HOME > Reviews

13-inch vs 15-inch MacBook Pro. Which is Best For You?

Today, I want to share with you my comparison of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro to help you decide which one is the best for you.

Posted by @EldarGezalov on January 30, 2017
macbook pro 13 inch 15 inch comparison
13-inch MacBook Pro or 15-inch MacBook Pro, which one would you choose?

I have used the 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016) for a couple of months now, and it will be my primary computer during 2017 and beyond. One thing I didn’t tell you is that the decision between 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro wasn’t an easy one for me. I have used both of the machines for a couple of weeks, and I thought I would share my comparison with you.

DESIGN

Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro share the sleek and beautiful industrial design, although, in my opinion, the smaller form factor makes the 13-inch model look a bit more balanced and pretty.

13-inch: 10
15-inch: 9

PORTABILITY

2016 15-inch MacBook Pro is more portable than the earlier generations, but it is not even close to 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has also improved dramatically in this department. The 13-inch is a clear winner here.

13-inch: 10
15-inch: 7

PERFORMANCE

It is a dual-core processor versus quad-core processor, so it is an easy win for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. But it is important to notice that for my workflow, the performance of 13-inch MacBook Pro is more than enough during 99% of the time.

13-inch: 8
15-inch: 10

PORTS

Both of the models I am comparing have four Thunderbolt 3 ports, although, on the 13-inch model, only two ports allow the maximum bandwidth (up to 40GBs/s), making 15-inch MacBook Pro the winner in this category. I don’t think I will ever use all four ports to its maximum potential, so the difference in score is minimal.

13-inch: 9
15-inch: 10

DISPLAY

The quality of the Retina display of both models is excellent, but the bigger screen size of 15-inch MacBook Pro makes the difference when it comes to working with multiple windows or watching the video content. But, same as with performance, for 99% of the time 13-inch model provides enough screen real estate for general tasks.

13-inch: 8
15-inch: 10

SPEAKERS

Speakers are great on both, but the speakers of the 15-inch model sound a bit louder, making it the winner in this category.

13-inch: 8
15-inch: 10

BATTERY LIFE

There has been a lot of talk about the battery life of new MacBook Pro. I didn’t have any problems with both devices, but I would say that getting the full 10 hours from the 13-inch model is much harder compared to the 15-inch model. On average, I am getting about 8 to 9 hours on the smaller MacBook Pro and about 9 to 11 hours on the bigger model.

13-inch: 8
15-inch: 10

SOFTWARE

With a release of 10.12.3 update, the operating system on both models feels more stable, although I can still tell that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is much more buggy, mostly because of Radeon Pro graphics.

13-inch: 10
15-inch: 8

RAM, SSD, KEYBOARD, TRACKPAD

Other things like RAM, SSD storage speeds, keyboard, and trackpad are almost identical, so no point in comparing them.

PRICE

Also, I am not considering prices, because I was choosing the primary working tool I will use for many years, but 15-inch MacBook Pro is more expensive than 13-inch.

13-inch vs 15-inch MacBook Pro

Total score: 71 for 13-inch MacBook Pro vs 74 for 15-inch MacBook Pro

Conclusion

To summarize, although I like the design and portability of 13-inch MacBook Pro, the bigger screen size makes the difference for me when I work on the go. The performance difference was not very decisive, but the longer battery life of the 15-inch model is one of the main reasons why I have decided to go with the bigger model.

Posted in Reviews

Email Newsletter

Join my newsletter to be the first to know about new articles, courses and templates, and get insight into my creative process.

View News Archive >
eldar gezalov trainer web designer

Eldar Gezalov

Trainer & Web Designer
I help people make beautiful websites, create online courses, and run online businesses.

Web Design Courses

Learn web design with Blocs

View Courses

Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive latest news and updates.

Blocs Templates

Speed up web design workflow

Learn more

Learn About Blocs

Visit Blocs website

Contact Me

Have questions or need help?