Hey students with a 11 MBA: What's your thoughts?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jon03021, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Jon03021 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    If you have a 11in MBA and use it for school, are you enjoying your laptop? Does the screen size end up straining your eyes after long hours of typing up research papers?

    Thank you.
  2. JD92 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    I just bought a new 11" MBA for uni and I love it.

    I used to bring my 15" MBP to uni every day to type notes in lectures and to work on in the library, but now I use my MBA and it's absolutely fine - it does everything I need it to do but it's just so much lighter.

    Definitely made the right decision in buying it.
  3. bloodycape macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    I don't have a MBA but the last two semesters of Uni I used my Vaio TT(11in screen, same res, and same cpu as the Air) and had to problems with it. If fact I like the size and form factor a great bit I gave my MBP to my sister. For me the 11/11.6in screen size is perfectly fine, but for other is may not be. My suggestion would be go to the Apple store and play a good with with the 11.6in Air and see if it will fit your day to day usage.
  4. nicoritschel macrumors regular

    May 22, 2006
    If you can, just head over to an apple store and try it out. I have an "ultimate" MBA and it's great for getting things done as a student. I'm in computer science and it's more than speedy enough for basic programming, xcode, eclipse, etc. I can even run a virtual machine w/ ubuntu simultaneously no problem.
  5. Jon03021 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    I drove 100miles the other day to see the two. I like both of them. I currently have a 32in screen core i5 desktop PC. It's not the greatest for doing simple things and homework. Typing papers on such a large screen is annoying. I would like to have a laptop for school and being lazy around the house.

    I just don't want to have a similar problem I had with my 32in screen. I'm annoyed by how large the screen is to do homework on. I don't want my eyes to be strained by the 11in.

    After heavy use of the 11in, do you feel at all cramped? Eye strain?
  6. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Is your 32" display a HDTV monitor or a real computer monitor? What is the resolution? The problem with using HDTVs as computer monitors is that the pixel density is very low. They are meant to be viewed from 5 or 6 feet away, and we tend to use computer monitors at 1 or 2 feet away. That would certainly cause eye strain.

    The high resolution display on the 11" Macbook Air is very crisp. I don't think you will have any problems with eye strain, but do make sure if you are typing for a long period of time that you set up your workspace properly. Don't type a 10 page paper with your Air in your lap. Buy an external keyboard and a laptop stand for your desk.
  7. Jon03021 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    My desktop is setup to my 1080p HDTV. I also have it hooked up to a regular 21in monitor.

    You wouldn't recommend sitting at a desk typing for a weekend on the macbook air?
  8. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    If this is going to be your main laptop and main work machine, I'd suggest at least the 13" screen. The 11" is fine for simple stuff on the go, but 11" is a little small for a main machine.

    What's the issue with using your 21" monitor?
  9. bloodycape macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    For me on my 11in Vaio TT, I have no qualms sitting at it for a weekend typing on it all day. And I would think the slightly larger 11.6in would be a bit better for many. I also had no problems doing hw or taking notes on my TT, or on the 12in iBook I used back in the day.
  10. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    I wasn't sure if you are referring schools to colleges or not. From where I am teaching, half of the classrooms don't have full-size desks, but those tiny foldable writing boards. I think working with an 11" MBA would be more practical.
  11. cvkai macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    Law student

    I'd like to know if the 11" MBA is ok for me or it would be better buying the 13" one. I have a 2010 13" MBP but I really really liked the new MBAs and now I'm considering replacing it.

    1) I carry everyday to college (mobility important here, and my MBP feels heavy after MBA's release :D) and use it on classes (approx. 4 hours battery required for making notes on Word 2011).
    2) I read and write a lot (long papers - Word, PDF and websites). At home, at school, at work: I have no external monitor.
    3) I'm not fan keeping two or more notebooks. One is enough.
    4) 256Gb SSD is not necessary. 128Gb or 64Gb should be ok.
    5) I travel by airplane once or twice a month.
    6) In Brazil (and using the student discount), the 13" low-end MBA is 2,500 USD, much more expensive than the 1,740 USD 11" low-end MBA. (high taxes).

    That said,
    a) Is the 11" screen too small for reading and writing long texts?
    b) Will the 13" MBA give me much more mobility, comparing to 13" MBP?

    What do you think about this? 11" or 13" MBA?
  12. Wang Foolio macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Aside from being bigger and faster, the 13" does have significantly more battery life. You won't have much juice left after 4 hours on the smaller 11.6" MBA, but you'd have a few hours of grace using the 13". I think you would be fine with the 11.6", all I'm saying is that you wouldn't have a lot of power left in the afternoon compared to the bigger battery.

    The extra speed/storage/screen size on the 13" is not super important for relatively light use. The battery life can make a big difference if you're going to be on it for a good chunk of the day with no access to an AC outlet.
  13. michael83 macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2010

    wheter the new macbook air will suite you or not depends on what you will use it for. I mean "going to uni" is pretty vague and a great percentage of undergraduate students will never need anything else than Office and read PDF.

    If that is you, you will love the machine.

    As for myself, I bought the 11.6, with the 4gb ram upgrade and found it significantly slower at the time of performing what I need to do at school, that is, computational finance using Matlab or coding C++.


  14. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    Can't wait

    To bike up to class tomorrow with my 13" MBA, its been awful carrying my 15" MBP these past months!

    It's perfect for students, you'll love it!
  15. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I have both and 11 and a 13. The 11 is far too small. Yeah it's cool, but beyond that it's impractical.

    13" is the sweet spot for lots of usage. Because it's exactly like the 11, in terms of being so light and thin, why not get the 13? The wrist rests are larger and more comfortable, it balances on one leg on on your lap well, overall it's just far better than the 11. It's well worth the price difference. That you only pay once. Besides down the line when you want to sell it, there will be a much larger market for 13 than 11. 11 is more of a novelty for a lot of people. It is a great machine with usefulness for those who truly need such a tiny computer, but not as many people do.
  16. cvkai macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    The 11" MBA is so attractive, that is hard to not consider buying this little beauty. But its mobility has a price: much lower specs (battery) and the small screen for long time of use (reading long texts or writing a lot), especially if it would be my primary computer with no external monitor. That said, I started thinking about the 13" MBA, but I don't feel the same attractiveness about it, because I already have a 13" MBP and it's harder to justify replacing it (and it's much more expensive than the 11" one).
    It's a tough decision. It doesn't involve only rational/logical reasons. And it costs a lot of money.
  17. macnerd123 macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2010
    How does the 11 inch work as a primary computer for only basic needs? I would get the 1.4 GHz, 128GB flash memory and 4GB RAM.
    - word processing
    - Safari
    - iTunes
    - iChat
    - iPhoto
    with maybe 4 thing running at once.
    Also, smaller screen size and the missing SD Card slot does not matter to me.
  18. macdaddy01 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    For me, I wanted 4GB and the faster CPU in the 11", so it wasn't that hard to decide to get the 13" even though I already have a 13" MBP. The 11" 4GB, 128GB, 1.6GHz CPU is the same price as the 13" 4GB, 128gb, 1.86Ghz.
  19. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I think only you can decide. The real advantage of the 11" is the smaller size. Other than that the 13" pretty much wins. So take your MBP and picture it much lighter and thinner. That's basically the 13". If that works for you then you should get it. But if you find you want it smaller as well as thinner and lighter then the 11" is probably the better solution.
  20. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    That's where I'm at. I already have a 2009 13" mbp.

    I couldnt resist the 11 MBA. I bought it almost two weeks ago. Tomorrow is my last day to decide whether or not to keep it.

    In most cases the 11" has exceeded my expectations. Even though its a much slower CPU, it runs FASTER than my MBP in almost all cases. Just proves that the increased disk speed outweighs the faster CPU.

    It's an amazing little machine. Beautiful display, fast, responsive, extremely capable and deals with almost everything I throw at it.

    I had a long list of concerns when i started. They've all fallen by the wayside as the 11 has impressed. With one exception. I can't decide if the 11" screen is physically too small for me. I've had a 13" laptop for 4 years and have been very comfortable. I worry that the 11" display is simply too cramped.

    I consider the 13" MBA, but it doesn't seem that impressive compared to the 11". And it doesn't seem that different from the 13" MBP. Using the system, I wouldn't know that I'm on a thinner, lighter laptop unless i looked at it in profile.

    Need to decide. I'm leaning towards returning the 11 and staying with my 13" MBP. I'd really miss the much faster operation of the 11 and amazing small cuteness, a true technological marvel, but I'll save $1400 until I need to replace the MBP.
  21. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    No sweat.
    The only difference is cpu speed and display size. CPU is plenty fast enough for most interactions. It's when you do some batch significant manipulation that it's slower speed shows up. Things like video compression, batch complex image processing, etc.
  22. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I'm pretty much thinking along the exact same lines as you. I started with a 13" MBA because I knew I wanted more screen resolution and storage than the original MBA I had (and sold a long time ago). After a week, I was swayed by the size of the 11" and swapped the 13" for the 11". The 13" just doesn't seem "small" unless you are looking at the edge. But it does work great.

    It's worked fine and I can't really complain much. But like you I can't decide if I want the screen size long term. It works great for playing video, but I'd sure like more space for the screen. I can't decide but I need to this week.
  23. Jon03021 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    The 11'' defiantly is more stunning with it's slim appearance. The 13'' would more likely be the better experience in the long run.
  24. bloodycape macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    I have been using an 11in computer as my main machine for over a year(a bit different as my Vaio TT has a built in optical drive and more ports), but have never in the time using it really pine for a large screen. On the other hand on some occasions wished the cpu was a bit faster than the SU9300(for some reason working at speeds closer to the SU9400). I would think the SL9x00 would be perfect in my TT(saw a video of someone who did the swap and looked nice), and if possible and at a feasible price would move to the that cpu. I personally don't think the size would be much of the issue in the 11.6in Air, but the cpu might me. One of the reason why I didn't trade to the 11.6 Air.

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