11" -> 13" and regretted it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sammyman, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I have a 2010 late 11" mba base model.

    I'd like to get a new mba. Looked at the retina, but dang that is too heavy for me.

    I love my computer, but am considering a new 13". The only reason I want the 13" is for the extra battery life. Otherwise, I think I would stick with the 11" because it is so easy to bring places and is convenient when traveling. I have a mac pro at home that my wife enjoys most of the time. I'd like the extra screen size maybe 15% of the time I am working.

    Has anyone gone from an 11" to a 13" and regretted it? Worried that I would miss my 11".
  2. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    I just went from an 11" to 13". After so many months of the 11 I felt it was more a novelty than a benefit. My eyes started getting extremely fatigued and the battery life was hard to deal with. Now with the 13 im very happy. Bigger screen. Better battery. SD slot. Im happy (but i will sell this if they every make the 11" form factor but remove the bezel so we'd get a full 12.5". The 11" casing is an amazing size but the screen is just too small.)
  3. cnixon macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2010
    I'll share my experience with you. Started with the 11 inch 2010 MBA. I sold it for a decent price and decided to move up to the 13 inch 2011 version. While the 13 inch was a beautiful machine, and the battery life was a little better, I desperately missed the form factor of the 11 inch.

    Needless to say, I sold my 13 inch a few weeks ago, and I'm currenly waiting for my new 11 inch 2012 version to arrive.
  4. sarah11918 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Well, not exactly the same, but hubby and I each got 2010 models as soon as they came out. I got the 11" and he got the 13". He wanted the 11", but couldn't get by with the smaller hard drive as we travel so these are the only machines with us on the road. So we've had both machines for about 20 months and are each familiar with the two sizes and how they're different.

    We're both updating for 2012, and he's getting the 11" happily now that he can get 512GB. So, take that for what it's worth.
  5. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    After 6 months with the 2011 11in MBA, I traded a person on these forums for their 13in MBA. I've had it for about 2-3 months now.

    It's definitely a lot more useful in terms of productivity and battery life, in my opinion. But I just miss the 11in so much :(

    I wish they'd just shove the 13in panel into the 11in chassis and call it a day. My credit card would fly out of my wallet!

    A family member wants my 13in, so I'm debating if I should go 13in again, go 11in, or hold out for a 13in retina MBP, or make them wait until next year haha.
  6. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2010
    I had an 11" 2010 and sold it for a 13" 2011. I soon regretted it. The eleven was the best laptop I've ever had. So I just picked up a new 11" today. I really missed it.
  7. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    I've owned many laptops over the years from 10" to 17". I think 13" is a sweet spot which is why it's a best seller from many manufacturers. If I could only have one machine, it would be a 13" MBA because it's a great compromise between mobility and all day usability.

    I've had a 13" MBA in the past and have an 11" MBA now. The form factor of the 11" is unbeatable for frequent travel. It's small screen is very strong so you don't end up with keyboard marks on it when packed tightly. The screen is small so not something you want to use all day but great for meetings and such. It's also incredibly crisp and clear. The 5 hour battery life is consistent with screen size - if you are using it longer than that in a day you likely want a bigger screen. The 11" is also on the TSA list of things you don't have to remove from your carry on when going through security (although occasionally they'll make you anyway).

    I want to upgrade to a 2012/2ghzi7/8gb/256gb but am torn between the 11" and 13". About the same price and performance. I know I prefer the form factor of the 11" but also know I prefer the 13" screen. The 2010 11" had a smaller power adapter but now it seems like its a larger but thiner adapter for both the 11" and 13". The longer battery life and SD slot on the 13" are a plus but not a compelling feature in my case.

    Hope this helps others decide. Some interesting stuff in this thread but I'm still undecided.
  8. Mopar macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    You get five hours use out of your 11" Air? I've never been able to get more than around 3.5 - and that's just with simple web surfing and typing. I've never heard of anyone else getting five hours, either.

    Battery life in the 11" is it's biggest downfall.
  9. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
  10. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    I was just using Apples published numbers so it was an apples to apples comparison so to speak. I can easily get 4 hours and have gotten as much as 4.5. I don't expect I'd get 7 hours with a 13" either but I imagine 6 wouldn't be too much of a stretch.
  11. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    I have my 13' 2011 MBA telling me I have 10+ hours of battery life left! <cough> With brightness all the way down, gedit, and everything shut off <cough>.

    That said I can get 6-7 pretty easily (I use my laptop for work (reading) and internet research while working - videos are for my TV).
  12. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    I have gotten 6+ hours from my 2010 11" MBA, lasted on a Boston to Seattle flight with juice left; turned the screen brightness down and had bluetooth & wireless disabled.

    More typical usage I see between 3-4 with wifi and BT on, brightness around 50%.
  13. Booji macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2011
    I made the same trade from 2010 11" to 2011 13". It was a really tough choice - while in every way the 13" seems the "smarter" option I still very much miss the cool factor and extreme portability of the 11". I think my next upgrade will be to an 11" but it will still be a hard choice.
  14. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I returned my 11 and got the 13 back in the day and never looked back.

    13 is a good size for a production machine that you can use for an extended period. Its also small and light enough for easy portability. I was able to stuff it in my backpack along with my iPad and my wife's iPad and ALL of the items combined did not feel heavy at all!

    I also get about 5 hours of battery on my 13, and I got about 3 hours or so on the 11 inch. For me, 3 hours of battery on a laptop is too nerve wrecking, you always have to think about plugging it in.

    5 hours is also not as good as a real 7-8 hours would be, but at least if I am going out to the library for a few hours I don't have to bring the power brick if I kept it on the charger overnight. That is just more convenient.

    I also feel that as a backup, a 13" machine can really be your only machine for a while. I used a 13" Macbook Aluminum (before they went pro) while studying abroad for a year, and while I missed having a larger screen I wasn't "suffering" as a result. I feel a 11" size would have been far more painful to use for extended periods.

    I think if the 11" really did have 5 hours of regular usage time AND a retina display, I would strongly consider it, as that would eliminate my top gripes with it (battery life and the small display, which if it was made much sharper/clearer could be less painful to use).
  15. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    used to have a 11" air, while it's very light and portable, the 5 hours of battery life is a no to me. what's the use of portability if you have to charge it while using it?

    switched to 13" and couldn't be happier, the battery life means i can work longer with this machine, and the vertical space of the 11" is not a pleasure to work with, especially when browsing and reading documents.
  16. jgbr macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    If you learn multi touch gestures and use of spaces rtf you soon learn how to get around the screen issue!
  17. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Huh? What does this mean?
  18. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I think what they are trying to say is that if you make use of full-screen mode and master the gestures then you can get a lot more out of your 11" screen than most others. I am doing a very loose interpretation of that unclear statement! The effective amount of real-estate used is about the same as what you would see in a 13" without full-screen mode. Of course, a 13" in full-screen mode will be better :)

    I value portability, so I got the 11", but you need to get something that will fit your usage characteristics. If you spend all day at home, have poor eyesight, and don't care for full-screen mode, then the 11" is probably not for you!

    The low-end 11" and low-end 13" are really good values.
  19. marcovortex macrumors member


    Jul 7, 2009
    Toronto, ON
    Everyone is going to be different on this I think but I went 13" > 11" and didn't like it. I love the air (but am also tempted by the new retina) but on the 11" i just couldn't deal with the vertical height of the screen; it was a deal breaker for me. Had my 13" this last year and have loved it. Im a casual gamer thou and a gpu bump like we just got is very welcome.
  20. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    I spend all day working from home and have "fair" eyesight so I'm better off going with the 13" (although I do have an external monitor). But... it's the small footprint that pulls me towards wanting the the 11". The thought of how little space it must take up (on the kitchen table or coffee table, etc) is attractive to me. But since the 13" doesn't really take up THAT much more space, it's probably the smarter move for my situation.
  21. nylon macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2004
    13" for productivity.

    11" for web/email/video.

    For me 11" is just way too small in the screen area. Thoroughly assess your usage/needs and make a rational decision. Everyone's usage scenario and 'trade off' tolerances are different. Do what feels right for you.
  22. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    after long and hard thought, i have decided 13" will be the best for me. I prefer everthing to run in windows and hate using full screen, plus ~4-5 hours battery won't cut it. Does anyone know if airplay is something that can still run why in sleep mode with ML?
  23. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Well-put. And, as someone else said, everyone's tolerances are different. I am willing to trade battery life and screen real-estate for portability. In your case, though, if you are at home working with an external monitor, the 11" is perfect. You could have a tiny computer for when you leave the house (go into the kitchen, etc.), and a massive one at your desk (because of the external display), pay less money for it, and get exactly the same performance. I'd get an 11" :)
  24. LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    AFAII, networking shuts down when a device goes to sleep, so no, airplay (which relies on wifi) would not work if the device goes to sleep.
  25. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    do you by chance know of an app that would force it to work? I know caffeine does not work.

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