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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Thoughts using Macbook (retina)

Thoughts using Macbook (retina)
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mindwaves
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Oct 17, 2015, 09:36 PM
 
I currently own a 15'' MBP retina from 2012. Very happy with it and it is 1 lb less than my previous laptop.

I frequently travel (for business and pleasure) and don't want to leave my laptop in the hotel, so I care it everywhere and because I walk a lot, I can walk for miles and miles with my laptop (along with some other stuff in my messenger bag). Needless to say, it becomes heavy.

Looking to lighten up my load, but wary of the single port (or no port, depending on your perspective) of the retina Macbook.

My uses is mostly web browsing, various chat programs, emails, various PDFs, Word documents, and iWork stuff.

I usually have my laptop plugged into power and one lighting cable constantly sticking out to charge my iPad and iPhone. Occasionally have a USB cable to print to my old laser printer (not really needed when traveling).

Will the Macbook be sufficient for my needs?

An iPad is not sufficient for my needs as I need to upload PDFs and use Java.
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OreoCookie
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Oct 17, 2015, 10:50 PM
 
CPU performance-wise it seems to be plenty. I went from a 15" unibody non-Retina 2010 MacBook Pro to a 13" Retina, and the practical difference in weight is huge. And the Retina feels ancient and heavy compared to the MacBook. I'm seriously considering it as my next machine, but I'd like to wait and see what Apple does with the Pro line.

Regarding the single port, I don't think it is much of a worry if you use the machine as intended: without a charger. I am not sure if you have range anxiety, but even with my 13" Retina I can get 7+ hours, 9~11 on a plane (as I can switch off all radios, dim the screen and close the browser).

And in case you are not happy with the MacBook, just go for the 13" Retina.
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mindwaves  (op)
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Oct 18, 2015, 02:33 AM
 
Yeah, I actually didn't consider the 13" MBP until your post. It is one pound less than my 15" and not sure if that would make a substantial difference to my back.

I just worry about future proofing my Mac. My current laptop is three years old and runs perfectly well for my needs, and not sure how the current MacBook retina will do after three years. It is also a rather premium product in terms of cost.

The port issue will kind of be an issue also. I just wish it had one free port. I would get the MacBook Air if it had a better display.
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ghporter
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Oct 18, 2015, 09:33 AM
 
The 13" MBP feels VERY light to me. Keep in mind that your 15" MBP's charger is larger and heavier than the 13" MBP's, that it takes up less space in your bag, and it is thinner than your older MBP. Those things make it much more portable. The "only a pound less" is functionally a lot less weight and a lot easier on your back.

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OreoCookie
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Oct 18, 2015, 07:22 PM
 
As someone who flies long distance quite a bit and carries his computers in his backpack at least every working day, I can say it makes a huge difference: my backpack feels noticeably lighter even though I put in all sorts of other stuff (books, papers, clothes). And in the plane the biggest difference is the footprint: My 13" fits pretty much all economy class fold-up tables and makes for a much more pleasant experience. On a plane I get 10~11 hours of battery life as I switch off all radios and can dim the screen.

However seeing as your current machine is 3 years old, I think it may make more sense to wait one more generation. Right now the MacBook is a good machine for what it is, but just like with the first MacBook Air, the second machine will be better. I would not be so worried about future proofing or some such, it's just that right now the MacBook is the first viable product just like the first 15" Retina and the first 13" Retina where the hardware was just fast enough.

Personally, the biggest factor IMHO is screen estate: I went from 15 inch to 13 inch, and I am sometimes reminded that things are more crammed. (I love having a lot of windows open at the same time.) I'd clamor for a 14" MacBook with the footprint of the current 13" machines, that'd be a great compromise between weight, size and screen estate.
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Thorzdad
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Oct 18, 2015, 09:40 PM
 
My wife's business recently upgraded her from an old 13" unibody MacBook to a refurbed Spring 2015 15" MBPr. I'm impressed by the MBP, but I'm surprised by how heavy it is. Admittedly, I'm not a laptop user, but I though it might be noticeably lighter than that boat anchor MacBook. It's a nice machine, though.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 18, 2015, 10:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The 13" MBP feels VERY light to me.
Then don't try to pick up the MacBook, your machine will feel heavy after that.
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mindwaves  (op)
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Oct 19, 2015, 10:32 PM
 
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not so worried about screen size as it is a travel laptop for me, but I will probably wait a while and see what Apple does. The current Macbook and Macbook Air models seem redundant to me, and one will eventually go the way of the dodo bird.
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OreoCookie
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Oct 20, 2015, 04:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
The current Macbook and Macbook Air models seem redundant to me, and one will eventually go the way of the dodo bird.
Yup, the MacBook will replace the Air line-up, and I would definitely not recommend a non-Retina screen to someone if they have the choice.

BTW, do you have a second machine, a main machine?
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mindwaves  (op)
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Oct 21, 2015, 01:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yup, the MacBook will replace the Air line-up, and I would definitely not recommend a non-Retina screen to someone if they have the choice.

BTW, do you have a second machine, a main machine?
No, I just have my MBP. I used to have iMacs in college. If I do buy a new laptop, it'll definitely be 13" as I need the extra real estate and my eyes are not as good as before.
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SierraDragon
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Oct 25, 2015, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
...I just have my MBP. If I do buy a new laptop, it'll definitely be 13" as I need the extra real estate...
Wow, you guys amaze me considering a 13" as having extra screen real estate. Here I am wanting a 17" true desktop replacement box and willing to carry 6.6 pounds to achieve that like I do now, but willing to go to 15" and 4.5 pounds. 13" is a total non-starter for me; those usages (e.g. airlines) are what a 1-pound iPad is for.

Although its i7 CPU remains more than adequate, my 2011 MBP definitely is feeling its age. Before the 17" MBP dies of old age it sure would be nice if Apple would announce a new Skylake top end MBP replete with all the latest architectural improvements in DDR, etc. While they are at it they could knock the gloss on the retina display down another notch.

-Allen
     
pigmode
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Oct 25, 2015, 03:42 PM
 
I bought the Macbook early on, and got rid of it mainly because of the smaller screen. It pushed font size one notch too small for me. I could have made it work but why bother.

My 13" MBP retina will be 6 mo. old next month, and I still admire it for the brilliantly well balanced implement that it is. Otoh if Apple ever expands the Macbook line to include a 14" with a minimum three I/O ports *plus* magsafe, I'm on it.
     
ghporter
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Oct 26, 2015, 03:06 PM
 
For a desktop replacement, the 15" version is not quite enough for me, and a 17" MBP would be a decent choice. Except that I don't want to lug almost 7 pounds of laptop everywhere, along with the 2 or 3 pounds of other crap that goes with it. My early 15" MBP was heavy enough to lug around in grad school at 5.6 pounds... So it comes down to why you need to replace your desktop with a heavy laptop.

<personal opinion> For me, the issue with using a laptop as a desktop replacement today is that the power and storage thing isn't such a driver. You can use cloud-based storage, run almost any software on your lightweight laptop and save results wherever, and even use iOS versions of many apps to interact with the data you saved wherever. Crunching numbers? If it's just numbers, my iPad will handle that (though not too zippily if I push it hard).

Video editing and such is a different matter, but for that you'd want a bigger screen anyway - and possibly multiple displays - which would mean hooking up a desktop replacement to a desktop monitor... Running Avid? Get a Mac Pro and max it out, several huge displays, and a big honking pipe to upload your work.</personal opinion>

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Oct 26, 2015, 07:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Get a Mac Pro ... and a big honking pipe to upload your work.
Side note, a big pipe isn't practical for most people. I'd have to buy Charter Cable to get substantial upload. Or start laying my own fiber.
     
ghporter
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Oct 28, 2015, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Side note, a big pipe isn't practical for most people. I'd have to buy Charter Cable to get substantial upload. Or start laying my own fiber.
That's sort of my point. There are only a few situations where current laptops can't really replace desktops, and my extreme example of using Avid for video editing is one such situation. (All of the places I've seen using Avid were actually professional editing setups, and they didn't bother with uploading, at least not until they had finished products - then they used a DoD satellite link and didn't worry about renting a pipe. )

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gbhgbh
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Oct 29, 2015, 11:28 AM
 
You should also consider spending around $150 on a very good backpack. Get one with an internal aluminum frame and a waist strap, Osprey and REI make very good models. You'll be able to walk all day with it and think nothing of tossing in an extra liter of water to carry around with you.
     
pigmode
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Oct 31, 2015, 12:41 PM
 
Any chance new notebooks will be introduced in Nov?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 1, 2015, 07:07 AM
 
January or February is my hunch.
     
   
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