13" MBPro vs 11" Air question... again

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kyriostrife, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. kyriostrife macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    I know there are plenty of these threads on these forums but I have a specific question about my situation.

    I have an early 2011 13" Macbook Pro (2.3 ghz i5 with 8gb RAM) that I am considering trading for a mid 2011 11" Air (i5, 128gb SSD, 4gb RAM). I was looking more for a 13" Air but someone offered their 11" Air in mint condition.

    I bought my MBPro originally for grad school (pharmacy) but for class it is used for viewing documents, watching lectures online, short papers. But I do use Aperture for photos and I was using Premiere and Final Cut Pro for video editing (side projects, not school related). The video editing has gone back to my Win7 desktop (at home and what I use mostly during the summer and on weekends when home) because of the hard drive space and more power obviously but on a rare occasion I can use the MBpro for editing. I know that if the MBPro was going to be my primary editor I would just go with a 15" MBPro. I always have an outlet to use so battery life is never really an issue there.

    The biggest advantage to me for the 11" air is the portability because I am constantly moving around with my laptop and going to and from class, as well as driving home. I also connect my laptop to a monitor as well (an 11" air may "force" me to get a 27" =D). The 13" Air seems appealing because of the SD card slot and higher resolution, but I doubt I can get a trade for one. The size of the 11" may just be more portable.

    I am going to go to a store and see if I can adjust to the different screen size. I also have an iPad (3rd gen) if that helps at all. I have different uses for the iPad so it is not a laptop replacement for me. Storage isn't an issue for the Air because I will use an external drive for storage of photos, videos, music, etc. I have only filled maybe 80 gbs of the OEM 320gb drive on the Pro anyway (not using an external HDD). I could keep the MBPro and upgrade to an SSD and swap the disc drive for the HDD. I think it's just the portability of the 11" that appeals to me.

    I made this long post because I just want to know if anyone has done the same switch. Has the power difference really affected you? I have looked at benchmarks already as well but want to know real world usage.

    I can adjust to the battery life and I will try one out at the store to get a feel for the different real estate. I originally didn't buy the Air because I felt I needed more power. But I really only edited 2-3 3 minute videos total on the MBPro because they needed to be done away from home whereas everything else was done on the desktop. When I do take photos, the MBPro gets the use because of Aperture. Other than that it is simple tasks on the laptop with the extent being watching movies/shows on it. Games are delegated to the desktop, never played on the laptop. I am learning to use Xcode now but only use it when connected to an external monitor anyway.

    Sorry for the long post!

    Cliffs: Deciding between trading between early 2011 13" MBpro for mid 2011 11" Air. Used primarily for school, occasional Aperture use and light video editing in emergency. But use desktop mostly for videos. Also connect to external monitor and will connect more if have an 11". Just want to know if the power differences have affected anyone in this situation.
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    i did something very similar. I went from a mid 2011 13" pro to the 2012 11" air. I got the maxed out air and this thing is a freaking beast. I do not notice any power difference...oddly enough, i feel like the air is more powerful
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    2011 MBP 13" 8GB -> 2012 MBA 11" 4GB / 128GB. No power difference. I have more page outs. I am not sure yet why that would be the case. Roughly 10% compared to pretty much 0 with the MBP. I love the screen size, but YMMV.
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I agree with the screen size. I originally was going to go with the 13", but once i was in store for about an hour messing around with both side by side, the 11" seemed better
  5. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    Don't look at the SD slot as a deal breaker, plenty of skinny USB adapters available.

    11" screen good, and there is nothing between the 11 and 13 when plugged into an external display
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Yep. This. I personally do not use an SD card, so it was a non-issue. And, if you ever do want to use an external monitor, they run exactly the same. I think the 11" is perfect. Nothing against the 13", but it is really cool that Apple produces something this full-featured at such a small size.
  7. kyriostrife thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I just got back from the store and did a side by side comparison between the 11" air, 13" air, and 13" pro and oddly enough the 11" air didn't prevent any issues for me whatsoever. The 13" air "feels" bigger simply because I'm looking at a larger resolution and because it's so thin it feels like a slate.

    Aesthetics aside, I quickly noticed the SSD response and how fast it loads applications. I don't use full screen apps on my Pro but they were enabled at the model at the store and I quickly became accustomed to it. Even for applications that did not use it, for some reason the screen size was perfectly useable. Basically, it didn't "feel" like 11" to me.

    I think I will like this and even my desk at home is cluttered because of my keyboards and 24" monitor, but I have a spot right next to it where the 11" air would fit perfectly.

    I think I am pretty much sold on the 11" air. I also have a USB (flash drive form factor) SD card reader if I ever need it (it's what I use for my desktop anyway). I actually appreciate the small size and full screen videos look great on it as well.

    If you have any other input please let me know.
  8. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    eventhough the 11" lacks of vertical space, but it's still much enjoyable to use than a 13" mbp with 1280x800. everything looks so blurry in 13" pro.
  9. kyriostrife thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Yeah I noticed that immediately. Not to mention the 15" retina made the 13" mbp look terrible (but thats unfair of me to do that comparison haha). The 11" seems to be the sweet spot. I think it will be perfect.
  10. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    11" is much enjoyable to use everywhere (coffee table, plane).

    The 2011 11" air's battery life is short, but i think the new one with ivy bridge has 4.5-5 hours in real world usage where the 2011 11" air is only 3.5 hours of real world usage.

    the smaller footprint of the 11" is really amazing, you can take it easily with one hand, it's only a little bigger than the iPad.

    in my mind is when i get the 13" air, it's really not that big, and working with photoshop and movies is not that convenience. you still need to hook it up to an external monitor to do real works. so why not grab the 11", easy on the go, and u can attach it to external monitor too to do real work.

    this post will seal your mind in getting the 11" :)
  11. tannyboy, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    tannyboy macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2004

    my thinking too. Got the 11' on the way
  12. kyriostrife thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    You're exactly right. The external monitor will be necessary anyway.

    I guess the big disadvantage is the battery of the 11" 2011 air I will be getting. But I'm getting around the same with the Pro anyway so I should get over it just fine.
  13. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    side by side is the only way to know for sure :) when i was playing with the 13" i couldn't take my eyes off the 11" haha
  14. kyriostrife thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Yeah that's exactly what happened to me haha.

    I do have one question, I'm trying to search the model (MC969LL) and I was under the impression that back in 2010 the macbook airs did not have an audio line input (3.5mm). Do the mid 2011 (MC969LL) have this added now or no? I am talking about if it has the same input that the 13" mbp has... 3.5mm jack that doubles as a microphone input? Googling specs gives me this.. "Audio Input Type Integrated Microphone, Line In (3.5mm)" but I am not sure that is accurate?
  15. kyriostrife thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Does anyone know if the mid-2011 air 3.5mm jack doubles as an audio input for microphones?

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