MBP 15" comfortable working position?

ahostmadsen

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Dec 28, 2009
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I'm moving from the 12" MB to the 15" MBP, of course one reason being the bigger screen. I always had small laptops (with perhaps big external screens and external keyboard), and with the big laptop I found a new issue that I didn't think of when I bought it. If I put it in a natural position with the base edge at the front of the table, the screen is too far away to view comfortably in the "More space" configuration unless I hunch over. With the 12" MB I had no problems with the "more space" configuration in a natural position. The 15" MBP is more comfortable in default resolution. But if I use it in default configuration I get 1680 x 1050 vs 1440 by 900 for "more space" in the 12" MB. Essentially no gain for a huge disadvantage in size and weight.

My solution is to put the 15" MBP so that the base sticks out over the front edge of the table. But that is not ideal either. How do you get a comfortable working position?
 

New_Mac_Smell

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I just have mine on default resolution and it's absolutely fine... It's not actually 1680x1050, just gives that appearance. Using the 'more space' option is far too tiny and I don't think I'd ever find that suitable unless I was actually an inch from the display.

The options are there to give you a choice though, but the default one is usually best. You'll have noted that using more space with the 12" gives a similar resolution appearance as the default 15", but it is still a 12" screen and a 15" screen.

Comfort wise it's whatever you want, I just use default and use the laptop normally. Not had a need to reduce the UI scaling as it serves no real purpose other than providing a larger desktop area (At the cost of minimised UI).
 

ahostmadsen

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Dec 28, 2009
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It's of course basic geometry, I realize now: if you place a 15" inch screen further back than a 12" screen, and you want things to appear at the same size on the retina, things has to be bigger on the 15" screen, thereby reducing the advantage of the bigger screen. Because of the larger base of the 15" laptop, the screen is naturally placed further back.

The only solutions I have found is to let the 15" stick out over the table. Not ideal ergonomics for typing.
 

peraspera

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2016
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Using a stand for your MPB will move it closer to your eyes without needing to hunch over the computer.
 

ahostmadsen

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Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
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How is you vision? Do you use reading glasses?
Yes, I use reading glasses (only for computer). With the reading glasses I have no problem with the "more space" setting on the 12" MB, but if I move the 15" MBP to a natural position of the base, the screen gets to be too far away for comfortable reading in the "more space" space setting.
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Using a stand for your MPB will move it closer to your eyes without needing to hunch over the computer.
You mean one of those that angles the keyboard? That might be an idea for the office, but cumbersome when mobile.
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Yes, I use reading glasses (only for computer). With the reading glasses I have no problem with the "more space" setting on the 12" MB, but if I move the 15" MBP to a natural position of the base, the screen gets to be too far away for comfortable reading in the "more space" space setting.
More space is pretty tiny. Do you really need it with a 15"?

If so, you might see your optometrist and ask about computer glasses. These are glasses that defined to correct your vision at normal screen lengths versus reading glasses that are usually defined for closer in. I bought a pair and never noticed much of a difference until I got some higher resolution monitors. Then the difference was pretty substantial.

So now I have two pair of glasses I use around the computers. A pair of reading glasses and a pair of computer glasses. Getting old sucks, and is getting darn expensive with these spendy glasses.
 

peraspera

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2016
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You mean one of those that angles the keyboard? That might be an idea for the office, but cumbersome when mobile.
Agreed. A stand would be fine for office or home at a desk/table but would be unwieldy for on the go.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
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More space is pretty tiny. Do you really need it with a 15"?

If so, you might see your optometrist and ask about computer glasses. These are glasses that defined to correct your vision at normal screen lengths versus reading glasses that are usually defined for closer in. I bought a pair and never noticed much of a difference until I got some higher resolution monitors. Then the difference was pretty substantial.

So now I have two pair of glasses I use around the computers. A pair of reading glasses and a pair of computer glasses. Getting old sucks, and is getting darn expensive with these spendy glasses.
The reason I bought the 15" MBP is that it allows to have two normal sized windows (e.g., two text documents) fully visible side-by-side in "more space," which is essential to my workflow. You cannot do that in normal view. I tested it in the Apple store before deciding to buy, but didn't think of a normal working position.

It could be a good idea to get computer glasses.
 

New_Mac_Smell

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The reason I bought the 15" MBP is that it allows to have two normal sized windows (e.g., two text documents) fully visible side-by-side in "more space," which is essential to my workflow. You cannot do that in normal view. I tested it in the Apple store before deciding to buy, but didn't think of a normal working position.

It could be a good idea to get computer glasses.
'More space' gives you like 150px extra? I've not actually seen anyone using this mode either, I personally find it far too small and strains my eyes. The default resolution is much better balanced, and compared to the 12" you're still getting a bigger screen. The resolution scaling is just a 'feels like', not the actual resolution of the display.

I don't know who can use the max resolution, maybe ultra sharp sighted children, but I don't think you'll ever find a comfortable way to use it unless you get magnifying glasses or something.
 
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ahostmadsen

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Dec 28, 2009
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I don't
'More space' gives you like 150px extra? I've not actually seen anyone using this mode either, I personally find it far too small and strains my eyes. The default resolution is much better balanced, and compared to the 12" you're still getting a bigger screen. The resolution scaling is just a 'feels like', not the actual resolution of the display.

I don't know who can use the max resolution, maybe ultra sharp sighted children, but I don't think you'll ever find a comfortable way to use it unless you get magnifying glasses or something.
I don't know what would be the advantage of a bigger screen if you cannot see more. If you put a 27" screen 10m away, you cannot see more than on an iPhone screen held up to your eyes. There is no advantage to the big screen.

Same, if you have to put the 15" screen further away than the 12" screen, at same point you have gained nothing -- just added bulk.
 

Moriarty

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Feb 3, 2008
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It's a really bad idea to use a laptop for more than a few hours a day without a stand. Laptops are terribly unergonomic.

Check out the Rain Design mStand. This stand will elevate the screen enough such that it's at eye level. Plug in an external keyboard and mouse, and you've got a much more comfortable setup.

It's also worth getting another monitor for more screen space. 4K / 5K is great if you can afford it, but a plain 1080p screen still works fine and is much better than nothing.
 
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New_Mac_Smell

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I don't

I don't know what would be the advantage of a bigger screen if you cannot see more. If you put a 27" screen 10m away, you cannot see more than on an iPhone screen held up to your eyes. There is no advantage to the big screen.

Same, if you have to put the 15" screen further away than the 12" screen, at same point you have gained nothing -- just added bulk.
So what exactly are you saying, we should all use iPads strapped to our faces?

You're confusing resolution and screen size together. The 15" has a larger surface and so can display more information in a more optimal way, the 12" can be stretched to display the same, but will be much smaller. Yes of course you can put a 12" closer than a 15" and give the appearance of the same size, but the 15" brings far more to the table than just added bulk.

Why didn't you just get an external monitor for your 12"? Seems that would have been a better solution for you.
 

ahostmadsen

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Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
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So what exactly are you saying, we should all use iPads strapped to our faces?

You're confusing resolution and screen size together. The 15" has a larger surface and so can display more information in a more optimal way, the 12" can be stretched to display the same, but will be much smaller. Yes of course you can put a 12" closer than a 15" and give the appearance of the same size, but the 15" brings far more to the table than just added bulk.

Why didn't you just get an external monitor for your 12"? Seems that would have been a better solution for you.
I do have two 27" external screens (home/office), and was planning to buy a 27" iMac. But my work situation changed so that I'm not much at my desk anymore. So, I decided to buy the 15" MBP instead of an iMac.
 
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