Unibody 13in" 2.4 Ghz vs. Macbook Pro 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by djoost, May 20, 2009.

  1. djoost macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2009
    Hi All,

    I am a recent college graduate (4 days ago!!!) who has used a 17" Powerbook G4 all through college, it's been amazing to me and I've never had any problems with it. Now I am looking at buying a new mac to use for work next year. I am debating between a 2.4 Ghz 13" Macbook and a 15" Macbook Pro. My job will be about 90% travel, however this is only for one year. I was hoping for some advice on my purchase. Right now I'm leaning toward the 13" but what are your opinions?

    1) Do any of you 13" owners regret how small the screen is?
    2) Are there any technical deficiencies with the new unibody 13" or the 15" Pro?
    3) Does anyone do a heavy amount of traveling with the 15"? If so does the larger size become a problem?
    4) Even though both models are 2.4 Ghz, is the 15" more powerful/responsive?

    NOTE: I will be using the computer for web work, chat, very very light audio and video editing, word processing and spreadsheets, and very very light photoshop work.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The smaller screen of the 13" macbook will have a smaller resolution, and the screen itself isn't as good as the one in the MBP.

    I don't think the video card will be an issue for you.

    However, once you use a 13" laptop, even a 15" one seems large. I went from a thin and light 14" to a Macbook Pro, and even 2 years later I still miss the small and lightness of my Samsung.
  3. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    1) I sometimes regret it, simply because of the inferior panel that is in the Macbooks compared to the Macbook Pros, but then I remember that I bought it for the size, and the weight difference is pretty big when carrying it around all the time.

    2) It's going to be hard to say, since by now it will be a computer to computer case. I wouldn't really worry about it.

    3) My cousin does everything with his last gen macbook pro, and he loves it, so I would think it just comes down to how much are you willing to carry?

    4) The only area the macbook pro is more powerful is in the graphics department, so in any graphic intensive app, you'll see an improvement.
  4. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    As long as I don't carry my 15 inch PowerBook far (say I am going in a car) I do not mind the extra size and weight. My PB vs the iBook I had before it is so much better. The screen resolution is about the same as a MacBook is now. I am a person who needs all the screen resolution I can have so the 15 inch is worth it for me.

    If Apple upgraded the 15 inch MacBook Pro to to 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 (BTO even) I would defiantly get the 15 inch.

    I used to travel a lot with my PB and it was not bad at all.

    Now keep in mind I am a 14 year old so if I was older I would go for the 17 inch even if I was still taking my laptop everywhere.
  5. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I've got the 2.4 alu macbook and very pleased... very lightweight; I carry it on my shoulders for about 2 hours a day.

    The power on this is good enough for my CAD work and rather a lot more.

    The 13" doesn't bother me although I'm considering a 22"+ monitor for larger projects
  6. theMaccer macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006

    wow. wut do u do? i think you should be fine with a 13 uMB 2.0 with 4GB ram.
  7. markintosh macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2004
    Boise, ID
    No regrets

    I have used a 15" Powerbook in the past (as well as a 12" Powerbook), and the Unibody 13" Macbook is the best investment I have ever made. Near the portability of the 12".....

    Screen is excellent....I do Photoshop and Web work on mine all the time. Definitely upgrade it to 4GB of RAM (just ordered mine today from NewEgg for under $60!)
  8. SilentCrs macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2006
    If you want to do any gaming -- at all -- the regular MacBook is a terrible investment. In addition, when 10.6 comes out there's going to be a noticeable difference in speed between the two machines due to the crappy video card in the MacBook.
  9. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    I think it all depends from the portability vs. Power you need. Highest portability means MBA. Highest power means MBP.
    MB is a good compromise.
    Personally, I'm done with large screen notebooks. 13" is the size I prefer.
    Eventually I prefer to invest the difference in an external monitor.
    If MBA was just cheaper of, say, 300 bucks, I would not dude...
  10. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    13" is not a problem, and after using one for a while you forget how compact it is, until you put it next to a 15" of any make. The fact that it is a tiny bit larger than an A4 paper pad is handy as it can fit into almost any bag. You say you will be traveling a lot so a 13" should be a good choice, plus you would save a bit of money, or have some left over for upgrades.
  11. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    The newer 13inch macbooks are getting better screens.
  12. Whackintosh macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Montreal, Quebec
    Really? Do you mean the newer ones that are currently available? How dfoes one go about making sure they goet a unit with a newer screen?
  13. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I think s/he means over the older plastic 'books.
  14. JRob65a6 macrumors regular


    May 5, 2009
    New Macbook 13.3 is only 1lb lighter than the Macbook Pro 15. Which may seem a lot more than it sounds if you're the one carrying it. Other than that the only differences are
    1)Size of screen-I like having a bigger screen because it seems a little less hassle when your doing multiple things on it. But spaces can make up for that. Which is an awesome feature..
    2)Resolution-You probably wont even notice a difference unless you connect too an external monitor. But the better resolution is good for editing about any movie or picture media.
    3)Hard Drive size-Which can be easily upgraded with a little time and effort.
    4)Graphics Card-The main reason the Macbook Pros have the better graphics card is to support the better resolution.
    5)Screen-Smaller screen with a little less resolution. You WILL see a difference between the two screens. The 15 is a lot clearer.

    Speed wise there's not going to be a lot of difference if you get the same processor in either. You might see a little difference in power when you edit photos and or video only because the 15 is going to have a little more power for that.

    Other than that they are exactly the same in specs from what I can see
  15. djoost thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2009
    Thank you all for the great replies. After all of your comments I'm gonna go with the 13". My main concern was processing power and it seems the 13" stacks up nicely. I'm sure the transition from 17" to 13" will be rough but no biggie. Thanks again!
  16. djoost thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2009
    I'm going to be a Chapter Consultant for the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. Basically, I fly around the country visiting colleges, meeting with alumni, help our existing chapter meet their goals, and start new chapters. It's a pretty sweet gig.
  17. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    There's some threads saying that recently manufactured macbooks are having better quality screens from other vendors. They're saying that the screens rival that of the mbp's.
  18. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    You definitely don't need the Pro model. The only people who should buy that are those who do intensive graphic or video work or those who need a powerful GPU. None of the things you say you do appear to indicate this.

    You should also skip the 2.4GHz MacBook model. It's way overpriced (even more so than other Macs) and the performance is only marginally better than the $300 cheaper 2.0GHz model. It comes standard with 2GB RAM which should be more than enough for you if you don't intend on doing many resource intensive things simultaneously.

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