Portability of MacBook Pro retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mark1478, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Mark1478 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Going back to college in my old age and need a laptop. I'm in love with the retina display so I was thinking of the 13 or 15. The 13 is obviously the "better" choice for portability. Fits on desk better lighter in backpack etc. But I can't justify paying 2k plus for a laptop with no dedicated gpu when the 15 can be had for around the same price. So my question is.. Anyone use a rmb 15 for school? Carry it everywhere classes etc? Thoughts? Thanks
  2. PEN10k macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    I've been taking my 15" retina to school every since I got it last summer, without any problems. Personally though, I'd like to have the 13", since I really enjoy the 13" formfactor. But the only thing that keeps me away from it, is that you will get a so much more powerful machine, for almost the same price.

    So what I would recommend is get the 15" if you really need some power, and it's actually more portable, than older 13" generations. But I really wouldn't recommend you to get the 13", not before it gets a specbump.
  3. Ploki macrumors 68030

    Jan 21, 2008
  4. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    I used to carry a non unibody MacBook pro to class. And that was considered thin and light.

    The rMBP will be perfectly fine.
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    What sort of tasks are you running that you need the discrete GPU for? Just curious since the 13" would definitely be more portable. That said, for $200 more, the 15" does provide a lot more than the 13" (quad core and discrete GPU).
  6. Mark1478 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    I do a little video editing probably not enough to warrant the need for a dedicated gpu, and I'd also like the option of playing games on it like diablo or witcher. It's more the price I guess. To drop almost 2k on a machine that can barely do those things is tough. When u can buy the 15 for a few bucks more and have soooo much more machine. I love the 13 size and retina screen but its very overpriced for what it is.
    I don't mind the weight of the 15 it's more of the size. It won't fit very well on lecture desks and its huge. Also ill be starting clinicals next semester and lugging it around by hand from place to place would prob be tough
  7. JamonBull macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2009
    It sounds to me like you should go for the 13" rMBP. You might need to drop the settings on D3 a little to get it running smoothly on the Intel HD4000 but apart from that it's going to handle light video editing and everything you mentioned perfectly well. Lugging it around from place to place, trust me get the 13" rMBP. I am a teacher and constantly moving from classroom to classroom and I have a 13" Air. A 15" device isn't even an option. As nice as the dedicated GPU is, to be honest the machine is never going to be as good at gaming or heavy video editing as a desktop anyway, so maybe do what I'm doing. 13" device for everyday portability, then a little later down the track look at an iMac for gaming and heavier work? Just a thought.
  8. zakee00 macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I upgraded from a white 13" Macbook to this, and it's a dream. The bigger screen, gaming performance, battery life, and speed make this machine worth every penny, imo. Reading PDFs and writing in MS Word/Excel are much easier on the eyes. I've had it for a couple of months now, taking it everywhere I go, and it's just as portable as my old 13".

    To be honest, I feel like the only situations where the 13" is justifiable for portability's sake are those where the user commutes via airplane/bus/train on a regular basis.
  9. Maggot FF macrumors member

    Maggot FF

    Sep 24, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    I use my 15-incher for school. No problems for me as it's pretty light, weight wise. it is a tad big for when I'm in an auditorium where the desk in front of me isn't quite deep enough, but it's ok. Many of the guys i sit with sport an Air anyways, so i don't lose a lot of space to them :p

    I understand your insecurity, but i honestly think the 15" is a better deal than the 13" if you want more of an "all-in-one" machine, i.e, gaming, editing, gaming, watching videos, etc. Even though the 13" wasn't available when i bought this, I wouldn't do anything different today.

    Then again, i use it for photo and video on a hobby-basis, and the rendering time on this is magnificent, so that's a big plus for me.
  10. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    You can use a 15" for school well enough but it's tougher. Not because of weight but the size. Many of those desks are just too small for a laptop that size. The 13" will plain and simply be a better student computer. It is what I bought for the upcoming sessions. I was using a 11" Air last year and a 13" older mbp the year before that. These were perfect size wise but tough when it came to the battery lasting and writing bigger projects (the Air). The 11" was too small, the 13" is perfect.

    The 13" may be only a bit less expensive than the 15" but what people are not realizing is that you're paying a bit of a premium to have all that great stuff squeezed down into a smaller form factor - smaller isn't always cheaper. I wouldn't go getting all caught up in the price difference and get hung up on that as it may make you choose the the laptop that isn't necessarily going to be best for you. Sometimes you have to compromise, especially when you put all your priorities down and actually pay attention to what your highest priorities are. Sure, on paper the 15" is the better deal but that shouldn't really be your highest priority. Your highest priority should be to get the computer that fits your lifestyle and needs best and not worry if you're paying a bit of a premium to achieve that goal.

    If it's something that is always going to bug you (paying that bit of a premium) then get the 15" so you're not always going to be obsessing about it.

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