MacBook Air for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jacob0622, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. jacob0622 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    I am about to go to college in the fall, and I am dead set on getting a MacBook Air. The only problem I have is that I'm not sure to get the 11" or 13". Everytime I start thinking about getting the 13" one, the 11" starts to tempt me. So which one 11" or 13"?
  2. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    11" isn't very big. If it's your only computer I would get the 13".

    Plus the 13" is only $100 more than the 11" for the same specs. Price per inch, that's a pretty good deal.
  3. BBman macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I think the best thing you can do is go into the store and try them both out for yourself.

    They both have their perks and everyone has their own taste, go check them out for yourself!
  4. 3bs macrumors 603


    May 20, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    I have an 11" as my main and only computer and I'm in college and it suits my needs perfectly.

    What this guy said.

    I don't regret getting the 11". I do sometimes wish I had more screen real estate but I'm upgrading from my late 2010 11" to a new 11" :)
  5. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    The 11" is a beautiful machine, but personally I find it much more comfortable to work on a 13" screen, especially when I'm writing papers. The 13" also has longer battery life. I agree with green, go for a 13" if this is your only/main computer.
  6. Klae macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    Honestly I would go 13". Ever since I have been wanting a MBA I have looked at the 13" its still small and compact like I like but has a big enough screen to get work done. What are you going to major in?
  7. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    I would get the 13". If you are using it a lot the extra screen space is nice. There isn't a noticeable difference in portability between the two either. It's a MacBook air, they are all super light.

    The only reason I would consider the 11" is if I was going to use the air plugged into a monitor for most of my work.
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I have the 11, I am a researcher / student, and it is my main computer. It works for me. It might not work for you. I think the 13 is always the safe bet, but if you know yourself, and know what you are going to do, then the 11 can be a better fit for some people.

    Why don't you tell us a little about what you plan to do with it.
  9. jacob0622 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    I will be majoring in political science. I have thought about just getting the 11" and just using my Apple TV to use my tv as a monitor.
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Political science is a possibility, but so much of it is quantitative these days, the more screen space you have for spreadsheets and so forth, the better. An alternative would be to get the 11 Air for its portability and have a monitor in your room so that you get the screen real-estate. It is the best of both worlds :)
  11. goldfronts1 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2012
    Do you use LaTeX, Illustrator, or Matlab in your research? As I wanted to know if the MBA can handle those applications.

  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Have you checked with your school to see what type of requirements that have for computers. The MBA may fall outside of what they recommend as they may need you to run certain apps.

    Personally, I think the 11" MBA may be too small but that's just my opinion.
  13. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    The biggest thing to concern yourself with is if you can stand 5 hours of battery life on the 11in. If you can tolerate that or bring your power cable with you, the 11in is a great option. Also, you can get an external monitor and a mouse/keyboard and pretty much have a full functioning desktop.

    Pretty much if you can live with the battery, the 11in may be worth it for you
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Nope. Sorry. But, the innards are basically the same as everything except for the 15 inch MBPs, which have quad cores. I don't see why it would have any problem.
  15. Trepanator macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2008
    You do realize that using display mirroring (Airplay) will not increase the resolution of your display, right? You will still be limited to 1366 x 768 pixels which will be surrounded by black bars on all sides-- your display will not be upscaled to fill the screen. Mirroring is implemented in ML the same way as on iOS.

    You should be able to physically plug into your TV using some sort of mDP to HDMI adaptor, but wireless (Airplay) will be next to useless for increasing your desktop space/screen size.
  16. Creek0512, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

    Creek0512 macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2012
    Trust me, when you've also got multiple textbooks and notebooks and folders and whatever else in your backpack, the smaller/lighter your laptop is the better. I wish I would have had an 11" Air when I started college, instead of a heavy iBook.

    As for the screen area, it's something you'll have to decide for yourself. I know I personally don't really notice much difference. I mean the 11" is obviously smaller, but it doesn't effect my using the computer.
  17. chanyitian macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2012
    The 11inch is too small for you if you need it for your college work. Get the 13 inch. It is also ultra portable and has greater battery life so you wont need to bring a charger with you. Good luck!
  18. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    I'm not in college anymore, but carry my 13" MBA around quite a bit, both in a backpack and without. Its plenty portable, and the perfect size in my opinion.

    The one big reason to go with the 13" over the 11" for college, is that it has almost twice the battery capacity and I would think that would be important to you. You would most likely not need to even bring a charger with you during the day, while depending on how long you are using it, that might not be the case with the 11". If you had to bring the charger and 11", vs. just the 13", then the 13" is actually more portable to carry.
  19. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    The 13" is rated at 7. The 11" is rated at 5. In reviews, it looks like people are getting about these numbers, so the 13" is nothing near double.

    I use the 11" and find that the iPad, external keyboard, MBA, and its charger fit comfortably in a small man bag (Waterfield Vertigo small). The 13 " cannot, so depending on your stuff, you might find the 11" more portable. Because I have scanned all of my books into PDFs and put them into my iPad, I don't use a backpack anymore.

    That said, the 13" is a safe bet. the 11" is probably best for people who know themselves well, understand the device well, and know what their workflow is like.
  20. mikeytrend macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    You're going to be carrying textbooks, supplemental sources, etc. I would definitely recommend the 11" and then an external monitor or 1080p television to use when you're at home.

    I would also check if your library has docking stations for laptops if you plan to spend some quality time there.
  21. abhinav7333 macrumors member

    May 5, 2012
    Get a 13. I returned my 11 for a 13.
  22. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Plus Airplay has lag. It works well for video but not for using a computer.

Share This Page