11" or 13" air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mpugh66, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. mpugh66 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Hi folks! Just wanted some opinions on something; I have an iPad and even have an Asus Transformer so I obviously like tablet sized devices ( portability,weight,etc) so would it make more sense to get a 13" air to "shake it up" or stick with the smaller 11". I've seen them both side by side and the screen real estate isn't that much of a deal breaker. Some of you have probably had the same thoughts over which one to get.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Check out both at your local apple store and see which one fits your needs the best.

    Only you can determine which model works best for you.
  3. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    If you gave us some more info, like, why you want a MacBook, you could get some useful answers.
    For example, when I was buying my Air, I asked how people felt about the keyboard on the 11" considering that I write a lot for University. This helped me to decide on the 13" (though there is nothing wrong with the 11"'s keyboard). What did you feel more comfortable on, do you need processing power and can you afford the larger models?
  4. germanjulian macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I just got a 13" this week.

    For me it was the "2 hours more battery" roughly as real world surfing usage on the 13" is 6 hours really and the slightly bigger screen does make it a better "work"/productivity tool. If you don't mind the extra size in your backpack and extra cost go 13".

    (and do you really need it as you already have an ipad and transformer, it is a lot of money)
  5. mpugh66, Jan 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012

    mpugh66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    I'm going to save up for either one so I'm not worried about being able to afford one over the other, although one would take longer than the other to save up for. As far as use goes, web browsing, email, I delude myself into thinking I can write, photo storage, that type of thing. Personal preference will win the day but others thoughts can be invaluable.


    It IS a lot of money but I am a sucker for these electronic things. Thank God I'm not hooked on crack
  6. anirudh macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
    Since you already have 10" screens, I say go for the 13" Air. The 11" is bought mostly by those who have a bigger screen to connect it at home. But for a standalone laptop, i believe 11" is too small. Plus the 13 has added benefits like SD Card slot and better battery life.
  7. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I went for a 13" because my iPad takes care of my day to day portability needs. I always carry my iPad with me, and have a very light weight LogiTech keyboard that I bring along when I think I need it. I take all meeting notes etc on my iPad (sometimes with keyboard and sometimes with a stylus), and do all my work related reading on it. I also like the long battery life that my iPad gives me, I never have to worry about not being close to a socket.

    When I got an MBA I therefore wanted something that would be good for more intensive work but which was still relatively light weight (my other laptop, while great with very strong capacity etc, weighs a ton in terms of carrying it around). The 13" gave me a bit more screen and storage than the 11" and (to me anyway) seemed more conducive to 'getting real work done', while still being sufficiently light to go travelling with.

    As others said it totally depends on what you need it for, but that was my particular line of reasoning. I'm very happy with my choice.
  8. mpugh66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    I'm kinda starting to lean that way but by the time I save the money who knows how many times I'll change my mind. But you make a great point- Thanks!
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    If the screen resolution doesn't matter, get the 11". It's quite a bit smaller which comes in handy.
  10. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    You really can't go wrong either way. The 13" may provide a bit more distinction from your other devices, and would probably be the way to go if you'll be using it without an external monitor exclusively. It has more of a full-on laptop feel when using it, largely due to the added real estate.

    Having said that, you really won't find the delicate balance of form and function found in the 11" MBA anywhere else, and I'm planning to buy another one in the coming days :)

    Best advice - as mentioned above - is when you're close to your financial goal, meander into an Apple store and take them both for a test drive.

    You'll be happy either way.
  11. illini71, Jan 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012

    illini71 macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2010
    The 11 will make your tablets almost unusable, because the 11 will fill that roll. The 11 is nice cause it can make you cut down on other devices. IMO the 11 is one of apples best products and designs. Anyone can make 13in laptop but not everyone can make a 11.6 laptop like MBA. I marvel at it every time i open it. I have a refurb from apple with 4gb ram and a i7, its as fast as anything i have ever owned.

    I say go with 11 and cut down on devices.
  12. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I love my 11" Air. I've barely used my iPad since getting it. It's so light and takes up so little space in my bag that I barely notice it's there. I use it far more than I used my 13" Pro.

    The screen is just about good enough, but I'd like a higher resolution to give me a little bit more space- without increasing the physical size, though. I have also discovered, to my surprise, that I need more RAM - which is an issue with all Airs, since it can't be changed. I'll have to make my spreadsheets more efficient - 105,000 rows is a bit much. :roll eyes:

    The battery life could also be improved - I get maybe 4 hours, which a couple of years ago I'd have thought was amazing, but it just isn't enough now. It means I have to carry the pesky power brick around with me!


    Oh, yes, and I'd like better speakers. I usually have an X-Mini II with me anyway, to plug into my iPhone, so it's not too much of an issue.
  13. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    A good point! Despite the fact that I bought the 13" (and absolutely love it). I was strongly considering the 11" because it is so beautiful. I mean, it looks fantastic, it's small but has all the features you need and more. A few years back I was looking at getting a VAIO 11", can't remember what series it was, and also a P series Vaio (the 8" one), and I just did not like them, they felt like half a pc with limited functions. This is most definitely not true of the 11" air.

    Maybe one day I will get an 11" but it didn't suit me at the time of buying.
  14. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    I had an iPad and sold it for an 11 and frankly it was the best decision i ever made, had a play with a 13 the other day and its far to big to be classed as portable.
  15. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
    IMO, would only get the 4gb RAM i5 11'. The difference between that and base 13' is just $100, and worth it for better battery life, screen size, yet still ultra portable.
  16. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Well, I've had my 2010 MBA 11'' for a good 1.5 years, and I think it's an amazing laptop. It's extremely portable, yet has fast response when loading programs and files etc.
    However, I'm now starting to tire from the 11'' screen, especially since I use my 11' at work several hours every day (MBP 15' for home work).
    As soon as the Ivy Bridge update arrive, I'm gonna get the MBA 13''.
    So, the bottom line is, if you planning to use your 11' quite a bit every day, you 'll probably be happier with the 13', although it is noticably bigger (though not a big difference in weight).
  17. Kungshi macrumors member

    May 11, 2011
    If you already have an iPad and your uses would be to do what you listed, then getting an 11" would seem quite redundant. I would then get the 13" due to the fact that it would give you more capabilities and with those capabilities you may find more uses for your new 13" laptop that the 11" may not fully supply.
  18. robopath macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    As others have said, you are weighing screen size with portability. I got the 11" because I have other computers that I use when screen size is important. If I were still a student and this was my primary computer, I'd have gotten the 13". One thing to note if you will be watching movies & video (slingbox for me); the difference between the two in wide-screen viewing is negligible because of the more horizontal nature of the 11". You end up wasting a lot of "letterbox screen" on 13".
  19. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    if you have a desktop, get the 11. if you don't get the 13.

    i have a 27" docked work laptop for real work. 11 is for carrying around and just couch surfing. 13 feels a lot bigger.
  20. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    I have the 2011 MacBook Air 11" i5 and I love it. It is my main computer, and it performs so much better than my 2009 MacBook Pro 13" 2.5GHz machine it replaced.

    I love the form factor and the speed and power of this machine. The keyboard is the same size as the other MacBook keyboards, except that the very last row of function keys at the very top are trimmed down a little. I use this machine for Pages, Web surfing, iTunes, iCal, iPhoto, editing photos in Photoshop CS4, and I've edited an 18 minute video in Final Cut Pro X, and it performed great. This machine is so powerful; I love it.
  21. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    Go to the Apple store and see which one you like best. I did the same with my air, I ended up getting the 13" because of the screen real estate.
  22. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    I bought the 11" Air, and find myself using my iPad more for e-reading, casual web surfing, and some on-the-go reviewing of documents and projects more than actual creation (though I am writing a book on my iPad).

    I got a great deal on an open-box item at Best Buy, and paid $949 for a mid-2011 MBA with 128 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM.
  23. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I have a 11" for carrying around and using on the go.

    I already have a MacBook Pro, so the 13" MacBook Air didn't make any sense.

    If it'll be your only Mac, then the 13" makes more sense.
  24. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    I really wanted a 13" but when i finally go hold of one i couldn't believe how unportable it was, picked up the 11 and within a few mins it felt natural. Haven't looked back since and love it even more every time i use it.

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