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What screen size to get for new laptop?
Thread poster: Jenna Malcomson

Jenna Malcomson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 22, 2015

Hi,

My trusty antique Acer died its final death today and I am now in need of a new laptop rather urgently. I had been looking into switching to Mac and as I use MemoQ I have learnt how to go about doing that- parallels etc. However, I do have another question- what size of Mac should I go for? There is quite a price difference in the Macbook Pro 13" and 15", indeed the 15" could well be stretching my budget a little too far, but as my Acer was 15" I cannot imagine using anything smaller along with MemoQ etc. I know that 15" is a also quite a bit heavier than the 13" and therefore there is a big difference in portability but I cannot decide if screensize+cost would be more important.

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this!

Thanks in advance


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:01
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The bigger the better Sep 22, 2015

I would say screen size is really important so the bigger screen you can get the better.

Therefore if it were me and I couldn't really afford the 15" Macbook I would get a 15" PC, but that's just me, I've never thought Macs are worth the price.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:01
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
If I were you, ... Sep 22, 2015

I would get a 17″ Windows laptop. Much better value and much more available software relevant to our profession.

However, having said that, if you are one of those people who doesn't use much more than memoQ, MS Word and a browser, you'd probably be OK with a Mac.

Michael


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 09:01
English to Indonesian
+ ...
The Middle of the Road Sep 22, 2015

  • Buy a laptop - everybody does
    even if you always use the computer at the same spot
  • Ask a screen size question on ProZ - everybody does
    so everybody knows you're considering to:
  • Buy a Mac - everybody does
    ain't they hip!
  • Use Windows - everybody does
  • Run it under Parallels - everybody does
    even if there are free or better ways
  • Use Trados or that other attempt - everybody does
    even though there are free or better tools that run under OS X natively
  • Then, whenever things go wrong, blame it on the Mac - everybody does
  • Then claim that Macs are too expensive - everybody does

    Cheers,

    Hans

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  • Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
    Thailand
    Local time: 09:01
    Member (2004)
    English to Thai
    + ...
    Advocate Sep 23, 2015

    Alex Lago wrote:

    I would say screen size is really important so the bigger screen you can get the better.

    Therefore if it were me and I couldn't really afford the 15" Macbook I would get a 15" PC, but that's just me, I've never thought Macs are worth the price.


    I support Alex's opinion. I still require 2-monitor PC sometimes.

    Soonthon L.


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    Marketing-Lang.  Identity Verified
    Germany
    Local time: 03:01
    English to German
    + ...
    I am also... Sep 23, 2015

    no Mac expert, so sorry, I can't help you on that front.
    Bigger is better, as far as I'm concerned. My laptop is "only" a 15" Dell, but I use its screen only rarely when I'm on the road. In my office I have a docking station attached to two large monitors. I just click the laptop into place and away I go -- there's no substitute for screen real estate for seeing your emails, CAT tool, the source document, and a browser for researching, all at a glance. And Windows 10 now offers several desktops, so you can quickly switch between different views.

    -M-


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    xxx2nl  Identity Verified
    Netherlands
    Local time: 03:01
    My advice Sep 23, 2015

    Hello Jenna,

    I had been looking into switching to Mac and as I use MemoQ I have learnt how to go about doing that- parallels etc.


    I work on a Mac too. In the beginning I used a Windows-based CAT tool, but soon I realised that I didn't benefit fully of the advantages of OS X. Nowadays, I only start Parallels Desktop (or Fusion) to run a last check on a memoQ project that I've translated and QA'd in my CAT tool on the Mac side.

    Running Windows on a MacBook Pro will cost more battery power than using a CAT tool on the Mac side.

    Besides that, there are issues with hi-res screens for memoQ, that haven't been solved yet (though Kilgray promises to solve them). These issues can go as far as the absence of crucial buttons in dialogue boxes.

    Resolution

    MacBook Pro 13-inch: 2560x1600 pixels versus MacBook Pro 15-inch: 2880x1800 pixels

    That is 2880x1800 pixels for the 15-inch, with good light and perfectly sharp fonts on the Mac side. It is a real pleasure for your eyes to work with such a beautiful screen. And a lot of information does fit on it (you cannot compare it with a low-res 15-inch).

    Alas, I cannot make a screenshot of memoQ on a 15-inch (since I only have a 13-inch for use on the couch and an iMac 27" hi-res for the office). Perhaps someone else can provide such a screenshot and show you how many letters can be displayed on it (number of lines and 'columns')?

    However, I do have another question- what size of Mac should I go for? There is quite a price difference in the Macbook Pro 13" and 15"


    Yes. MacBook Pros are quite an investment. But they keep their value, which can be important if you'd want to sell your MacBook Pro in future (to buy a new model, of course).

    I know that 15" is a also quite a bit heavier than the 13"


    MacBook Pro 13-inch: 1.58 kg versus MacBook Pro 15-inch: 2.04 kg

    I suggest that you take some book(s) with about the size of the 13-inch and 15-inch and the appropriate weight. Carry them around for half an hour or so and try to decide whether the difference of 0.46 kg is crucial to you. For this 0.46 kg extra you buy a whole lot of pixels (screen space) and computing power.

    My advice:

    I'd go for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, which will cost you no less than £1,599.00. But look what you get:


    • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage (very fast to save files/open apps)
    • 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (the 13-inch only has dual-core)
    • 16GB 1600MHz memory (that's whopping)


    Cheers,
    Hans
    User of CafeTran on Mac


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    Meta Arkadia
    Local time: 09:01
    English to Indonesian
    + ...
    Innovation! Sep 23, 2015

    Marketing-Lang. wrote:
    And Windows 10 now offers several desktops, so you can quickly switch between different views.


    WOW! You mean, you have your CAT tool, dictionaries and TMs (whatever that is) in front of you, and then you swipe or hit a key and you see your mail client and browser, another swipe and wham! your music and movies? Really? What a wonderful idea! I think I'll have to upgrade to WIN10!

    Cheers,

    Hans


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    Arek Luczyk
    United Kingdom
    Local time: 02:01
    English to Polish
    + ...
    Using Windows on a Mac... Sep 23, 2015

    ...is like buying a Porsche to go to the supermarket In my opinion, unless you're planning on using Mac-specific software, it's better to choose a Windows laptop. And if portability is not very high on your priority list, I'd go for 17" as per Michael's advice.

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    TechStyle  Identity Verified
    United Kingdom
    Local time: 02:01
    Mobility and second heads Sep 23, 2015

    I know what you mean about needing a big screen - I'm typing this on my trusty old 17" MacBook Pro, a size Apple have sadly discontinued now! (When it dies, I will have a painful dilemma about the replacement.)

    How mobile are you really? If you're mostly on a desk at home, a second monitor might well be more useful than a larger screen, then you can just put up with the smaller screen when you're on the move. Use the money you save from the 13" screen rather than 15" to buy a nice external monitor (they're quite cheap now). I've found I rather like the "dual head" setup, sticking source or reference material on the external monitor while I write on the built-in one.


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    Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
    United States
    Local time: 21:01
    Member (2002)
    English to Hungarian
    + ...
    Two monitors - Exactly what I wanted to write Sep 24, 2015

    James Sutherland wrote:

    How mobile are you really? If you're mostly on a desk at home, a second monitor might well be more useful than a larger screen, then you can just put up with the smaller screen when you're on the move. Use the money you save from the 13" screen rather than 15" to buy a nice external monitor (they're quite cheap now). I've found I rather like the "dual head" setup, sticking source or reference material on the external monitor while I write on the built-in one.


    This is exactly what I wanted to suggest. The dual monitor setup is much more practical, by far, than having a single large monitor, because it is like an extra-wide, panoramic monitor.

    [Edited at 2015-09-24 13:53 GMT]


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    Tom in London
    United Kingdom
    Local time: 02:01
    Member (2008)
    Italian to English
    The whole point Sep 24, 2015

    The whole point of a laptop is that it should be small. You know those fold-down little tables on seat backs on British trains? The ones with the turned-up sides? If your laptop won't fit on one of these, it's too big. Or on a Ryanair fold-down table.

    If you buy a Mac and you buy an extra B I G W I D E display to plug into it (not necessarily an Apple one) you'll have the best of both worlds.

    I use one of these (it's MATTE. I hate glossy screens)

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/displays/benq-gw2760hs-27-inch-monitor-review-outstanding-quality-price-3465425/

    plugged into one of these

    http://www.macworld.com/article/1141213/13inch_macbookpro.html

    (which I upgraded myself by installing a new hard drive+ maxing out the RAM - so it's still a great machine)

    [Edited at 2015-09-24 14:25 GMT]


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    Tom in London
    United Kingdom
    Local time: 02:01
    Member (2008)
    Italian to English
    Yawn Sep 24, 2015

    Meta Arkadia wrote:

    Marketing-Lang. wrote:
    And Windows 10 now offers several desktops, so you can quickly switch between different views.


    WOW! You mean, you have your CAT tool, dictionaries and TMs (whatever that is) in front of you, and then you swipe or hit a key and you see your mail client and browser, another swipe and wham! your music and movies? Really? What a wonderful idea! I think I'll have to upgrade to WIN10!

    Cheers,

    Hans


    yawn...that has been a feature of the Mac OS for about the last 10 years. I don't use it much. I suspect this comment is heavily ironic



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    Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
    Spain
    Local time: 03:01
    Member (2010)
    Spanish to English
    Resolution question Sep 25, 2015

    Tom in London wrote:

    I use one of these (it's MATTE. I hate glossy screens)

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/displays/benq-gw2760hs-27-inch-monitor-review-outstanding-quality-price-3465425/



    Thanks for the recommendation, Tom. My second screen, a Samsung 20" 1920 x 1080, has just broken and I'm looking for a new one. I want a bigger one this time.

    Do you find that the 1920 x 1080 res of your BenQ is good enough on a 27" screen?


    Back on topic: I absolutely agree that laptops should be small and extended with a 2nd screen.


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    jyuan_us  Identity Verified
    United States
    Local time: 21:01
    Member (2005)
    English to Chinese
    + ...
    I have bought two 11.5 inch laptops Sep 25, 2015

    The first one was a Toshiba, and it lasted 2 years before it was not able to be started. I didn't bother to get it repaired and I bought a new one, which is Lanovo, running well so far. They are cheap now, around $300.

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