Bought a 13" MBA, thinking of returning for an 11"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by clearyjp, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. clearyjp macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    As the title states, I've just purchased a 13" MBA, but I'm contemplating returning it for an 11". To be honest, I never really considered the 11" as a serious laptop, thinking the screen would be too small for any serious work.

    But there's just something about the 11" that makes me really want it. It just seems so much more usable than it's bigger brother. My partner has a 27" iMac, so technically this won't be the only computer, however I'm in my last 6 months of my degree, therefore I'll be using the computer for some Word and PowerPoint work.

    On the 13", I can have 2 word documents side-by-side, with a little re-sizing of the windows; this is how I study and write essays. Could an 11" owner tell me if that's possible on their Air? That's really the only thing stopping me from getting the smaller model, so any other thoughts would be helpful!
  2. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    just switched

    from a 13 to an 11, and I'm loving it!
  3. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Of course it's doable. The question is whether the text is readable to you after resizing the windows. To me, the text is a little on the small side, but still readable. You should just go to an Apple store and try it for yourself. This is purely an issue of personal preference.
  4. Nova Sensei macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2012
    If Apple really wanted to mess with people's heads they should have given the 11" a retina display. :confused:
  5. smithy1185 macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Since I got my 11" Air, I've really started using the full screen mode when possible where as when I had my 15" Pro I never would. I think for Word documents (or a web browser or pdf) it's possible to have them side by side but for other programs it's a bit too cramped and it's just easier to switch between them in full screen mode. Like someone else said, you might want to increase the font size since it depends on what you consider too small.
  6. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    I just did this! I think I underestimated how important portability would be. I also do the side by side work and I haven't really had a chance to test it out yet, but I realized that I'm going to be more productive if I actually have the computer with me than if I leave it at home because it doesn't fit into my bag.

    The 13" was so beautiful and the battery life is great, but I think the 11" will just be more practical all around.
  7. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    According to the tech specs, the MBA13 is only 1 inch wider and 1.4 inches deeper. Does that really make a difference in terms of portability as compared to the MBA11?

    I ask because I was considering selling my MBA11 and getting an MBA13. :D
  8. darkheroz macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2012
    On my 11'' 2011 MBA I use text editor on 200% scale and everything is readable and editable :)
  9. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    After having owned the 11-inch air I decided to get the 2012 13-inch air.

    It's not like we're talking 11 air vs 15 rmbp. size difference and weight is not much.
  10. Zzari macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I returned my 11" for a 13" and feel it was the right decision. I miss the footprint of the 11", but in reality the 13" is just as portable and is more practical (bigger screen, better battery).

    If 0.5 lbs and a slightly bigger footprint make a laptop suddenly become unportable, there is probably some other issue that you need to look into (i.e. get a slightly bigger bag, etc.).
  11. Retina MacBook macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    My 11 Inch is still being shipped.

    Don't you feel a wee bit lacking space? Do you feel that it isn't enough?
  12. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    If I had to use the 11" as my primary computer, I don't think I could do it unless I had an external monitor of some sort. The entire package is just too small.

    That said, it's a secondary computer for me and works well as such. The lighter weight and smaller footprint make it a terrific travel companion.
  13. jmgregory1 macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    Don't make the switch. What you think you're gaining by going smaller for better portability will be negatively offset by shorter battery life (which really seems to be an oxymoron) and lower screen resolution.

    Keyboard and palm rest are two other issues that made the 11" a non-starter for me.
  14. bigslacker666 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    FWIW I'm gonna go the other way. I got my wife the 11" and she decided she doesn't use it enough compared to the 15" MBP. So I loaded my work stuff up on the 11" and got to it. It's ok, it'll certainly work and travel well. You can up the text size if you have horrible vision like I do. But really I think the 13" is a beter size for working. Here is word side by side though.

    Attached Files:

  15. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you can take the lower battery life and lower screen resolution, get the 11". It takes up so much less space on those tiny tables at some places, and fits so much better in a bookbag.
  16. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    When 13" rMBP comes out, the decision will only get tougher.

    Using 15" rMBP as a yardstick, 13" rMBP will likely be:
    • Similar width and height as 13" MBA
    • 0.71" thick (vs. 0.11" to 0.68" thickness on 13" MBA)
    • 3.36 pounds (vs. 2.96 pounds on 13" MBA)
    • 2.5GHz i5 and 2.9GHz i7 dual core (vs. 1.8GHz i5 and 2GHz i7 dual core MBA)
    • 13.3" 2560x1600 IPS (vs. 13.3" 1440x900 TN)
    • Base: $1599 for 2.5GHz i5 with 256GB (vs. $1199 1.8 GHz i5 128GB)
    • Better: $2299 for 2.9GHz i7 with 512GB (vs. $1499 1.8GHz i5 256GB)

    I am leaning toward waiting for 13" rMBP.
  17. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's doable, but more so on the 13" because of the extra resolution and the screen size.

    I have had both the 11" and 13" versions. The 11" is a lot more usable on an airplane tray table. I prefer the 11", but if the 13" gets a "Retina Display" in the future before the 11" I might seriously consider it.
  18. clearyjp thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for posting that! It's good to see that working with two Word documents side-by-side is possible. I'm still thinking about if I should return the 13" for the 11". Such a hard decision!
  19. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    What ultimately decided it for me was that after a week of playing and working with such an exquisite machine as the 13", I still couldn't let go of the idea of the portability of the 11".

    I've had the 11" for a day and a half now and somehow it does feel me like 'this is it, settled, no need to keep deliberating' more so than the 13". Even though I feel the compromises, I think the 11" compromises are the ones I'd rather take.

    From reading here, this seems like a super personal subjective decision. But I think that if you're still vacillating after a while with the 13" - it might mean something.
  20. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    if you're specs and price estimates are correct, i will seriously consider picking up that $1599 13" rmbp as a replacement for my 2010 11" mba.

    i really love the compactness of the 11"... even returned a 2012 13" mba because the screen wasn't significantly impressive enough for me to give up the compactness.

    but an IPS display...that i think i will take the trade off of weight/size.

    and it'd give me an excuse to pick up an ipad/ipad mini to slot below the 13" rmbp for more consumption use :)
  21. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    I hope your estimates are right! That base model looks rather attractive at that price for those specs

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