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Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

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therecruiter's picture
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I've been thinking about going for a Mac Mini as my next computer which is predominantly used for working from and to manage iTunes and that's about it (I don't game nor watch movies on the computer; that's all taken care of by my ATV 2) Having researched more though the MacBook Pro is looking more favourable as its all in one whereas the Mac Mini still needs the monitor, mouse & keypad etc... Having sold my iMAC 21.5" a few weeks back I'm temporarily using an Acer laptop running Windows 7 and it's killing me (slow and painful in comparison to the iMAC) but it was a necessity as the iMAC was too big! For those who have used both; with the 13" Macbook Pro be fine to work from every day (i.e. the screen isn't too small etc...) or would the extra £££ for the 15" be a better investment? I'd be looking to add a stand to bring it to eye-height plus the magic mouse and wireless keyboard (fat fingers syndrome)! Thanks

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therecruiter's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Initially all I could think of was that the 15" MacBook Pro is £500 more than the 13"; so is it really worth it? The resolution will be hell of a lot better than the Acer laptop I'm currently working from! In saying that though Apple do have a couple of 15" Macbook Pro's on their refubed side so they'd be worth considering and there are a few on eBay and the likes as well. When it comes to spending that kind of money though; preference would be to buy new and from Apple/Apple re-seller really just for peace of mind! BUT On the flip side; a Mac Mini with a screen, Apple Mouse & Keyboard would come in cheaper again... I don't 'need' the portability side of the Pro because I'd never take it out of my home-office as when I do have client meetings and it's needed; my iPad 2 comes with me! Decisions, decisions!!!

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Living room: iTunes to ATV 2 (via AirPlay) to Cyrus 8 DAC with KEF LS50 speakers - Tellurium Q Blue cables

Spare room: Marantz CR603, AirPlay, Monitor Audio RX2's - Chord Odyssey 2 cables

cheeseboy's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

if you don't need to move it, seems silly to buy a macbook as you're going to spend a lot of extra money for no great reason.  A mac mini, you can add whatever monitor you like as well to save more cash.

bigboss's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

I went for 13-inch MBP mainly for portability.

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Paul.'s picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Wait untill 23rd, the 'mini' event, rumour has it they may be announcing a retina 13" MBP.  Also, check out the refurb store.  I saved £500 on my 17".

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bigboss's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Paul Hobbs wrote:

Wait untill 23rd, the 'mini' event, rumour has it they may be announcing a retina 13" MBP.  Also, check out the refurb store.  I saved £500 on my 17".

Not sure if the "retina display" is useful to the OP as the MBP will not be used to watch movies. Unless the higher resolution is absolutely needed for work purposes, I find it difficult to justify the extra premium it commands, and the omission of optical drive.

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

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therecruiter's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Thanks for all that

 

The retina side of things isnt needed; I work from the computer (emails and MS Word docs etc...). All movies/music is via iTunes and ATV 2 downstairs etc...

 

I know what youre saying re the MacBook Pro and not needing the portability side BUT for me it's an all in one package which, from working on the Acer laptop currently, I really like. It's neat and tidy!

 

The Mac Mini does look good though and have been thinking of whether I'd need a dedicated PC Monitor or whether a semi-decent HD TV would suffice such as:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-SM933HD-18-5-inch-Widescreen-Monitor/dp/...

 

I'm not overly sure on what difference I'd get picture wise between a dedicated monitor and a small LCD TV; please could someone expand on this?

 

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Living room: iTunes to ATV 2 (via AirPlay) to Cyrus 8 DAC with KEF LS50 speakers - Tellurium Q Blue cables

Spare room: Marantz CR603, AirPlay, Monitor Audio RX2's - Chord Odyssey 2 cables

professorhat's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

I have the 13" Macbook Air and find it's plenty good enough for working on. I would have thought it would be fine just for administering iTunes, but it's very much a personal preference - why not take a trip to an Apple store and have a look - they'll all have iTunes installed.

The Mac Mini is probably the more sensible route if you really don't need the portability, but then I understand what you mean about the tidyness of the Macbook Pro. This would also enable you to work on iTunes from the sofa  Smile

If you do decide the Mac Mini, I'd probably go for a dedicated monitor rather than a TV - TVs are designed for watching TV (clearly) and I find don't look as "good" as dedicated monitors when it comes to displaying a computer terminal. For one, since you're generally sitting quite close, the extra resolution you can get on a monitor over and above that of a standard TV is definitely worth it. That being said, there's no need to go for a super expensive Apple model (lovely as they are). I use a Dell and it's perfect with my Mac Mini.

 

Paul.'s picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Fair enough, do wait though.  It's only a few days and you will kick yourself if the 13" or mini gets a processor upgrade Smile

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therecruiter's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Thanks for the further info...

 

I wont be buying for another month yet as I've not really got the time to get down to my local Apple store...

 

Any suggestions for a dedicated monitor then; ideally not stupidly expensive but small is necessary, no more than 19"?

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Living room: iTunes to ATV 2 (via AirPlay) to Cyrus 8 DAC with KEF LS50 speakers - Tellurium Q Blue cables

Spare room: Marantz CR603, AirPlay, Monitor Audio RX2's - Chord Odyssey 2 cables

cheeseboy's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

dell and samsung are probably your best bet for the monitors.

Overdose's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Have you considered getting a good condition used Mac mini and the say, a refurb'd 13" Macbook Pro/Air? It is a bit extravagant, but the mini could be configured to be an all in one media centre, with the Macbook being the controller. You can also use iTunes remote from an iPad/Phone etc to control the Mac mini iTunes as well.

That's pretty much how my system is set up. I just need to upgrade the Mac mini HDD to something more suitable.

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therecruiter's picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

Massive overkill for what I need

 

The iMAC I had was more than enough for working from and running iTunes (which is all stored on a external LaCie Firewire 2TB HDD).

 

I dont need a Mac Mini AND a MacBook etc... Just one or the other!

 

TBH I really do like the though of a MacBook Pro and will probably see if I can get a decent one from Apple Refurb store OR 2nd hand via the forums/eBay but if not the Mac Mini is looking very favourable with a decent small monitor and Apple keyboard/mouse etc...

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Living room: iTunes to ATV 2 (via AirPlay) to Cyrus 8 DAC with KEF LS50 speakers - Tellurium Q Blue cables

Spare room: Marantz CR603, AirPlay, Monitor Audio RX2's - Chord Odyssey 2 cables

Paul.'s picture
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RE: Macbook Pro - 13" or 15"?

It can be difficult to figure out which machine is fastest, or which is best value on the refurb store as older models with high clock speeds can be slower than newer models with lower clock speeds.  You can use geekbench for directly comparible benchmarks, I found it a massive help when buying my laptop.

 

http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

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