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View Full Version : Thinking of going from the ultimate 13" to the 11"




acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 08:42 AM
I got the ultimate 13" to replace my 2006 15" MBP. I'm a grad student so I really like the portability, but now I'm thinking that sacrificing the power of the 13" to add even more portability, not the mention the smaller footprint considering how small the popup desks are in our lecture halls, might be a better idea. As I understand it Apple won't take back a BTO MBA so are my options craigslist and ebay? I'm still undecided about this, just trying to find out what my options are. Thanks.



The Toddfather
Nov 6, 2010, 08:55 AM
I went from the 13 MBP to the 11 MBA and have no regrets. I find myself checking my bag to make sure it's in there, if you travel much it's a winner.

acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 09:09 AM
I'm just gonna go to a retail store.

kp98077
Nov 6, 2010, 10:48 AM
I'm just gonna go to a retail store.

same situation here went to 11 and better than i even thought! love it, love it! and just as powerful (unless your a programmer or need intense processing) and 13, 13 just seems HUGE to me more like a 15 and the fact is it is NOT as portable. Its light sure, but huge footprint. good luck youll have NO regrets just be sure to get the ultimate one!

shadowbird423
Nov 6, 2010, 10:56 AM
I got the ultimate 13" to replace my 2006 15" MBP. I'm a grad student so I really like the portability, but now I'm thinking that sacrificing the power of the 13" to add even more portability, not the mention the smaller footprint considering how small the popup desks are in our lecture halls, might be a better idea. As I understand it Apple won't take back a BTO MBA so are my options craigslist and ebay? I'm still undecided about this, just trying to find out what my options are. Thanks.

Two years from now, when we are all running Lion and other software (Which will be more demanding than what we run now) you will sorely regret your downgrade. Stay where you are..

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 10:58 AM
Two years from now, when we are all running Lion and other software (Which will be more demanding than what we run now) you will sorely regret your downgrade. Stay where you are..

Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 10:58 AM
I got the ultimate 13" to replace my 2006 15" MBP. I'm a grad student so I really like the portability, but now I'm thinking that sacrificing the power of the 13" to add even more portability, not the mention the smaller footprint considering how small the popup desks are in our lecture halls, might be a better idea. As I understand it Apple won't take back a BTO MBA so are my options craigslist and ebay? I'm still undecided about this, just trying to find out what my options are. Thanks.

I'm not a grad student, but my thoughts are very similar. I bought a 13" ultimate from an Apple store over a week ago but have been thinking about the 11" ever since. I bought the 11" ultimate yesterday. I can only keep one, but after less than a day the 11" is rapidly becoming my favorite. The form factor is just pure fun. For normal tasks there is no speed difference, but CPU stuff will be slower. I wish the display was larger and the storage bigger but man, this thing is special. I have a Tom Bihn Ristretto for iPad bag I bought a few months ago for my iPad. The 11" slips right in. It's a little tight on length but otherwise fits fine and feels like I'm carrying the iPad.

I dismissed the small screen when I first saw it, but if you can live with that it's pretty neat.

I'd call Apple and see if returning the 13" is an option. Since they are selling the same configurations in the stores maybe they will let you.

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 11:00 AM
Two years from now, when we are all running Lion and other software (Which will be more demanding than what we run now) you will sorely regret your downgrade. Stay where you are..

So you've compared the two MBAs? I have, and if portability is a priority the 11" is a significant upgrade.

mac jones
Nov 6, 2010, 11:00 AM
Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

You beat me to it. LOL

But really you probably should carefully examine how much you carry it.

I think the 11" would be great for students who would carry it all the time, and frequent flyers, or course.

The 13" is still very light , and it's more powerful, with no downside other than 6 ounces. (ok it's a little larger-which means nothing)

So the portability should be the only deciding factor (obviously).

But this is perhaps a bit of a dilemma for some people. I will not no what the score is for a few months. note: (it's that way with clothes for me, I really am not sure of fit until i've worn something for about a month)

HLdan
Nov 6, 2010, 11:01 AM
Two years from now, when we are all running Lion and other software (Which will be more demanding than what we run now) you will sorely regret your downgrade. Stay where you are..

You have zero proof that Lion will be more demanding on resources, especially on the currently released hardware. Please don't spout nonsense without backing up your statements. :p

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 11:02 AM
Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

I totally agree. :) I never keep my macs more than two years. I sell them or relegate them to backup machines, etc and get the latest and greatest.

KPOM
Nov 6, 2010, 11:27 AM
I totally agree. :) I never keep my macs more than two years. I sell them or relegate them to backup machines, etc and get the latest and greatest.

Not everyone can afford to buy a new computer every two years. There's a noticeable difference between a 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo with 6MB of L2 cache and a 1.4GHz or 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo with 3MB of L2 cache.

That said, given that both the 13" and 11" versions of the MacBook Air use the aging Core 2 Duo, and that "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" processors being released next year may offer Apple the opportunity to move to the next generation within the design constraints of the Air, I do think that it may well be reasonable for someone to purchase a "lesser" Air now with the view toward replacing it in 2012.

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 11:31 AM
Not everyone can afford to buy a new computer every two years. There's a noticeable difference between a 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo with 6MB of L2 cache and a 1.4GHz or 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo with 3MB of L2 cache.

That said, given that both the 13" and 11" versions of the MacBook Air use the aging Core 2 Duo, and that "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" processors being released next year may offer Apple the opportunity to move to the next generation within the design constraints of the Air, I do think that it may well be reasonable for someone to purchase a "lesser" Air now with the view toward replacing it in 2012.

Macs hold their resale value and pretty much everyone can sell their mac in two years and recoup 50-75% of what they paid for it, which should allow them to upgrade to a new one. I have been doing this since the first g3 ibooks came out and have always gotten at least 50% of the computer's original purchase price back.

iRun26.2
Nov 6, 2010, 11:35 AM
Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

Good point!

acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 11:45 AM
Believe me the 13" is plenty portable, but it's actually wider than the desk I'm using in class (you know the desks I'm talking about attached to the seats). I don't do many things CPU intensive (I think) just surf the web, watch course lectures, run some data sets in SAS. I'm sure the 11" can do these things just as well as the 13", and will run Lion and other apps I'll use. Money isn't an option right now, but I can't afford a new computer every 2 years, 3 years maybe but more likely 4. My question is since I got the maxed 13" Apple won't take it back right? So I'll have to sell it on my own?

teski
Nov 6, 2010, 12:03 PM
I wish the display was larger and the storage bigger but man, this thing is special.

I know you love your 11, but if you really wish the display was larger and the storage bigger, why not keep your 13 instead?

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 12:08 PM
One thing I hardly ever see mentioned when people praise the portability of the 11" over the 13' is battery life. You'll get almost twice the battery time out of the 13" than you will the 11". That means you can leave the power adapter at home in most circumstances for a day of normal usage, never having to go find a power outlet to recharge. You can also do a coast-to-coast flight (which I do often) on a single charge and use it non-stop.

If portability is the advantage, then you'd need to add the weight of the power supply to the 11" and remove it from the 13".

Personally, I found far too many compromises in the 11". Smaller screen, less battery life, need to carry the charger, less horsepower and less storage capacity.

acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 12:14 PM
Yeah the battery life is the one hangup I have. I'm not sure I'd need to bring a charger with me for the 11" but it's something I have to think about.

iRun26.2
Nov 6, 2010, 12:16 PM
One thing I hardly ever see mentioned when people praise the portability of the 11" over the 13' is battery life. You'll get almost twice the battery time out of the 13" than you will the 11". That means you can leave the power adapter at home in most circumstances for a day of normal usage, never having to go find a power outlet to recharge. You can also do a coast-to-coast flight (which I do often) on a single charge and use it non-stop.

If portability is the advantage, then you'd need to add the weight of the power supply to the 11" and remove it from the 13".

Personally, I found far too many compromises in the 13". Smaller screen, less battery life, need to carry the charger, less horsepower and less storage capacity.

The ratio of quoted battery life is 7 hours to 5. That is not close to 'twice as much battery life'. Also, based on what I've been reading here, it is a 'real' 5 hours of battery life (if not more). Definitely an improvement compared to the previous generation MBA.

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 12:19 PM
Well I can tell you, having carried around my 11.6" ultimate for a bit, and having used it every day without bringing the power adapter, I am getting 5-6 hours of battery life out of it each day, and I am doing somewhat intensive work on it for part of the time (photoshop).

I never use my computer for 8 straight hours in a day anyway. At some point during the day, I am at my home office where I can use my 15" I7 macbook pro, or I am doing something each day for a chunk of time that doesn't require a computer to be on.

I have not run out of juice yet. I browse the web, watch a little video, listen to music, read emails, do some writing and some photoshop work, etc each day and always have some battery life left.

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 12:31 PM
I know you love your 11, but if you really wish the display was larger and the storage bigger, why not keep your 13 instead?

Because there is a difference between wish and must have. Other than weight the 13" doesn't really feel much smaller than a MBP. The 11" feels like something that is named "Air". It's just way way more portable than the 13". The storage can be worked around for the most part, it just would be nice to have more locally.

Maybe next year's 11"! :)

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 12:36 PM
You'll get right at 3h20m of battery life running h264 Standard Def video on the 11" at less than full brightness. This has been tested several times on the boards here already.

teski
Nov 6, 2010, 12:38 PM
My question is since I got the maxed 13" Apple won't take it back right? So I'll have to sell it on my own?

Not true. Look at Apple's return policy - http://store.apple.com/us_epp_151889/help/returns_refund?mco=MTk4NDE3NTI

These are the only things you can't return:

Items that cannot be returned include:

1. Opened memory
2. Opened software*
3. Electronic Software Downloads
4. Personalized iPods
5. Software Up-to-Date Program Products (software upgrades)
6. Apple Gift Cards
7. Apple Gift Packaging (origami style gift box with ribbon and greeting card)
8. Apple Developer Connection Products (Membership and Technical Support)

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 12:42 PM
You'll get right at 3h20m of battery life running h264 Standard Def video on the 11" at less than full brightness. This has been tested several times on the boards here already.

I don't think many people only watch video with their airs. That's enough to watch a movie on a flight. By "video", I meant the occasional youtube clip. Anywhere that I would be watching video (ie a plane, a train, a train station or airport waiting area) I would have my charger with me anyway.

acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 12:48 PM
Thanks for answering my question, I'm going to do some more hands on testing.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 01:08 PM
Anywhere that I would be watching video (ie a plane, a train, a train station or airport waiting area) I would have my charger with me anyway.

Exactly. Which negates the portability/weight advantage of the 11"

I never carry my charger with my 13"....with such a long battery life, there is no need.

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 01:17 PM
How does this negate the portability of the 11". I've compared both and the 11" even with the charger is smaller and lighter and the 13".

1BadMac
Nov 6, 2010, 01:58 PM
How does this negate the portability of the 11". I've compared both and the 11" even with the charger is smaller and lighter and the 13".

An 11" plus charger is NOT lighter than the 13" w/o charger. These chargers way over .6 lbs last I checked.

Just saying.

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 02:04 PM
Exactly. Which negates the portability/weight advantage of the 11"

I never carry my charger with my 13"....with such a long battery life, there is no need.

Only on a plane. At the coffeeshop, the outdoors cafe, the bookstore, or anywhere else I might be during the day that is on the ground and not in the air, I don't need the charger and have the portability I want. :cool:

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 02:05 PM
How does this negate the portability of the 11". I've compared both and the 11" even with the charger is smaller and lighter and the 13".

I agree. :) And portability is also about footprint for me. The larger air has the same footprint as the 13" macbookpro and that is too large for me for carrying around with me all the time.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 02:13 PM
Yes because flat surfaces everywhere just shrunk with the introduction of the MBA last month. :-)

a2applegirl
Nov 6, 2010, 02:23 PM
Yes because flat surfaces everywhere just shrunk with the introduction of the MBA last month. :-)

:D:D

I see your point, I just don't think the 13" air is that different than the 13" macbook pro. I have a powerhouse laptop and really love the ultra portability of the 11.6" air. :)

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 02:27 PM
An 11" plus charger is NOT lighter than the 13" w/o charger. These chargers way over .6 lbs last I checked.

Just saying.
You are right. The 11 inch and 13 inch MBA both use a 45W power adapter so I weighed mine on my trusty electronic kitchen scale, although my power adapter came with a 13 inch MBA. My 45W power adapter weighs 10.75 ounces, which converts to .67 of a pound.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 02:48 PM
:D:D

I see your point, I just don't think the 13" air is that different than the 13" macbook pro. I have a powerhouse laptop and really love the ultra portability of the 11.6" air. :)

I was just teasing.

I think it's a matter of perspective. I have a 15" i7 MBP as my main laptop. Moving down to the 11" was just too much for me. The 13" MBA had very few compromises by comparison.

And battery life was a prime decision point for me. I love the grab and go portability of the 13" and not having to find seats near a power supply is a godsend for my mobile lifestyle. Since I tend to use my MBA and my iPad in conjunction (custom demo my company uses), it's great to have matching battery capacities that can both go a full day between charges.

snorkelman
Nov 6, 2010, 02:59 PM
Whether it can last you a full day at work or Uni is going to come down to just how much of the day is hands on lid open and how much comprises of doing something else and lid shut. Likewise whether you're required to sit and watch video or not.

Typical working day for me personally would see 5 or 6 half hour hands-on sessions interrogating/reprogramming embedded controllers or in a worst case scenario a single three or four hour one configuring a main server unit.

On a light load of general web browsing, downloading 100meg or so of utils and writing some documents, I got just over 6 hours hands on use.

A similar session but with 20 mins of you tube video watching thrown into the mix, got me 4hrs 57 before battery was hitting 5 pcnt.

acb2m
Nov 6, 2010, 03:31 PM
Good point, I'm not usually putting the computer under full load at school 5+ hours a day anyway, and the 11" would fit a lot better on the cramped 8" desks in lecture, but I think I'm going to stick with the 13" as a just-in-case I need something a little more powerful down the road. The way I look at it, if I had gone with the 11" to begin with I wouldn't be dissatisfied, but now that I have the 13" I'm very happy. Both are a huge upgrade over my beast of a 2006 15".

AppleGoddess
Nov 6, 2010, 03:51 PM
go for the 11.6 the 13 is OK but nothing special, I get 6 hours just surfing.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 6, 2010, 03:57 PM
go for the 11.6 the 13 is OK but nothing special, I get 6 hours just surfing.

If all you are doing is surfing, you can save yourself a ton of money and just buy an iPad.

cleric
Nov 6, 2010, 04:16 PM
Exactly. Which negates the portability/weight advantage of the 11"

I never carry my charger with my 13"....with such a long battery life, there is no need.

I'm a student and I have to agree the battery life on the 13" is awesome, coupled with a sleep mode that actually works these are some of the best features on the new macbook air.

ozreth
Nov 6, 2010, 04:21 PM
Two years from now, when we are all running Lion and other software (Which will be more demanding than what we run now) you will sorely regret your downgrade. Stay where you are..
It Lion ends up being THAT demanding, even the pople with the 13" will be a bit disappointed, its not like the 13" is a powerhouse, its a bit stronger than the 11" but still has a weak processor. Get the 11", a LOT of people are switching from the 13 to the 11, its definitely worth it. If the 13" can handle whatever you do, the 11" will be able to as well.

Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

Because some of us are past that point in our lives where we constantly have to trade/upgrade our perfectly good machines in order to have bigger and better stuff with the apple logo on it.

drjsway
Nov 6, 2010, 04:23 PM
Two years from now, why would you still be running a 2+ year old Mac when newer, better ones will have been released?

What software do we run now that is more demanding than two years ago? Photoshop? Final cut pro? No, they've been the same. The only thing that's more demanding now is maybe games.

gwsat
Nov 6, 2010, 04:26 PM
go for the 11.6 the 13 is OK but nothing special, I get 6 hours just surfing.
I have been particularly pleased by my 13 inch MBA Ultimate's battery performance. As a test earlier in the week I left the MBA on battery power from about 7:30 AM until after 9:30 PM. That wasn't continuous use, of course, and I was gone for a couple of hours during the day, but I was impressed nonetheless. When I finally reconnected the AC adapter the battery icon was in the red but the battery still wasn't exhausted. I had my MBA up and running for a lot of hours that day and satisfied myself that battery longevity is not going to be a problem for me as long I don't watch videos or run some other energy intensive applications continuously.

netdog
Nov 6, 2010, 05:05 PM
:D:D

I see your point, I just don't think the 13" air is that different than the 13" macbook pro. I have a powerhouse laptop and really love the ultra portability of the 11.6" air. :)

You're right. What's a pound and a half?:rolleyes:


If all you are doing is surfing, you can save yourself a ton of money and just buy an iPad.

Agreed. I actually think that the iPad is BETTER for surfing than a notebook.

Bluemeanie1976
Nov 6, 2010, 05:20 PM
Homeopathy... :D

spacepower7
Nov 6, 2010, 05:20 PM
As someone finishing grad school, I wish the 13"MBA was around last year. It would have been the perfect choice.

It was interesting to watch students, myself included sometimes, arrive to class early and pick their seats according to the locations of power outlets. Students with newer MBPs never had to worry.

Depending on your studies, the 1440x900 resolution of the 13" MBA may make a difference. I know I craved more than 1280x800, especially for working in Excel. I couldn't or wouldn't justify spending $1700 + tax just to have a Mac with 1440x900 screen res. Now that option is finally $1250 for students.

Interesting observing the computers used by my classmates in a full time MBA program. It was pretty evenly split between Mac and PC users. Mac users had 13" MB and MBP as well as 15" MBP. PC users had 14"-17" laptops with all but 1 17" being 1440x900, the same as the 15" MBP. Also, only one netbook user which means business students don't see the value in netbooks. Especially since the ribbon UI in MS Office takes up a significant portion of the screen of a 1024x600 netbook. 4+ iPads in our class. That doesn't reflect well on the netbook market.

We also had several students switch from old PCs to 13" MBPs.

Just my observations, and I'll probably pick up a 13" MBA soon :)

bcaslis
Nov 6, 2010, 07:49 PM
An 11" plus charger is NOT lighter than the 13" w/o charger. These chargers way over .6 lbs last I checked.

Just saying.

.07 pounds heavier, yes that will break your back. The difference is the 11" plus the charger still fits in a physically smaller bag than the 13". If you want the 13" that's great, I'm not trying to convince you otherwise. But the 11" IS way more portable than the 13".

Jiten
Nov 6, 2010, 08:58 PM
I agree if you do a lot of spread sheets, charts and thesis writing where you need to look at multiple documents then you will thank the gods for the 13's higher res and bigger screen.

KPOM
Nov 7, 2010, 01:06 AM
Macs hold their resale value and pretty much everyone can sell their mac in two years and recoup 50-75% of what they paid for it, which should allow them to upgrade to a new one. I have been doing this since the first g3 ibooks came out and have always gotten at least 50% of the computer's original purchase price back.

Not exactly. My Rev B SSD model cost $2400 in November 2008. I'll get about $800 for it now. There's no way anyone would pay $1200 for it now when $100 more would get a brand new 13" that has a faster SSD and a better GPU.