MBP 13" vs. New MacBook for business use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PhillyPhan, May 29, 2015.

  1. PhillyPhan macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2008
    My 2008 MacBook is finally ready to give up the ghost.

    I'm debating between purchasing the new MacBook and a 13" MacBook Pro. I'm a lawyer, and I'm looking for a travel-friendly laptop that has enough juice to do some heavy multitasking for word processing and Internet usage (think like Citrix connectivity, 5-10 internet tabs open, multiple large word documents, lots of track changes, etc.).

    The new MacBook looks very enticing, but I'm concerned about whether the processor speed is going to be able to keep up with the demands I'm going to place on it. My wife has a MacBook Air and when I've used it I've noticed it can sometimes be a little slower in terms of handling multiple programs than I'd like. Anyone have any thoughts on the capability of the MacBook to handle heavy business use?

    The MBP 13" would obviously have enough power for what I need, but I wonder if it's going to be overkill and whether the laptop is too bulky for traveling. One extra note: I also have a work-issued laptop that is connected to an intranet but not the internet, so it is very possible that I'll be taking two laptops with me when I travel. Anyone have thoughts on traveling with a MBP?

    It could be that I need to get over my ambivalence with the MBA and accept that it is the best compromise solution (maybe the 11"?). But I was hoping to mine the collective wisdom of the forums. Thanks!
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It'll run about the same as the wife's air basically. Yes it is very thin and light and will be perfect for travelling.

    The rMBP is quite a bit heavier but still fairly light and compact, however with 2 machines to carry it's no new MacBook. Other than that it is a brilliant little laptop that will handle your use case without breaking sweat.....

    As with all laptop purchases you have to balance portability power and battery life. For me the rMBP is the best balance of those things for you it may be the rMB. Apple give a 14 day no questions return policy try out whichever one you think will be best and if it doesn't work out return it and get the other one.
  3. Cnasty macrumors 68040


    Jul 2, 2008
    Had to make this decision yesterday and glad I went with the rMBP over the rMB.

    I am on my feet all day from meeting to meeting and I need a device that will last me all day and be able to do VPN through Citrix consistently with little latency due to my needs.

    I absolutely loved the look and form factor of the rMB but it is a little underpowered for what I need it to be and at the same price as the powerful rMBP I made that my choice in the end.

    It has only been one day but already I know I made the right choice as this thing FLIES! It is no doubt heavier than my 11MBA but for efficiency and what I need it to do the extra half pound or whatever is a drop in the bucket. I just consider it a little added fitness and weight lifting. I also got an incredible deal with the education coupon and movers coupon stacked at BB and walked out the door with a huge smile

    Good luck in your choice.
  4. Jozone macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    Another vote for rMBP 13'' - based on your described usage (and the fact that you're going to likely be running Office 2011), the rMB wont be enough raw CPU.

    Its also worth trying the rMB in person, I dont know if I would like typing all day on that new keyboard :confused:
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Apple has a 14 day, no questions asked return policy.
  6. placidity44 macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2015
    You made a great choice. Hope you enjoy your new machine!
  7. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I've had a 13" rMBP for over two years, now I have a rMB. For the task I see described it sounds like the rMB should be able to do this. As previously said, it will perform about like the MBA, although for short burst tasks may be a little faster.

    While I've loved the 13" rMBP, it's absolutely not a power demon. It's barely faster than a MBA, it's main advantage is the retina display.

    For the OP, do you really want/need a retina display? If not, the MBA is probably the best choice for you. However, I would note that personally I'd pick the 13" rMBP instead of the 13" MBA since the form factor is actually smaller other than thickness and it's only 1/2 pound heavier.

    If you want/need the retina, do you need USB or other ports? For example there is a thunderbolt/gigabit ethernet adaptor from Apple that works very well for wired connections. For the rMB this would require an unproven third-party adaptor.

    I'd try a rMB in a store. If you love the form factor then I think it will do the job for you. If the form factor doesn't wow you, then get the 13" rMBP.
  8. bmclaurin, May 29, 2015
    Last edited: May 29, 2015

    bmclaurin macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have both. But if I could only have one, it would be the rMBP no question. I'm a business user as well, and I also travel fairly frequently. The rMB is sublime for this, and it will handle most typical business apps just fine, including MS Office. If uncompromising portability is your number one priority, the rMB is a great choice. But in almost every other respect, the rMBP is a better choice, at least for me. I'm a financial guy, so I deal with Excel spreadsheets constantly. While the rMB can "handle" them just fine, the experience is better and more productive with the rMBP in my usage.

    Take, for example, screen real estate and ergonomics. Though the rMb's 12" screen is indeed beautiful, it is a bit limiting and somewhat cramped with large-ish spreadsheets. And even though the rMB is quite comfortable to use, when I've been using it for a while and then switch over to the rMBP, I'm always amazed at how much more comfortable and "roomy" the rMBP feels. I don't have to hunch over it as much, nor do I need to be as deliberate when placing my hands over the slightly roomier keyboard. And even though the 1" difference in screen size doesn't seem like a big deal, it makes a very noticeable difference in real world usage with things like financial spreadsheets.

    And speaking of those spreadsheets, the rMB will "handle" them (performance wise) just fine, even the larger ones. But compared to the rMBP, I can tell that my rMB chugs along just a tad on the larger ones, particularly those with mutiple tabs and numerous formulas. It just seems to hesitate "just enough" to make me conscious that it is really having to chew its way through it. But the rMBP eats them for breakfast and doesn't struggle even a tiny bit. I'm not saying the rMB can't handle it. I'm just saying the rMBP is better, and noticeably so, in my experience.
  9. colonel179 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014

    Am I the only one that LOVES the new keyboard? I tried once and I just loved it. It felt great, and I am sure all other macs will have it eventually.

    On topic:
    I would go for the rMBP 13". I too conisdered the new rMB, but for the same price, you get a much better computer. If it was cheaper though, then I would have gone for the rMB.
  10. PhillyPhan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2008
    Thanks all, for the considered advice. I'm leaning towards the rMBP, mainly for the reasons bmclaurin suggested.
  11. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    My needs and uses probably closely resemble yours.

    I owned a rMB for 2 weeks minus 1 day.

    As far as "power" goes, it was more than completely satisfactory - no issues.

    As far as portability goes, it was a dream. My previous notebook was a late 2013 rMBP, which is not exactly a heavyweight at 3.5 pounds, but the 2 pound rMB was amazing.

    I have twice owned 11" MBAs and found them unsatisfactory in the end. The 16:9 display ratio means that in comparison to the other Mac notebooks with 16:10 displays you lose a noticeable amount of vertical display area, which is a limitation if you're working with documents and spreadsheets a lot. The other issue is that for whatever reason they both had display issues when scrolling. I can read a document on a rMBP while I'm scrolling it down the page. On the MBA the text faded and jumped while scrolling, which was an annoyance.

    I don't travel by air as much as I used to, but my commute involves four miles of walking and an hour on crowded commuter trains. I also carry my laptop around during the day at work, so I understand portability issues very clearly and from that perspective the rMB is superb. The two reasons I went back to the rMBP were:

    (1) I thought I'd get used to the keyboard - but I didn't. I actually grew more uncomfortable with over the two weeks I had it. YMMV, obviously, but since typing is a big part of what I do with a computer this was a problem.

    (2) I - like you? - often need to display two documents side by side to compare them. I find this possible on a 13.3" rMBP display, though the text gets a little small. On the 12" rMB display the text simply got smaller than I was comfortable with if I was displaying what seemed to me to be a reasonable amount of text. If I were 28 years old, maybe it would work - I'm not, and it didn't.

    Those two issues may not be issues for you - Apple dares you to try their products for two weeks and offers a no-questions asked return policy if you're not happy. Take them up on it.
  12. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I would second what newellj says. So many things are personal, it's tough to determine. I do actually miss the 13" rMBP somewhat. Here are two of my biggest differentiators between them:

    13" rMBP con: The speakers are terrible compared to the rMB or 15" rMBP. I'm not a big audio person but I was amazed how good the speakers on the rMB are. Now I will often have a podcast or music running in the background where I would not bother before.

    rMB con: The display opens about 5 or 10 degrees less than I want. Since I use it primarily on my lap (laptop) there are places where my legs aren't flat and it those cases, the rMBP opens maybe 5 degrees more than the rMB and just works better for me.

    You won't see those items on a spec sheet or in an online review. What matters to one person won't matter to another. If portability is a big thing for you and ports aren't a big deal, you should consider giving the rMB a try. If those items are not primary things for you, the 13" rMBP is probably one of the most solid Apple has (though not the most glamorous).

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11 May 29, 2015