View Full Version : Cant make up my mind: 13 or 15" MBP?

6th January 2010, 12:29 AM
I was sooo close to buying a MBP 15" this week, and then i had to carry around my friends 15" Toshiba today, and portability-wise, im having some doubts.

Im a student, so portability is Hugely important to me.
So i'd be inclined to go with the 13"

Sadly, im also a music fanatic, and the speakers of the 15" are better..
(even though, really i know that id be using headphone or plugging in speakers most of the time anyway)...(you should hear the arguments in my head)
Plus, everyone just seems to assume that 15" is better, no idea why..

Anyway, when it comes down to it, im too indecisive for my own good and im quite ready to flip a coin tbh :P
(Finance isnt an issue atm, ive saved up for quite a while :D)
So really, i guess what im asking is, is there a big difference in portability between the 13" and 15", is 500gm difference more than it sounds like? (Im a girl, kinda short, not exeptionally strong :[

6th January 2010, 12:55 AM
Do your eyes a favour, go the 15".

6th January 2010, 01:58 AM
the 15" is more of a desktop replacement. just my 2cents.

6th January 2010, 08:26 AM
Depends on screen real-estate needs vs weight/dimensions/portability.

There is no doubt that the 13 is more portable. Will your study needs require the extra screen (ie audio, publishing, graphic design) or are you just typing essays?

Audio-wise - I'd be beaming audio via airtunes/airfoil to a decent amp and speakers with either of them when I'm home ;-)

They are both beautiful machines so you can't really go wrong either way...

6th January 2010, 08:41 AM
I'd say go 13in for portability, combine that with an external screen, keyboard and mouse at home.

A big screen is great, but carrying around a laptop all day isn't fun, and yes they get heavier as the day goes on.
The smaller it is, the less things you bump into, the easier it is to manage moving around over the day.

6th January 2010, 08:41 AM
When I buy another laptop, the reason it'll be a laptop is portability. I find the 13" screen of the MacBook certainly large enough. I'll be going with the 13".

Considering speaker quality in any portable is silly. Evict any such thoughts from your mind. It's a laptop about 4 minutes of engineering time went into finding speakers that fit.

6th January 2010, 08:50 AM
I chose a 13" instead of a 15" because portability was important to me when traipsing around uni. I then used the money I saved (by getting the 13" as opposed to the 15") to buy a 24" monitor for home. This meant that I had good portability at uni and more screen space at home where I needed it. At home I could also connect it to my speakers.

6th January 2010, 08:52 AM
You've basically answered your own questions. If you are buying a desktop replacement, then go the 15 or 17. If you want portability and will be transporting the laptop regularly, go the 13.

6th January 2010, 09:20 AM
Unless you're incredibly feeble or have some sort of muscle disease, there's virtually no difference in hauling a 15" or 13" around (and I've owned both).

6th January 2010, 09:44 AM
if you can afford it, always go for the bigger, err, screen...

6th January 2010, 10:28 AM
I chose a 13" because I have an iMac at home and the 15" is just that bit too big to sit on airplane tables (in economy/domestic before you business class people say something).

It's not the weight difference of the 15 vs the 13 that makes the difference it's the relative bulkyness and yah it is substantial.

I used to have a 15, now I've got a 13 and I prefer the extra portability.

6th January 2010, 11:17 AM
13" for mobility (i guess the reason why it was made)
15" for desktop replacement

i would personally never buy a laptop larger then 13" or as a desktop replacement.

Have you tried lugging around a 15" laptop around town? annoying without a laptop backpack.

6th January 2010, 12:08 PM
I'd buy the 15". The screen is a lot nicer and the extra 2" "Just looks nicer"!
I have also owned both. A 13" Macbook and now the 15" Macbook Pro and if you get a nice Crumpler bag you and your Mac will be a match made in heaven! You really get used to the weight difference quickly and easily!

6th January 2010, 12:28 PM
another vote for 15" here.

6th January 2010, 12:33 PM
500 grams is nothing, The battery is also slightly better in the 15 than 13

6th January 2010, 12:37 PM
I started with a 17" Powerbook...
I then went to a 15" MacBook Pro...

I'm currently using a MacBook Air.

When I was considering my options - I didn't think there was much weight difference between the 13 and the 15 at all. There is a big difference between the MBA and any others.

6th January 2010, 01:28 PM
I didn't think there was much weight difference between the 13 and the 15 at all.

There isn't a big difference in the weight, but there is a big difference in the size :)

That extra size can be a real nuisance sometimes, other times it's great to have.

Only the buyer can know how and where they use a laptop and if the extra size is going to be a problem.

6th January 2010, 04:59 PM
+1 for 13", i use one on the run for DJing and its certainly big and powerful enough. when at home i have external kb, mouse, speakers, screen and soundcard. Its an awesome setup.

15" is too big as far as im concerned, 13" is win

6th January 2010, 10:12 PM
Well I travel with my Macbook Pro on weekends, so it's not everyday like some others. For travelling on the train the Macbook Pro is fine. Also I've walked through hundreds of malls with my Macbook Pro on my shoulder. It really isn't that bad. I did however use it on the plane last year in September and October (I was using the non-unibody Macbook Pro back then) and Bringing it on the plane was no problem although, I don't think it fit all that snug on the tray. It was about 1.3cm off the table, which was very annoying!
Either way both Macbook Pro's are excellent machines. I've had mine for nearly a year and a half. It has never skipped a beat (Apart from a couple of batch problems ie: screen flicker).

8th January 2010, 07:20 PM
There isn't much different between the two. If you can afford the 15" then I'd say get it. Or if you could get the 13" and spend the cash left over on addons and other stuff us uni students love like 2minute noodles n alcohol ;)

I went for the 13" just because my previous PC was also a 13" laptop. So for me there was no "wow this screen is tiny" feeling.

Also for price too. For what I need it to do the lesser tech specs of the 13" was not a huge disadvantage for me.

I also have a 24" LG screen so I'll be using that at home once I get a keyboard and mouse.

8th January 2010, 07:30 PM
been using the 15in for the last 3 years... now I am happier to bring around the MBP13.

you can always buy an external monitor when you work/study at home

9th January 2010, 12:07 AM
Always been a fan of the 15inch have used one since my powerbook titanium days. I have carried a 15inch around for along time ago and I do not think it is difficult at all, it is worth it just for the bigger screens

19th January 2010, 01:52 PM
I currently use a 13" Black MacBook and went to order a new MBP recently. I went into the store having decided to upgrade to the 15", but then changed my mind and went for the higher-spec 13" model. Major reasons included dimensions and portability. While the difference is not huge, I do a lot of international travel with my Mac and the 13" is just a better fit for my needs.

Interestingly, I also was attracted by the better looking (larger) speakers on the 15". However, after cranking both models up in the store, there was very little difference in output to my ears, and for the small number of times I would actually use the speakers instead of hooking up to externals it became a non-issue.

Another attraction was of course the larger screen, but I also ordered a 24" cinema display to hook up to at the office and on balance the bigger screen did not sway me for road trips.

23rd January 2010, 10:21 PM
i bought a mbp! im waiting for it to arrive actually! (i upgraded the harddrive to 320GB)
I bought the 13" model (thankyou for all the input, it helped so much!)
and am currently mucking around with the new touch that came in the bundle!

but i am painfully aware of how much of an apple noob i am, i couldnt even work itunes ! [for shame :P]

but ive finally entered the world of apple. =]

24th January 2010, 08:30 AM
Congrats on the purchase, so you went the 13" MBP in the end. I'm sure it will fit perfectly.

To the conversation before, I used my Wife's old 13" white unit for a while before I bought my MBP. I found the 13" screen just a little small and low res to use full time and hooking it up to an external screen, while an option, wasn't something I really wanted to go. Part of the point of having a laptop was to not have a desk dedicated to a computer anymore.

While looking at the models I was very tempted by the 15" with it's bigger screen and higher res, but if you run the numbers, the 13" actually has a higher pixel per inch count, the 15" really should be 1680 x 1050 to fit nicely in the middle of the range.

Long story short, I got the 17" and carry it to and from work every day (and around the office as needed). I have a Crumpler messenger style bag and don't have any issues physically lugging it back and forth weight wise, but I will say that 17" is a bit big to try and use on the train, opening the screen hits the seat in front far more than the 13" did. Also I find that the bag with the lappy in it can bump the seats while getting on and off if your not careful, so if I was walking in and out of lecture theatres all day I think I would get a backpack style bag instead (or consider the 13" :P). Really though I don't know that I could go back to a smaller unit.