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View Full Version : 11" with iPad for school or 13" with ipad




ebbygoo2
Oct 21, 2012, 07:51 AM
Ok well here goes.
Firstly, unless you have something useful to say which is useful to me, then go away- yes I am talking to
the trolls I constantly see on this forum.

Secondly, I am here to ask a few questions which have left me doing my head in over the last few days.
I am a student about to enter my senior year at high school and am getting a mac.

I currently have a 2011 MBP 13" and tried for a while, but carrying it around school is not happening, and consequently I stuck it on eBay.

Anyway, I have decided I am going to buy an air and am struggling to figure out which size to get. Yes I understand this question has been asked before but the context in which I am asking it is different.

I am going to be using this as my main computer and want to know what any other students in think of their 11" airs, but more importantly, does the Mac do anything the iPad with a keyboard can't AT SCHOOL. Will I use my 11 mac at school if I have an iPad?

Another question for everyone is:
How well does an iPad + air 11" combo and hence also an iPad 13" combo work together? Does the first combo make each other redundant?

Thank you for
A) reading all that
B) the comment I hope you are about to write ;p



sineplex
Oct 21, 2012, 08:05 AM
go for your life and decide.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=macbook+air+vs+ipad+3&oq=macbook+air+vs+i&gs_l=youtube.3.1.0l4j0i5l4.2965.17746.0.21091.20.19.1.0.0.0.285.3565.5j4j10.19.0...0.0...1ac.1.oKRVT Ie8W8o

ebbygoo2
Oct 21, 2012, 08:07 AM
I already have an iPad so I'm not deciding between the two, I'm asking which mac will complement it better but also be better for school. Sorry if that wasn't clear in first post

jmfel1926
Oct 21, 2012, 10:45 AM
Hello,
i have just purchased a MBA 2012 i5/8GB/128 for a Masters Program that i attend in Sweden and i will just mention the pros of my experience so far :

1) amazingly powerfull maschine and i cannot even feel that i have it with me
2) carry it around the classes with one hand like holding a book. it is so nice to know that you can have it everywhere and not thinking "how i am gonna take it to that class" etc ..
3)i am on a programming master , so i need to type a lot of code and i can tell you that the 11'' screen may feel small on start but after 1-2 weeks you are gonna say that you did the right thing.
4)great battery life ... wi fi on and brightness at 60% which is good gives 4 hours of usage ...
5)dual boot of windows 7 and OSX and both run great !

i definetely recommend it to you for university. the only thing that i am "scared" of is that this will be your primary computer. i have 23'' desktop and i spend time on both of them. as long as you have an ipad you could easily choose the 13'' ... you know grab the ipad at class and macbook at home. and still the 13'' is pretty easy to carry ... just 500g more...

fubaracing7374
Oct 21, 2012, 10:52 AM
I would agree about the 11" being the sweet spot for the MacBook Air.

ZBoater
Oct 21, 2012, 11:23 AM
The iPad does a lot, but not everything, an MBA can do. It seems to be a little redundant to have an 11" MBA and an iPad. Why do people get the 11" MBA? For portability mostly. So which one are you going to carry? The iPad or the MBA?

The MBA does everything the iPad can do and more. Advantages of the iPad are the touch interface, 4G connectivity, and a little more portable. But if you need to do something at school that requires a computer, like access a training site that uses flash or handle USB drives, then you need the MBA. Period. Yes, people will come up with all sorts of wacky workarounds but the fact is an iPad is not in the same league as an MBA, iOS is not Mac OS X.

If I was carrying my iPad and could make do with that, I'd get the 13" MBA as my "real" computer. Bigger screen, bigger battery, SD card slot. But that's me.

sam2428
Oct 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
I think it will depend on how you plan on using each device respectively. I personally have an iPad and a 27" iMac at home. I am planning to go back to school and am looking to buy an 11" MBA.

You will need to use productivity apps for school and I find them harder to use on an iPad. Can it be done? For sure, but I when typing out an essay or paper, editing (to me at least) is much more time consuming on an iPad. It is simply easier to use a mouse or the trackpad to go back and select, highlight, insert text, etc. again, it can be done, just a little less efficiently on the iPad.

I use my iPad for media and as a e-reader both at home and if I take it out. You said yourself a you have trouble taking out your 13" pro. I would get a 11" as it has a smaller footprint and you will be more likely to carry it around with you. A least that what I plan on doing....but I have the iMac at home when I need more power and screen real estate.

Mrbobb
Oct 21, 2012, 01:31 PM
To me, if u you are going to do anything serious, u need a real keyboard. Since u mention portability as an issue, if u are gonna go iPad+ext keyboard (two pieces to carry) I say just furgigtabout it and get a 11" Air and yer done.

But of course iPad have some cool apps not in a notebook, like some of the games, and that astro app where u point the iPad to the sky and the iPad shows u the constellations behind. These are not standard "school things" but since when do human make 100% sensible purchase decisions. :)

Ipad advantage: all day battery + Cellular Radio if you don't already own a smart phone.

Notebook advantage: Catch-all, Air 11" Super portable, the precise reason I picked it.

darkknight11
Oct 21, 2012, 01:36 PM
I'd wait until Tuesday...once Apple announces the iPad mini, I'd order the 11" inch and 7.85 inch iPad mini. If you are looking for portability, this beats out the "13 MBA + 9.7" iPad.


To me, if u you are going to do anything serious, u need a real keyboard. Since u mention portability as an issue, if u are gonna go iPad+ext keyboard (two pieces to carry) I say just furgigtabout it and get a 11" Air and yer done.

But of course iPad have some cool apps not in a notebook, like some of the games, and that astro app where u point the iPad to the sky and the iPad shows u the constellations behind. These are not standard "school things" but since when do human make 100% sensible purchase decisions. :)

Ipad advantage: all day battery + Cellular Radio if you don't already own a smart phone.

Notebook advantage: Catch-all, Air 11" Super portable, the precise reason I picked it.

KylePowers
Oct 21, 2012, 02:29 PM
I sold my iPad 2 to put the money toward a 2011 MBA 11in. Traded the 11in for a 2011 13in MBA. Bought a 2012 iPad. Life is good!

I honestly don't use my iPad for anything aside from taking notes in lectures though (via stylus). Everything else I do on my MBA or iMac. Why force yourself into trying to turn the iPad into a productivity machine when it isn't? It's a consumption device. Knocking out papers, doing anything multitasking related (i.e. windows side-by-side), or having to run any actual programs (I'm an engineering student, so there're a lot of those) is nearly flat out impossible. I say nearly because some of the aforementioned is possible, but honestly - not worth your time or effort. An MBA is the perfect laptop for any student and it only weighs like a pound more.

Now I switched from the 11in to the 13in because I needed more screen real estate. Having windows side-by-side was a stretch and there was a lot of constant scrolling (since it has a lesser vertical resolution). Also, the nature of some of the programs I used (like circuit designing software) made excess screen real estate almost a necessity. Don't get me wrong, the footprint of the 11in is awesome and I miss it, but I certainly appreciate the extra productivity and battery life (the 11in was fairly horrid) associated with the 13in.

I am, however, concerned with you thinking the 13in MBP is too heavy. A 13in MBA is only 1.5lbs lighter. Do you carry a lot of books with you too? Maybe find digital versions and put them on your MBA or iPad. Maybe nix all your binders and notebooks and just take notes on the iPad?

Oh, and I would definitely say the 11in MBA and iPad are fairly redundant. I would even argue that a 13in MBA and iPad are almost just as redundant (and this is from experience). Perhaps hold out for an iPad Mini. That'd probably be the better companion.

jojoba
Oct 21, 2012, 02:34 PM
I have a MBA 13" and an iPad. To me, a 11" has too much overlap with the iPad.

Mrbobb
Oct 21, 2012, 02:49 PM
I am, however, concerned with you thinking the 13in MBP is too heavy. A 13in MBA is only 1.5lbs lighter. Do you carry a lot of books with you too? Maybe find digital versions and put them on your MBA or iPad. Maybe nix all your binders and notebooks and just take notes on the iPad?


One would think in this day and age, no more heavy 5LB hard cover books right? Not what I see on the ground! Professors gotta make $ on the side!

AND a 13in MB DOES make a diff for me. By the number, I know you just go, "it's only 1.5LB" but I go by experience, I used to lug a 4.5LB Winbook, at the time competitively light and I lived with it for years, but secretly I told myself 3.5LB would be good. My next one will be 3.5LB (or less). So this year I got the 2.3LB Air, MY GOD, I will NEVER, EVER go back to anything heavier, and as far as the size goes, 12" was my perfect size, as said by experience, to me, so a 13" was out, 11" was the only choice left. YMMV.

Wait for iPad Mini the other fellah says... Why not, it's only a few days away. But if I have a make a decision now, I say no mini. Air 11" screen is always a tad too small for reading for me, am always pinch-zooming out, anything smaller I'd probly not happy with, but again, YMMV.

ebbygoo2
Oct 21, 2012, 03:10 PM
Thanks guys definitely giving me something to think about :)

joshuaginter
Oct 21, 2012, 08:16 PM
I really think battery life needs to be considered in this case. I had an 11" MBA and iPad for school and I felt the combination was unbeatable. I could type notes on the MBA in class and could read my digital textbooks and PDF's for my classes on my iPad. However, the 5 hour (more like 3 hour if you have anything to do with the web) battery life of the 11" Air may be a stumbling block for some students. Not all classrooms have outlets (mine didn't) and stressing about charging your laptop for your next class is not needed amongst the endless hours of homework that pile up.

Just my 2 cents. I love the 11" and would never have changed if not for the battery life.

kylera
Oct 21, 2012, 08:37 PM
I'm planning on going back to school next year, and with that in mind, I got the 13 inch model. More than anything else, it was the additional battery runtime that sealed the deal, and as others said, it isn't easy to secure outlets in classrooms.

Alameda
Oct 21, 2012, 08:45 PM
I have the 13", but at work I attach it to my 24" display, using the DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter. Interestingly, the HDMI adapter didn't work, because it limited resolution to 1080p, but this display has 1200 lines.

24" screens are pretty cheap these days, and coupled with a keyboard/mouse, you have a nice desktop, whether you use the 11" or 13".

There's a long discussion on this board about 11" vs 13" MBA, and clearly both won; it's a matter of preference and there are definitely owners of each size who are certain that they chose what's right for them.

I'd tend to think that, if you're going to have it open on small desks in classrooms, libraries and cages, the smaller might be better. Use the cash you save for a 24" Samsung or Dell screen --- you don't need a $999 Thunderbolt screen.

.Pook.
Oct 21, 2012, 09:36 PM
I have both iPad 3 (Cellular) & MacBook Air 11' (2012). I actually had the option to choose between the 11' or 13' MBA & I chose the 11' because I want the portability. I use both and I am happy with them :D.

I use the iPad mainly for web browsing/watching movies & MBA for typing documents.

mrsir2009
Oct 21, 2012, 10:10 PM
If you're getting an iPad as well def the 13" - No point in having two small portables.

bumzo1
Oct 21, 2012, 11:55 PM
I'm in my first year at university and I have a 27" iMac, 13" Air and an iPad 2. I got the iPad 2 when it was originally released 2 years ago to go along with my iMac, it was a great combo and I took the iPad to school almost every day to take notes and do online assignments, whether I used it or not. I figured it was just so light that I wouldn't be able to tell whether its there or not. For university I decided that I needed a full fledged laptop for basically the same reason and to be able to run more advanced engineering software that's not feasible on the iPad, so I went with the 2012 13" air. I have all 3 with me at uni but since I've been here (about 2 months) I have yet to touch my iPad, it has just been sitting in my locked cabinet. I feel that since I have time between classes to go back to my room and switch out notebooks, I can comfortably take the 13" air just about anywhere, plus the battery life is outstanding. Honestly unless you play a lot of iOS game the macbook air and the iPad are redundant in my opinion. I would go with the 13" and get an external monitor to go along with it when you're at home.

ebbygoo2
Oct 21, 2012, 11:58 PM
Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

Does else have an iPad and 11"?

.Pook.
Oct 22, 2012, 02:36 AM
Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

Does else have an iPad and 11"?

If you are unsure which MBA to choose, get the 13'. People who get the 11' know exactly what they are looking for.
If you are planning to get the 11', don't get the 64GB SSD because it is too small. Get at least 128GB SSD.

AlvinNguyen
Oct 22, 2012, 03:01 AM
Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

Does else have an iPad and 11"?

I do - I love the combo. The iPad is my go-to for reading / web surfing.

iPhone 5 - on-the-go communicator / quick web surfing / social media
iPad 3 - web browsing / news reading / e-books
Macbook Air 11" 2.0Ghz / 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD - portable/on-location work horse

Planning on picking up the new iMac for my powerhouse machine. I previously had the rMBP as the primary and paired it with a 27" ACD. I sold it in anticipation of the new iMac.

I don't know but I really love having the 11" Macbook Air. It's so light and portable. Sometimes I do wish I had the 13" for the screen but that's only because I edit images on the go in CS6. If you don't I don't see why you need the 13". Plus, even then I still have to say there is something truly unique and special about the 11" MBA. It's just so damn portable. It's the same weight as an iPad 3 + Case!

If you go with a 11" make sure it's a 2012 to take advantage of USB3 and also go with 8GB RAM if you want to future proof and have multiple apps open at the same time.

barbz41086
Oct 22, 2012, 03:07 AM
I sold my iPad 2nd gen and got a rMBP. I used my iPad for a year and loved it. However i found myself wanting to do more and more with it and finally got sick of trying to make it a laptop. I got the rMBP with the idea that i would use both. Word, Excel, iPhoto and whatever else on the rMBP and movies, music and browsing on the iPad. After six weeks the ipad was still in the same place as it was the day i got rMBP. I deemed the iPad useless and sold it. Since then i haven't looked back, until i tried to use the rMBP on a plane, total fail.

So what I'm getting at is a tablet wont replace a computer and you probably dont need both.

J&JPolangin
Oct 22, 2012, 04:04 AM
I have a iPad3 and am trying to decide between the same things but the 5 hours or less battery life on the 11" MBA won't cut it for my use...

On the 13" MBA, it feels huge from a foot print POV to me and I have to use a full size, thin laptop case with it.

I think I'm going to wait until Haswell and see if the battery times on the 11" improve enough for my liking as I still have a whitebook 5,2 with SSD that works well (just wanted something lighter and with the glass track pad functions)?

jojoba
Oct 22, 2012, 06:18 AM
Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

Does else have an iPad and 11"?

The basic considerations are:

- battery life (longer on 13")
- screen size (larger on 13", obviously...)
- portability factor (the 11" being a bit smaller and lighter)

Think those through and decide what is most important to you.

macmastersam
Oct 22, 2012, 01:00 PM
you don't need both for school, seriously.

just get an iMac and be done with it. the iPad, can be taken to school with you to record notes, and the iMac for the 'heavy-duty' tasks.

Mrbobb
Oct 22, 2012, 01:34 PM
Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

Does else have an iPad and 11"?


If after all the excellent replies still can't make up ur mind, perhaps it's time to go minni-manni-moe.

Mlrollin91
Oct 22, 2012, 01:56 PM
I have the 11" MBA and an iPad. Perfect combination. I can carry both of them at the same time and it is still lighter than a MBP.

I had a 13" MBA a while back, but I have really grown to like the 11" more.

ebbygoo2
Oct 22, 2012, 03:38 PM
Hey guys. I've decided I'm gunna hold off new computer for a few weeks. Ill look at it again around Christmas. My ipad keyboard arrived from china yesterday and I love it after writing a 3 page essay.
However, I don't plan to use it as main computer. I was thinking the same thing as the guy above me and when I start looking again I'm first going to have a look at the iMac.


Thank you all for your responses :)

designs216
Oct 22, 2012, 03:56 PM
I think having two portables that are about the same size is impractical. The MBA is a tool and the iPad is a toy, thus get the Air. If you want to get something helpful in addition to that, perhaps a Thunderbolt display to ease the strain of the late night cram or paper.

Orderbychaos
Oct 22, 2012, 04:47 PM
I have the 13inch MBA and Ipad3 I purchased the Ipad First.. Took it everywhere.. Once School started I realized Ipad was great but It was lacking in a few areas.. Word Processing.. yes it had Pages but my Teachers wanted everything Submitted in Word.. so it was Time for a Laptop I Purchased the 13 Air coupled with Office for ma.. OMG I was Blown away.. I have barely used the Ipad Since.. A few of my text books are on it and I read occasionally but it rarely leaves the house. But The Air was a great choice for me.. but I do not need both. Hope this helps.

xproc
Oct 22, 2012, 08:49 PM
i just brought 2012 mba 13", now planing to sell the ipad because i dont want to carry two things together, maybe going for iphone5

jsgreen
Oct 22, 2012, 09:20 PM
I'd go for the 11" MBA for school over the 13" - putting the 11" on a desk during a lecture or a more intimate class setting is a lot less of a physical barrier than the larger screen.

iPad would be a good addition, but I honestly think you probably don't need both.

flyguy206
Oct 23, 2012, 11:41 AM
Go with the 13:cool:

jumbopain
Oct 24, 2012, 01:14 AM
i have a 13in macbook air, iPad, and an 24in apple cinema display. I love my set up.

for undergrad, the iPad was left at home; i took my air to classes. i only used my iPad for required books (that is if there were e-books versions). the air did anything the iPad could, but just better. for example, i even prefer the preview annotation tools over iPad ones on PDFs.

for med school, i use both. however, iPad more heavily now. I am annotating syllabi more, not writing essays etc.

FWIW, i thought about the 11in air, but it was just too small for me screen wise. the 13in & its resolution worked best - no eye strain. plus the weight of an iPad and 13in Air ~= MacBook Pro.

Last, the cinema display basically gives you a "portable" iMac. if you need a change of scenery you can always unplug the Air and move elsewhere.

orangezorki
Oct 27, 2012, 12:24 PM
Totally understand the dilemma of many of the posters here. I'm a junior doctor who doesn't have an office, and rarely stays in the same place for long. I'm trying to climb the ladder and do research, write papers etc, and trying to find a spare computer in a convenient location is a pain. They all use XP, have varying vintages of Office, and every time you log on its 5 minutes + to get all your stuff up and running, and by then someone else has demanded to use the computer, or you have been bleeped to some emergency.

My smallest and lightest computer of any use is a 2009 15" MBP, and I just can't imagine carrying it everywhere - so I really need something specifically for work, and it has to be light and small. I don't need any real power, but am used to something responsive that doesn't run out of ram or storage (plus keeping my large iTunes library might make me stay later to work). Essentially, I need/want the world's best netbook - and I have just ordered a maxed out i7/8GB/512GB 11" MBA, because that fits the bill.

Don't shoot me for that statement - I've always thought that netbooks were an awesome idea, crippled by a stupid idea that they had to be cheaply made, crippled and underpowered. More now than ever, a keyboard is a 'power' feature, and if that can be retained with better quality and guts, it's an awesome work tool. Apple has also given the tiny screen a great boost with the trackpad and Lion full screen apps - you can use every pixel but still swipe between multiple apps effortlessly.

I even did a bit of research on windows 8 notebooks, and they seemed to offer a great deal, especially ones with a spinning HD - sometimes only a third of the price of the one I ordered. But today I went and had a look at some in the shops, and they failed to impress. Firstly, the metro interface looks great with its tablet design, but the problem is that it is also as stripped in terms of features as a tablet. I tried for a few minutes on one computer to change the screen resolution, and eventually found the settings, but still nothing for the display. More obvious was the difference in size, weight, and build quality - There was the occasional ultrabook with similar quality and design (though nothing actually better in either regard), but those were if anything more expensive when you consider the overall package and components.

All in all, I did what I usually do, and salivate over the prices of the cheap computers, swear at the prices of the Macs and then realise that the extra price was well worth paying. I almost wish that Apple priced their products like Bang and Olufsen TVs, or luxury cars, as then I'd be able to resist the shiny shiny and save my money. Instead, they are the masters at pricing high enough to make a huge profit, but low enough to still reel me in.

David