2015 11” Air vs 2015 13” Air

11” or 13” 2015 fully loaded Air?

  • 11”

  • 13”

  • Neither


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Rory76

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 24, 2017
86
22
Out of curiosity, if you won a contest and the prize was a new/sealed 2015 Air with maxed out specs, would you prefer it to be the 11” or 13” model?
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
606
291
Ocean State
Both fully spec'd MBAs are good computers. I suppose it depends on how you will use the computer. The only difference besides the size of the display (obviously) is that the 13inch MBA has an SD card reader slot and the 11inch MBA does not so I suppose if you don't need the SD card reader and are okay with the smaller sized laptop then the 11inch MBA is the way to go otherwise get the 13inch MBA :)
 

Rory76

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 24, 2017
86
22
Both fully spec'd MBAs are good computers. I suppose it depends on how you will use the computer. The only difference besides the size of the display (obviously) is that the 13inch MBA has an SD card reader slot and the 11inch MBA does not so I suppose if you don't need the SD card reader and are okay with the smaller sized laptop then the 11inch MBA is the way to go otherwise get the 13inch MBA :)
Isn’t the battery life on the 13” model significantly longer? I’ve never seen the 11” Air in person but it just appeals to me for some reason.
 

Rory76

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 24, 2017
86
22
I'd choose the 13" because it has a better resale value plus the 11.6" screen is too small.
I assume that’s what led you to get the 13” over the 11”? Have you seen the 11” in person?
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
606
291
Ocean State
Isn’t the battery life on the 13” model significantly longer? I’ve never seen the 11” Air in person but it just appeals to me for some reason.
Yes the battery life on the 13inch MBA averages between 13-15 hrs on a charge but that also depends on how old the battery is and how many charge cycles are on it.

I think the 11inch Air is around 7 to 9 hrs on a charge...
 

Pugly

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2016
201
134
I choose the 11" about 2 years ago. I'm glad I purchased this before Apple dropped the whole 11" line. I have the i7, 8GB, 256GB version. I'm going to upgrade to a 512 ssd soon too.

The i7 11" is a great machine, but it's also very niche. So if it's for you, it's amazing... but to others the screen/battery life is just too low. For me it's just about perfect.

It's about the same power as a 2015 MacBook Pro in a size more similar to the Retina MacBook than anything else. You know the screen is already the most compromised part of the thing, so not having retina isn't a big deal.

To me the 13" Air and Pro overlap too much for me to make the 13" Air a perfect choice. Also there are lots of great 13" laptops out there. But at the 11" Air size there isn't really anything else that is this powerful/useful.
 
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Rory76

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 24, 2017
86
22
I choose the 11" about 2 years ago. I'm glad I purchased this before Apple dropped the whole 11" line. I have the i7, 8GB, 256GB version. I'm going to upgrade to a 512 ssd soon too.

The i7 11" is a great machine, but it's also very niche. So if it's for you, it's amazing... but to others the screen/battery life is just too low. For me it's just about perfect.

It's about the same power as a 2015 MacBook Pro in a size more similar to the Retina MacBook than anything else. You know the screen is already the most compromised part of the thing, so not having retina isn't a big deal.

To me the 13" Air and Pro overlap too much for me to make the 13" Air a perfect choice. Also there are lots of great 13" laptops out there. But at the 11" Air size there isn't really anything else that is this powerful/useful.
Thanks for the info. I don’t mind the 12” screen on the retina MacBook at all. However, that might be due to it having a higher resolution retina screen and the more traditional aspect ratio. I don’t know if the 11” Air’s display size would be an issue with me or not since it does have a lower resolution and different aspect ratio. When you use your 11”, are you typically using the macbooks display or an external monitor?
 

Pugly

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2016
201
134
When you use your 11”, are you typically using the macbooks display or an external monitor?
I primarily use it's built in display. But I do hook it up from time to time, about 80/20 split.

There are a couple of macOS settings I need to use to make it usable for me though. I auto hide the dock, and keep it on the side. I auto hide the menu bar. I take advantage of full screen often. I hide the toolbar in full screen safari. Logic Pro X is the main use of this computer, and I open all the editors in new windows, as well as getting pretty fast with zooming.

It's usable but just barely so I'd say. Retina would be better for the small screen, because you could scale it down without losing any detail. But as it is, the resolution is about as usable as 13" computers from 10 years ago.

One thing about the 11", it looks smaller when you look at it from the side or higher up on a display table. But with it is on your lap, or at a desk, it just fades away and it doesn't feel too small in use... at least for me. I got used to it and it became my new normal... now anything else feels huge.

The same holds true for the retina MacBook too of course, but the size just makes it so much more convenient than a 13". It fits in places you don't expect to fit a laptop... and when it is this powerful you can do a lot of great things where you wouldn't expect.
 
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niteflyr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2011
910
136
Southern Cal
11" for me but it really depends on your needs. The 11" has a smaller, but sharper screen. (More PPI) It is the best travel machine I have ever owned. Lighter, smaller footprint fits on airline seat back trays, etc. 13" obviously more screen real estate, battery life, RAM, etc.
 
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thewap

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2012
558
1,346
*If won in a contest * context, I would get the 11" due to it's rarity nowadays. The 13" is more usable on an everyday basis.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,354
8,709
Prescott Valley, AZ
@Pugly and @Macdctr are "on it" so I don't know how much more I can add to the conversation. :)

I still regularly use my 2014 4GB/128GB 11" MBA and even though it is the entry level model, it has done everything I've thrown at it. Video rendering, audio encoding, virtual machines, retro game emulation, presentations, heavy productivity and research work. I couldn't even imagine how a fully-spec'ed out model would perform those tasks.

For something that is essentially the size of an iPad, I have a full macOS computer. Rather than try to shoehorn my workflows into a 12.9 iPad Pro, I've settled on a 2018 iPad + 11" MBA combo.

But disclaimer time, the MBA is not my primary computer, so that is something to consider.

Another disclaimer, the 11" MBA isn't for everyone, you. know. you. But if it is for you, you'll absolutely love it. I don't know of anyone who owns one that is ambivalent about it.
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,194
1,875
New Jersey Pine Barrens
The 11.6" is just too small for everyday work (excellent for travel though).
That is just your personal opinion. You will find many fans of the 11" MBA here, and I'm one of them. I had a top spec 2011 13" MBA and switched to a top spec 2013 11" MBA which I still use daily. I like the 11" MBA much, much more. And, of course that is also just my personal opinion. This topic has been beaten to death over the years in this forum and the only answer is that you must decide this for yourself... it shouldn't "take a village" to choose a computer for your personal use.
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
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... the only answer is that you must decide this for yourself... it shouldn't "take a village" to choose a computer for your personal use.
I totally agree here. Well said!

I have a fully spec'd 2015 13 inch MBA and I really love using it but since picking up my 11 inch MBA recently, I can now say I do understand why people who love the smaller platform love this so much! Even though my 11 inch is a 1.7GHz i5 4GB model, I intend to swap out the logic board for a fully spec'd i7 logic board later this summer...

The only drawback in the 11 inch as far as I can tell is the battery life. I got used to the 13+ hrs of battery life that my 13 inch MBA gives so if I had to nit-pick this would be it.
 
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