" one, but when I went to the Apple Store to check them all out, they seemed extremely small?? Maybe I was just seeing things, but it felt smaller than my current 13" machine, and I can't tell if that's because the bezel is smaller or what, but it felt entirely too small for me. I checked out the 15", and while I remember the pre-retina ones being waaay to big, the retina one seemed perfectly sized.

    I personally feel like performance should come before portability, so if you like what's under the hood of the 15", go with that.
  8. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I see your point. I definitely agree that performance is the main thing.

    For me though, I don't do anything that would require a quad core. I just use notes, chrome, imessage, calendar, etc

    Well, I would like to be able to replace my Xbox One and use the MBPr as a gaming machine but it's not going to be as good as the Xbox One (for now).


    I use 1680*1050 and whenever I go back to retina I definitely notice the difference.

    I use 2560x1600 (whatever the max on the 13" is) when I run Windows 7 in boot camp and it def looks better than 1680x1050 but it's not a huge deal.


    OR there's always the option of getting a 27" external monitor (or any size for that matter) and just hooking it up to your MBPr :D
  9. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    13" for me, wife has 15" and it seems wayy more bulky.
  10. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    15" for me - I do have a 13" MacBook Air, but I find myself bringing the 15" rMBP with me more often, primarily because of the additional horsepower. While I do notice some difference between the MBA and rMBP, that difference is honestly marginalized when comparing the 13" and 15" rMBP machines.
  11. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Get an external monitor, and then you have the best of both worlds.
  12. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    I have a 15" mid-2010 MBP with the Hi-Res display so I feel right at home when using my father's 15" rMBP at 1680*1050. However, I crank it up to 2880*1800 quite often for the huge screen real-estate (I usually have at least 2 windows open simultaneously).

  13. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    How are you able to read anything?
  14. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    For me it's less about the added horsepower, and more about the grandeur of the larger screen. As stunning as the Retina display is on the iPhone, iPad, and 13" MacBook -- there is a whole other immersion level with the 15. I'm incredulous that so many here have complained about the 15" bulkiness. What is it, .71-inches thick? It also weighs (ever so slightly) less than the OPs 2010 13". The 15 had once exceeded my weight threshold but now it is perfectly fine.
  15. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    That's cool. If you need the horsepower than it's a no brainer. For me I can see why the thickness and weight isn't an issue but the foot print can be large if going to class and putting it on a desk, etc.
  16. gpsouza macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2012
    In all honesty 0.5kg (don't know how many pounds more) more is nothing compared to the machine that the 15" is. The math is simple, the 15" is better. I really don't mind the "footprint", it fits everywhere.

    If you don't mind getting a slight inferior machine, 13" all the way. I had one and bought a 15" last week... jesus... loving the screen, I can finally work.
  17. itegypt macrumors 6502


    Aug 6, 2011
    The 15" is better but what make it bulky is when you put it in a bulky case :D
  18. CarreraGuy macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2013
    I have a 2010 13" MBP for personal use and work gave me a late 2013 13" rMBP which I've used since January.

    As you say the 13" rMBP does feel smaller because it is! I laid them on top of each other and the retina has a smaller footprint, and is thinner and lighter. One annoyance is the keyboard: it has less travel than my 2010 - took some getting used to. That being said the actual screen is the same size, but obviously more real estate because of the retina.

    I asked for for the 13" instead of the 15" and never looked back. It's maxed out with 16gb ram and 1TB ssd and when at work hooked up to a 27 Thunderbolt display... It's not economical to max out a 13" as it is for a 15", but wasn't my dime.
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you love the 13" form factor, stick with it. I do think overall the 15" rMBP is a more powerful better machine. Better in the sense of faster components larger screen but if you're happy with what the 13" model then why change.
  20. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I'm in the same boat. I came from a 16" toshiba laptop and went with a 13" MBP as seen in my sig. I'm using it for app development, some gaming, and various documentation tasks. Perfect thus far and I do NOT miss the screen real estate as I thought I would. The weight and small footprint of the MBP is appreciated! Glad I did the 13" and saved a ton of money. :)
  21. JonathanGennick macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    The answer lies in priorities, and sometimes we have conflicting priorities that seem almost equally important.

    Aesthetically, the 13 is a no brainer. I do not like the "keyboard as an island surrounded by an ocean of aluminum" look of the 15.

    Small footprint matters a lot to me. OTOH, in a hotel room I would rather have the larger and more productive screen.

    Probably I'll choose small footprint plus an external monitor for when I'm in the office. Tough call though.
  22. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Its never been a weight/thickness issue with the 15" rMBP - but it does take up a lot of desk real estate so it makes it much harder to use on a small desk, or in an airline seat, etc.

    If there was a 14" power option, I'm sure there's a group that would go for it, since I've found that 14" is about the max from a footprint standpoint for portability. The 13" rMBP shaves more than an inch from the height and almost 2 inches from the width of the 15" rMBP, which is pretty significant.
  23. -Rhys macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2014
    This is great to hear! I'm in a very similar position, looking to make the move from a 15" Windows Laptop to a rMBP and wondered if I'd find a smaller screen more difficult. I'm a Computer Science student, so I do mainly programming and report writing, and I like to play a few games (only CS:GO, L4D2 and Guild Wars 2), and have been furiously comparing the 13" middle rMBP and the 15" base rMBP.

    I think you're comment has finally pursaded me that the 13" rMBP is the correct choice! I'll wait for a week, until after WWDC just in case of a minor spec bump or a price drop (even though unlikely), and then purchase the 13" rMBP! Thank you very much!
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I have both.

    13" rMBP: 2.8 i7/16/512GB
    15" rMBP: 2.6/16/1TB/750M

    Both of them have different purposes, so it's hard to say whether a 2" sacrifice will be worth it or not.

    I use the 13" for practically everything except heavy Photoshop, running more than 2 VMs, 4K editing and gaming. It's my carry-everywhere machine unless I'm on a mission that requires lots of power (filming in 4K and demonstrating software through virtual machines).

    My 15" is for running 3-4 VMs at the same time, heavy 1080p editing and medium 4K editing, plus heavy Photoshop and gaming (via Boot Camp).

Share This Page