11" or 13" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DELTAsnake, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2008
    My Mum's PC is finally headed to the scrap heap. We are trying to decide between the 11" and 13" with the 128gb SSD. The closest Apple Store is 500km away so we cant look at them in person.

    I'm just wondering how much screen real-estate you give up as far as web page viewing (like Facebook, Hotmail) and in Apps like Pages and iTunes you give up going with the 11"?

    Thanks in advance
  2. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2009
    Florida's Treasure Coast
  3. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    You're giving up 74 pixels on the side and 132 pixels in height. Personally, it's the vertical height that made me go for the 13" Air, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Don't forget that the 13" also runs slightly faster and gets much better battery life.
  4. mikeray macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    This is simply not true. Both sizes come with the exact same processors and are neck in neck in benchmarks.

    Battery life, however, is about half that of the 13".

    I have a 11" Air with maxed out specs and I just love it! It's so very tiny but can do anything I need (im a web developer). The vertical pixels are enough, just use fullscreen view for all apps. It's fun!
  5. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Let your mother decide.

    My ex decided she wanted the 11" over the 13" because of this one girl reason:

    the 11" fit in her handbag(s), the 13" did not.

    Your mother's priorities may be very different from yours, or any technical reasoning. If she's anything like my ex, things like screan real estate, battery life and cpu performance are probably all very much secondary concerns vs portability, etc.

    Personally, I thought she was mad to get the 11". I'd get the 13" no question due to the vertical screen height as above - but I'm not your mother :D
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    13" is the best seller. 11" is for people who prize portability (meaning she takes it with her everywhere she goes, not parked on her desk at home)

    Take the size spec from apple.com, cut two cardboards with it. Walk it, pop up it on the intended surfaces then you know.

    13" Pro:

    Screen Real Estate.
    Battery Life

    11" Pro:

    Carries like a tablet, super portable, no doubt fits on every train's, plane's tray etc.
  7. kierennyc macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2008
    The 11' is an amazing machine - the ultimate in portable computing.
  8. DELTAsnake thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2008
    Ok, I wasn't thinking about battery life but that's probably as important to her as how well everything fits on the screen. I will let her know, thanks all.
  9. msjones macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    I picked up the 11" for its portability as it was what I needed above all else. And im sure i will replace it with the 2013 11" model when its released. Superb little machine.

    However, I recently picked a 13" up for my partner. The reason she went this route was her eye sight is not fantastic, and she did struggle with the small screen. Maybe this is a factor you need to consider with you mother.
  10. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    The 13" footprint is too big for me, defeating the purpose of it being an ultraportable. Notably, I do have an ATD for work-related use, which offsets the small 11" screen, but it doesn't seem as though your mom would do anything that necessarily needs more screen real estate. Certainly, for web browsing, the reduced resolution shouldn't be an issue.

    Just take her to an Apple Store so she can see both in person and ask her which one she prefers.

    Also, this may be a non-issue, but depending on her eyesight, she might want the 13. The screen isn't much less dense, but you can blow things up bigger. Both of my parents make the font ginormous to read anything on computers.

    Edit: totally just repeated the above poster... my bad.
  11. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    The 13" is amazingly good. Good battery, noticeably bigger screen, larger trackpad. It's awesome.
  12. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    If it is going to be her only computing device, I recommend the 13" air. I am using the 11", but mainly because I have an imac at home and a 21" monitor at work. The 11" is really portable, but you are really sacrificing quite a bit of valued screen estate for that.
  13. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Maxed out they have the same CPU, but the i5-models differ. Shouldn't be much of a noticeable difference, though.
  14. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    Everyone has their own reasons for getting their particular size, but here are the reasons I went with the 13", and am happy:

    SD card slot on the 13 and not on the 11.
    Longer battery life on the 13.
    Native resolution on the 13 is 1440 x 900, which I believe makes more sense.
    13 is only .6 pounds heavier.
  15. KPOM, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The 11.6" is very portable, and note that the 1366x768 screen has the same resolution as many 13" Windows PCs. Check the resolution on the Windows PC. If it is 1366x768 or 1280x800 the 11" will offer the same or similar overall screen real estate. The 13.3" has a 1440x900 screen.

    I used an 11" MacBook Air for nearly 2 years before stepping up to a 13.3" rMBP. If Apple offered an 11.6" rMBP I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. It's a great size if you do any travel (and I know Aussies are known to travel).

    That said, the 13.3" is pretty portable too. I don't think you can go wrong either way. The 13.3" will get about 5-6 hours of real-world battery life, while the 11.6" will get about 3-4 hours. The 13" also has an SDHC card slot built in, and as mentioned has a 1.8GHz i5 vs. 1.7GHz (both can be equipped with the 2.0GHz i7).
  16. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    11 for me, it's just so incredibly portable. My rationalisation was that if I was prepared to go with a footprint of the 13", might as well get a rMBP.
  17. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    Buying the 13" Air was partly influenced by having an iPad for even more convenient portability. Other reasons were, as already mentioned by others here, the better battery life, micro card slot, bigger screen.

    Does your mother need extreme portabilty? i would only buy somthing so small as the 11 if i was constantly travelling. I find the 13 inch very comfortable to work on in various locations in my house and other places. And in terms of battery life it is more portable than the 11 ... being tethered to electricity less often.
  18. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    11" is quite a bit smaller but the screen size is cramped sometimes. You can do tricks like zooming your browser out 'one click' which is a big help.

    I get almost 5 hours out of my 11" and almost 7 hours out of my 13". Is 2 hours a big difference for her? The 13" is a little quicker in benchmarks but I can't tell which one I'm using. When I'm home I'm plugged into a 22" LCD anyway.

    The 13" also has the SD card slot but I don't even have a camera so it's rarely used. I think the only time I used it was when I was playing with my Raspberry Pi - but a USB SD reader is under $10.
  19. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I've recently just got the 11". I love it. It's my secondary machine that I bring to class. I agree that the screen can be a bit tiny, but I'm quickly getting over it. It fits my needs for portability and not cluttering up my classroom desks.
  20. JoshMKB24 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2013
    I got the 11" because I use it for travel so I wanted something as light and portable as possible. I like it a lot! As far as battery life, I can watch a 2.5 hr movie on a flight with screen about 75% brightness and have around 25% battery life left.
  21. bigmacs macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Just wondering do you have something she can try ?

    its tough until you actually get it and use it,but the 13" will be easier to look at.
  22. Menge macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2008
    If it were my choice, I'd pick the 13". I don't know how old your mom is, but as people get older, their sight gets worse. The 13" will have slightly larger pixels and text will be slightly larger (135dpi in 11" versus 127dpi in 13").
  23. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I have an MBA 11 and thinks its great. And a Mac often causes far less maintenance problems for typical older people than a PC.

    But a lot of older people (reading glasses users, etc.) prefer a larger easier to read display where they can zoom up the font size a bit more.

    Does your mother use reading glasses, large print books, etc.? Or is she still great will fine needlepoint, hand sewing, etc., type projects?
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Some excellent points & posts have been made already, and I'll echo some of them here.

    As it happens, I have the 13", and love it. Currently, it is my only computer, and I love the quality of the screen, the blazing fast speed of the SSD drive, and the fantastic portability of the device, which matters, as I travel quite a bit. A terrific computer, and one that you can easily use as a sole computer.

    The 13" MBA is a superb compromise between a very portable computer, yet still comes with an excellent screen. With the 11", you are getting an exceptionally portable computer, but at the cost of sacrificing some screen space. So, the first question your mum needs to ask is how portable does she need a computer to be?

    Now, I love the 11", and one day plan to buy one. However, it is not a computer I would use as a sole computer - I would need to have a second computer with a larger screen which I would use as my main work computer.

    Other questions your mum needs to think about include her age (eyes get more strained as you age), and, also her eyesight. I wear glasses, and small screens strain (and stress) my eyes. Comfort and ease matter as much as portability, especially as you age, and, above all, if you are using a computer screen for work purposes (for example, my work requires a lot of writing), or using it to view movies. Scrunching up your eyes to peer at a screen is no fun at all.
  25. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    As a young fellow the 11" would have been fine, but these days the old eyesight isn't what it was. The 13" is only a little larger, but it is enough to make a difference to an old chappie.

    I have never been a fan of taking a computer with me.... I much prefer leaving the thing on my desk, so have gone the Mini way. However, as a more itinerant phase seems likely for a bit, I am now looking at acquiring a laptop. The difference is enough to nudge me the 13" way.

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