11" for medium level user - Will it be enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GedBlue, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. macrumors member


    May 23, 2009
    Leeds, UK
    Hey guys, thanks for reading :D

    My macbook is a few years old and I feel the need to update so I have a more reliable machine for the remainder of my degree. My current macbook is a 2.1Ghz, with 4GB Ram, 500Gb HDD, it's pretty speedy still, and I love it, but I really want something more portable.

    I use mostly word processing, production of very large PDFs and occasionally handbrake and light video editing, combined with the usual iTunes, Chrome etc.

    So, the MacBook air seems like the perfect solution. But with a 1.4Gz processor and half the ram I have currently, will this be a big downgrade for me in a frustratingly beautiful smaller shinier shell? Or do you think it's up for the task? Or that a 13" Air is worth the extra £!

  2. macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Handbrake and video editing will take longer but everything else will be fine or faster thanks to the ssd I haunt even installed hangbrake because my desktop is so much faster but that said you can get a 4 gb air
  3. macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    As an advanced user with tiger blood in my veins and a penchant for winning, I have found the 11" to be a great machine in the few days that I have owned it.

    I tend to mostly use X11, Xcode, email, browsers, word processing, and the occasional youtube/netflix.

    Ironically, the 11" was an accidental purchase courtesy of a rushed coworker, but it turns out that I will probably prefer it over the 13" purely for the compact form factor. The 1.6 processor and 4GB of ram seems to be holding up with no issues, but Xcode took nearly 10% of the SSD available space (almost 11GB to install).

    In my opinion, the only reasons to go with the 13" MBA or a MBP is increased processor, increased on-board capacity (I'm going to use 32GB microSDHC), and more real estate on the screen.

    Never thought I would care for the 11" MBA, but it is growing on me and I will likely not request a swap from the IT group at work. Maybe I'll borrow a 13" just to be sure....
  4. macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2011
    I would recommend that you upgrade your ram to 4 gig. I had a 13" air (the new one) with 2 gb - and I have to be honest I found it rather slow and sluggish.. I got rid of it again and bought myself a 11" air instead with 1.6, 4gb and 128 ssd. It's awesome. I have not found it sluggish in anyway and the smaller size just makes it so more fun! You want to carry it around everywhere you go! Buy the 11 inch and you won't regret it :)

    Best of luck with your new 11"! :D
  5. macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I'm going from a 2GHz single core machine to a baseline 1.4GHz MacBook Air and it works fine. Very fast. Go to the Apple Store and have a tryout.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    I think that is the best advice of all: Go to the store and try it out.

    I thought that the 11.6" might be too small for me until I tried it out at Best Buy. I'm sure glad I didn't just order the 13.3" version. I love my 11.6" MBA!
  7. MRU
    macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    If you want to speed up encoding on your MBA I'd recommend the elgato Turbo.264HD dongle :) Works great on my 11"
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I plan on getting an 11" for my wife, she does light web browsing and messes with the occasional pictures, but its a great machine for that kind of stuff. I got myself the 13" because I was a little nervous coming from a 15" about resolution and usability, and screen size since I type a lot of papers for grad school...I am extremely happy with it so far.
  9. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have sold me!;)
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2011
    Is that you, Charlie?
  11. macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    The 11inch 4GB will be faster than just about any machine regardless of processor unless you are encoding/rendering.

    The SSD kicks major ass.
  12. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
  13. macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    I have the 11" base model, and am running Photoshop CS5, Lightroom, etc with absolutely no problem. The screen real estate isn't a problem at all (I'd been concerned before buying) and is only slightly less vertically than my Macbook Pro. The screen quality is beautiful.

    I'm thinking of the screen not as a vertically-challenged letterbox but as an extra-wide compact. This way of thinking means I can comfortably work with images and have all my palettes open on the extra wide sides of the screen.

    I also watch movies, browse internet etc. Never a problem with stuttering or flickering.

    That said, I don't use it as my main machine. If you're planning to do detailed retouching or aftereffects work on your videos then you may want something with a larger screen (iMac etc). But for straightforward full-image adjustment work even the base model is smooth for me.

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