What is the point of the 13" mba?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Funkymonk, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    Same footprint as 13" mbp, just thinner.

    it's higher resolution yeah but I think after the update coming soon 13" will get that too
    ssd could be put in the mbp too

    I think the air should only be 11". 13" air doesn't make sense to me. Honestly not trying to insult others purchase, just want to understand.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    New York
    Well let's all be thankful your not in charge of that decision at apple hq.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    1) Around 1.5 pounds lighter
    2) Higher resolution screen (on par with regular 15" MBP)
    3) Comes with fast SSD (relative to HDD)
    4) Around 1.5 pounds lighter
    5) Still a lot thinner

    But I'm on the same boat as you. That's why I ended up getting the 11". But the 13" has its place.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    An 11" inch screen just wont cut it for me - I need a font that's bigger (hey, I'm old) and I need the screen real estate of the 13.

    In my opinion, the difference between the two is huge, especially if, like me, you carry your laptop to and from work everyday on a train and traveling all over the place. In my eyes the 13" MBA is the perfect compromise - lose lots of weight and thinkness without losing the screen real estate.
  5. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I've used a MacBook Air since the Rev A back in 2008. For me, the 1.5lb weight difference is huge. Plus, it is still thin enough to fit inside the document pocket of the case for my office Windows notebook. That way I can take it with me when I'm traveling without having to take another bag or use up valuable luggage space.

    That said, I'm seriously considering switching to the 11" model with the Rev E or Rev F model. I just didn't want to step down to the 1.6GHz CPU and be limited to 128GB on the SSD with the current 11" model. If it were offered with the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo and 256GB SSD I might have gone with the 11".
  6. macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2011
    No, it's a question a lot of people weigh, myself included.

    I just bought a 13" maxed out MBA, and for me, It came down to:

    1)I carry my laptop with me everywhere, every day. Even at home, I'm curling up with it on the couch and in bed. The fact that it is so much lighter and smaller profile makes a huge difference (to me anyway).

    2)Better screen resolution.

    3)Flash Memory. You can upgrade the MBP, but once you do, those savings start to dwindle (but still exist I know, and are even better if you get a third party to provide the SSD)

    4)Thinner and doesn't have a disk drive. For some people this is a minus (just one more feature it lacks for the money), for me, I don't *wan't* my laptop to have an optical drive if I can just cut the space down. Again, that's just me.

    5)Just looks cooler. (At least I'm *admitting* this is hugely important to me :p)

    Basically, there was nothing in my use cases that a maxed out MBA 13" couldn't handle for the duration of my owning it, and I like it better, so there.

    I'll be the first to admit that you get way more computing bang for your buck with a MBP. I'm steering my girlfriend towards one once they update(her old Powerbook G4 is having issues), -just not for me.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Some ppl don't need the power-bump in the MBP, and can get by with the lower spec'd MBA.

    Some people prefer the 13" screen over the 11" screen.

    Some people prefer lighter and thin over heavier and less thin.

    Some people may wonder what the point of the base 13" MBP is. Not like it's gonna be able to do much more than the 13" Air...and if you really need it to do much more than an Air can you'd probably be better off with the 15/17 MBPs.

    It's all about perspective...
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    you're not paying more for lower specs.

    yes they have lower specs...but you're paying more for the form factor...thinness and lightness and SSD snappiness...the battery life, and the benefits that those things can bring to your day-to-day activities.

    it's hard to explain unless you've had one for a day...

    i understand your question tho...it's just that that type of question was also asked of the ipad...and usually you will never know the answer to the question unless you go and try one out for a day. fortunately for steve jobs & co., millions of ppl have found out the answer.
  10. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    The 13 inch MBA is powerful. No one is paying for a "lower specced machine." Specs dont matter near as much as people think they do anyway.

    What you are paying for is a different specced machine. The SSD is not a cheap component and almost single handedly makes this machine fly. The 13 inch is very fast. I use Maya and ZBrush on it when I need to travel.

    As for the 13 inches place, there are many people who need a thin laptop to travel. For example I used to work in a not so friendly country and had to travel in and out with very limited equipment. The computer I had was essential but took up a lot of weight. I would have loved to have an air seeing how as I had only a 15 pound weight limit I was allowed to carry.

    Other people who travel often or travel with stuff like camera gear appreciate the extra thinness too. The macbook pro 13, while nice, is thicker and heavier and for a lot of uses, slower then the air due to lack of an SSD.

    I know your probably wondering why not just use the 11inch air, well as much as I love that machine I need the screen size of the 13 inch. The 13 inch is the lowest I can go and still code on. Its also the lowest I can use programs like Unity, Maya, and ZBrush on.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2010
    I think the 13" mba is good if one is used to bigger displays but the 11" is just more portable and it looks cooler
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    On the other hand, what's the point of the 13" MacBook Pro? I've been thinking Apple should discontinue that. I don't see the point of there being a white MacBook as well as a MacBook Pro that are basically (almost) the same.
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    ok. I understand why you might need it especially when you are often limited to how much you can carry.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    Coming from a 13" MB, I appreciate the weight! It feels much less clunky and more solid than the plastic case. And now the hi-res screen makes the other one look bad in comparison, although that may not be unique for long.
  15. hfg
    macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA

    I have both the 11" and 13" and the native font size is essentially the same since the larger screen has higher resolution. When my "old eyes" get tired, the 13" screens higher resolution does allow me to enlarge the font, zoom the screen, or decrease the effective screen resolution so as to view larger characters with similar screen layout as the 11" model which helps a lot!:cool:

  16. cootersgarage6, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2011

    Nov 6, 2010

    Maybe people want the bigger screen? or the SD slot? Duh... Lol
  17. macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I don't think it's just me, but the fact that it's a normal-sized (in the X and Y) laptop and just a smidge under normal-specced on the inside is what originally attracted me to the Air when it was first released. I held onto my trusty old 12" PowerBook for as long as I could, and finally bought an Air near the end of 2009. I love that it has pretty much all of the internal capability of the 13" MacBook Pro (granted, a tad slower, but what's 400MHz these days?) while weighing 1.5 pounds less. I cart my laptop around with me all day, every day, so every little bit of weight in my bag counts. I finally got around to upgrading it with an SSD, and its performance puts my friend's 15" Pro to shame now. I couldn't be happier with this machine, and see myself using it as my main laptop for another several years :)
  18. macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    In my case I downgraded if you can call in that way from a MBP 15" to a MBA 13". To me the most attractive was the light weight and the shape. My all family use the laptop and more of the time to watch videos or surfing the internet.

    So a big screen is important and high life battery. The other options of the MBPs can live without them.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    The 11" has the highest PPI in the entire Mac lineup right now. Without REsolution Independence in OSX, that means all of the UI elements on the 11" Air are tinier than they are on every other machine.

    The 13" Air has also been the standard size for the MBA since it was introduced. Just 'cause there's a smaller one, doesn't mean they should kill off the 13" whole-hog. It's not like the discontinued the 15"/17" MBPs when they rebranded the 13".

    The 13" Air also gets 2+ hours of battery life more than the 11". So if you need more than ~5 hours of battery life in a day, you may want the 13" which can get 7-8hrs depending on usage.

    The 13" also has bigger storage options and higher clocked processors - meaning you can get a MBA that performs almost as much as a 13" MBP. The 11" can't handle the higher temperatures and is saddled with only a 1.4Ghz or 1.6Ghz processor (and the matching drop in performance compared to the 13" MBA).
  20. macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    More for the money w/the 13-inch?

    I was impressed with the 11-inch MacBook Air, and then I did the math. An 11-inch MBA with a 64 gig SSD wasn't going to cut it for me, so I looked at the 128-gig SSD version. Turns out, the 13-inch MBA with the 128-gig SSD was only $100. For a "mere" $100 more, I could get a larger screen, a slightly faster processor, longer battery life, and an SD card reader.

    So last weekend, I bought the 13-inch. So far, so good.
  21. macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    ...and a bigger footprint.

    Not saying you made the wrong decision AT ALL, but I'm saying the sheer size it what makes it a double-edged sword. You do get more, but "more" (i.e. size) isn't always better for some.
  22. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddly enough, this "lower spec" machine outperforms my 15" i7 MBP.

    Turns out that the stuff I do daily (Mail.app, Firefox, iTunes, Aperture, Quicken, VMWare Fusion) has been held back because of disk speed, **not** processor speed.

    So now, for me, any notebook without SSD is a lower spec'ed notebook. :eek: :D

    Attached Files:

  23. macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    I dont get the 13" air either, just dont get it with the new 13" MBP coming out soon. BUt to each his own... I like blue, some like red, and some like black.
    One thing is for sure - apple knows their (varied) customers.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    The 11-inch is a wonderful machine. It's just that price wise, the 13-inch is more of a sweet-spot product for me. It might have a slightly larger footprint than the 11, but I don't think it is quite as large as the 13-inch MBP. And even if a new 13-in MBP comes out tomorrow, it will most definitely continue to weight more than the MBA and I bought the Air because I wanted something thin and light.

    Also, I just finished writing a quick Word document on the MBA (I'm on it now) and I must say, while 16:9 is a great ratio for movies, I like 13-inch's taller ratio (16:10?) for writing.
  25. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    What is it about the next generation 13" MBP that's causing the questioning of the 13" MBA?

    It it supposed to be 35% lighter than the current one? 30% thinner? :confused:

Share This Page