12-inch Macbook Versus 13-inch MacBook Pro (2015): Which One Should You Choose?

Are you planning to upgrade your laptop this year? You probably want a thinner and more powerful laptop. If you’re like me and have been using a MacBook Air for a few years, you might have been waiting for its upgrade this year. However, things got a little more complicated when Apple released a new 12-inch MacBook. Sure, it is sexier than the old MacBook Air. But all the things you love about the MacBook, such as the MagSafe and the regular USB ports, are just about gone.

While it might be a no-brainer for some people as to which ultrabook to choose, it is still worth deliberating the merits of each MacBook model. After all, we use our laptops in different ways.

12-inch Macbook versus MacBook Pro 2015: Specs

Both ultrabooks have Retina displays and 8 GB RAM for the base model. The similarities just about end there. The MacBook comes with a 256GB storage space while the MacBook Pro comes with a 128GB storage, both for the base model. The key difference between the two is the processor. The 12-inch MB has a dual-core Intel Core M while the 13-inch MBP has a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. According to Laptop Mag, the Core M “operates at a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of just 4.5 watts. With Core M, the TDP is low enough that hardware vendors can use passive cooling methods instead of fans.” The Core M also made it possible for the 12-inch MB to be thinner and promise a longer battery life. However, it is slower compared to the i3 and i5 processor.

Since the 13-inch MBP 2015 has a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, it is significantly faster with a speed of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz.

Another main difference is the graphics card. The 12-inch MB has Intel HD Graphics 5300 while the 13-inch MBP has Intel Iris Graphics 6100. Notebookcheck.net explains that the former has “extremely low power consumption” but “raw performance is quite low and barely sufficient for modern games.” The latter graphics card on the other hand has a “superior performance” and “games as of 2014/2015 will usually run fluently only at low settings.”

Although the 13-inch MBP is more powerful, there are instances where you might want to go for the sexier yet less powerful 12-inch MB. If you’re a globetrotter, for example, every pound counts. It only weighs 2.03 pounds compared to 3.48 pounds for the 13-inch MBP. Style is also important for some people which the 12-inch clearly provides with its three colors: gold, space gray and the classic silver.

If you’re a writer or a student that doesn’t usually perform heavy photo and video editing, the new 12-inch MB might be sufficient for you.

However, if you want to pack a little more power without really caring about color and don’t mind a slightly heavier ultrabook, then the 13-inch MBP would be a smarter choice.

Both MacBooks start at $1299. Here are the base models:

12-inch Macbook versus MacBook Pro 2015: Pricing

13-inch MacBook Pro
$1299
2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory
128GB PCIe-based flash storage1
Intel Iris Graphics 6100
Built-in battery (10 hours)2
Force Touch trackpad

12-inch MacBook
$1299
1.1GHz, 1.2GHz, or 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor
Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz
8GB memory
256 GB
Intel HD Graphics 5300
Force Touch trackpad

At the end of the day it all depends on how you would use your MacBook and the factors that you care about the most. Do you prefer a stylish and lighter MacBook or do you need more power and speed?

Photo Credit: Apple