Ask DN: Should I o for the 13" Macbook Pro Retina w force touch? or the 15" MBPr w/o?

5 years ago from , Creatix Online Marketing

Hey guys,

It's time for me to finally switch over from my crappy windows laptop and move over to a macbook so I can do work outside of my iMac on my standing desk.

I'm currently trying to decide between the 13" MBPr with the new force trackpad and the 15" MBPr (w/o the dedicated graphics card).

In order to better answer the question, here's some info:

  • I'm a designer (and front-end dev) who exclusively uses Sketch for design and Brackets for development.
  • I'm also a commercial photographer who shoots around once every two months or so. Being able to tether a laptop while I should wil be awesome :)
  • My budget is between $1500-$1900, so I'm looking at refurbished
  • Regardless of which one I get I want it to be the 2015 model and have 16GB of Ram and 256SSD. -If I get the 13" I'll consider getting a monitor for it in a few months.

So, I think the question narrows down to, is 13" enough screen real estate for designing? and what are the benefits or force touch?


  • Vikalp Gupta, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Hi Adam

    I bought 13" rMBP early 2015 model this June and been loving the transition from windows laptop( XPS 15" late 2011).

    I got pretty much used to 13" screen size and don't feel the need of 15" but would soon buy a 24" Dell monitor to go with ( Dell U2414H). The screen seems enough to work on your design and use Lightroom. I'm in love with retina display and Mac has 4 options of scaling your resolution: LARGE, Default, Space & More Space. I came from 1920x1080 when 1366x768 was the common thing so I didn't face any problem in choosing the last scaling option.

    Display option in Mac

    Force Touch is magic in disguise. After using crappy touch-pad of dell that didn't seem so when using it. A mouse is a thing you miss. But force touch is altogether a diff ball game. I faced the problem using older MBP which didn't have force touch. So you get used to those gentle touches. But it isn't that useful while designing or it is that mac apps and apps haven't exploited it yet or I am more into UX/UI and not illustrations (use of pressure with brushes)

    Also, 13" is light and find it great while travelling or keeping on my lap.

    I think, I pretty much summed up my experience without going into the vast space of mac apps for designing which we don't find in windows yet or talking about OSX.

    Hope, this helps you.

    2 points
    • Adam RasheedAdam Rasheed, 5 years ago

      on the iMac I have a magic mouse and a wacom bamboo. I'm left-handed, so wacom in my left hand + mouse in my right + keyboard shortcuts = amazing.

      I typically just use Sketch and for photography retouching I use the wacom. So my question is, where would the force trackpad fit into all this?

      1 point
      • Vikalp Gupta, 5 years ago

        I too am left handed. Hi 5. Though, except writing, I do all of my stuff with the left hand.

        IMO, if you use Wacom Bamboo, force touchpad adds to your keyboards so your mouse is being replaced totally here. The transition between force touchpad and keyboard is easier than keyboard and mouse.

        0 points
  • rok pregeljrok pregelj, 5 years ago

    13" force touch for sure. Buy a good external dell monitor, too. Then ditch both, get some postits and sharpies and get to work!

    1 point
  • Florian RiederFlorian Rieder, 5 years ago


    i use a 13" MBPr because its easier to carry, not as heavy and still does most of the work fast and sufficient. I have the 256gb and 16gb ram version with Force Touch. But i never use Force Touch. It was interesting in the beginning to play with but since i design with my mouse or a tablet i hardly use the touchpad to design. I was on a 15" MBP (with 1680x1050 resolution) for 5 years and even tho it was nice to have a big screen, with the retina mBP you can adjust your resolution so it fits everything you need on the screen.

    1 point