MacBook Pro retina: Mid-range 13" or Low-range 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ellenccc, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Ellenccc macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2015
    I'm a second-year university student looking to get the latest MacBook Pro retina (switching from a PC). I have been to the store and tried both - I am very torn between getting a mid-range 13" (I want the 256GB SSD) or a low-range 15". With the Apple care, student discounts and tax (15% here), the difference in price comes down to $700 CAD. I am not sure whether spending this extra cash is worth is as I do not do any graphic or hardcore programming work. I use my laptop mostly to type notes, read and watch movies & TV series. I should mention that I will not consider MacBook Air, it's too thin for my taste (I feel like I will easily drop it or break it haha). Here are some pros and cons I've came up with - I wish to get some insight from all of you who have had experience with MacBook Pros:

    1. About 1kg lighter in weight, the charger is also lighter than the one used for 15", so it will add up to be more than 1kg lighter --> more portable
    2. Longer battery life (though I'll most likely be carrying around the charger anyway, I will almost always have somewhere to plug at school)
    3. Cheaper ($700 CAD less than the 15")
    1. Smaller screen (I've never used a laptop under 15.4", I have no idea whether 13" is enough as a comfortable size to work with for long hours), maybe eyes will get tired more easily
    2. Since there is less screen space, when working on programs such as Microsoft Office with multiple documents, have to spend little extra time adjusting size of the window or display (zoom in and such)

    1. Bigger screen, which makes the "retina" part much more obvious and apparent --> nicer to watch videos and movies.
    2. 16GB RAM, can "keep its value longer(?)" - I lack of a better way to say this... it seems like these things get upgraded quickly, 8GB may be good today, and next year the standard becomes 16GB. And since RAM is something important for most people, getting a 16GB feels like my laptop can withstand its value longer
    1. HEAVIER - this is what I'm more concerned about (please share your experiences with 15" rMBP's weight ). I'm afraid that although it doesn't feel much lighter when I hold it, and it's probably not that heavy with just the rMBP in the backpack - the extra weight might show during exam times when I have to carry more books around.
    2. Price - Is the $700CAD worth it? Because the difference that I can really experience will probably be 1)the screen and 2) the RAM, since I only do ordinary business with my laptop. I know what the extra money is worth it for those professional users out there given the higher specs of the processor and graphics card, but I probably won't feel anything, right?
    - but then, if the extra screen real estate can make me work more efficiently (share your experiences please, I would really like to hear them), and that it's not heavy, I do have the budget to pay the extra $700.

    As you may be able to tell, I've done quite a lot of research, but I am still torn and don't know how to decide. I guess the biggest question is portability vs. extra screen space & retina experience. I would really appreciate if you could share your opinions and experiences! If you can convince me of which model to choose, I will be very grateful. I've been losing productivity for days just to think about this decision dilemma...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    There are a lot of RAM threads on here, but this is the first time that someone thinks they can "experience ram" :)

    For your usage an Ipad would be the best choice.
    For note taking and video watching, 16gb ram will make no difference for the next decade.

    For you the only differences are price, weight and screen size.
    Do not listen to anyone who tells you differently!!
  3. Ellenccc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2015
    Heyy, thanks for replying!
    By "experience" I meant, feeling that things are dragging, or slowing down, when perhaps working simultaneously on multiple things? Maybe I'm not saying this right, but I thought that's what RAM is for?

    iPad is too small... I mean I'm wondering if 13" is too small, let alone iPads.

    So weighting price, weight and screen size, do you have a preference?
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Theoratically yes, but for reading, writing and watching movies it's irrelevant.
    Those tasks can be performed by any phone and for multitasking the macbook air would work by far the best.

    Since you do not like the Air, you will have to fork out the $$$ for the Pro.
    The screen size and weight is really a matter of preference.

    My main point is, that the other specs are completely irrelevant for you intended usage.
  5. Ellenccc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2015

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4 January 25, 2015