Macbook Pro 13" or 15" for surfing, emails, photo's and iTunes etc......

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Z3man, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
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    UK
    #1
    I am looking to buy a new Macbook Pro Retina and can't decide whether to go for 13" or 15". I don't really need portability as it will only leave the house about 4 times a year when i go on holiday, and then it will just stay in the caravan or lodge. I mainly just use it for surfing the net, emails, iPhoto and iTunes, nothing too taxing. The price difference between the two is quite a lot, so was wondering if it is worth paying the extra for what i do, both will have plenty of power for what i do, but will the extra real estate on the 15" make much of a difference, i don't mind paying the extra for the 15" if it is going to be worth it.

    What do you think.
     
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #2
    You would have to really value those 2 extra inches of screen size to pay $700 for them.

    If I was in your shoes, I would get a 13" MBA base model.
     
  3. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
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    UK
    #3
    Thanks but definitely don't want an Air, i bought one 3 years ago and returned it due to them having a poor quality washed out looking screen and small text.

    I have never fully understood why the wedge shaped Air has smaller text than all the other 13" laptops Apple have made over the years. The original Air, the MacBooks, the Macbook Pros and the Macbook Pro Retina's all have the same size text, yet the wedge shape Airs have smaller text. I know it has a dodgy resolution, something like 1400 x 900, but the others i have mentioned had different resolutions but hey all had the same size text, its as if Apple just could be bothered to scale the 1400 x 900 resolution properly.

    Anyway it doesn't really matter now as i definitely want to go retina this time.

    The difference in price between the 13" and 15" rMBP here in the UK is £500 buying through the education store, which is quite lot of money, hence the reason i am trying to find out if its worth having the extra 2 inches. When stretched diagonally 2 inches can be quite a lot of extra screen, but does it make much of a difference for what i will be doing on it.
     
  4. bluush macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    #4
    2 inches doesn't seem like much on paper. It's a whole lot more in person (imo). Personally I miss the 17". the 15" is the best option now... 13" and below I find unusable for more than 30 min.
     
  5. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #5
    It becomes a very personal question really. The 13" should be plenty fast for your needs. For the tasks you've listed, I don't think 15" is a must. Also, the retina models allow for scaling. So for example, I run my 15" rMBP with the equivalent resolution of 1920x1200 rather than 1440x900px in the old models. However, from what you mentioned you like small text or didn't find 1440x900px pleasing on the MBA, keep in mind everything is much sharper on the retina screens.

    Only you can decide what scaling mode you prefer and what screen size works for you. Give them a shot in an Apple store.

    Have you considered getting an iMac or plugging your laptop in an external display?
     
  6. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
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    UK
    #6
    I think you must have misunderstood my post, its small text that i don't like, thats why i sent the Air back, the text was smaller on it than on all the other 13" Apple laptops.

    Used to have an iMac, but definitely want a laptop again as i like lounging about on the sofa while i am surfing, so an external display is not an option for me. I always buy a sofa where the arms are flat on the top, makes a really good laptop stand.

    Going to try and get to Curry's tomorrow to try out the 13" and 15".
     
  7. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #7
    Just been having a look on the Apple website, it shows pictures of the 13" and 15" side by side and the 15" looks massive compared to the 13", i wonder if there is that much difference in real life.
     
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #8
    Why not just get an air and scale the resolution down to 1280x800? That's the same effective resolution as the 13" rmbp.
     
  9. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #9
    I tried that before but it didn't look right, can't quite remember what it was as it was 3 years ago now, I always find that all MacBooks only seem to look right when using their default setting, once you start messing about with the resolutions they never look right.

    It's irrelevant anyway as i am definitely going retina this time, i currently have a late 2011 macbook pro and am looking to upgrade not downgrade.
     
  10. PennCentralFan macrumors regular

    PennCentralFan

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    Twin Cities
    #10
    For what you want it to do get the 13". You really don't need the bigger screen to do those things and save your money.

    I have 13" MBP and I have no problem with the text size and I'll need bifocals soon.
     
  11. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    You are probably right, the text on my 13" MPB i have now is just the right size and on the 13" rMBP it ill be just the same size but sharper, there's only the Air where i have ever had problems with text size.

    I was just trying to see if it was worth getting the 15" for any reason, but it doesn't seem so, so might as well leave the extra £500 pound in my pocket.
     
  12. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #12
    It sounds like you are basically buying a home computer, so get a good external monitor and a computer that makes sense. I would not worry much about the screen or pay a lot for extra size.

    R
     
  13. aviduser2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    #13
    I went from 13" to 15" and i couldn't be happier. I spend a couple of hours on the computer each day, so if you split the difference over a few years it's not to bad. I was in your decision 4 years ago and opted for the cheaper one, which i later regretted.

    I love the bigger screen, and with the difference from baseline you also get 16gb ram (13" = 8gb= and 256 ssd (13" = 128).

    I would say the screen alone is worth the difference, and the additional CPU, SSD and RAM is just a bonus.

    My use is simular to yours, e.g. no heavy stuff.
     
  14. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #14
    Given that you already have a functioning laptop you might want to wait a couple months. With Broadwell updates and 12" rumors there could be a whole new batch of products to choose from.

    Otherwise, what I would do in your case is throw an SSD in your current 13" - make it feel better than new. Tether it to a 27" display, leave it on the desktop, and get an iPad for couch surfing.
     
  15. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #15
    Just tried both out in curry's and was very impressed with both of them. I am really tempted to go for the 15", the screen really is a lot bigger. There was something about the 15" that just felt special, but is it special enough for the extra £500 outlay is what i have to decide.

    ----------

    As far as i can tell Broadwell won't be coming to the rMBP for quite a few months yet, and may not come at all, there is talk of Apple skipping it and waiting for Skylake. I have read quite a lot about the 12" Air coming out soon but have decided i don't want to go to a smaller screen, especially after trying out the 15" today.

    Already got an SSD in my current MBP, ordered it from Apple as an upgrade when i bought the Pro 3 years ago.

    Already own an iPad, just a mini retina, but have used an air a few times as well, and must say i am not overly impressed with them, i much prefer a laptop for everything, the mini has just become a bedroom pad for checking emails etc.
     
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #16
    You need neither the power nor the size of the 15" for your needs. Have you considered an iPad?
     
  17. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    As mentioned in my last post, already got an iPad.

    I understand why you say i don't need the power of the 15", but why don't i need the size.
     
  18. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #18
    For browsing and email, there's only so much on screen at any one point in time. You don't need a whole screen to write an e-mail. Neither do you need it to browse your itunes library. Most well-written webpages resize correctly to whatever window size you're using. Hence, there's just not point in having more screen space if you don't actually use it.
     
  19. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #19
    Sounds like you would really do well with a 13" pro. You don't really need the power of the 15", and none of those tasks would really benefit from the extra screen space.
     
  20. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #20
    As others have pointed out, for your usage, it really just comes down to the screen, and only you can decide what feels comfortable, and whether the tradeoffs and cost is worth it to you.

    I wouldn't worry about whether a 15" MBP is more computer than you "need". There are a lot of users around here who seem really hung up on only getting what you "need". And people who are saying 15" is more screen real estate than is "useful" for your usage are just using ridiculous rationalizations to stick with the 13".
     
  21. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2008
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    MN
    #21
    No Broadwell in the Pros for awhile, but my thought is that retina could make it into the 13" Air if/when there is an update. (if they don't kill it entirely for the 12") Probably wishful thinking.
     
  22. aquilc, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015

    aquilc macrumors member

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    Dec 26, 2014
    Location:
    Malta
    #22
    For normal day-to-day usage (Internet Browsing, Emails, iTunes etc.), I would suggest the MacBook Pro 13".

    The 15" offers 8GB more RAM (16GB) which you wouldn't be using if it is to be only used for internet browsing, Emails and media playback. Even 8GB of Memory is more than enough for your needs.

    However take storage into consideration. If you're planning to fill up your Macbook with Music, photos and videos don't go for a 128GB model, you will be disappointed, at least consider a 256GB Model in such a case.

    If you are planning to use an External Storage device, you can go for the 128GB and save $200, also having the benefit of data backup..

    It all falls down to screen size. The 15" has a slightly better display (2880 x 1800) whilst the 13" has 2560 x 1600 resolution.
     
  23. Z3man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
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    UK
    #23
    I think i will go for the 13", i can't really justify the extra £500 for the 15" when the 13" will suit my needs just fine.

    I will get the 128gb version, that is what i have now and it is easily enough for me.

    The screen on the 13" actually has a slightly higher PPI than the 15", 227 versus 220 for the 15".
     

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