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View Full Version : Experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" -- Impressions and Review




WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 12:52 AM
So here is my "Ultimate" MacBook Air 11.6" and my "Ultimate" 13.3" -- I have taken 6 photos of them side-by-side you can actually see the real life comparison in size when they are together. The 11.6" model is very tiny and compact, and the 13.3" model looks mammoth in size compared to the 11". I liked the 11.6" so much that I decided to get the 13.3" to take the place of my old MacBook Pro as my "full-size" laptop replacement! I got the 11.6" for true portability, but the 13.3" for the extra screen space, drive space, and horsepower when I need it (like doing photoshop, video editing, web design, or fullscreen gaming). The 13.3" is my full-size laptop now, and the 11.6" is my ultra-portable carry-anywhere laptop. Here are some great photos to compare the two for size. Enjoy:

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba1.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba2.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba3.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba4.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba5.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba6.jpg

Enjoy!!



Tomple
Nov 6, 2010, 12:56 AM
Thanks for this, thats a major difference!
Im thinking of going with the 11" as a secondary computer, any reason you could think of to go with the 13"?

Hellishness
Nov 6, 2010, 12:57 AM
Man the 11's nice..but since my 13 is my main computer and it only cost me $100 more, I'm happy with my decision to go with the 13". Also, I find I'm running up the CPU MUCH more than I did on my MBP, so the slightly boosted processor might have helped.

felt.
Nov 6, 2010, 01:04 AM
I've heard of furniture porn but this is getting silly

WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 01:29 AM
Thanks for this, thats a major difference!
Im thinking of going with the 11" as a secondary computer, any reason you could think of to go with the 13"?

Well, the 11" really is a fun computer to use. I use my 11" more than my 13" really, because I like holding it and carrying it better, it does feel alot lighter, actually MUCH lighter even though it is just 0.6lb difference. The 16:9 resolution is actually nice on the 11", the 13" is just better if you need the extra screen resolution that 1440x900 will give you (This is the native resolution of the standard MacBook Pro 15" configuration, on the 13" MBA). The 1366x768 on the 11" model gives you considerably less vertical resolution which may seem a bit impeding at times if you do alot of work that requires more screen real estate. The extra processor amp on the 13" model (the 2.13GHz vs the 1.6GHz) comes into play when you try to run 1080p flash, for instance, the 2.13 can handle it quite well while the 1.6GHz stutters a bit on some 1080p flash clips, although not badly. It handles 720p just fine as well as 1080p in VLC and iTunes/QuickTime player. The 2.13GHz handles everything perfectly, and gives the extra horsepower you might like when running an intensive set of operations in Photoshop or doing heavy work in Aperture (the extra screen resolution is also good for Aperture). The 256GB Flash on the 13.3" model will allow you to store a complete video library as well, while 64GB or 128GB will limit you by 1/2 or 1/4 as much that you could store internally. The 13.3" is a better mobile gaming machine. The 11.6" is the best model for carrying around the house, to work, on an airplane, in your car (it is perfect in the car), and it is VERY TINY. The 11" is small, it is as small as a netbook, but the keyboard is fullsized and there are no compromises. The 1.6GHz model I have is VERY FAST. I have Photoshop CS3 installed on it and it runs perfectly. Navigating the web is instantaneous, pages load up and render instantly, it is snappy and fast. The high resolution on the 11.6" leads to a higher PPI and so it is very sharp, but text is very tiny. It is noticeable compared to the 13.3" model, in which small text is much easier to read. The actual difference is 128ppi (13.3") to 135ppi (11.6"), and YES it is quite a noticeable difference. My eyes can tell. If I were to use the machine for a long time (more than 2 hours) I would perfer to work on the 13.3", I could work on that machine all day.

As for battery life, the 13.3" after full charge reported about 8:40 of battery life remaining! I am still on the first charge!! (and I bought it yesterday). Yes, quite amazing. I have used it about 5 hours so far and it still has over 2 hours left on the battery. My 11.6" I have had since Monday and I have charged it 4 times. The battery lasts about 5 hours as advertised, the battery life is very good, and I am very impressed by this little machine. I found that when you do a video chat in iChat, it eats through the battery very fast, you only get about 2:45 hours of battery life on the 11" when you run video chat in iChat, but under normal use you should get 5 hours. The "deep sleep" feature is nice and works as advertised. It preserves the battery life after having been asleep for one hour and goes into deep sleep, where it can last up to 30 days and still have "instant-on" --the battery management on these machines is truly incredible. Apple has done away with the "sleep indicator" light on the unit which helps preserve more battery life. There is no pulsating white light, ambient light sensor, or backlit keyboard on either unit. You just shut it and it goes off.

As for boot time, these puppies sure do boot fast. Less than 15 second bootup and restart to desktop in 12 seconds flat. They are super-fast at booting and restart! The new hardwired Flash SSD is really incredible on these units. Applications load up very fast on both of my MBA units. I am very happy with my new MacBook Airs.

Okay, I think this has been a lengthy post here, please feel free to ask any questions or comments below, this is my "half-review" here, and a few comments on experiences with both machines. I tried to cover everything, but there is much more!! I will try to do a better review later this weekend.

WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 01:36 AM
I am going to try to give a quick review of my experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" "Ultimate" MacBook Air models. I got my 11.6" delivered on Monday of this week, and I just purchased a 13.3" from the Apple Store yesterday. Here is what I have found, experienced, and have to share about real-life experience working with and comparing these units so far.


The 11" really is a fun computer to use. I have been using my 11" more than my 13" really (well, I just got the 13" so I haven't had much chance to sit down with it as of yet). I like holding and carrying the 11" MBA better, it does feel alot lighter, actually MUCH lighter even though it is just 0.6lb difference. The 16:9 resolution is actually nice on the 11", the 13" is just better if you need the extra screen resolution that 1440x900 will give you (This is the native resolution of the standard MacBook Pro 15" configuration, on the 13" MBA). The 1366x768 on the 11" model gives you considerably less vertical resolution which may seem a bit impeding at times if you do alot of work that requires more screen real estate. The extra processor amp on the 13" model (the 2.13GHz vs the 1.6GHz) comes into play when you try to run 1080p flash, for instance, the 2.13 can handle it quite well while the 1.6GHz stutters a bit on some 1080p flash clips, although not badly. It handles 720p just fine as well as 1080p in VLC and iTunes/QuickTime player. The 2.13GHz handles everything perfectly, and gives the extra horsepower you might like when running an intensive set of operations in Photoshop or doing heavy work in Aperture (the extra screen resolution is also good for Aperture). The 256GB Flash on the 13.3" model will allow you to store a complete video library as well, while 64GB or 128GB will limit you by 1/2 or 1/4 as much that you could store internally. The 13.3" is a better mobile gaming machine. The 11.6" is the best model for carrying around the house, to work, on an airplane, in your car (it is perfect in the car), and it is VERY TINY. The 11" is small, it is as small as a netbook, but the keyboard is fullsized and there are no compromises. The 1.6GHz model I have is VERY FAST. I have Photoshop CS3 installed on it and it runs perfectly. Navigating the web is instantaneous, pages load up and render instantly, it is snappy and fast. The high resolution on the 11.6" leads to a higher PPI and so it is very sharp, but text is very tiny. It is noticeable compared to the 13.3" model, in which small text is much easier to read. The actual difference is 128ppi (13.3") to 135ppi (11.6"), and YES it is quite a noticeable difference. My eyes can tell. If I were to use the machine for a long time (more than 2 hours) I would perfer to work on the 13.3", I could work on that machine all day.

Both units together:

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba1.jpg

As for battery life, the 13.3" after full charge reported about 8:40 of battery life remaining! I am still on the first charge!! (and I bought it yesterday). Yes, quite amazing. I have used it about 5 hours so far and it still has over 2 hours left on the battery. My 11.6" I have had since Monday and I have charged it 4 times. The battery lasts about 5 hours as advertised, the battery life is very good, and I am very impressed by this little machine. I found that when you do a video chat in iChat, it eats through the battery very fast, you only get about 2:45 hours of battery life on the 11" when you run video chat in iChat, but under normal use you should get 5 hours. The "deep sleep" feature is nice and works as advertised. It preserves the battery life after having been asleep for one hour and goes into deep sleep, where it can last up to 30 days and still have "instant-on" --the battery management on these machines is truly incredible. Apple has done away with the "sleep indicator" light on the unit which helps preserve more battery life. There is no pulsating white light, ambient light sensor, or backlit keyboard on either unit. You just shut it and it goes off.

As for boot time, these puppies sure do boot fast. Less than 15 second bootup and restart to desktop in 12 seconds flat. They are super-fast at booting and restart! The new hardwired Flash SSD is really incredible on these units. Applications load up very fast on both of my MBA units. I am very happy with my new MacBook Airs.

Okay, I think this has been a lengthy post here, please feel free to ask any questions or comments below, this is my "half-review" here, and a few comments on experiences with both machines. I tried to cover everything, but there is much more!! I will try to do a better review later this weekend.

Tomple
Nov 6, 2010, 01:36 AM
Wow WardC, thanks for the response! I guess im going to have to go to the store to really feel them both but your "half-review" was awesome and made me feel that the 11.6" would be a fun machine to have. Thanks!

Abstract
Nov 6, 2010, 02:22 AM
I understand why someone would want the 11.6" MBA as a secondary computer, but what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

You said you got the 11" MBA for "true portability", so it can be assumed that the 13" MBA was not purchased for this purpose. If so, then I can't think of any benefit of getting the 13" MBA as your "main" computer other than to say, "I have it." :confused: Perhaps boot times, but I usually leave my system on for months without rebooting (51 days, 16:59 hours according to Terminal), but I suppose you could have gotten good boot times from an SSD installed in a 15" MBP.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

Jaro65
Nov 6, 2010, 02:49 AM
Those are great photos - thanks! I got the smaller MBA for my wife and I'm thinking about picking up the larger one for myself. Hope you get to enjoy both machines.

gloryunited
Nov 6, 2010, 03:18 AM
I understand why someone would want the 11.6" MBA as a secondary computer, but what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

You said you got the 11" MBA for "true portability", so it can be assumed that the 13" MBA was not purchased for this purpose. If so, then I can't think of any benefit of getting the 13" MBA as your "main" computer other than to say, "I have it." :confused: Perhaps boot times, but I usually leave my system on for months without rebooting (51 days, 16:59 hours according to Terminal), but I suppose you could have gotten good boot times from an SSD installed in a 15" MBP.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

perhaps the heat/fan noise issue??

Does the MBP heat up significantly like the previous MBA did? From what I've heard so far, the new MBA seems to do better on the cooling side? Does that help the performance/lifespan of the computer, or only helps when you have it on your lap?

Looking at the 11" and 13" side by side, I find the 11's 16:9 screen a bit weird, maybe I got so used to the 16:10 ratio. But it got pretty much the same width, only a bit "shorter". I think I really have to go check them out in person to see which screen suits me better.

Corax
Nov 6, 2010, 04:33 AM
I really LOVE my new MacBook Air 13"...:apple:
Really, really fast boot, 12 seconds (from pushing powerbutton, to loaded desktop).
As a surprice I also noticed a significant overall performance boost compared to my MacBook 13" aluminium unibody (released end 2008 model, bought in febr. 2009 with 2,4GHz and 4GB RAM).
At last, I do enjoy the new screen BIG TIME, 1440x900.
I'm enjoying it even more than I thought before purchase (I planned buying it).

cambookpro
Nov 6, 2010, 05:02 AM
On the first picture it looks like the keyboard sticks out way more than the screen! :D

iRun26.2
Nov 6, 2010, 06:40 AM
I've heard of furniture porn but this is getting silly

'furniture porn'??? What is that?

(Please excuse my ignorance)

Tomple
Nov 6, 2010, 09:43 AM
I understand why someone would want the 11.6" MBA as a secondary computer, but what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

You said you got the 11" MBA for "true portability", so it can be assumed that the 13" MBA was not purchased for this purpose. If so, then I can't think of any benefit of getting the 13" MBA as your "main" computer other than to say, "I have it." :confused: Perhaps boot times, but I usually leave my system on for months without rebooting (51 days, 16:59 hours according to Terminal), but I suppose you could have gotten good boot times from an SSD installed in a 15" MBP.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

off topic: mind sending that terminal code over :)

Hydramus
Nov 6, 2010, 11:50 AM
off topic: mind sending that terminal code over :)

You can type either:
uptime

Or

w

The second one also gives you people currently logged in.:)

bowlerman625
Nov 6, 2010, 12:21 PM
You can't go wrong with the 11.6.....which I affectionately call "baby Mac"! I was positive I wanted the 13 inch MBA. So positive that I was not even going to look at baby Mac and just order online. I'm glad I went to the Apple store (on 3 different days mind you..) to look them over in person and play. I spent 85 per cent of my time there playing with baby Mac and was amazed then...and still am now! Amazed more each day.

For my needs and uses it's perfect. And the portability and form factor is icing on the cake!

Tomple
Nov 6, 2010, 12:26 PM
You can type either:
uptime

Or

w

The second one also gives you people currently logged in.:)

Thanks :)

neiltc13
Nov 6, 2010, 12:35 PM
I've compared the two side by side in the Apple Store and when the 11" is open (as in your photos) there is a clear difference in size visible. However, the two weigh almost exactly the same and the screen resolutions are very similar. There is only a real difference in one of the dimensions.

What is it that you do that means you need two computers that are so similar?

rrl
Nov 6, 2010, 01:23 PM
@WardC

Thanks for the excellent pictures, but it's time for you to upgrade to the unibody Mac mini. Then you can get that power brick off of your desk. :)

1BadMac
Nov 6, 2010, 01:37 PM
What is it that you do that means you need two computers that are so similar?

+1 on wanting to know this as well.

I have the '10 13.3 MBP and have a hard time justifying either model for extra portability. I've been to the store twice to play with them both. I'm trying to talk myself into either for "portability" reasons. Just can't do it. I guess I'm spoiled with the SSD setup and already enjoy the 15 second boot times and snappy app response. I suppose if I were gaining performance AND portability, it would be an easier decision.

highscheme
Nov 6, 2010, 02:02 PM
I would rather have the following compbos than both size macbook airs

13" MBA + iPad

11" + 15" MBP

11" + 17" MBP

But honestly, you probably have an iPad too and a regular laptop, so to each their own. Just seems weird especially buying both at the same point in the product's lifetime.

smchan
Nov 6, 2010, 02:22 PM
I would rather have the following compbos than both size macbook airs...

My thinking as well. I have a Mac Pro, a 13" MBP and an iPad. I went from a 17" MBP to the 13" MBP because I wanted to use my machine while flying. If I'm in coach and the seat in front of me is reclined - which describes 80% of my flying time - then I can't use my 13" MBP, so I fall back to reading on my iPad.

I'm due for an upgrade (through work) in 2011 and have asked for a 17" i7 MBP since I want the screen more than I want the portability. I might spring for an 11" MBA out of my own pocket if it would help with working while flying, but I can't really see replacing my 13" MBP with either model with the MBA - especially since my MBP has 8G memory which I fully utilize.

My wife has taken over my iPad and is pushing me to get a MBA so she can have my iPad. But until I'm sure I'm getting a new 17" MBP, I don't see the sense in carrying a MBA and a 13" MBP.

nfl46
Nov 6, 2010, 03:11 PM
I had both the 11.6" and 13.3". I initially had the 11.6", it was nice and all, but way too small -- the screen, that is. I returned it for the base 13.3". The bigger screen is definitely welcomed!

Hellishness
Nov 6, 2010, 03:32 PM
OK, here's my .02 for anyone who cares:
The 13" is seriously, I think, the best laptop screen size, at least for my needs. I've used 13" almost exclusively since April this year when I got my MBP. The higher resolution on the MBA is nicer, and I like the MBA very much. The 11" has AMAZING resolution. I'll never deny that, it's just great. The problem with the 11" is that it's just too small. I can't imagine using that every day.

On top of that, the 11" is really expensive. On paper, for $100 less and a base 13" MBA (11"/128/1.4) you get a more portable, but reasonably crippled MBA. This is the same price as a 13" MBP, and you get a 1GHz better processor, twice the RAM, almost twice the storage (albeit flash vs HDD).

So, price-wise, a 11" doesn't make much sense (I can't go lower than 128 storage, so I kinda ignored the 64GB).

Lets look at portability. You can't argue that the 11" is much more portable than the 13". My question is how much? As long as its not the only thing in my bag, I can't feel it, and its no chore at all to carry it around in my hand.


TLDR? The 13", IMO, isn't much more to carry around (maybe WardC can shed some light), and assuming you need at least 128GB, it's only $100 more for a very noticeable amount of screen space.

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 03:40 PM
I had both the 11.6" and 13.3". I initially had the 11.6", it was nice and all, but way too small -- the screen, that is. I returned it for the base 13.3". The bigger screen is definitely welcomed!
I agree that the 11 inch MBA's screen is pretty small. Its biggest drawback to me, though, was its being limited to 128GB of storage. Many users, including me, couldn't get by with that. That's why I got a 13 inch MBA Ultimate, with 256GB of flash storage. By the time I got my 13 GB VMware Fusion VM installed, along with all of my OS X apps, I had used up 125GB of my storage.

Another reason I have been so pleased with my 13 inch MBA is that it has exactly the same programs and data up and running on it that I had been running on my MBP. As a result, the MBA has replaced the MBP for everything except copying CDs into iTunes. Better yet, the MBA has completely replaced my iPad, which I will be selling when I get around to it.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 03:43 PM
I had both the 11.6" and 13.3". I initially had the 11.6", it was nice and all, but way too small -- the screen, that is. I returned it for the base 13.3". The bigger screen is definitely welcomed!

I'm in a quandry as to which one to get and threads like these help...

I have looked at three different builds, all with similar specs:

1. A 11.6 MBA with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1.4Ghz CPU, $1299

2. A 13.3 MBA with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1.86Ghz CPU, $1399

3. A refurb 13.3" MBP with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 2.4Ghz CPU, $1299

The last one is on and off the Apple refurb page. They seem to go as fast as they list them.

My main workstation (at home) is a 27" iMac, late 2009 build. It does a great job. My work machine is a Dell M90 17" that weighs 8 lbs, about 9 with the brick. My personal "portable" is an aging HP 17". The Dell has 1920x1200 res and is a real workhorse of a machine. The HP is 1440x900.

I have been vacillating between the three systems above. I don't want to spend too much dough, as I think the MBP's will get a major update this next year. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous difference in weight. The 11.6 is one-half the weight of the 13.3" MBP. That's a lot.

I've played with the two side-by-side at the Apple Store and Best Buy. I've looked at reviews ad nauseum. I would mostly use any of these for web browsing, light work and the ocassional Photoshop or AutoCAD LT file. I will be running XP under Parallels for ACAD. Even so, it won't get much use on the smaller machine.

My biggest concern is screen res. I'm used to having high-res machines and am afraid that I'll be cramped having to scroll around a lot with the smaller machine. That's what holds me off on the 13.3" MBP refurb, that and the fact that it's twice the weight of the 11.6".

I'm attracted to the 11.6 for one reason, it's portability. It has better resolution that the 13" MBP, but that machine beats the 11.6 in every other spec. I'm leaning towards the 13.3" MBA because of the higher clock speed, greater screen res and SD slot (for cameras), but am concerned about the footprint, I suppose the 11.8x7.5 inch footprint of the 13.3" Air is about 2/3 that of the Dell M90 which is 15.5x11.5 inches.

I'm trying not to get too hung-up on CPU speeds, etc, as many people are reporting good experiences even with the slower clock speeds of the Airs. I'm definitely looking at a second system (third, really, counting the office) and I commute daily on a motorcycle. Weight is a real consideration, especially on days like yesterday where I had to lug BOTH 17" machines home from the office...

Any advice?

Tony

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 04:06 PM
Keep in mind that the larger footprint of the 13" gives you better resolution, more storage, better CPU and most importantly a much better battery. It's basically a MBP experience in a MBA package. The 11" is ok if all you really need is surfing and word processing and don't mind carrying the power charger with you on all day trips and searching for power outlets to top off the battery. But once you add in the weight of the charger for the 11" you could be carrying th 13" without any compromises.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 04:10 PM
Keep in mind that the larger footprint of the 13" gives you better resolution, more storage, better CPU and most importantly a much better battery. It's basically a MBP experience in a MBA package. The 11" is ok if all you really need is surfing and word processing and don't mind carrying the power charger with you on all day trips and searching for power outlets to top off the battery. But once you add in the weight of the charger for the 11" you could be carrying th 13" without any compromises.

RBF: What do you see as far as an advantage in any configuration beyond what I've quoted for the 13.3? (13.3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1.86Ghz CPU...)

I'm not certain that for a secondary machine the extra $400 to max it out is really worth it, and can be used for other things, like Aperture, etc.

?

Tony

ozreth
Nov 6, 2010, 04:16 PM
I understand why someone would want the 11.6" MBA as a secondary computer, but what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

You said you got the 11" MBA for "true portability", so it can be assumed that the 13" MBA was not purchased for this purpose. If so, then I can't think of any benefit of getting the 13" MBA as your "main" computer other than to say, "I have it." :confused: Perhaps boot times, but I usually leave my system on for months without rebooting (51 days, 16:59 hours according to Terminal), but I suppose you could have gotten good boot times from an SSD installed in a 15" MBP.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

My thoughts exactly.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 04:23 PM
...what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

The benefit is in dollars saved. That 15.4" MBP with the high-res screen is twice the weight of the 13.3" MBA and significantly more expensive. A 15.4 with a 2.66Ghz CPU, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD and the high-res screen option is going to set you back about $2749. That's almost a grand more than the 13" MBA Ultimate. Spec'ing the 2.4Ghz 15.4" only saves $200.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 04:26 PM
To use the 11" for 7 hours, full working day, requires you to carry the charger and find an outlet. That's not as portable as the 13" with a 7 hour battery by itself and weighs the same.

The 11" has a half day battery for a working professional. For light duty the 11" is fine but it is no more portable than the 13" and you have to make far more compromises.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 04:29 PM
To use the 11" for 7 hours, full working day, requires you to carry the charger and find an outlet. That's not as portable as the 13" with a 7 hour battery by itself and weighs the same.

The 11" has a half day battery for a working professional. For light duty the 11" is fine but it is no more portable than the 13" and you have to make far more compromises.

Thanks, I'm all over the better battery in the 13 :), but was asking about the specs of the less-than-ultimate base 13" with the RAM upgrade for general work. Most people seem to indicate that it's still very speedy. Thoughts?

Tony

wirelessmacuser
Nov 6, 2010, 04:35 PM
Well, the 11" really is a fun computer to use. I use my 11" more than my 13" really, because I like holding it and carrying it better,
I find the my 13" MBA a really fun computer to use.

Too bad it's blown up and on it's way back to Apple (but that's another topic).

While my 13" is gone, I'm using my 11" and find it a close second to my 13".

Viva Le choice... :)

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 04:42 PM
Blown up? WTH happened?

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 05:18 PM
RBF: What do you see as far as an advantage in any configuration beyond what I've quoted for the 13.3? (13.3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1.86Ghz CPU...)

I'm not certain that for a secondary machine the extra $400 to max it out is really worth it, and can be used for other things, like Aperture, etc.
I agree that spending the extra $400 might not be the thing to do for somebody who wanted only a secondary machine. I decided to max out my 13 inch MBA because I wanted it to replace my MBP for as much as possible. To do that I knew that I would need an MBA with enough power to run Windows 7 under VMware Fusion in Unity mode, with a couple of Windows apps open simultaneously with a half dozen open OS X apps. Obviously, at least 4GB of RAM were required for that. Also, I migrated 125GB of programs and data from my MBP to the MBA, so the 256GB flash storage option was indispensable.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 05:24 PM
I agree that spending the extra $400 might not be the thing to do for somebody who wanted only a secondary machine. I decided to max out my 13 inch MBA because I wanted it to replace my MBP for as much as possible. To do that I knew that I would need an MBA with enough power to run Windows 7 under VMware Fusion in Unity mode, with a couple of Windows apps open simultaneously with a half dozen open OS X apps. Obviously, at least 4GB of RAM were required for that. Also, I migrated 125GB of programs and data from my MBP to the MBA, so the 256GB flash storage option was indispensable.

Hmmmm... I have an extra $700 from sale of a camera and another item, so that nets me out at $1100 out-of-pocket for the MBA 13" Ultimate...

WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 05:46 PM
To use the 11" for 7 hours, full working day, requires you to carry the charger and find an outlet. That's not as portable as the 13" with a 7 hour battery by itself and weighs the same.

The 11" has a half day battery for a working professional. For light duty the 11" is fine but it is no more portable than the 13" and you have to make far more compromises.

I completely disagree. The 11" actually feels MUCH MUCH lighter than the 13" model, it is so much smaller and more portable it is unreal. The 13" feels like a fullsize laptop, it's huge, and it's much heavier than the 11". The 11" feels like a true ultraportable and it can do everything the 13" can do except run 1440x900 on the larger display size. Oh, and that little SD card slot if it matters.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 05:52 PM
I completely disagree. The 11" actually feels MUCH MUCH lighter than the 13" model, it is so much smaller and more portable it is unreal. The 13" feels like a fullsize laptop, it's huge, and it's much heavier than the 11". The 11" feels like a true ultraportable and it can do everything the 13" can do except run 1440x900 on the larger display size. Oh, and that little SD card slot if it matters.

Well, I can only afford one. Even though I like the 11.6 for it's "cuddly factor", I'm probably going to have to go with the 13.3. A lot is going to come down to screen real estate and the apps I'm running. I made up some cut-down paper reams at the correct weight for the 11.6 and 13.3 MBA as well as the 13.3 MBP. I couldn't tell much of a difference carrying the two MBA mockups around my warehouse. Definitely could tell the difference between either of those and the MBP however.

jimboutilier
Nov 6, 2010, 05:55 PM
+1 on wanting to know this as well.

I have the '10 13.3 MBP and have a hard time justifying either model for extra portability. I've been to the store twice to play with them both. I'm trying to talk myself into either for "portability" reasons. Just can't do it. I guess I'm spoiled with the SSD setup and already enjoy the 15 second boot times and snappy app response. I suppose if I were gaining performance AND portability, it would be an easier decision.

As a frequent traveler Who flies most weeks, spends lot of time in airports, hotels, remote offices, and moves from place to place and meeting to meeting each day I put a lot of value on portability and mobility.

If I could only have one machine I'd pick a 13" MBP maxed out as it can do everything I need done all day long, hold everything I need it to hold, and still offer adequate portability.

But the MBA is significantly more portable and if you can live within it's limitations while traveling it's a terrific option well worth the price. While numbers like a pound and a half or a quarter inch might not sound like much, the MBP is 1.5 x heavier and on average is almost twice as thick. It's a big difference if you are very mobile. And the 11" model makes an even bigger difference.

You really have to carry one around for a bit to fully appreciate the difference and obviously the MBA is not for everyone but it's worth a good close look of you are very mobile.

1BadMac
Nov 6, 2010, 06:17 PM
As a frequent traveler Who flies most weeks, spends lot of time in airports, hotels, remote offices, and moves from place to place and meeting to meeting each day I put a lot of value on portability and mobility.

If I could only have one machine I'd pick a 13" MBP maxed out as it can do everything I need done all day long, hold everything I need it to hold, and still offer adequate portability.

But the MBA is significantly more portable and if you can live within it's limitations while traveling it's a terrific option well worth the price. While numbers like a pound and a half or a quarter inch might not sound like much, the MBP is 1.5 x heavier and on average is almost twice as thick. It's a big difference if you are very mobile. And the 11" model makes an even bigger difference.

You really have to carry one around for a bit to fully appreciate the difference and obviously the MBA is not for everyone but it's worth a good close look of you are very mobile.

I travel frequently and actually am a mobile employee at my company, where I carry a laptop with me 8-10 hours a day all week. I use a Timbuk2 messenger to carry my work issued machine, which happens to be a 15" AG 2008 edition MBP. This is heavier than I'd like, especially by the time I include the charger, dongle for VGA output, etc. So I unfortunately am accustomed to carrying around a lot of equipment.

I guess I'd like to see some real world battery life comparisons. My 13" 2010 model gets almost every bit of the advertised 9-10 hours with light "wireless internet" usage on reduced lighting settings, etc... If the 13" MBA can get closer to that, it would make it an easier sell. I'm seeing more responses though putting it in the 6 hour range.

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 06:33 PM
I completely disagree. The 11" actually feels MUCH MUCH lighter than the 13" model, it is so much smaller and more portable it is unreal. The 13" feels like a fullsize laptop, it's huge, and it's much heavier than the 11". The 11" feels like a true ultraportable and it can do everything the 13" can do except run 1440x900 on the larger display size. Oh, and that little SD card slot if it matters.
I have only used the 11 inch MBA, albeit fairly extensively, at the Apple Store. As much as I admire and largely agree with your enthusiasm for the 11 inch MBA, I own a 13 inch MBA and will say categorically that there is nothing about it that even remotely qualifies it as "a fullsize laptop, . . .huge, and [] much heavier than the 11." Let's look at the record: The 11 inch MBA is exactly the same thickness as the 13 inch model, .11 of an inch at the thinnest end and .68 of an inch at the thickest. The 11 inch MBA weighs 2.3 pounds and the 13 inch 2.9 pounds. The .6 of a pound difference means that the 11 inch MBA is only a little over 20 percent lighter than the 13 inch model.

Now let's look at the 13 inch MPB compared to the 13 inch MBA. The MBP is nearly an inch thick, both front to back and side to side, whereas the average width of the 13 inch MBA is less than .5 of an inch. the MBP weighs 4.5 pounds, more than 50 percent more than the 2.9 pound 13 inch MBA.

The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate that hyperbole has its limits.:)

kazmac
Nov 6, 2010, 06:35 PM
I appreciate your very thorough real world comparisons between both models. I haven't gotten to an Apple store yet (and probably won't until after the holidays). I do not need another machine right now even though I'd like to have a portable for writing (my iPhone isn't enough).

If either of these MBAs are comfortable for me to use, I probably would go with the 13.3 because of the resolution. Again, I'd have to test extensively in the stores as I don't want to repeat the buy and return of another Apple laptop if it cannot work for me. Thank you for posting the details regarding the resolution.

I'm glad the screen issues are a software fix away, and that so many people are enjoying these MBAs. Conceptually they're a nice beginning to where laptops are headed.

Please keep posting your impressions! :)

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 07:57 PM
I have only used the 11 inch MBA, albeit fairly extensively, at the Apple Store. As much as I admire and largely agree with your enthusiasm for the 11 inch MBA, I own a 13 inch MBA and will say categorically that there is nothing about it that even remotely qualifies it as "a fullsize laptop, . . .huge, and [] much heavier than the 11." Let's look at the record: The 11 inch MBA is exactly the same thickness as the 13 inch model, .11 of an inch at the thinnest end and .68 of an inch at the thickest. The 11 inch MBA weighs 2.3 pounds and the 13 inch 2.9 pounds. The .6 of a pound difference means that the 11 inch MBA is only a little over 20 percent lighter than the 13 inch model.

Now let's look at the 13 inch MPB compared to the 13 inch MBA. The MBP is nearly an inch thick, both front to back and side to side, whereas the average width of the 13 inch MBA is less than .5 of an inch. the MBP weighs 4.5 pounds, more than 50 percent more than the 2.9 pound 13 inch MBA.

The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate that hyperbole has its limits.:)

Anyone who has the 13" or wants one is fine to do so. Nobody is trying to change anyone. But I've carried around both back and forth to work. There is no comparison. The 11" is like a slightly large iPad while the 13" is like a very light laptop. The 11" fits in my iPad bag. The 13" can't even dream of fitting in there.

To each their own. But 13" owners trying to convince 11" owners that there isn't much difference are very wrong. It's a very different experience.

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 08:48 PM
Anyone who has the 13" or wants one is fine to do so. Nobody is trying to change anyone. But I've carried around both back and forth to work. There is no comparison. The 11" is like a slightly large iPad while the 13" is like a very light laptop. The 11" fits in my iPad bag. The 13" can't even dream of fitting in there.

To each their own. But 13" owners trying to convince 11" owners that there isn't much difference are very wrong. It's a very different experience.
In order that we establish clarity here, are your telling us that you have a fitted iPad sleeve built in to the bag in which you have been carrying your 11 inch MBA? I ask because I have a fitted sleeve for my iPad but it is only 11 inches wide along the outside, whereas the 11 inch MBA is 11.8 inches wide. Thus, it seems to me that an 11 inch MBA could not possibly fit into an iPad sleeve. While the 11 inch MBA is somewhat smaller and lighter than the 13 inch model, both are still ultra lightweight laptops. There are reasons to chose one over the other but it seems to me the decision turns far more on how you expect to use an MBA than it does on their relative size.

treynolds
Nov 6, 2010, 08:57 PM
There are reasons to chose one over the other but it seems to me the decision turns far more on how you expect to use an MBA than it does on their relative size.

Indeed.

barefeats
Nov 6, 2010, 09:04 PM
As I read this forum thread, I'm sitting on my bed watching college football with my three amigos:
9.7" iPad
13.3" MacBook Air
17" MacBook Pro

That's what I call a well balanced set.

http://barefeats.com/images09/three_amigos.jpg

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 09:33 PM
As I read this forum thread, I'm sitting on my bed watching college football with my three amigos:
9.7" iPad
13.3" MacBook Air
17" MacBook Pro

That's what I call a well balanced set.
You have a point. The last couple of days I have been copying a bunch of CDs into iTunes with my 17 inch MBP. During the several minutes it takes iTunes to compress the files from each CD and copy them into the iTunes directory, I have placed the MBP on the footstool in front of my TV watching chair and while that is going on I watch TV and work MacRumors and other forums with my MBA, which is in my lap. It's been pretty neat, far better than trying to use the MBP for other purposes while iTunes is cranking.

Pipper99
Nov 6, 2010, 09:35 PM
My thinking as well. I have a Mac Pro, a 13" MBP and an iPad. I went from a 17" MBP to the 13" MBP because I wanted to use my machine while flying. If I'm in coach and the seat in front of me is reclined - which describes 80% of my flying time - then I can't use my 13" MBP, so I fall back to reading on my iPad.

I'm due for an upgrade (through work) in 2011 and have asked for a 17" i7 MBP since I want the screen more than I want the portability. I might spring for an 11" MBA out of my own pocket if it would help with working while flying, but I can't really see replacing my 13" MBP with either model with the MBA - especially since my MBP has 8G memory which I fully utilize.

My wife has taken over my iPad and is pushing me to get a MBA so she can have my iPad. But until I'm sure I'm getting a new 17" MBP, I don't see the sense in carrying a MBA and a 13" MBP.

Now, THAT must be a great job! :)

Parrotlet
Nov 6, 2010, 09:51 PM
It's a waste of money in my opinion. Just get the one you want, who buys multiple laptops at once

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 10:02 PM
In order that we establish clarity here, are your telling us that you have a fitted iPad sleeve built in to the bag in which you have been carrying your 11 inch MBA? I ask because I have a fitted sleeve for my iPad but it is only 11 inches wide along the outside, whereas the 11 inch MBA is 11.8 inches wide. Thus, it seems to me that an 11 inch MBA could not possibly fit into an iPad sleeve. While the 11 inch MBA is somewhat smaller and lighter than the 13 inch model, both are still ultra lightweight laptops. There are reasons to chose one over the other but it seems to me the decision turns far more on how you expect to use an MBA than it does on their relative size.

I have the Tom Bihn Ristretto for iPad case. It has an integrated sleeve for the iPad. The 11" is the same size as the iPad except longer. It fits (although just barely due to length) into this case just fine.

The 13" and 11" are both light but in extended use the 11" feels much lighter than .6 pounds. And the smaller dimensions make it just in a different category than the 13". The 13" is a fine machine but except for weight and thickness it feels just like any other Apple 13" laptop. The 11" feels completely difference size wise.

wirelessmacuser
Nov 6, 2010, 10:06 PM
It's a waste of money in my opinion. Just get the one you want, who buys multiple laptops at once

I do. And frequently.

I'm an avid enthusiast of mobile communications & computing. A multi-platformist by choice, and a high tech professional.

Who are you to judge?

To clarify my earlier comment above, my much loved 13" MBA was operating just fine for four days before it developed the issue of multiple colored stripes filling the display. At first a restart would clear it. Then it got to the point where it was constant. I called AppleCare to advise them, then to my friendly, competent Apple store. They are always a pleasure to do business with. Upon seeing how bad it was they gave me a new replacement. That one lasted less than 24hrs before doing the same thing. So I bought an 11" to use while Apple sorts out this issue.

Parrotlet
Nov 6, 2010, 10:11 PM
I do. And frequently.

I'm an avid enthusiast of mobile communications & computing. A multi-platformist by choice, and a high tech professional.

Who are you to judge?


Yes, I am also a mobile comm enthusiast and a multi-platform user and a high tech professional, it's just my opinion that buying a 13 inch and 11 inch MBA at the same time is a waste of money, like I said MY OPINION

And I don't get the whole Who am I to judge comment. I am allowed to have opinions

wirelessmacuser
Nov 6, 2010, 10:29 PM
And I don't get the whole Who am I to judge comment. I am allowed to have opinions

Point well taken, I misread the intent.

Cheers... :)

Parrotlet
Nov 6, 2010, 10:31 PM
Point well taken, I misread the intent.

Cheers... :)

Can I have 500 bucks ???? :(

WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 10:43 PM
Okay, I have had a couple more days to use both machines, I still finding myself using the 11" model much more than the 13.3". I have also found that the 16:9 aspect ratio of the 11" actually makes it not that much smaller when playing widescreen formatted movies which use the HD or widescreen ratio. The 13.3" model is a 16:10 aspect ratio, so it letterboxes when you play HD or Widescreen aspect ratio format movies. The 11" is a wider display with less vertical resolution, but the widescreen or HD movie aspect ratio fits the display better.

I have run iChat video chatting several times on both machines, and I have found that iChat video chat eats up battery life VERY fast. The battery will only last about 2:45 on the 11" and 3:45 on the 13.3" when running iChat video chatting over WiFi. The machines both heat up after about 20 minutes of video conferencing and the fan kicks in at an audible level. The rear of the machine on both laptops heats up and is very warm, but not scorching.

As to reply to what people are saying about the size and weight. The 11" model is CONSIDERABLY smaller, it is nearly 60% of the size of the 13.3" model and the weight factor is considerable when you try to carry them around. I am not saying that the 13.3" model is a heavyweight, of course not when you compare it to a MacBook Pro or any other "full-size" laptop. I am just saying that the 13.3" MBA FOOTPRINT (size it takes up) and bulkiness of size compared to the 11" makes it "feel" like a full-sized laptop machine (I am not counting thinness here, just footprint) compared to the 11" which feels like a tiny netbook. The 11" is such a great machine. It is a marvel of engineering. The 13.3" model does not feel much different than my old Rev C 13.3" (yes, I have a rev C also, but I am selling that model on eBay right now, bid is at $885). The new 13.3" and the rev C 13.3" feel pretty much identical in size and weight, and footprint. They are almost identical machines, the only difference in them is the amount of flash storage, the video card, the extra USB port, the SD card slot, and the 1440x900 resolution of the new model, and the lack of backlit keyboard on the new model. Everything else about them is pretty much identical. A bit of resign to a more square backside, a new screen hinge, and the ports right on the machine instead of in a flip-down port slot on the older rev C model.

Here are some photos comparing the new 13.3" MBA (2010) to the Rev. C model (2009):

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp1.jpg
(2010 on left, rev. C on right)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp2.jpg
(same shot from the side)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp3.jpg
(2010 on top, Rev C below)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp4.jpg
(2010 top, rev. C below)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp5.jpg
(2010 top, rev. C below)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp6.jpg
(Front thickness, 2010 top, rev. C below)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp7.jpg
(2010 top ports, rev. C ports with door open below)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp8.jpg
(Bottom of units, Rev. C on left, 2010 on right side)

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba_comp9.jpg
(top of units, side-by-side, 2010 on left, Rev. C on right)


And....

Here is another pic of the 13.3" 2010 and the 11" side-by side so you can just see the huge size difference in two, based on footprint. This proves my point again. The 11" is CONSIDERABLY much smaller and much less footprint than the 13", which seems mammoth in comparison:

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mba7.jpg

nfl46
Nov 6, 2010, 10:45 PM
I am considering taking my 13" Macbook Air back and getting the 13" Macbook Pro. One thing that is important for me, is the ability to burn cd/dvds. Yes, I could buy the Superdrive for $80, but its going to be ANNOYING carrying it around. Plus thats $1,382+$85= $1,467 (This is with taxes included). I have the base 2GB Macbook Air. What do you guys think? Should I take my new Air back and get the Pro for ($1,283)...thats with taxes and everything.

So, its:

13" Macbook Air (with Superdrive) and only 2GB ram = $1,467

OR

13" Macbook Pro (4GB) = $1,283

I can't tell the difference between the screens. :( I know the Air's is better, but it not THAT much of a difference when I compared them.

And I think something is wrong with my battery. I am fully charged at 100% and it only says 3 hours and 30 minutes. Is that normal?!

WardC
Nov 6, 2010, 10:59 PM
Here is some more photos for you, here are all three together (2010 13.3", 2009 Rev C 2.13GHz, and 11.6" Ultimate *together*):

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mbatogether1.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mbatogether2.jpg

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/mbatogether3.jpg

And darnit, don't you miss that backlit keyboard???

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/backlit.jpg

flynz4
Nov 6, 2010, 11:00 PM
I am considering taking my 13" Macbook Air back and getting the 13" Macbook Pro. One thing that is important for me, is the ability to burn cd/dvds. Yes, I could buy the Superdrive for $80, but its going to be ANNOYING carrying it around. Plus thats $1,382+$85= $1,467 (This is with taxes included). I have the base 2GB Macbook Air. What do you guys think? Should I take my new Air back and get the Pro for ($1,283)...thats with taxes and everything.

So, its:

13" Macbook Air (with Superdrive) and only 2GB ram = $1,467

OR

13" Macbook Pro (4GB) = $1,283

I can't tell the difference between the screens. :( I know the Air's is better, but it not THAT much of a difference when I compared them.

And I think something is wrong with my battery. I am fully charged at 100% and it only says 3 hours and 30 minutes. Is that normal?!

I do not think you included an SSD in your 13.3" MBP price. For me that would be a show-stopper. I would personally need to add in the cost of an SSD when doing my calculations.. All of my laptops over the past 3 years have had SSDs... and there is no way I would want to go backwards.

A second point is that I absolutely do not want an optical drive in any laptop that I own. I just don't need it while being mobile for any of my personal uses. I would not want the weight or bulk of having it in a laptop.

/Jim

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 11:02 PM
.....compared to the 11" which feels like a tiny netbook.

That's because it IS a netbook.

Finally, someone who gets it for what it is and loves it in spite of the fact.

flynz4
Nov 6, 2010, 11:06 PM
And darnit, don't you miss that backlit keyboard???

http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/backlit.jpg

All in all, I like my new 11.6" MBA over my 2009 Rev C 2.13 MBA. The only real exception is the new keyboard which is significantly inferior. I will certainly replace my 11.6" once Apple refreshes the MBA with a backlit keyboard.

/Jim

wirelessmacuser
Nov 6, 2010, 11:15 PM
Can I have 500 bucks ???? :(
Nice try...ha..ha..ha.. :)



1) 13" Macbook Air (with Superdrive) and only 2GB ram = $1,467

OR

2) 13" Macbook Pro (4GB) = $1,283

3) I can't tell the difference between the screens. :( I know the Air's is better, but it not THAT much of a difference when I compared them.

4) And I think something is wrong with my battery. I am fully charged at 100% and it only says 3 hours and 30 minutes. Is that normal?!
1) Return it... you'll be very happy you did.

2) Buy it... you'll be even happier you did... :)

3) If we set tech details aside, my take on it, is whatever _you_ like or think about it is what really matters.

4) Ignore it... all brands, not just Apple are notorious for their lack of accuracy.

On a personal note, as someone who has tons of laptops, and is a big enthusiast of the Apple laptop lineup, I find the 13" MBP (I have one) an excellent laptop. Oh sure, many here on the forum love to complain that it's only a C2D chip and blah, blah, blah. But the bottom line is this is one very nice machine.

I also have a 15" 2010 Core i7 / 8GB / SSD equipped MacBook Pro (currently my main machine) and I _still_ think the 2.4GHz / 4GB / 2010 13" MBP I have is fantastic.

You simply cannot go wrong with the MBP.

Hope this helps... Cheers, :)

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 01:10 AM
That's because it IS a netbook.

Finally, someone who gets it for what it is and loves it in spite of the fact.

What exactly is it that you have against the 11"? If you don't want one fine, but you go out of your way to talk it down. In normal usage there is no speed difference between the 11" and the 13". It is not a netbook. Does the 13" give you more? Yes, but a 15" MBP gives you more than the 13" MBA. People have been giving their perspectives on using the 11". Yet you who don't have one seem to have some mission to prove the 13" better. It's different but depending on your usage it's not necessarily better.

Dammit Cubs
Nov 7, 2010, 01:15 AM
That's because it IS a netbook.

Finally, someone who gets it for what it is and loves it in spite of the fact.

then i'll take a netbook anytime. Find a netbook that can run better than my 2.4GHZ macbook 2007. Netbook implies "internet". The 11.6 inch mba can do alot more than that.

it may look like a netbook but its not. it's certainly doesn't perform like one.

WardC
Nov 7, 2010, 02:10 AM
then i'll take a netbook anytime. Find a netbook that can run better than my 2.4GHZ macbook 2007. Netbook implies "internet". The 11.6 inch mba can do alot more than that.

it may look like a netbook but its not. it's certainly doesn't perform like one.

I think my 11.6" performs better than my old 2007 2.4GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, which I sold on eBay. The big advantage here is the solid state drive, but even if I had a solid state drive on my old MacBook Pro, the 11.6" would still probably be better due to improvements in the video card and the flash technology used in these machines. It is so snappy, it loads photoshop in about 3 seconds and boots in about 12 seconds. Safari, Firefox, and Chrome all load instantly, and web pages render lightning fast. I have the 1.6GHz model but I assume the 1.4GHz one performs almost as good, given it uses the flash too and there is only a 200MHz speed difference. It's a full powered notebook, not a netbook by any means, but the FOOTPRINT is like that of a netbook, it feels like a netbook when you carry it's is super-thin, super-light, and super-small, but I can run every single Mac program that a 12-core Mac Pro could run, including Adobe CS5, FinalCut, and Logic, and games like Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty 4. It's fully equipped to do EVERYTHING you could do on any Mac or even Windows for that matter. You can't say the same for a real "netbook" -- you can't run any of that on an Atom, it would CHOKE.

Dammit Cubs
Nov 7, 2010, 04:08 AM
i'm starting to get this idea that people can't understand why you want an 11 over a 13 or have both. They are completely different machines. From just reading every post from this conversations, alot of people are thinking of using their 13 as their primary computer and replacing their macbook pros.

I don't see people doing that with 11. 11 is your secondary computer and it's ultra portable. On that note, it may be only 0.6 lighter, but its also more compact and that may not mean much to alot of people but people who value size, they are paying a premium. This isn't anything new. Smaller component computers are always worth more, especially when the quality of the build is way better than some crappy netbook. Carrying the 11.6 MBA through an airport felt like i was carrying an ipad. You can't say that about a 13.3 MBA.

They are totally different. If i was gonna work on my MBA for hours upon hours per day, the 13 is no brainer. But then again...if I as working hours upon hours on a 13 inch screen, i would just plug it into a monitor. Both aren't really helpful in the long scheme of things.

iRun26.2
Nov 7, 2010, 05:25 AM
http://www.wardcurry.com/macbookair/backlit.jpg

All in all, I like my new 11.6" MBA over my 2009 Rev C 2.13 MBA. The only real exception is the new keyboard which is significantly inferior. I will certainly replace my 11.6" once Apple refreshes the MBA with a backlit keyboard.

/Jim

I can't wait until my 11.6" machine arrives... but the above picture makes me sad. :(

BeachChair
Nov 7, 2010, 05:54 AM
I am going to try to give a quick review of my experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" "Ultimate" MacBook Air models. I got my 11.6" delivered on Monday of this week, and I just purchased a 13.3" from the Apple Store yesterday. Here is what I have found, experienced, and have to share about real-life experience working with and comparing these units so far.


So 4GB models are available in stores now?

iRun26.2
Nov 7, 2010, 06:13 AM
What exactly is it that you have against the 11"? If you don't want one fine, but you go out of your way to talk it down. In normal usage there is no speed difference between the 11" and the 13". It is not a netbook. Does the 13" give you more? Yes, but a 15" MBP gives you more than the 13" MBA. People have been giving their perspectives on using the 11". Yet you who don't have one seem to have some mission to prove the 13" better. It's different but depending on your usage it's not necessarily better.

I know! I'm tired of his (ReallyBigFeet) negative comments on almost every thread regarding the 11" model MBA.

The 13" MBA is a great machine (and I once thought I'd definitely be getting it) but there are valid reasons why someone would want to choose the 11" model instead (and this is by people who do more than just surf the Internet).

It is like he gets a commission from Apple for every person he can get to purchase the 13" version of the MBA! :)

ditosou
Nov 7, 2010, 06:54 AM
Just a comment....

I honestly do not understand the discussion trying to conclude the best conf: 11" or 13" MBA.

They are different machines and have distinct purposes... if the 11" MBA had a performance similar to the 13 MBA and a screen usability similar to the 13" MBA then ALL MAC USERS WILL CHOOSE THE MBA 11" and stop purchasing any other model (Macbook, Macbook pro etc.).

So it is obvious that the 13 MBA is a more powerful machine and has a more appropriate screen to long-work. No discussion about that...

Given that I have to say that I will go to the 11" MBA configuration... it is just a perfect and powerful netbook... ideal for extreme portability, which is my main objective.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 7, 2010, 07:40 AM
Oh please, I've not denigrated the 11" in any manner, not in this thread or elsewhere. In fact I just said above that I was happy to find someone who LOVED the 11" for being a netbook and recognized it properly for what it is.

All Apple has done, Jobs' comments notwithstanding, is to introduce a premium priced Netbook to their lineup.

But for whatever reason, 11" MBA owners appear to have a serious problem with the label "Netbook" being applied to THEIR purchase as it somehow is seen as an insult? Its a computer for crying out loud...not a condemnation of your lifestyle choice or whatever. Is owning a premium netbook a smear against your sense of decorum and fine taste? Its like calling beer a "malt beverage" or something. And thats the crux of this entire argument. It has nothing to do with the device itself...it has everything to do with your feelings. Calling a MBA a netbook hurts your feelings apparently?

If it hurts your feelings that I call your premium netbook a netbook, no matter how GREAT of a premium netbook it is, then give it a different name and I'll start using that. Because clearly, many of you have some real hangups about anyone calling your stuff names that you think negatively impact your self-esteem.

Just a comment....

....

Given that I have to say that I will go to the 11" MBA configuration... it is just a perfect and powerful netbook... ideal for extreme portability, which is my main objective.

While you may be accused of krezy talk for saying that, I applaud your level-headed summarization. The 11" MBA, in my eyes, is the best netbook on the marketplace today. In fact, I've said here and elsewhere that I suspect that Apple just turned the netbook marketplace on its ear and you'll start seeing all sorts of copycat solutions from Sony, Dell and other rushing to slim down their current selections, improve their screens and come to market with "Apple netbook killers." And Jobs' comments were simply his re-writing of the facts once again. By claiming that Apple wouldn't produce a cheap netbook...he was totally right! They produced, instead, a PREMIUM netbook at a PREMIUM price. And look at the fans! They've already so personalized their choice that they are DEFENSIVE if someone even tries to label it for what it is.

Bravo sir. You obviously have not only fine taste in choosing an 11" premium netbook, but you have the maturity to not worry about the label. Something so many others here appear to be lacking.

BornAgainMac
Nov 7, 2010, 07:57 AM
I wonder what people will think of the new MBP's next year. They are the new desktops.

gwsat
Nov 7, 2010, 08:34 AM
What exactly is it that you have against the 11"? If you don't want one fine, but you go out of your way to talk it down. In normal usage there is no speed difference between the 11" and the 13". It is not a netbook. Does the 13" give you more? Yes, but a 15" MBP gives you more than the 13" MBA. People have been giving their perspectives on using the 11". Yet you who don't have one seem to have some mission to prove the 13" better. It's different but depending on your usage it's not necessarily better.
If you had been following some other threads you would understand that ReallyBigFeet does not to demean the 11 inch MBA by calling it a "netbook." As long as it is understood that the 11 inch MBA is a new kind of "netbook," far more capable and powerful than the netbooks that Steve Jobs disparaged, I agree that it's fine to call the 11 inch MBA a "netbook." The 11 inch MBA, as nice as it is, is a specialty machine, entirely unsuited for many users. I am one such user.

I put off buying an MBA before I thought there was finally one available that had the resources to handle running Windows 7 in VMware Fusion's Unity mode so that a combination of at least 6 Windows and OS X could be open and running at all times with both stability and speed. The first requirement for such a setup was storage that could accommodate 125GB of programs and data on day one. This immediately eliminated the 11 inch MBA from my consideration because of its being limited to 128GB of storage. The 13 inch MBA's 256GB of storage satisfied my needs comfortably.

After using my 13 inch MBA as my full time computer for nearly 10 days, I have concluded that its 13 inch display is about the minimum my aging eyes can deal with all day every day. I fear that the 11 inch model's small screen would be entirely inappropriate for me to use as a full time, all day every day, machine.

Although the 11 inch MBA is a specialty machine, it is a dandy one. For example, if the $999.00 entry level MBA had been available when I bought my iPad, I would have bought the MBA instead of the iPad. Would I still like to have an 11 inch MBA to replace the iPad as a Web surfing and backup machine? You bet I would. This being the Real World, however, I am using my 13 inch MBA as a replacement for the iPad, as I am using it as a replacement for my MBP. The 13 inch MBA has turned out to a decent compromise as a substitute for the iPad. I concede, though, that the 11 inch MBA is a better iPad substitute.

It's worth repeating that there is much to be said for both the 11 inch MBA and the 13 inch Model and that which model one choses will be governed by how it will be used.

PattyCakes2012
Nov 7, 2010, 08:49 AM
So many great pictures in this threat... thanks!

Whimsy
Nov 7, 2010, 09:03 AM
Thanks for all your insight and great real-world reviews! I also have a previous generation MBA, thinking of upgrading, and am deciding whether or not I want an 11 or 13 inch - and this really helps.

I also don't get people's need to call the 11 inch a netbook, when it clearly is not.

Oh - and thanks for the great pictures too!


All in all, I like my new 11.6" MBA over my 2009 Rev C 2.13 MBA. The only real exception is the new keyboard which is significantly inferior. I will certainly replace my 11.6" once Apple refreshes the MBA with a backlit keyboard.

/Jim

Is the keyboard only inferior in the fact that the backlighting is missing? I was at Best Buy, and the 11 inch's keyboard felt a lot "cheaper"? I don't know if it was just hammered on as it was the floor model. The 13 inch MBA I'm on - the keyboard feels a lot more "supple".

Scott6666
Nov 7, 2010, 09:09 AM
I don't think ReallyBigFeet's labeling it as a netbook really denigrates it. It does seem to have more a form factor and feel of a netbook rather than a laptop. The screen aspect ratio alone gives it that kind of feel.

But by netbook here I mean just a really light and portable form factor that has some compromise relative to traditional laptop. The compromise that I see is the tiny screen and it's aspect ratio that based on other threads is somewhat difficult for some people to work with.

What's great about the 11" relative to the netbooks that we are used to seeing is that there are few other compromises. I have a hard time seeing why I need to augment my 15" with a 13" but I am really considering adding a 11". It's really very different. I don't think I could replace my 15" with an 11" but I could see replacing it with a 13". I think this is why so many people are agonizing over which one to get. Replace or augment?

I have a bunch of netbooks that I have from work that I would never considering using but the Air is a very usable computer in that very different form factor.

So I don't always agree with RBF, I think people are too rabid on his labeling in this case. It does hint towards the 11" being a different being than a traditional laptop without inventing a new term for it.

Jiten
Nov 7, 2010, 09:43 AM
Haha I guess we all have Asus to blame with this disagreement on semantics. :)

I have nothing more to add but to thank the OP for the great review and the fantastic comparison photos.

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 09:55 AM
Netbooks are:

1.) Very slow processors and overall response.
2.) Smaller than normal keyboards.
3.) Small, slow quality screens.
4.) Not required, but in normal execution, really poor build quality.

Those of you calling the 11" a netbook but a good one are delusional. It's none of these things. Is it tiny, yes. Call me weird but I thought one of the aspects of a laptop was portability. The logic that the 13" is just so much better is limited. Geez, get an iMac, it will eat the 13" alive. I have both, I know.

gwsat
Nov 7, 2010, 10:55 AM
Netbooks are:

1.) Very slow processors and overall response.
2.) Smaller than normal keyboards.
3.) Small, slow quality screens.
4.) Not required, but in normal execution, really poor build quality.

Those of you calling the 11" a netbook but a good one are delusional. It's none of these things. Is it tiny, yes. Call me weird but I thought one of the aspects of a laptop was portability. The logic that the 13" is just so much better is limited. Geez, get an iMac, it will eat the 13" alive. I have both, I know.
This debate that has raged in many thread over whether the 11 inch MBA is or is not a "netbook" would never have occurred if Steve Jobs had not publicly savaged traditional netbooks by saying that Apple would never make a netbook. Now that the 11 inch MBA has hit the scene, though, some posters, still drinking Steve Jobs anti-netbook Kool-Aid, say it couldn't possibly be a netbook because Saint Steve has told us that Apple would never market a netbook. Others, being less sensitive to Saint Steve's pronouncements, say that the 11 inch MBA certainly is a netbook but it is a new and more powerful netbook than existed in the market place when Jobs first spoke about the matter.

What difference does it make, though? I am perfectly happy to agree with those of you who call the 11 inch MBA a netbook, as long as you acknowledge that it is a new kind of netbook. I am equally happy to go along with those of you who say it isn't a netbook, as long as you are using the definition bcaslis set out in the post I have quoted. It all boils down to definition, so both sides are right, it seems to me. Do you want to talk about sound and fury signifying nothing?:) We have probably debated issues more trivial than this one at MacRumors but I am hard pressed to remember one.

Lord Appleseed
Nov 7, 2010, 11:05 AM
Great review and excellent pictures, well done and thank you!

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 11:13 AM
The problem with calling the 11" a netbook is assumptions. Those who use one sentence to call the 11" a netbook don't qualify that with the differences. Then others come along and see the word netbook and assume it's the same old definition of netbook.

It would be like calling an iPad a Tablet PC. Both are tablets but similarity ends there.

WardC
Nov 7, 2010, 04:50 PM
I am actually thinking of taking the 13.3" back to the store because I just like my 11" so much. The processor boost, 2x the flash storage, and the larger screen are nice but the portability and compactness of the 11" model has won me over. I am just trying to figure out if they will give me more at Apple for returning it of if I should just sell it on eBay instead?

It has 2 charge cycles right now...and I bought it on Thursday.

Does Apple refund the tax amount too when you return an item? Because with tax this thing came out to like $1949. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 04:54 PM
I am actually thinking of taking the 13.3" back to the store because I just like my 11" so much. The processor boost, 2x the flash storage, and the larger screen are nice but the portability and compactness of the 11" model has won me over. I am just trying to figure out if they will give me more at Apple for returning it of if I should just sell it on eBay instead?

It has 2 charge cycles right now...and I bought it on Thursday.

Does Apple refund the tax amount too when you return an item? Because with tax this thing came out to like $1949. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

They don't charge tax in my state but I would guess that they have to refund tax. The employees in my store were certain they would charge the 10% restocking. I haven't returned yet but I might today.

Returning it would cost less than selling on ebay. There you will get charged ebay fees and paypal fees and have to get less the new price. Guaranteed it would be a better deal to return even with a restocking fee.

Dammit Cubs
Nov 7, 2010, 05:05 PM
Double post. Error.

Dammit Cubs
Nov 7, 2010, 05:05 PM
hey i have an idea. How about everyone just not call it a netbook and then people won't get enraged and then start a side conversation that really isn't related to this thread.

It's simple. The word netbook starts wars.

It's like you're asking for it but you really weren't asking for it but in the end....you know you were just asking for it. So i wouldn't recommend not to ask for it unless you really want to ask for it then in that case, what are you asking?

WardC
Nov 7, 2010, 05:07 PM
They don't charge tax in my state but I would guess that they have to refund tax. The employees in my store were certain they would charge the 10% restocking. I haven't returned yet but I might today.

Returning it would cost less than selling on ebay. There you will get charged ebay fees and paypal fees and have to get less the new price. Guaranteed it would be a better deal to return even with a restocking fee.

Okay, I just called my Apple Store. They DO refund tax which is great. So I have to pay the $179.90 restocking fee (10%) but I will get the sales tax back. You are right, I didn't take into account eBay fees plus PayPal fees which would come out to about $90 or more on the sale. Take at least $100 off since it's used and I would be looking at nearly a $200 loss for selling on eBay versus returning it to the store, maybe more.

I purchased it November 4th, so I have until November 18th to return it. I think I might keep it this week and then restore it with the USB key before I return it, I am thinking I might get a MacBook Pro instead as my heavy-duty laptop. I just don't see myself using this 13" model that much since I like the 11" because of it's great portability. The 11" can do everything I need it so and it is simply an easier (to carry) and more fun machine to work with. If I do get a MacBook Pro I will get 8GB of RAM and an SSD so it's as fast (or faster) than the MBA. The MacBook Pro could also serve as a desktop relacement for my work computer, I am using a Mac Mini now at work.

So, I'm excited they refund tax. I would have been out over $300 if they didn't refund the sales tax on this MBA, and it would really suck. Again, I love my 11" dearly, and I just don't see myself using the 13" that much since I am so attached to my 11" already. The 13" was a bit of an impulse purchase. I decided to buy it on a whim one night and went out to the store the next morning. $179.90 isn't too bad for getting to play with this machine for 2 weeks, I've already watched a couple movies on it. Who needs two MacBook Airs anyways? I think the MacBook Pro would be a better full-sized laptop replacement anyways, I think I'll go for the 17".

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 05:18 PM
I have to agree with you on the two MBAs. I got the 13" because I "knew" from having the first MBA that I wanted more screen resolution and storage. Glancing at the 11" in the store I also "knew" the screen was too small.

After using the 13" for a week and taking it back and forth to work (after doing the same for months with the iPad instead of a MBP) I started thinking that 13" isn't really that much smaller than a MBP. Sure it was nice, but what was the advantage other than some weight. I just couldn't decide about the 11" from using it in the store. After reading lots of posts here I decided to take the leap and try it. After a few hours I was surprised. I still want a larger screen and more storage, but I don't NEED them for a portable device. Unless you've actually used one and carried it around I don't think you can appreciate just how much smaller it is than a 13". And for most tasks and programs it feels the same speed as the 13".

teski
Nov 7, 2010, 05:55 PM
I have to agree with you on the two MBAs. I got the 13" because I "knew" from having the first MBA that I wanted more screen resolution and storage. Glancing at the 11" in the store I also "knew" the screen was too small.

After using the 13" for a week and taking it back and forth to work (after doing the same for months with the iPad instead of a MBP) I started thinking that 13" isn't really that much smaller than a MBP. Sure it was nice, but what was the advantage other than some weight. I just couldn't decide about the 11" from using it in the store. After reading lots of posts here I decided to take the leap and try it. After a few hours I was surprised. I still want a larger screen and more storage, but I don't NEED them for a portable device. Unless you've actually used one and carried it around I don't think you can appreciate just how much smaller it is than a 13". And for most tasks and programs it feels the same speed as the 13".

Are you doing any Photoshop work on the 11 by chance? I'm trying to decide if I want to pickup an ultimate 11" for my portable needs, but I would be doing some Photoshop/Aperture work on it on a regular basis. Nothing huge, but definitely converting RAW files and doing basic layered adjustments like contrast, saturation, etc. plus sharpening. If the 11" Max can handle that, it might tip the scales. Otherwise it's the 13 for me.

bcaslis
Nov 7, 2010, 06:07 PM
Are you doing any Photoshop work on the 11 by chance? I'm trying to decide if I want to pickup an ultimate 11" for my portable needs, but I would be doing some Photoshop/Aperture work on it on a regular basis. Nothing huge, but definitely converting RAW files and doing basic layered adjustments like contrast, saturation, etc. plus sharpening. If the 11" Max can handle that, it might tip the scales. Otherwise it's the 13 for me.

It can handle it but if you are going to be doing this a lot (especially Aperture) the 13" is probably a better match. The screen is going to be pretty crowded for those tools if you are spending a lot of time in them. I tend to use Lightroom more now that Aperture, however, and I found that OK to use on the 11".

teski
Nov 7, 2010, 06:17 PM
It can handle it but if you are going to be doing this a lot (especially Aperture) the 13" is probably a better match. The screen is going to be pretty crowded for those tools if you are spending a lot of time in them. I tend to use Lightroom more now that Aperture, however, and I found that OK to use on the 11".

Thanks...When I'm on the road (business or personal) I take a ton of photos and do some processing each day. Right now it's mostly Photo Mechanic and Photoshop, but I do also use Aperture some. I travel a ton (over 100K this year) so the 11 is so appealing, but I hate sacrificing too much for ultra portability. I tried a netbook for a while and quickly grew to hate it (mostly because of perf though which I know the 11" won't be nearly as bad). Sounds like the 13 may be the right balance for me.

WardC
Nov 7, 2010, 06:18 PM
I have to agree with you on the two MBAs. I got the 13" because I "knew" from having the first MBA that I wanted more screen resolution and storage. Glancing at the 11" in the store I also "knew" the screen was too small.

After using the 13" for a week and taking it back and forth to work (after doing the same for months with the iPad instead of a MBP) I started thinking that 13" isn't really that much smaller than a MBP. Sure it was nice, but what was the advantage other than some weight. I just couldn't decide about the 11" from using it in the store. After reading lots of posts here I decided to take the leap and try it. After a few hours I was surprised. I still want a larger screen and more storage, but I don't NEED them for a portable device. Unless you've actually used one and carried it around I don't think you can appreciate just how much smaller it is than a 13". And for most tasks and programs it feels the same speed as the 13".

I couldn't agree with you more about this...FINALLY someone who agrees with me about the 11"!!! it is a sigh of relief.

WardC
Nov 7, 2010, 06:20 PM
Are you doing any Photoshop work on the 11 by chance? I'm trying to decide if I want to pickup an ultimate 11" for my portable needs, but I would be doing some Photoshop/Aperture work on it on a regular basis. Nothing huge, but definitely converting RAW files and doing basic layered adjustments like contrast, saturation, etc. plus sharpening. If the 11" Max can handle that, it might tip the scales. Otherwise it's the 13 for me.

I run Photoshop CS3 (yes, CS3, intel native, not CS5) on my Ultimate 11" and it runs perfectly. Very nice and fast, it does everything I need it to. I am impressed. I would assume CS5 would be a bit more bulky, take more time to boot, and not be quite as fast as CS3. I have not tried CS4.

kp98077
Nov 7, 2010, 06:30 PM
Here in seattle if you are within the 14 day period they WILL NOT charge a restock fee so that sounds strange to me! just say it wasnt fast enough or whatever or go to another apple store if thats a choice. I just think if your not happy they should give a refund within the 14 day period like every other store.



Okay, I just called my Apple Store. They DO refund tax which is great. So I have to pay the $179.90 restocking fee (10%) but I will get the sales tax back. You are right, I didn't take into account eBay fees plus PayPal fees which would come out to about $90 or more on the sale. Take at least $100 off since it's used and I would be looking at nearly a $200 loss for selling on eBay versus returning it to the store, maybe more.

I purchased it November 4th, so I have until November 18th to return it. I think I might keep it this week and then restore it with the USB key before I return it, I am thinking I might get a MacBook Pro instead as my heavy-duty laptop. I just don't see myself using this 13" model that much since I like the 11" because of it's great portability. The 11" can do everything I need it so and it is simply an easier (to carry) and more fun machine to work with. If I do get a MacBook Pro I will get 8GB of RAM and an SSD so it's as fast (or faster) than the MBA. The MacBook Pro could also serve as a desktop relacement for my work computer, I am using a Mac Mini now at work.

So, I'm excited they refund tax. I would have been out over $300 if they didn't refund the sales tax on this MBA, and it would really suck. Again, I love my 11" dearly, and I just don't see myself using the 13" that much since I am so attached to my 11" already. The 13" was a bit of an impulse purchase. I decided to buy it on a whim one night and went out to the store the next morning. $179.90 isn't too bad for getting to play with this machine for 2 weeks, I've already watched a couple movies on it. Who needs two MacBook Airs anyways? I think the MacBook Pro would be a better full-sized laptop replacement anyways, I think I'll go for the 17".

teski
Nov 7, 2010, 06:31 PM
I run Photoshop CS3 (yes, CS3, intel native, not CS5) on my Ultimate 11" and it runs perfectly. Very nice and fast, it does everything I need it to. I am impressed. I would assume CS5 would be a bit more bulky, take more time to boot, and not be quite as fast as CS3. I have not tried CS4.

Thanks Ward. Like you, I may have to pickup an 11" and put it through its paces to see if it'll work for me. The stores are great for seeing high level stuff, but if you have specific workflows, sometimes you just have to try it out for a bit.

teski
Nov 7, 2010, 06:32 PM
Here in seattle if you are within the 14 day period they WILL NOT charge a restock fee so that sounds strange to me! just say it wasnt fast enough or whatever or go to another apple store if thats a choice. I just think if your not happy they should give a refund within the 14 day period like every other store.

Where in Seattle is that? My experience at Bell Square hasn't as forgiving as that. Are you talking about Univ. Village?

kp98077
Nov 7, 2010, 08:37 PM
alderwood

Where in Seattle is that? My experience at Bell Square hasn't as forgiving as that. Are you talking about Univ. Village?

treynolds
Nov 8, 2010, 11:24 PM
I went to Oregon on an errand today and stopped by the Bridgeport Apple Store. I'd been looking at the 11 and 13 for weeks, reading everything I could and still couldn't make up my mind. I talked to two sale persons. The first said that the 11's were more popular, but raised his eyebrows when I said that I wanted to be able to run ACAD LT and CS4 on it in a pinch. I made it plain that this was to be a secondary machine to my 27" iMac.

The second sales person was a business specialist who said that some professionals had brought their 11's back when they tried to push the limited screen real estate too far. i asked which of the builds they had in store and found basically three in each size:

1. the base model
2. the base model with upgraded SSD
3. the "ultimate" (maxed-out) model.

So basically, if you wanted the based processor but 4 GB of RAM, you'd have to order it via a CTO online, which meant that it could NOT be returned to a store. Not good for me, as I wanted to save on our wonderful 9.5% sales tax in WA and ordering online meant I'd have to pay the Man. They had ONE of the 13" maxed-out units in stock. After a couple minutes soul-searching, I ended up with that.

Based on what I'd read in this thread and elsewhere, I think it was a good decision. I'm writing this on the 13 right now, and am pleased with the screen res and weight. I really can't tell that it's sitting on my lap; it's that light. As for the size, it's a little smaller than a legal pad. Not bad.

I saved $171 in tax and even though I paid a lot, I can expense it out on my taxes, so that'll help the bottom line a little. Yeah, I paid $400 more than the 1.86/128/4GB model I wanted, but I would have to pay about $650 for a good 2 1/2" SSD from Newegg so in the end (and to put it in perspective), you get what you pay for and Apple gave what amounts to a little discount in the overall price for the maxed-out system.

Since everyone else has weighed in, I will to: This is a nicely designed, premium ultralight notebook. Use of the word "netbook" to me connotes "cheap". There's nothing cheap about the new MBA's, from the packaging right on down to the power adapter, they're premium and I'm pleased.

Tony

peapody
Nov 8, 2010, 11:40 PM
I myself just picked up a 13.3" as opposed to getting an 11.6" to use with my macbook pro. After trying it out in the store, the 11.6" really did seem like a netbook to me. While I know it can do much more, i couldn't see myself using it for more than checking email and surfing the web. The screen is too small for multitasking such as opening multiple windows side by side for note taking and assignment completion. Coming from an "ultimate" rev C, I had a hard time thinking about which way to go, but for my purposes I needed the extra screen real estate. For most other people it seems like the 11.6" would be just fine.

What I am finding interesting is that the MBA ultimates are replacing macbook pros for some people. What a thought! I guess that is a good thing because I can maybe sell off my Hi-res AG core i5 and gets some moneys back ahha.

nicoplanet
Nov 9, 2010, 07:47 AM
One question to MBA (13") owners:

One of my favorite feature on my mid 2009 MBP is the fast charging time. The 4 circuits system to charge battery allow it to be full really fast (this wasn't the case on my previous 2008 MB, white and unibody).

How that it work on the new 2010 MBA? Is the charging time as fast as the MBP (2009 and above)? Faster? Slower?

Thanks! :D

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 09:39 AM
They [the Apple Store] had ONE of the 13" maxed-out units in stock. After a couple minutes soul-searching, I ended up with that.

Based on what I'd read in this thread and elsewhere, I think it was a good decision. I'm writing this on the 13 right now, and am pleased with the screen res and weight. I really can't tell that it's sitting on my lap; it's that light. As for the size, it's a little smaller than a legal pad. Not bad.
I've had the same maxed out 13 inch MBA that you bought for almost two weeks and love it. I took a bit of a chance in buying it because I wanted it to replace my old MBP, although the MBP has 6GB of RAM and needs it to run all of my apps. For the MBA to really work for me it was going to have to be able to simultaneously run Windows 7 under VMware Fusion in Unity mode, plus a couple of Windows apps and a half dozen OS X apps. I hoped that the MBA's 4GB of RAM in combination with its extraordinarily fast flash storage would get the job done for me and it did. All of my apps are as stable on the MBA as they were on the MBP. Some of them now run even faster and none of them are significantly slower. What's not to like?:)

duk
Nov 9, 2010, 10:27 AM
Okay, I just called my Apple Store. They DO refund tax which is great. So I have to pay the $179.90 restocking fee (10%) but I will get the sales tax back. You are right, I didn't take into account eBay fees plus PayPal fees which would come out to about $90 or more on the sale. Take at least $100 off since it's used and I would be looking at nearly a $200 loss for selling on eBay versus returning it to the store, maybe more.

I purchased it November 4th, so I have until November 18th to return it. I think I might keep it this week and then restore it with the USB key before I return it, I am thinking I might get a MacBook Pro instead as my heavy-duty laptop. I just don't see myself using this 13" model that much since I like the 11" because of it's great portability. The 11" can do everything I need it so and it is simply an easier (to carry) and more fun machine to work with. If I do get a MacBook Pro I will get 8GB of RAM and an SSD so it's as fast (or faster) than the MBA. The MacBook Pro could also serve as a desktop relacement for my work computer, I am using a Mac Mini now at work.

So, I'm excited they refund tax. I would have been out over $300 if they didn't refund the sales tax on this MBA, and it would really suck. Again, I love my 11" dearly, and I just don't see myself using the 13" that much since I am so attached to my 11" already. The 13" was a bit of an impulse purchase. I decided to buy it on a whim one night and went out to the store the next morning. $179.90 isn't too bad for getting to play with this machine for 2 weeks, I've already watched a couple movies on it. Who needs two MacBook Airs anyways? I think the MacBook Pro would be a better full-sized laptop replacement anyways, I think I'll go for the 17".

Ask for a manager and explain the 13 isn't quite there yet as a the "next generation of macbooks" as advertised (cant run more intensive "heavy duty" apps as well as you'd like) as a result your going to try one of the last generation models (macbook pro).
I'm sure they would have no problem doing an exchange for a macbook pro waiving the restock fee as an act of goodwill, as you are a good customer (buying 2 laptops). Shouldn't be a problem, they really wan't you to be happy with your purchases and usually have no problem accommodating when they can (any manager can easily waive the restocking fee). If you aren't ready to purchase the new one just yet, you could probably say the same thing and explain you intend to make another purchase in the near future.

rower
Nov 9, 2010, 11:10 AM
I went from MBP's to the MBA with the gen B. No regrets at all. I did get a couple of cinema displays though for when I need the real estate.

I just replaced the genB with a new 13", which I quite like except for the high resolution screen. I prefer the genB's screen as the system fonts are getting too small now.

I am also ordering an 11.6 for my ultra portable, and as a backup. I don't really need it of course, but it should be fun.

The ipad is getting less use - only for reading the NYT and WSJ and selected magazines, and movies. The kindle is a better book reader, btw.

nicoplanet
Nov 9, 2010, 11:34 AM
One question to MBA (13") owners:

One of my favorite feature on my mid 2009 MBP is the fast charging time. The 4 circuits system to charge battery allow it to be full really fast (this wasn't the case on my previous 2008 MB, white and unibody).

How that it work on the new 2010 MBA? Is the charging time as fast as the MBP (2009 and above)? Faster? Slower?

Thanks! :D

Bump :p

flynz4
Nov 9, 2010, 12:01 PM
Bump :p

It's been 3:37 since your post. Does that really justify a bump?

/Jim

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 12:08 PM
I love both the small form factor and remarkably light weight of the 11 inch MBA. I tried to figure a way to make one work for me but, finally, had to give up and got a maxed out 13 inch MBA, instead. The 11 inch model's limitations, which I couldn't ever figure a way around, were its storage limitation of 128GB and its small screen.

I needed an MBA that would do the same things in the same ways I had been doing on my old MBP. Unfortunately, to do that required 125GB of storage space, which seemed to me to be too tight a fit for me to take a chance on the 11 inch MBA.

The 11 inch MBA's other limitation, screen size, may have had more to do with my aging eyeballs than anything else. Nevertheless, there was simply no way I would have been able to accommodate to an 11 inch screen on a machine, which I planned to use all day every day. It's tough enough to do with a 13 inch screen.:) I still love the 11 inch MBA and am more than a little jealous of those of you whose needs were such that the 11 inch would work for you.

BENJMNS
Nov 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
I love both the small form factor and remarkably light weight of the 11 inch MBA. I tried to figure a way to make one work for me but, finally, had to give up and got a maxed out 13 inch MBA, instead. The 11 inch model's limitations, which I couldn't ever figure a way around, were its storage limitation of 128GB and its small screen.

I needed an MBA that would do the same things in the same ways I had been doing on my old MBP. Unfortunately, to do that required 125GB of storage space, which seemed to me to be too tight a fit for me to take a chance on the 11 inch MBA.

The 11 inch MBA's other limitation, screen size, may have had more to do with my aging eyeballs than anything else. Nevertheless, there was simply no way I would have been able to accommodate to an 11 inch screen on a machine, which I planned to use all day every day. It's tough enough to do with a 13 inch screen.:) I still love the 11 inch MBA and am more than a little jealous of those of you whose needs were such that the 11 inch would work for you.

very similar situation.

i don't mind more mobile, lighter, but the screen real estate afforded by the high res 13 simply trounced any advantages of the 11.

i do not like manipulating windows (resizing, moving). waste of time.

plus yea, with itunes and big excel/powerpoint docs, 128 is just not enough and being a minimalist, the idea of exterior drives and other data repositories was not an attractive option to me when weighed against the form factor.

good stuff all around.

dmelgar
Nov 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
One question to MBA (13") owners:

One of my favorite feature on my mid 2009 MBP is the fast charging time. The 4 circuits system to charge battery allow it to be full really fast (this wasn't the case on my previous 2008 MB, white and unibody).

How that it work on the new 2010 MBA? Is the charging time as fast as the MBP (2009 and above)? Faster? Slower?

Thanks! :D
I have a 11.6" MBA and a 2009 13" MBP.

I haven't done any specific timed tests, but the battery behavior generally seems similar to the 2009 MBP. It does seem to charge pretty fast. Battery life for me is excellent, even better than the MBP especially if the disk isn't being used. If its just the display and network, light surfing, it seems to last for a very long time. On the other hand, crank everything up, CPU, GPU, disk access and battery life plumets.

In my MBP, my battery reported 90% of capacity even when new. Now its down to 85% or less. My MBA is reporting 98% of design capacity.

iRun26.2
Nov 9, 2010, 12:29 PM
...If its just the display and network, light surfing, it seems to last for a very long time. On the other hand, crank everything up, CPU, GPU, disk access and battery life plumets.

Could you please give us specific information on how long the battery lasts on your 11.6" model?

Thanks in advance!

WardC
Nov 9, 2010, 12:34 PM
Like I was saying, if you try video chat in iChat for very long on the 11", the battery life will be cut in about half, maybe 2 hours max on video chat, it's not that long. The fans will also kick in after awhile too. Seems like it's really stressing the CPU when you use video chat on the MacBook Air. The fans also kick in on my 13" when in video chat, but this after about 15 to 20 minutes of use.

nicoplanet
Nov 9, 2010, 12:38 PM
I have a 11.6" MBA and a 2009 13" MBP.

I haven't done any specific timed tests, but the battery behavior generally seems similar to the 2009 MBP. It does seem to charge pretty fast. Battery life for me is excellent, even better than the MBP especially if the disk isn't being used. If its just the display and network, light surfing, it seems to last for a very long time. On the other hand, crank everything up, CPU, GPU, disk access and battery life plumets.

In my MBP, my battery reported 90% of capacity even when new. Now its down to 85% or less. My MBA is reporting 98% of design capacity.

Thanks man! This make sense since the MBA battery design is almost identical to the MBP mid 2009 (and probably all post-2009 MacBooks). ;)

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 02:28 PM
Like I was saying, if you try video chat in iChat for very long on the 11", the battery life will be cut in about half, maybe 2 hours max on video chat, it's not that long. The fans will also kick in after awhile too. Seems like it's really stressing the CPU when you use video chat on the MacBook Air. The fans also kick in on my 13" when in video chat, but this after about 15 to 20 minutes of use.
That's right. The dirty little secret of all laptops is that when doing anything graphic, from YouTube, to iChat, to Skype, or to any other site that involves moving pictures, battery longevity is going to get hammered. A notable exception seems to be the iPad. I used to regularly watch Netflix streaming videos on my iPad and its battery seemed to be fairly immune to them. I suspect that if I did the same thing with my 13 inch MBA, its battery's longevity would be dramatically shorter.

treynolds
Nov 9, 2010, 02:43 PM
I used to regularly watch Netflix streaming videos on my iPad and its battery seemed to be fairly immune to them...

This might be due to the all-in-one ARM chip that Apple uses for the iPad. Better integration = more available power?

netdog
Nov 9, 2010, 02:46 PM
i don't mind more mobile, lighter, but the screen real estate afforded by the high res 13 simply trounced any advantages of the 11.


Jobs essentially said this when he originally introduced the MacBook Air.

He was right then and he's still right.

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 03:04 PM
This might be due to the all-in-one ARM chip that Apple uses for the iPad. Better integration = more available power?
Could be. The iPad's architecture and operating system are a lot closer to the iPhone and iPad Touch than they are to any laptop in Apple's lineup.

flynz4
Nov 9, 2010, 03:20 PM
I love both the small form factor and remarkably light weight of the 11 inch MBA. I tried to figure a way to make one work for me but, finally, had to give up and got a maxed out 13 inch MBA, instead. The 11 inch model's limitations, which I couldn't ever figure a way around, were its storage limitation of 128GB and its small screen.

I needed an MBA that would do the same things in the same ways I had been doing on my old MBP. Unfortunately, to do that required 125GB of storage space, which seemed to me to be too tight a fit for me to take a chance on the 11 inch MBA.

The 11 inch MBA's other limitation, screen size, may have had more to do with my aging eyeballs than anything else. Nevertheless, there was simply no way I would have been able to accommodate to an 11 inch screen on a machine, which I planned to use all day every day. It's tough enough to do with a 13 inch screen.:) I still love the 11 inch MBA and am more than a little jealous of those of you whose needs were such that the 11 inch would work for you.

I am really glad to see you on the new MBA. You have wanted to be able to move for such a long time... and you finally have been able to.

I already had the 13.3" Rev C 2.13 w/SSD... and when I bought my new machine... I was 99.94% positive that I would stay with the 13.3". However, I wanted to try it in the store before I made my final decision. I surprised myself by deciding that I wanted the 11.6" MBA.

In my case... my decision was a bit easier given that my wife was going to get one of the two machines... and I felt that if I was not satisfied with the 11.6"... I would be able to keep my older 13.3 and give her the new MBA. It ended up that I wanted to keep the 11.6".

I have found that the higher screen resolution (in PPI) has made it easy enough even for my old eyes. The other thing is that when using it at home... I can connect it to my 30" monitor with dual link DVI... and my little 11.6" MBA is driving 2560X1600 pixels! That is incredible!

As a long time MBA user... I do appreciate the extra small size of the 11.6... but both are very nice machines.

/Jim

bcaslis
Nov 9, 2010, 03:37 PM
This discussion shows that both sizes are the correct answer depending on what you want to do with it. The screen, storage, and performance are big pluses for the 13", the form factor is the plus for the 11". My ideal would a mixture of the two, but I can't buy one of those.

I had the 13" and went to the 11". I have no idea if I will stick with it long term or not. I love the form factor and I think the screen is good enough to use as long as you can use something else sometimes. But I really miss the screen and storage on the 13" (as I knew I would). Worst case I'll sell the 11" if it doesn't work out and get the 13". I do think the 11" really personifies the idea of a "MacBook Air" since thin and light really need small to go along with that.

But what I really want to know is what has WardC decided? Are you keeping both or moving to one? And if so, which one? :)

WardC
Nov 9, 2010, 03:38 PM
I am starting to have second thoughts now after getting some time to use the 13.3" a bit more. The screen on the 13.3" model is absolutely incredible!! It feels huge, because of the 1440x900 resolution, it feels much larger than a 13.3" display, more like a 15" display. It's really a different experience than the 11" which seems a bit cramped compared to working with the 13" MBA. I like the keyboard on the 11" better, this keyboard on the 13" feels different, and it is hard getting used to. Maybe it is that it's just a new keyboard and takes some breaking in, it feels a bit tougher when pressing the keys than my Mac keyboard on my desktop (the standard white Apple keyboard). I think the best feature of the 13" model is the beautiful display. It is quite something to behold. The colors and constrast seem excellent, everything about this display is great. The PPI is a bit lower than the 11" so it is easier to read small text. I am typing this on the 13" MBA right now. The trackpad on the 13" model is also larger.

I have until November 18th to decide if I want to return it, so I think I will keep it another week and then make up my mind. It's alot of money, and I am not sure I wanted to spend this much in the first place. I am definitely keeping my 11" though, it has me won over 100% -- but the 13.3" MBA is starting to creep up on me.

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 03:41 PM
I am really glad to see you on the new MBA. You have wanted to be able to move for such a long time... and you finally have been able to.

I already had the 13.3" Rev C 2.13 w/SSD... and when I bought my new machine... I was 99.94% positive that I would stay with the 13.3". However, I wanted to try it in the store before I made my final decision. I surprised myself by deciding that I wanted the 11.6" MBA.

In my case... my decision was a bit easier given that my wife was going to get one of the two machines... and I felt that if I was not satisfied with the 11.6"... I would be able to keep my older 13.3 and give her the new MBA. It ended up that I wanted to keep the 11.6".

I have found that the higher screen resolution (in PPI) has made it easy enough even for my old eyes. The other thing is that when using it at home... I can connect it to my 30" monitor with dual link DVI... and my little 11.6" MBA is driving 2560X1600 pixels! That is incredible!

As a long time MBA user... I do appreciate the extra small size of the 11.6... but both are very nice machines.
Thanks for your kind words. As you and other longtime posters here know I have long lusted for an MBA that would do what I needed it to do. Thus, it was gratifying to discover that a maxed out 13 inch model would allow me to do everything my old MBP did, despite the MBP having 6GB of RAM.

Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by my aging eyes, I might have tried the 11 inch MBA anyway had it been available with the 256GB flash storage option. They really are slick. Unfortunately the 11 inch model's 128GB limitation on flash memory ended the inquiry. To help you understand why, I currently am using 128.5GB of my 13 inch MBA's 256GB of flash memory and I migrated most of that from my MBP's Time Capsule backup.

macnerd123
Nov 9, 2010, 04:03 PM
What would anyone suggest for a student who wants a macbook air to keep for three years as their primary computer and doesn't care about screen size?
Main Uses
- Microsoft Office/ iWork
- iTunes
- iChat
- Safari
- rarely ever iLife

I really cannot make a final decision.

gwsat
Nov 9, 2010, 05:03 PM
What would anyone suggest for a student who wants a macbook air to keep for three years as their primary computer and doesn't care about screen size?
Main Uses
- Microsoft Office/ iWork
- iTunes
- iChat
- Safari
- rarely ever iLife

I really cannot make a final decision.
It seems to me that you have needs that are modest enough for the $999.00 base 11 inch MBA to work for you. The most likely limitation of that configuration is its 64GB of flash storage. With a little planning though, you should be able to keep your iTunes library on a USB powered portable hard drive. I have a Toshiba USB drive, with 640GB that I got at Amazon for $89.99 delivered. I keep my iTunes library there.

macnerd123
Nov 9, 2010, 05:39 PM
It seems to me that you have needs that are modest enough for the $999.00 base 11 inch MBA to work for you. The most likely limitation of that configuration is its 64GB of flash storage. With a little planning though, you should be able to keep your iTunes library on a USB powered portable hard drive. I have a Toshiba USB drive, with 640GB that I got at Amazon for $89.99 delivered. I keep my iTunes library there.

Thanks, but maybe I would spring for the 128GB and the 4GB of memory since I do tend to run many apps at once.

flynz4
Nov 9, 2010, 09:45 PM
Thanks for your kind words. As you and other longtime posters here know I have long lusted for an MBA that would do what I needed it to do. Thus, it was gratifying to discover that a maxed out 13 inch model would allow me to do everything my old MBP did, despite the MBP having 6GB of RAM.

Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by my aging eyes, I might have tried the 11 inch MBA anyway had it been available with the 256GB flash storage option. They really are slick. Unfortunately the 11 inch model's 128GB limitation on flash memory ended the inquiry. To help you understand why, I currently am using 128.5GB of my 13 inch MBA's 256GB of flash memory and I migrated most of that from my MBP's Time Capsule backup.

You are certainly welcome. I think you had set a record for number of posts in the MBA forum... of anyone who didn't own an MBA!!!

It really made me smile when I saw that you a) bought one, and b) love it. Your reasons for waiting were justified because of your specific needs.

I agree with your decision to get the 13.3" due to your need's. Besides, coming from a 17" your MBA must already feel tiny (in a great way). Now in a few years when a future 11" meets your needs... you can repeat that "great feeling" offered by thiner, smaller, lighter laptops. You've left yourself room to grow!

/Jim

carnfek
Nov 9, 2010, 11:36 PM
Hi All,

Thanks for all the useful information and photos is this thread.

I was hoping some of you who have pulled the trigger and bought the new MBA would be able to answer some questions I had as I am still tossing up between the 11" and 13" models.

Has anybody with the base 11" (or 4GB) able to confirm how HD content (720p/1080p mkv and flash videos etc) plays? I have found a couple of threads that seem to have mixed results. Some users are saying that the videos run fine without any skipping or artifacts whilst others have been having issues.

Another query I had was in regards to the 11" screen. I know some users have had problems using the 11" for extended periods of time resulting in eye strain etc. Is this a major problem that people have been experiencing with the 11" or a select few?

There is a $400-500 difference between the base 11" and the 13" (depending on if i upgrade to 4GB RAM) and am still trying to ascertain whether the 11" will happily suit my needs or whether I should go with the 13". I am really liking the size and weight of the 11" but want to be sure that it will can handle HD and the screen is suitable for light-medium use (i wouldn't be using this for any CPU intensive tasks like photo or video editing).

timeslip
Nov 10, 2010, 09:39 AM
I've been tossing back and forth about returning the 11" for the 13" only because of the 256GB SSD.

The 1.6ghz, 4gb 11" runs just fine as a portable machine as a business laptop (Windows 7 VM with Office suites, some custom .net apps, and several internal intranet pages) along with Safari web browser, IM chat on the physical side.

However, I am finding it very difficult to fit everything into the 128GB drive. I wish photofast would hurry up and release pricing on the 256GB SSD upgrade for the 11". This will help me determine if I am willing to sacrifice size for capacity.

koobcamuk
Nov 10, 2010, 10:04 AM
I think I would go for the 11" MBA, regardless of whether it's for a daily computer or as a secondary.

I would be working with an external monitor if it was my main computer - I'll never go below 24" for daily use now; I've become rather accustomed to it!

Just unplug the little baby and go travelling - most awesome. I am stuck with an iPad, it seems nobody wants to buy it (32GB 3G) and so can't afford the MBA.

billy baxton
Nov 10, 2010, 10:05 AM
720p/1080p movies have no problem running. I have the 11.6/4gram/1.6ghz model. I have yet to try hd flash content. only thing I noticed.

I played a 1080p HD movie, it was about 3 gigs in size. through VLC, it took about 10 seconds to load. after it started to play, it was flawless. no eye strain. so far.

if I wanted a 13 inch, I would go mb pro. (if I wanted that size, cheaper, more powerfull) but as a secondary travel, business, meeting, showing off work to client, coffee shop, couch, portable gaming, net, movie, coding, etc computer. the 11 inch is the perfect size. any smaller and its pretty much unusable, any bigger and its no longer all that portable.

as a former viao p user, I can say that anything under 10 inches become impractical for anything other than net surfing and chatting, its not even fun watching movies on a screen smaller than 10 inches.

Hi All,

Thanks for all the useful information and photos is this thread.

I was hoping some of you who have pulled the trigger and bought the new MBA would be able to answer some questions I had as I am still tossing up between the 11" and 13" models.

Has anybody with the base 11" (or 4GB) able to confirm how HD content (720p/1080p mkv and flash videos etc) plays? I have found a couple of threads that seem to have mixed results. Some users are saying that the videos run fine without any skipping or artifacts whilst others have been having issues.

Another query I had was in regards to the 11" screen. I know some users have had problems using the 11" for extended periods of time resulting in eye strain etc. Is this a major problem that people have been experiencing with the 11" or a select few?

There is a $400-500 difference between the base 11" and the 13" (depending on if i upgrade to 4GB RAM) and am still trying to ascertain whether the 11" will happily suit my needs or whether I should go with the 13". I am really liking the size and weight of the 11" but want to be sure that it will can handle HD and the screen is suitable for light-medium use (i wouldn't be using this for any CPU intensive tasks like photo or video editing).

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 10, 2010, 10:12 AM
I played a 1080p HD movie, it was about 3 gigs in size.

3 Gig 1080p HD movie? What was the running length....10 minutes???

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 10, 2010, 10:13 AM
It's been 3:37 since your post. Does that really justify a bump?

/Jim

Maybe they were hoping the battery had completely recharged during that 3:37 interval? :D

flynz4
Nov 10, 2010, 10:21 AM
I've been tossing back and forth about returning the 11" for the 13" only because of the 256GB SSD.

The 1.6ghz, 4gb 11" runs just fine as a portable machine as a business laptop (Windows 7 VM with Office suites, some custom .net apps, and several internal intranet pages) along with Safari web browser, IM chat on the physical side.

However, I am finding it very difficult to fit everything into the 128GB drive. I wish photofast would hurry up and release pricing on the 256GB SSD upgrade for the 11". This will help me determine if I am willing to sacrifice size for capacity.

I have a methodology where zero original data lives on my laptop. It all lives on my 27" iMac. From a practical standpoint, this results in:


I keep any information that I would ever want to edit (ex: all of my documents)... in a dropbox cloud folder.
I keep any information that requires good access (ex: downloads, manuals, etc) on my Mobile Me cloud.
I only use IMAP email... so every machine I use always has a synchronized set of mailboxes (with the originals stored in the cloud on my IMAP servers


All of those above (by definition), do not require more local space than the cumulative size of my MM, Dropbox, and IMAP accounts. They fit easily in my 128GB SSD, and I always have local access to anything I care about irrespective if I am connected to the internet.

Beyond that... I keep copies (not originals) of my media (mostly pictures, music and videos). I certainly have zero interest in storing every picture that I have taken on my laptop. Instead, I use Aperture 3 to cull down from my many 10's of thousands of photos into interesting collections that make sense to keep on my laptops. Likewise, I create playlists of a small subset of my music that I want on my laptop (very small, because I always have a 160GB iPod with all my music). I also will keep a small collection of videos or other media.

Since my pictures, music and videos are only copies of my originals (stored safely on my iMac)... I can safely delete any of it from my MBA (or any laptop) at anytime... so I do not need to consider their size when determining the size of the SSD I need. Instead, I can just let my media opportunistically fill any remaining space.

Of course, we all have different needs. I am just describing how I prioritize my storage requirements for my laptops.

/Jim

treynolds
Nov 10, 2010, 10:38 AM
I keep any information that I would ever want to edit (ex: all of my documents)... in a dropbox cloud folder.
I keep any information that requires good access (ex: downloads, manuals, etc) on my Mobile Me cloud.
I only use IMAP email... so every machine I use always has a synchronized set of mailboxes (with the originals stored in the cloud on my IMAP servers


So a question:

How much are you paying for data storage per month/year?

BENJMNS
Nov 10, 2010, 10:45 AM
Using the mba again today... what a wonderful laptop. it makes me work better. :)

koobcamuk
Nov 10, 2010, 10:59 AM
I have a methodology where zero original data lives on my laptop. It all lives on my 27" iMac. From a practical standpoint, this results in:


I keep any information that I would ever want to edit (ex: all of my documents)... in a dropbox cloud folder.
I keep any information that requires good access (ex: downloads, manuals, etc) on my Mobile Me cloud.
I only use IMAP email... so every machine I use always has a synchronized set of mailboxes (with the originals stored in the cloud on my IMAP servers



This is how I would always recommend using a laptop in addition to a larger 'main' computer.

I still can't bring myself to cull a couple of thousand images from my computer's Aperture library.

I think I might have a 'scratch' Aperture library on an MBA if I was taking it around with me. Likewise, I envisage doing something similar with my iPad - taking it out with me when I take photos, uploading them to the iPad and making quick decisions on the best ones to keep there and then. Not sure how that will work out, but we'll see.

flynz4
Nov 10, 2010, 01:31 PM
So a question:

How much are you paying for data storage per month/year?

My bulk storage (20GB) is using Mobile Me. The family pack is nominally $149/year, but I have been buying it for under $80 on Amazon for the boxed (i.e. legal) product.

I am currently using just the free version of dropbox, and with the credit I received for referrals... I am up to 3.5GB.

Generally, I keep "relatively static" reference material on Mobile Me... and frequently updated information on dropbox. I do this because the dropbox sync seems to be significantly more robust than MM. I have considered spending the $100/year to get a 50GB dropbox account, and consolidate everything onto the single cloud service. I would still keep MM for other reasons (such as iPhone/iPad sync,find my phone,etc)

/Jim

treynolds
Nov 10, 2010, 01:37 PM
My bulk storage (20GB) is using Mobile Me. The family pack is nominally $149/year, but I have been buying it for under $80 on Amazon for the boxed (i.e. legal) product.

I am currently using just the free version of dropbox, and with the credit I received for referrals... I am up to 3.5GB.

Generally, I keep "relatively static" reference material on Mobile Me... and frequently updated information on dropbox. I do this because the dropbox sync seems to be significantly more robust than MM. I have considered spending the $100/year to get a 50GB dropbox account, and consolidate everything onto the single cloud service. I would still keep MM for other reasons (such as iPhone/iPad sync,find my phone,etc)

/Jim

Jim, thanks for the info. I have done some preliminary research on cloud computing options and had seen a reference to problems with syncing on MM, so your comment is in line with that.

flynz4
Nov 10, 2010, 01:39 PM
This is how I would always recommend using a laptop in addition to a larger 'main' computer.

I still can't bring myself to cull a couple of thousand images from my computer's Aperture library.

I think I might have a 'scratch' Aperture library on an MBA if I was taking it around with me. Likewise, I envisage doing something similar with my iPad - taking it out with me when I take photos, uploading them to the iPad and making quick decisions on the best ones to keep there and then. Not sure how that will work out, but we'll see.

When I say that I "cull a couple of thousand images from Aperture 3"... that does not indicate the I remove the images from my master library. A3 is very powerful in creating smart albums if you rate the pictures and use stacks within your projects at time of import. It is then very easy to share those albums... which are simply "smart collections" from your overall A3 library. Any images in a album take essentially zero extra space within your Aperture library, over the masters that already exist in your projects.

Regarding field work... A3 is also very powerful in letting you relocate masters... so that you can create new projects in the field, and then let you "check them into" your master library when you return home.

Robert Boyer's eBooks are phenominal in describing how to utilize A3.

Regarding the iPad... my experience is that it works very well to view photos in the field. So far, I have kept all my photos on the original flash cards... so I have not tried to have the iPad within the "import chain". I suspect it would work OK... but I have never needed to do it.

/Jim

carnfek
Nov 10, 2010, 03:56 PM
720p/1080p movies have no problem running. I have the 11.6/4gram/1.6ghz model. I have yet to try hd flash content. only thing I noticed.

I played a 1080p HD movie, it was about 3 gigs in size. through VLC, it took about 10 seconds to load. after it started to play, it was flawless. no eye strain. so far.

if I wanted a 13 inch, I would go mb pro. (if I wanted that size, cheaper, more powerfull) but as a secondary travel, business, meeting, showing off work to client, coffee shop, couch, portable gaming, net, movie, coding, etc computer. the 11 inch is the perfect size. any smaller and its pretty much unusable, any bigger and its no longer all that portable.

as a former viao p user, I can say that anything under 10 inches become impractical for anything other than net surfing and chatting, its not even fun watching movies on a screen smaller than 10 inches.

Thanks for the reply. I did have a chance to pop into an Apple store and have a play around. They both seemed really fast but I've never owned a Mac before so I don't really have anything to compare it to.

If was was to get the 11"/1.6/4GB, I would be paying the same as a 13"/4GB which makes the decision that much harder to make but it's good to know that the 11" can run HD mkv files but I'm still a little worried about the screen size.

mklnz
Nov 10, 2010, 04:19 PM
I have now owned both the 11" and the 13" and I have decided to keep the 13" as it just suits me better. The 11" is nice and gets the job done but I rather prefer the slightly larger screen, more battery life etc. The price different is negligible anyway.

gwsat
Nov 10, 2010, 04:32 PM
I am currently using just the free version of dropbox, and with the credit I received for referrals... I am up to 3.5GB.

Generally, I keep "relatively static" reference material on Mobile Me... and frequently updated information on dropbox. I do this because the dropbox sync seems to be significantly more robust than MM.
Thanks to the enthusiasm shown by you and others for Dropbox, I set it up on my MBP last month and, of course, added it to my MBA, when I got it a couple of weeks ago. As you noted, Dropbox is robust, indeed. My biggest backup worry has always been my Quicken data files, where my whole financial life resides. I used to back Quicken up to a drive on my local network but that meant I had to do backups to a thumb drive when I was out of town. That's not terribly onerous, of course but shifting my Quicken backups to Dropbox means that new backups can be made without having to reconfigure Quicken and if the data on my MBA gets corrupted, the last backup before the crash is available in my Dropbox folder, no matter where I am. I really, really, like Dropbox!

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 10, 2010, 05:19 PM
I have considered spending the $100/year to get a 50GB dropbox account, and consolidate everything onto the single cloud service. I would still keep MM for other reasons (such as iPhone/iPad sync,find my phone,etc)

/Jim

This is what I've done. DropBox has been the single best investment I've made this past year. One subscription keeps every single one of my computing devices in total synch...multiple laptops/desktops, Windows/Macs, iPhone, iPad and even a Blackberry. Being able to send someone a link to a file from any device to any email is worth its weight in gold to me.

Great, great service....can't praise them enough. Install it and just forget it...it does its things silently and with incredible efficiency. This is the model of a great product. They make it brain-dead simple to use, hide all the complexities from you on the other side and it just works.

Hey...sounds like I'm describing an Apple product doesn't it? Maybe Apple should consider buying DropBox?

gwsat
Nov 11, 2010, 09:14 AM
This is what I've done. DropBox has been the single best investment I've made this past year. One subscription keeps every single one of my computing devices in total synch...multiple laptops/desktops, Windows/Macs, iPhone, iPad and even a Blackberry. Being able to send someone a link to a file from any device to any email is worth its weight in gold to me.

Great, great service....can't praise them enough. Install it and just forget it...it does its things silently and with incredible efficiency. This is the model of a great product. They make it brain-dead simple to use, hide all the complexities from you on the other side and it just works.

Hey...sounds like I'm describing an Apple product doesn't it? Maybe Apple should consider buying DropBox?
So far the complimentary 2GB of cloud storage that Dropbox provides with each subscription has been enough but I understand that it can do a lot more than I have been asking of it. How much Dropbox storage do you have and how do you use it? I would love to us it to sync my MBA, MBP, iPad, iPod Touch, and T-Mobile G1 smartphone.

A couple of days ago I discovered that the Windows installation that I am running on the MBA couldn't find the Dropbox folder, although it had ostensibly been migrated from the MBP. I called VMware's tech support line yesterday and caught a smart fellow who explained to me what had happened and how to fix it. It turned out that Dropbox was trying to find the MBP. All I had to do was use VMware Tools to remove all the shared folders that came over from the MBP and do a new share to the MBA's Macintosh HD drive. That solved the problem; the Dropbox folder came up, once the program knew to look for it on the Macintosh HD on MBA and not the one on the MBP.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 11, 2010, 09:34 AM
I got by with just the 2Gig free account for the past year and never even got it above 1 gigs. For just documents, presentations and accounting information, that is a LOT of space when you consider your content is primarily non-media oriented.

But I liked it so much that I started storing our raw media content we use for our renders in the cloud as well. So I now have the Pro 50 and am about to up that to the Pro 100 model. You never know when you'll have a spare "sales opportunity" present itself...at conferences, waiting at airports, at country clubs, etc. No matter what gadget I have with me now I can show people what we do and make it immediately relevant.

I'm currently working with their tech support guys to try and link some of the SalesForce apps we use to it as well. Both are cloud based and the Dropbox guys do offer an API/web service layer for integration. I'll keep you posted.

Cloud based is totally the future and I'm hoping that Apple's MBA's represent where they are headed in that respect. Its a paradigm shift when we are all, by nature, packrats and want our stuff with us all the time. But once you make the shift to skinny local storage (and the smaller space on MBA's forces this to some extent) you'll quickly realize the advantages far outweigh any losses.

For anyone interested on great ways to use Cloud-based storage like Dropbox or SugarSync, I highly recommend this recent "Lifehacker" article on efficient ways to store your documents....great reading and great tips!

http://lifehacker.com/5678172/create-a-highly-organized-synchronized-home-folder-with-dropbox

macrumors999
Nov 11, 2010, 11:27 AM
I have been using an iPad for working with PDFs for a few months and I am
quite happy with it. I like the ability to see PDFs in the letter orientation.
Is it possible to use a MAB with PDFs and the laptop oriented with the keyboard to the left or right and use the touch pad for manipulating the document.

I can comfortably use the iPad sitting in a chair, couch or in bed but wonder whether the MAB would be as comfortable to use.

iRovaedne
Nov 11, 2010, 03:10 PM
Wooow, thanks for ur review, WardC.
I'm planning to buy a 11.6 MBA recently.
This helps me a lot.

gwsat
Nov 11, 2010, 03:21 PM
For anyone interested on great ways to use Cloud-based storage like Dropbox or SugarSync, I highly recommend this recent "Lifehacker" article on efficient ways to store your documents....great reading and great tips!

http://lifehacker.com/5678172/create-a-highly-organized-synchronized-home-folder-with-dropbox
I, too, thought the lifehacker.com piece was interesting. It reminded me a little bit of what I learned back in the old DOS days about using directories and subdirectories to discipline one's self to keep data files organized and easily retrievable. For example, I have everything I wrote from the late '80s until I retired in 2005 collected in literally thousands of Wordperfect files, which are organized into directories by subject matter.

Thanks to our discussions of Dropbox over the past couple of days, I put all of my WordPerfect document files in Dropbox today. As many old Wordperfect files as I have accumulated, they still comprise less then 50MB of data. Thus my Dropbox folder, which is accessible from both Windows and OS X in my setup, was the perfect place to put them. After I did that I opened WordPerfect and made the WordPerfect Documents folder in Dropbox my default file location.

omni
Jan 1, 2011, 10:55 PM
sorry for the thread necromancy - but did you end up keeping both the 11 and the 13? have you changed your mind since this thread on either laptop?

greygray
Jan 2, 2011, 12:50 AM
Thank you very much, OP, for the time you took to post your review! Thumbs-up! :) And yes, I own a 13" MBA and it's really awesome. It's far more portable and comfortable to use than my previous 13" MBP on long-distance trips especially when I'm flying cross-country.

DarwinOSX
Jan 2, 2011, 11:27 AM
Because he wants to. You dont want to. Whats your point?

Yes, I am also a mobile comm enthusiast and a multi-platform user and a high tech professional, it's just my opinion that buying a 13 inch and 11 inch MBA at the same time is a waste of money, like I said MY OPINION

And I don't get the whole Who am I to judge comment. I am allowed to have opinions

Sounds Good
Jan 2, 2011, 12:30 PM
I have a couple of questions, please:

1. For those of you that own a new MacBook Air AND an iPad, which do you prefer overall, and why? Also, what things do you prefer doing on one device over the other, etc?

2. Can either size MBA handle any video editing? Not pro work, just minor editing of typical family videos. If it matters, my video camera shoots in AVCHD format.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I have a 24" external monitor, so screen size of the MBA wouldn't come into play here.

Thanks in advance! :)

DarwinOSX
Jan 2, 2011, 01:53 PM
For me the iPad makes a lot more sense for reading mostly because you can hold it easily any way you want. Plus you have all the cool little apps but their value is much less than having full on OS X and apps on the MBA. Obviously anything for writing much you would want a MBA. it's a tough one though. I've had an iPad since day one and used ot more than any other electronic device I have ever owned yet its use has decreased dramatically since I got the Air. if in doubt get the Air not the iPad.

If you have 4GB/256MB you can do basic video editing without much trouble but for anything really serious or if you do a lot of it then the Air isn't for you. personally for typical family videos etc I think you will be fine. It's really nice to have something of this size if you are on family trips etc and want to do some minimal video editing on the spot. A 1.86ghz dual core proc is not exactly a slouch even if its not the latest thing out there.

Sounds Good
Jan 2, 2011, 02:32 PM
Darwin, thanks so much for the detailed reply! Much appreciated.

cvkai
Jan 6, 2011, 07:07 PM
I have a 2010 13" MBP and I bought an 11.6 MBA in december. I was using my MBP as my primary computer (at home) and the MBA for taking notes on classes and traveling.
Yesterday I spilled water on my MBP and unfortunately it is not worth (too expensive) replacing the damaged logic board and keyboard (yes, it was a disaster, almost cried).
From now, I have to get by using my 11" MBA as my primary computer. I was so happy having both, and now I feel that if I had bought the 13.3 MBA, I wouldn't miss my 13 MBP that much (it is not about processing power, it is about reading for hours at a small screen). An external monitor should be a solution, but I'll save money and get used to it until the next MBA generation (buying the 13.3 one then).

gonnabuyamacbsh
Jan 6, 2011, 08:44 PM
lol owning both is plain ridiculous

revelated
Jan 6, 2011, 10:26 PM
11" + 17" MBP


I have this combo and it seems to work well.

The 17" (referred to as the Big Mac, the Big Apple, or the Big Easy, depending on my mood) handles the heavy lifting, VMs, sales demos, development, etc.

The 11.6" (referred to as Mini Mac, Jimmy Mac, or Slip Mac) fits into the side pocket of my work notebook, and I take it with me when I am meeting with clients and just need something to review notes or do quick lookups. Of course, easier to use on planes.

Cerano
Jan 7, 2011, 07:07 AM
720p/1080p movies have no problem running. I have the 11.6/4gram/1.6ghz model. I have yet to try hd flash content. only thing I noticed.

I played a 1080p HD movie, it was about 3 gigs in size. through VLC, it took about 10 seconds to load. after it started to play, it was flawless. no eye strain. so far.

if I wanted a 13 inch, I would go mb pro. (if I wanted that size, cheaper, more powerfull) but as a secondary travel, business, meeting, showing off work to client, coffee shop, couch, portable gaming, net, movie, coding, etc computer. the 11 inch is the perfect size. any smaller and its pretty much unusable, any bigger and its no longer all that portable.

as a former viao p user, I can say that anything under 10 inches become impractical for anything other than net surfing and chatting, its not even fun watching movies on a screen smaller than 10 inches.

+1
even though i loved how small the vaio p was.
even used it as a primary for awhile

tim100
Jan 7, 2011, 06:56 PM
lol owning both is plain ridiculous

why?

tim100
Jan 7, 2011, 06:59 PM
720p/1080p movies have no problem running. I have the 11.6/4gram/1.6ghz model. I have yet to try hd flash content. only thing I noticed.

I played a 1080p HD movie, it was about 3 gigs in size. through VLC, it took about 10 seconds to load. after it started to play, it was flawless. no eye strain. so far.

if I wanted a 13 inch, I would go mb pro. (if I wanted that size, cheaper, more powerfull) but as a secondary travel, business, meeting, showing off work to client, coffee shop, couch, portable gaming, net, movie, coding, etc computer. the 11 inch is the perfect size. any smaller and its pretty much unusable, any bigger and its no longer all that portable.

as a former viao p user, I can say that anything under 10 inches become impractical for anything other than net surfing and chatting, its not even fun watching movies on a screen smaller than 10 inches.



why get 13 pro over air?

dmelgar
Jan 8, 2011, 08:54 AM
why get 13 pro over air?

I'm not the person who posted it, but i did own a 13" air and a 13" pro. To me, the 13" air isn't that much more portable than the pro and you lose lots. When you're using the machine, you don't notice the weight difference nor the thinness. When your carrying, you need a bag and case that are just as big.

Sounds Good
Jan 8, 2011, 09:06 AM
To me, the 13" air isn't that much more portable than the pro...
Really?

dmelgar
Jan 8, 2011, 12:20 PM
Really?

Um... yes, really. Reasons given above.

tim100
Jan 8, 2011, 12:52 PM
I'm not the person who posted it, but i did own a 13" air and a 13" pro. To me, the 13" air isn't that much more portable than the pro and you lose lots. When you're using the machine, you don't notice the weight difference nor the thinness. When your carrying, you need a bag and case that are just as big.

iam not sure why someone would pick a 13 pro over the 13 air. similar c2d. air has a higher res screen. i am interested in seeing if apple removes the optical drive from the 2011 mbp line and if they use ssd.

i dont think owning both 11 and 13 air is ridiculous.

Alvesang
Jan 8, 2011, 01:03 PM
why get 13 pro over air?

8 GB RAM option and a slightly faster CPU. Add an SSD and it's a great machine for heavy duty tasks. Simple as that. Oh, I forgot the backlit keyboard... It's a beauty.

peapody
Jan 8, 2011, 01:31 PM
8 GB RAM option and a slightly faster CPU. Add an SSD and it's a great machine for heavy duty tasks. Simple as that. Oh, I forgot the backlit keyboard... It's a beauty.

Many great reasons. Also, cost, and really, the 13" mbp is not THAT much heavier or thicker than an air.

eVolcre
Jan 8, 2011, 01:36 PM
After 3 weeks of constant research I finally did the smart thing, bought one to try it out. :)

I've spent the last 3 days playing with the 11" Macbook Air. Speed isn't an issue at all, it's comparable to my 17" Macbook Pro in everyday tasks. I wanted to see if I could get used to the screen. Unfortunately, I couldn't. The vertical height started annoying me after a while. It's just too short to browse the web, research and write long documents. The widescreen was too distracting for me. I LOVE the form factor and really wanted to like this laptop but ultimately had to be a little practical. It IS droolworthy that's for sure and since I am always on the road it would have been a good size to keep with me. If I had another machine as a main computer things could have worked but as it stands, I'm not sure I can be productive on it.

I did the next obvious thing. Bought a 13" Macbook Air as well and it just arrived. I'm typing this post on the bigger brother and it's a fantastic computer. The extra screen size and resolution really makes a difference. I also think the keyboard is a little different. There is more travel on the keys on the larger version.

The 13" does seem HUGE compared to the little one. I know, it shouldn't, but it does. It's also not as 'sexy' or lust inducing as the 11" version but, for me, practicality has to rule and I just don't think I could write and edit long documents on the smaller laptop.

I've got both machines right here so if anyone wants pictures or has questions feel free to ask, I'm putting them both through the paces just in case I change my mind. I have the 1.4/2/128 (11") and the 1.86/2/128 (13"). I would have liked to go up to 4GB on the 13" but the difference to me was going to be USD 200. Amazon doesn't have the 4GB model, MacMall and Apple charge tax in CA and at that range, I'd rather keep the 2GB version and sell it a year down the road to upgrade again. I opened up every application, edited photos, had mail running you name it - with no slowdown - and I'm not too worried about future proofing.

The way I see it, I'll just hide the 11" (or return it) and anytime I think the 13" is too big or not as portable, I'll keep it next to the 17" Macbook Pro and feel reassured ... It's still tiny, very portable and once open .. the screen is gorgeous. The extra inch, 16x10 and higher resolution makes a huge difference.

Apple porn on my table right now. 2009 unibody Macbook Pro 17", 11" Macbook Air, 13" Macbook Air and 2 iPhone 4's. Gotta love it!

eV

Alvesang
Jan 8, 2011, 01:54 PM
Many great reasons. Also, cost, and really, the 13" mbp is not THAT much heavier or thicker than an air.

Well, compared to the 11.6" MBA the 13.3" MBP feels like a ton of laptop. But the weight is worth it. ;)

eVolcre
Jan 8, 2011, 02:23 PM
Compared to the 11" even the 13" MBA feels like a 'ton' and a real laptop. I wonder if its the screen resolution when opened, makes the actual computer look big. I had the same decision last year between the 15" MBP and the 17" MBP. In store it seemed HUGE but when you close it, the 17" is only about an inch wider in both dimensions.

eV

jamesryanbell
Jan 8, 2011, 02:28 PM
Something about the widescreen on the 11.6" makes it very appealing to me. Probably because I'm used to the dimensions of my 27" ACD.

gwsat
Jan 8, 2011, 05:45 PM
Whether the 13 inch MBP is or is not preferable to the 13 inch MBA requires examination of two issues, basic ease of use and expandability. The MBP will accept up to 8GB or RAM and as large a disc drive as your pocketbook can accommodate. In stark contrast, the MBA is not expandable at all. Both its RAM and flash memory are soldered to the logic board. Thus, for those who want a hugely powerful 13 inch Macbook and are willing to pay for it, the 13 inch MBP, upgraded with 8GB of RAM and a large SSD, is the clear choice.

The more interesting comparison, to me at least, is between the entry level 2.4GHz 13 inch MBP and the 13 inch MBA. Although the MBA is more expensive than the entry level MBP, its flash storage make it lightning fast. Further, the MBP is 50 percent heavier and, on average, twice as thick as the MBA. I admire the 13 inch MBP, my grandson has one and loves it, but for those of us who place a premium on ultra lightweight and slimness, the MBA is the only game in town.

As is always the case, the choice between the 13 inch MBP and the MBA depends on what your priorities are. It seems to me that anyone who claims that the choice is clear cut hasn't been paying attention.:)

KPOM
Jan 8, 2011, 06:29 PM
B or RAM and as large a disc drive as your pocketbook can accommodate. In stark contrast, the MBA is not expandable at all. Both its RAM and flash memory are soldered to the logic board. Thus, for those who want a hugely powerful 13 inch Macbook and are willing to pay for it, the 13 inch MBP, upgraded with 8GB of RAM and a large SSD, is the clear choice.


While the RAM is soldered, the flash memory is just held by a torx screw. It can be upgraded, in theory, once drives small enough come out.

Shasta McNasty
Jan 8, 2011, 08:13 PM
After reading a lot of these posts, i think its pretty clear a lot of you guys need to sign off MR and go hit the gym. The difference in size/weight between the 11" and 13" air is very minimal to me. Some of you are acting like its the difference between a brick and a feather. I was going to get the 11" but id rather have a better battery life, better screen resolution and faster processor. And for that i could give up .6oz of weight and 1.7" in size.

kp98077
Jan 8, 2011, 08:14 PM
lol owning both is plain ridiculous

LOL--Think before you speak!! We have both one for me one for my wife... 11 and 13, both of both worlds :)

kp98077
Jan 8, 2011, 08:17 PM
After reading a lot of these posts, i think its pretty clear a lot of you guys need to sign off MR and go hit the gym. The difference in size/weight between the 11" and 13" air is very minimal to me. Some of you are acting like its the difference between a brick and a feather. I was going to get the 11" but id rather have a better battery life, better screen resolution and faster processor. And for that i could give up .6oz of weight and 1.7" in size.

Actually you are wrong, I have both and am here to tell you the 13" feels atleast twice the size as the 11"...!!

Shasta McNasty
Jan 8, 2011, 08:21 PM
^You actually just proved my point.

Buck987
Jan 8, 2011, 08:35 PM
After reading a lot of these posts, i think its pretty clear a lot of you guys need to sign off MR and go hit the gym. The difference in size/weight between the 11" and 13" air is very minimal to me. Some of you are acting like its the difference between a brick and a feather. I was going to get the 11" but id rather have a better battery life, better screen resolution and faster processor. And for that i could give up .6oz of weight and 1.7" in size.

spoken by someone who has never had to deal with business traveling.

and the faster processor comment is funny...like your going to do any work where you will see a real time difference.

TheRealDamager
Jan 8, 2011, 08:49 PM
After reading a lot of these posts, i think its pretty clear a lot of you guys need to sign off MR and go hit the gym. The difference in size/weight between the 11" and 13" air is very minimal to me. Some of you are acting like its the difference between a brick and a feather. I was going to get the 11" but id rather have a better battery life, better screen resolution and faster processor. And for that i could give up .6oz of weight and 1.7" in size.

I have to disagree. It's not that I can't pick up my MBP, but when you lug a laptop to and from the office everyday, and take that laptop on trips 3-4 times per month, 2-2.5 pounds makes a HUGE difference.

Shasta McNasty
Jan 8, 2011, 08:53 PM
http://i56.tinypic.com/2ldf0x0.jpg

Mr. Buckwheat, do i know you or something? It seems to me that you know a lot about me and my needs...and because I dont travel on "business" my opinion is not valid? I travel to and from school almost 3-4 days a week and take my laptop with me everywhere. Im guessing the novelty of your 11" has run dry and you are wishing you had gotten the 13"...right?:rolleyes:

Shasta McNasty
Jan 8, 2011, 08:59 PM
I have to disagree. It's not that I can't pick up my MBP, but when you lug a laptop to and from the office everyday, and take that laptop on trips 3-4 times per month, 2-2.5 pounds makes a HUGE difference.

I wasn't talking about the difference between the macbook pros and either of the airs. I had a 13" pro before this 13" air and the difference if definitely there and noticeable. What im talking about are the people who make out the .6oz difference between the 11" air and the 13" air like a brick and feather. Its really not.

TheRealDamager
Jan 8, 2011, 09:07 PM
I wasn't talking about the difference between the macbook pros and either of the airs. I had a 13" pro before this 13" air and the difference if definitely there and noticeable. What im talking about are the people who make out the .6oz difference between the 11" air and the 13" air like a brick and feather. Its really not.

Ah - OK - got it. Most of the people I've seen comment on the Air 11" vs the Air 13" are commenting on the SIZE of the unit, not the weight. Both are incredibly light.

jamesryanbell
Jan 8, 2011, 09:14 PM
I wasn't talking about the difference between the macbook pros and either of the airs. I had a 13" pro before this 13" air and the difference if definitely there and noticeable. What im talking about are the people who make out the .6oz difference between the 11" air and the 13" air like a brick and feather. Its really not.

Most of the differences being pointed out seems to be about footprint and size rather than weight.

Shasta McNasty
Jan 8, 2011, 09:17 PM
^Which also isnt that much of a difference. Lets all agree to disagree. If i had the money, i would have both. I wouldnt mind having either, i just think the 13" fits my needs better. :cool:

/debate

jamesryanbell
Jan 8, 2011, 09:23 PM
As I primary machine, I wouldn't even consider the 11" personally. As a second machine, I wouldn't even consider the 13".

Just my two cents.

Everyone has different wants/needs though really.

Buck987
Jan 8, 2011, 09:29 PM
http://i56.tinypic.com/2ldf0x0.jpg

Mr. Buckwheat, do i know you or something? It seems to me that you know a lot about me and my needs...and because I dont travel on "business" my opinion is not valid? I travel to and from school almost 3-4 days a week and take my laptop with me everywhere. Im guessing the novelty of your 11" has run dry and you are wishing you had gotten the 13"...right?:rolleyes:

As valid as you saying the 11 inch owners need to go to the gym...you know nothing about us or our needs.

You have your machine, why diss the owners of the other model.

As others have said, different models for different needs. But I actually think you miss the "cool" of the smaller model.

gwsat
Jan 8, 2011, 09:33 PM
I wasn't talking about the difference between the macbook pros and either of the airs. I had a 13" pro before this 13" air and the difference if definitely there and noticeable. What im talking about are the people who make out the .6oz difference between the 11" air and the 13" air like a brick and feather. Its really not.
As clarified in your explanatory post, I agree. The 6 ounce weight difference between the 11 inch MBA and the 13 inch model doesn't seem very significant to me, either.

I had a problem with your first post when I read it, though, because it left the impression, to me at least, that you thought the 13 inch MBP's, 4.5 pounds, was insignificant compared to the MBAs', 2.3 or 2.9 pounds. You need to be more careful around here with the "go hit the gym" jibe. That's like waving a red flag in front of a bull to those of us who have seen it used to support the silly claim that the difference in weight between the 13 inch MBP and the MBAs is insignificant.:)

eVolcre
Jan 8, 2011, 09:41 PM
I wasn't talking about the difference between the macbook pros and either of the airs. I had a 13" pro before this 13" air and the difference if definitely there and noticeable. What im talking about are the people who make out the .6oz difference between the 11" air and the 13" air like a brick and feather. Its really not.

On the face of it it doesn't seem like much. A few ounces in weight and in inch or so here and there. I've got both right here in front of me and there is a perceivable difference in size. The 11" seems SEEMS much more portable and the 13" appears to be a much larger full size laptop. Don't know why, probably perception. This is coming from someone who has carried a 17" laptop all around the world for the last 4 years including daily to work for a bit. I'm used to carrying larger machines but this 11 vs 13 decision is killing me. I really want to get used to the little guy but can't.

No point making comments about going to the gym, everyone has different needs. Playing with both, the 11" is definitely more 'portable' than the 13 but in a practical evaluation ... they're both going into the same bag anyway so I'd rather have the larger screen and battery.

eV

drxcm
Jan 8, 2011, 09:57 PM
Regarding size, if you look at the area of the laptop itself the 11" is more than 20% smaller than the 13" - quite significant. It feels a lot smaller because it is a lot smaller. The weight difference is not as big though, only 13% less than the 13".

The 13" doesn't feel like a small / portable laptop to me. It feels full size, but it sure is a lot lighter than the MBP.

dmelgar
Jan 8, 2011, 11:20 PM
Playing with both, the 11" is definitely more 'portable' than the 13 but in a practical evaluation ... they're both going into the same bag anyway so I'd rather have the larger screen and battery.

eV
But the 11 doesn't need anywhere near as big a bag.
I used to carry my 13" MBP in a neoprene sleeve in a backpack. Same setup worked for the 13" MBA. Didn't seem any different.

But with the 11" MBA, I can use a tiny messenger bag like the Tucano Finatex. Its tiny compared to my backpack. And using the 11" around the house, on the sofa, wherever, it seems so much smaller. More like an iPad with a keyboard.

I had lots of trouble deciding as well. Bought a 11", returned it because the screen was too small, ordered a 13". Got it and had no interest in it over my 13" MBP. Too similar. Bought an 11" again and am loving it this time.

I've learned some tricks to deal with the smaller font size. Setting minimum font size in Chrome & Safari. Liberal use of Command +, -, 0. And if I need more screen real estate, my two external monitors come in handy.

Funkymonk
Jan 8, 2011, 11:33 PM
LOL--Think before you speak!! We have both one for me one for my wife... 11 and 13, both of both worlds :)

one person owning both just for his or her own use is a bit silly to me.

eVolcre
Jan 8, 2011, 11:48 PM
You're killing me man. Just when I had decided to keep the 13", this post made me waver. uff! Well, in my case, I don't have a 13" MBP so there's nothing to compare it to. I'm coming from a 17" MBP and the 13" MBA is going to seem considerably smaller. The bag is going to stay the same. I don't have a house or a base, move around from country to country every 3 months and don't have the luxury of multiple bags etc. It's the Tom Bihn Imago - my daypack/manbag and they both fit in it. I can't go smaller (bag wise) because it does multiple things for me.

The 13" seems like a normal laptop, except much smaller and lighter. The 11" is something new and desirable but I don't want a toy - I really need something practical. No outside monitors or Imacs to use in addition to it. I have to complete the first draft of a book this year and while I can type on the little guy (all you need to focus on is the current paragraph really) editing and proof reading with research could become a problem.

The keyboard is slightly different on both too. There is a little more travel on the larger machine.

Anyway, only one way to find out. Time to switch. I'll put away the 13" and play with the 11" MBA for the next few hours. It's a nice life ... :) Maybe sometime this year I'll have a decision made!
eV



But the 11 doesn't need anywhere near as big a bag.
I used to carry my 13" MBP in a neoprene sleeve in a backpack. Same setup worked for the 13" MBA. Didn't seem any different.

But with the 11" MBA, I can use a tiny messenger bag like the Tucano Finatex. Its tiny compared to my backpack. And using the 11" around the house, on the sofa, wherever, it seems so much smaller. More like an iPad with a keyboard.

I had lots of trouble deciding as well. Bought a 11", returned it because the screen was too small, ordered a 13". Got it and had no interest in it over my 13" MBP. Too similar. Bought an 11" again and am loving it this time.

I've learned some tricks to deal with the smaller font size. Setting minimum font size in Chrome & Safari. Liberal use of Command +, -, 0. And if I need more screen real estate, my two external monitors come in handy.

Shasta McNasty
Jan 9, 2011, 01:13 AM
Gwsat, if you re read my original post, I make no claim of comparing the 13" pro to an air. Heck I never even mentioned a MacBook pro in my first response to this thread. You guys shouldn't jump to conclusions. And hitting the gym isn't jibe. Everyone should lead a healthy lifestyle. :p

Ronnoco
Jan 9, 2011, 01:48 AM
As I primary machine, I wouldn't even consider the 11" personally. As a second machine, I wouldn't even consider the 13".

Just my two cents.

Everyone has different wants/needs though really.

this is where I was at...I have a 15" i5 MBP and the 13" Air seemed too close to the same size (obviously not the same weight)...this 11.6 is just perfect for what I need it for...I was going to get an iPad but the 11.6 Air just BLEW the iPad out of the water for me...I wanted a small footprint, ultra portable, ultra light yet fully functioning Mac...the 11.6 hit it out of the park for me...If my main computer was say, an iMac, I'd a prolly gotten the 13" Air...but having the 15" MBP, the 11.6 Ultimate was the perfect choice for me...

alwaysg5
Jan 9, 2011, 09:32 AM
No matter what, it's hard to deny that the 11" is beautiful simply because of its size.

tim100
Jan 9, 2011, 09:34 AM
this is where I was at...I have a 15" i5 MBP and the 13" Air seemed too close to the same size (obviously not the same weight)...this 11.6 is just perfect for what I need it for...I was going to get an iPad but the 11.6 Air just BLEW the iPad out of the water for me...I wanted a small footprint, ultra portable, ultra light yet fully functioning Mac...the 11.6 hit it out of the park for me...If my main computer was say, an iMac, I'd a prolly gotten the 13" Air...but having the 15" MBP, the 11.6 Ultimate was the perfect choice for me...

13 vs 15 to me are too close in size.

eVolcre
Jan 9, 2011, 12:12 PM
A 13" MBA is close to a 15" MBP in size? Whatchoo talkin bout Willis!

ggf
Jan 9, 2011, 12:29 PM
Lets look at portability. You can't argue that the 11" is much more portable than the 13".

Yes you can. Not everyone is a college student.
When you fly a 13" screen is almost impossible to use in an economy seat. You can't open the screen up and use it in any kind of practical manner. The 11" air is much more useable. Also when you travel (by air) the size and weight do make a difference

Sounds Good
Jan 9, 2011, 12:32 PM
When you fly a 13" screen is almost impossible to use in an economy seat. You can't open the screen up and use it in any kind of practical manner. The 11" air is much more useable. Also when you travel (by air) the size and weight do make a difference
This is a good point. (or points)

Ronnoco
Jan 9, 2011, 12:33 PM
A 13" MBA is close to a 15" MBP in size? Whatchoo talkin bout Willis!

Certainly when compared to the 11" MBA...

Ronnoco
Jan 9, 2011, 12:34 PM
This is a good point. (or points)

From what I've read, you don't even have to take the 11" out of your carryon bag at the security check points at airports...:D

gwsat
Jan 9, 2011, 01:35 PM
Gwsat, if you re read my original post, I make no claim of comparing the 13" pro to an air. Heck I never even mentioned a MacBook pro in my first response to this thread. You guys shouldn't jump to conclusions. And hitting the gym isn't jibe. Everyone should lead a healthy lifestyle. :p
I understood you had not intended to imply that the weight of the MBP was functionally equivalent to that of the MBA. I jumped to the conclusion I did only because yours was the first use of the "hit the gym jibe" I had ever seen used in any other context. Anyway, I agree with your conclusion that the 6 ounce weight difference between the 11 inch MBA and the 13 inch model is insignificant.

gdeusthewhizkid
Jan 10, 2011, 12:01 PM
From what I've read, you don't even have to take the 11" out of your carryon bag at the security check points at airports...:D

is that really true? that's a great selling point !!

peapody
Jan 10, 2011, 12:15 PM
+1 13 and 15 are too close in screen size. the 13 was a duplicate of my main machine.

gdeusthewhizkid
Jan 10, 2011, 12:43 PM
I like the macbook air machines but i can't see me getting one. I need power to run logic studio and vsts. The airs do seem like great travel machines..

iRun26.2
Jan 10, 2011, 01:03 PM
is that really true? that's a great selling point !!

Don't count on TSA employees knowing that at the airports!

Sounds Good
Jan 10, 2011, 01:05 PM
Don't count on TSA employees knowing that at the airports!

Exactly what I was thinking...

rrl
Jan 10, 2011, 01:10 PM
When comparing size and weight, don't forget about torque. Most of us pick up laptops near an edge. A larger footprint plus more mass can become a significant difference, especially when you pick up an MBA near a thin edge.

torque ~= distance x force

dmelgar
Jan 10, 2011, 01:50 PM
When comparing size and weight, don't forget about torque. Most of us pick up laptops near an edge. A larger footprint plus more mass can become a significant difference, especially when you pick up an MBA near a thin edge.

torque ~= distance x force

Because of that, my 11"MBA feels much stronger than my wifes 15" cheap plastic Lenovo w510 (work machine). Cant pick up that thing by a corner and hope that flimsy plastic can lift the lead weight laptop.

tim100
Jan 11, 2011, 09:05 AM
+1 13 and 15 are too close in screen size. the 13 was a duplicate of my main machine.

putting macbook pro 15 and macbook air 13 side by side its not a huge difference in screen space. in my opinion in order to see a difference in screen size you need to jump up more than 2 in, like putting a 17 next to a 13.

randomtask
Jan 11, 2011, 10:03 AM
So, I bought a Macbook Air 11" 1.6ghz/4gb yesterday and it arrived today via courier.

First the positives;
- It makes absolutely no noise, at all, now that coolbook is installed. Even after an hour of 70% cpu use the fan remains under 2000 rpm.
- It's very very light, the screen isn't so small to be a problem. I bought it for portability mostly.
- It is powerful enough for everything I do.

The speed of booting/returning from sleep advertising was complete hyperbole however. I put it side by side with my Macbook 2,1 (with intel 160gb ssd, 4gb ram, superdrive removed) and they boot at the same speed (10s). I have a video of them booting side by side and it's identical. The return from lid down to up is identical to the old macbook w/ intel ssd, and returning from sleep is the same.

In conclusion, it seems a great laptop and I am glad I bought it. However, the adverts are simply dishonest with regard to the improvement. If you want macbook air performance - just buy an SSD!

gwsat
Jan 11, 2011, 10:11 AM
putting macbook pro 15 and macbook air 13 side by side its not a huge difference in screen space. in my opinion in order to see a difference in screen size you need to jump up more than 2 in, like putting a 17 next to a 13.
It is true that the difference in screen real estate between the 15 inch MBP and the 13 inch MBA is not huge. The big difference in the two lies in weight and thickness. The 15 inch MBP weighs 5.6 pounds, which is nearly twice as much as the MBA's 2.9 pounds. At .95 inches, the MBP is, on average, more than twice as thick as the MBA, whose thickness varies from .11 to .68 of an inch.

Cerano
Jan 11, 2011, 10:24 AM
So, I bought a Macbook Air 11" 1.6ghz/4gb yesterday and it arrived today via courier.

First the positives;
- It makes absolutely no noise, at all, now that coolbook is installed. Even after an hour of 70% cpu use the fan remains under 2000 rpm.
- It's very very light, the screen isn't so small to be a problem. I bought it for portability mostly.
- It is powerful enough for everything I do.

The speed of booting/returning from sleep advertising was complete hyperbole however. I put it side by side with my Macbook 2,1 (with intel 160gb ssd, 4gb ram, superdrive removed) and they boot at the same speed (10s). I have a video of them booting side by side and it's identical. The return from lid down to up is identical to the old macbook w/ intel ssd, and returning from sleep is the same.

In conclusion, it seems a great laptop and I am glad I bought it. However, the adverts are simply dishonest with regard to the improvement. If you want macbook air performance - just buy an SSD!

that is misleading mate.

not all ssds are equal. furthermore, the MBA SSD has more parallelism than most SSDs allowing very high sequential read/write speeds that are greater than X-25Vs and Ms. The OSX and controller are optimised too so simply dropping an SSD in to other macbooks wont have that great an improvement

randomtask
Jan 11, 2011, 11:33 AM
that is misleading mate.

not all ssds are equal. furthermore, the MBA SSD has more parallelism than most SSDs allowing very high sequential read/write speeds that are greater than X-25Vs and Ms. The OSX and controller are optimised too so simply dropping an SSD in to other macbooks wont have that great an improvement

How is it misleading?

What I did was simply dropping an SSD in an old macbook 2,1. Nothing else.
It performs on par with my macbook air ssd in every meaningful way..

Yes the benchmarks are better on the air SSD, but the real world difference is zero.