Noticable size difference between 11" & 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hankster, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Hankster, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013

    Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I have the original MBA 11" and been thinking of upgrading to a 13" MBA. For those who have had both, is there really a big difference between the two in terms of size when closed and open?
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Now the dimension are published, so you don't have to guess.

    Visually, I can't tell from a distance whether it's a 11" or 13"

    You are not asking for working screen real estate, for most people is what they are concerned about and the extra 2 hr batt life.

    Again physical dimension wise, it's ALL ON YOU. Will you feel comfortable carrying something that's another 1.5" wider.

    I made by personal decision because my last one was a 12.1" and I pronounced that the perfect size for me, plus there is a stand that I prop my laptop onto and a 13" wouldn't fit and I don't feel like upgrading my furniture, plus the 11" is cheaper and like everyone else am on a budget, plus I really prize portability, I take it out every work day. Your Mileage is your Own.
  3. rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    Yes there is a big difference. Decision involves personal choice.
  4. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    You can definitely tell, the difference is tremendous. People underestimate the footprint of the 13" Air. While it's skinny, it takes up a lot of space, even more than the 13" MBP (both rMBP and cMBP have smaller footprints).
  5. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    Have both

    I have a 2010 13" and a new 11". The 11" is much easier to carry around -- I find myself not missing the 13" at all. Got an stm case for the 11" and am very happy to be able to carry all the things I need to work in such a small package. Don't miss the extra space, but if I need it, I have an external monitor at home.
  6. rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    I am the opposite. I have an external monitor that i use often but even so, I prefer the 13 for 85% of the time I am not connected to my external monitor. I find no difficulty or negatives with the extra 2" as far as portability etc. I love the 13.
  7. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Yes. It's noticeably different.

    I went from a 13" MBP to an 11" MBA.

    It was worth the size and weight savings to me, but I move around a LOT.
  8. poppakristof macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    The smaller size of the track pad vertically on the 11" is noticeable while scrolling. More hand lifting while scrolling compared to the 13". Yes, you can swipe faster for a further scroll but that won't help when your trying to locate a file.
  9. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2012
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    I feel its a big difference, My wife has the 13. I have an 11. Real estate on the 13 is fantastic, Portability on the 11 is amazing. I personally love the 11
  10. Ken S macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2006
    Yes, there is a very big difference between the two. I had been using the 11" for a little over a year and have had the 13" for about two months. I just recently had to crack open the 11" today and it felt absolutely compact.

    The 11"is fantastic for portability. It's amazing you get that level of computing power and usability in that compact of a size. But two things made me go to the 13": screen real estate and artery life. The 11" is great if you move around a lot but have easy access to an external monitor or another full sized workstation/laptop. When I travel, my Mac Air becomes my sole machine for two weeks at a time and the 11" just gets a bit too small for me and the battery life just a bit too short.
  11. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    consider DPI also when looking at the screen, and how good your eyes are.

    I had a 11" and I had eye strain. With the 13" MBA, much easier on my eyes.
  12. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    I have never done laptops, but as I will likely be entering a more itinerant phase in my life a Mac Book Air could well come into it. Checking them out in a shop, I found the 13" much easier for my fifty something eyes to deal with. If I do buy it will be the one for me.

    If I was 20 or 30 years younger it would not be an issue, and I would probably be drawn to the portability and cuteness of the 11".
  13. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    One point no one here has mentioned:
    the 11" has a 16:9 screen, whereas the 13" has 16:10. So not only does the 13" give you more pixels, it gives you a lot of more pixels vertically.
    So, if you've found the lack of vertical space (on the 11") a drawback (e.g. when working with word processing or web pages), then the 13" will offer some relief...

  14. derlockere macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Portability on the 11" is really much better. for carrying around the 13" you need already a large bag!

    Regarding screen estate you have to judge regarding your preferences.
  15. cvkai macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    Portability on 11" is great, but I would buy a 13" MBA (or a 13" Retina MBP): better battery life, 16:10 ratio and it's better for my work (MS Word).
  16. Hankster thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Thanks for the responses. I love my 11" 2010 MBA and for a while I used it for work. The portability was great, but after more than a year I couldn't deal with the lack of real estate. I have an iMac at home so I bought one for work and I love the larger screen, but miss the portability for a laptop.

    I was considering buying the 13" MBA.

    One thing is I was wondering if my wife would notice the difference :p She's not into techie things and she rarely sees my MBA. She has a MBP that she uses maybe 1-2 times a week (if that). If I sold my 11" and got a 13" I'm wondering if she would even notice the difference if she saw it - ha.
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    my wife went from headaches to 'how good is this'
    and I'm sure it wasn't just the 2 inch difference I showed her ;)
    seriously …
  18. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    11" is noticeably more mobile, fits in more bags, more easily fits on airplane tray, easier to manoeuvre in bed etc. That portability difference, for me, more than offsets the hit on battery power.
  19. AmtrakRider macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2011
    I had a 2009 11in MBA and needed something faster, I was planning on getting the new 11in. I looked at the dimensions, and realized its not really that much bigger. I've had the 2012 now for almost 2 months, and I'm really glad I went up to the 13in. The batter is much better on the 13in.
  20. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    People ask these sorts of questions all the time, but it's absolutely subjective, it's different for EVERYONE. There are some who can't imagine less than a 15" or 17" laptop, others who think anything bigger than 13 might as well be a desktop.

    Go play with them. Best Buy, Apple Store, Microcenter. You're talking about spending a grand so even if you have to drive an hour or so it may be worth it to go spend some time and play with them, check them out, see how they fit you.

    If there was one clear winner Apple wouldn't sell so many shapes, sizes, and types of notebooks. Everyone is different, so figure out YOUR needs!
  21. iExpensive macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2010
    Las Vegas
    I've had both. Personally, I'm not too much of a multitasker in the sense that I don't use the screen real-estate to my advantage. I usually full screen everything.

    In those conditions, I don't really miss anything. I also put a higher value on portability vs screen size.

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