Experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" -- Impressions and Review

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by WardC, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #1
    So here is my "Ultimate" MacBook Air 11.6" and my "Ultimate" 13.3" -- I have taken 6 photos of them side-by-side you can actually see the real life comparison in size when they are together. The 11.6" model is very tiny and compact, and the 13.3" model looks mammoth in size compared to the 11". I liked the 11.6" so much that I decided to get the 13.3" to take the place of my old MacBook Pro as my "full-size" laptop replacement! I got the 11.6" for true portability, but the 13.3" for the extra screen space, drive space, and horsepower when I need it (like doing photoshop, video editing, web design, or fullscreen gaming). The 13.3" is my full-size laptop now, and the 11.6" is my ultra-portable carry-anywhere laptop. Here are some great photos to compare the two for size. Enjoy:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy!!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Tomple

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #2
    Thanks for this, thats a major difference!
    Im thinking of going with the 11" as a secondary computer, any reason you could think of to go with the 13"?
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Hellishness

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #3
    Man the 11's nice..but since my 13 is my main computer and it only cost me $100 more, I'm happy with my decision to go with the 13". Also, I find I'm running up the CPU MUCH more than I did on my MBP, so the slightly boosted processor might have helped.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I've heard of furniture porn but this is getting silly
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #5
    Well, the 11" really is a fun computer to use. I use my 11" more than my 13" really, because I like holding it and carrying it better, it does feel alot lighter, actually MUCH lighter even though it is just 0.6lb difference. The 16:9 resolution is actually nice on the 11", the 13" is just better if you need the extra screen resolution that 1440x900 will give you (This is the native resolution of the standard MacBook Pro 15" configuration, on the 13" MBA). The 1366x768 on the 11" model gives you considerably less vertical resolution which may seem a bit impeding at times if you do alot of work that requires more screen real estate. The extra processor amp on the 13" model (the 2.13GHz vs the 1.6GHz) comes into play when you try to run 1080p flash, for instance, the 2.13 can handle it quite well while the 1.6GHz stutters a bit on some 1080p flash clips, although not badly. It handles 720p just fine as well as 1080p in VLC and iTunes/QuickTime player. The 2.13GHz handles everything perfectly, and gives the extra horsepower you might like when running an intensive set of operations in Photoshop or doing heavy work in Aperture (the extra screen resolution is also good for Aperture). The 256GB Flash on the 13.3" model will allow you to store a complete video library as well, while 64GB or 128GB will limit you by 1/2 or 1/4 as much that you could store internally. The 13.3" is a better mobile gaming machine. The 11.6" is the best model for carrying around the house, to work, on an airplane, in your car (it is perfect in the car), and it is VERY TINY. The 11" is small, it is as small as a netbook, but the keyboard is fullsized and there are no compromises. The 1.6GHz model I have is VERY FAST. I have Photoshop CS3 installed on it and it runs perfectly. Navigating the web is instantaneous, pages load up and render instantly, it is snappy and fast. The high resolution on the 11.6" leads to a higher PPI and so it is very sharp, but text is very tiny. It is noticeable compared to the 13.3" model, in which small text is much easier to read. The actual difference is 128ppi (13.3") to 135ppi (11.6"), and YES it is quite a noticeable difference. My eyes can tell. If I were to use the machine for a long time (more than 2 hours) I would perfer to work on the 13.3", I could work on that machine all day.

    As for battery life, the 13.3" after full charge reported about 8:40 of battery life remaining! I am still on the first charge!! (and I bought it yesterday). Yes, quite amazing. I have used it about 5 hours so far and it still has over 2 hours left on the battery. My 11.6" I have had since Monday and I have charged it 4 times. The battery lasts about 5 hours as advertised, the battery life is very good, and I am very impressed by this little machine. I found that when you do a video chat in iChat, it eats through the battery very fast, you only get about 2:45 hours of battery life on the 11" when you run video chat in iChat, but under normal use you should get 5 hours. The "deep sleep" feature is nice and works as advertised. It preserves the battery life after having been asleep for one hour and goes into deep sleep, where it can last up to 30 days and still have "instant-on" --the battery management on these machines is truly incredible. Apple has done away with the "sleep indicator" light on the unit which helps preserve more battery life. There is no pulsating white light, ambient light sensor, or backlit keyboard on either unit. You just shut it and it goes off.

    As for boot time, these puppies sure do boot fast. Less than 15 second bootup and restart to desktop in 12 seconds flat. They are super-fast at booting and restart! The new hardwired Flash SSD is really incredible on these units. Applications load up very fast on both of my MBA units. I am very happy with my new MacBook Airs.

    Okay, I think this has been a lengthy post here, please feel free to ask any questions or comments below, this is my "half-review" here, and a few comments on experiences with both machines. I tried to cover everything, but there is much more!! I will try to do a better review later this weekend.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #6
    Experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" -- Impressions and Review

    I am going to try to give a quick review of my experiences owning both the 11.6" and 13.3" "Ultimate" MacBook Air models. I got my 11.6" delivered on Monday of this week, and I just purchased a 13.3" from the Apple Store yesterday. Here is what I have found, experienced, and have to share about real-life experience working with and comparing these units so far.


    The 11" really is a fun computer to use. I have been using my 11" more than my 13" really (well, I just got the 13" so I haven't had much chance to sit down with it as of yet). I like holding and carrying the 11" MBA better, it does feel alot lighter, actually MUCH lighter even though it is just 0.6lb difference. The 16:9 resolution is actually nice on the 11", the 13" is just better if you need the extra screen resolution that 1440x900 will give you (This is the native resolution of the standard MacBook Pro 15" configuration, on the 13" MBA). The 1366x768 on the 11" model gives you considerably less vertical resolution which may seem a bit impeding at times if you do alot of work that requires more screen real estate. The extra processor amp on the 13" model (the 2.13GHz vs the 1.6GHz) comes into play when you try to run 1080p flash, for instance, the 2.13 can handle it quite well while the 1.6GHz stutters a bit on some 1080p flash clips, although not badly. It handles 720p just fine as well as 1080p in VLC and iTunes/QuickTime player. The 2.13GHz handles everything perfectly, and gives the extra horsepower you might like when running an intensive set of operations in Photoshop or doing heavy work in Aperture (the extra screen resolution is also good for Aperture). The 256GB Flash on the 13.3" model will allow you to store a complete video library as well, while 64GB or 128GB will limit you by 1/2 or 1/4 as much that you could store internally. The 13.3" is a better mobile gaming machine. The 11.6" is the best model for carrying around the house, to work, on an airplane, in your car (it is perfect in the car), and it is VERY TINY. The 11" is small, it is as small as a netbook, but the keyboard is fullsized and there are no compromises. The 1.6GHz model I have is VERY FAST. I have Photoshop CS3 installed on it and it runs perfectly. Navigating the web is instantaneous, pages load up and render instantly, it is snappy and fast. The high resolution on the 11.6" leads to a higher PPI and so it is very sharp, but text is very tiny. It is noticeable compared to the 13.3" model, in which small text is much easier to read. The actual difference is 128ppi (13.3") to 135ppi (11.6"), and YES it is quite a noticeable difference. My eyes can tell. If I were to use the machine for a long time (more than 2 hours) I would perfer to work on the 13.3", I could work on that machine all day.

    Both units together:

    [​IMG]

    As for battery life, the 13.3" after full charge reported about 8:40 of battery life remaining! I am still on the first charge!! (and I bought it yesterday). Yes, quite amazing. I have used it about 5 hours so far and it still has over 2 hours left on the battery. My 11.6" I have had since Monday and I have charged it 4 times. The battery lasts about 5 hours as advertised, the battery life is very good, and I am very impressed by this little machine. I found that when you do a video chat in iChat, it eats through the battery very fast, you only get about 2:45 hours of battery life on the 11" when you run video chat in iChat, but under normal use you should get 5 hours. The "deep sleep" feature is nice and works as advertised. It preserves the battery life after having been asleep for one hour and goes into deep sleep, where it can last up to 30 days and still have "instant-on" --the battery management on these machines is truly incredible. Apple has done away with the "sleep indicator" light on the unit which helps preserve more battery life. There is no pulsating white light, ambient light sensor, or backlit keyboard on either unit. You just shut it and it goes off.

    As for boot time, these puppies sure do boot fast. Less than 15 second bootup and restart to desktop in 12 seconds flat. They are super-fast at booting and restart! The new hardwired Flash SSD is really incredible on these units. Applications load up very fast on both of my MBA units. I am very happy with my new MacBook Airs.

    Okay, I think this has been a lengthy post here, please feel free to ask any questions or comments below, this is my "half-review" here, and a few comments on experiences with both machines. I tried to cover everything, but there is much more!! I will try to do a better review later this weekend.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Tomple

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #7
    Wow WardC, thanks for the response! I guess im going to have to go to the store to really feel them both but your "half-review" was awesome and made me feel that the 11.6" would be a fun machine to have. Thanks!
     
  8. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #8
    I understand why someone would want the 11.6" MBA as a secondary computer, but what benefit is there to own the higher spec 13" MBA as opposed to the base 15" MBP model, perhaps with the 1680 x 1050 screen?

    You said you got the 11" MBA for "true portability", so it can be assumed that the 13" MBA was not purchased for this purpose. If so, then I can't think of any benefit of getting the 13" MBA as your "main" computer other than to say, "I have it." :confused: Perhaps boot times, but I usually leave my system on for months without rebooting (51 days, 16:59 hours according to Terminal), but I suppose you could have gotten good boot times from an SSD installed in a 15" MBP.

    If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Those are great photos - thanks! I got the smaller MBA for my wife and I'm thinking about picking up the larger one for myself. Hope you get to enjoy both machines.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #10
    perhaps the heat/fan noise issue??

    Does the MBP heat up significantly like the previous MBA did? From what I've heard so far, the new MBA seems to do better on the cooling side? Does that help the performance/lifespan of the computer, or only helps when you have it on your lap?

    Looking at the 11" and 13" side by side, I find the 11's 16:9 screen a bit weird, maybe I got so used to the 16:10 ratio. But it got pretty much the same width, only a bit "shorter". I think I really have to go check them out in person to see which screen suits me better.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Corax

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    #11
    I really LOVE my new MacBook Air 13"...:apple:
    Really, really fast boot, 12 seconds (from pushing powerbutton, to loaded desktop).
    As a surprice I also noticed a significant overall performance boost compared to my MacBook 13" aluminium unibody (released end 2008 model, bought in febr. 2009 with 2,4GHz and 4GB RAM).
    At last, I do enjoy the new screen BIG TIME, 1440x900.
    I'm enjoying it even more than I thought before purchase (I planned buying it).
     
  12. macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    On the first picture it looks like the keyboard sticks out way more than the screen! :D
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #13
    'furniture porn'??? What is that?

    (Please excuse my ignorance)
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Tomple

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #14
    off topic: mind sending that terminal code over :)
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #15
    You can type either:
    Code:
    uptime
    Or

    Code:
    w
    The second one also gives you people currently logged in.:)
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL area
    #16
    You can't go wrong with the 11.6.....which I affectionately call "baby Mac"! I was positive I wanted the 13 inch MBA. So positive that I was not even going to look at baby Mac and just order online. I'm glad I went to the Apple store (on 3 different days mind you..) to look them over in person and play. I spent 85 per cent of my time there playing with baby Mac and was amazed then...and still am now! Amazed more each day.

    For my needs and uses it's perfect. And the portability and form factor is icing on the cake!
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Tomple

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #17
    Thanks :)
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #18
    I've compared the two side by side in the Apple Store and when the 11" is open (as in your photos) there is a clear difference in size visible. However, the two weigh almost exactly the same and the screen resolutions are very similar. There is only a real difference in one of the dimensions.

    What is it that you do that means you need two computers that are so similar?
     
  19. rrl
    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #19
    @WardC

    Thanks for the excellent pictures, but it's time for you to upgrade to the unibody Mac mini. Then you can get that power brick off of your desk. :)
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #20
    +1 on wanting to know this as well.

    I have the '10 13.3 MBP and have a hard time justifying either model for extra portability. I've been to the store twice to play with them both. I'm trying to talk myself into either for "portability" reasons. Just can't do it. I guess I'm spoiled with the SSD setup and already enjoy the 15 second boot times and snappy app response. I suppose if I were gaining performance AND portability, it would be an easier decision.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #21
    I would rather have the following compbos than both size macbook airs

    ·13" MBA + iPad

    ·11" + 15" MBP

    ·11" + 17" MBP

    But honestly, you probably have an iPad too and a regular laptop, so to each their own. Just seems weird especially buying both at the same point in the product's lifetime.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #22
    My thinking as well. I have a Mac Pro, a 13" MBP and an iPad. I went from a 17" MBP to the 13" MBP because I wanted to use my machine while flying. If I'm in coach and the seat in front of me is reclined - which describes 80% of my flying time - then I can't use my 13" MBP, so I fall back to reading on my iPad.

    I'm due for an upgrade (through work) in 2011 and have asked for a 17" i7 MBP since I want the screen more than I want the portability. I might spring for an 11" MBA out of my own pocket if it would help with working while flying, but I can't really see replacing my 13" MBP with either model with the MBA - especially since my MBP has 8G memory which I fully utilize.

    My wife has taken over my iPad and is pushing me to get a MBA so she can have my iPad. But until I'm sure I'm getting a new 17" MBP, I don't see the sense in carrying a MBA and a 13" MBP.
     
  23. macrumors 603

    nfl46

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #23
    I had both the 11.6" and 13.3". I initially had the 11.6", it was nice and all, but way too small -- the screen, that is. I returned it for the base 13.3". The bigger screen is definitely welcomed!
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Hellishness

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #24
    OK, here's my .02 for anyone who cares:
    The 13" is seriously, I think, the best laptop screen size, at least for my needs. I've used 13" almost exclusively since April this year when I got my MBP. The higher resolution on the MBA is nicer, and I like the MBA very much. The 11" has AMAZING resolution. I'll never deny that, it's just great. The problem with the 11" is that it's just too small. I can't imagine using that every day.

    On top of that, the 11" is really expensive. On paper, for $100 less and a base 13" MBA (11"/128/1.4) you get a more portable, but reasonably crippled MBA. This is the same price as a 13" MBP, and you get a 1GHz better processor, twice the RAM, almost twice the storage (albeit flash vs HDD).

    So, price-wise, a 11" doesn't make much sense (I can't go lower than 128 storage, so I kinda ignored the 64GB).

    Lets look at portability. You can't argue that the 11" is much more portable than the 13". My question is how much? As long as its not the only thing in my bag, I can't feel it, and its no chore at all to carry it around in my hand.


    TLDR? The 13", IMO, isn't much more to carry around (maybe WardC can shed some light), and assuming you need at least 128GB, it's only $100 more for a very noticeable amount of screen space.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #25
    I agree that the 11 inch MBA's screen is pretty small. Its biggest drawback to me, though, was its being limited to 128GB of storage. Many users, including me, couldn't get by with that. That's why I got a 13 inch MBA Ultimate, with 256GB of flash storage. By the time I got my 13 GB VMware Fusion VM installed, along with all of my OS X apps, I had used up 125GB of my storage.

    Another reason I have been so pleased with my 13 inch MBA is that it has exactly the same programs and data up and running on it that I had been running on my MBP. As a result, the MBA has replaced the MBP for everything except copying CDs into iTunes. Better yet, the MBA has completely replaced my iPad, which I will be selling when I get around to it.
     

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