This is how the 13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro comparison shapes up so you know which one to buy. The new MacBook Pro 2016 updates include more than just differences in screen size.
Yes, picking the best new MacBook Pro for your needs will include the screen size, but there are some options only available on the more expensive 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 like more powerful quad-core processors, better graphics and 2TB Storage.
The screen size also dictates the portability of the 2016 MacBook Pro. Apple reduced the overall size of the 15-inch and 13-inch models, but there is still a decent size difference between the two. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is smaller than the 13-inch MacBook Air, which really ups the ease of taking this notebook with you.
While there are only two screen sizes, there are three specific MacBook Pro models to choose from if you want the newest models, but only two of them come with the Touch Bar and Touch ID.
Here’s how the 2016 MacBook Pro 13 vs MacBook Pro 15 specs and features compare.
2016 13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Specs
13-inch MacBook Pro
13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar & Touch ID
15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar & Touch ID
|Display||13.3-inch Retina Display||13.3-inch Retina Display||15.4-inch Retina Display|
|Resolution||2,560 x 1,600||2,560 x 1,600||2,880 x 1,800|
|Dimensions||11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 inches||11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 inches||13.75 x 9.48 x 0.61 inches|
|Weight||3.02 pounds||3.02 pounds||4.02 pounds|
|Keyboard||Full Size, Backlit||Full Size, Backlit with TouchBar & Touch ID||Full Size, Backlit with TouchBar & Touch ID|
|Processor||2.0GHz/2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor||2.9GHz/3.1GHz/3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor||2.6GHz, 2.7GHz, 2.9Ghz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor|
|Graphics||Intel Iris 540 GPU||Intel Iris 550 GPU||AMD Radeon Pro 450 2GB/Radeon Pro 455 2GB, Radeon Pro 460 4GB|
|Networking||802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2||802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2||802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Webcam||720P FaceTime HD||720P FaceTime HD||720P FaceTime HD|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB C Ports), Headphone jack||4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB C Ports), Headphone Jack||4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB C Ports), Headphone Jack|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 Hours||Up to 10 Hours||Up to 10 Hours|
|Price||$1,499 and up||$1,799 and up||$2,399 and up|
|Availability||Order at Apple Now||Pre-Order Now||Pre-Order Now|
13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Screens
You need to decide if you want a lighter and more portable 13-inch MacBook Pro or a more powerful 15-inch MacBook Pro with a larger screen.
The smallest MacBook Pro includes a 13.3-inch screen and the larger offers a 15.4-inch display. The 13-inch MacBook delivers a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution while the 15-inch MacBook Pro offers a 2,880 x 1,800. You can change the resolution to fit more apps on-screen at once as well. These are the same resolutions as the 2015 models, but the screens aren’t the same as your old one.
Both of the new MacBook Pro sizes offer a brighter display, 25% more colors and a 67% higher contrast ratio than the older models. Thankfully all the new MacBook Pro models include this upgraded display so size and resolution are your main factors.
We use the 1,440 x 900 resolution on the older 13-inch MacBook Pro to allow for more space to use apps on the smaller screen. You can change the resolution on both to fit more apps on the screen.
The biggest deciding factor for many uses is the screen size, but there is more to it than just a larger screen. The 15-inch MacBook Pro includes more powerful processors and graphics as well as larger storage options.
13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Performance
Apple packs more power into the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 than in the MacBook Pro 13.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro starts with an Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor and a dedicated AMD Radeon GPU and 16GB RAM.
On the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro users start with an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, integrated Intel Graphics and 8GB of RAM. You can upgrade the 13-inch MacBook Pro to a faster processor and 16GB of RAM, but you will still be using a dual-core processor and integrated graphics.
While they use the same ports, you can only connect two 5K displays to the 15-inch MacBook Pro at the same time. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is capable of powering one 5K display or two 4K displays.
We’re waiting for specific 2016 MacBook Pro benchmarks to compare the integrated Iris graphics to the dedicated AMD Radeon Pro graphics, but we already know that the dedicated 15-inch MacBook Pro will be more powerful.
Even with the difference in performance, the 2016 MacBook Pro battery life is the same 10 hours of web browsing across both of the models.
13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Size and Weight
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is smaller than 13-inch MacBook Air and it is just as light, which makes it a very tempting choice for users who want portability.
With a 15-inch MacBook Pro there is a larger footprint, but it is still smaller than the model it replaces. It’s not as small as the older 13-inch MacBook Pro, it takes up less space and weighs half a pound less than the one it replaces.
Head to head the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a pound lighter and 0.6 mm thinner than the 15-inch model. If portability trumps power, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the one you need to look into.
All of the new models include a larger touchpad that is 2X as large as the one on the 2015 MacBook Pro.
13-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Price
You’ll need to spend $900 more to get the 15-inch MacBook Pro when you compare it to the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar.
- 13-inch MacBook Pro – $1,499
- 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – $1,799
- 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – $2,399
You can customize the MacBook Pro models with many options including more RAM, more storage and by the time you add in everything you need and the dongles, the new MacBook Pro is more expensive than you think.
You can get a student discount on the new MacBook Pro to save $50 to $200 and you can also check out how to get Apple financing to afford the new MacBook Pro.
Don't Wait for a March MacBook Pro Announcement
We could see Apple hold a March event or a Spring Event in 2018 to announce the iPhone SE 2 and a new iPad Pro. Even if there is an event, we don't expect to see a new MacBook Pro announcement. If you need a new MacBook Pro and aren't prepared to wait until June or July, you can buy the current model instead of waiting until March.
Apple started selling the 2017 MacBook Pro in June, and while they have delivered very fast updates to the iPad line in the past, there is no reason for a new 2018 MacBook Pro announcement at a Spring event.
Maybe we will learn more about a modular Mac Pro -- but you don't need to wait for this event to buy a new MacBook Pro.