11'' vs 13" MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TheTekJake, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. TheTekJake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    #1
    Hey everybody,

    I am completely and utterly stumped. I think the title explains it all, should I buy the 11" or 13" MacBook Air?

    I should probably start off by explaining my situation here a bit. I was originally so set on buying a rMBP with some pretty beefy specs. However, I decided to use my money to build a very nice (not to mention expensive) gaming PC. Don't worry though, it's a Hackintosh. The purpose of buying a new computer (desktop or laptop) was to replace my 2012 MacBook Pro. I wanted to use that less and less as my main system, and just use it on the go, or sell it. Had I bought the rMBP, I would have also sold this system for extra cash. Because I wasn't buying a second laptop, and rather building a desktop, I decided I might as well keep the laptop and use it on the go. About 3 months have gone by since then and I have come to an unfortunate realization. This laptop is just way too thick and heavy for me to use as a portable machine. My solution to this problem would be to sell this and along with some extra cash, use the money I get from this laptop to buy a MacBook Air. I just cannot decide for the life of me what size I want to get. I will be primarily using it to browse the web, watch some movies, occasional Word documents, and light video and photo editing. I want whatever laptop I go with to provide me with portability but I also want to get the most out of the system. I wish that 12'' Air were to come out right now, because I feel the 11'' Air to be a tiny bit cramped, and since I am already using a 13'' MBP, I feel like the 13'' Air is just a tad big. Please let me know what you guys think will be best for me!:apple:
     
  2. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #2
    It's a tough choice and certainly a topic that has been widely discussed. In theory, you are the user that the 11 inch was designed for. You have a desktop at home for more intensive tasks, and you need a portable notebook when you are away from the desktop.

    The 13 inch MBA has the exact same footprint of your MBP. The difference is obviously that it is significantly thinner, and weighs 1.5 pounds less. If you are comfortable with the footprint of your current notebook(slipping it in and out of bags, setting up on coffee shop tables, that kind of thing) then the 13 may be the better option. It will give you 12 plus hours of battery life, and has an SD slot which may or may not be a big deal.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for absolute portability the 11 is your choice. From what I have noticed and experienced, there users who love the 11, and users who think the vertical space is just too cramped. If you are going to be watching videos very often, the widescreen aspect of the 11 lends itself to better movie watching in my opinion. If you can, play around with a demo unit and see if word processing and such works for you on the smaller screen. I am with you in thinking that a 12 inch MBA would be the perfect solution to the age long debate of 11 vs 13.

    At the end of the day, there is no wrong choice. Some users swear by the 11, and some the 13. Only you can decide.
     
  3. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #3
    It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
     
  4. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #4
    I got an 11" to use as my travel computer, and I absolutely love it. It's great not even having to think about whether to pack my laptop or not. I just throw it into my carry-on bag, and barely notice it's there.

    I got my wife a 13", but she uses that as her primary computer. When we travel, she usually leaves the MacBook at home, and packs her iPad mini instead.

    So, if you primarily intend to use this machine on the go, I would recommend the 11".
     
  5. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2013
    #5
    You are definitely right. I am comfortable with the 13'' size, but I cannot tell if it is too big or not anymore. I have been to the Apple Store two days in a row now just trying to decide. I stand right in between the 11'' and the 13'' and just use both for a little time. I feel a little more cramped with the 11'', but I feel a big sense of portability is lost with the 13''.

    I think I am cursed:(
     
  6. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2013
    #6
    Do you ever find the 11'' to be a little tight when it comes to screen size? I really love the size of the 13'' screen but in a smaller body. Ironically I went in to the Microsoft Store today while walking towards the Apple Store. In there, I found a Dell laptop with a 13'' screen but in a body almost the same size as the 11" Air. The bezels were nearly invisible, which really pushes you closer to your content. I really wish Apple could do something similar to this.
     
  7. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #8
    You aren't cursed, you are just undecided. Remember, there is a 14 day return period so if you pick one and hate it, you can exchange it within 14 days.

    ----------

    Yea but it's more fun when the undecided starts a new thread:)
     
  8. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    #9
    I'm actually buying from a different company that is offering a much better deal than Apple.

    http://www.adorama.com/

    They are offering basically any MacBook you can think, many bundled with AppleCare. With a discount code I found when I found the website, I can get an 11'' Air with 3 years of AppleCare for $849 shipped. No tax, and AppleCare is basically free. If I want the 13'', it's only $949 with AppleCare.

    (The code only works with the AppleCare bundle, basically making it free.)

    I am fine with both of those totals, but I really do not want to return whatever I purchase if I don't like it since it will take a very long time!
     
  9. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #10
    Both very good deals when you figure in the cost of AC. Are you leaning one way or the other?
     
  10. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2013
    #11
    I am kind of leaning towards the 11'' Air, just for the pure portability. But because I can buy either one, I think of the 13'' as being "better" than the 11'' and if I have the money for something "better" I will always want to buy it. Both are identical in performance besides battery life, screen size, and a SD card slot. Agh I am so torn.
     
  11. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
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    Houston, Texas
    #12
    It sounds like you are at the point where you would like someone to tell you which to pick. Go with the 13. If you've played with both and still have doubt, some part of your mind thinks the 11 is too small. Go 13
     
  12. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Microsoft Land
    #13
    While the weight may be a small factor in favor of the 11", the liberating feeling of the extra long battery life with the 13" is amazing-- you can truly go all day and you do not need to carry the power "brick" and cord along, partly offsetting the difference in weight. Do not underestimate the liberating feeling of that extra battery life.
     
  13. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    #14
    Probably the best idea for me. I think the 13'' will end up being my final decision, but I am still on the fence.

    How do you feel about the portability overall? Isn't it a little large to take everywhere, even with how light it is? I just feel like the 11'' is so insanely portable.
     
  14. MarvinHC, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2014
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    Shanghai, PRC
    #15
    I was in the same boat as you, couldn't make up my mind. I in the end ordered the 11" - see thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1755017

    Maybe I will regret it, maybe not. But as i will be most of the time carrying around two laptops (work + personal) I went for the ultra portability.

    Amazing prices that you are quoting considering Apple Care would be another $249. I can't find the same prices on the adorama website though?
     
  15. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    #16
    This is the problem with this website. I have so many good people giving me their opinions and I feel I will let people down if I go with one or the other xD.

    For Adorama, you have to be a VIP, but for that, you just use the trial. Same thing as getting a free month of Amazon Prime. The real killer though is the code for the discount.
     
  16. Kaylor macrumors regular

    Kaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    #17
    You're not letting anyone down. In the end, YOU'RE the one who will be using the machine and needs to be satisfied with your purchase, but it's a very personal decision.

    You need to weigh the pros and cons of each and decide what is most important to you.

    Personally, the 13" is a good compromise for me. I find 1440x900 much more workable than 1366x768, mostly due to the vertical height. Also, back when I was purchasing my MBA (August 2012), the difference between 5 hours and 7 hours of battery life was the difference between all day battery and not, which pushed me farther toward the 13" model, but that's not the case anymore.
     
  17. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2013
    #18
    I just love to get people's opinions when I am buying a product. Of course I am going to be the one to use it every day so I will have to make the executive decision. I am just having an unbelievably hard time deciding.
     
  18. Kaylor macrumors regular

    Kaylor

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    Oct 18, 2011
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    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    #19
    Nothing wrong with that. You came to a good place to get lots of opinions.

    To me, it sounds like no matter which you get, you'd be content but would wonder if you made the right choice. it seems like you need to use one or both models outside of the Apple Store to see which you are truly more comfortable. Do you happen to know anyone with either size so you could try it hands-on outside of the context of the store? It would help you just focus on how one model would fit into your lifestyle rather than bouncing back and forth between the two.
     
  19. TheTekJake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    #20
    That is exactly what I was personally thinking. I don't get a good feel for the laptop when I am using it all strung up at the Apple Store. I do have a 13'' MBP base model with so I am "comfortable" with the size. I don't personally know anybody with an 11'' Air, though I wish I did. My dad has on his desk a very thin Sony 11'' laptop from a couple years back, and he personally feels OK with the 11'' size, and I know he has used it for plenty of mobile Word documents when he isn't on his 27'' iMac. You are exactly right though. No matter what I get I will be happy, but I want to make the right decision for myself the first time to prevent having regrets later. Here is where I stand right now. The 13'' feels a little bigger for me to use and a little more comfortable. I would have a bigger trackpad, a bigger screen, an SD card for potential expandable storage, and some extra juice for when I am on the go. The 11'' feels a little cramped, tighter screen, tighter trackpad, and no expandable storage. But the 11'' is a considerable about lighter and smaller, and even after all of the compromises I just listed above, something still pushes me towards the 11''. I am basically sitting on the top of a fence right now, and something pretty large will have to "convince" me to tip to one side or the other.

    Thats primarily why I love hearing what you guys have to say. Hearing other peoples opinions doesn't necessarily change my views, it just allows me to adjust and rethink them until I can reach a conclusion. Until I really feel like I am leaning to one side, I am completely stumped.
     
  20. Kaylor macrumors regular

    Kaylor

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    #21
    Well, you're making it your on-the-go machine and gravitating toward the form factor of the 11". Here are some things to consider:

    1. The 11" is the true ultraportable. If you had both at your disposal you would pretty much always choose the 11" to grab and take out the door.

    2. The footprint of the 13" is just a hair bigger than your 13" MBP, but just barely. There's a bigger difference between the Air and the rMBP.

    3. In your user experience, the first thing you'll notice is form factor. How could you not? That's part of the reason this is keeping you on the fence. Remember that at first, it WILL be the first thing you notice. If you go with the 11" you'll admire how tiny it is, but you might also notice how cramped it is (you might not, who knows); if you go with the 13" you'll think of how much smaller it could be, but also how much more space you have.

    4. The specs of the 11" and 13" are exactly the same. All you're changing is the chassis, 3 hours of battery life (but both are amazing anyway), and an SD card slot.

    For what you're doing with it, you'd likely do fine with an 11". Photo editing might be a little tight on the screen, but I know people who have managed. The only other concern is how badly you want the SD card slot. Great for importing files from cameras (since you mentioned photo and video editing) and also for expanded storage, but in absence of an SD slot an adapter can be used (for data from cameras) and you could use a thumb drive for expanded storage, albeit less elegant.

    So really, (and I know you already know this) you could use either machine fine; I'm just giving you more to think about (and repeating some stuff I guess). It's a shame you don't know anyone with an 11" but hey, what can you do?
     
  21. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #22
    ...and that is why we offer our opinion. We want to help others make the best choice for themselves. (it's not like we're getting a commission if you buy one over the other :) )

    I recently purchased an 11" MBA. It was to replace my Surface 2 tablet w/TypeCover2. It was absolutely worth it. I used my Surface almost exclusively as a netbook (it wasn't very good as a tablet). I'd use apps fullscreen and occasionally split-screen.

    Shifting over to the 11" MBA was a "step up" screen-size wise (a full inch in the diagonal). On my desktop and notebook systems I rarely used apps in full-screen. But on the MBA, I find it a necessity... and quite enjoyable, and similar to how I was using my Surface.

    A full OSX experience in a device slightly larger than an iPad 4 is pretty amazing.
     
  22. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502

    ioannis2005gr

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    Aug 10, 2013
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    Europe
    #23
    I think people over 40 cannot adopt ipad portability as a second choice after an iMac. If you have enough money to spend and you are around 40-50 years old, buy a complete 13" MBA, otherwise go with the base model adding more RAM (just in case..). :cool:
     
  23. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    Houston, Texas
    #24
    A completely unnecessary waste of money especially considering the OP is buying from a different company which may not even offer an 8GB model.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    The Far Horizon
    #25
    I think people over 40 tend to see the iPad as a device for consuming content, rather than creating it. I love the form factor, but an 11" MBA gives me a lot more convenience and allows me to create content easily as well.

    To the OP: It really is a toss up between the incredible portability of the 11" versus the excellent battery life and larger screen of the 13". Both are highly portable, but the 11" is exceptionally so; however, the larger screen of the 13" allows it to be used as a main computer, and the wonderful battery life is a real bonus.SIZE]
     

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