Is it worth extra 300 to go with 13inch?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dammit Cubs, Oct 26, 2010.


Which computer to buy?

  1. 11.6 inch MBA + 4GB

    24 vote(s)
  2. 13.3 inch MBA + 4GB ($300 dollars more)

    66 vote(s)
  1. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    This is the hardest decision for me. Do i go with a 4GB setup 11.6 inch laptop or spend the extra 300 to get. better cpu, better battery life, SD reader and More screen re-estate.

    I don't want the macbook air to be too fast that it will replace my 2007 macbook (which will soon be a mac-mini 2.4GHZ).

    How are you guys liking your 13 inch vs the 11.6 inch? I see more people at the mac store going nuts over the 11.6 inch.
  2. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Have the 13.3". It is fantastic. It will replace the 13" MBP. Weight difference is dramatic. Size difference is noticeable.
  3. mr0c macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2010
    Virginia, US
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C5115c Safari/6533.18.5)

    The real difference comes down to the future proofing which the increased specs give you (11" vs 13"):
    Screen: 1366 by 768 vs 1440 by 900
    Processor: 1.4 (1.6) vs 1.86 (2.13) (upgrades)
    Frontside bus: 800MHz vs 1066MHz
    Storage: 64 (128) vs 126 (256) (upgrades)
    Battery: 5 hours vs 7 hours
    L2 cache: 3MB vs 6MB
    It's pretty much a given that everyone SHOULD get 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM.
    Only the 13" has the SD Card slot.

    For me it's almost a no brainer to get the fully spec'd 13", my only concern is running VMs on it (need access to some windows apps for work). I'm waiting on some further benchmarks and testing once everyone else gets their BTO.
  4. sparkie7 macrumors 68010


    Oct 17, 2008
    As much as I want the 11" form factor, my head still tells me the 13" is the right choice for my needs

    Personally I think the max'd out 13 MBA is the way to go if budget allows at this point in time

    The SD card can be very useful, and I keep thinking the extra height in the 13 will save me a lot of agro scrolling up and down more than i need to. With the top end CPU and RAM it will last a good 2-3 years.

    If you need the performance and extra features I think the additional $300 will be worth it
  5. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    If the MBA won't be your primary/only computer and you won't be using it all day, get the 11.6" one. The smaller MBA looks great and makes sense from the mobility perspective, but after checking both MBA models at the Apple Store, I would prefer to look at the 13" screen (if I were to do it for a number of hours a day) as compared to the 11.6" screen. The difference numerically doesn't seem large, but at least for my eyes the 13" screen was a bit easier on the eyes.
  6. jamespa66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2007
    Kenosha, WI
  7. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2010
    Why would you be concerned about VMs? People have been running VMs for years, I'm planning on running windows 7 with my 2GB setup. 1GB for windows, 1GB for OS X. It should be fine.

    Granted, I haven't actually tried this yet, but I know a lot of people who use OS X just fine with 1GB of Ram, and plenty who use WIndows 7 with just a gig. I'm basically just going to be running OneNote. I can probably get away with giving windows 768MB or even less.

    As for CPU, you have two cores. Each one of them is far faster than the atom I had, but my atom hackintosh had no problem running either os x or windows 7. Maybe I will be very disappointed tomorrow, but I just can't see why people are so paranoid about VMs. Maybe try using VirtualBox instead of Parallels.
  8. mehmetf macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    The 12 available configurations

    I would choose the 13.3 MacBook Air (128GB - 4GB - 1.86GHz) priced at $1399 over the 11.6 MacBook Air (64GB - 4GB - 1.4GHz) which costs $1099.

    Attached Files:

  9. jamespa66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2007
    Kenosha, WI
    I'm running Windows 7 under Parallels. I was pleasantly surprised that Win 7 was very usable. I have the 13" MBA with 2Gb RAM and 256 GB drive. I have 768 allocated to Win 7 and 1GB to OSX. Don't forget 256 MB is shared to the GPU.
  10. ProstheticHead macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The 11.6" is great as a sidearm to a mainstay computer.

    I'm highly considering it to stand alongside my 27" iMac.

    The 11.6" is tiny, light, quite capable. For my needs, I don't care that the screen is small, it's not my primary.
  11. Dammit Cubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    looks like the 13 inch is winning. People believe the 13 inch is a computer and 11.6 inch is a companion from these numbers and comments.
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    These are all the reasons why I would go with the 13". I just assume that either one will have the 4GB.

    I'm not sure I understand this. Why wouldn't you want it to be faster than a computer you plan on replacing.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally I like the 11.6 over the 13"

    The cost and features of the 13" are too close to the 13" MBP so that it makes more sense to spend less $$ on a 13" MBP and get more computer.

    The 11" is a good balance of size and power for most needs.
  14. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    If you have two identical looking women in front of you and you had to pick one. And one had a little bit bigger breasts, which one would you pick?
  15. bamf macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2008
    I tried them both in an Apple store, and I decided that the 13" was the better way for me to go (for what I'll be using this machine for). I'll still have my 15" i5 to do heavy lifting (and my i7 Hackintosh to do even heavier lifting), but for my day to day traveling usage I bought the 13" with 4GB of RAM.

    I got a fantastic deal on it too from Macmall - $1309 driveout!
  16. Essjay macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    They wouldn't be identical one would weigh 50% more. I would take the lighter one tbh.
  17. wisty macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2009
    What will you use it for?

    The 11" is can do anything that the 13" can do. However, it will be annoyingly slow for Photoshop, and other CPU intensive tasks. Oh, and Finder will be a bit slower. Also, the 13" has a bigger and better screen, the SD slot and more battery life.

    If you get the 13", it *will* replace your old Macbook. It has a better resolution, a fast SSD, a faster FSB, a much better GPU, and more battery life. And it's a lot sleeker.

    The 11", it will still probably replace your old MB. It's got more pixels, a fast SSD, a much better GPU, and more batter life. And it's much sleeker. It won't be great for Photoshop though - the screen is a bit small, and its CPU is too pokey.
  18. snorkelman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2010
    especially if I had to throw her over my shoulder and carry her home..
  19. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    I plan on 4 gigs of memory and the 128 gig SSD which results in a $100 price difference between the MBA11 and MBA13. $100 more for a 33% faster CPU, a 15% bigger screen and an SD car reader seems like the better deal.
  20. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    The 13 inch form factor is just a deal breaker. It's the same foot print as any other 13 inch computer....why not just go for the Macbook Pro? A fully loaded 13 MBA is just too expensive for what it is. I do praise the 13 MBA for such a high resolution screen.

    I went with the 11 because it's a revolutionary device. Look how similar it is to the 13 with such a smaller, sleeker form factor. A 13 MBA has been around for ages. Sure, benchmark points to dollars, the 13 will win hands down...but you sacrifice a bit of performance for a groundbreaking device in terms of size and capability with the 11.6.

    That being said, I have an old (pre-unibody) 15 MBP I use at work and a desktop at home. I'd never consider either of the MBAs as primary machines....possibly the 13, but only if my work purchased it for me :)

    If you really want dollar value, go for a 13 MBP
  21. jwei macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009

    Same here. I've been keeping my eyes on Macs for the longest times, finally decided to bite on an 11.6'. Despite not fully "NEEDING" a mac (I have my sturdy 14' T61 thinkpad), I was telling myself before that I'd wait for this to begin dying before forking out money for a new MBP. As soon as that these new airs were announced though, I debated more and more.

    I figured I'll get the 11.6' now since I desperately need portability and when my t61 dies I'll get the 13.3' MBP. (Productivity and power vs. Portability)
  22. Dammit Cubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    So the second question: i have a macbook 2007 4GB 320GB 7200RPM computer. It stays on my desk at all times, hooked up to a 24 inch monitor. I hook that up to a 1TB drive. I have about 100 gigs left on my macbook.

    During travel times, I leave my macbook at home. Constantly running. I use a combination of logmein and my ipad to access files from home and/or connect to change my torrenting files. (if i'm not home, why not just download tons of data while Im gone for 2 weeks).

    The macbook is geekbench marked at 3000. Far exceeding the macbook 11inch. This is important because to stop from one computer collecting dust....i want set ideas. Macbook 2007 = my home desktop. Ipad = my couch potato and my work companion. Macbook air, my portable productivity machine / travel buddy.

    If the get a 13inch macbook air with SSD. The speed improvement will make me NEVER use a my macbook 2007. More importantly, my macbook will be just collecting dust. Why would I want to use it? EVER. And here's the kicker, with only 128 gigs of SSD space, its wise to have another computer with tons of space to manage your data. My goal is the sell the macbook 2007 for a mac-mini.

    Does that help? I'm trying to segregate ....not find that I have 2 computers that do the same task.

    My usage model:

    I watch 1080p movies/720pMKV's
    I browse the internet
    I use Ichat
    I use microsoft Office
    I program or next perl code using unix terminal.
    I use lightroom to edit some photos...
    I use iphoto
    I use itunes
    I want to watch 1080p flash content
    I use imovie like once a year
    I blog

    I don't use photoshop
    I don't use aperture
    I don't play games (although, i'm thinking of trying SC2)
  23. wdropo macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2004

    $300 is one dollar a day for a year. If you have this computer for 30 months, that's $10 month extra. You would do that spend every day of the week.
  24. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    It depends on what you need. If you travel a lot, then I would recommend Macbook Air 11.6. It's smaller and you don't have to take it out at the airport security. However, I am going to buy 13.3 inch for SD card slot, better battery life and better processing power.
  25. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    These threads will go on and on for the next 6 months or more lol... Honestly it's pissing me off SJ gave us a damn choice! LOL Seriously though the MBA decision is a bitch, I've used both now for about 3 days each... while I know the 13" is probably more practical, and long term makes sense. The 11" is like that damn old dust mop knocking at my door (swiffer commercial) and sending me hints of how much fun it was to use lol.

    Here is what I know after 5 days.

    I love the MBA for it's speed. Form factor and weight.
    I have burned thru the 11" battery in 2:48 mins via flash video streaming
    I have burned thru the 13" battery in 3:45 mins via flash video streaming

    The craziest part about the battery is how fast it recharges, I didn't honestly time the 11", plugged it in at night and let it charge. I did however time the 13" now twice, and it's amazing to watch it charge at basically 1% per minute, even with light browsing. 90min vs 8 hours on previous models? wow

    The larger screen is nice, but as I have posted and told others I found myself zooming via the command and + key to read on the 11" but honestly end up doing that on the 13" some. Hell maybe I'm just getting to damn old lol. 20/20 my ass, I think the doc is wrong, some of this text just gets to damn small when your a few feet from the screen. The 11" looks very familiar after using an iPad for 5 months but I don't hold the MBA as close to me as the iPad so that has some effect on my ability to read text.

    SD card slot, really not a game breaker for me. My HD video cam is HDD based so it's all transferred via USB, iPhone is probably my primary point and shoot anymore so SD doesn't really effect me.

    Bottom line I have a 13" in which I should probably go with, and voted that way on this thread, but I would not surprise myself if I ended up with a BTO 11" 1.4/4gig/128 and see if that aftermarket 256gig SS replacement comes out. The storage is/was a key for me more so than CPU speed. I have external drives with my media on it, but enjoy having all my iTunes music and video's with me, which is around 112gigs, not leaving much room on a 128gig drive.

    The good news for me is the fact I have 45, well 42 days left to return this one to Best Buy and get a full refund should I go the BTO route. If only BB had 4gig versoins! argg!:D

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