11" Air as an only computer

Hellishness

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 27, 2010
1,086
0
Bay Area, CA
So I have a blackbook, which I love and all, but it's time to upgrade after having it for about 9-10 months. I'm bored of it, moving on to something new, etc. The main issues are that I missed the multi touch trackpad on my earlier laptops (april 2010 pro and oct 2010 air), the battery life sucked (didn't really matter to me but I really liked being able to use my old ones on battery), and now it gets super hot when skyping all night (above 80C sometimes). Skype is basically the hardest thing I do to it.

So I've tried out 11" airs in apple stores and i've always been a little 'meh' about it. Everything's a bit too small on the screen (no I'm not old) and the screen is just overall a bit tiny. That's my only complaint.

So, cash is tight, all I have is what I can sell my blackbook for (i'm shooting for $500) and maybe $300-350 on top. The 11" air is the newest laptop I can get for the price. Should I just try to find a deal on an older 13" air or pro?

I could get an external monitor...but I use my laptop on my bed 99% of the time...
 

lolwut89

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2012
50
0
I would say stick with the current gens. The reason being that the clock speed is a lot higher than the Core 2 Duo. The Core i5 can turbo up to 2.7/2.6 for the 1.7 version. Not sure what the 1.6 can turbo up to.

But if you can help it... I really suggest you save up and get the 13" version. I think the 11" is too small. The problem is reading text, they might appear smaller due to the high resolution.
 

austinguy23

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
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Staring at the 11" screen will drive you nuts after an hr or so. That is unfortunate given how cute and portable it is. 13" is a nice sweet spot.
 

jeremyshaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
340
0
The old C2D/gt320m MBAs had INSANE battery life (iirc; maybe it's just nostalgia, lol). C2D ULV was built on a very mature process.
 

Hellishness

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 27, 2010
1,086
0
Bay Area, CA
I really hope I can find a deal on the 2.13 C2D MBA otherwise I might have to buy a big fat Pro. What are you guy's thoughts on how hot a C2D air or pro would get on skype? I know the pro will be fine, but an air?
 

bigeasy_uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2005
272
5
Leamington Spa, England
It isn't my only computer, but I use my 2011 11' air for everything, including controlling my other computers and I can use it all day without issue. I don't find it too small and I'm a big guy (6.6", 300 pounds) I've got big hands too!
I'm not saying it is definitely the right laptop for you, I'm just saying don't discount it because of it's size, it's surprisingly useful.
 

jeremyshaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
340
0
It isn't my only computer, but I use my air for everything, including controlling my other computers and I can use it all day without issue. I don't find it too small and I'm a big guy (6.6", 300 pounds) I've got big hands too!
I'm not saying it is definitely the right laptop for you, I'm just saying don't discount it because of it's size, it's surprisingly useful.
I know this is almost a daft question in this thread, but.... is it the 11 or 13 you are talking about?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,771
2,042
I really hope I can find a deal on the 2.13 C2D MBA otherwise I might have to buy a big fat Pro. What are you guy's thoughts on how hot a C2D air or pro would get on skype? I know the pro will be fine, but an air?
This is just so silly.... You're worried about what it can take yet buying a C2D model (that architecture dates back to late 2007) and calling the pro big and fat? You need some perspective here. The pro is already a thin laptop. As for running hot, they both run hot. Apple makes them thin which means smaller fans. This means either the fans rotate faster or the computers run hotter (actually kind of a combination of both with these).

I know this is almost a daft question in this thread, but.... is it the 11 or 13 you are talking about?
He stated 11" there. Bleh I wouldn't want an 11" as my sole computer. That screen is tiny.
 

Total Respray

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2011
51
18
I used an 11.6 inch PC as my main computer for 18 months when my larger computer broke down. I had no problems with it, except on occasion wishing for a slightly larger screen (but then, I'm probably not as young as you!)

I now use an MBA 11 as my travel computer, but I have no problems even when using it all day for 1-2 weeks at a time for word processing and internet use. However, I do always appreciate going back to a larger screen on my return.
 

bigeasy_uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2005
272
5
Leamington Spa, England
He stated 11" there. Bleh I wouldn't want an 11" as my sole computer. That screen is tiny.
About 5 seconds after I posted I realised I hadn't stated what size it was so I edited, he must have read and replied in those 10-or so seconds.

The way I see it, it's no smaller than having a 50 inch tv the other side of a room to where you're sitting! lol
 
Last edited:

YosemiteSam81

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2012
30
0
Great Lakes
The only way to answer this question is to go to an Apple store and test both of them out. It seems you already did this and feel the 11" is 'meh'. I would go with your gut.

Personally, the 11" is just way too small for me. I would never be happy but the 13" I eventually bought is spectacular.

To each his own!
 

416049

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2010
1,844
2
I really hope I can find a deal on the 2.13 C2D MBA otherwise I might have to buy a big fat Pro. What are you guy's thoughts on how hot a C2D air or pro would get on skype? I know the pro will be fine, but an air?
Firstly the pro isn't that much fatter nor heavier than the air

13inch

1.35 kg vs 2.04kg

0.69kg difference

and dimensions wise:

Air

Height: 0.3-1.7 cm
Width: 32.5 cm
Depth: 22.7 cm

Pro

Height:
2.41 cm
Width:
32.5 cm
Depth:
22.7 cm

width is the exact same, depth is the exact same and there is a 0.71cm difference in height.


So fat is not exactly what I would call the pro, they don't get too hot around 80°C and both are safe choices.

I would choose a 13inch of either line pro or air but its your choice.
 

kurosov

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2009
658
221
in regards to screen size. I couldn't use a MBA for a main machine because i need the larger screen for my work. However my iPad gets used for everything else and is essentially my main computer for everything else.

I'm looking to upgrade the iPad when the next gen is released but have been contemplating getting the 13" air for on location work.
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Staring at the 11" screen will drive you nuts after an hr or so. That is unfortunate given how cute and portable it is. 13" is a nice sweet spot.
I use the 11" all day every day, and the screen size doesn't bother me in the least. It's really all about personal preference.

----------

Firstly the pro isn't that much fatter nor heavier than the air

13inch

1.35 kg vs 2.04kg

0.69kg difference

and dimensions wise:

Air

Height: 0.3-1.7 cm
Width: 32.5 cm
Depth: 22.7 cm

Pro

Height:
2.41 cm
Width:
32.5 cm
Depth:
22.7 cm

width is the exact same, depth is the exact same and there is a 0.71cm difference in height.


So fat is not exactly what I would call the pro, they don't get too hot around 80°C and both are safe choices.

I would choose a 13inch of either line pro or air but its your choice.
It is MUCH thicker! And if you use an Air then go to a pro it is REALLY uncomfortable having that large body under your hands.
 

jeremyshaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
340
0
I use the 11" all day every day, and the screen size doesn't bother me in the least. It's really all about personal preference.

----------



It is MUCH thicker! And if you use an Air then go to a pro it is REALLY uncomfortable having that large body under your hands.
Yeah, the 13" Pro is a fair bit heavier than most laptops of its size (even some 14" laptops), likely due to its metal construction.
 

GekkePrutser

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2005
992
316
Barcelona, Spain
I could never use my 11" as my only computer. The screen size and high DPI (thus small text, due to the lack of scaling in OS X) gives me a headache. The only reason I put up with it is that it's so incredibly convenient for travel.

I once bought a high-spec 2011 11" indending to use it as my only PC but returned it because it just was too annoying as my only computer and sometimes I needed more than 4GB of RAM. I ended up buying a nice powerful Mac Mini for at home and a 2010 refurb base Air for on the road. Having one machine is too much compromise for me.

I'm happy with this set up now, although I still zoom in a lot on websites. But for me a portable gets very light use so it's fine. But maybe you'll fare better of course. It also helps a lot to get a nice big screen at home and plug it in when you're not travelling. A 23" LED screen is only 150 or so.
 

jeremyshaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
340
0
I could never use my 11" as my only computer. The screen size and high DPI (thus small text, due to the lack of scaling in OS X) gives me a headache. The only reason I put up with it is that it's so incredibly convenient for travel.

I once bought a high-spec 2011 11" indending to use it as my only PC but returned it because it just was too annoying as my only computer and sometimes I needed more than 4GB of RAM. I ended up buying a nice powerful Mac Mini for at home and a 2010 refurb base Air for on the road. Having one machine is too much compromise for me.

I'm happy with this set up now, although I still zoom in a lot on websites. But for me a portable gets very light use so it's fine. But maybe you'll fare better of course. It also helps a lot to get a nice big screen at home and plug it in when you're not travelling. A 23" LED screen is only 150 or so.
Heh, I skipped the desktop part and just got a big display for my lappy :D

Though, in windows, the icon rearrangement due to resolution changes does get rather annoying after a while! I do think you have the best of both worlds. A decent pusher at home, and a pint sized companion for travel.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
1,915
0
If cash is tight, maybe your curent laptop can serve you for at least another 9-10 months? Save you pennies each month and you will easily have enough to buy whatever laptop you want to get. Even as little as $50 a month will get you another $500 and put you within reach of the bigger screen or a faster processor. Not to mention that a new generation of laptops should be out within a year's time.

All of the issues you list are workable, especially since you have only had this computer for 9-10 months and it really just sounds like you want a change. A change is good, but don't spend money you don't have.

Could your 'overheating' issues on Skype be related to your using the computer in bed? I'm sure having sheets and blankets blocking the air intake isn't great for cooling performance.
 

ghett0tech

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2011
84
1
Houston
quit being cheap and just wait till you can afford a brand new MacBook.

with that being said i have a high end 11" and i recommend it to everybody. it such a joy to do anything on this little thing. it's handled everything i have thrown at it and more. such an enjoyable expierence
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,269
339
norcal
I put in another vote for the 13" inch MBA. It's pretty powerful, stat wise, for such a thin machine and should be able to handle most people's needs as an only computer.
 

sysiphus

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2006
816
1
You can get a 13" 128/2GB Core2Duo Air for $900 shipped without tax (unless you live in NY) from B&H Photo.

You'll be constrained to the 2GB of RAM, but the SSD makes for super-fast disc swapping when needed. Also, the C2D models do get better battery life, and have the added bonus of being able to run Snow Leopard vs being stuck on Lion (personal preference here).

(For reference, it's the same model that I have. The downsides are slower processor (fine for your average user, less RAM (see above, but it is a valid long-term concern), and no ThunderBolt (YMMV)
 

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