11" Air or Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 76ShovelHead, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2010
    I was considering a 2.5 GHz i5 Mini with upgraded ram (8GB from newegg) but also a refurbished 11" Air 1.7 to hook up to the monitor when at my desk. It would replace my 14" iBook G4 1.4 GHz. I used to do web design (used Coda and FireWorks) but I am focusing on Teaching now, still I'd like to have the ability to do web design in the future.

    Some questions:

    14" vs 11.6" how hard is it to adjust to?

    i5 2.5 (Mini) vs 1.7 (Air) is it noticeably different?

    I'll be using the thunderbolt for HDMI if I got the Air.

    What do you guys do about the limited SSD space?

    My workflow: Safari (several tabs, a few windows), a couple desktops, iPhoto (sometimes Pixelmator), iWork and/or (very rarely) MS Office, Evernote, stickies, text edit, Mail.app/Entourage is always open, I use the iCloud suite, and iTunes or Spotify IF i feel like listening to music (and I very rarely do).

  2. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I would say skip the 11" and get a 13" due to the flexibility it will give and the fact you won't have to immediately buy a secondary display.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    The MacBook Air is very underpowered. A lot of people fail to realize this until they get it and ask me, "Why is my MacBook a lot choppier when I do *this* or *that*?"

    Well, it uses an ultra low voltage processor.

    I say go with a 13" Classic, remove the optical drive and tether it to a monitor when you need.
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 27, 2011
    I think you will find the 11" too small for what you want to do. The 13" classic makes much more sense unless you really need the ultra portability.
  5. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    An 11" Air is FAR, FAR more powerful than your current iBook. Your needs are low and frankly the Air would do just fine. (We've got an 11" Air here thats a couple years old base model that does great even with Mountain Lion and 2GB RAM.)

    Hook up a monitor when you are at your desk and it will be fine.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    If you're coming from an iBook, a MBA is plenty powerful for your needs. I'd suggest the MBA 13 unless you travel (fly) a lot and need the added portability. Use portable hard drive for added storage needs or setup a network drive to access the content.
  7. Yamcha, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    I'm also a Web Designer, I'd personally go for the Mac Mini. It's going to be faster, easier to upgrade memory & install an SSD. Also with the money you have left over you can invest on a 1080p IPS Monitor.

    The Macbook Air comes with a TN panel, so the colours are going to be washed out & will have a lower resolution compared to modern 21.5" or higher monitor..

    EDIT: The Macbook Air may appear faster due to the SSD, but again with the money you save buying a Mac Mini you can also install an SSD if you wanted, in other areas though the Mac Mini will be faster of course..
  8. macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2012
    MBA 11' will be fine!

    A Macbook Air 11' will be ok, especially since you can hook it up with external monitor. I went from 2011 iMac 21,5' (sold it) back to my old 2007 Macbook 13' while saving up for a new computer.

    After careful consideration I gambled on the MBA 11' as my main computer.

    I was afraid it would be too small, but I got adjusted very quickly.

    Now I am very happy that I choose the (mid 2012) MBA 11' :D - the portability is "golden", at least for me. I have it in bed, when I watch TV sometimes and of course in my "homeoffice".

    The old Macbook 2007 serves as my backup machine because I installed a 500 Gb harddrive and 3 Gb RAM when I abandoned my 2011 iMac.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    Exactly why would one do that????
  10. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    My sarcastic alert is not registering. Are you being serious?!

    Optical media... yuck. ODDs... even worse.

    Extra storage... yeah baby!
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    How much storage do you need?
  12. macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    Please don't give false advice-while it is true it uses an ULV processor,MBA feels actually faster (especially the 2012) than MBP due to SSD.

    And for all the things OP mentioned,it will serve him just fine,MBA is very fast for the general tasks,unless you are into video editing or such.

    And if you feel it really is extremely underpowered,I guess then all the editors at various tech sites wont really be using it-TheVerge staff has 90% MBA's as laptops and clearly it's rated as the best 13' laptop right now for the price.
  13. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    To install a second hard drive
  14. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    When working with a couple of video projects... more is better. I never want to fill my boot drive past 75%.

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