Buying my first Mac! Some questions.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by deblewis, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. deblewis macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    At long last the day has come!

    I've been wanting a Mac since the 80s and it just has not been possible... until now!

    I'm taking the leep by buying one of the new Macbook Airs.. now my only issue is deciding which size, gah! I'm driving myself crazy going back and forth.. ya I know you guys have heard this a million times.. but I still appeal for just a bit of help from the veterans..

    Here is my situation..

    Currently I have a nice PC Desktop that has become primarily a gaming rig.. as well as some Painter/CS6/ACAD/Office.. Nice 24" IPS Monitor and my former 21"..

    Apple products include ipad4/iphone4/appleTV3

    My iPad gets the most use mainly as the sofa browser/mail/games.. I see moving to a Macbook Air as somewhat of an iPad replacement.. It will mainly be a second computer used around the house for browsing/mail/light gaming


    This is where I start going crazy..

    Moving up to an Air I'd also like to add to my sofaputer some light photo editing (mainly 1st rounds of sorting/minor touchup with Lightroom), occassional spreadsheet, and trying Page out..

    I really like the idea of the light and portable 11 inch.. but when I start thinking of photos and spreadsheets I'm afraid the lack of vertical space might drive me crazy..

    I guess I'd mainly like to know how folks using the 11 inch fair when doing minor photo orginization and editing in a program like Lightroom? do you miss the vertical space? how do you work around the lack of vertical space? Is making use of my 46" TV an option when Mavericks comes out?

    Also a general question about display setups..

    I may at times want to use my PC Monitors with my Air.. what is the easiest way to set this up for easy transition between PC and Air?

    I think that's it for now.. stopping on the way home to have yet another look.. :) I'm hoping they have some in stock with the memory upgrade so I can go home with one!

    Thanks in advance for all help and advice, I know you guys probably get tired of us noobs during new releases.. :)

  2. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    You will be ok with the 11. It actually displays as much info as the 13. Just a lot smaller. The portability of the 11 is amazing and its cheaper.
  3. sofakng macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Very, very difficult decision between the 11" and 13".

    Having the same problem myself!
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Asked a million times and it's always the same:

    If you travel with it a lot, perhaps the 11"

    It stays at home most of the time? the 13"

    The rest is personal preference. We don't know what bothers you until you tell us.

    Working with spreadsheet/photos etc? So hook it up to your pc monitor/TV.

    Air has DVI/HDMI out, via an adapter, so the big TV should work, pc monitor has DVI/HDMI ports?

    That's is. It's very simple actually.
  5. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    I connect my rMBP to my tv using apple tv and it works amazingly.
  6. deblewis thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    I really think my deciding factor is how well the "space" on the 11 inch works with photo editing.. do people feel cramped trying to do this sort of thing on the 11 inch?

    I know deciding between the two has been asked, but I haven't really seen a specific question or answer to the question above..

    Thanks again..
  7. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    The 13 is not really 2 inches bigger its 1.8 inches bigger. The 11 also packs more pixels in its frame. The items in the screen will be smaller but the amount of items will be the same.
  8. peglegjack macrumors 6502


    Jul 30, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    Also, using full screen apps may help a bit with any spacing issues. It's how I work the vast majority of the time.
  9. mac82 macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Please ignore the misinformation by falconeight; it is demonstrably wrong. The 11" has a resolution of 1366x768, whereas the 13" has a resolution of 1440x900, so the latter has significantly more space both vertically and horizontally.

    If you're going to be doing photo editing and are at all concerned with colour accuracy, please not that the MacBook Air has a significantly reduced colour gamut when compared to the MacBook Pro. It is only about 70% sRGB, as opposed to the Pro, which is 100%. That means that you will not be able to see a true representation of colours on the Air's screen, even when calibrated with a colourimeter.

    Also, if you're buying a Mac with the intention of keeping it for several years, it is important to note that, probably within the next year or two, most if not all Apple products will have retina displays, and you may be feeling quite left out. If you can afford it, I would suggest you consider the 13" Retina Macbook Pro. It has a vastly superior screen to the Air, comparable performance, a smaller footprint than the 13" Air, and it is only half a pound heavier. The one possibly coming out this fall will probably be a fraction thinner and lighter, with better battery life, if you can wait.

    Hope this helps.
  10. deblewis thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    ya.. the colour issue is a drag.. but unfortunately, even the low end rMBP is getting into a higher price rage than I want to spend for a second computer.. and I can't imagine when they upgrade that the price would go down.. otherwise I'd really consider that option.. those rMBP are beautiful!

    to explain my workflow a bit more.. I had invisioned more initial sorting on the Air.. I tend to take a lot of picutres and then widdle them down.. lets say out of 100 pics I'll try to get down to about a dozen.. I tend to go through them three or four times just narrowing down what I really want to keep.. this is what I thought the Air might be good for.. once I get down to my best any heavy editing I'd do at the desktop..

    I sit in front of a computer all day and any more when I get home I just don't want to be at the desk.. the days of coming home being at the desk another five hours just don't appeal to me any longer. :)

    Thanks for all the input!
  11. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    The macbook air has more pixels per inch 135 vs. 128. The macpro has even less than both at 113.
  12. onepoint macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2010
    I had a 2012 MBA 11" and returned it because I wasn't comfortable with the lack of real estate available on-screen -- personal preference, absolutely. Things were smaller, and I felt the screen was too 'wide' and not enough 'tall'.

    Picked up a rMBP 13" and, while an outstanding machine, I wasn't happy with the battery life and the weight bothered me on occasion (laptop goes to/from work with me daily, on travel, etc.).

    I picked up a new 13" MBA over the weekend and I feel like this is really the sweet spot for me, however time will tell.

    I ordered a MiniDrive ( and will keep a 64gb microSDXC UHS-1 card semi-permanently parked in it.
  13. deblewis thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    thanks guys for all the input... I know this comes down to a personal preference but hearing the experience of others really does help look past just the emotional feeling of the purchase if that makes sense..

    I plan on sitting in front of both tonight for a good long time... as long as they'll let me! lol
  14. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've used both 13" MBA and rMBP for work on the road as a professional photographer. Didn't like the retina display as sharpening for web was a bit hit and miss when viewed by others on non retina displays. I've ditched the rMBP since. The lack of colour gamut is noticeable but an acceptable compromise for more portability. In any case i preferred processing pics on the MBA. The antiglare display on my full size MBP however is hands down my favourite for editing but a pain to lug around the world.
  15. deblewis thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Well after much going back and forth 13" is ordered! Can't wait to get my hands on it...
  16. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    No, don't deceive. The 11 has a smaller resolution, displays less info. Not the same.
  17. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    You need to do some research. The 11 inch has a larger ppi than the 13.
  18. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012

    Deborah, get ready to fall in love! I have the 11 inch 2012 MBA and I can't keep my hands off of it. I love it. Had a brief dalliance with an iPad mini last month but my true love is the MBA ;)

    Please post back after it arrives.

  19. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    I couldn't decide so I bought both. There's nothing like a side by side comparison in my own environment, using each laptop as I normally do.

    In my case I found the tiny cramped 11" screen at a 16:9 aspect ratio a real annoying impractical size. Yet if your usage is only once in awhile you may be able to get by. The key is to accept that lots of scrolling is required.

    Conversely the 13" via Apples standard 16:10 ratio is a wonderful laptop. The difference in weight is nearly unnoticeable, with the footprint being an advantage for most since the wrist rest is usable.

    Then there's the fact that there's a full two more hours of battery life in the 13" instead of the little laptops smaller capacity. If its a tablet sized laptop you want an 11" is closer. But if you're interested in usability, speed & typing accuracy the best choice is 13".

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