Macbook air 11" Purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Con1750, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Con1750 macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2015
    First actual post here, but been looking around the forum for a while, trying to make an informed decision on my first apple notebook.

    Just purchased the air and I'm wondering peoples opinion on the 11", I can't decide whether it is just too small or not, I'm a university student so portability is key for me, as I walk to and from there each day and previously had a 17" Asus laptop the difference in screen size and weight is astounding.

    I have a few questions about apples return policy and sort of how long I have before they won't let me exchange the laptop (UK Customer). I don't really see the point in upgrading to the 13" air, as I may as well get the rMBP if I'm going to go for the size and weight increase. I also don't particularly need the extra processing power from the rMBP.

    A bit torn really and some advice would be appreciated

  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    This all sounds very reasonable to me.

    I have had an 11" MBA for the last 4 years and I love the portability. I would never buy anything larger.

    Every time I pick up a 13" MacBook (Air or Retina) it feels like a brick.

    If you need more screen real estate you can always get an external monitor.
  3. Con1750 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2015

    Thanks for the speedy reply, and your opinion, basically I haven't had much experience with it yet, even work wise, I'm currently home for a week so haven't really delved into much work yet or really appreciated the portability.

    id probably end up getting a monitor for the thing at some point, how does it cope with higher resolutions? I probably wont be picking up anything higher than a 1080p display in the future anyway.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    I'd get an external monitor and keyboard/mouse with it to use for writing papers, etc. It's just not enough space to do certain kinds of work. Still, it has all the power of the 13" version, so it's actually pretty capable.
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    No problem driving higher resolutions. It has a (mini) DisplayPort port so it can drive 2560x1440 no problem.

    You can get an $8 HDMI adapter and drive anything at 1080P too.


    To be fair, the 11" has more or less the same resolution as the 13" MacBook Pro which was Apple's most popular laptop for a million years and plenty of people used it to do "real" work.

    It still displays basically the same amount of information as the current 13" retina MacBook Pro when the latter is set to its default settings.
  6. Con1750 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Cool thanks guys,

    Im pretty short for cash right now anyways, one of the reasons I ended up going for the 11" version, so it will have to do for my work currently! but cheers probably going to go ahead and keep it now
  7. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    True, but it's more of a size issue. For writing papers, etc, it's very helpful to be able to comfortably view two windows side by side. For me, 1440x900 at 13" is the minimum resolution that allows this to work comfortably.
  8. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    It can do 2560x1600 via DisplayPort.
    Such a display usually costs more than the MBA ;-)

    If you're short on cash, I'd rather try getting a decent 24 inch display than a larger and cheaper 27 inch.
    1920x1200 should be the minimum.
  9. Con1750 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2015
    ill start looking for a display in the coming months, I also opted for the 4gb ram version, wasn't particularly happy about this but they don't stock 8gb models in store and I really needed a computer as I have work due soon.

    OS X has been pretty snappy for me considering the limited ram in the system, does anyone see this being an issue in the future?
  10. barmann macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2010
    4GB should be fine, as long as you don't go into photo or video editing, or such .
    8GB is always better , even if only for the resale value, but no need to sweat it if you don't do any heavy lifting .

    Any compatible external display and keybord/mouse can turn an 11" MBA into a proper workstation; a decent, affordable 20"ish display is plenty combined with the MBA monitor as a second display .
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    4GB of RAM is more than enough for almost anything, don't worry about it.

    You can get many nice 1080p IPS monitors for under $200, e.g.:
  12. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    My main personal machine is a 2013 base 11". 4GB seems to be enough for what I do and that includes some light gaming, photo editing (Lightroom) and 2D & 3D CAD/Modeling.

    One thing that I did pretty much right off the bat was to increase the minimum font size in Safari (12pt min for me). It made things slightly more legible.

    Otherwise, no regrets.
  13. adammull macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
    11" Air is the best computer Apple makes. I would be sad if they ever discontinued it. Would Retina be nice? Maybe. I prefer battery life though. My wife has a 13" Macbook Retina and while the weight in the specs is similar it feels like a brick. Its solid and heavy and thick.

    You get used to the size and an external monitor makes it like a desktop.
  14. ThaRagingAsian macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    I just picked up a MBA 11". Everything about it is amazing! My big thing is weight and portability. It is absolutely perfect!
  15. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Agreed, I think it's the best notebook they make. Having a desktop Mac and an 11" Air is the best combination, and if you can't afford that just add a monitor to the Air.
  16. Con1750 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Thanks for the help on my first post, decided to go ahead and keep the laptop
  17. Ulenspiegel, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    MacBook Air 11" is one of the best computers Apple makes.
    It is as powerful as the 13" version, but lighter and more portable.
    I had the same dilemma as you. Unpacked, used and was thinking about changing it to the 13". Went back played with the bigger version. And I said NO. The relatively minimal size and weight difference seems to be huge holding both in hands.
    What concerns different apps: the screen real estate is more than enough. Just set the apps to the right size for your needs. I use word processors a lot and MS Word set to 200% is perfect for writing longer papers, documents etc.
    Enjoy your new toy!
  18. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Good choice!

    I'm typing this on my 11" air :)
  19. cairene2011 Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    I used an 11" MBA for 3 years of university and I loved it so so much. After graduating my needs changed and I'm now very happy with an 13" rMBP since January, but nothing tops the portability of the 11" MBA. I had it with me out and about almost every single day, whereas the 13" rMBP has yet to leave the house for the first time and probably won't do so in a while.

    I also combined the 11" MBA with an external monitor, which worked perfect!
  20. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    It's a very personal decision.
    I really like the 11" mba and always feel like getting one, but I already have a rmbp 13".
    The lack of a sd slot is a real downer for me, since that would mean that I need to carry around an sd card reader.
  21. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    This is true. 11 felt too small to me but to some it is perfect.
  22. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

    Jun 16, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    Have 11' air 2014 also. Went with this monitor and love it, and it's on discount right now also.
    Anytime you feel the need for a bigger screen (business, photoshop etc..) just get a monitor ;)

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