Stuck: 15 MBP + iPad Pro (10.5) vs 13 nTB MBP (no iPad)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ckeck, Jul 9, 2017.

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What load-out would you run? (read post first please)

  1. 15" MBP (loaded 1TB model) + iPad Pro 10.5" w/ Logitech Keyboard Cover

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. 13" MBP (loaded nTB, 512GB) + iPad Pro 10.5" w/ Logitech Keyboard Cover

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  3. 13" MBP (loaded nTB, 512GB) + physical notebook (or perhaps iPad Mini)

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  4. Curve Ball: 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon (loaded w/ LTE) + iPad Pro 10.5" w/ Logitech Keyboard Cover

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  1. ckeck macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Been a few years since I haven't been able to make up my mind between a "load out". Historically I always rocked a loaded 15" MBP and maybe an iPad (flipped between minis and regular models).

    Starting about 2013 I tried a 13" MacBook Air for the first time and ended up sticking with that through the loaded 2015 model which I still have. Best all around Apple laptop I think I've ever had.

    At home I have a custom "gaming" PC so I'm not too short on horsepower if I need it for other things but my laptop is my primary device while out and about, traveling and at my office (8+ hours per day). While I've loved the MBA it has felt really bogged down lately. A fresh install of Sierra helped a bit but not a ton. The CPU is getting pegged quite a bit and the 8GB of RAM seems to be more limited in the past year than prior.

    Seems Chrome with 15-20+ tabs and Mail.app running a few accounts with thousands or more messages per account plus Excel and various other productivity apps is getting harder for it to run without constant delays, even if for just a few seconds. I don't mind all that much but I've been seeing more 10, 15, 20 second hangs as the CPU and memory usage spikes and I've got to wait it out. A clean install helped a bit as mentioned but did not resolve.

    So enter the upgrade options. In either case I think the two generation jump in CPU is going to help on either model, but I first picked up a new 15" to try out since it has been a while. This thing definitely screams with the quad-core CPU and the extra screen real estate is nice, but not critical. Surprisingly the trackpad seems TOO big as it's getting in the way while typing some and I really have to make big movements to get to the bottom-right corner for a right click. And then the battery life situation. I'm usually around power so that's not TOO concerning, but going from 11-13 hours of battery to 4-6, maybe 7? Big drop. I haven't had much time to really feel out the endurance.

    Again though, the additional CPU horsepower is nice. I reserve most gaming for the gaming rig but the dGPU would also be nice while traveling or help with some video rendering which I'm starting to play with more, but realistically a bit of extra time to render won't bring the world to an end. It's more about multi-tasking for me.

    Enter the nTB 13" MBP. I should say that I'm not a big fan of the TB. It's neat in some aspects and I'd probably love it more if the ESC key was tactile/physical since I do work on the command line occasionally and in some other apps where I didn't realize how much I tapped ESC. Not a deal breaker on it's own, but the real function bar on this model is pleasant. Finally this Air equivalent has 16GB of RAM which without I wouldn't even consider and while still a low-voltage CPU, it has to be a pretty noticeable increase above that in my MBA (I7-5650U vs I7-7660U). I hate that Apple gimped it with only 2 USB-C ports but with how those work that may not be a real issue. Battery life still isn't as good as the Air by 1-3 hours (c'mon Apple).

    Ugh, just one of those struggles on considering going back to the 15" which has some perks but isn't "absolutely" needed for any specific reason. Now that it's footprint is smaller it's not such a hassle to carry, even though the 13" model now is mega portable.

    This is one dimension of the problem, now enter the damn iPad situation. Is a tablet absolutely necessary, no, but it's a big nice to have that I enjoy. I've had a few over the years I've sold because they sit there and were more of paperweights, but the 9.7" Pro and now the 10.5" Pro which I'm trying out I've been putting to use a lot more for two reasons: 1) the Apple Pencil and 2) the Logitech keyboard cases which put the Apple keyboard cases to shame.

    The new 10.5" iPad is awesome to put it lightly and with iOS 11 coming soon that will just get even better, BUT with the Logitech keyboard case I have on it, it's almost as bulky as the damn 13" MBP. This new keyboard case however does detach similar to the MS Surface Pro keyboard so you can slim it down a bit, but I wouldn't be carrying the iPad in it's slimmest form ever because I hate not having a physical keyboard around if I only venture out with that. I've been using the Apple Pencil and MS One Note to try and transition away from my physical notebooks which are just one more thing I have to carry around.

    If anyone else here has struggled with this situation, how to you view the iPad Pro 10.5" and a 13" MBP? So close in size it seems in large part redundant. I could go to a Mini for simple consumption, but then I lose the Pencil input (and amazing screen).

    Running the 15" MBP (loaded 1TB model) and the 10.5" iPad Pro makes a lot more sense usage wise (physically) but still have to make the decision on the 15" model to begin with, and the price of these two devices together is stressing me out somewhat (I have the cash but still, it's just the principal...not the biggest issue...but good to be grounded in some reality).

    So perhaps for this question/scenario take price out of the picture. Does a 13" MBP and an iPad Pro 10.5" have too much overlap in terms of usage to really make sense? I know I'll use them both at times, but not sure if the iPad would get ENOUGH usage outside of digital note taking and some other specific tasks.

    And if you COULD make use of the perks of the 15" MBP in practical ways but it wasn't a hard deal breaker, which it's simply not for the vast vast majority, would you still lean that way for any other unmentioned reasons?

    Someone help me out or just smack me upside the head. It's actually giving me stress starting at these 3 things on my desk and not being able to decide the right mix and I want to take back 1, 2 or all the damn things tomorrow and get back to work! I've lost too much productivity time with these the past 1-2 weeks. Why does this have to be so stressful?? :eek:

    Regarding my Air, I might have just said to hell with it all and kept running it for one more upgrade cycle, but my battery cycles are getting up there (180 or so) and the battery capacity is at 85% I think. It also has about 8-9 more months of AppleCare and I think I'd get the best price selling now before AppleCare runs out and the battery goes down further. I'm not sure we'll see a refresh before March/April.

    Thansk in advance for any thoughts/feedback. Been a while since I posted one of these threads :confused: Why do you hate us :apple:! :)

    P.S. Another route COULD be a loaded ThinkPad X1 Carbon + the iPad Pro 10.5". I say this because I do like ThinkPad's and I run Windows on my desktop at home so I'm fairly used to that. I do work from it some days entirely, even if not ideal. I'm very invested in the Apple ecosystem though I'd have to find replacements for a few key apps which I'm not sure exist. Excel runs better on Windows too...le sigh. The Carbon has the closest battery life to the Air and LTE!!! Still, all minor'ish things that I can work around either way. Just one more twist/scenario to consider.
     
  2. sakabaro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    #2
    Maybe a 2017 MacBook 12" maxed-out can be a good match for you. Having the portability of an iPad + with the utility of a real laptop.
     
  3. ckeck thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Unfortunately the CPU here seems a bit too under-powered and not as much of an upgrade as I'd like considering it's a 2017 system (compared to the CPU in the 2015 MBA). Also, while I can make due with two USB-C ports, one would cause too many headaches in a few different scenarios I run into.

    The 13" MBP (nTB) is plenty portable. If that was the only factor vs. the iPad I could easily live with that, but it doesn't replicate (nor does the 12" MB) some of the other aspects of the iPad: no keyboard form factor, LTE, touch, pencil, etc...
     
  4. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #4
    13" nTB, no iPad. 13" is so portable now that I don't see much reason to carry around an iPad Pro. 15" is massive overkill. Get the iPad if you don't care about saving money and just want the extra toy(Which I honestly wouldn't blame you. :p).
     
  5. profH macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #5
    I could have written your post almost exactly. I ended up with a specced out 15 and the iPad Pro. don't know if its better than getting the nTB, but in the end I decided that the nTB just didn't have a lot of value added above and beyond the 2015 MBA I already owned.
     
  6. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #6
    I mean, this is really just a case of how much you(in this case the OP) want to spend just to have a new and fancier toy. If coming from a recent Air, a 15" MBP and an iPad Pro is going to be massive overkill. There's nothing wrong with that, but I suspect that OP will go with whatever he wants regardless of poll. I really don't see the point this thread, really.
     
  7. ckeck thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Not just a case of how much I want to spend. I know that is part of it and at some point it's not practical or (financially) wise, but that aside I'm simply trying to find the right workflow/balance with these tools.

    I didn't have a clear direction, hence the poll. Not sure why you're making assumptions like that. Any of these loadouts could work, but I was looking for feedback from the community on any workflow or scenarios I might not have thought about. Figured other people ended up in this situation before and might have some thoughts to share. This is why we have a community, so we can ask questions of each other.

    That said, I agree than the iPad Pro and the 13" MBA or 13" MBP could be overkill. I already know the iPad would get much less use than if I had the 15" MBP, but my biggest problem is what to do about my digital notes and plan to move away from paper notebooks. There are other situations where the tablet might come in handy, but again, may not need the Pro for that. Just wanted to write with the dang pencil :cool:

    P.S. The poll is really helpful if there was a clear consensus, but doesn't look like I'll get the benefit of that outcome o_O
     
  8. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #8
    For me, the solution was a Surface Pro 3 + a 15-inch MacBook Pro. With the SP, I got a desktop-class OS, an easy ability to run business-class Apps natively (including those not available for Mac), plus the ability to remote into my 15-inch MBP for when I want to use OS X or just need more processing capability. The SP works quite well with OS X IMO, and OS X works quite well with touch screen functionality. The iPad Pro did not meet my needs at all - I love the hardware, but I needed more than an iPhone with a keyboard + stylus. So I wound up going to the company that for many years I despised, and was pleasantly surprised by what I got. I plan to replace my 15-inch with either an iMac Pro or a Mac Pro when released.

    I also have a 13 nTB MBP, which I sometimes use to remote into the 15-inch as well, and use to run single VMs. Hypothetically, I could get by without it, but I like having it for a mobile system that runs OS X natively.

    As you already have a MBA, a 13-inch MBP seems a little redundant. If my MBA wasn't a C2D model, I probably would have just stuck with that and not gotten the nTB, personally.
     
  9. ckeck thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Well my 13" MBA would get sold in any of these scenarios, so I wouldn't keep holidng onto that. The 15" MBP definitely makes sense if I didn't have a full on desktop PC as well.

    You mentioned the Surface Pro which is another love of mine and always try to make one work, but the battery life in the SP4 was just too abysmal. I have been testing out the new SP2017 but not sure I want to lug around two full computers. A tablet focused device would be nice and I *could* be tempted to use a Surface Pro in place of the iPad Pro for even more functionality, but right now the battery is still too weak. I tried the i5 without the fan and it was almost there, but also got pretty warm/hot while writing in OneNote.

    Gah :confused:
     

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