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View Full Version : 2011 Macbook Air - Any regrets on size choices?




KittyKatta
Mar 7, 2012, 07:49 AM
I got an 11" Macbook Air which I absolutely love, but after a few months of usage then I'm starting to feel a bit of regret on my screen size. I never needed glasses and read a lot of books just fine on both paper and the iPad, but reading on the Air has become more difficult for me and I think the screen might be too small because I'm feeling a lot of eye strain and noticing I'm leaning in to my computer more.

Im not slamming the Air or anything because I love the size but if the 2012 model doesn't increase the screen size to 12" by using less bezel then Im probably getting the 13" next time around.

So how about everyone else? Anyone wishing they went smaller? More storage? Feel limited on RAM?



eggersj
Mar 7, 2012, 07:59 AM
I bought a 11" air on 03/01, and then exchanged it on 03/04 for the 13" model for the exact same reason; it was a tad too small. This wasn't helped by the fact that I was coming off a first gen 1,1 13" MBA. I missed the real estate!!!

I loved the 11" form factor, but wished the screen was a little taller. I wasn't used to scrolling down on certain websites and found myself zooming in, when I didn't used to before.

I am very happy with my switch. It is perfect!! :)

KylePowers
Mar 7, 2012, 08:18 AM
I don't have glasses/contacts, but I often find myself holding my MBA fairly close to my face (or double tapping to zoom). I'm not sure if moving to a 13in mitigates this (font sizes would be close to the same, I'd imagine), but I'm trying to move up to the 13in for the extra real estate regardless.

Especially in Windows 7 where I can't swipe from space to space and have to have windows side-by-side, everything is tiny and cramped. It's annoying.

However, I love the portability of the 11in! It's an amazing little machine. Battery life leaves much to be desired though =\

Currently I'm trying to trade for a 13in. 128GB isn't that big of a deal to me and the SD expansion on the 13in will help with that. I'm also looking forward to the 6-7 hours of battery =)

Would be nice though if the 2012 MBA could go up to 6 or 8GB of RAM.

Boyd01
Mar 7, 2012, 08:41 AM
I have the 13" and really like it, but will confess that sometimes I would like the smaller 11" model. Regarding text size, Since the 13" screen has more pixels I'm not sure that it's really all that different between the two models... is it? I still find text rather small and hard to read on the 13". But I use a 23" Cinema display at home, so it's not much of a problem.

BigMcGuire
Mar 7, 2012, 08:52 AM
I got the 13 inch because I was looking for a replacement for my huge dell latitude d830 that I had been lugging around for 3 years. That being said, in the store, the 11' was just way too small. I wanted a laptop that had super portability - I had spent weeks looking at netbooks but they were too tiny, small, and had horrible battery life. The Macbook Air 13' was perfect imo - readability is near perfect - better than books while being a slim form factor. But I'm pretty biased coming from a 10 pound D830 (2 batteries) brick. I know several guys that think it's too big. But imo, readability is very important to me - I do all my reading on my Kindle App on my Macbook Air or via Chrome. I also CTRL+ the webpage so the font is very comfortable while not distorting the page. I couldn't do that on the 11' to my liking.

jterp7
Mar 7, 2012, 09:40 AM
definitely no regrets here. I wanted the larger real estate, the higher res. screen, better battery life and better base specs that the 13 offered. Just overall the 11" is too small for me and I don't even have large hands.

KPOM
Mar 7, 2012, 09:47 AM
That's why they make both models. I went from a 13" Rev B MacBook Air to an 11" Rev D (and later Rev E) and couldn't be happier. That said, now that the Dell XPS has shown how to fit a 13" screen into a form factor slightly larger than the 11.6" MacBook Air, perhaps Apple with the Rev F or Rev G will put in a 12.5" screen (hopefully with a higher resolution).

KnightWRX
Mar 7, 2012, 09:49 AM
Sorta regret not going for the 11". The screen real estate is close enough to the 13" but the form factor is so much better.

doktordoris
Mar 7, 2012, 10:25 AM
I think the 11inch is perfect. A little pocket sized mini computer, like my old psion 5mx or even my old, old atari portfolio. For real computing I use my maxed out iMAc, but for browsing, making notes, and other pocket PC tasks/netbook tasks I use my baby mac MBA. ANd I don't think my suit would hang right with a 13inch MBA in a pocket of my own design which sits in the left of the jacket. But my 11inch sits there perfectly.

But as I said I don't consider my MBA as a "real" mac, just a mini computer with mac-esque features.

za9ra22
Mar 7, 2012, 10:37 AM
I had a difficult time deciding between the 11 and 13 Air, and finally settled on the 11" for sheer portability. I don't regret it, though there are times when the larger screen would be a distinct advantage!

Mac32
Mar 7, 2012, 11:42 AM
I have a 2010 MBA 11'', and I'm anxiously awaiting the 2012 Ivy Bridge MBA, so I can get a 13'' model.
The 11'' is very nice, but if you work on it for several hours almost every day, you'll get tired of it. It's ok for limited use, but the 16:10 13'' screen is a lot more useful and practical for more advanced work. On the subway, train, buss, local library, coffee shops etc, the MBA 11'' is the best computer on the market IMO. Certainly a lot more useful than an iPad.

Boyd01
Mar 7, 2012, 12:05 PM
But as I said I don't consider my MBA as a "real" mac, just a mini computer with mac-esque features.

I am just the opposite. I got the 13" i5/1.7ghz/4gb/256gb MBA to replace my dying 2008 15"/2.4ghz/4gb/160gb MacBook pro. It is a huge upgrade from the old machine in almost every way - CPU feels about twice as fast as the core 2 duo, SSD about 5x faster with 100GB more room.

All my software transferred to the MBA with no problems (Final Cut Pro, FileMaker Pro, Photoshop, Vectorworks, MS Office) and I can do all the things on the MBA that I used to do on the MBP... but faster.

I paid $3000 for the MBP in 2008 but only $1500 for the MBA in 2012. :)

eric/
Mar 7, 2012, 12:12 PM
13 inch. nope, perfect form factor

lc25
Mar 7, 2012, 01:00 PM
I think its all down to personal preference and what you will be using it for but for me an Air should be 11" its super portable and super powerful the 13" just doesn't seem right to me.

jjhoekstra
Mar 7, 2012, 01:41 PM
I have a 13" and am totally happy with it. Even Final Cut X runs nicely. BUT I should have gotten the 11". Because I will get a new MBP as soon as the next update is available as main computer. And than the 11" would be the perfect travel companion when traveling light, which I do a lot. Just a small bag, .y passport and credit card and a ticket. The 13" is a tad too large for that purpose. But I am still happy with my air!

doktordoris
Mar 7, 2012, 01:42 PM
I am just the opposite. I got the 13" i5/1.7ghz/4gb/256gb MBA to replace my dying 2008 15"/2.4ghz/4gb/160gb MacBook pro. It is a huge upgrade from the old machine in almost every way - CPU feels about twice as fast as the core 2 duo, SSD about 5x faster with 100GB more room.

All my software transferred to the MBA with no problems (Final Cut Pro, FileMaker Pro, Photoshop, Vectorworks, MS Office) and I can do all the things on the MBA that I used to do on the MBP... but faster.

I paid $3000 for the MBP in 2008 but only $1500 for the MBA in 2012. :)

I didn't mean to sound as though I was slagging off the MBA, it just seems very weedy after using my 3.4 i7 iMac. I still love it though, and the size more than makes up for any loss of power. I could have bought a 17inch MBP had I wanted to, but the whole point of me buying the Air was its portability.

velleity
Mar 7, 2012, 02:43 PM
I had the eyestrain issue on the 11 inch until I installed flux - something about the screen really got to me.

But other than that, I have a 24-inch cinema display that I hook up the MBA to when needed. I do miss a decent screen size when gaming, though to be honest I shouldn't be doing that on the MBA anyway.

beyondthesmile
Mar 7, 2012, 05:45 PM
I noticed a little bit of eyestrain when I was playing around with the 11" MBA in store. I have used an even smaller screened netbook before, though (an 8.9" Acer) without problems, so I'm not sure what it was? Maybe my eyes have just gotten worse. lol.

I currently use a 13.3" MBP. If I get an Air, I want an 11" for the sheer portability but I really need to see if the eyestrain thing will be an issue.

rookpsu
Mar 7, 2012, 05:49 PM
I went from a 27'' iMac to a 13'' MBP to a 11'' i5 MacBook Air in a matter of months and I couldn't be happier. As a telecommuting software developer, the form factor is utter bliss. I can take this puppy anywhere and do ANYTHING. VM's, Lightroom, PS5, XCode... all good.

The battery life has room for improvement but it's by no means a deal breaker. Now that I've eschewed my 200GB music library for Spotify I hardly need to cart around my external passport drive anymore either.

If you get to know the trackpad window management gestures in addition to apps like Divvy, you can negotiate the limited resolution with ease.

I get asked a lot for computer recommendations and I, without hesitation, suggest the 11'' i5. I'm no fanboy, I just think it's a fantastic device.

Mac32
Mar 7, 2012, 06:19 PM
I also noticed eye strain, I think it's because of the rather harsh, blue screen colour character. I also use F.lux now, and can't see myself ever living without it again.

Geekbabe
Mar 7, 2012, 11:14 PM
I have the 13 inch Air & love it, I have a 10.1 inch tablet if I feel the need for something really small.

beyondthesmile
Mar 7, 2012, 11:58 PM
I also noticed eye strain, I think it's because of the rather harsh, blue screen colour character. I also use F.lux now, and can't see myself ever living without it again.

I'll have to look into this Flux thing if I get an MBA. It seems to get raves. I know if I get one I want an 11" one (it is purely for portability)

jojoba
Mar 8, 2012, 01:27 AM
I have a 13" and I´m totally happy with it. My iPad, combined with a LogiTech keyboard, caters to all my day to day portability needs. I therefore wanted more screen estate for my netbook but something that was still very portable. The 13" has suited my needs very well.

sm0
Mar 8, 2012, 06:53 AM
the 11 looks good on a plane or in a bag, but the 13 is better for everything else. mba 13 is the perfect machine for me. 15 will be interesting though.

jojoba
Mar 8, 2012, 07:08 AM
Yes, I like the thought of a 15", too, as long as they keep it light weight.

jmgregory1
Mar 8, 2012, 07:46 AM
I regret there not being a 15" version to choose. I went with the 13" and love it for traveling and mobile computing, but when I'm at the office or sitting at my desk at home, I'd prefer a bigger screen.

When I get some fundage, I'll spring for the Apple monitor, keyboard and trackpad for office work.

daonesteven
Mar 8, 2012, 10:47 AM
i have an 11" 2011 mba and lets just say that while I love my mba, if I had an option to switch to a 13" and pay the extra necessary cost, i'd probably do it.

happyslayer
Mar 8, 2012, 12:52 PM
I had a 13" RevA & RevB model Air. Once I got my first 11" (2010) I never looked back. I LOVE my 11" 2011 MBA. I am not a big multi-tasker on my Air-- usually just Safari and one other App--so switching back and forth is not a big issue and the smaller screen is fine for me. If I needed lots of apps to be open and visible or I needed to be in large, complex Excel sheets a lot, then the 11" would probably feel too cramped. For me the small size/weight is the MOST important factor for me because I carry it everywhere I go. But, of course, that is just my opinion based on my usage patterns, and everybody should get the one that they are most comfortable with.

Rizvi1
Mar 8, 2012, 01:54 PM
Are the speakers better on the 13" 2011 Macbook Air over the 11"?

hbtd
Mar 8, 2012, 02:50 PM
Rizvi1, I have both the 2011 13'' MBA and 11'' models. I think there is a difference in the 13 vs 11 speakers. However, the 11 speakers are pretty good. Speakers should not be a major decision factor... screen size and battery life are.

KittyKatta
Mar 8, 2012, 03:16 PM
I have the 13" and really like it, but will confess that sometimes I would like the smaller 11" model.
I guess thats the dilemma. We wan't the tiny footprint of the 11" but the 13" screen size may be considered more "ideal" for average users. I guess thats why I feel so disappointed when I see that huge bezel around the 11" because its possible they could even fit a 13" screen there if they went corner to corner. Then that would make this the ultimate portable notebook that had an average size screen with a netbook sized enclosure.

BTW. Does anyone know why we have such large bezels on Mac notebooks? On the PC side they seem to be more efficient in screen real estate.

Rizvi1
Mar 8, 2012, 03:56 PM
Rizvi1, I have both the 2011 13'' MBA and 11'' models. I think there is a difference in the 13 vs 11 speakers. However, the 11 speakers are pretty good. Speakers should not be a major decision factor... screen size and battery life are.

Yeah, it's not a major decision point but it's something for us that matters. We're always watching things on our laptops around the house since we don't have TVs in every room. I think speakers combined with all the other factors makes the 13" win over the 11"

rbrian
Mar 8, 2012, 03:56 PM
I have an 11" and I wouldn't go bigger. From time to time I feel a bit cramped in a large Excel sheet, but no more so than on my 15" work laptop. That behemoth of a Toughbook has almost the same screen resolution, so everything looks blurry, and its i5 processor is crippled with 2Gb RAM, Vista, McAffee and company software. It weighs about 4 kilos. I hate it about as much as I love my Air.

Akack
Mar 8, 2012, 11:54 PM
Nope, my 13" is the sweet spot between screen size and still ultra portable/light.

robopath
Mar 9, 2012, 11:41 AM
Have the 11 and love it. Wider-screen aspect is great for video and shorter screen is perfect for regional jets. Side note, when I was debating which size to get I actually saw a woman get her screen broken when the person in front of reclined their seat. It wasn't even a mac, some big dell but still was a factor in my decision.

intervenient
Mar 9, 2012, 01:43 PM
Bought the 11, want the 13. Perfect size for a student.

Beau10
Mar 9, 2012, 04:55 PM
As a telecommuting software developer, the form factor is utter bliss. I can take this puppy anywhere and do ANYTHING. VM's, Lightroom, PS5, XCode... all good.


I'm a dev too (Windows desktop app dev by day, Ruby on Rails contract work in my free time).

I've been using the base 2010 11" for over a year now. Came from an early 2008 15" MBP. Most of the improvement I would like is in speed/battery, the form factor/weight is outstanding. The screen real estate could be better (I echo the above sentiment for putting a 12.5" incher in there). That said, it's forced me to streamline my workflow which is a plus. I don't know if I could go back to a larger machine, but I'll be considering it as I'm definitely upgrading to Ivy Bridge, esp. if they find a way to reduce the size a bit.

Unhyper
Mar 11, 2012, 02:02 PM
I went with the 11" in the fall of 2011. The specs for the 13" model were announced here in Finland at the time, but no one carried it, they only had the 11" and I was too impatient to wait. However, I had browsed through many discussion threads like this one and seen many people not regret their decision to go with the 11".

At the time, I had a few months old PC with i5 running Win 7, which was my main machine, so I knew I wasn't going to be using the 11" Macbook as my main computer, just as a portable device when on the move. A few months later, after getting a taste of OS X, I ditched my new PC in favor of an iMac, and I am no way in hell ever going back to Windows now.

My concern with getting an 11" was that I had used an EeePC netbook with a 10" screen, and it had been a really unpleasant experience. Then again it ran Win 7 Starter... I went to an Apple store and they had a 11" Air and a 13" Macbook Pro side by side. The cost for these machines was actually the same, as they were trying to get rid of the Macbook Pros. I spent an hour with these machines, switching back and forth, and I noticed three things: 1) the SSD on the Air was significantly snappier, and 2) when I pulled up a web page on both machines, they both displayed the same amount of the content in spite of different screen sizes. And, lastly, the Air had a much better display - clearer, more crisp, better lit, and easier on the eyes.

I don't regret my choice of the 11" because the form factor is beautiful and painless to carry around, and the Core i5 is more than sufficient to power it.

If you're going to use the Air as your main machine and it will mostly sit on your desk rather than travel with you, go with the 13". If you want portable power, the 11" is a great choice...but bring a charger, because the battery's not the most long-lasting (unless you put the machine to sleep...the charge will last weeks).

Rizvi1
Mar 11, 2012, 07:45 PM
Have the 11 and love it. Wider-screen aspect is great for video and shorter screen is perfect for regional jets. Side note, when I was debating which size to get I actually saw a woman get her screen broken when the person in front of reclined their seat. It wasn't even a mac, some big dell but still was a factor in my decision.

Yeah, that's happened a few times on flights where my MacBook Pro's almost gotten caught when the seat in front of me started to recline. It's the reason I would never do a 17".

peapody
Mar 11, 2012, 09:53 PM
Have the 11 and love it. Wider-screen aspect is great for video and shorter screen is perfect for regional jets. Side note, when I was debating which size to get I actually saw a woman get her screen broken when the person in front of reclined their seat. It wasn't even a mac, some big dell but still was a factor in my decision.

You must travel ALOT for Jets to matter that much.

I got the 11" and I regretted it because I could not multitask that easily. It was hard to take notes and watch webcasts and webbrowse at the same time even with spaces etc. I ended up giving that one to my sister, and I went up to the 13". I've had 3 different 13" models over the last few years, and everytime I webt back to an air, the 13" size was a requirement,

hfg
Mar 11, 2012, 10:37 PM
I use both the 11" and 13" MB Air, and find the font-size (eyestrain) about the same on both. The larger screen has higher resolution, so it doesn't increase the size of the characters, it simply displays more of them. :)

I find a simple pair of cheap drugstore reading glasses solves the problem for me. Simply measure the distance your face is from your Air when you normally use it, then go to the drugstore and stand the exact same distance from the test chart (or just something with fine text on it) and select a magnification power which produces the easiest to read text at that distance. Then find a pair at that power that you look good in. :cool:

Works great for me...

JoeG4
Mar 11, 2012, 10:46 PM
I have a 13" and don't regret it, the only thing that bugs me about my MBA is the way the bottom cover 'clicks' so much when I am holding it!

JHUFrank
Mar 12, 2012, 01:27 AM
started using it tonite. Its quickly growing on me. I'll have to look into this Flux thing if I get an MBA. It seems to get raves. I know if I get one I want an 11" one (it is purely for portability)

Macman45
Mar 12, 2012, 01:34 AM
I looked at the 11" but it was just too small screen-wise. I bout the ultimate 13" and I love it, the extra little bit of real-estate makes the difference IMO. It has replaced my iPad whilst I wait for the newbie!

prvt.donut
Mar 12, 2012, 07:06 AM
I got both, 11" for my wife a year ago and the 13" for me this year.

I prefer the size and weight of the 11", the 13" feels a little cumbersome compared to it.

But they are both very nice and I think you would be happy with either of them!

GekkePrutser
Mar 12, 2012, 07:46 AM
I hate the screen on my 11". It's too high DPI for me, and linked with the fact that OS X doesn't scale resolutions I find it absolutely awful to work with.

However I chose it because it was the cheapest option (cheapest refurb 11" was €649, cheapest 13" was €899), I couldn't spare the difference because I'm not a 'laptop guy'. I use it almost exclusively on external screens and the small size is handy when travelling. The 13" Air is a bit better (about 10 DPI lower) but not much.

But I'd love a 13" with a lowres screen like the 13" Pro. Although the OS doing actual resolution independence would be better of course.

Strange thing is, the resolution of my iPad 1 doesn't bother me, but the way I use it I hold it closer to my face.. It's not possible to do that with a laptop.

P0stalTek
Mar 12, 2012, 07:53 AM
I regret getting the 13", but only because I ended up getting a 15" MBP which initially I did not plan on. Not a big deal though because I still love the 13".

jinesh
Mar 12, 2012, 10:29 AM
I used a MBP 13" for 3 years before switching to an 11" MBA when the 2011 model came out last year. I love the smaller size but...I keep wishing for a slightly bigger trackpad & longer battery life.

However my next machine is going to be 13" because of the extra real estate & 16:10 resolution. It might not sound like a lot but I've realized not having to scroll around as much is a definite plus while working.

Although as far as performance goes, I have no complaints. Once hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard & mouse the MBA 11" handles all my tasks smoothly.

**Keeping fingers crossed the next MBP comes with an Air form factor**

robopath
Mar 12, 2012, 11:19 AM
You must travel ALOT for Jets to matter that much.


Yeah I do. That's exactly why I bought the air to begin with. It is basically only a travel device for me. If I were a student and/or this was my primary computer, I'd have the 13 for sure.

jterp7
Mar 12, 2012, 12:12 PM
Yeah I do. That's exactly why I bought the air to begin with. It is basically only a travel device for me. If I were a student and/or this was my primary computer, I'd have the 13 for sure.

i was on the united minijet some months ago and it was cramped enough that I couldn't really even use my iphone, I just wanted the flight to be over lol. On that plane anyone over 5'7 would be quite uncomfortable.

FieldingMellish
Mar 12, 2012, 06:54 PM
No regrets on an 11. Only once in a long while do I wish I had greater screen height, like then doing a screenshot of a drawing and wanting to screenshot a large version of it.

peapody
Mar 12, 2012, 07:02 PM
Yeah I do. That's exactly why I bought the air to begin with. It is basically only a travel device for me. If I were a student and/or this was my primary computer, I'd have the 13 for sure.

Yeah for someone in your situation then I can see why the 11 is the way to go. But for the other 98% of users the jetsettin wouldn't play that much of a factor.

My co worker travels to and Baltimore from Kansas every week for consulting job, and she even has a 13". She says she can still use her computer while in her seat but most of the time she just doesn't bother taking it out of her bag. I think the peace and relaxation of turning off her computer even for a couple hours is welcome time for her.

machacker
Mar 12, 2012, 10:00 PM
I bought the 11" with the 4gb of Ram, and at first I really did think that I had enough space for everything I was doing.

But in the end, I did return it for the 13" air. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I could ever leave the SSD speed of the air, or go back to having any of the extra weight that a MBP has, but I think the extra screen space is going to make a difference.

As a soon to be college graduate, I wanted to make sure I had something I could use as a main computer for a long time, not just while I am shlepping around campus. :D

robvas
Mar 13, 2012, 09:05 AM
I have both. I like the 13" for doing real work (although I have a 21.5" monitor at home that I connect to) but the portability of the 11" can't be beat. I wouldn't mind a 12.5" model, or if they jammed the 13" screen in the 11" case (it'd fit without the bezel.

Quash
Mar 14, 2012, 03:56 AM
I've had the 2010 11 inch, model and now have the 2011, 13 inch model.

I moved to the bigger one because of my desire to get more work done on it.
But 13.3 inch is still very much a compromise size. The extra height does help though. But it's also feels a lot less portable. Of the 2 i definitely preferred the 11 inch form factor.

I would love to see a 15.6 inch one that is not much heavier the the 13 inch one. Then you can choose between: portable - compromise - workable

KittyKatta
Mar 14, 2012, 08:33 AM
I've had the 2010 11 inch, model and now have the 2011, 13 inch model.

I moved to the bigger one because of my desire to get more work done on it.
But 13.3 inch is still very much a compromise size. The extra height does help though. But it's also feels a lot less portable. Of the 2 i definitely preferred the 11 inch form factor.

I would love to see a 15.6 inch one that is not much heavier the the 13 inch one. Then you can choose between: portable - compromise - workable
2010 didn't have an 11" model... :confused:

NutsNGum
Mar 14, 2012, 08:44 AM
2010 didn't have an 11" model... :confused:

Yeah, it did.

1.4Ghz Core 2 Duo base.

BENJMNS
Mar 14, 2012, 11:35 AM
dumped the 13 for the 11.

much more portable. and if you're having eye issues on the 11, ain't gonna be much better on the 13 due to its higher resolution.

jterp7
Mar 14, 2012, 11:44 AM
dumped the 13 for the 11.

much more portable. and if you're having eye issues on the 11, ain't gonna be much better on the 13 due to its higher resolution.

maybe but the 13" has more physical screen size for when you're enlarging text and such. I still can't get around the fact that though the 11" is lighter and more portable, the battery life is worse. And given we're in 2012 with 10hr battery expectations (thanks to the ipad), the 3-4 real use for the 11 is just a joke.

The 2010 13" is the only one that pushes close enough to being a day computer. In other words, portability is useless if there isn't the battery life to match.

Quash
Mar 14, 2012, 01:04 PM
Well my 2010 1.4 ghz MBA always managed around 5 hours (doing light work).
Which is not huge but definitely a lot longer then my original white macbook did. Sure 10 hours would be nicer but it never was a problem for me.
Who wants to work more then a few hours on a small 11 or 13 inch screen anyway. I don't know if the 2011 11 inch is worse though.

The 13 inch is just not as portable, it doesn't feel a whole of a lot more portable then a normal 13 inch macbook. All these laptops are of course very portable. But the 11 inch is enough smaller and lighter that it made it a significant difference for me. Having a 17 inch macbook pro and an 11 inch would be an ideal situation for me i think.

robrob74
Mar 14, 2012, 02:45 PM
Well, I personally have the 13" air, and my wife has a 13" MacBook pro, and to say there isn't much of a difference between them is not correct in my opinion. I find it much easier to tote my air one handed around the house while grabbing something for the kids or myself, versus when I try to do the same with the wife's pro and the weight difference is very noticeable. I had an 11" 2010 model, but ended up selling it as the smaller screen was a little annoying for my older eyes, though I do love the size of the 11".

dougutphy
Mar 15, 2012, 12:01 AM
My 20 year old eyes are saying "portability all the way!" I definitely went with the 11'' so I would have the ability to take it everywhere (and I do). Screen size isn't an issue now -- but I can see it being an issue in the future.
The only downside I see to the 11'' is battery life.

robvas
Mar 15, 2012, 10:54 AM
The 13 inch is just not as portable, it doesn't feel a whole of a lot more portable then a normal 13 inch macbook. All these laptops are of course very portable. But the 11 inch is enough smaller and lighter that it made it a significant difference for me.

Very true. The people who were blown away by the 13" Air probably had 15" laptops. I never found the 13" Air to be that much better than the 13" Pro, but I'm still amazed at how small the 11" model is.

disq
Mar 16, 2012, 01:13 AM
Got a refurb 11" ultimate last week, very satisfied with it. I'm using it as my main machine (connected to a 24" dell monitor and keyboard/mouse) on an mStand, but I can also unplug it and take it anywhere I go. I wouldn't have been as satisfied with the 13" air, especially since both air's screens are crap in terms of viewing angles and quality. The device being smaller in size kinda makes up for the crappiness of the screen :) (of course there's the slightly shorter battery-life issue)

The most significant drawback is, I now have to keep strict backups because an Air is much more suspectible to theft (say, than a stationary iMac) and no kensington slot is provided. Also, missing the infrared port and sudden motion sensor, software solutions like iAlertU are not practical.

In the meantime I'm in the process of setting up a time machine server on my openwrt-running wireless router.

BENJMNS
Mar 20, 2012, 01:39 PM
maybe but the 13" has more physical screen size for when you're enlarging text and such. I still can't get around the fact that though the 11" is lighter and more portable, the battery life is worse. And given we're in 2012 with 10hr battery expectations (thanks to the ipad), the 3-4 real use for the 11 is just a joke.

The 2010 13" is the only one that pushes close enough to being a day computer. In other words, portability is useless if there isn't the battery life to match.

I'm a stickler for batt life, but I don't miss the extra hour or two in the 13. Honest.

KittyKatta
Mar 20, 2012, 05:04 PM
The 13 inch is just not as portable, it doesn't feel a whole of a lot more portable then a normal 13 inch macbook. All these laptops are of course very portable. But the 11 inch is enough smaller and lighter that it made it a significant difference for me. Having a 17 inch macbook pro and an 11 inch would be an ideal situation for me i think.
I agree with this. I was coming off a 13" MacBook Pro so moving to the Air 13" didn't feel very different, but when I moved to the 11" it was a completely different experience.

Part of the reason why I went with the 11" is because of how different it felt form my 13" Pro, but that now turned out to be a bad thing because in the end I would've been better off with a boring old 13" that wouldn't give me eye strain.

slnko-v-sieti
Mar 21, 2012, 09:23 AM
I'm always surprised when people use the 11" for extended periods of time without either a stand (to bring it closer to their face/eye level) or with a larger monitor (unless they're out and about, bien sur).

OSX just isn't optimized for readability on a screen that small. Apple should make OSX truly resolution independent (and polished) if they want to keep offering a screen this small.

3dflyboy1
Mar 25, 2012, 06:08 PM
**Keeping fingers crossed the next MBP comes with an Air form factor**

I don't see why Apple would keep both lines if they had the same form factor. :confused:

illini71
Mar 25, 2012, 06:40 PM
I had the the 11 for a few months, and while i liked it, it screamed for an external monitor. I sold that one and bought a 13, and couldn't be happier.

I have a 13 MBA and an iPad, this setup keeps my air stationary.

BayouTiger
Mar 25, 2012, 07:48 PM
I carried a 17" for years as my primary machine, but bought the first 11" for travel. When the i7 MBA's were introduced I decided to just go that route full time. It is just not that much bigger for all the advantages it offers. Now I have the top spec 13 with a Thunderbolt display and it is great. The main thing I like about the 13 is the 16x10 screen . I really hate the move o 16x9 displays. Just not enough vertical real estate.

Only own side to the Airs is theRam and inboard video.mmy fan runs a LOT while working in AutoCad LT with Winows7 in a VM running. With 8GB it would be perfect.

entatlrg
Mar 25, 2012, 08:24 PM
While I loved everything about the 11" MBA and I still do, it's so cool and a perfect carry everywhere size.... but in reality, for my needs the 13" Air is a much better fit.

I like it more now than I ever did my 11". I'm on a computer for long hours for work and then pleasure even when traveling.

The smaller screen with less vertical real estate is limiting for a lot of tasks, the 13" Air screen is perfect for a light very mobile computer. I have other computers for heavy lifting but my Air gets used a lot just because it's so handy and has just enough power.

I prefer it even over my iPad, you can just do so many more things faster, without limits, whether its browsing automobile or real estate sites to simply replying to emails ... if want to get it done quickly without 'tablet limits' the Air is the way to go!

I really like my iPad and my other computers but these MacBook Air's are really GREAT machines, quality build, great screen, trackpad, super thin / light excellent battery run time ... it just wow's me every time I use them and I've used Airs since the Rev A's. :)

PaulNI
Mar 26, 2012, 07:22 AM
I have the 11" i7 Macbook Air and absolutely love it, can't beat it for portability!

I know this may sound crazy but I could happily use a 10" or 9" model if they made one, I'd only want a better screen, Super Amoled plus would be great.

I travel a lot so anything that is lighter = better for me.

Delighted with the 11" but as I said I would happily use something smaller if it existed

Stealthipad
Mar 26, 2012, 07:28 AM
13" is small as it will get for me. The 11" would required so much scrolling on the Internet. 11" is just to small for my tastes and the larger form factor of the 13" is worth it when you consider my 13" replaced a Thinkpad 15" W520. :eek:

bcaslis
Mar 26, 2012, 09:03 AM
I had the 11" and loved it. But the vertical resolution was really limiting for some of my apps. If you intend to use the 11" when on the go and a monitor when at a desk it makes a great solution. But since I almost never connect to a monitor I eventually went to the 13". It's clearly not as portable in the width and depth dimension but the weight is only a tiny bit more, it's the same thinness and the screen feels huge in comparison to the 11". The 13" allows to run anything I need. If they could cram the 13" screen in the 11" form factor, I'd be in heaven but until they get closer the 13" is a more practical solution for me.

DanBurns91
Mar 26, 2012, 09:12 AM
I bought a 11" air on 03/01, and then exchanged it on 03/04 for the 13" model for the exact same reason; it was a tad too small. This wasn't helped by the fact that I was coming off a first gen 1,1 13" MBA. I missed the real estate!!!

I loved the 11" form factor, but wished the screen was a little taller. I wasn't used to scrolling down on certain websites and found myself zooming in, when I didn't used to before.

I am very happy with my switch. It is perfect!! :)

How did you exchange it? I want to do the same thing, i love my 11'' but im edging more towards the 13'' now!

Zero Cool
Mar 26, 2012, 09:14 AM
I think most of us were hesitant with the 11" model. I was coming from a 12" netbook and still was worried. But I have no problems whatsoever with the size. I watch movies/tv shows, build websites, and design in Photoshop on it without any problem. I actually had trouble when I had to bring out my 17" Dell to recover some files. I never thought a screen could be TOO big. The only trouble I have is with the speakers not being loud enough but it's the same with the 13"

Stingray454
Mar 26, 2012, 10:32 AM
I use a 2010 11" Air, and I just love it. Perfect size for everything I use it for. However, I will get the 2012 version as soon as it's released, and I'm thinking about getting the 13" - I do quite a bit of "heavy lifting", and the 13" usually have a bit faster processor options. Also, I wouldn't mind the SD slot.. But I'm terrified that it will feel too large. The 11" is just perfect in every way, and I hate when computers start to feel bulky or too large. So no, I have no regrets now, but I might have after the upgrade :)

neteng101
Mar 26, 2012, 10:56 AM
13" Air 2010 - size/resolution is perfect.

RAM is a bit tight, 4GB with VMs get iffy. And I want a Kensington lock slot.

Current 13" Pro is a NO go... resolution is totally wrong, plus I prefer the glossy no-glass of the Air, way less reflections. Wondering what the new MBPs are going to look like - ie. will they finally address the 13" Pro shortcomings and come up with a lighter machine but with RAM expandability and power. 1440x900 antiglare screen?

iCraig™
Mar 26, 2012, 03:55 PM
I purchased the 11 inch Air also, and i know what you mean by straining your eyes, however i find i use the Lion features such as reader and the double tap to zoom all the time. It's marketed for people who are on the go, but it's a great little machine for use as a stand alone, i also tend to use a second monitor with it, best of both worlds :P

mike693
Mar 26, 2012, 08:17 PM
My wife loves her 11" Air (2011), after coming from a 13" MBP (2010).

We declined to install a VM for Windows XP due to only 4GB of RAM, and haven't looked back.

She wears glasses, but has no problems with the screen.

Redbull916
Mar 27, 2012, 07:32 AM
I made a VM image of my work laptop (Dell830 win7) and it runs fine on mine. Assign 2GB of Ram and its happy. I even run an additional vm machine on it.

robvas
Mar 27, 2012, 08:09 AM
I miss the smaller size of my old 11" now that I only have the 13". It just takes up that much more room on a coffee shop table. But I have more pixels on the screen, so I guess I will live with it.

IJBrekke
Mar 27, 2012, 01:42 PM
Wanted the 13", bought a used 11" because it's what I could afford. I still want the 13" for the extra screen space and battery life.

boy-better-know
Mar 27, 2012, 01:55 PM
128GB 13" mid 2011, had it for 4 months and I am fine with it. I will be getting an iMac this year so will put all of my stuff on that.
Could easily have it as my only computer though, it's great.

Willieo
Mar 29, 2012, 04:40 AM
I bought a 13" because I got before a 11" Asus, so I knew I like a bigger screen, because I hated to watch movies on it. 11" is okay for just writing but as the only laptop its too small...

jason2811
Mar 31, 2012, 07:19 PM
Deciding between the 11" and the 13". How bad is the battery life on the 11" model?

KylePowers
Mar 31, 2012, 07:27 PM
Deciding between the 11" and the 13". How bad is the battery life on the 11" model?
Pretty bad, especially if you're using Wi-Fi or any computationally extensive application. If you're not using Wi-Fi and maybe only watching a video or something, you could get it close to 5 hours (I certainly never got more than 5 hours). I often times got 3.5-4 though.

With my 13in, same type of usage, I've been getting 6.5-7 so far, and it's been fantastic.

PaulNI
Apr 1, 2012, 03:54 AM
Pretty bad, especially if you're using Wi-Fi or any computationally extensive application. If you're not using Wi-Fi and maybe only watching a video or something, you could get it close to 5 hours (I certainly never got more than 5 hours). I often times got 3.5-4 though.

With my 13in, same type of usage, I've been getting 6.5-7 so far, and it's been fantastic.

Interesting, I didn't know that. So without the Wi-Fi battery life lasts a lot longer.

Good to know, I think it'll start plugging it into my ethernet adapter more often now.

EspressoLove
Apr 1, 2012, 05:54 AM
Interesting, I didn't know that. So without the Wi-Fi battery life lasts a lot longer.
This is simply not true - instead of tedious explanations - judge for yourself:
1) unplug while on WiFi, note battery life estimate;
2) shutdown WiFi, note ...;
3) plugin adapter into your Mac and router, note.

With CPU & Display being biggest power drain supplanting WiFi with LAN hardly will make even 15 minutes of difference (and I wouldn't be surprised if external USB/LAN adapter actually draws more ...)

PaulNI
Apr 1, 2012, 04:29 PM
This is simply not true - instead of tedious explanations - judge for yourself:
1) unplug while on WiFi, note battery life estimate;
2) shutdown WiFi, note ...;
3) plugin adapter into your Mac and router, note.

With CPU & Display being biggest power drain supplanting WiFi with LAN hardly will make even 15 minutes of difference (and I wouldn't be surprised if external USB/LAN adapter actually draws more ...)

I'll give that a try, thanks for the post

KylePowers
Apr 1, 2012, 04:33 PM
Interesting, I didn't know that. So without the Wi-Fi battery life lasts a lot longer.

Good to know, I think it'll start plugging it into my ethernet adapter more often now.
Sorry, I was a tad misleading. With Wi-Fi on (or even through LAN), a consumer is often perusing the interwebz with numerous tabs open (which uses a good chunk of RAM), streaming videos (netflix/youtube), download files or updating programs, other apps could be constantly refreshing (twitter, iChat, etc). There're a lot of things going on that would put a strain on that battery that using the internet would lead to. I was saying more along the lines of, if you're not using anything that requires the internet (like writing a word document or something), then you can squeeze out some pretty good battery life. By watching a video, I meant one that was already saved on your computer.

PaulNI
Apr 2, 2012, 07:50 AM
Sorry, I was a tad misleading. With Wi-Fi on (or even through LAN), a consumer is often perusing the interwebz with numerous tabs open (which uses a good chunk of RAM), streaming videos (netflix/youtube), download files or updating programs, other apps could be constantly refreshing (twitter, iChat, etc). There're a lot of things going on that would put a strain on that battery that using the internet would lead to. I was saying more along the lines of, if you're not using anything that requires the internet (like writing a word document or something), then you can squeeze out some pretty good battery life. By watching a video, I meant one that was already saved on your computer.

Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated KP!

Macman45
Apr 2, 2012, 07:58 AM
I never considered the 11" Went for the top end 13" and have never been disappointed. The 11 just has too little real-estate for my needs.

classicaliberal
Apr 2, 2012, 08:10 AM
Can 11" drive the big 27" thunderbolt display? If so, I think that'd be a great mix of amazing screen size at my wife's desk and great travel size for meetings on the road as well.

NutsNGum
Apr 2, 2012, 08:39 AM
I noticed a little bit of eyestrain when I was playing around with the 11" MBA in store. I have used an even smaller screened netbook before, though (an 8.9" Acer) without problems, so I'm not sure what it was? Maybe my eyes have just gotten worse. lol.

I currently use a 13.3" MBP. If I get an Air, I want an 11" for the sheer portability but I really need to see if the eyestrain thing will be an issue.

It certainly was for me. I loved the convenience of both Airs, but every model -- bar one -- that I opened out of the box did my eyes in after a very short time.

The screen's contrast was poor, as was the colour, and it was producing negative image-retention in my eyes, and really aggravating my 'floaters'. My eyes have never been great, but I've never had that problem with any other laptop or display.

Could be that it was due to the screen's unbelievably blue hue though, probably equivalent to staring at the sun. If I'd been aware of f.lux at that point I'd have definitely stuck it on there to see if it made a difference, I have no doubt now that it would have.

I'd still prefer that they improve the screen tech if possible. I don't want to have to make a seriously concerted effort just to avoid eyestrain out of the box.

FrankieTDouglas
Apr 2, 2012, 11:29 AM
You must travel ALOT for Jets to matter that much.

I got the 11" and I regretted it because I could not multitask that easily. It was hard to take notes and watch webcasts and webbrowse at the same time even with spaces etc. I ended up giving that one to my sister, and I went up to the 13". I've had 3 different 13" models over the last few years, and everytime I webt back to an air, the 13" size was a requirement,

I fly somewhere every 2 weeks or so, so the size of the screen was VERY important for my decision. I've almost had my 11" crushed when someone went to recline back on a 2 hour midday flight... we had a brief conversation about the necessity of that.

I don't see why people feel they can't do what they want on an 11", like they can on a 13". They're both small computers. The 11" is just a tad smaller, yet perfectly sized for people in transit.

mac26
Apr 2, 2012, 05:26 PM
I have the 11" and I love it, perfect for taking with me anywhere, I bought the 2010 and now I have the 2011, I had a MBP 13" 2009 before that but now I'd never look back at that.
My set-up/ gadgets are almost complete, I have my MBA 11", my iPod Nano, My Canon t1i. All I need now is a Samsung Galaxy S2/ Galaxy Nexus, or an iPhone 4(S) to complete it.

beyondthesmile
Apr 2, 2012, 08:28 PM
It certainly was for me. I loved the convenience of both Airs, but every model -- bar one -- that I opened out of the box did my eyes in after a very short time.

The screen's contrast was poor, as was the colour, and it was producing negative image-retention in my eyes, and really aggravating my 'floaters'. My eyes have never been great, but I've never had that problem with any other laptop or display.

Could be that it was due to the screen's unbelievably blue hue though, probably equivalent to staring at the sun. If I'd been aware of f.lux at that point I'd have definitely stuck it on there to see if it made a difference, I have no doubt now that it would have.

I'd still prefer that they improve the screen tech if possible. I don't want to have to make a seriously concerted effort just to avoid eyestrain out of the box.

Thank you for the info! So it wasn't just my eyes then...lol. I'm looking forward to seeing what the 2012 batch of MBAs brings, as I've decided I don't need one right away. Agree that it'd be nice for the screen to be comfortable without needing to make adjustments. When the 2012s come out, I'll try one out and see if f.lux helps.

denaliOnDubs
Apr 2, 2012, 10:54 PM
I originally purchased the 11 inch MacBook Air and regretted my decision. I got the 13 inch but honestly it was for the significant gain in battery life. It might be just me but I seemed to get a headache after using the 11 inch for hours doing homework... It would be a great move for Apple to utilize all the space available to them on the MacBook Air.

jahala
Apr 3, 2012, 01:18 AM
I was holding out for a 13-inch machine, but got a great deal on an 11 incher. I decided to try it out and fell it love with it. Now that I have had it for a year and have subsequently purchased a camera that uses an SD card, I may consider getting a 13-inch machine for the SD slot.

I really (really really!) like the small size and weight of the 11" machine, but my backpack is plenty big enough for the 13" machine, and I know I will enjoy the increased screen real estate. I am still very happy with my 11" machine and will probably use it until it dies.

The smaller screen on the 11" mba does not bother me because I have a 24" monitor at home. At work, I connect it to two 19-inch, 1280x1024 monitors for a triple-screen experience using one of those USB DisplayLink video adapters. Actually, the monitor has four USB ports, so by plugging in one USB cable to my mba, I get the 10/100 ethernet via Apple adapter, extra display, and power for my iPhone.

Stingray454
Apr 3, 2012, 02:23 AM
Can 11" drive the big 27" thunderbolt display? If so, I think that'd be a great mix of amazing screen size at my wife's desk and great travel size for meetings on the road as well.

Yes it can. I don't have one for myself, but I will get an Air + TB-Display combo when the next update comes. As you said, perfect for both desktop work and travelling :) Also, it looks great with the air in a Bookarc stand on the desk.

ntrigue
Apr 3, 2012, 02:51 AM
I have no regrets having chosen the 13" screen. I had my eye on the 11" for a month but couldn't justify an ACD, keyboard and mouse just to be more portable. My favorite feature is BATTERY life. I always get home just above 20% and the 11" would have been long dead.

NutsNGum
Apr 3, 2012, 08:29 AM
Thank you for the info! So it wasn't just my eyes then...lol. I'm looking forward to seeing what the 2012 batch of MBAs brings, as I've decided I don't need one right away. Agree that it'd be nice for the screen to be comfortable without needing to make adjustments. When the 2012s come out, I'll try one out and see if f.lux helps.

Just to test my theory, I bought a refurb 11" yesterday. I was looking to get one as a secondary machine anyway, but this conversation pushed me over the edge. It arrived this morning and I quickly changed the screen settings to the Macrumors colour profile that was doing the rounds for the LG screen. The screen looked 100 times better, but fundamentally, it made no difference, my eyes were still aching within about 10 minutes of using it, I then added f.lux to the mix to see if it would make a difference, and it didn't.

Just to clarify, I had an 11" previously with a Samsung screen, and this eye ache did not occur with that panel, at all. My eyes felt perfectly fine using it for any length of time. For reference, I have a 17" which has pretty much the same pixel density as the 11" and I do not suffer any vision problems when using it.

Needless to say, it's going back. I'm pretty convinced that there's something specifically about the LG screen that make some people's eyes wonky. It's definitely not everyone that suffers this, but for me it's a complete show-stopper.

Hopefully the 2012 models address this.

beyondthesmile
Apr 4, 2012, 01:56 PM
Just to test my theory, I bought a refurb 11" yesterday. I was looking to get one as a secondary machine anyway, but this conversation pushed me over the edge. It arrived this morning and I quickly changed the screen settings to the Macrumors colour profile that was doing the rounds for the LG screen. The screen looked 100 times better, but fundamentally, it made no difference, my eyes were still aching within about 10 minutes of using it, I then added f.lux to the mix to see if it would make a difference, and it didn't.

Just to clarify, I had an 11" previously with a Samsung screen, and this eye ache did not occur with that panel, at all. My eyes felt perfectly fine using it for any length of time. For reference, I have a 17" which has pretty much the same pixel density as the 11" and I do not suffer any vision problems when using it.

Needless to say, it's going back. I'm pretty convinced that there's something specifically about the LG screen that make some people's eyes wonky. It's definitely not everyone that suffers this, but for me it's a complete show-stopper.

Hopefully the 2012 models address this.

Ah, thanks so much for doing this and for the detailed report! I wonder what it is about the screen that makes it so hard on the eyes? I used an 8.9" (!!!) Acer netbook at one point without any eyestrain, yet noticed it on the MBA 11" within 5 minutes of playing around with it in store. :(

NutsNGum
Apr 4, 2012, 02:22 PM
Ah, thanks so much for doing this and for the detailed report! I wonder what it is about the screen that makes it so hard on the eyes? I used an 8.9" (!!!) Acer netbook at one point without any eyestrain, yet noticed it on the MBA 11" within 5 minutes of playing around with it in store. :(

That's alright, man. Like I said, I was looking to get one anyway, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one that noticed this issue. It really is odd, particularly as it only seemed to be an issue on one of the panel types, in my experience at least.

One thing I did notice is that on the LG panel I was instantly aware of the pixel grid and my eyes almost immediately began to sting. With the Samsung panel, my eyes felt relaxed, there was no obvious pixel grid, and it was far easier to read from.

beyondthesmile
Apr 4, 2012, 06:26 PM
That's alright, man. Like I said, I was looking to get one anyway, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one that noticed this issue. It really is odd, particularly as it only seemed to be an issue on one of the panel types, in my experience at least.

One thing I did notice is that on the LG panel I was instantly aware of the pixel grid and my eyes almost immediately began to sting. With the Samsung panel, my eyes felt relaxed, there was no obvious pixel grid, and it was far easier to read from.

No, you definitely weren't the only one to notice! Let's see what 2012 brings :)

Risasi
Apr 4, 2012, 06:40 PM
I stopped in at the store and toyed around with the 11" for about half an hour. I didn't notice any eye strain issues. For me it comes down to 11" MBA or 13" MBP.

I'm going to wait for both 2012 models to be released and then upgrade one more time. We will see what feature spec looks like.

- HD 4000 graphics
- 6 hour battery life
- 6-8 GB memory
- USB 3.0
Those four specs will probably sell me on the 11" MBA, and I will keep large monitors in a few strategically located offices.

- cellular aircard
- 12" screen @ 1600x900 res

These are icing on the cake.

redhead001
Nov 24, 2013, 11:45 PM
definitely no regrets here. I wanted the larger real estate, the higher res. Screen, better battery life and better base specs that the 13 offered. Just overall the 11" is too small for me and i don't even have large hands.

o.o