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First World Problem, laptop size


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Poll: MacBook related (18 member(s) have cast votes)

What size should I get?

  1. 13 (4 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  2. 15 (9 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  3. get a pc you fool! (5 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

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#1 Adicolour

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:03 PM

Hi all, I'm interested in buying a MacBook Pro, with the Retina display. but am having trouble choosing between a 13" and a 15" I am a uni student, but I tend to do a little bit of graphic design, photography and a few other things here and there. So i guess if I want portability I should get a 13" but if i want the power, I should get a 15". Cost isn't too much of an issue as I have saved up for this for a while.
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#2 Nich...

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

How often are you going to do design work on it rather than just plugging in a monitor? The only reason I got my 15" laptop instead of an 11 or 13" is I wanted the numpad. It totally didn't occur to me to just get a USB one at the time :<
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#3 Adicolour

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:33 AM

quite often, i wont have a monitor on hand, mostly when i'm out at uni, friends house, library etc.
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#4 Master_Scythe

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

you need to assess your needs honestly. For me, I like the smallest laptop possible, with a full size keyboard (usually 11", that is). If i'm doing something truly crucial, my desktop does the job. On the move, unless its light and nice I'm probably not going to have it with me anyway, defeating the purpose of owning a laptop! laptops for me are always portability first. I'm very patient even if its slow. I feel im lucky to have a full PC out with me. Size\weight, battery, cost, processing power. In that order (for me). Decide what you want. 15" honestly feels a bit like a "computer replacement" and can be a pain to carry even for a short time IMO.

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#5 tastywheat

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:52 PM

I am a uni student, but I tend to do a little bit of graphic design, photography and a few other things here and there. So i guess if I want portability I should get a 13" but if i want the power, I should get a 15". Cost isn't too much of an issue as I have saved up for this for a while.


Some questions to ask yourself:

Do you have a desktop for power work, or will this be your primary PC?

Will you have easy access to an external monitor where you intend to use it most?

Do you have interest in playing games with advanced graphics on this machine?

Will you be doing any illustrator or photoshop work with very large files, or video editing?

How often are you going to be carrying your laptop? Do you travel often, and have a need to work during flights?

How much storage do you need? Are you happy to use an external drive if it's above 256GB?


I was faced with a similar decision before the Retina MacBooks came out, though it was between the 15" and 17". I'm also involved in graphics design and photography, with the additional requirement of some light 3D work. I wanted the portability of the 15", but I needed the extra screen resolution offered by the 17". I went with the 17", and I think it was the right decision at the time, though I would love a 15" retina now. It's a little bit of a pain to haul it around everyday, but it's been a great laptop, and the extra screen resolution has been very handy. In your position, with the requirements you've listed, and assuming this is your primary computer, I'd be leaning towards the 15". Particularly for graphics design, the more real-estate you have, the less cluttered your workspace becomes. Add a dedicated graphics card that includes OpenCL support, a more powerful processor with more storage space and (potentially) ram, and you get a certain level of future-proofing.

The weight difference is 400g. The size difference is ~4cm x ~2cm. The price difference is >66%. Each of these factors might be significant or insignificant to you, but for me, I tend to prefer to spend more and get something more powerful because it will last me longer. The portability difference would make very little difference for the way I carry and use laptops, though if you're often flying, a 13" is definitely more comfortable to use in an economy sized seat.

Don't forget about the education discounts offered when you go to purchase.

#6 Adicolour

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

I've decided to grab the 15 inch one, however may hold out for a bit more while the current issues with the fans are being sorted.
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#7 The Tick

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:50 PM

It's a tough call and one that would honestly only be made by what your day generally holds. I was in a similar position - I do some photography but no real graphics work bar the occasional photoshop. My mbp 13" retina is my office as well as my toy. I used to have a 2011 MBP 15" which I got for the reason that the extra real estate was important for graphics and web design but I found that when I was moving, I rarely touched that part of it so I recently switched. I opted for the 13" retina for a few reasons. Firstly, my laptop bag, despite my best efforts gets heavy - mainly as stuff, even temporary, gets thrown in. Every bit of weight saving is a bonus. I am, in effect, currently managing IT for a national retail chain. This means that while I am most often either working from home or at the head office of the company, I am also on planes as well as legging it to a shopping centre. I also may be doing impromptu TeamViewer remote support. The 13" is fine for this. When at home and at the office, I have it hooked into either a 27" Dell beast or a 23" LG. While the 13" is fine, the bigger screen is much more comfortable. In the past using the 15" it still felt cramped at times so I got used to holding off work that was better suited to a bigger screen anyway. I find that I don't actually "do" any graphics intensive/ photo editing away from a desk anyway. Moving around it's about portability and ease of use in a confined space (such as a plane) or have the 13" stuffed in a bag along with kid's lunches or stuff (supporting retail has it's disadvantages) knowing that it is not unnecessarily weighing me down. I moved my iPhoto and Aperture libraries to an external Seagate flex 1.5TB drive as my photo gallery would eclipse the paltry 256GB SSD. The USB3 port is fast enough to run this reasonably. I have the thunderbolt dock but it's no faster on that drive (my SSD efforts to find a decent USB3 enclosure with a 500GB SSD that doesn't require two USB ports to run it has proved fruitless thus far). Apart from the photo libraries, the drive also pulls double duty for work file storage/ OS ISOs etc ... - again, stuff not needed when I am out and about but an easy addition when pulling general work duties. All in all I am happy with the solution. Only occasionally have I thought that a 15" might have been better if I am interstate and wanted to catch up on something graphically that the extra size would have helped but in all honesty, I prefer a bigger screen than the 15" and a comfy chair/ desk to do that kind of work for long periods.

Edited by The Tick, 15 March 2013 - 08:52 PM.

Disclaimer: this post may have been made via a mobile device. All formatting, grammar and the possible hilarious substitution of key words should be attributed to the autocorrect features of the mobile device and likely has nothing to do with the idiot driving it.

 

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#8 Master_Scythe

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

thats a good call. While 15 is better, is it enough? because if BOTH 13 and 15 are going to be below ideal; get the 13 and an external monitor.

Wherever you go in life, watch out for Scythe, the tackling IT support guy.

"I don't care what race you are, not one f*cking bit, if you want to be seen as a good people, you go in there and you f*ck up the people who (unofficially) represent you in a negative light!"


#9 Adicolour

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:15 PM

the deed has been done. I am now awaiting the arrival of my new macbook pro, 15" ,2.7ghz, 16gb ram, and a 256 gb ssd
“Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves” Joseph Addison

#10 elfanger

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:07 PM

13" for portability. For serious work use a desktop built for purpose when you are home.
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#11 noskcaj

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:32 AM

Why apple? If it's just the software, many other laptops can have OSX put on them
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#12 nobody813

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:05 PM

Why apple? If it's just the software, many other laptops can have OSX put on them

Legally?

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#13 noskcaj

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:12 PM

Why apple? If it's just the software, many other laptops can have OSX put on them

Legally?

research "hackintosh", apple say not to but they have done nothing to stop it.
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#14 nobody813

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:05 PM

Why apple? If it's just the software, many other laptops can have OSX put on them

Legally?

research "hackintosh", apple say not to but they have done nothing to stop it.

I know what that is, but I'd sooner have Apple gear running Apple software

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#15 noskcaj

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:34 AM

Why apple? If it's just the software, many other laptops can have OSX put on them

Legally?

research "hackintosh", apple say not to but they have done nothing to stop it.

I know what that is, but I'd sooner have Apple gear running Apple software

if for some reason i wanted OSX, i'd put it on a normal laptop and spend $1000 on my gaming PC
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#16 Nich...

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

Normal laptops are pretty shitty quality.
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#17 The Tick

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:12 PM

As someone who has hackintoshed I would suggest you do your research very thoroughly before starting and never presume its a) going to be a piece of piss and b) that your updates will work flawlessly and your shit will not be broken. It's not a mac so don't expect it to behave like one

Disclaimer: this post may have been made via a mobile device. All formatting, grammar and the possible hilarious substitution of key words should be attributed to the autocorrect features of the mobile device and likely has nothing to do with the idiot driving it.

 

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#18 Master_Scythe

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:10 AM

^ this. It works well if you have one of the same laptops as the person who rolled the vanilla install. I have an MSI wind, thats running the WINDY build, it was a piece of piss. But yeah... other machines involve some unix knowledge to get working and even more fi you want to update. Considering the cost difference is less than 25%; if you have the money why not get the apple? They're built well, and can have windows installed. I personally hate every piece of apple hardware i've ever used, EXCEPT the macbooks. Though retina display is horrible, because only certain things are designed for that resolution. Websites with fixed pixel width and windows in general is horrid. Though avoid the RETINA (or use OSX, as its intended) and you have win.

Wherever you go in life, watch out for Scythe, the tackling IT support guy.

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#19 Electr0

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:19 PM

Despite the OP already making their purchase, and this thread being a few months old, I'm going to chime in with my 2c worth. I went through a similar decision process at the end of last year. I wanted an ultrabook but at the time no ultrabooks could match the specs of the 13" MBP Retina. That then left me with the same dilemma. Should I get a 13" or a 15". I only planned on using it for a bit of photography work out and about, and to use on my 7 week holiday to the Philippines. I ended up going for a tricked out 13": 2.9GHz Dual-core i7 w/ TB up to 3.6GHz and a 256GB SSD. This gave me the processing power for the small amount of photography work I do but also the portability and less weight of the smaller size. Also my budget was a big limiting factor. I didn't really want to spend too much over $2k. At the time, my config of the 13" MBP topped out at about $2200 where as the 15" standard was an extra $300 at $2500. I already have a powerhouse PC, so didn't need that in a laptop.
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#20 The Tick

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:30 PM

Though avoid the RETINA (or use OSX, as its intended) and you have win.



Unless you like working with photos ...

To be honest, programs and websites which aren't retina capable are noticeable but it's hardly a deal breaker.

Edited by The Tick, 14 May 2013 - 11:51 AM.

Disclaimer: this post may have been made via a mobile device. All formatting, grammar and the possible hilarious substitution of key words should be attributed to the autocorrect features of the mobile device and likely has nothing to do with the idiot driving it.

 

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