The Macbook Pro 13" or 15" model for writers?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gentleman00, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. gentleman00 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    I am thinking about buying a 13" Macbook Pro mainly for writing as opposed to surfing or gaming. Any writers out there pleased with their 13" Retina? Or, do you recommend the 15" model?

    Heck, I have read these threads in the past, but I don't remember if the resolution of the 13" is the same as the 15" model or not. Thanks.
  2. Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    The spec on either would be over kill for just writing so I guess it comes down what size screen you prefer using.

    The default resolution on the 15" is higher so the text will be a bit smaller on that than the 13" one.
  3. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    For writing I'd get an Air. Huge battery and very light-weight, excellent for taking anywhere and writing anywhere. Of course, if you don't "need" the retina display.
  4. gentleman00 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have an 11" MacBook Air at work, but I want to upgrade to a retina screen with more real estate.
  5. IndoX macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    The real estate of the default resolution 13" isn't much. I prefer to work on the 1440x900 resolution on the retina display 13"
  6. gentleman00 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    What is the default resolution on the 13" anyway?
  7. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    I also use the MBP mainly for writing. I have been using the 15" MBP (Late 2008) for a long time and i just upgraded to the 13" rMBP. I think the 13" would be sufficient as it provides just enough screen space to write comfortably. It is also much lighter than my older 15". Which app do you use for writing? I mostly use Scrivener and the screen real estate is great.
  8. gentleman00 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007

    I am leaning towards the 13". I have scrivener, but use word. I should use scrivener more often,
  9. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Go with the 13". You won't regret it :D and yes, you should use Scrivener. It's much more versatile than Word.
  10. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    13" if you also use a Thunderbolt Display/external monitor, or 15" if it'll be a standalone. Everyone always seems to recommend the Air, which I totally understand given the weight and portability. However given that any writer is presumably staring at the screen for countless hours on end and reading/writing text nonstop, I think that the retina is by the more desirable and the added cost is more than justified by the increased productivity/decreased eye-strain.
  11. arsimoun macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2013
    13" vs. 15" screen...

    Writing is incredibly personal, and the selection of what tool best serves your needs is ultimately a subjective one. That said, I prefer the 15". It's always a pain lugging a laptop of any size through an airport or from meeting to meeting -- or whatever is. At some point, you will open the laptop and use it. For me, the extra screen real estate is a big deal. I find 13" a little cramped. Play with both and see how you feel.

    FWIW. YMMV. And all that.
  12. aiyaaabatt macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2013
    13'' is for playing.

    15'' is for doing work.

    13'' is for boys.

    15'' is for men.

    am i right? :)
  13. Arid macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2008
    I too am using my Macbook for writing (Ph.D. thesis) and have recently switched from a 11" MBA to a 15" Pro but found it way too big for everyday carry. Just ordered a 13" MBP and will be returning the 15.
  14. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Go test them out in the store. But I'm a writer, and I vastly prefer the 13-inch form factor.
  15. gentleman00 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have tested them at the store. But it's not the same as when you test them at home or at your office.


    Thanks. This is helpful
  16. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I agree. But here are my thoughts if you are having trouble reaching a decision: I think the 13-inch is much more ergonomic. It fits better on your lap. And I think it's just more ideal for typing. On the 15-inch, the distance between the palm rest area and the trackpad is further than it is on the 13. And the 15 isn't just bigger by 2 inches, it has speaker grilles on each side of the keyboard which adds to the width.

    If your main purpose is writing, then I would get the 15. The 13-inch does only have a native resolution of 1280x800. I think 1440x900 is preferable, but 12800x800 works completely fine in my experience. You could always bump up the resolution to 1440x900 if you so desire.

    And not to mention that the 13-inch wins out on portability. So if you will be taking this machine to lots of places, keep that in mind.
  17. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    Just to throw this out there. My last novel was written partly on my 27" iMac and partly on my iPad, with an Apple bluetooth keyboard. The iPad/keyboard combo is highly transportable. I won't want to work on it all the time because the screen is a tad shy of 11". Back at home my files are synced into Scrivener and I get to organize and edit on the big beautiful 27" screen.

    I wouldn't recommend writing on the iPad on-screen keyboard.

    This may change as I've ordered a 13" rmbp. I couldn't help myself.

    Lastly, consider how much you'll be carrying the computer. If you're just going to lug it to Starbucks or the library to write, having a slightly larger computer wouldn't be that big of a deal.
  18. Lake17 macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Also, don't forget aesthetics. The Air has a recessed, very wide, silver toned border around the screen, whereas the MacBook Pro has a flat, black border around the screen. I find the appearance of the Air's border distracting and not attractive, while the Pro's non recessed, black border just blends and doesn't call attention to itself. It's very personal, but something to think about.
  19. gentleman00 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have a 2009 imac 27 inch, but when I use my mac display monitor connected to my macbook Air at work, I see a huge difference. The Macbook Air 11" is too small, and the screen on my iMac 27" at home is too big and the resolution is not as good as the Macbook 13" Retina.

    The compromise: buy the MBP 13" Retina. :D


    It's horrendous.
  20. pshufd macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    I'm an engineer but I have to write specifications early in the product development cycle. I have a 2008 MacBook Pro 17 inch with 1920x1200 resolution and it's very nice for writing in one window with reference materials in another side-by-side.

    I hook up an external monitor while in the office so that I can use the external monitor for reference materials and edit my specification documents 2-up.

    This usage model may be quite different from yours but may be something to consider.

    My current system is pretty close to 8 pounds so for me, going to anything new is a big savings in weight.

Share This Page