MBP - how do I work out if I should get the 13" or 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacAndy74, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I was totally sold on the faster MBP 13-inch but now - reading a few threads I'm just not convinced if it will be good for me or if I should splash out a bit more and get a MBP 15-inch?

    I guess what I'm really looking at doing is mainly web stuff, browsing / email. Also like to run Twitter and maybe doing some basic photo editing plus perhaps iWork / iLife Apps.

    And from my requirements, if I go for the 15-inch do I need the 9600 video processor option?

    :eek::apple:
     
  2. Fizzoid macrumors 68020

    Fizzoid

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    #2
    You won't need the 9600 for the basic stuff you listed, but of course will that change?
    As for the 13"-15" debate, how mobile are you, and how important is the extra screen real estate\cost?
    For me, I wanted more portability and I do some CS3 photo editing and iMovie stuff and the 13" is fine for me, especially as I can hook up to an external screen when at home. However, that's me, and everyone's different.
     
  3. MacAndy74 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Wow, really appreciate your thought provoking post Fizzoid :)

    Portability is very important to me, most of the time the MBP won't be on a desk but sitting on my lap or tray. So iLife and iWorks apps are fine at 1280x800 then? Ditto for Safari I guess.

    Sometimes I may choose to attach a Samsung SyncMaster 226BW - mainly weekends.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Fizzoid macrumors 68020

    Fizzoid

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    #4
    Well, people always seem to push their opinions onto others, based on their cisrcumstances and choice, but everyone's different :)

    As for 1280x800 being usable, I would say so, but not ideal. If I was a professional user it might be a problem, but I'm not. I do like screen real estate, and would actually prefer a better resolution but keeping the same size screen. However, Apple don't give me that option and as I carry my laptop everyday, portability was the deciding factor.

    Not sure if I've helped, or only added to the confusion ;)
     
  5. MacAndy74 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I'm not really a 'pro' user, although I would use the MBP 13" for work, but not extensive word processing or spreadsheets.

    I think I'm going to visit a local Apple reseller and just have a play on the 13-inch MB or MBP again - objectively and with a cool head this time. :D
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    As I mentioned in other threads, I'm on the 9400m the majority of time for my MBP. I'm not sure if I'm considered a heavy user of aperture or not, but my library is 75gb and I found the performance of the 9400 to be acceptable in that application. I was told to get the best GPU possible because of aperture's reliance on the GPU. While I believe that assessment, the 9400m is plenty powerful.

    Also consider that apple upgraded the screen of the 13" Model and added FW, so there's less difference between the 15 and 13" models.

    The 13" is a great buy but if you need the screen real estate, say for photoshop, then it makes sense for the 15". If you're considering the 13" because of budget, or mobility, or prefer the form factor, there's little reason to choose the 15" over the 13"
     
  7. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #7
    My little story of the 13 vs 15 MBP dilema. I originally bought the new model 15, took it home, didn't open it and decided that I wanted to go smaller and save some money. I sold my 15 MBP 2 year old model a few days ago.

    At first I liked the 13, it was small and fast, but the screen size just felt so small. I felt like I was on a netbook vs the majestic Macbook Pro I just sold.

    So I called my local Apple store, told them I made a mistake and instead got the 15" previous model with the 9600m GT. They were VERY generous letting me return a second Macbook Pro.

    I couldn't work on a 13 without feeling like it was a little task, it just all felt very cramped. I was even getting a little eyestrain headache trying to adjust. I'm sure it's not like this for ever

    Now that I am back on the 15 I feel at home. I feel like I have the amazing laptop and then some that I sold, I wanted a little more meat for my money.

    ;)

    A 17 would probably be the best but that is too large and expensive for what I need.

    Believe me I spent 2 days going back and forth and I tried to love the 13, but it didn't work out for me. It may not seem like that much extra space but it really is.....

    If you are even considering a 15, I would say go for it. When you get that little 13" screen home you may regret it and whats a couple hundred dollars when you have already spent over a grand anyway.

    The only thing I miss from the 13" and 15" new model is the slightly better battery, but I'm usually home with my laptop so that's really not a concern.
     
  8. MacAndy74 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8

    FW800 was a major component update for me, really glad the 13-inch got FW800. I'm also quite excited to see the new improved panel. :) I suppose I shouldn't have problems playing back DVD quality media in Quicktime or VLC - sometimes it's good to have a break from work ;)

    Thanks for the advice!

    @ Ferris23 Great advice too. It really will be best for me to actually try the 13-inch and 15-inch MBP before I take the plunge.
     
  9. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #9
    Is the screen now as good or just better?
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    That's an important point, I've owned ibooks in the past and found that working in photoshop on the laptop (while not hooked up to an external monitor) was a bit cramped myself. Additionally I had to increase font size but then my eyesight is poor and strain at using the 15" screen when not hooked up to an external monitor as well
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    From what I've read, both the 13" and 15" screens were improved but given that the original 13" screen incurred a number of complaints, they received the same display panel of the MBA. Its now on par with the 15" model.
     
  12. MacAndy74 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Ok let me throw this idea out for thought

    Would you buy a (wait for it) 17" MBP over a 24" iMac? I know, I know. Couldn't help asking. ;)
     
  13. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #13
    That's not good, now I don't have as many reasons to buy the 15" !
     
  14. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    As some one who has all three machines,I never miss the screen size but am always amazed at how I get the same work done on all three machines. I have never used the 9600 graphics card yet and I play crysis, cod4/5 and bio shock a lot. I do have 4 gigs of ram in all my machines and soon 8gb in my two most used machines my 17" and 13". I use my machines mainly for web browsing, word itunes and sorting out my schedule.:)
     
  15. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I still maintain and this purely my own humble opinion that the 13" some of the panels are better then what is in my 15".
     
  16. MacAndy74 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Australia
    #16
    Hmm. I do crave a small, stylish and powerful MacBook - Apple actually releases just what I've asked for and here I am now. It's just so difficult to go to the online Apple Store without clicking on the next model up. :eek:
     
  17. Fizzoid macrumors 68020

    Fizzoid

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    #17
    Well, as you suggested already, go visit your local Apple reseller, and have a play. I went to the Apple store and had a look at both, and the ease of scrolling with the trackpad didn't make the lack of screen size too much of an issue for me
     
  18. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #18
    Yes, I did :D

    Same screen resolution. Same overall performance, but mobile too. Was a no brainer and has been my primary machine ever since I bought it, used heavily for Photoshop, InDesign and web development.

    However, I am considering buying a 13" or possibly an MBA as a second machine for sheer portability and light use - whilst the 17 isn't that heavy by comparison with some, it's still quite a lump to carry around.
     
  19. JonHimself macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

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    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #19
    I think that an option to consider would be the 13" plus the 24" monitor. I know that if I had the money that would be my first choice as I'm in a similar boat as you (the only "pro" thing I do is use Aperture and Dreamweaver but not as a profession, just hobby photography/website) so the 15" model would be overkill (by that I mean, for me, the only advantage would be the screen resolution... I would make use of any other differences). My ideal set-up would be the 13" mbp (which I just bought :D) and then the new 24" monitor + bluetooth keyboard etc. When I had my 15" mbp core duo I had it permenantly hooked up to an lcd tv which wasn't the best because I could never get the resolution to work properly but loved knowing that I had a fully functional "desktop" computer with the bluetooth keyboard/mouse but could still pick it up and go.
    For what you're doing, if you have to pick up your laptop and go, you could likely easily manage with the decreased resolution (relative to use the monitor).... think about it, even if you just get a non-apple lcd (I had a dell before the lcd tv a while back that was great).
     
  20. thorbenh macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2008
    #20
    wouldn`t the 9400m in the 13 inch be a bit to weak to power a FullHD 24" on many tasks?

    But actually this would be my preferred solution as well.
     

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