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13" vs 15" MacBook Pro

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Time has come to replace our downstairs laptop (2010 MBP). That machine will go to work to replace a 2007 black Macbook, which is on it's last leg. At first, going 13" seemed like a no brainer, we've seen older 15" models and they seemed too big. However once while walking in a Best Buy recently, the newer models didn't seem to have as big of a footprint.




These new updates make the decision of 13" vs 15" MBPr more difficult.

13" has newer processor, 15" does not, but it is a quad core i7. Processor means little to us. At most light video editing of iPhone footage may happen on occasion.
13" now has 8gb of faster ram, but 15" comes with 16gb. We have 8gb in our 2010 and it seems enough, though my wife leaves every app/tab open and we use fast user switching.
13" has better battery life, but that means little since it's primarily a home machine.
256gb should be enough storage. Most media is stored on a drobo, hooked up to an iMac.
So comparing the $1500 13" MBPr vs the $2000 15", the main differences are the processors, screen size (I would like more), and the intel iris 6100 vs iris pro graphics. I'm not a gamer, but I would enjoy picking up SimCity again or the new Skylines game.
Thoughts on the new 13" vs now older 15" MBPr would be appreciated. Thanks!

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buy the cheapest 13" Macbook Pro. then use the cost difference to purchase AppleCare and all the RAM that it will take. the CPU or the GPU doesn't matter anymore as the difference between them is only 15% speed difference.

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I generally agree with John. I prefer a 15-inch screen, but that's just preference. If I were buying now I'd probably still opt for 13-inch to get the newer features or wait for the 15-inch updates. Still for the cost savings that extra 2-inches is hard to justify. I use my 13-inch Air as a backup and many time I don't really notice the difference. Also at home I've got the 15-inch plugged into a 23-inch HP display as the main screen anyway.

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So all of that debate, I realized the only big difference that mattered for what we use it for was screen size. So I bought a 15" as it was $200 off at best buy. It was an experiment, as it looked like it wasn't much bigger than the 13" 2010 models (bezels have shrunk over the years). However, best buy or any store doesn't exactly have test couches to try out the size and I took it back after a week. Larger screen was nice, but a bit too much for the lap, plus I often have to fend off small children. I ordered a 13" with max ram yesterday.


While I have no doubt the new Macbook would've done the job, it's just too new and underpowered. Our current machines are 5 years old so I feel we should get a decent bump, though I don't know how core m compares.


Is it more wise to add everything manually? Or does migration assistant work well? Or should I use it for somethings but not others?

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