I know I know, everyone's asking it.....and so am I

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Shadnic, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Shadnic macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I'm so sorry for another (help me decide) thread. I've been trying my hardest to do this and it's been driving me "insane". I've gone back and forth so many times.

    Who am I and why do I want this: I'm a college student. I went desktop a few years back because I needed power (gaming) but it's becoming more and more obvious that I need a laptop as classes grow more and more computer oriented. Also traveling = no computer for me as I'm not lugging a massive tower around. My desktop is a PC, and I love windows, but I want a mac because they're so well built and I feel the OS is built for a great and seamless mobile experience. I've tried a netbook once and it was...it was a horrible experience. Windows tends to feel very cramped in small spaces.

    What do I need it for:
    -Taking notes/study sessions/school stuff (nothing too demanding computer-wise)
    -Gaming (I'm not going to use this as a gaming laptop, but when I'm traveling and such, I will want to be able to play WoW and some more casual games (WoW will be the most intense thing I want to run on here))
    -Normal browsing/media/etc normal stuff
    -I want this to be a laptop I can take anywhere at all times

    How I feel about the 11:
    -Sexy, looks like the perfect size for a portable machine. Feels just right.
    -Screen very wide/short and makes writing on documents a bit odd, but not a deal-breaker
    -Components are very functional, but I feel that it's not very future proof at all. It's spec'd like a "replace every year" machine, but it's priced like a "last 4 years" machine. I've played with one in a store and it was very smooth for the most part, but the browser's inertia scrolling lagged noticeably and it kind of bugged me.
    -Really could use that SD card slot >_>
    -64gb is TINY, and to upgrade the SSD AND the RAM, then suddenly you're at the price of the 13"

    The 13"
    -Great value (for a mac) in terms of design/performance
    -For the price of the upgraded 11" i mentioned earlier, you get a higher resolution, MUCH more battery life, and significantly more powerful computing performance (I've read all the reviews and looked at all the benchmarks).
    - I haven't been able to see one in person, but the macbookpro looks...big. I mean not "big" but after seeing the tiny little 11 it seemed almost unnecessarily big. How is the size difference in person??
    -More future proof, more like a real computer...thing is, my desktop is my real computer, do I need a highly functioning second one?

    Like I said, the 11" i'd buy would be the same price as a stock 13" (though i'd upgrade the ram). I find it hard to justify wanting that when it can't do as much and won't last as long :( It's like I want the 11", but I know the 13" is so much more for the same $$$. The 11 is sexy, yes, but who's the say the 13" isn't....right? Maybe the 11" is one to keep an eye on later down the road when new components are available..after all, this won't be my last laptop by any means. But then again, this is just secondary computer that won't be used as a main workstation, so it doesn't need to be perfect. What do you think?
  2. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    Send me $2000 in a SASE and I'll decide for you.

    Trust me...you'll love the surprise!
  3. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    The 11" is nothing more than a cheap toy destined to be far outdated very quickly, and for a premium price.

    If you want a real computer, get the 13".
  4. kp98077 macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2010

    **dude, that a little harsh and not exactly true there is hardly any differences between the two except for screen size a LITTLE bit better performance.

  5. Moodikar macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I would go with the 11inch. You are using it as an alternative and you already have a windows machine. Yeah it will be obsolete in a few years (faster them the 13 inch) but your also paying a bit less and you don't sound like you need the power.

    I would still recommend 4gb and only if you can afford it, 128ssd. There will always be a need for that.

    Finally, use the extra savings (I know not much) and buy office or something you may want like a game or external USB bus powered har drive.

    13 is good but you sound like your still I'm both worlds Mac/PC and you really don't need full power right now.

    Just make sure you like the screen size of the 11 inch and the keyboard and palm rest and trackpad layout. If you can't get use to a small computer, you have your answer.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    And this is the type of person you never want advice from. People who bash without any reasoning behind it.
  7. iViking macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    Exactly. In fact you don't want any advice from most people, period, since nobody knows you like you know yourself. But you especially don't want advice from people over eager to provide it.
  8. MrBobYu macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    Well I'm currently having the same issues as you. I'm also a College student. A few friends of mine suggested me to get the 11inch, the 13inch model existed since 2008 (generally speaking, I know the new 13inch is more powerful than the last gen) and the 11inch is the hype :p. Anyhow, don't forget the 11inch resolution is about an 13inch one and the 13inch resolution is about a 15inch one. So from your saying, you will be mainly browsing, taking notes maybe a bit of WOW. Well what do you expect from WOW? low settings are fine? 40 fps? There is a few reviews of the MBA 11in with WOW, you can even browse the forum to find some.

    Here is the one I really found helpful to define my choice:

    Personally, I took the 13inch + 4gb of ram/128gb SSD. Since it will be my first laptop for Me only. So the 13inch will be a perfect combination of flexibility and performance. I occasionally will play StarCraft 2 on it, I heard it can play with an avg fps, so I will take a shot :p. I also work and I have to stick with the laptop for 6 hours a day or so, bigger is better :) in that situation. I also have a desktop at home where I can play Sc2 II no problem but you know, sometimes you just wanna play a quick match at school :p.

    Back to your point, I would say 11inch with 4gb of ram and 128gb SSD if you are only taking notes/school stuff for a few hours. Yes, the 11inch will come around the same price as the 13inch but don't forget, sometimes smaller just might be the way to go for you. I think at that point, you should use your own judgment. You can probably play WOW on it for a short period of time. I don't know much about WOW if you need a big screen to walk around or to fight or etc. to be clear enough to play. For example: SC2 definitely need a bigger screen, since the mini map and selection of units are important for the macro management and I opt for the bigger one.

    Oh ya, if you scratch off WOW, I would definitely buy a netbook for half the price. For sure, I lose performance, style and maybe a bit of weight? Afterall, if you are looking at that MBA, you are probably thinking of WOW :p.

    I hope it help and good luck. Let us know know what did you choose afterall.

  9. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Well that settles it then.
  10. Shadnic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    Huh, I wasn't expecting this at all. After the first few comments I was still thinking 13 made the most sense, but then reading and thinking everything over...now I'm almost completely sold on the 11. I don't need a powerhouse. I don't want something big...I essentially want a really nice slightly larger netbook. Will it still bother me that I'm almost paying as much for the 11 as I would the 13? Probably...but it just feels like it makes more sense now. As long as it can handle what I need, and play the occasional game, then it's perfect. The size makes me happy, and I don't need a "second computer" as much as I need a "portable workstation".

    Thank you for your perspective MrBobYu, that helped a lot :) I do think the reason I want the air over a netbook is graphics performance. I couldn't have a portable machine that couldn't play games reasonably well, that would make me lose all love for it, but at the same time, I don't need something that rivals my desk top (i mean hey, if it could, great, but it won't :p)

    I wish wish wish the 128gb upgrade wasn't so expensive. If only that "Photofast" SSD replacement on the front page today had a price/availability announced. If it was going to be relatively affordable compared to apple's upgrade pricing, I'd happily spring for user replaceable memory. Maybe they'll announce something soon...very soon :/ Then maybe I could spring for the 1.6ghz 11" and feel more secure about my purchase ^_^

    ...one can dream. Thank you very much everyone.
  11. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Overall I found the 13" to be a better value proposition which is why I bought it. It's not my primary computer as I have an i7 iMac for it, but in fact it outperforms my 2006 MBP 2.33 by far, with the same screen resolution!

    The 11" is a great choice if you need something with a smaller footprint, which the 13" frankly doesn't have all that much. But in reality if you're not going to do much with it other than general "everyday" tasks, then it may be of better use for you despite the value prop.

    I'm really loving using this and writing this post on it currently! Do I regret not buying the 11" though? Not really.
  12. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    If you found the screen estate of an netbook woefully lacking, then PLEASE go for the 13 inch one. 1440x900 at 13 inches will be a pleasure to work on.

    I have had a bad experience with my black macbook and its 800p screen. I bought it for a very high price and was stuck with the 800p screen. It was a horrible experience to work on it.

    If you want to spend a bit more $$$ and don't mind the extra weight, then I would fully recommend the MBP 15 with high res screen. This is where the portable starts to be powerful enough to replace a full desktop.
  13. drtimo macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    I went for the 13" MBA with 4gb ram. I loved it in the store and when compared with the 11" I thought the 13" screen would be more usable for everyday things. Everything looked so small on the 11". This is a problem I had with netbooks too, I found really straning my eyes. And although it is higher res, I don't want to fiddle with resolution settings all the time.

    I'm first time Mac buyer. Can't wait to receive it.
  14. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2006
    I initially ordered the 13", then went to the store and realized i want the 11" (which i have on order).

    I have a mac mini/27" LED setup at home. My main priority is portability and don't really have a need for a powerhouse laptop. Plus the 11" feels like a new, exciting product to me. The 13" looks very similar to the current RevA MBA I am typing on now, which I've been happy with.
  15. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    The power increase between the 1.4 ghz and 1.86 ghz is 25%.

    I don't think the performs difference is that little if we're talking about 25%. For $150 more you get 25% increase in power, bigger screen and better battery life.

    Seems to be an upgrade that is worth the money.
  16. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    And if Stevie Wonder stood on that stage last week and said "We would never dare make an 11.6" computer, what a joke" every single person in here would be like "11"?? Ewww, what a joke!"

    $1000+ minimum for an 11.6" netbook with a full keyboard?

    1.4 GHz and 64 GB?

    Can you really see yourself using something like that for several years?

    Some of us pass, and think that computer blows. If you don't like our opinions, TS--the OP wanted advice, and that's what he got.

    IMO it's REALLY difficult to justify $1000 minimum for that. Probably approaching $1400 out the door once you put tax and a superdrive on it, and 4 GB of RAM.

    *waits for everyone to go "But you don't NEED a superdrive!!"...Ok then, $1300 out the door.

    The 11" is a horrendous value IMO, the base model being the worst.
  17. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits

    Lord, I hope Steve got notified on that one. They better halt shipping immediately, and stop shipping the ones they are running out of at the factory.
  18. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    if apple made a 9" macbook air i'd be all over that. my mac pro will kill any sort of performance gain you could think of for a laptop and vnc doesn't take anything to run. size and weight however, you can't make up.

    in other words, it's REALLY difficult to justify making the machine bigger and cost more. the 13" is a HORRENDOUS value.

    If you don't like our opinions, TS--the OP wanted advice, and that's what he got.
  19. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    fortunately, i understand that people have different needs and the 13 or 11 will differ un value based on what you need. i bought a 13" macbook air for my mother and it's been perfect for her.

    myself, i just got an 11" 1.6/4gb/128
  20. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007

    If you have tons of expendable income, buy them both. If not the 13 inch seems like the more practical machine. The 11 is truly a nice looking comp. Wait till next gen for that, in 2-3 years that will be a monster machine.
  21. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Every single thing Apple makes is a HORRENDOUS value, truthfully. I say that as an owner of a plethora of products, including an Air.

  22. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    by that benchmark, everything in life short of water and oxygen is a horrible value. unless you maybe actually care about living your life well - you know, with a roof?
  23. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    This is so far off base and off topic it's ridiculous.

    Stick to the topic at hand.

    Not everyone drools over everything Stevie pulls out of his pocket.
  24. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    Get the 13." I have been using both for the last week and the 11" is initially really beautiful, but I would not want to use it as my everyday computer due to the slightly too small screen. The 11 is perfect for taking on the plane and on vacations, formerly the domain of my iPad, but I'd prefer more screen real estate and better performance on my every day machine.

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