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View Full Version : Which Macbook Air should I get for a college student?




artcb
Aug 10, 2011, 01:03 AM
I had been waiting for the new MBA since the rumors first appeared. I knew I wanted the 13" from the moment I knew of the new MBA, so I ordered it. However, I saw the 11" at a store and was fascinated by it. I want to use it as my primary computer. So, I can buy the i7 256 GB on both of them. I want my MBA to take notes on class, so having a smaller screen is a bonus (or so I think) . But, also I want to play games, see some tv shows, etc. I had a 10" Vaio and hated the small screen! What would you do: return the 13" and get the 11" or keep the 13"? I see the 13" as enormous. And sometimes I feel that when you are in class the screen can be like a "barrier" with the teacher (I don't like that). Also, I have an iPad 1. Help me get out of this dilemma.



nebulos
Aug 10, 2011, 01:13 AM
you see the 13" as enormous, but you hated the small 10" on your old Vaio? that's a tough one.

personally, i think i'm going with the 11". but this comes down to what you want or value more, and has been discussed in many threads. have a look at them, it might help.

misterneums
Aug 10, 2011, 01:30 AM
Hmm... I personally would say to stick with the 13" Air if you're going to be using it as your solo computer without any accessories. Now if you already have an external monitor (I see you mentioned that you had Sony laptop before), the 11" might be better for you. It gives you more work space while you're at home and a larger screen to view. When you're in class, you'll have the advantage of the 11."

I'd stay with the 13" however.

SchneiderMan
Aug 10, 2011, 01:33 AM
Let's all agree on this, the 11" is too small. It's cheaper, but it's too small for daily use.
Think about the size of the iPad.

nebulos
Aug 10, 2011, 01:39 AM
Let's all agree on this, the 11" is too small. It's cheaper, but it's too small for daily use.
Think about the size of the iPad.

it's always a good idea to say "let's all agree to X" in an online forum.

artcb
Aug 10, 2011, 01:41 AM
Let's all agree on this, the 11" is too small. It's cheaper, but it's too small for daily use.
Think about the size of the iPad.

Yes, that's what's keeping me from changing it for that one. I do a lot of research and write a lot of papers. So, having a big screen for having the the browser and pages open at the same time is great!

The only issue I got with the 13" is that sometimes it feels big to take notes at class. Maybe, I there could be an alternative. Or maybe its just something in my mind. lol.

If you are college students what is the most popular or best screen size for taking notes?

SchneiderMan
Aug 10, 2011, 01:45 AM
Yes, that's what's keeping me from changing it for that one. I do a lot of research and write a lot of papers. So, having a big screen for having the the browser and pages open at the same time is great!

The only issue I got with the 13" is that sometimes it feels big to take notes at class. Maybe, I there could be an alternative. Or maybe its just something in my mind. lol.

If you are college students what is the most popular or best screen size for taking notes?

A 15" is the most popular screen size.

leftywamumonkey
Aug 10, 2011, 01:46 AM
Is an external monitor out of the question?

artcb
Aug 10, 2011, 01:52 AM
Is an external monitor out of the question?

In the short term it is. I would need to start saving for one.

PaulDoFish
Aug 10, 2011, 02:03 AM
Why not get a bluetooth or wired keyboard for your iPad and use that for note taking? I'm sure there is some iPad app out there that you can use to take notes on; and I know there are physical, full sized keyboards for the iPad.

Then keep your 13 inch MBA for other work.

xraydoc
Aug 10, 2011, 02:13 AM
My 2...

If you can have an external monitor at home for screen real-estate to spread out when necessary, go for the 11". Even something like a 20" screen would significantly help. Something like a used Dell 2001FP (1600x1200) would be cheap and very helpful. Under $100 on eBay.

If you're unable to have an external monitor and the Air will be your only computer as-is, go for the 13".

misterneums
Aug 10, 2011, 02:24 AM
Why not get a bluetooth or wired keyboard for your iPad and use that for note taking? I'm sure there is some iPad app out there that you can use to take notes on; and I know there are physical, full sized keyboards for the iPad.

Then keep your 13 inch MBA for other work.

Evernote is free--not sure how useful it is for note taking but a lot of people seem to like it. Otherwise you could use Pages for iPad--I believe it's around 20 bucks.

I've been using Microsoft Office for Mac (I believe 2007?) on my old macbook--I haven't been able to get used to Pages yet.

aeboi
Aug 10, 2011, 02:25 AM
I don't know the specific usage of this student but my Macbook Pro 13 barely makes it through a day of lectures (battery life). 13" Air= longer battery life.

misterneums
Aug 10, 2011, 02:35 AM
I don't know the specific usage of this student but my Macbook Pro 13 barely makes it through a day of lectures (battery life). 13" Air= longer battery life.

A very valid point--it was something I forgot to think about. I'm not certain how long your days are as a college student--mine usually consisted of around 4 hours. However, you might commute, have long times between classes, etc.

Anyways, back at the OP -- You might want to check out Evernote. I just downloaded it on my air here--it seems like a pretty sweet program for free (provided you don't go over the 60 MB free usage.) Seems a heck of a lot better than onenote (god awful program)

macjacky11
Aug 10, 2011, 03:14 AM
I would stick with the 13" if I were you coz it is going to be your primary laptop. Since you have an iPad already, a 11" air would just seem a posh iPad for you.

iphonsteve4ajob
Aug 10, 2011, 04:16 AM
Let's all agree on this, the 11" is too small. It's cheaper, but it's too small for daily use.
Think about the size of the iPad.

Agreed!

kilonet
Aug 10, 2011, 04:23 AM
Let's all agree on this, the 11" is too small. It's cheaper, but it's too small for daily use.
Think about the size of the iPad.

I dont agree. I use 11" daily (also without extra monitor) and its perfect!! Never missed a bigger laptop.

maril1111
Aug 10, 2011, 04:30 AM
If you have the money go with the 13inch, it isn't really a "barrier" thats more a 15inch or above (depends on your height as well though) but for a longer nottaking session I would recommend a 13inch over 11.

CZSZSZ
Aug 10, 2011, 05:17 AM
If you are college students what is the most popular or best screen size for taking notes?

A4 lined.

palpatine
Aug 10, 2011, 05:22 AM
A4 lined.

Best answer for a college student. A6 for me, though :)

eckthroi
Aug 10, 2011, 01:43 PM
I have gotten the 11" and it does not seem too hard to type on or read at all. You might have to scroll more on an 11" than a 13" but not by much in reality. It also depends on if you are sitting at a long table or a single desk in class. If a single desk then I would say the 11" would be more friendly. If a long table then why not go for the 13" since you appear to have some reluctancy towards the 11". In reality you just need to break down what your specific needs and uses will be and buy the size that correlates with those.