Advice on Screen Size

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jparker402, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. jparker402 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Location:
    Bellevue, NE
    #1
    Have never had a Mac before, but am getting tired of my PC and Microsoft. Considering a MacBookAir because of the cost. Debating on 11 or 13 inch screen. I understand that these are not the retina screens, but upon reading a few posts tonight am beginning to think there may be a difference in perceived clarity between these two sizes. Am I wrong? Could someone be so kind as to explain this to me? I guess I could go look at the time side-by-side, but would feel more comfortable if someone could explain what differences I may see first. Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    The 11.6" has slightly higher PPI (Pixels per Inch) so text and icons may seem slightly smaller on it. However, the 13.3" has higher resolution, so it can display more stuff on the screen, making it more suitable for multitasking.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    I had a 2011 13" MBA and switched to an 11" MBA in 2013. I greatly prefer the 11" MBA, but that is primarily for the size. So light and portable, it's terrific to have so much power in such a small package (I have the i7/8gb/512gb model).

    The extra pixels on the 13" screen are nice, but I don't mind the 11" screen - seems like a reasonable trade-off for the benefit of the small size. Things are definitely smaller due to the higher dot pitch however. Very noticeable when I first made the switch. I ended up setting larger default font sizes in several programs. Apple Mail was especially an issue, the default size font was fine on the 13" but just too small on the 11".

    I like the 16:9 aspect ratio of the 11" screen - perfect for watching movies. You do need to scroll more when web browsing though. But my MBA spends most of its life at home, connected to a big external screen so the smaller built-in screen doesn't matter there.

    In the end, it all very personal and subjective. You should go to a store and play around with both if possible, that's what I did. There are many, many threads on this topic if you browse back through this forum too.
     
  4. mountain macrumors 6502

    mountain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #4
    If you do a lot of reading then bigger is better in my opinion. Having said that, the MBA screens are inferior to the retina in terms of color.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    This new article on the front page suggests that the 11" MBA might be discontinued and a new 13" model released at WWDC in a few days. That would be interesting… if true, I wonder if it would cause the remaining 11" models to quickly sell out? We saw something like this happen when Apple updated the Mini in 2013 (IIRC) and people didn't like the new version. Existing inventory sold almost instantly, and refurbs were nearly impossible to get.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2016/06/08/new-macbook-air-pro-june-unveiling-rumor/
    ______________

    The report, citing "a reliable Chinese supplier," mentions earlier rumors that Apple will discontinue the smaller 11-inch MacBook Air to focus on 13-inch and all-new 15-inch models

    […]

    Apple not updating the 11-inch MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM as well lends credence to rumors claiming the ultra-portable model will be discontinued.
     
  6. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #6
    I'm an old lady with bad eyesight. The 11" MBA is great. I agree with the Boyd about Apple Mail. If the OP is not entranced by screen resolution, the MacBook Air is a great computer.
     
  7. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #7
    Another vintage gal loving the 11' MBA. I bought a 13' earlier this year. I did like the larger screen size. Returned it for another 11' MBA because it fits better. I use it in all kinds of places. I'm in a recliner now with the TV going. In for the evening. Love the 11' MBA.
     
  8. Pugly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    #8
    I think surfing the internet and reading long documents is really hindered by how short the 11 inch screen is. 16:10 aspect ratio of the 13inch is much better for most uses I think. But if you do other things that don't need as much vertical space, it's not that big of a deal. And a lot of the features of OS X seem built for working with such a small screen... full screen apps, spaces and what not...

    I have an 11 inch and when I carry it around I really like how short it is. That size really makes it very portable compared to other computers.
     
  9. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #9
    If this is going to be used as your main machine I would suggest go with the 13" over the 11. The 11 I can imagine would be great if you're only using it for light touch stuff and have a main machine with bigger screen to do everything else. But that's not to say you can't use the 11" as your main machine...
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    I used the 13" as my main machine for about two years, then switched to the 11" which has been my main machine for exactly three years now. I greatly prefer the 11", but it's a personal thing of course. Both screens are too small for "serious" work IMO - but that doesn't matter much since I use an external monitor when needed.

    There's no reason why the 11" would only be appropriate for "light touch stuff", you can get the same CPU, RAM and SSD in either model.
     
  11. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Osty

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #11
    I used the 11 inch model for years as my go-to device. Miss it like crazy. I want to go back.
     

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