Portability of 15 inch rmbp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Samtb, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    How portable is the 15 inch rmbp? Does anyone travel with it a lot and use it in coffee shops, trains and planes?
  2. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    You will probably get a lot of different opinions. My own opinion, and the reason I gave up trying to carry a 15", is that it just doesn't fit into the bags I travel with. It's a square inches, not cubic inches, not weight, problem. YMMV, though. For me, a 13" is a lot more portable even though you give up a lot of screen real estate. My personal conclusion was that if I was using a portable computer, I was ok giving up near-desktop screen real estate. It's all about the trade-offs...

    For context, I carry a computer every day, and there are no cars involved in my commute. I walk to and from commuter rail at both ends of my commute, so my carry perspectives may be a little more extreme.
  3. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    Can you still run 2 apps comfortably side by side on a 13 inch?
  4. MCSN macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2012
    yah if you use a couple different apps at a time, take some tape on your monitor, that won't leave any marks, and square off 13 inches and the diameter, and see what it looks like. LOL. also going to the apple bar you can test as well.

    i had the 17 because i use it for work showing documentation to others, and when that died, i ended up with a 15 which is much more difficult for showing others things. however, its quite portable. I'm not sure I could function with less than 15, but it really depends on you and what apps you are using.

    back in my commuting days i'd go 13 just like newellj
  5. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    Do you carry it around a lot and use it in public and on public transportation?
  6. MCSN macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2012
    i live in a rural area, and i have to drive, as there is no public transportation. or should I say we recently got public transportation and it goes certain places one pick up in the mornings.

    matte on the screen helps as the sun will catch you in the most annoying times. the 15's I'm not sure if they are anything like the 13's. But for the 15, you'll need a little adapter, as the charger pops off if you sneeze. http://www.newertech.com/products/snuglet.php

    its my way of working on long road hours and its a good work horse. Which is why I prefer it over the iPad, I can do more with it. i go back and forth with computing vs. portability. the iPad was the better portability, and i had a strap and just had it, and a small wallet and did well for a long time, and left the laptop as a hard drive with monitor in clamshell. and would take it for heavier appointments lets say. the iPad, you can have in the grocery store, vs opening your laptop, but you can do all that with the phone.

    the 17 was like 10 lbs. So this one is so light, its as light as my ipad2 was. I can only imagine that the 13 would be even lighter. and then the air better than that.

    what are your main chores, that you want to do when you are on it? because that's the real test, is getting the one that is compatible with what you need to do.
  7. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    Basically a portable entertainment machine that I can use on the go to watch movies, surf the web and listen to music especially on long distance trains and planes. I might occasionally want to do some document editing or light modelling/CAD on the move as well.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I travel on business all the time and it's really portable.

    I find the 13" too small. The 15" is just nice.

    That said, I always travel business class or on a corporate jet, so airline tables are much larger and large enough to comfortably accommodate my 15".

    In trains and coffee shops, it's quite portable too. In fact, I find the 13" can have the risk of slipping off my lap through the gap between my legs. The 15" prevents that.

    Besides, I need the dGPU on the 15".
  9. GoSUV macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Hong Kong
    I don't think you can use the 15" comfortably in planes, at least not in economy/coach class, especially with the ever decreasing space in modern planes. The problem is not width, but the depth of the tray table and the possibility of the person in front reclining back towards you. In most cases you will have to open up the screen less than 90 degrees and sort of sneak your hands under it to type. This becomes impossible to see the screen properly. Depending on plane configuration, I will have to say even a 13" laptop is just a tad too large. The 11" MBA is designed for this purpose.

    So if you fly a lot and intend to use the laptop in a plane, the 15" is just too large and you would become immensely frustrated.
  10. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    My small, lightweight 13" rMBP works well for me as a portable machine, although without the iMac I would have stuck with my 15" rMBP for the larger screen and quad-core CPU. However, I don't travel much.

    Makes me wonder why you even have the 13".
  11. Vortex87 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2015
    I got the 15 one and it fits into most of the bags I own

    I know friends with the 13 who complain about screen size alot whilst a few friends with the 17 complain about its size quite a bit
  12. nirvanemesis macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2014
    Keep in mind that the current 15" weighs about the same as the unibody 13", so it's pretty portable if you're concerned about weight. Size wise, you can't beat the 13", but the 15" isn't cumbersome at all.
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Sometimes I travel light (just giving presentations and demos via external display, or when carrying heavy camera gear), and that's when the 13" comes in useful.
  14. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    My wife and I just got back from a trip - I had the cMBP 15" (2012) and she had the 11" air.

    I was VERY jealous of her air, as it was spectacular during travel. I had to carry a large satchel bag for my cMBP, and it was heavy and cumbersome while in the airport.

    When we got back (a few weeks ago) I vowed to sell it and replace it with an 11" air. I sold it for a little over $1,000 and went to Best Buy - walked out with a 13" rMBP.

    The portability was almost as nice as her air, and the battery was phenomenal (around 10 hrs). It was a very nice machine, however..I missed the screen size of the 15", missed the quad core for audio recording, and the 15" was on sale.

    So I'm now sitting here with the 15" rMBP instead.

    It's much lighter than my old cMBP, but man - do I miss the portability (and battery life) of the 13!

    I've only had it a few days, but I'm noticing I'm mainly using it at the desk..while the 13" I actually took with me to other rooms, even laying down with it. It was perfect for on the couch browsing, reading news, etc.

    It's more an issue of surface area..

    Having said that - the quad core and 16gigs of ram is very nice/screen size is very nice. If you value those over the portability, then get the 15.

    But the 13 would of been absolutely perfect for traveling.
  15. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Go on ahead and get that 13" MacBook Pro retina. You're going to need the portability of it. It's light, powerful, and perfect for everyday use and commute. There's a reason why millions have purchased it and are happy customers. You don't want to be stuck with a 15" computer that you can't carry around comfortably.
  16. steveyo, Mar 5, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015

    steveyo macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2015
    It's so thin and light I've had no problems with it... In fact it's so thin my laptop PLUS a sleeve fits perfectly into the bag
  17. webs1 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2008
    I've been using 15" MacBook Pros since 2006 (2006, 2011, 2014) and have bever had an issue with its portability. I alternate between a backpack and a messenger bag and both fit the computer comfortably. I use it on airplanes, coffee shops, just about anywhere and haven't felt the need to go smaller.
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I carry my 15" literally everywhere, and I think its quite portable. I wouldn't mind if it were a bit thinner and lighter of course. What is annoying to carry around is the external charger, but luckily, I don't have to do that often.

    I don't think that this matters, as you can't really comfortably use 2 apps side-by-side on the 15" either...
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its portable, and the weight difference between the 13" and 15" are such that I don't think the extra weight and size is will negatively impact the 15" rMBP. I have traveled with both and they're about the same imo.
  20. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Really? I thought they were very different. Granted the retina 15" is so much better to carry than the classic 15", but the 13" retina was just so much more compact, it was like carrying an air.

    I think it's more the dimensions of the 15" that are the "issue."
  21. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    The weight difference between the two is....one pound (3.46 vs 4.46 lbs). That's it. Is one pound that big of a deal? I don't think so.

    Most backpacks and other carrying devices are designed to fit the average 13-15" laptop, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

    For me, the 15" is a lot easier on my vision, and makes it easier to edit photos and video.
  22. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2013
    New York
    I have no issues carrying my 15" rMBP around when I need to. It's not too heavy at all, but to each their own - others might find that the 13" is better, but I'd rather have more screen real estate and deal with a few extra pounds than be forced to carry around a smaller laptop that I know I won't be happy with. In the end, it just depends on what you feel is best for your needs. I say go for the 15", you won't be disappointed with the performance or the weight. I, personally, think it's worth it.
  23. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I have a 15" rmbp. I just put it in a bag if I'm going somewhere, so it takes up exactly the same amount of space as a 13" would. The weight is 4.5 lbs, which is incidentally the same weight as my first mac (12" powerbook). It's really not that heavy. In exchange for a little more weight, you get a much better computer. I even took my previous mbp (15" 2010 mbp) that weighs 5.6 lbs + charger around with me at grad school all day, and it wasn't an issue.
  24. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    The Retina 15" is pretty portable. When I lift my trusty old 2010 conventional MacBook Pro, I'm amazed at how hefty and bulky it is by comparison.

    I need the 15" for its processing power, which is currently not available in the Airs. I run multiple concurrent virtual machines pretty often, so a high-end i7 makes for a significantly better user experience.

    The extra display real-estate is secondary, IMHO. OS X's Spaces feature helps a lot in that respect. If the same processing power were available for the Air, I'd take a serious look.

    But for now, for processing power combined with portability, nothing currently matches the 15" rMBP. Combined with a nice bag like http://www.bbpbags.com/hamptons.html, it makes for a nice kit for the power-user road-warrior.
  25. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Weight`s not the issue the footprint is. I travel frequently internationally and although the 15" MPBr weight is pretty much insignificant the size started to become an issue, it`s fine on the desk, however on the move it can be a problem.

    Owning both 15" & 13" Retina`s the 13" is most definitely much more suitable for those on the "go" as long as your usage does not require the Quad Core CPU or dGPU. Over time I just found the 15" to become cumbersome and I very much welcome the greater run time on battery that the 13" presently offers. I can easily get through a full 8-10 hours on battery with the 13" the 15" I find is very far from this mark.


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