MBP 13" + display or 15" - help me decide!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kingmoore, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. kingmoore macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2010
    Hi, first time poster long time lurker. :cool:

    I haven't had my own mac since back in the Performa days, but had a 24" iMac at my last job and miss it greatly. I have been waiting for the new refresh for a few months, and now that it is here I am ready to get back on the apple train (so sick of my 2 year old Dell Inspiron on Vista!).

    My problem is that I can't decide if I should get a 13" + a ~24inch external display, or a 15". I use my laptop as my full time computer as a web developer. I have been on a high res 15" for the last 5 or 6 years so I am used to that, but at the same time it is rather bulky for travel. If I were to get a 15", I would get the high res, matte screen so I'm thinking the price of 13" + display + extras and a 15" would be comparable.

    My only real questions are...

    Do I understand correctly that a 13" is fine at outputting high res to an external monitor? Higher than the actual res of the 13"... seems a bit strange.

    Are there any nice docking station type things so I can just slot it in and be ready to go with a real keyboard/mouse/monitor?

    Is there much difference performance wise b/w 13" 2.4GHz and 2.66ghz? I am not a gamer. The price dif betweent the entry level 13" and the entry level 15 inch is huge...

    So here's the personal pros of each as I see them:

    - smaller, easier to travel with
    - with an external display, would actually be a bigger screen at home, almost like having 2 computers
    - better battery life

    - nice high res, matte screen
    - better refresh and i5 processor (was really hoping 13" would get this, oh well)
    - perhaps a better straight up work machine with the bigger monitor without needing an external display

    And so I'm stuck. Any other large considerations I should be thinking about? I'm basically looking for someone to make up my mind for me lol. My next step is obviously to go to the store and get a hands on experience.

    Thanks for any help. :cool:
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Yes, up to 2560x1600. All current GPUs are able to drive more than one display at high-res

    I've seen few docks but they are quite crumby, I would get a stand and USB hub, then you only have three cables to plug in, USB hub, MDP and MagSafe

    2.66GHz is ~10% faster but IMO not worth it

    Do you want a single monitor setup or dual monitor setup? 15" is easier but the 24" screen is nice if you mainly use it on desk
  3. avediswolf macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    Get the 15.
    Save up a little, and add an external monitor to that.
    You are set! Best of both worlds.
  4. gagaliya macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2010
    i didnt bother to read your novel...err post. But 13" mbp is not an option as it still uses the c2d. So your only choice is 15" mbp. case closed.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    So are you saying that C2Ds are useless? i5 is only 30% faster clock for clock and that's only in apps that support HT and require speed. In general usage, there is no difference
  6. bornblind macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2008
    I have the Late 2009 13" MBP 2.53. It is my primary computer. I edit PS graphics, light video editing and a good bit a audio production. The only thing that I have to complain about is... The screen is just to small sometimes. The speed is not a problem with the C2D. I also have 4GB of mem and a 7200RPM 500GB HD. Yes, I can hook it up to an external LCD but I have to work where ever I am and can't carry the LCD with me. I should have gotten the 15"

    I would suggest the same for you.
  7. kingmoore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2010
    Thanks for reading the novel and the personal insights. I don't want to make the wrong choice. $$$ isn't really an issue b/w the two, just don't want to wish I had the other size. Trying to think about it in as many ways as possible.

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