11'' or 13''? Or should I just stick with my 13'' Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by WhitneyGail, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. WhitneyGail macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2011
    #1
    For several months, I've been thinking about getting a Macbook air. I heard that the update would be released this summer, so I waited for that. Now that it's out, I'm wondering if I should get the 11'' or the 13''.

    I'm a graduate student who takes her computer everywhere. I use it for notes and papers and (lots) of internet research. I'm on my computer for several hours every day.

    Is the 11'' screen going to be enough for me? Will the increased size and heft of the 13'' make a big difference?

    I currently own a 2009 13'' white Macbook. It works very well- I have no problems with it- except that it's a bit heavy to schlep to and from school (so, again, I wonder if I get the 13'' Air will give me enough relief to be worth it).

    I'm a little disappointed that the new version doesn't have 3G built in. I had heard a rumor in February that Mac might include that in their update. Do you think that it pays to wait for the next incarnation in hopes that they'll put it in that one? Or will I just be waiting in vain?

    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts on this.
     
  2. Ubuntu macrumors 68000

    Ubuntu

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    #2
    Greetings,

    I made a topic about this here. Its mostly taken from a programmer's perspective but I've included some comparison screenshots that could give you an idea of how much extra space you with the 13 inch.

    Both machines are considerably lighter than the 13 inch MB, you might get away with the 13 inch MBA, check Apple's return policy where you are and order the MBA 11 inch (if its free to return, with no restocking fees). You might just love it.
     
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #3
    It sounds like you're going basic stuff, and not really taxing either the i5 or the i7 in the 2011's anyway. You could try to pick up a used or refurbished 2010 model and save a bit of coin. Take the cash you save and use it for a mifi or usb 3g stick.
     
  4. Ubuntu macrumors 68000

    Ubuntu

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    #4
    Good point, but as she's a graduate student, is she eligible for student discounts? Could work out cheaper than the refurb, with the iTunes card and printer.
     
  5. markrivers macrumors 6502a

    markrivers

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    #5
    i recently upgraded my 15 inch macbook Pro ( early 2008) to a 13 inch Macbook Air. and the difference in weight is night and day. :D
    my simplest answer to your question is YES, go for it.

    you don't NEED a 3G radio in your computer/laptop.
    try the Mi-Fi cards, which comes in 4G flavors, it's as small as a credit card and you can share the signal with 4 other devices like an ipad/ipod/iphone or any Wi-Fi capable devices.
     
  6. WhitneyGail thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I think I am eligible for student discounts.

    Aside from internet and word-processing, I do some Photoshopping (though usually from home, so I suppose I can use my Macbook for that if it's too much for the Air to handle)

    In addition do some very light sound design editing.

    I also often have several windows at once when I'm internet surfing (so high memory is important for that, right?) and have a bad habit of saving documents to my desktop.

    Isn't the 2011 faster than 2010?

    Finally- my impression of MIFI devices was that they are very expensive- is that not the case?
     
  7. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    If you buy online at Apple there's no proof required for the education discount.
     
  8. MRU, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

    MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #8
    The new MacBook Airs will run Photoshop without problem and vastly better than your aging MacBook. :)


    Both the 11" & 13" mba's have a higher resolution than your MacBook. I would recommend 4GB 128GB 11" model if you do choose the smaller of the two.

    I would certainly recommend you see both machines in person. It's hard to visualize the size of a machine until you actually see it and experience it in person.

    Either would be suitable, it's just going to come down to personal preference in regards to the size, more than anything else with no real right or wrong reason to choose on over the other.
     
  9. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    #9
    Sounds like the 11 MBA is the one for you, especially if you are going to keep your old Macbook as well.

    You could even pick up one of the refurb ones as suggested, it will be fine for internet & docs.
     
  10. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #10
    Wait till the next refresh. Probably 9 months from now. It will contain the ivory bridge chipset and will be a considerable upgrade over the just released macbook airs and the macbookpros. I have a 2009 mbp and I'm waiting. The 2009 model has plenty of power to meet my needs.
     
  11. adamtj11 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    If you think like that you'd never do anything :p

    I replaced a 2010 MBP with a 2011 MBA and its much faster.
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #12
    It's conjectured the 2012's will have much better graphics, right?
     
  13. adamtj11 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Depending on if Intel and Nvidia come to an agreement about graphics, so if not then something similar to the HD3000 will be used again(HD3000 is actually ok)
     
  14. WhitneyGail thread starter macrumors newbie

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  15. P0stalTek macrumors 6502

    P0stalTek

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    #15
    Pro tip: Hardware and chipsets change/upgrade constantly. If you wait for the "next best thing", you'll never buy anything. ;)
     
  16. misterneums macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Whitney -

    I'd suggest heading to your local Best Buy or Apple Store and playing with the Macbook Air's that are out (keep in mind that at Best Buy--they're probably last year's models on display.)

    From the sounds of what you've stated in this thread, I believe a Macbook Air would be a welcome relief for you. I just did a trade-in on my 2008 White Macbook for a 13" Base Model Macbook Air. There is a huge night and day difference between the two.

    When I first started looking at the Macbook Air, I was pretty much set on getting the 11" for the ultra portability. What I realized is that the 11 inch model weighs 2.3 pounds and the 13" model weighs 2.9 pounds. Either will definitely feel a lot lighter when you're carrying it around in a bag/backpack. The 13" has some definite advantages over the 11": Better processor, larger screen, higher resolution screen (more workspace) and an SD card reader, and roughly an hour to an hour and a half longer battery life than its 11" counterpart.

    Either the 2010 or the 2011 Macbook Air models would work out well for you. I'd personally suggest getting the 2011 models (they have the core i5/i7 processors.) I'm not a huge fan of picking up year old tech, unless the price is right. As for photoshop, I'm sure the Macbook Air will run it like a dream. I wouldn't worry about that.

    Also, don't worry about Ivy Bridge--it'll be at least 9 months before it's incorporated into Macbook Airs.

    I was in your position--an older macbook into a Macbook Air. I pulled the trigger on it and it has been nothing but greatness sense (granted it was only 8 hours ago, but you get the point :))

    Hopefully this helps.
     
  17. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    I think the most import thing might be increase screen resolution in the 13" MBA which is equal it the standard 15" MBP screen. If you spend hours a day on the computer doing research, screen res always. I went back to grad school and the 13" MB 1280x800 resolution was painful in Excel. If you do Excel work, I'd say 13" MBA over the 11".
     
  18. WhitneyGail thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2011
    #18
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I think that I will get an air, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

    A lot of people on these forums have mentioned returning devices that they have and exchanging them. I didn't realize that Mac lets you do that unless there's something wrong with the initial device.

    If I CAN purchase and then exchange, maybe I'll get the 11 inch and see if I can adjust to the smaller size, and if I can't, then I'll exchange it for the 13 inch.
     

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