Anyone order the 2012 11" for their 'main machine'?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entatlrg, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    If so, what spec's did you order and what tasks/work will you be using it for?

    Will you hook up to an external display, how often?

    I'm normally good at making decisions ... but not when it comes to Mac's. Like many have written here, 'need the 13" but want the 11'. That's my predicament.

    The 8gb ram, usb3 and 512ssd will help for my work so I want to order one, but still can't decide what size. I've used both, and I do industrial design, so naturally more screen real estate is a plus ... but when you're reclined on a plane or even sitting back on your deck the 11" fits so nice on the lap and it's smaller foot print does make it more pleasing to use, imo.

    Just wish the 11" battery life had improved this time around.
  2. modular macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2009
    im in the same boat as you. i do a lot of photography (Aperture), as well as some final cut pro. My 2010 15 mbp runs great, but after borrowing the 11" Air while traveling, i fell in love with it. I do worry that it will end up being too small of a screen, but at the same time i have an external display at home. there's something about the 11" air that makes it so nice to use...

    with my mbp over 2 years old now, I'm trying to decide if I should go for an air, get the new gen 15", or hold out another year. hmmmmmm

    if you do get an air, max out the ram to 8gb for sure.
  3. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    My main unit with a 27 in monitor......and 500g hard drive
  4. sarah11918 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hubby will be ordering very soon, and I'll get mine later in the summer, but yes, we're both getting 11", maxed out specs, as our primary machines. (There is a mac mini at home, but we travel a lot for months at a time, so our laptops really are primary machines.)

    We both have 2010 Airs (me 11", him 13") but he's always wanted the 11" form factor. He couldn't get away with the 2010 limitations, but now that we can max the 11" out as much as the 13", he's making the switch.

    On the plane, 11" is much better no question. 11" feels a lot more portable, even though it shouldn't. My battery life is clearly worse than his right now, but only a couple of times have we been in situations where I've run out earlier than I've wanted to. Even for sitting on the couch, balancing on one leg, carrying open in one hand with a cup of coffee in the other moving to a different room... I wouldn't give up my tiny 11" for anything. It's hardly more than an iPad to carry around (especially once you put a big case on the iPad) and it's your real machine. That's how I look at it.

    I don't really need screen real estate for what I do (browsing, email, writing, organizing/uploading photos - a bit of editing, but nothing too fancy), and when we're in hotel rooms, we can usually hook the Airs up via HDMI to the television anyway for watching videos, MLB TV etc.

    Between the 11" Air and my Galaxy Note (5.3"), I have two really good portable options. So even if I have to consciously conserve my Airs battery when I'm out, it doesn't really bother me because I'm happy with the wifi experience on my phone.

    So, we think we can do it, anyway! For almost 2 years, I've done it on the 2010 11". The 2012 will only be better!
  5. PeterJP macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium
    That's exactly what I'm planning to do


    I'm planning on getting the 11" with a 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM. I could consider using the 64GB but that's really pushing it. Going to 8GB and to 128GB SSD adds €100 for each upgrade. Going up to 256GB SSD adds another €300 which is insane.

    I will probably want a larger SSD later on, so I'm considering getting a lower spec 11" now (but with RAM maxed out) and getting an OWC SSD later on. That will also give me a speed increase, so it'll feel like a good upgrade. In 1-2 years' time, I expect the 6G SSDs to be half the price of now or less, so that's very affordable, even for the 480GB.

    I work as a freelancer on documentation, so mainly typing work. The 11" will be brilliant for on the road and for couch usage. A 13" already feels like a laptop, which reminds me of my wage slave days. When I need to work more seriously (multi-window, diagrams, ...), I can always add a 27" screen and external keyboard/mouse later. It will be my first mac.

  6. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    The footprint of the 11" makes it so much more portable to me. I will probably get an 11" Air as long as the screen is okay on my eyes. I will have a 13" MBP as well, but the 11" Air would be what I carry to work daily and travel with.
  7. Monkeyat macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2009
    Me ! :D

    MacBook Air 11", 8GB RAM, 512 GB SSD and adapters !!! hope to get it next week !!!
  8. Spoonz macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    It will be in a week or two, 13" model though :) I think the Air is the perfect machine for a lot of people, especially if you've got a decent external display to go with it.
  9. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    I did last gen and recently sold it due to a few major reasons:
    1) Battery Life. It only lasted 3-4hrs on light usage which was tough to deal with. I ended up using my iPad more and only turned on the air for critical tasks because What good is such a small form factor when you're constantly nursing that battery?

    2) Screen Size. The footprint of the 11" is amazing but that huge bezel is a waste of space because it could be a 12" screen if they wanted. (Yes, it would make it less tapered but is anyone going to say the non-tapered new MBP is "ugly"?)

    3) Eye Strain. 11" is okay but after excessive use my eyes have developed some strong fatigue in the last year. Its not something you notice right away but give it a few months and many people reported the same eye strain over extended use that they didn't have when dealing with larger screens.

    4) New Models. I sold mine for as much as I bought it for because I was hoping they'd address these two issues with the 2012 model. Well, they didn't and you get the same eye strain and battery life so now I'm shopping 13". I know it's bigger but now that I might need glasses due to a year of Air induced dheadaches then comfort and battery life have suddenly become a top priority for me.

    Don't get my negativity wrong. he 11" is a fine machine and hooked to a monitor it's a solid do-it-all product. But its just not for me.
  10. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    I hear ya! :)
  11. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    went through this debate in 2010 when the 11" mba first came out. and debated the 13" for a second when they were updated last year and again this year.

    just ordered a 11" 8/256/i5. it's my main computer. i have an external lcd, but it's on older 21" and may consider an apple thunderbolt display at some point.

    the 11" is so compact i can take it with me everywhere. it sits easily on the bed stand (a larger laptop would fall off or get knocked off). it's the size of an ipad but 100% more powerful. i mostly use it for email, web browsing, iworks, ms office, etc. but also can login to my work and do medical charting, work vpn/lotus notes, etc... things i could not do with my ipad and even if i could would need an ipad attached to a keyboard to make it functional.

    so for me, it's compactness is it's strength and worth the perceived weaker benefit/$$ ratio compared to the 13" mba.

    if i were to want a desktop replacement and go bigger, i'd probably go with the new 15" mbp slim w/retina and bypass the 13".
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Typing this now on my 2012 MBA 11" 4GB RAM / 128 GB SSD. It's nice. I couldn't tell you the difference between this and last year's model, to be honest, but they tell me it is faster :)

    I moved to this from a 2011 MBP 8GB RAM, so I am looking forward to putting it through its paces to see how it measures up. This is probably a downgrade in terms of power, and I certainly liked the 13" screen better (the colors really popped, even if it was lower resolution). However, I bought the 11" for portability.

    I mainly work on the iPad (writing and reading), but do need a computer for some things. I figured that if I get the 11" it can do some of the heavy lifting as needed (complicated editing with Pages / WORD, OCR for PDFs of scanned books, etc.), but will be a lot more enjoyable than my 13" MBP, because I will actually take it out of the house!

    I could have easily gone with the low-end 13" model. It was only $100 more. However, then it is too large to fit in my man bag, and I lose out on the portability. I think what made this possible was the full screen mode. I have come to really enjoy working this way, and the screen real estate is just right for the work that I do. If you are someone who likes to have lots of windows open at once on the same screen, the 11" is probably not for you.
  13. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Good points.

    Btw, what kind of man-bag did you find for the 11"?
  14. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004

    I have a macbook, Imac, Ipad and Iphone, and the 11 inch mac is my main machine. I was a 2010 owner of an upgraded 11/4/128 1.8 Core Duo... It died due to a cat having gone insane, and it would cost 750 to get it back and running...

    So, I am replacing it with an 11/4/128 I5 Machine that is supposed to be about 100% faster all around. Thats good. The previous machine was stellar and sufficient. This is likely to be sufficient for awhile. I would upgrade to a retina version of the same machine. (I love sharp text). But until then, anything crazy goes on the iMac, and anything crazier is actually a fantasy for me.

    I am not sure what the computer requirements of "Industrial Design" is. 11" is too small for a lot of document creation at anything much higher than text level stuff. Even Turbotax was kinda gross. But it was doable, and it was done. I have done some casual gaming, played poker online, and some other things, but have never really ever taxed it. And 11" is freaking sweet. For most of my adult life this is exactly the form factor and speed and whatever that I have always wanted. This would be my windows machine if that is what I needed.

    But if you watch video and you know you do, then the "trick" to apple notebooks and watching movies is Audio Hijack Pro. The majority of the things I do on this machine involve, The base apps and Safari, Thunderbird, Office, ILife, Kindle, And some utilities, and IOS device management. What kills the hard drive space appears to be amongst the most, podcasts. Then Video, Then Music and Images. I am trying to get better at this, but I like many just found that 256 was too much of a cost compared to the machine.

    But... If there was one thing I would add over the base... More hard drive space. But I wouldn't go to 512. My feeling is that if you need the 512, you probably are already too big for the machine. You can make the argument to stay, and I can see it all about sweet and small. But if you really need that much space the constraints will probably be more of an issue than not. And I would honestly go for the Retina MBP.
  15. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    May 13, 2008
  16. g808, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    g808 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm moving from the 11" 2010 MBA (1.6GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 128GB Flash) to the 2012 11" MBA (2.0 Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash).

    I've been using the 11" 2010 as my main work laptop since I got it when it first came out and have no regrets. I've tried the 13" MBA, but gravitated back to the 11". I love the portability and don't find the screen size limiting at all. I guess I'm just used to tabbing between apps and it doesn't bother me.

    To me the new upgrade addresses my primary needs with a faster processor with double the memory (great for running VMWare full time) and double the strorage (starting to run very low) while keeping the form factor I love.

    That Retina MBP was tempting, but I don't want to go back to something that big and I can save a few bucks to boot.

    Things I primarily use my 11" for and are typically running at once: Mail, multiple browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), TextWrangler, MS Office apps (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), VMWare running Windows 7, Jabber IM, Dropbox, VPN.
  17. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Before I bought my current MBA, in October 2010, I briefly lusted after the 11 inch model but finally decided that I really needed the 13 inch. I bought the 13 inch Ultimate model with 4MB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Despite its RAM and storage limitations, my 2010 Ultimate MBA has been my primary machine ever since and is the best all around computer I have ever owned. Thus, if I replace it with a 2012 model, as I will likely do, it will likely be a 13 inch machine with 8MB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.
  18. justplainmike macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Former lurker, new member here. Just ordered off a 2012 MBA 11" with i7 2.0ghz, 8gb RAM, 128Gb SSD. Very excited as my old C2D black macbook was slowly disintegrating and sounded like 2 chainsaws having a duel :). I had bumped it up to 4gb of ram and an SSD which helped it limp along for awhile. Can't wait to have a lighted keyboard, huge increase in processing speed, graphics ( I know, HD 4000 no great shakes, but coming from intel x3100?'ll be a big jump). Going to be my main machine and I think it'll be the perfect form factor and blend of power for me. Can't wait! Oh, and thanks to all the members of this forum who post your thoughts. It really helps us lurkers who are on the fence trying to make a decision. I really think I made the best choice for me. Cheers!

  19. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2008
    Downtown San Diego
    Have an 11" 1.7/8/128 enroute. Not only is this my main machine, but as a software developer (Rails work currently) it will be the sole tool for my entire income.

    I'm upgrading from a base late 2k10 11" so I definitely know what I'm getting into, have my whole workflow streamlined, etc. Just want the extra speed and ability to run VMs.
  20. EspressoLove macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2007
    Bay Area
    Hi Mike, welcome aboard :)
    It'll be huge jump, both in CPU, Graphics & overall speed :eek:
    (I still have 2006 WMB, I know what you talking about :eek:)
  21. snapper64 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2007
    Do you use the Air with an external monitor at all?
  22. EspressoLove macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2007
    Bay Area
    And God, how I dream now about 11" Retina :rolleyes:
    I'll run it at 1440 or 1680 scaled :D
  23. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2007
    I am tempted on the 11 inch, but I think 13" might be the way I need to go. :(
  24. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    You should be delighted by how well your new 11 inch MBA handles VMs. I have been running VMware Fusion on my 2010 13 inch MBA ever since I bought it in October 2010. It has handled all of the Windows apps I have thrown at it, despite its having only a C2D chip and 4GB of RAM. With an i7 chip and 8GB of RAM on the job, you should be set for the foreseeable future.
  25. mszpara macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I ordered the 2012 MBA as my main unit, but I went with 13/8/128

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