Not sure which computer to buy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by galaksy, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. galaksy, Apr 19, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014

    galaksy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2014
    I'm thinking of buying the 27 inch iMac, or the 21 inch with an additional screen for a dual screen.

    And/or 15'' MBP retina or 13'' retina.

    15'' definitely seems to have a better screen real estate, but is $1000 more expensive than the 13''.

    Also 13'' is small enough that you can use it lying down on the bed, while 15'' might be a little bulky for that perhaps? But then having more RAM and i7 can't hurt. You never know if you need that extra RAM or i7.

    Another thing is that I am not sure if I need the portability even. To me it seems if you are going to be outside for a long time, maybe you can get a Kindle and read.

    1. There seems to be not much difference between $1500 and $2500 if you are going to use it for many years, and if you are going to pay it in a 12 month payment plan.

    2. You might not even need to sacrifice power for portability that much if you get a Kindle with 3G, and you read a lot.

    3. If I move to another country to teach English (which I am thinking of), it would be a headache to take the iMac with me.
  2. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    My philosophy is that when you need power, get as much power as you can. When you need portability then go as portable as you can.
    As is usually the case however, life isn't that simple and compromise is needed. If you just want a screen for the living room or while in bed, the iPad is a great option.

    In some cases, mine included, I need portability with than power, but still more power than an iPad so I opted into the 13" rMBP with upgrades and plan on purchasing a monitor in the future for my studio.
    Judging by what you've said, I think a 15" rMBP would suit your needs well in portability and above higher ranged mobile performance.

    my 2 cents
  3. sb in ak macrumors newbie

    sb in ak

    Apr 15, 2014
    Homer, Alaska
    You could always get the 13" rMBP and buy an external monitor for when you need additional screen space. That's what I've done for years with a standard Macbook and it works great. This is better anyway if you're doing any photo editing, etc. (large external display).

    The new 15" models are pretty light though. I'd probably go that route if I were moving somewhere and didn't want to take a lot with me.
  4. galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2014
    sb in ak, which monitor do you use?


    Thank you Commy1.

    If I buy the $2500 one, how durable is it in case of falls? I had the non retina older 15'' from 2010 and it was really susceptible to breaking (the hinge) when dropped.
  5. sb in ak macrumors newbie

    sb in ak

    Apr 15, 2014
    Homer, Alaska
    Don't remember exactly, but I bought a cheap 23" ASUS 1080p a few years ago. I think it was $160. Now that I'm more serious about photo editing, I'm finding the color gamut and resolution to be lacking. I'd spring for something else now. But it's perfectly fine for web surfing, movies and whatnot and I definitely don't feel cramped.
  6. Dubberton macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2013
    I am a 6ft 220 male and the 15 inch retina macbook pro is very portable and comfortable enough to use in bed. The thing is slim and can be carried around opened with one hand very securely - it is that light. The issue I would have in your situation is resolution. Going from a retina screen to even a 1080p screen is really noticeable and not in a good way. That said, I would recommend getting the 15 inch retina with the dedicated graphics card, which is what I'm using, and a 1440p or 4k monitor. I'm just not sure how smooth the onboard graphics handle an external high def monitor, so I suggest the dedicated version. You mention you are not sure if you would like or use the portability, so I assume you have used desktops mainly. Me too, for a while I was stuck on high powered gaming rigs. With the weight and portability factor you won't think twice about carrying the rMBP around like you would even with an older slightly heavier laptop. In bed, on the couch, and outside it goes with me. I've actually found myself to enjoy working on the couch the best as instead of a desk. Oh, and the battery life on the haswell model is fantastic - I really do leave the charger at home now.
  7. magnumpi macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    I would get the iMac and if I happen to need to go portable I would buy the MBA/MBP 13" (or even an iPad if it is good enough) later on. Never liked the 15" model, it's in no man's land imo: not very portable and not very powerful for the cash it costs.
  8. galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2014
    Thank you, Dubberton. If you get the dedicated version, what's the price difference?

    Do you mean using an external monitor?

    What model is it?
  9. Dubberton macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2013
    The dedicated version is the more expensive of the two 15 inches. With education pricing it is the $2,399 model. It ends up being $500 more than the other base model. You also get double the ram and ssd size so it's a no brainer if you can afford it.

    And yes, regarding the 1080p thing I was talking about external monitors. My personal preference is that I do not like going from looking at a retina screen to any screen 1080p or lower. It should be closer to the retina resolution. Though, to have all 1080p would be fine.

    For the 1440p or 4k thing I was referring to what external monitor I would use in conjunction with the MacBook. Most 2560x1400 monitors run $300 and up, but 4k monitors I have no idea about.
  10. dalupus macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    there are a couple in the refurb store as well for like 2.1k
  11. howareyoukk macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2013
    15 inch all the way and dont look back. its either go big or go home ;)
  12. galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2014
    So were you saying that $300 monitors should suffice for rMBP?


    Two things are in my mind right now:

    1. If I buy the 27 iMac, I don't have to buy a separate monitor and it's more powerful than the rMBP, and maybe for those rare times when I'm away from home I could use Kindle, etc to stay productive. But if I do move to a foreign country then I would have bought the iMac in vain, unless perhaps if I buy the $300 Wheels Away Carrying Case?

    2. Samsung ATIV Book 9 claims better than retina resolution and is a touch screen, so it might be easier to use it while lying down on the bed.
  13. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    If you only had money for one computer I'd get the iMac. With regard to notebooks, I debated the 13" vs. 15" too and ultimately decided to go with the 8/256 base model 15" rMBP as it's only around $450 more than a 8/256 13" rMBP (from the Apple refurb store) and its slightly, but noticably faster and just 1 pound more in weight and still not fatally too large to travel with. In bed lying on my back the 15" feels perfect sitting on my tummy. And the late 2013 rMBP's do not get uncomfortably hot.
  14. galaksy, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    galaksy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2014
    Did you get both rMBP and an iMac?
    Do pre-late 2013 rMBP get hot?
    how much money can you save by buying a refurb?
  15. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014

    I have a good solution which may work for you.

    Why don't you get a suped up 13 inch with a 512 SSD, 16 GB RAM, and i7 processor and just use it with an external monitor.

    Those are the specs of the 15 inch basically but it's way more portable. If you get an external monitor, there's your iMac.
  16. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    iMac + 13'' rMBP. If you move abroad sell the iMac.

    The 15'' rMBP of course is a compromise between the two. But personally I would prefer the above setup, if space and money permits it.
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    There isn't much of a difference between the 2.6GHz i5 and 2.8GHz i7, because both have 2 cores and 4 threads.

    My 13" rMBP came with the 2.8GHz i7 because it was purchased by my dad (who probably didn't know the first thing about processor cores and just maxed out everything available, but I'm not complaining though :D ). If it was on my own dime, I'd stick to the 2.6/16/512 configuration.

Share This Page