Laptop sizes for uni.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by babybanana, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. babybanana macrumors member

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    Aug 8, 2010
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    UK
    #1
    Well it was results day in the UK and I've got into uni, so my dad is buying me a laptop, although I'm not too sure what size to go for, either a 13, 14 or 15 inch laptops ? =/

    is 15 inch too big or considered the norm? I'm slightly confused.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
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    Colorado
    #2
    Have you looked at the classrooms in the University you will be attending? If so, how big are the desks? My daughter is a sophomore in college and uses a 13.3 inch MacBook Pro. Personally, I wouldn't go bigger than 15 inches.
     
  3. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    I wouldn't go bigger than 15'' and personally I prefer 13''.
     
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Location:
    Norway
    #4
    I had a 12 inch PowerBook my first two years at uni, then switched to a 15 inch MBP (there was no 13 inch back then).
    At first I found the 15 inch to be a bit big, but I soon loved it.
    If it's your only computer, then consider a 15 inch, since it's much more powerful. Also the 15 inch MBP has a smaller footprint than most 14 inch PCs
     
  5. babybanana thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
  6. sauced macrumors regular

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    O Canada...
    #6
    I prefer 13". The first laptop I got (not a Mac) was 15" and was pretty heavy to carry around, so I didn't even bring it everyday. The second laptop I got was a 13" Macbook, and it was the perfect size. Granted, I'm also 5'0, so the extra weight in my backpack was really noticeable for me.
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    There's not that much between them physically to be honest. 1.1 pounds of difference.

    If it's going to be your only mac then I'd suggest going for a 15 inch one. The larger screen is slightly nicer to work with but the biggest difference here is that it is (currently) significantly faster and will 'last' longer as a result.

    I used to have a Dell 15" massive laptop back when I was an undergraduate but I never took it around with me (science degree) other than to my girlfriend's. I then got an iBook which was noticeably lighter followed by a MacBook and now a 15" MacBook Pro. I haven't really noticed any difference between carrying a MacBook Pro, MacBook or iBook but they were all noticeably better than the old Dell was.

    Also, in case you don't already know about it, Apple does special pricing for University students. You can either call them up and order and say that you're eligible for Higher Educational pricing or you can order online if you can find the link to your particular university. I've attached a screen grab showing you what the discount gets you. Some universities also have a deal with Apple to give you three years worth of warranty (parts, not full Applecare) but I still highly advise getting full Applecare at the time of purchase. It's significantly cheaper through the HE store. For a MacBook Pro it's £58.75 in the HE store.

    Last thing, make sure to get a nice sleeve to put whatever laptop you end up getting in. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  8. babybanana thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Thanks for that but I'm gonna get a Dell laptop because my course relies heavily on Windows based applications, as I'm taking Computer Forensic, however in my final year of uni, providing I have saved enough money I will get myself a Macbook ;)
     
  9. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #9
    If you're set on a Dell the 14" Latitude models are a nice size. In all honesty, though, go play with some models and see what you like. A 15" won't be too big to fit in your bag either.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    If Windows is what you need then here's two things which could make a Mac a great choice still:

    1. Windows 7 Professional can be had via the Microsoft Ultimate Steal deal for only £39 with a valid .ac.uk email address.

    2. VMWare Fusion can be had for only $39.99 (currently ~£25).

    Together it means you can run Windows 7 under Boot Camp or on top of your OSX desktop for only about £65 if you're a student. I've got it set up so that I can switch with a simple key combo to a different Spaces screen where Windows is running Windows full screen. It's great being able to switch OSs in under a second!
     
  11. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #11
    I went through uni with a 12" laptop, and it looks like I'll be going back again with my 13" next year.
    Of course I had an external monitor at my desk though. Small displays are great on the go but it was always nice to get back on a 20" display!
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #12
    I recently got a Dell studio i7 15in laptop for my programing classes. Personaly I find 15in to be the sweet spot between size and portablitly. It fits on the desk just fine and large enough to be able to see eveythig really well.

    That is what I recomend.

    Sorry I am on my iPod this weekend so best I can really offer right now.
     
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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  14. TSE macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #14
    Everyone has their favorite size.

    Mine personally is 13" because it is both portable and allows for somewhat powerful. I don't use my computer for anything demanding and battery life/portability is more important to me.
     
  15. 87vert macrumors 6502

    87vert

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    #15
    13" and get an external monitor for when working on it at home.
     
  16. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    London
    #16
    I second 87vert.

    I replaced my 20" alu iMac with a 13" MBP and a 24" Dell 2407WFP-HC monitor. I couldn't be happier. The computer is more than powerful enough for everything I do and the screen is perfect. Even the 15" screen will be too small after a while so going for an external screen with a 13" gives you more portability and a better setup at home for the same money.

    Like you, all of my software for uni is Windows based (Engineering, so lots of CAD and FEA simulation). I bought Windows 7 for £39.99 with the ultimate steal deal and use Boot Camp/Parallels.
     
  17. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

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    In the heart of Europe
    #17
    I agree with others who say that 13" are enough. I have a 14,5" (I suppose) myself and sometimes I wish it would be a little smaller, like 10".
     
  18. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #18
    I'd go 13.3" MBP with a sub $200 24" display (Dell?). 15" was just a touch too big for me at university.
     
  19. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    Location:
    London
    #19
    I forgot to mention that buying a Mac in the UK is effectively free.

    In the first year I bought a white 17" iMac with the university discount. At the end of the year I sold it on eBay for exactly the same price as I bought it. With the proceeds I bought a 20" aluminium iMac with the university discount for the second year, which I sold at the end of the year for the same price. Then for the third year I bought a 13" MBP on university discount. I haven't decided whether or not to sell it yet, as it's as good as anything I need right now.

    It's amazing. Every year you get to upgrade your computer to a better model without spending any extra money.
     
  20. babybanana thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 8, 2010
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    UK
    #20
    I think I might do that. But one question before submitting this idea to le parents, does the macbook and macbook pro have many differences? or verry little between each other and what is this Windows 7 thing? Did you buy it from the apple website, or am I looking in the wrong place?
     
  21. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    Manchester, UK
    #21
    How much is the university discount? does it differ from uni to uni? This is a genius idea.
     
  22. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #22
    A 15" will fit on that table with room to spare; a 17" will fit on it too, just with less room left over.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #23
    This is an excellent suggestion.

    Although, depending on your situation and available peripherals, perhaps a mini/ipad combo would also work? If you're main uses while away from home are taking notes and keeping track of deadlines / assignments, you might consider it, particularly if you can get your textbooks on the iPad. Many textbooks weigh several times more than the iPad, and if you have to pack 3 or 4 of those books at once, it gets heavy. Plus if you're adding a 5 lb laptop to those books...

    Ultimately the decision boils down to what capabilities you need, and what your use profile is. Ask yourself how you see yourself using this machine. Will you take it with you every day? Do you need powerful graphics software capabilities? Will you have a lot of palettes open at once? Plan on gaming?
     
  24. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #24
    Those tables are awesome! The only problem is when people break the chairs that are usually attached to them (and swing out), and then you have to sit in a crooked chair >>

    That said, what kind of major are you taking? Something in liberal arts? Those are no problem with a laptop of any size.. maybe a 13" IS fine, unless you like lots of screen resolution.

    If you're taking math/engineering/physics or something involving writing lots of greek symbols and equations, you may want a tablet.
     
  25. BMJT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #25
    +1 for the 13"

    Wonderfully portable and will probably be able to handle most, if not all, the tasks you'll throw at it. Just grab a nice display for the desk at home where you might need the larger screen-estate.
     

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