11" 1.6 or 13" 1.86

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ghepburn, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. ghepburn macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Need some advice on which MBA to get. I will definitely be upgrading to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of memory. I love the look of the 11" but for the same price I can have the 13" which has more battery, sd slot etc. However is the 13" with 1.86 ghz much faster than the 11" with 1.6 ghz?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Depends what you do but the minor bump in CPU isn't that big deal. In everyday usage you won't notice any difference.
  3. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    I don't think the processor speed will show you that much of an improvement. However, if you're going to add 4GB memory anyway, I'd go for the 13" as you can do much more on it than o the 11" (at least from my point of view) due to the bigger screen and better battery. You also get an SD card slot as a bonus :D
  4. psirix, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

    psirix macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Detroit, MI
    Depends on your preference. When I decide to pull the trigger I'm going for an 11" instead of the 13". I originally was hooked on the 13", but realized I wanted the unit for its portability. The 11" makes a big difference in that aspect, IMO. I'm also not going to use it for any intensive tasks, so I know I will have enough power with the 1.6GHz chip. However, if you need more power depending on the tasks you are doing and the SD slot/larger screen size would be beneficial for you, go with the 13".
  5. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I've had the same running discussion with myself ever since I bought my 13" MBA (1.86GHz, 128 SSD, 2 gigs RAM) - that perhaps I should have bought the "ultimate" 11.6" version instead.

    I may well own both at some point later this month. But the fact remains that I can only use one at a time. The 11.6" MBA, in my view, is ideal for travel across town or around the country, and I do a lot of that. When I need a full-featured computer with me on client calls, on the other hand, the 13" fills the bill rather nicely. I never fail to get compliments on it.

    I agree that the slight processor bump won't be noticeable ... but to me, the difference between the two is determined by what you choose to do with it. I really can't justify having both, but I'm trying very hard!
  6. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    Keep in mind that on the 13" you also get a bump in FSB speeds (1066 FSB speed on the 13" versus the 11" is only at 800), which adds a little to the "perceived speed" jump as much as the CPU increase in speed.

    And for most users, the added battery capacity means more run time on the 13" versus the 11" netbook model. All the speed in the world is irrelevant if the thing is dead or you find yourself having to wait until you can get to an power outlet to check your email or whatever.

    But really, the answer to your question is simple: What are your uses for the machine? If we are talking everyday office tasks and surfing the web, you could get by with the low end of either model. If your needs are bleeding edge and/or processor-intensive, then of course you'll want the max available for the money.

    But CPU speeds, as have been mentioned in so many other threads, are not your only benchmark for guidance. You have to look at the complete package.
  7. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    Most people will tell you to go with the 13' 1.86. for your money its by far the better value. You get a better FSB, bigger battery, bigger screen and better processor.

    So why would you consider the 11.6?

    because its got a hotness feature of just being that small. And its ultra ultra portable. Not that the 13.6 isn't portable. It's just the 11.6 inch is just a bit more portable and thats only apparently once you have used both systems for a while.

    if you have another computer, i would go with the 11.6 as your companion. but if this is your primary computer, its no brainer...go with the 1.86

    Yeah I was like you wondering if the i made a mistake getting the 11.6 inch, but after traveling with it for 2 weeks. It's been amazing!!!
  8. Drezin macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    im between the 11' and the 13' too... i really like the 11' size but the 13' isnt much larger... as ill only be carrying it in a backpack to med school i dont think the 200 grams diff will matter much...
    but the 11' is so cute!
    but then the 13' has much better battery life...

    i keep going back and forth, unable to decide!
  9. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    Seeing you live in taxland as me, I would tell you to go for the 11" if possible. No way the 13" is worth the extra $600.
  10. Drezin macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    ill get it abroad and im not counting price in the decision, only convinience and suitability for on the go use.

    i expect to use my MBA for quite a few years, so i think the huge investiment is justified
  11. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    Ah I see. In that case, it's really up to your preference. If buying abroad, I would get the 13 inch. But that's only because I find the 11" too small. If I could live on 11", I would get the 128GB one with 4GB RAM in no time.
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Got an 11.6" MBA for my wife as she travels frequently. It is a lovely machine but I'm not sure if the screen real estate would be sufficient for me to use on a longer-term basis. I got the 13" one and I'm very happy with my decision. Both machines are highly portable and the advantage that the 13" MBA has in better h/w outweighs the 11.6" MBA's slightly better portability. But to each his own....
  13. rrl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2009
    If you want to be happy, get the 13".

    If you want to be really happy, get the 11" ultimate.
  14. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I embarrasingly went back and forth... and back again between the 11 and 13, back to 11.

    For me, the 13 isn't that special. Thinner isn't much of an improvement over a MBP.

    But the 11 is amazing. Its a tiny computer that is still powerful.

    Folks seem to think that bigger is better. We're talking about portable laptops. Smaller is better. Smaller is more expensive. If you want big, you can get a much more powerful desktop Windows box for $300. But for incredibly tiny yet powerful package, nothing beats the 11" MBA. I got the ultimate. 4GB highly recommended.
  15. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    1.6 vs 1.86 Ghz speed isn't that much different.

    If you go 11 inch you get these benefits.

    1. Lighter and fits on more bags.
    2. Attracts more attentions.

    If you go 13 inch...

    1. Bigger screen with higher resolution
    2. More value for your money
    3. SD card slot
    4. 2 hours longer battery life
    5. Slightly bigger trackpad.
  16. linkandzelda macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    I was in the same boat as you not so long ago and I decided to go with the 13". The CPU is slightly higher, has more cache too (slight performance boost) but also the battery people have reported as much as 11.2 hours. Not only that but it has a faster FSB clocked at 1066MHz which makes it also faster to access memory and CPU. So it's slightly more than 1.6 vs 1.86.

    The 11" is nice but it's slightly too small, slightly not powerful enough and on top of that has a decent but rather low battery capacity.

    In the end it boils down to what you will be using it for. Seeing as your opening this thread I can tell its most likely a power issue in terms of CPU. Makes me think you wan't to do power hungry things on it. If you want power then get the 13", if your not so fussed and want smaller then go with the 11".
  17. BigMacUBC macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2010
    I just picked up the 13' base model. The 11' seems like it would put too much strain on my eyes after a while.
  18. w4rmk macrumors regular


    Feb 13, 2006
    The 11" version is better for people who travel a lot and will be using it for quick tasks on an as-needed basis. The 13" MBA can be used as both a primary and travel computer. The high end model's specs are in the MB Pro class (2.13Ghz/4GB/256GB SSD). I suspect the 13" MBA will steal a lot of sales from the 13" MB Pro but the 11" model will get buyers looking for high portability.
  19. Drezin macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    before the release of the 11' mba everyone thought the 13' was portable enough. while larger than the 11' is it such a big difference that justifies the shorter battery life?
  20. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    Yes. you ahve hold both and try carrying it around the office. The smallest weight can make a difference. Not because we are wussies but over time, its taxing and annoying.

    If you have another computer and the MBA is the secondary computer, then the 11.6 is a really nice companion.
  21. applebook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2009
    I don't understand why people are ignoring the sexiest feature of the 13" Air: its 1440x900 resolution. Right now, WXGA is just barely usable, and I'm considering selling my 13" Pro for the 13" Air because of the higher resolution. Plus, my tower PC does all of the intense number crunching, so I don't NEED much horsepower (though more than a netbook can provide!)!
  22. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    +1 for the 13" - it's hands down faster

    as already posted elsewhere, the 11" is for girls cos it slips neatly into one's purse and is well kinda cute :D
  23. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    Agreed. It was one of the big draws of the 13" for me.
  24. macdaddy01 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    I completely agree. I connect to a lot of remote desktops, and was going scroll crazy with anything less than 1440x900.
  25. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    Here Here!!

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