13 inch Retina or 15 Retina?


Another person looking to get advice on purchasing a MacBook Pro.
It’ll travel with me at least five days a week. And some of the software I’ll use include:

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
Photoshop (Image creating and editing)
Adobe Flash (2D animation)
Adobe Acrobat
Possibly some light gaming but nothing too graphics-heavy

If I were to get the 13 inch I would upgrade to the 2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz while the 15" I would stick with the standard configuration.

I currently have a beast of a 17” laptop so I’m not terribly worried about traveling with it.

4 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I have both sitting in front of me right now.

    I've had the 15" original since it came out. It's been my favorite laptop ever. The power and screen real estate is nice, but typing on it is a bit odd. The keyboard is really far away.

    The 13" is definitely more attractive, more portable, and easier to type on. I will be selling/returning one of the two within the next few weeks. It's a hard decision since the 15" rMBP is close to a perfect all around computer but lacks portability and even 15" isn't big enough for some scenarios like photo or video work.

    In all honesty, you're uses don't dictate the necessity of either of the two machines. You would be fine going with the base 13" rMBP configuration if space isn't an issue.

    I think you would be fine with the 13" and probably welcome it's portability but going from 17" to 13" is pretty drastic and the 15" won't be that much heavier than the 13" but will definitely be miles lighter than your 17".

    I say 13". I'm probably going to be selling my 15" and keep the 13" myself.

    • Answered by Ricky S from Newland
    • Dec 29, 2013
  • I have had the 15" mbpr since it came out in June of 2012 and I have to say that it is very nice. All of my other family members have the 13" models, and there is just no comparison between the two. The larger screen is great for photoshop, the extra processing power is great for running multiple programs at the same time, and the speakers are great. You will find that the extra graphics card is very useful and helps with photo editing. My only complaint is that it came with a 256gb sad, but I believe that the newer model comes with 512gb, so that should not be a problem for you. As for the extra weight, it is not that much heavier than the 13" model, and you will find that the larger screen is great for almost everything, especially when running two apps side by side. Netflix looks incredible on this screen.

    • Answered by Adam A from Leesburg
    • Apr 19, 2014
  • I have just bought the 13"version and i couldnt be happier. After using the 15" non-retina for years, since 2009, I find the 15" speakers always gathering dust as they are facing upward and i often have to clean it. The 13" doesnt have this issue but of course if you need the speed then go for the 15"

    • Answered by Benny C
    • Dec 19, 2014
  • The 13" is a very small portable machine and has good processor power, only issue is at standard resolution setting text on the screen is quite small so you might find that an issue for more prolonged use of word processing. The 15" is quite a bit bigger and heavier but is easier to work on as default text is just that bit bigger.

    My old windows laptop is 15" 4:3 ratio and desktop 17" so the 13" macbook 16:9 ratio screen seems quite small to me. I mention this as your current laptop is quite a lot bigger so be prepared for the reduction, try one out in store to get a feel for it.

    So in my mind its portability vs practicality when used extensively, see what your eyeballs think! :-)

    • Answered by Carl C
    • Dec 3, 2014