After some consideration, returning the 11 and went 13!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Gregintosh, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Well, I got my MacBook Air (2010 1.6, 4GB, 128GB, 11") from eBay and played with it.

    Few observations:

    1. As an iPad user I found the MacBook Air to be completely unusable on the couch or in bed. There is no way it could ever take place of an iPad.

    2. As such, the MacBook's place would be to do real work on the go (like in a library, a client's office, etc.). To that end, the 13" is superior because you get more screen real estate, longer battery, and better specs.

    Overall, the 11 wasn't a bad machine but again the iPad spoiled me, this time in the area of battery life. After using it for just around 2 hours the battery hovered around 55% (from a full charge).

    That's crazy! I got used to not even worrying about battery on my iPad and charging it once every several days.

    Now with the 13", I have been using it about an hour (down to 58% battery since it wasn't 100% charged when I took it out of the box) and it still says 2:30 left.

    So around 6 hours on its very first charge versus basically 4 hours. That 2 hours makes a big difference.

    Plus, getting the SD reader is a nice bonus, since I own many SD cards, so even though I won't use it too often it will be nice to have. I can probably put some videos on a 32GB SD card and take them on a trip versus using my limited storage. Its better/smaller than flash drives.

    The last thing it the display. I think the 11" resolution is a bit tiny. I like that it had a lot of real estate but it was not too comfortable to do any significant reading work on. The 13" resolution is PERFECT.

    So yeah, basically I switched to the 13" Air and couldn't be happier. I think the 11 is still good but has too many drawbacks. Maybe once the 11" battery gets extended to 7+ hours it will be a great laptop, but right now I think its just too short for comfort.
  2. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    As an only computer...

    I suspect that the 13" would be better. But I wanted maximum portability, and have my 11" MBA i7 hooked up to a 24" ACD, Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad (and a Logitech mouse because I just couldn't deal with the shape of the Magic Mouse), and it's a great setup. Could have done it cheaper with a non-Apple monitor, certainly. But the combination of a full-size screen and portability of the laptop when disconnected from the screen is just wonderful. But I can see how the 13" MBA is more comfortable to use standing alone compared to the 11" MBA. Things get sacrificed for such a small form-factor.
  3. The Catalyst macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2009
    Their both great machines, just depends on what features end users need most.

    side note: I went for the 13" too.
  4. glen e, Sep 9, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011

    glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    I have an 11 but only becasue on the road the 11 is enuf and when I'm home it powers a 27" LG monitor. I agree with using an ipad when lounging and reading, I have no idea how people say the 11 mba is easy to use on the go, in bed, or on the couch. The ipad is miles above that and 10 hours batt life. My signature says it....
  5. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I guess some people think a small notebook/netbook is good for couch or bed surfing, but only because they never tried a tablet.

    I used to use a laptop in bed and on the couch before the iPad was released and thought it was alright, though now that I've had better (iPad user since the original iPad launch day) I can't imagine using my Macbook in bed or on the couch (unless its on a coffee table).

    On the bed, I can see it being used if you lay down on your stomach but then since most beds aren't hard surfaces I think that creates some thermal issues for it. All in all, any laptops are really best used on hard surfaces when you can sit in front of them, just like desktops.

    I can also see how the 11" would be just enough if you had an external monitor. Then it certainly can be a primary machine and you are a road warrior with limited space (i.e. using it on trains, planes, etc.)

    The 11" is certainly a niche product, though a good one. The 13" I could say is definitely within desktop replacement reach and probably the best bet for most users. Totally worth the extra $300, IMO.
  6. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    Well, I actually disagree. I find the iPad awkward for prolonged use, especially on the sofa (while the mrs is watching some bollocks on TV). I find the 11.6" MBA much more convenient, sat nicely on the arm of the sofa. Each to their own though, choice is always good.
  7. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA
    Since I have the iPad, I thought the 13" was the next reasonable machine before my 27" imac. I really like the look of the 11", but with these two as light as they are, the 13" was the best for me. My 15" MBP feels like a brick compared to this.
  8. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Ditto. I can't quite put my finger on WHY it was awkward exactly, but it was.
  9. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    One of the reasons we have three 2010 11"MBAs, is because we all three adore our iPads,(2 iPad 1's,and 1 iPad 2)
    I agree with your assessment, we LOVE our IPads, as much as the MBA's, and would never be without them
  10. macbookpro45 macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    What do you use your iPad for? I had it for a week (the iPad 2) and found absolutely no use for it. It was a blank slate waiting for me to spend more money on it with apps, but which apps? I really didn't so anything with the ipad, and I always wonder what people use it for daily that makes it worth the money.
  11. psykick5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2011
    The 13 is a great size. I found the 11 to be really small and a hassle to deal with.
  12. plumosa macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    I have the 11" and I'm coming from a 12" powerbook. With the switch in screen dimensions, the 11" is actually about 1 inch longer length wise than my powerbook! I can't imagine going to a 13" because the 11" already feels huge! Plus is perfect for a frequent traveler like me. And I love how little space it takes up on the bed, desk, airplane tray, etc. I never worry about it falling off or not having enough space for a glass...

    The only thing I wish for is a better battery. Battery life is horrible, I'm only getting about 4 hours, even with screen settings at the lowest and click2flash installed. I could also go for an SD slot, but meh, its not a deal breaker for me, I can just run the usb cable to my camera.
  13. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    For me it's perfect for light web browsing, checking email, and playing games. I also use several document and PDF apps to scan receipts for expense reports, and the DVD Profiler app is AWESOME! It scans the barcode of any DVD and downloads all the album art and movie information. My DVD collection has never been this organized.

    For light typing (like MacRumors posting) I find the iPad perfect for the couch or lying in bed (like I am doing right now). For me, cracking open a laptop, no matter how small, is inconvenient. The physical keyboard just doesn't lend itself to the one finger typing as well as the iPad while you are holding it up with your other hand. Not to mention the iPad is lighter, and mine has 3G so taking it with me gives me very easy and convenient Internet access everywhere.

    I love my MBA, but the iPad wins hands down in the portability department. My iPad, however, can't run Quicken for Home and Business. So, I need both. :D
  14. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    x2 ..and the mba vs ipad app stores are not even in the same league....
  15. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    I would agree that the ipad is better for web browsing than laptops, but compared to macbooks specifically, not so much. Just as you touch- zoom in-out etc, all those multitouch features the iPad has for browsing, the macbooks have them in their trackpads.
  16. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Its funny because I went the opposite direction from 13" to 11" and couldn't be happier.

    I really felt that the iPad and 11" are redundant devices since they're both seem to cover the same space but for me then the 11" was the way to go. To me, the 13" overlaps too much with the 13" MBP because they share the same footprint and therefore require the same "big" bag for travel or deskspace. But the real benefit for the 11" is that its so small that it fits in smaller bags yet it has almost the same power as any 13" MBA/MBP out there.

    Obviously everyone has different needs but for me then I am so so very happy that I "traded down" right before my return policy ended because if I stuck with the 13" i'd have a lot of buyers remorse. The only thing that I do miss from the 13" is the SD slot. I could complain about battery life and screen res, but to be honest then 5hrs is more than i ever got from my Pro and the screen res works just fine for me.

    I love the MBA11, I love my iPad 2 so all thats missing now is the iPhone 5 on Sprint and I'll be the happiest I've ever been with technology.
  17. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    I had the 2010 13" for about 6 months. I upgraded last month to the new 11". After a few days I could see what all the hype was for the form factor. I love this size and I really dig the special small bags that are made only for the 11" :cool:

    Lion was made for the 11" MBA :p
  18. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Each device has its own need. I can easily envision myself owning and using every single Apple device made.

    The need I wanted was a mobile development machine, and the 2011 MBA 11" is great, but still too big IMHO. Since there isn't a 9" MBA, I went with the MBA 11". I certainly would not have been happy with the 13" if the 11" is already large enough to compromise mobility.

    I doubt Apple will ever release Xcode for the iPad, but it would truly be awesome for some light development work on the go, scavenging all those wasted minutes throughout the day.
  19. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I think it's bause it's always a 2 handed experience, you always need one hand to hold it up and one to navigate. I prefer my air for the most part as I can just set it almost anywhere (lap, stomach, leg) and use it one handed. Also after a while the iPad tiers out your arm.
  20. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    I think you're right. While there absolutely ARE times that I think the iPad is a neat experience to use it, there were more times that I wished I could stand it up and just use a mouse (like a laptop).
  21. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    When iPad 3 debuts with Quad-Core CPU - each with individual gpu's running in shared tandem (sharing data, extracting & executing) together - THEN we'll have it.

    Tegra 4 core to debut late 2011, Texas Instruments has an early lead on 4-6core mobile tablet cpu's and depending on how good their sales team is they may beat out NVidia. Then we'll have the power for such applications and the mobile broadband for distributed computing. Maybe a cloud based host so you don't loose your coding and the iCloud2 does the code building/rendering ... a port to show it running on the ipad itself (as a temporary instance).

    I'm sure Apple team have thought of this.
  22. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2006
    Columbia, SC
    Be happy you can return it and get what you really want!:)

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