11" Air as an only computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hellishness, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    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...
  2. lolwut89 macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2012
    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.
  3. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Oct 5, 2011
    Orange County, California USA
    I agree as well. 13" MBA may be the right choice as your sole computer. The 11" is too small to be a main computer. Just my assessment based on your initial thoughts.
  4. austinguy23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2008
    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.
  5. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2011
    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.
  6. Hellishness thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    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?
  7. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    Actually, my Pro gets hotter than my Air when skyping. I would say around 80C on my Air and around 85C on my Pro. Both 2011 models.
  8. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    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.
  9. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2011
    I know this is almost a daft question in this thread, but.... is it the 11 or 13 you are talking about?
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    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).

    He stated 11" there. Bleh I wouldn't want an 11" as my sole computer. That screen is tiny.
  11. Total Respray macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2011
    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.
  12. bigeasy_uk, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

    bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    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
  13. YosemiteSam81 macrumors member


    Jan 7, 2012
    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!
  14. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    It's all about personal preference. My 11" Air is my only computer, and I friggin' love it! :D
  15. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Firstly the pro isn't that much fatter nor heavier than the air


    1.35 kg vs 2.04kg

    0.69kg difference

    and dimensions wise:


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


    2.41 cm
    32.5 cm
    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.
  16. kurosov macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    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.
  17. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    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.
  18. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2011
    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.
  19. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    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.
  20. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2011
    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.
  21. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    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.
  22. ghett0tech macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2011
    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
  23. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    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.
  24. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    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)
  25. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    I agree
    If you really want the multi touch try a magic mouse/trackpad to hold you off :)

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