11" with iPad for school or 13" with ipad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ebbygoo2, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. ebbygoo2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    Ok well here goes.
    Firstly, unless you have something useful to say which is useful to me, then go away- yes I am talking to
    the trolls I constantly see on this forum.

    Secondly, I am here to ask a few questions which have left me doing my head in over the last few days.
    I am a student about to enter my senior year at high school and am getting a mac.

    I currently have a 2011 MBP 13" and tried for a while, but carrying it around school is not happening, and consequently I stuck it on eBay.

    Anyway, I have decided I am going to buy an air and am struggling to figure out which size to get. Yes I understand this question has been asked before but the context in which I am asking it is different.

    I am going to be using this as my main computer and want to know what any other students in think of their 11" airs, but more importantly, does the Mac do anything the iPad with a keyboard can't AT SCHOOL. Will I use my 11 mac at school if I have an iPad?

    Another question for everyone is:
    How well does an iPad + air 11" combo and hence also an iPad 13" combo work together? Does the first combo make each other redundant?

    Thank you for
    A) reading all that
    B) the comment I hope you are about to write ;p
  2. ebbygoo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    I already have an iPad so I'm not deciding between the two, I'm asking which mac will complement it better but also be better for school. Sorry if that wasn't clear in first post
  3. jmfel1926 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    i have just purchased a MBA 2012 i5/8GB/128 for a Masters Program that i attend in Sweden and i will just mention the pros of my experience so far :

    1) amazingly powerfull maschine and i cannot even feel that i have it with me
    2) carry it around the classes with one hand like holding a book. it is so nice to know that you can have it everywhere and not thinking "how i am gonna take it to that class" etc ..
    3)i am on a programming master , so i need to type a lot of code and i can tell you that the 11'' screen may feel small on start but after 1-2 weeks you are gonna say that you did the right thing.
    4)great battery life ... wi fi on and brightness at 60% which is good gives 4 hours of usage ...
    5)dual boot of windows 7 and OSX and both run great !

    i definetely recommend it to you for university. the only thing that i am "scared" of is that this will be your primary computer. i have 23'' desktop and i spend time on both of them. as long as you have an ipad you could easily choose the 13'' ... you know grab the ipad at class and macbook at home. and still the 13'' is pretty easy to carry ... just 500g more...
  4. fubaracing7374 macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2012
    I would agree about the 11" being the sweet spot for the MacBook Air.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The iPad does a lot, but not everything, an MBA can do. It seems to be a little redundant to have an 11" MBA and an iPad. Why do people get the 11" MBA? For portability mostly. So which one are you going to carry? The iPad or the MBA?

    The MBA does everything the iPad can do and more. Advantages of the iPad are the touch interface, 4G connectivity, and a little more portable. But if you need to do something at school that requires a computer, like access a training site that uses flash or handle USB drives, then you need the MBA. Period. Yes, people will come up with all sorts of wacky workarounds but the fact is an iPad is not in the same league as an MBA, iOS is not Mac OS X.

    If I was carrying my iPad and could make do with that, I'd get the 13" MBA as my "real" computer. Bigger screen, bigger battery, SD card slot. But that's me.
  6. sam2428 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I think it will depend on how you plan on using each device respectively. I personally have an iPad and a 27" iMac at home. I am planning to go back to school and am looking to buy an 11" MBA.

    You will need to use productivity apps for school and I find them harder to use on an iPad. Can it be done? For sure, but I when typing out an essay or paper, editing (to me at least) is much more time consuming on an iPad. It is simply easier to use a mouse or the trackpad to go back and select, highlight, insert text, etc. again, it can be done, just a little less efficiently on the iPad.

    I use my iPad for media and as a e-reader both at home and if I take it out. You said yourself a you have trouble taking out your 13" pro. I would get a 11" as it has a smaller footprint and you will be more likely to carry it around with you. A least that what I plan on doing....but I have the iMac at home when I need more power and screen real estate.
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    To me, if u you are going to do anything serious, u need a real keyboard. Since u mention portability as an issue, if u are gonna go iPad+ext keyboard (two pieces to carry) I say just furgigtabout it and get a 11" Air and yer done.

    But of course iPad have some cool apps not in a notebook, like some of the games, and that astro app where u point the iPad to the sky and the iPad shows u the constellations behind. These are not standard "school things" but since when do human make 100% sensible purchase decisions. :)

    Ipad advantage: all day battery + Cellular Radio if you don't already own a smart phone.

    Notebook advantage: Catch-all, Air 11" Super portable, the precise reason I picked it.
  8. darkknight11 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2011
    I'd wait until Tuesday...once Apple announces the iPad mini, I'd order the 11" inch and 7.85 inch iPad mini. If you are looking for portability, this beats out the "13 MBA + 9.7" iPad.

  9. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I sold my iPad 2 to put the money toward a 2011 MBA 11in. Traded the 11in for a 2011 13in MBA. Bought a 2012 iPad. Life is good!

    I honestly don't use my iPad for anything aside from taking notes in lectures though (via stylus). Everything else I do on my MBA or iMac. Why force yourself into trying to turn the iPad into a productivity machine when it isn't? It's a consumption device. Knocking out papers, doing anything multitasking related (i.e. windows side-by-side), or having to run any actual programs (I'm an engineering student, so there're a lot of those) is nearly flat out impossible. I say nearly because some of the aforementioned is possible, but honestly - not worth your time or effort. An MBA is the perfect laptop for any student and it only weighs like a pound more.

    Now I switched from the 11in to the 13in because I needed more screen real estate. Having windows side-by-side was a stretch and there was a lot of constant scrolling (since it has a lesser vertical resolution). Also, the nature of some of the programs I used (like circuit designing software) made excess screen real estate almost a necessity. Don't get me wrong, the footprint of the 11in is awesome and I miss it, but I certainly appreciate the extra productivity and battery life (the 11in was fairly horrid) associated with the 13in.

    I am, however, concerned with you thinking the 13in MBP is too heavy. A 13in MBA is only 1.5lbs lighter. Do you carry a lot of books with you too? Maybe find digital versions and put them on your MBA or iPad. Maybe nix all your binders and notebooks and just take notes on the iPad?

    Oh, and I would definitely say the 11in MBA and iPad are fairly redundant. I would even argue that a 13in MBA and iPad are almost just as redundant (and this is from experience). Perhaps hold out for an iPad Mini. That'd probably be the better companion.
  10. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I have a MBA 13" and an iPad. To me, a 11" has too much overlap with the iPad.
  11. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    One would think in this day and age, no more heavy 5LB hard cover books right? Not what I see on the ground! Professors gotta make $ on the side!

    AND a 13in MB DOES make a diff for me. By the number, I know you just go, "it's only 1.5LB" but I go by experience, I used to lug a 4.5LB Winbook, at the time competitively light and I lived with it for years, but secretly I told myself 3.5LB would be good. My next one will be 3.5LB (or less). So this year I got the 2.3LB Air, MY GOD, I will NEVER, EVER go back to anything heavier, and as far as the size goes, 12" was my perfect size, as said by experience, to me, so a 13" was out, 11" was the only choice left. YMMV.

    Wait for iPad Mini the other fellah says... Why not, it's only a few days away. But if I have a make a decision now, I say no mini. Air 11" screen is always a tad too small for reading for me, am always pinch-zooming out, anything smaller I'd probly not happy with, but again, YMMV.
  12. ebbygoo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    Thanks guys definitely giving me something to think about :)
  13. joshuaginter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2011
    I really think battery life needs to be considered in this case. I had an 11" MBA and iPad for school and I felt the combination was unbeatable. I could type notes on the MBA in class and could read my digital textbooks and PDF's for my classes on my iPad. However, the 5 hour (more like 3 hour if you have anything to do with the web) battery life of the 11" Air may be a stumbling block for some students. Not all classrooms have outlets (mine didn't) and stressing about charging your laptop for your next class is not needed amongst the endless hours of homework that pile up.

    Just my 2 cents. I love the 11" and would never have changed if not for the battery life.
  14. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    I'm planning on going back to school next year, and with that in mind, I got the 13 inch model. More than anything else, it was the additional battery runtime that sealed the deal, and as others said, it isn't easy to secure outlets in classrooms.
  15. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    I have the 13", but at work I attach it to my 24" display, using the DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter. Interestingly, the HDMI adapter didn't work, because it limited resolution to 1080p, but this display has 1200 lines.

    24" screens are pretty cheap these days, and coupled with a keyboard/mouse, you have a nice desktop, whether you use the 11" or 13".

    There's a long discussion on this board about 11" vs 13" MBA, and clearly both won; it's a matter of preference and there are definitely owners of each size who are certain that they chose what's right for them.

    I'd tend to think that, if you're going to have it open on small desks in classrooms, libraries and cages, the smaller might be better. Use the cash you save for a 24" Samsung or Dell screen --- you don't need a $999 Thunderbolt screen.
  16. .Pook. macrumors newbie


    Oct 21, 2012
    I have both iPad 3 (Cellular) & MacBook Air 11' (2012). I actually had the option to choose between the 11' or 13' MBA & I chose the 11' because I want the portability. I use both and I am happy with them :D.

    I use the iPad mainly for web browsing/watching movies & MBA for typing documents.
  17. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you're getting an iPad as well def the 13" - No point in having two small portables.
  18. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I'm in my first year at university and I have a 27" iMac, 13" Air and an iPad 2. I got the iPad 2 when it was originally released 2 years ago to go along with my iMac, it was a great combo and I took the iPad to school almost every day to take notes and do online assignments, whether I used it or not. I figured it was just so light that I wouldn't be able to tell whether its there or not. For university I decided that I needed a full fledged laptop for basically the same reason and to be able to run more advanced engineering software that's not feasible on the iPad, so I went with the 2012 13" air. I have all 3 with me at uni but since I've been here (about 2 months) I have yet to touch my iPad, it has just been sitting in my locked cabinet. I feel that since I have time between classes to go back to my room and switch out notebooks, I can comfortably take the 13" air just about anywhere, plus the battery life is outstanding. Honestly unless you play a lot of iOS game the macbook air and the iPad are redundant in my opinion. I would go with the 13" and get an external monitor to go along with it when you're at home.
  19. ebbygoo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    Ughhhh after today still can't decide -_-

    Does else have an iPad and 11"?
  20. .Pook., Oct 22, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012

    .Pook. macrumors newbie


    Oct 21, 2012
    If you are unsure which MBA to choose, get the 13'. People who get the 11' know exactly what they are looking for.
    If you are planning to get the 11', don't get the 64GB SSD because it is too small. Get at least 128GB SSD.
  21. AlvinNguyen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    I do - I love the combo. The iPad is my go-to for reading / web surfing.

    iPhone 5 - on-the-go communicator / quick web surfing / social media
    iPad 3 - web browsing / news reading / e-books
    Macbook Air 11" 2.0Ghz / 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD - portable/on-location work horse

    Planning on picking up the new iMac for my powerhouse machine. I previously had the rMBP as the primary and paired it with a 27" ACD. I sold it in anticipation of the new iMac.

    I don't know but I really love having the 11" Macbook Air. It's so light and portable. Sometimes I do wish I had the 13" for the screen but that's only because I edit images on the go in CS6. If you don't I don't see why you need the 13". Plus, even then I still have to say there is something truly unique and special about the 11" MBA. It's just so damn portable. It's the same weight as an iPad 3 + Case!

    If you go with a 11" make sure it's a 2012 to take advantage of USB3 and also go with 8GB RAM if you want to future proof and have multiple apps open at the same time.
  22. barbz41086 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    I sold my iPad 2nd gen and got a rMBP. I used my iPad for a year and loved it. However i found myself wanting to do more and more with it and finally got sick of trying to make it a laptop. I got the rMBP with the idea that i would use both. Word, Excel, iPhoto and whatever else on the rMBP and movies, music and browsing on the iPad. After six weeks the ipad was still in the same place as it was the day i got rMBP. I deemed the iPad useless and sold it. Since then i haven't looked back, until i tried to use the rMBP on a plane, total fail.

    So what I'm getting at is a tablet wont replace a computer and you probably dont need both.
  23. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I have a iPad3 and am trying to decide between the same things but the 5 hours or less battery life on the 11" MBA won't cut it for my use...

    On the 13" MBA, it feels huge from a foot print POV to me and I have to use a full size, thin laptop case with it.

    I think I'm going to wait until Haswell and see if the battery times on the 11" improve enough for my liking as I still have a whitebook 5,2 with SSD that works well (just wanted something lighter and with the glass track pad functions)?
  24. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    The basic considerations are:

    - battery life (longer on 13")
    - screen size (larger on 13", obviously...)
    - portability factor (the 11" being a bit smaller and lighter)

    Think those through and decide what is most important to you.

Share This Page