rMBP 15' for Law School

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Poetic, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Poetic, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    Poetic macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #1
    I'm currently in the midst of upgrading my current machine (an older 14.1' PC notebook). Not new to Macs, as I have an iMac, but this will be my first Mac Notebook.

    My current notebook is a whopping 5.5lbs, 6.2lbs with the adapter brick -- and I see that the rMBP 15' is 4.46lbs (shedding over a pound in weight alone). Though, my current notebook is slightly wider and much thicker than the rMBP 15' -- the Mac notebook will be about 1.1' inches wider.

    I was considering the 13.3' models but after seeing them in the store, the screen just looks a bit uncomfortable to be working on for long periods of time. I'll be in law school and I'll be in class for at least 5-6 hours per day for at least 4 days a week in my first semester.

    I feel that the rMBP 15' will obviously give me more screen real estate and render text much richer (I will spend a lot of time reading PDF files and scholarly articles on my screen).

    Aside from productivity, I do appreciate the speakers, the SSD drive and 8GB of RAM (I tend to have many applications open) -- as well as the occasional video watching or gaming session (perhaps the rMBP 15' can handle these tasks better)?

    In conclusion, I'm just worried about portability. As an undergrad, I didn't carry my 5.5lbs beast too often (maybe twice a week at most).

    Anyone that has the rMBP 15' please comment on your experience in moving this computer from place to place (or if you're in law school and use this computer or see others with it in class).

    FYI: Not sure if this is pertinent but I'll be living at about a 10 minute walk from my classes at the law school building.

    Thanks to everyone's input in advance.

    Please pardon this long post. :)
     
  2. dragonjinse macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #2
    15" rmbp is the beast!
    I had 15" Dell XPS 15" before and I took it with me to classes often.
    It killed my back! But this 15" rmbp is like a feather. It's lighter than you thought. I guarantee!

    Good luck in Law school :)
     
  3. sofianito, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    Jan 14, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #3
    What will you use it for? Just for reading PDF and scholarly articles? The 15" is not worth in this case. If the retina screen is a must then get the 13" rMBP else the MBA...
     
  4. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #5
    Or you know, join a gym. 1lb should not be making a difference on campus.

    I went to uni in mech engineering for 4.5 years, carrying my day's books and my 15'' MBP every single day, and never did I feel I was carrying something to heavy.

    You spend 95% of the day sitting down when you have classes anyway. What does 1lb matter then?
     
  6. Poetic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #6
    I can't do an 11inch screen. The 13' would possibly barely be passable but I do enjoy larger screen real estate. The regular non-retina MBP 13 and 15 are out of the question given their weight and dimensions.
     
  7. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #7
    At the end of the day we're talking about 4.5 lbs. If lugging it around causes pain I would highly recommend a gym membership.

    In all seriousness.....I have a 15" rMBP that goes to work with me daily. No problems there.
     
  8. Poetic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #8
    Thanks for the insight. I should emphasize that if I should purchase a rMBP 15 it would not be necessarily just for the retina screen, though that's an obvious plus. I'm attracted to the product's thinner and lighter design than the regular non-retina MBPros. The added snappiness of an SSD is welcomed as well. Also, when trying out and holding the MBA (which is a fantastic computer in its own right) I'm one of those people that gets the impression that it's a bit less-durable and weaker in design (especially around the screen bezel).

    All in all, if they made a 14.1' retina MBP with SSD and at around 3.5-4lbs, I would be in heaven. Apple's next project should be to open up a custom shop :)

    ----------

    :) Point taken.
     
  9. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    #9
    The 15" is a great choice. I would definitely not go any smaller than that knowing how much reading you will do on it. I'm in business school hauling around lots of junk and it's just fine.
     
  10. vpro macrumors 65816

    vpro

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    #10
    Go way up!

    Get the highest grades and the best thing for your eyes, go all the way to the 27" iMac! Bring a pencil and pad of paper for law school, that is what my niece did and she graduated with flying colors through, and through.
     
  11. fskywalker macrumors 65816

    fskywalker

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #11
    Good luck in Law School! I just graduated from my JD last June (night program) and used my 15 inch rMBP for the last year. The weight was not an issue, but could have got through it with my previous 13 inch as well. I upgraded mainly because of the retina screen. At the time there was not yet a 13 inch rMBP, so it was not an option. Now that I graduated and the computer will be used mostly at home (after I take my bar exams Sept 18-20) I'm considering downgrading to the 13 inch rMBP to get some money back from the investment (max out 2012 rMBP) and have a more portable machine, but still with the gorgeous retina display.

    So, if I would be on your position, would highly recommend the 13 inch rMBP since would give you the best of both worlds: Better portability (and reduced weight) than the 15 inch rMBP, better screen (and less weight than) the 2013 regular 13 inch MBP. If you compare it to the MacBook Air line, the weight will be a little bit higher, but a much better screen (no retinas yet on the Airs). Just my 2 cents...
     
  12. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #12
    I'm finishing up my law degree and I've been using a 13" classic MBP in class for class notes, access cases/casebooks in PDF, and my outlines. I generally read my cases/casebooks that are available in PDF on either an iPad or my wife's iPad mini.

    One thing to note, when doing legal writing, such as your 1L legal research and writing class, or a guided research paper, I've used my Mac Pro which powers three 24" screens. During such times, I've used all that real estate by having case PDFs up on 1-2 screens, Word open (usually twice - paper + outline/notes/drafts), and sometimes the internet or iTunes.

    For such a reason, I would suggest the resolution and extra screen size of the rMBP would be very helpful.
     
  13. Poetic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #13
    Thank you for the well wishes! Good luck to you on your Bar Exam! :)

    So, you don't think the additional 2 inches on the rMBP 15 were useful to you as a law student? I would imagine they would make the desktop less cramped and more comfortable to work on for longer periods of time. Perhaps it would also reduce eye fatigue/strain?
     
  14. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    #14
    Within the course of two years, I've owned and used an MBA 11, MBA 13, and rMBP 15. The weight difference is noticeable when moving from place to place between MBA 13 and rMBP 15. You do get use to the weight carrying it around alone; however, when you pick up that MBA 13 again you will immediately feel the difference. With Mission control and full screen apps, reading pdf isn't bad on either MBA 13 or rMBP 15.

    ----------

    When someone is worried about portability, then that 1 lb matters.
     
  15. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2011
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    United States
    #15
    You didn't mention your budget, but I have the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display, with a 2.7 Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. Wonderful machine. Also available at retail (Best Buy) for $2599. This may be better than your student discount. One of the negative things about the Retina Display models is that you must purchase the best you can afford now as it is virtually non-upgradable.
     
  16. Poetic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #16
    I would get the base-model rMBP 15. I think 8GB RAM is plenty for my needs as well as the processor speed. 256GB SSD is more than enough for me.
     
  17. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    I feel you will love using it. If that meets your needs then you can get a great computer at a great price.

    I am seeing about 7-8 hours of runtime on battery. The base model I would expect to get slightly more.

    10.9, seems to me, to be really optimized, particularly for the recent Retina Display models. It also may increase battery life over the current 10.8.

    I did get a Thunderbolt --> Gigabit Ethernet adapter and it works well.
     
  18. mcarling macrumors 65816

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    Oct 22, 2009
    #18
    The big advantage for you of the 15" rMBP is that you will be able to comfortably read 2-up pages, so you can have two pdf documents open simultaneously. Alternatively, you can have one open for reading and another document open for writing with both fully visible at the same time (though I guess you'll do more of your writing on your iMac, you'll probably appreciate being able to edit documents while having another visible).
     
  19. fskywalker macrumors 65816

    fskywalker

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #19
    Yes, those 2.1 extra inches of screen real estate were useful as a bigger screen gives you a better view of whatever you are looking at, but again I switch mostly because of the better screen and the fact the weight of the 15 inch rMBP was about the same weight of the 13 inch regular MBP. Try both on an Apple or third party store; that may help you to decide.
     
  20. jbud72 macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #20
    I'm a 2L and have been using a rMBP just fine. I don't feel like it's that bad to carry around in my backpack with some casebooks. I feel like where the size has made it's biggest difference is in class itself; I'm not sure how your classrooms are, but ours are pretty cramped up and it can be difficult to have room with a larger computer and casebook opened up.

    I'll say, I love the retina screen for law school. With all of the time spent looking at text on a screen (whether it's legal writing, researching on Westlaw, taking notes, etc), it makes a difference on my eyes. Also, as far as screen real estate, I like that when I need to have two word/pages documents opened up side by side, I have plenty of room to do so.
     
  21. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #21
    If you think that the 13-inch screen is too small for you, then get the 15. But the 13 is definitely big enough for your uses, it's just a matter of adjusting. Some people just have personal preferences. 11 is too small, but I think 13 is just right.
     
  22. fratey macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #22
    That is because it is. My 13" MBA screen cracked in front of my eyes, and Apple refused to fix it.
     
  23. Poetic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #23
    Dang. Sorry to hear that. But thanks for verifying this. You're not the first one I hear this from, sadly enough.
     
  24. fskywalker macrumors 65816

    fskywalker

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #24
    Ouch! How that happened? How expensive to repaired it?
     
  25. kh3khalid macrumors regular

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    Dec 2, 2012
    #25
    I bought a cMBP for college (engineering) thinking that I would need the GPU for future courses, but it turned out that I don't. Believe me carrying a 15" can be bugging at many situations, and much heavier compared to a MBA. I regret getting the 15" instead of an Air. A light and compact laptop will make your life easier.

    You seem to care much about the weight. I suggest buying a maxed out MBA instead (max RAM and CPU at least) instead of the 15" rMBP.

    If you really want a retina screen, then pick up the 13" model.
     

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