11 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macdude2010, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Macdude2010 macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2010
    The Apple Store
    Hello all,
    My situation is this, right now I am using a 11 inch MacBook Air in classes and a 15 inch retina at home. Now that I know broadwell is being pushed back a bit, I am considering selling my 11 inch air and buying a 13 inch retina. Now, I am still a bit undecided on it, the 15 inch was too big to use at school, and the 11 inch is good, but from what I understand, the 13 inch is a lot smaller than the 15 inch. Now from a weight, size, performance, battery etc standpoint, should I switch my MacBook Air for a MacBook Pro retina.
  2. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    I rarely see people using the 11" at my school. I use a 13" rMBP. However I don't see why the 11" would be a problem, in fact I used one before buying the 13" rMBP. My reason for changing was due to the limited vertical screen size and smallish fonts. The battery also was piss poor in my 2011 version, usually only lasting about 4 hours. My rMBP is 50% better than that on average.

    The rMBP has a lot of sweet spots checked off:

    Perfect screen size for school - enough vertical distance, big enough fonts - but not too big
    Perfect weight - not as light as an 11", but so light the difference hardly matters
    Perfect screen in other ways - superb contrast, viewing angles, brightness, resolution

    The new 11" has great batter life so that part of the equation is equalled now, in fact I'm sure the new 11" will soundly trounce the 13 rMBP in battery life.

    The 11" will still fit in places the 13" won't. Either one fits on any desk in any class I've ever had, so that's not a problem.

    The 13" is almost as mobile as the 11", isn't that much bigger and the screen lives up to all the hype. Where I miss the 11" is when I'm out and about and would like to have something I can keep close to grab for writing when the mood strikes or an idea comes into my head. I don't take the 13" as many places as I could take the 11"

    For strictly school work though, the 13" rMBP is significantly better. As said previously, I've used both so I have hands on experience with both platforms. If I only had an 11" to use at school I wouldn't feel as if I were handicapped though, it's a great machine. But if you offered me one or the other, and costs were not an issue, I'd take the 13" retina without a thought about it if I were using it for school work.
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Not sure what you're trying to accomplish. Are you keeping the 15" Retina, and just want to get a better machine for classes? If that is the case, why not consider a 13" MBA for school?

    Consider this: For $200 less (base 13 vs base 13), the Air, while not Retina and as perky as the Pro, is a thinner, lighter, yet very capable little laptop, great for class, while you still have your 15" rMBP at home.
    On top of that, the 13" Air will give you 25-30% better battery life than both the 13" rMBP you're contemplating, and the 11" MBA you currently have.
  4. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2010
    The Apple Store
    I will be keeping the 15 inch MacBook Pro. I have excluded the 13 inch air from my choices because it is the largest of the group in size (tiny desks) also, the main reason why I would go to the pro is because of the retina display, I am on my school macbook for the majority of the time, so I kinda miss the retina screen for the majority of the day. The battery life on both the 11 inch and 13 inch get 9 hours of battery, and in my real use testing, the 11 inch works for about 2 school days without a charge. I also have been recently tried to multitask a bit more on my 11 inch air, and this requires more horizontal space, the 13 inch air is 900 pixels wide, while the 13 inch pro goes up to 1050.

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