2013 11" Air vs 2012 13" Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Viantef, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Viantef macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    So I bought a 2013 Macbook Air 11" about 3 weeks ago, just a week short of the return policy. (****!)

    Now, I'm starting to get into programming and I'm realizing how much I'd need the 13".

    I can sell my Macbook Air on Amazon for $900 and buy a 13" refurbished from Apple for $849.

    I'm 16 and I saved all summer for this so just selling the 11" and getting a new 13" is not an option. Especially since I got the computer for $900 Brandnew at Microcenter.

    How much performance will I lose?

    - I surf the web
    - Program (Sublime Text, Eclipse)

    I admit, I'm stressing over that battery life.
  2. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    If you have an external monitor, you should be fine. I can't live without that battery life now that I have it. I do have a 13 inch and it works great because programming does need a bigger screen. Keep it.


    By the way, Im 14 and got a job programming this summer and saved up the same amount. I got it for $900 with the best buy student discounts.
  3. evorc macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2011
    I would definitely recommend a 13". I'm currently a Senior of my last semester of BS Computer Science. I initially bought a 11" mba prior to start of my junior year of computer science degree, but it was too small for programming. Most of the time I was referring to resources while programming in an IDE and it became too difficult for me. I went and return it for a 13" and I have been fine since then. I don't even use my 24" Desktop PC for programming, all on my MBA unless I have to do asp.net. Without looking at the specs, I wouldn't even worry about it for programming. I say go for it! By the way, It's great that you are starting to program at an early age. It will pay off down the road in college. I wish I started when I was 16!
  4. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    You should check and see if you really can get $900 on Amazon.

    I'm assuming you got the base 11" model? Well a brand new machine is $999. With student discount, a brand new machine is $950, +$100 gift voucher.

    And of course, some promotions have the new 11" selling for $900 as well, the same price you got it for.

    So I think first, you should see how much you're going to be able to sell your machine for, and then take it from there.
  5. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Totally lost by OP.

    Within return period so why do you have to sell it. Why not just return?

    U say u HAVE to get a 13" and then u say it's not an option?

    I hope your programing is as logical as ur post.
  6. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Isn't the return period only 14 days?

    I think an external monitor, wired keyboard and mouse will be your best bet now.
  7. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    If I were you, I'd be calling Apple up and just explain your situation. I just recently returned my MBA, because I was having startup issues, and had been having them since the first 14 days of buying the Air, however, it had been a month afterwards that I called them, and after speaking to a couple of different people, they elected to just replace my entire machine. Great customer service to deal with!
  8. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    I used a 13" MBP (which has less pixels than your 11" MBA) for two years of full time professional dev work, with no external monitor, and made a good chunk of money with it.

    There are developers who are way more successful than me who use the 11" full time. If you need some inspiration:


    That said, I'm on a MBA 13" now.
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Small fonts, full screens, external monitor.

    If you're doing stuff on the road all the time, you probably need the 13". It almost seems like too much space after using the 11" for a while. I've gone between the 11" and 13" since the 2010 models.
  10. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    In my opinion, the 11" model is a perfect second/travelling computer, but not sufficient for a primary computer.

    In this case, I think it all depends on larger screen size vs. performance (mostly graphics) and battery life. Which of those two options is more important to you?
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Really depends on your usage pattern. I replaced my 2008 15" MBP with a 2011 13" MBA. Then this summer I replaced the 13" MBA with a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA. It is my primary computer and I love it. At home it's connected to a big monitor and external keyboard, so the size doesn't matter. When I travel, I find the screen a reasonable compromise for the portability.
  12. Viantef thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Well, I'd really like the screen size. Programming on the 11" can be rough at times, not entirely bad however. I like to go to Starbucks and program. I know it's not huge performance boost from the 2012-2013, but damn that battery life.
  13. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    How could a programmer be productive at Starbucks?... :D
  14. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    That's where I go. Grab a coffee and work for a bit. Too many distractions at home.
  15. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Personally, I'd take a new 11" over an older 13". Yes, the screen size is a little more restricting, but the lighter weight, smaller dimensions, better performance (especially SSD) and better battery life all make the 11" a better choice, in my opinion.

    Ultimately, only you can make the decision, of course! :)


    I often forget that the 11" model has the same hardware inside as the 13" (excluding the obvious display and battery differences). Your set-up is definitely a nice one, as you're getting the best of portable with most of the benefits of a desktop as well (unless high performance and graphics are needed, of course).

    If I weren't such an avid PC gamer, I'd go for a set-up much like yours.
  16. Viantef thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Do you guys think if I called up the Apple Support/Apple Store and explain my situation, they could potentially take it in and allow me to pay the extra $100 for the 2013 13" Air?

    Craigslist has been unsuccessful, I asked $940 (Comes with Microsoft Office Suite & Speck Case), yet everyone is either saying that's too high or trying to pull a check/paypal scam.

    I pulled my Amazon listing because I didn't know they took 6%, that's my fault however.

    It's like completely mint.
  17. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    If you want to know what Apple will say, just call them and find out.

    I think you're obsessing over it too much. This machine is not holding you back from programming or surfing the web.

    Smaller screen for programming? Write shorter methods. They're easier to test and debug.
  18. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    I second that. Sure it's good to have a bigger screen and better yet a second screen. However, I don't think 11 inch screen will make me any lesser programmer. I've been a software engineer over 15 years.

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