Need help deciding between base 13" or base 15". I have specific criteria.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dvader123, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. dvader123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #1
    Hello. I'm deciding between the base 13" or the base 15" mbp. I am looking for a laptop that is portable. I will be using it mainly for internet, word processing, powerpoint, excel, and occasional movies in the form of dvds and youtube.

    I feel that both models are portable for me so what I need in a laptop are the following:

    1. Longer battery life.
    2. Less heat. (I would like to use my mbp on my lap.)
    3. Reliability. (I want to own it for a long time.)

    One other thing. I like the smaller size of the 13", but it bothers me that the speakers are underneath the laptop. The 15" has the speakers on top, next to the keyboard.

    Any advice on which laptop to get based on the 3 criteria? Thanks!
     
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #2
    If money isn't a big issue then I recommend the 15" hi-Res. The speakers on the 15" are much better than the 13", but they still fail in comparison to the 17".
     
  3. Baral macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #3
    If you are going to be watching movies on it, I would definitely get the 15" hi-res anti-glare.

    As far as battery life and heat is concerned, an i5 processor would be marginally desirable over an i7. Also, for your reported purposes, an i5 would be plenty powerful enough.
     
  4. CarsonJones macrumors member

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    May 11, 2010
    #4
    Either one will be perfect for what you are asking of it, 13in is going to have slightly better battery life but not by much since both are great to begin with. Id recommend the 15in over the 13in if its within your budget, especially if you want to watch movies on it.
     
  5. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

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    #5
    The 13" is the most popular Mac for a reason. If you want portability, I'd choose that. It won't be as powerful as the 15", but based on what you're doing, you wouldn't notice a difference anyway. You would notice that the 13" is much lighter weight though, and that could be a big difference. It's still super powerful (especially compared to many other computers), but the 15" is cranked up to "11" on the scale of 1-10. Which may be too much power for what you're doing.

    But if you really want that power, and are willing to sacrifice portability, go with the 15". It'll still be top of the line a couple years down the road, but it's less of a laptop and more of a "mobile desktop." Put it this way: most people with the 15" end up not taking it with them because it's too big/heavy. They usually keep it at their place and not bring it out and about for that reason.

    If you really want the best of both worlds, get an iMac that you leave at your place (more powerful + less expensive), and an iPad to go with you. But that's another story... :)
     
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #6
    I have the 17" and I take it nearly everywhere with me. I think that it is very portable and I'm not a big person (5'7" 120lbs)
     
  7. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    #7
    Very few would consider the 17" as being mobile oriented
     
  8. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #8
    It really isn't as bad as people think.
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #9
    i purchased the top end 15" MBP about 4 years ago. it is still going GREAT. i recommend the same for you :) portability + longevity are ensured!
     
  10. Bankaimadness macrumors 6502

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    #10
    dang really?

    Did you ever once needed to take it to apple for repair?
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    never :) my DVD drive died about 2 years ago (the port did actually), but i have no use for it
     
  12. dvader123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2010
    #12
    Thank you for all these replies. Still, I'm wondering if anyone of you have experienced excessive heat problems while using your mbp.

    Which mbp (13" or 15") feels cooler when in use?

    Thanks, and please keep the advice coming.
     
  13. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    #13
    my 13" rests at around 41 degrees idle, my friend's 15" definitely felt hotter

    but in your case, you won't be using it for any super intensive purposes and since mobility is something you're looking for then 13" should be the right fit especially with the longer battery life, weight and size

    speakers on all of the macbooks suck in comparison to real speakers anyways IMHO
    don't have to ask an audiophile to get that answer

    put the extra money towards a set of z-5500s or an SSD drive
     
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #14
    well, i know my MBP is far too old to be competitive, but ill just say that my MBP IDLES at >75°C, and has done pretty much 24/7 since it was turned on for the first time. its flawless to this very day.

    as comparison, the MBPs of today wont get above 75°C under full load (given that the fans speed up correctly, a few people have had issues apparently).
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #15
    Are you sure? :D
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #16
    that was one particular instance :p smarty lol
     
  17. jdaniel macrumors 65816

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    Ottawa, Canada
    #17
    I have had the past 2 top of the line 15" the sound is not bad at all. But the 15" and it is very good for watching movies in bed, picture and sound quality. However, moving it around is a bit problematic, it isnt exactly light. I have the latest 13" and I must agree that the sound is not as good, the picture is fine but it is much maneuverable by far from desk to bed, bed to desk, carrying it around through the airports etc taking it out of the bag into the trays etc.. So only downside is the sound as I see it.
     
  18. sauer228 macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #18
    My month old 13" hasn't been above 80°C. Whenever I'm watching a movie or doing anything that would increase the heat I just turn on SMC FAN CONTROL. Works like a charm.
     
  19. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    Nottingham, UK
    #19
    I have a 15", specs are in my sig. Idle temps are usually 33-35c idle and around 50-55c when watching movies, as someone has already said SMC is good to use to turn the fans up if it feels too hot.

    Movies will look better on a glossy screen, better contrast and more vibrant.

    This whole 15" isn't portable is a load of tosh IMO, regularilly take it to work with me and move it around the house, and have never found myself wishing for something lighter.
     
  20. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #20
    It is a mobile computer.
     
  21. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #21
    The 13" is the best value in a laptop today.
    10 hour battery (ok 6), good construction, good screen, portable, backlit keyboard, good ergnomics.

    The 15" is a great laptop, but when you throw in the fact that it's $1800, the value proposition drops dramatically.
     
  22. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    Bay Area
    #22
    You'd probably want the 17" because of the display size and power and less so for mobility

    even though I've lugged around my old 17" MBP doesn't mean that it was totally enjoyable, just sayin'
     
  23. Audrey313 macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2010
    #23
    Ugh!

    Ok so I have been going back and forth between the 13" and 15". Today I went back to Apple store for like the 4th time. I have read so many threads in this forum trying to research my decision. So I finally decided today on the 13"...love the size. I did not buy today. BUT I had no idea the speakers were on the bottom. Underneath? WHY WHY WHY? This now has brought back up my feelings of indecisiveness. I was really looking forward to watching movies and tv (off websites) on my new laptop. How big an issue is this?
     
  24. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #24
    To each his own.

    Based on the OP's criteria, I would the think the 2.4GHz 13" would be more than adequate. If money was less an issue, a 2.4GHz i5 15" possibly with the high resolution screen to add some extra pop for his movies.
     
  25. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #25

    The underneath speakers are not such a big deal. If you are watching a movie on a small screen up close, why not use headphones?
     

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