MacBook Air 11" or 13"

OwenMeasures

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2011
320
2
London
Hi,

I am going to buy a MacBook Air before i go away to New Zealand in May, i really cant decide on what model to get. Im not sure if the 11" screen would be too small! but there is a £250 price difference between the 2 models so its quite a big decision!

i suppose what i need to know then... is the 11" screen too small and do many people use the SD Card slot on the 13" model.

Cheers guys.

Owen
 

diggy33

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2011
606
642
Its going to boil down to your personal preference. Hands on use of both of them would give you a better idea about what would suit you, rather than what we could recommend. As for me, I went with the 13" because the 11" was too small for me.
 

GekkePrutser

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2005
992
316
Barcelona, Spain
If you compare the ones with roughly the same spec (4GB/128GB), the price difference is rather minimal, actually (100 euro, not sure how much it is in pounds). Especially if you consider that the 13" also has a faster processor. So it really comes down to what you prefer in terms of screen size and portability. Although if price is more important than specs, the 11" is a lot more interesting of course (and if you're travelling a lot the portability advantage could be interesting too).

By the way if price is an issue you could consider a refurb, there's an excellent site called refurb.me that tracks the availability of those on the Apple website (so you can see the price of the different models even if they're not in stock right now).. I got a 2010 Air recently (the one in my sig) for 649 euro and it was as new.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,378
32,980
Boston
Get the one that best fits your needs. We cannot make the decision for you.

Both are excellent machines that have different strengths and weaknesses. Only you can decide which should be purchased.

Some people think the 11" screen is too small, others have no problem with it
 

JackHobbs

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2009
103
0
London
Make a list of what you are going to use the macbook air for. Go through your list and decide which things are the deal breakers and what would be nice to have but not essential. This will lead you to think about what software you are going to use a lot. Factor in whether or not this is going to be the only machine you are going to use, be that on the trip or afterwards.

I have a macbook air 11" that I use for work. I use spreadsheets and word documents. At home I surf the web and view the odd photo. On holiday I take my air to store photos and surf the web. The screen is pretty easy to read I find. It is very portable and is great for trips. I use my main MBP 13" for aperture and photoshop work. That works for me. I know someone who uses an 11" air for aperture.

There is no right or wrong machine, just the machine that suits you best for your purposes. The difficulty is deciding what you are going to do. The decision on 11" or 13" follows from that initial process.

Good luck.
 

psxp

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2008
137
11
Hi,

I am going to buy a MacBook Air before i go away to New Zealand in May, i really cant decide on what model to get. Im not sure if the 11" screen would be too small! but there is a £250 price difference between the 2 models so its quite a big decision!

i suppose what i need to know then... is the 11" screen too small and do many people use the SD Card slot on the 13" model.

Cheers guys.

Owen
G'day mate!
Get the 13" - I stressed out thinking I was going to get a 11" model but then couldnt decide - I went with the 13" and love it. Specially traveling.. you have enough desktop space to photo edit and read SD cards. Weight and size is no issue.

cheers

a fellow NZer
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
I would say try it for yourself. Most people here will say 13" because they are either blind or programed to believe bigger is always better. I have the 11" and wouldn't want anything bigger! It is truly portable in every way!
 

jeremyshaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
340
0
I would say try it for yourself. Most people here will say 13" because they are either blind or programed to believe bigger is always better. I have the 11" and wouldn't want anything bigger! It is truly portable in every way!
Or you are merely projecting your own concerns :rolleyes:
 

lc25

macrumors 6502
Jul 31, 2009
271
0
I went for the 11 and haven't looked back, In fact the other day someone brought in a 13 and i couldn't believe how big it was. But each to their own.
 

Jnardis

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2010
654
0
I think it all depends on what you use it for. For me, I use logmein.com all the time since I need to take over my computer at work from home or from traveling. The 11" was just too small for me even though I wanted it bcs it was a bit lighter. The 13" isn't great, but works well and I haven't thought twice about getting the 13" especially after buying an easy to hold case for it.
 

aery

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2009
70
1
Canada
I have the 11" and I love it. It is absolutely phenomenal for portability. In saying that though, I have an iMac as my main computer. While my 11" air is awesome, I don't think I could handle using it as my main or only machine, especially for a long period of time.
 

WardC

macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
2,726
213
Fort Worth, TX
Or he could just get a 12-core Mac Pro, a couple Cinema Displays, and a portable diesel generator, I think it would do the job...

But flying to New Zealand and lugging that around might not be too fun.

Ha, just kidding. I would get the 13", I have both and the 11" is quite portable but also quite tiny. The 13" gives longer battery life and a larger, higher resolution display for editing photos and surfing the web, plus the PPI is not as bad on the eyes with the 13" -- I have both, so I know!
 

lolwut89

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2012
50
0
I would say try it for yourself. Most people here will say 13" because they are either blind or programed to believe bigger is always better. I have the 11" and wouldn't want anything bigger! It is truly portable in every way!
For me, that $300 went a long way for improving performance and adding better battery life.

The Core i5 1.6Ghz seems only 100Mhz slower at first, but when you take into consideration Turbo values, it maxes out at 2.3GHz for single core and 2.2GHz for dual core.

The 1.7GHz maxes out at 2.7GHz for Single core and 2.6GHz for dual core. More performance that's macbook pro like. So to get this you look at the $1199 macbook air 11" then all you need to do is spend an extra $100 to get more battery life and bigger screen.
 

jspaladin

macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2011
14
0
Currently South Korea
I have the 13" Air and my girlfriend has the 11".

I find that the 11" is a little bit frustrating because I have big hands and its size feels a bit uncomfortable when I use Pixelmator or run any kind of game (Civ 5 mainly). I do get used to it after a while though.

Personally, I would go lower than 13". Its a great size and it weighs must less than my old 2010 Pro 13". I got the Air because its perfect for traveling (which Im intending to do for at least the next few years).

I would say go for the 13", but go to an Apple Store and play about for a while.

Either way, you will be happy (but I'm more happy with the 13" haha)
 

TheJing

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
661
0
Somewhere in Europe
I have the 11" and love it.

What I wanted was for it to be as portable as possible since I only use it when I travel, at university and in bed.

The screen size doesn't bother me at all. It is perfect for me.

Also, I have never used the SD card slot but that's because I never take pictures. If you do then you might be better off with the 13". Well you could always get an adapter if you only use it occasionally.

It really comes down to personal preferences, go check them out at the Apple store and decide for yourself.

Those who have the 11" are going to say how much they love it and the same for the 13".
 

Cheffy Dave

macrumors 68030
I have the 11" and love it.

What I wanted was for it to be as portable as possible since I only use it when I travel, at university and in bed.

The screen size doesn't bother me at all. It is perfect for me.

Also, I have never used the SD card slot but that's because I never take pictures. If you do then you might be better off with the 13". Well you could always get an adapter if you only use it occasionally.

It really comes down to personal preferences, go check them out at the Apple store and decide for yourself.

Those who have the 11" are going to say how much they love it and the same
for the 13".

Also, if you absolutely must have an SD slot, for $29 buy the iPad camera kit that converts the charging slot into an SD/ USB slot, and yes it works!:eek:
 

David085

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2009
811
3
I say the 13" since thats what I would get since the 11" is way too small for me
 

jonomo

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2005
197
0
I've had both 11" and 13... When I had the 11 I was traveling alot b/c I was commuting to Manila for week days and spending weekends at home in Singapore.. so it was fantastic... I pretty much lived with it, using it on the plane to work, watch movies, etc... My iPad became a nightstand ornament after I got the Air...

Now I don't travel as much, but still make my rounds around the world and the 13 inch is fine too... It's probably b/c I don't travel as much, but I don't really notice the weight too much.. although if I was traveling as much as I was before, then size and weight would be a big factor...

If I had to choose between the 2 now, then I'd go with the 13 for a couple of reasons...

1. Obviously larger screen just makes things easier... spreadsheets, reports, just switching back from one app to another
2. Longer battery life.. I don't think this is something that everyone considers all the time... but that 2 extra hours or so makes a big difference
3. Weight and size really doesn't seem like a factor anymore.. however, if I traveled like I used too, then the 11 is what i'd get... the smaller factor also makes it easier to use in tight spaces, like on a cramped plan seat

When I was first comparing, I thought the SD card slot was pretty cool, until I realized the card does not fit in flush... I was thinking you could use it as permanent extra storage, but apparently Apple doesn't feel that way... I used to use one of those super small micro SD cards with my 11 and it did me fine.. I didn't use my MBA as my main and never did any photo or music work on it...

Only thing that kills me about the MBA is the lack of games available on Mac platform... I'm a game company exec and would be great to try out some games from time to time without havin to reboot to PC...
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
For me, that $300 went a long way for improving performance and adding better battery life.

The Core i5 1.6Ghz seems only 100Mhz slower at first, but when you take into consideration Turbo values, it maxes out at 2.3GHz for single core and 2.2GHz for dual core.

The 1.7GHz maxes out at 2.7GHz for Single core and 2.6GHz for dual core. More performance that's macbook pro like. So to get this you look at the $1199 macbook air 11" then all you need to do is spend an extra $100 to get more battery life and bigger screen.
My 11" MBA was $1199. I didn't and still don't want a 13"....its too big. The 11" is the perfect size. The reason I've never owned a laptop is because of how huge they tend to be. The 11" is the perfect combination of small footprint, great screen, and power. It is an amazing little machine. I take it with me to screenings all day and use it to take notes.
 

Chairman.Jobbie

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2011
346
71
Both are great. I tried both for 2 weeks and ending up keeping the Ultimate 13 as the 11 as a main laptop is alittle small. Its brilliant as a portable device, but doesnt feel right as main & keyboard a touch cramped for me.

SD card slot is irrelevant - it shouldnt influence what you buy unless its a big part of your work flow. And now with cloud storage physical media, no matter how small, is becoming less important - obselete already for me & average user.

Ive owned the 13" for 5 months and not a single problem (touch wood) & super fast. The only thing i want better - in this model - its a better battery life. I get around 5 hours average. Not bad but 7-8 would be good. I use its for around 12 hours a day! .... amazing device.
 
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Buck987

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2010
915
83
for my business apps and traveling my 11" is perfect.

Your needs may be the same or different, and there is certainly no issue traveling with a 13"

go and evaluate side by side as has been suggested.
 

Kaiser Phoenix

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2005
359
0
London
Ive had the 11inch for over a year now, i initially thought the screen will be too small as my main computer but now its pretty much my main pc! The small size makes it super handy to carry about and its just perfect, would really recommend the 11.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,378
32,980
Boston
Ive had the 11inch for over a year now, i initially thought the screen will be too small as my main computer but now its pretty much my main pc! The small size makes it super handy to carry about and its just perfect, would really recommend the 11.
I know a number of people have one and they love the small size. For me, and perhaps its my eyes. The screen is too small. One may use for my computer is to remote into my work computer. Its resolution is sufficiently high that the scaling down to the 11" MBA makes it completely unreadable.

I do admit the small size of this laptop makes it an uber-mobile laptop
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
I know a number of people have one and they love the small size. For me, and perhaps its my eyes. The screen is too small. One may use for my computer is to remote into my work computer. Its resolution is sufficiently high that the scaling down to the 11" MBA makes it completely unreadable.

I do admit the small size of this laptop makes it an uber-mobile laptop
Try using Splashtop remote, thats what I do. It will change the remote computers resolution to your resolution so everything becomes perfectly readable and its as if you are running locally.
 
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