My take on the new 11" vs 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nph, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    I am trying to decide and have been to both Apple Store and Best Buy.
    Here are my observations:

    - the 11" is really a true laptop in a small package, nice and very tempting!
    - Battery time is pretty much roughly one hour less than the 13" regardless if it is under load or just browsing.
    - The 13" has the SD card reader so in theory (please correct me if I am wrong here) it can be used as an additional 32Gig storage for media files like iTunes etc.
    - It is a little harder to read text on the 11" but it is really sharp none the less.
    - Keyboard and mousepad is pretty much equal
    - Couldn't see any difference in screens, both had the Samsung screens at BB

    Resolution wise the 11" is pretty much equal to the 13" MBP give or take a few pixels while the 13" MBA is equal to the 15" MBP.
    Btw, the 13" MBP gave about 3 additional hours of browsing compared to the MBA when I tested them but the glass screen and weight is not worth it...!

    I am getting either 11 or 13. I have the rev B 13 inch and really like it but the heat on it and the vents under the laptop really makes it hard to use. Looking forward to this rev E instead with about 2+ extra hours of usage compared to mine. Even so I was very lucky with mine and got one of the really few excellent screens when I ordered mine from Amazon at that time (2009). My wife has already reserved it.... :D

    What surprised me is that this time it is possible to chose the 11" without any sacrifice in performance. I am torn between the 11" 1.6 with 128G or the base 13". $100 in difference.
    Btw, Best Buy has a sale right now and it was only 1134 for the 11" there but since I have gift cards at Amazon it will be ordered from there.

    The main question is if the screen is too small in the long run on 11" and if it will strain the eyes after a while. On an airplane it would be perfect but I will use it less than 5% on airplanes so that is not really a deciding factor. I am definitely leaning toward the 13" but the size/weight of the 11" in my view gives it the same portability as an iPad and makes it very tempting!

    Any insight or comment?
  2. cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2007
    go with your first instinct :) i never had the mba before but went to the apple store and played with both 11 and 13". i decided on 11" right away because in this day in age, portability and weight is gaining momentum in every piece of technology. I laugh at my sister bringing in her 6lb dell laptop from work and showed her the 11" mba. she was is that an ipad? lol

    If you are using this as your primary laptop get the larger screen ie 13" etc if not, the 11" will suffice plenty.Especially with this new update from apple, its sweeter than last years model.
  3. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    But isnt that momentum exactly why the Tablet market is finally taking off?

    I mean no offense to anyone by saying that. I fully understand how powerful the new 11" Air is, but IMO the need for raw power on the road is less and less important. If someone bought an 11" then they knew exactly why they NEEDED this, but for people on the fence then there are long term usage considerations for such a small computer.
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  5. treynolds macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
    Both Machines are Great

    I have the 2010 13.3" Ultimate, my wife has the 2010 11.6" base model.

    She loves hers and I enjoy using it as well. Definitely more portable if that's what you need, but I got the 13" because of the professional apps I wanted to run, plus additional screen real estate for Illustrator and ACAD as well as the SD slot for photography.

    I think that out of the box the 13" base gets you some better specs than the 11", but they're more equal now.

    Either way, you won't be sorry.

  6. Baycity macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I bought the 128gb base 13 inch and heres why. The 256 gb wasn't worth the extra 300dollars and the i7 doesn't seem to be a HUGE improvement. The i7 also seems to add some heat and take some battery life. Also the SD slot intact supports SDXC so you can add an extra 128gigs right there, i can confirm this because i have a 64gig card in mine right now. I tested both the 11 and 13 but the 11 made me way to claustrophobic. For the slight price difference I think he 13 stock is the way to go.
  7. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    The 11 is great for me.
    I was debating over the $100 difference but couldn't do it (not because of the money) but because then I'd be spending more on a 13" then a MBP 13" that could do A LOT more.

    I got the 11 and love the pinch to zoom. I zoom sometimes (when my eyes are tired) and sometimes I look at it normal.

    The fullscreen is definitely a must!

    I'd go 11.

    It's definitely a "funner" Air.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Why not go for the 11" Core i7 with the 128GB SSD? At $50 more than the base 13" model, but with the better processor, it looks like it's in a good spot. MacMall has a nice discount on all the models now, but this model Air has a particularly nice one.

    I had the 2008 Rev B with the SSD and enjoyed it a lot, but with the Rev D I made the leap to the 11". I just recently picked up the Core i7 11", as well. Apart from PowerPoint (where the Ribbon takes up a lot of room), I don't really miss the extra screen real estate.
  9. hachre macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2007
    How much of a battery life do you get out of your 11" i7 and how easily does it get loud?
  10. iAAPL macrumors regular


    Aug 31, 2010
    Lion really pushed me over the edge towards the 11" model. Fullscreen apps and better zooming in Safari are obviously very helpful. Mission Control could be a huge advantage as well. Even on my 27" iMac, where screen real estate is no issue, I've been using spaces far more often, just because it's so easy to swipe back and forth.
  11. 1appleAday macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    i have a 13" gen A macbook Air, so powerwise the 11" is NOT a compromise for me. And I don't know about you guys, but for me, having used a 13" for couple years, the 11" has a "new toy" feel to me :D So I would be going for 11" if I'm upgrading. Just my 2 cents.
  12. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    They're both equal in power now with the i7. You'll love your new 11". :)
  13. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I just wrote this a minute ago on another similar thread...

    I've been struggling over this decision on which size 2011 MBA would be better for me. It's the usual dilemma with the 13" boasting pretty much better specs and battery life than the 11". Then I thought, well, the 13" is ONLY 2" larger diagonally, and ONLY weighs a "little" more (and ONLY costs a "little" more).

    But the reality is that for a truly mobile device, like an iPad, only the MBA 11" has a shot at being mobile. The MBA 13" is great and certainly more mobile than a conventional MBP 13", but the MBA 13" is still IMHO more of a portable, than a mobile laptop.

    The MBA 11" is actually mobile.

    Once I realized this, there really was no longer a comparison to be made. They are two different devices. One being mobile and the other very portable.

    I have a 2011 MBP 17" which is my ultimate portable, and now my 2011 MBA 11" (on order) will be my mobile computer.
  14. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    with 2009 13" mba, i rarely bring that laptop outside because even it's thin, the footprint is the same as 13" mbp, not so small.

    with this 2010 11", i bring it out everywhere i go because the footprint is so small, almost close to the iPad, i just easily put it on my small bag.

    and fullscreen apps in Lion really makes the small screen looks very big :D and i love tap to zoom in safari like u can do in iPad, it's really making it easier to read web pages.
  15. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2008
    Core i7 on the 11''?
  16. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    Yep. You haven't seen the specs yet? :D
  17. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Uhhhhh, I don't seem them.....?

    EDIT: My bad. You can configure if you are customizing your MBA. That's if you are going for higher end MBA 11".
  18. Baycity macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    select the top model of the 11 its an upgrade when you customize it.
  19. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008

    I own a MBP 13" myself and the 13" MBA has the same footprint and bulk except its just thinner. The 11" is the real Air. If only the i7 won't heat up as much. Perhaps the thermal pasting will settle down after a few days.
  20. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I have to agree that the 11" MBA really does feel like a true ultraportable device. The 13" model is great if you want a normal laptop that's just thinner and lighter, but it doesn't feel like an ultraportable.

    It depends on your needs and wants. If you want a regular sized laptop but want it to be as thin and light as possible, get the 13"

    If you want a true ultraportable device that you can grab and take everywhere, get the 11"

    Personally, I'll be getting the 11" even though I don't absolutely need that ultra portability. The smaller footprint just makes it much more likely that I will take it with me, whereas the 13" feels like a regular laptop although a very nice one.
  21. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    This echoes my sentiments. It's really, really fun. So much power in such a small package. I literally throw this thing around the house, throw it to work, throw it onto a plane. Heck sometimes I just get the urge to smash it to smithereens it's that great.

    All depends on whether you really need extra battery/screen real estate. I don't and so the 11" was the best for me.
  22. gostan, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    gostan macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    West of Boston
    I sold my 2010 13" Ultimate a few weeks ago, and so far I am enjoying the switch to the 11 incher. I opted to purchase the in-store 1.6-128gb version.

    The most definite portability benefits of the 11 over the 13 combined with the new full screen app ability of Lion sold me to downsize. I am sitting here in my HT room with the MBA on my lap surfing/typing away and the 11 inch is perfect. My eyes have almost adapted to the smaller/screen. And swiping away on the trackpad with Lion really improves the entire experience.

    Now, I may opt to sell my iPad 2, as the 11" MBA & the iPad have some severe overlapping for me as I really only use about 6 or 7 of the 50 apps downloaded to my iPad. I would not be thinking of doing so if I opted for another 13" MBA.

  23. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I'm in the same boat. Have my big boy MacBook Pro and trying an 11" macBook Air. The iPad 2 may get sold.
  24. dealmaker macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    I had a 13" MBP and upgraded to a 15" i7 machine when they came out (for work use) - my logic was that a 15" wasn't that much bigger in real terms to carry round than my 13"MBP - it takes more or less the same space in my briefcase. I also have a 17" MBP that I use as my sofa-surfing and den machine.

    So for me it's an easy choice I went for the 11" as it's the first machine since my old Sony VAIOS that I can carry around anywhere and use on a plane/train and still have full functionality and capability - whereas the 13" was just that little bit too big - and so I might as well take the 15" MBP.

    The 11" is a unique product IMHO now that Sony have discontinued their thin carbon 11" machines. (plus I ain't ever going back to a PC!)
  25. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    I went for the 11 due to ultraportability and the fact that I have other Macs and a large standalone display. Hot rod feel, for me, like a 2 seated Porsche over a station wagon. Guys, this decision is so much like lens discussions on the DSLR forums. Canon, for example, has models with overlapping features leading to endless consternation. Bottom line is your personal situation in mission critical requirements. Trouble is, lust gets in the way. Like the little head telling the big head what to do. :)

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