Mac 13" or 15" Opinion?
Dear fellow traveling computer type peoples. I have a quick question for you if you have a moment to offer your opinion:
I'm about to move from a desktop computer to a laptop and I'm trying to choose between a 13" or 15" (mac unibody). I've never owned a laptop before. Through your experience of traveling or just moving around a lot, which do you prefer size wise? I'm trying to balance the size versus convenience of fitting it in my new Smart Alec comfortably, etc. Does the 13" drive you crazy after a while? Also, I do have a 17" flat panel that I would hook up to either when at home.
I pretty sure the 13" will fit in my Smart Alec, even in a vertical brain cell, but I'm not sure about the 15". Maybe in a soft sleeve? The laptop sizing chart does not go there. I don't necessarily want to base my decision on whether the machine will fit in a specific backpack, but it would indeed be handy.
Any opinion is welcome!
I have a 13" unibody and would highly recommend it if you are going to be moving around. My husband has an older 15" Powerbook and he doesn't really carry it around with him because it's just a tad too big to make it really convenient.
I have both a 15-inch Macbook Pro and a 13-inch unibody Macbook. Having traveled with both, by car and by air, my definite preference is for the 13-inch. It feels significantly lighter when I'm lugging it around, and the BrainCell it fits in (size 6) is markedly smaller than the BrainCell for my MBP, so it takes up less room inside my ID.
I do like the larger screen on the 15-inch Pro; however, I don't feel I am compromising with the 13-inch screen on the Macbook. I can either work on it comfortably, or goof off and watch DVDs.
Hope this helps.
I would think the prime consideration before purchasing any all-in-one computer (display and computer in one unit) is that you should carefully consider what you will be using the machine for. Home? Work? Both? What kind of tasks do you expect of it? Word processing and number crunching? Photoshopping and video editing?
Keep in mind that when you pick an all-in-one's size you're locking yourself into a certain amount of video real estate that you can work in at any given time. If computing for you doesn't require alot of screen space (e-mails?) then maybe you could get away with a smaller machine. But if you want to do more with your machine, maybe you should look at a 15-inch model.
I switched my 15.4" PowerBook for a used 12.1" PowerBook two years ago -- I wasn't bringing the 15.4" anywhere because it was too big. I'm saving up money to get a 13.3" MacBookPro soon!
I have used a 13" Mac for several years, starting with a white iBook through the various iterations to the 13in MacBook unibody. Screen real estate when traveling has never been a problem (I typically use it for word processing, email, video viewing, occasional spreadsheets). At home I have a 21 inch flat panel monitor when I feel the need for space - or if I need to be able to view multiple documents simultaneously. I still do the work on the 13in screen and viewing the related docs on the larger screen - worked quite nicely. I used a 15 in Powerbook for a while and decided that the extra weight did not justify the screen real size increase. The current generation of 13 in Macbook (now Macbook Pro) is pretty powerful and can have plenty of storage. If you've concerns go to your local Apple store, if you have one, or Best Buy to check them out in person to see if the screen size will make a difference to you.
Welcome to Mac! We have three 13" MacBooks -- 2 unibodies and 1 black one (no longer made but the boys use it for school). Clearly, we are fans of the 13". They travel well (don't forget to get a brain cell), never crash or lock up and you can do anything on them (almost)!
When my beloved MacBook 13“ died last May, I chose a 15.4” MacBook Pro to replace it. I originally got the 13“ in part because of the light weight, as opposed to carrying around a heavier PowerBook or Toshiba in years past. I was delighted with the weight difference, and the 13” screen was just fine for my uses in the classroom for presentations. However, I am really, really glad I moved up to the 15.4“ model. I do not notice the slight weight increase at all, and the extra screen real estate is welcome. I also like the larger palm-rest area & better speakers.
If the laptop were my only machine, I’d definitely go with a 15.4” or 17“, but I have an iMac 24” that serves my main computing needs, which include not only word processing and presentations, but also website design and graphics work.
I'm a 5'8" female & carry my MBPro in a fully loaded Brain Bag every day, but I also have a Smart Alec in Black/Indigo/Solar on order for days when I don’t need to carry quite so much. If you check out Maverick’s just posted Smart Alec video, he has a 15.4“ in a Brain Cell inside, and says that a 17” will also fit.
All in all, both sizes are fine machines, and I’ve no doubt you will be very happy with either one!
I originally had a titanium powerbook with a 15 inch screen. I loved it. It went cross country (AK to NJ and back) at least 7 times. I carried it in a backpack and yes it was quite heavy but I enjoyed the wider screen.
I now have a 13in macbook. I missed the 15 inch screen for my first few months and every so often I still do (like if I want to watch something online and work in another window at the same time). This one is MUCH easier to lug around, it even fits in my Swift.
I would go back to a 15in in a heart beat but I'd want to keep my 13in for travel.
Wow, thank you all so much for your insight! I'm writing this on my new 15.4" Unibody! It's literally the first message I've written on it because I just brought it home! So far, I love it! My first laptop... Now I can do some of my computing down in the coffee shop with all those other cool people, instead of hibernating in my apartment chained to the wall! Next week I'll be taking it on it's first real voyage to Japan for two weeks. I'll post back with how it goes. I've got the order for the Brain Cell in which should arrive soon, so I'm looking forward to my new life as a mobile computer user. Thanks again for everything, and thanks to Tom Bihn for the necessary baggage!
Good for you, Howard! Enjoy it.
Originally Posted by HowardB
And to celebrate your newfound "coolness", I share with you one of my all time favorite "Family Guy" clips... :D Have fun!
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That's exactly what I planned on doing! But here in San Francisco you have to wear black and have at least one piercing.
BTW, I haven't seen many TB bags here. Only one Smart Alec so far since I started taking a keen interest a few months ago while riding BART and driving the city. Are they on every corner in Seattle? Hope so!
Well, maverick has been doing his best to establish the TB bag presence in San Francisco -- albeit as a visitor. There's this picture of the Tri-Star and Side Effect on BART, and the whole thread of pictures from the Tri-Star around San Francisco. Incidentally, am I the only one who looks at these pictures, and the ones from the Smart Alec and Side Effect around Philadelphia thread, and thinks about all those psychological studies with cameras to see what people do when the find money, etc. on the street? I'm speaking about all the shots with various Tom Bihn bags posed on the seats of public transportation or tastefully propped against local monuments and scenery sans obvious owner. Now, I know that maverick is really nearby, shooting pictures, but somehow this reminds me of sting operations where you leave out highly addictive products to tempt and test the honesty of passers-by.
Originally Posted by HowardB
Congratulations, HowardB! You will love your new Mac! It will become your new BFF! (Best Friend Forever).
We are anxious to hear how your trip goes!
Originally Posted by HowardB
the smart alec will actually hold the 13", 15" and 17" macbook pro very nicely whether you choose the brain cell or cache.
i've had powerbooks / macbooks / macbook pro's in all three sizes over the years. the 17" has a nice big screen that you can appreciate. but it comes at the expense of a larger and heavier package. if you're going to use your book exclusive of any desktop or additional display, and you wish to do a lot of photo or video editing, then i would recommend the 17" without hesitation.
the 15" still provides a nice sized screen, just not as big as the 17".
the 13" is a nice portable package, and you understand that you give up screen real estate to get the smaller, more portable package.
i'm currently carrying a 13" macbook as my personal laptop, and the 15" macbook pro as my work laptop. i prefer taking the 13" with me, and that's why i opted for this size for my personal laptop. it's not that the 15" is too big - i carry that also, and sometimes i carry both. but i like the 13" size in terms of how it handles when you're in public places or at someone's home.
i hope this helps. let me know if you have any additional questions.