Help me decide 11" or 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacAndMic, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I want to pick up a Macbook Air, I already know the rest of the configuration I want but can't decide screen size.

    The use is pretty much all play and something to take place of my iPad that my daughter has pretty much taken ownership of. I'll use it on the couch watching TV and take it camping.

    The only thing that makes me question the size is that once a week I create a video of my fishing outing. Nothing heavy, just trimming and combining and adding a few titles and music.

    I really want the 11 but has anyone bought the 11 and wished they had gone 13? Or vice versa?

    Thanks for any and all help.

  2. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    It's a very personal choice. You give up screen space, wrist rest space, batter life and SD card slot for a smaller package. The 13" is no slouch in the portability department, but obviously the 11" is even better. Do you have an Apple store near you that you can visit and compare them? Both will do what you need them to do. It's a matter of how small is too small... For you.

    Good luck!
  3. Lakailb87 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    San Francisco
    I went from a 13 to an 11. I love the transition, the 11 makes so much more sense to me. Its what the air was meant to be, same power, more portable, feels a tad bit stronger, 0 regrets in going from the 13 inch to the 11. I was also going from the 2011 model so the battery increased even though I was moving to the smaller size, at first I was weary the screen would be too small but it has not been the case.

    If I were to get a 13" I think an rMBP makes the most sense in that form factor, once the refresh happens (smaller footprint).
  4. larry918 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    From what you have stated here, I'd say go for the 13 in. For watching TV and video editing, the additional real estate of the screen is going to be a huge benefit.
  5. hockeyfanatic macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I agree with Zboater. Go visit the apple store or best buy. Think it over for 2-3
    days then visit it again. You should be able to make the best choice for yourself.
    I think for an Ipad replacement the base i5, 4gb, 128GB would be perfect.
    I think the 11 is not too small for couch work. I went with a 13, but that was for school papers.
  6. ryan2385 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    I actually think you should go with the 11 inch. For starters, you state in your post you really want the 11 inch. I always go with my gut instinct :). Also for your use it sounds like the 11 inch would fit perfectly. I too used an iPad as my couch surfer, and the 11 inch has essentially replaced it. I don't see the screen being too much of an issue, as you said you only do minor video editing.
  7. McBain2 macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2005
    11" screen makes me feel like I'm in a glass cage of emotion! Go 13".
  8. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
  9. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I have had the last 3 13" MBA's...loved them all....for 2013, went 11 and am completely happy....keys are the same size, and while 2" doesnt seem like much, it makes all the difference in the world. I gave up the larger iPad for the iPad mini, and the next logical step up is the 11, and for big projects, I have an others stated, it is a matter of preference, but I certainly dont regret the step down....
  10. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The big thing for me between the 11" and 13" (that is not immediately apparent) is the screen aspect - the 11" is 16x9 and the 13" is 16x10. I hate 16x9 screens, they feel to short for me.

    In terms of actual physical size, there's not a HUGE amount in it. Yes the 11" is lighter and smaller, but the 13" is no big old clunker.
  11. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    I really like the 11" and almost bought it several times. What keeps me coming back to the 13" is the increased battery life. With the new processors and increased battery size the 11" is very doable. Yet, I went with the 13". It's my only machine. I gave up the iPads as they just weren't for me. I like them very much but I wanted the power and abilities of a lap top. I thought the 11" would be perfect if I had a desktop or a MBP. I just don't need that much power. In fact the iPad is closer.

    If the Air is your only machine I'd go w/ the 13". If not, then the 11". There's not a huge difference in portability. The weight is difference is negligible and what you get in portability in the 11" you more than make up for in screen real estate in the 13". The tie breaker is the battery life. For me the 13" wins.

    Here's the beauty of it all. You really can't go wrong with either. If the 11" doesn't work out, you likely wouldn't have been much happier with the 13" and vice versa. Apple has a very customer friendly return policy so you don't have to worry about making the wrong choice. You can get the 11" and try it out for two weeks. If you think the 13" would have been a better choice, return and try the 13" for two weeks. If you feel the 11" actually was working out better you can return it again for another 11". You have choices and options with out risk. Hell, you can do all that and then return it for a full refund and go buy a PC. :eek:

    :D :apple:
  12. Booji macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2011
    I went from a 2010 11" to a 2011 13" now I'm back to a 2013 11"

    Reading the dimensions and weight differences on paper, you would never realize there is such a difference - but if you are highly mobile, it makes a lot of difference. The 11" is so much more portable in real life - its like carrying an iPad.

    However, the 13" is much more practical if you are not so mobile. I still like using the 13" at home - I just don't have the heart to sell it yet!

    I do think the 11" represents the essence of the MBA - a "do all" portable computer that you don't think twice about carrying with you. Plus, its so darn beautiful!
  13. dowser81 macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    Bo'ness in Scotland
    Ipad replacement 11" air

    I have replaced my IPad with the 11" macbook air and its the best move i have ever done i also have a macbook pro 15" but i find myself just turning to my air more and more its a lovely piece of kit to work from a real joy to use.
  14. the_fellowship macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    London, UK
    I agree with previous posters who say try get to an Apple store (or equivalent) and try both. Personally I have gone from a 13" cMBP 2011 to a 11" MBA 2013. I love the portability of the 11" MBA, not that the 13" MBA is any less portable. If screen size is an issue, you can always hook up to an external display (if possible of course), but the native display is still adequate for most tasks. I definitely don't regret getting the 11", it pretty much goes with me everywhere and I hardly notice it is in my bag lol
  15. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    So, when half of the posts say 11 and half say 13, how does that help?

    I've had two 11s and went to the 13 last year. Battery and large screen.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like the 13" over the 11" just because my eyes would be straining over the 11" display. I like the smaller form factor for traveling but I'll hate the form factor when arriving at my destination and try using the laptop with such a tiny display.
  17. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    You wouldn't think it would but it actually has. This tells me that it comes down to personal preference but there is no bad choice.....other than the choice. ;)

    I was actually hoping the responses were going to be this way because I now know whatever choice I make, I can't go wrong with the actual machine.

    I do have an Apple store about 45 minutes away so I will be making the ride. I do see the advantage of the 13" in many instances and it has the SD slot, not that it is required but it would be convenient at times. Being that everyone in my family likes to claim my devices, I see this one being used by my wife as well so the 13" would probably be the best choice for her aging eyes ;)...ok, mine too!

    Thank you for all of the responses, I can't wait to get it.

  18. elefantrider macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2012
    I bought a 11". All the extra aluminum of the 13" palm rest coming at me is something I knew would limit how often I 'd want to carry it from place to place.

    The 11" is perfect. I make use of the screen size more efficiently than I did with my former 13".

    The ability to use it with a Thunderbolt display via a 1 wire connection is the icing on the cake.
  19. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i think this is the best advice anyone can give - you definitely want to play with them. i walked into the apple store ready to buy a 13" but after playing with it i decided that the 11" was the better fit for me. maybe you would be the opposite?

    to me the 13" MBA didn't really feel any more portable than the rMBP but while the rMBP is the 'better' computer, the air is the better deal in my opinion. also i don't like buying 1st gen tech. To make the choice easier i went with the 11" air.

    After playing with them the decision for me was the ultralight or the "ultrapowerful" 15" rMBP. and since i was on the fence i went with my wallet.

    bottom line: you really want to play with them both.


    same. i went with the 11 also because i new i wasn't going to get rid of my 2009ish 13" macbook. also i have an external monitor, so i figured the 11 covers all my bases.
  20. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    My new 11" arrived this week and I love it! Most people seem to prefer the 13, but I love the small footprint and the travel-ability of the smaller laptop. I bought mine upgraded with the 256SSD and 8gigs of memory.

    If the MacBook is going to be your only laptop, then maybe a 13 is best. I have an iMac at home, and when I get to work I connect my MacBook to an external monitor and the screen size of the MacBook doesn't matter at that point. I live in San Francisco and bike to work, and I love how easy the 11" fits in my backpack and adds very little weight or bulk.

    Definitely a person choice, screen size, battery life, card slot...etc. I'm very happy with my choice!
  21. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I've had both 11" and 13" MBAs, and as the OP notes, the proper response to the question posed is that it's a matter of personal preference.

    That said, I've found my 2012 11" to be a very capable machine ... nearly able to replace my MBP (which stays docked to my TBD) with the exception of CS6 heavy lifting.

    I think the answer to the question heavily depends on intended use: If you're on the go, even from room to room, there's a strong case to be made for the 11" MBA. If you're chained to one spot, the 13" has much to recommend it. If you don't have an external monitor and plan any work use at all, the 13" would win out, hands down.
  22. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    11 is the perfect size in today's world of iPads and tablets. 11.6 inches versus 13.3 isn't much and the 13 is too expensive for what you get.
  23. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I am liking the responses on the 11"...I'm intrigued.

    One thing I did not note in my original post......

    I do have a very stout windows pc but I consider it my "work" machine (I have a small business where I do CAD drawings daily). The reason for the Air would be to move my personal stuff off of the business machine and keep the 2 lives separate.

    My personal uses other than what I mentioned in my original post would be banking/bill paying, syncing music and photos. Other than that, I'm a pretty simple user. The 11" is sounding better and better and hooking up to my 27" monitor (if ever needed) is a plug away.
  24. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    Don't forget to take advantage of the back to school promo.
  25. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'm getting the same dilemma. I want something more portable than my current 2011 15" MBP . I was looking at the 11" vs 13" MBA the other day and it seemed like the 11" was drawing me in more just because I would rather wait for the 13" rMBP with Haswell for a few hundred dollars more I believe (correct me if I'm wrong).

    If I were to get a MBA now, I think I would get the 11" other wise I would wait for the 13" rMBP. For now I am going to wait for the 13" rMBP update as IMO is not that much heavier than the 13" MBA.

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