Which Size Best for College Student?

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Our daughter really wants a MacBook Pro for birthday/graduation to use for college in the fall. Which size would be best for her--the 13 inch or the 15 inch? I saw that there is only one pound of weight difference between them but wondered myself which would be best based on (1) looking at the screen a lot and (2) carrying it around in a backpak/satchel. Either one is affordable for us to do (although I'm warning her like crazy to keep up with it at all times). Thanks for any suggestions as this will be her first (and our first as a family) Apple computer.
 

pigoo3

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It's really comes down to personal preference. Of course the 13" is smaller & lighter...so if size & weight are of the most importance...then the 13" would be better.

I know some students like to take notes on their computers while in class (not sure if your daughter will be doing this)...if so, then a smaller computer (13") might be better.

Hope this helps,

- Nick
 
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A pound makes a huge difference if you are carrying it all day. Both of you might want to step into an Apple store or Best Buy and see the size and weight in person. The 13 screen was too small for me and performance wasn't fast enough for my needs but your daughter's needs I'm sure is different. If your daughter is petite she might prefer the 13 size.

The other difference between the 13 and 15 is that the 15 has a matte screen option and it has a dedicated graphics card on the high end models. If your daughter is not playing games or doing other 3D graphics then she probably won't benefit from a dedicated graphics card.

Since both of you are new to Macs then trying them out in store is a good way to decided.
 
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Thanks for the Help

Thanks for the replies. I have a 14 inch PC (sorry!) right now that is fine for me, so the 13 inch Mac is a just a wee bit smaller. There is a Best Buy near us and an Apple store across town. I personally prefer going to the Apple store for the purchase because I feel like they know the product the best. I still remember that the first laptops were 17 inch and big and heavy. Every year they get smaller and lighter in weight.:)
 

pigoo3

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I still remember that the first laptops were 17 inch and big and heavy. Every year they get smaller and lighter in weight.:)

Well...the first laptops weren't 17"...but they were big & heavy.;)

- Nick
 
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I would say go with the 13". While I had a 15" in undergrad (which sits mostly as a desktop machine now), I didn't need all of that screen space. If I were to purchase a new MBP today, I would make it a 13". The good thing is that now with the 13" MBP, you get the best of both worlds (portability and power). Used to be that the smallest MBP was the 15"
 
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Thanks for reminding me that the first laptops weren't 17 inch :Smirk: because, to be honest, when I was in college there were no computers (desktop or laptop) and I was proudest of my portable manual Royal typewriter! My two kids can't believe I didn't have the use of a computer nor a microwave nor a cell phone. I graduated in 1972 and back then even a small calculator cost a lot more than today. But somehow I survived and graduated. Today, however, a computer is nearly a necessity for every home, much less a college student. Thanks to all of you for your help!
 
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Well, I'll tell you from experience that 15 inches is a big difference. I had a 15in compaq c.2002, when I went to Lamar University. I originally got it to take to class and take notes, but after the first few days, I started taking notes the old fashioned way. Just too big for lugging around all day.

Now, her needs may be different. If she'll be doing something technical for her degree, she may want something with a little more power, which would be the 15in and up devices. However, for most college students the 13in model will do quite well, all around.
 
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Before, I would say go with the 15 because you can get a better card on it. But now, the 13 has a good card too…the 320m. The screen size isn't that small when you are actually personally using it, and not comparing it side-by-side next to the 15" and 17" models. The 13" is perfect for a student!
 
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It really depends on what she's going to be doing on it. If she'll only be toting it around all day and taking notes, the 13" should be fine. If she's going to be working with images or movies on it, the extra screen real estate and horsepower could be a big plus.
 
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And no matter what size you end up getting, I recommend applecare. It gives you a three year warranty for some piece of mind ;)
 
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I'm adding a huge +1 to Apple Care. I decided not to continue after the first year, and when my hard drive and then logic board failed a year later, I was out of luck. It's a really good idea to add that little extra layer of certainty to your computer.
 

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