Owned 2011 13" MBA for 2 Weeks & Still Stuck Between 11 & 13-Inches

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by amitdoc2b, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. amitdoc2b, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    13 days ago, I was stuck between an 11" i5/128 and a 13" i5/128, and till this day I still am. I was sure I was going to get an 11" before they released the specs on July 20th, but I still ended up getting the 13".

    I absolutely LOVE the 13" MBA...

    Pros about the 13":
    -Has the faster i5 processor of the two MBA screen size options
    -Has a thinner bezel
    -Has a bigger screen
    -Has the resolution of a 15" MBP
    -Has a 2 hour longer battery life
    -Has the SD card slot
    -Has louder speakers
    -Mine is double Samsung!
    -And its my primary computer

    Pros about the 11":
    -Has a smaller overall footprint
    -Has lower overall weight
    -Has the uniqueness of being the smallest full-fledged OSX experience
    -Has a cheaper price tag by $100 (when considering i5 11 vs 13")
    -Has just about a full sized keyboard
    -And I keep daydreaming about the 11" (while still admiring the 13") despite a shorter list of pros that I could come up with.

    I would like to add, the main reason I picked the 13" last minute when I was thinking 11" the whole time was that the battery was 2 hours longer and the resolution is equivalent to a 15". My biggest thing is to be able to work on two documents side-by-side. I'm sure I could adjust to either screen size otherwise. I'm also not traveling with it as much, I like the slimness more because of looks and moving it around the apartment. I will barely be using the battery ever, but its nice to have the extra hours on those rare occasions if I EVER needed it. Yet, despite everything I said I probably would have grabbed the 11" even if it had 1 of those 2 features I originally mentioned (higher resolution to a 15" or two more hours battery) even though I am adjustable to both.

    Anyone care to add pros or cons? This is your one last shot to convince me to keep the 13" or exchange for the 11" before tomorrow night when my 14 days is up!

    Either way I am confused but happy... :confused::D
  2. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    It's just a matter of personal opinion, but the 11" screen is just too small for me (I'm not old and have 20/20 vision). A 13" screen is much more useable.
  3. thatdrewguy macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2009
    You actually went about this the wrong way.
    I was stuck thinking that the 11 was too small every time I demo'd it at the apple store which was at least a 1/2 dozen times.

    I bought the 11 on launch day to see if I could live with it. And I could so I kept the 11. If I had thought it was too small I would have exchanged it for the 13.

    You'll never know if the 11 is right for you if you don't use one for some time.
  4. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2010
    I went from the 2010 11-inch to the new 13 and am loving the difference. As weird as it sounds, one of the biggest things I like about the 13 more is the larger trackpad. It makes a HUGE difference with Lion.
  5. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Something to keep in mind: You mentioned you wanted to have two Word documents side by side. The 11" and 13" are only 74 pixels apart for horizontal resolution, so of that really matters then keep the 13". It's really the vertical resolution that you have to be ok with, since it is 132 pixels less on the 11".

    Other than that, the battery is a other major difference, so you have to be alright with a 5 hour battery. But to be honest, doing light things, I've actually been able to push my i7 11" to more than 5 hours. But that's with really light stuff.
  6. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    I would totally return my 13" and get an 11" if the battery life on the 11 was as long as the 13 and if it had a 16:10 aspect ratio (same width, more height)
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    You know that the 13" is the right choice. I had the same dilemma, I picked the 13" for all the reasons you've mentioned.
  8. thelead macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2010
    I had the 2010 11" and went with the 13" today. The trackpad being one of the two deciding factors. The other was screen vertical resolution. I hated having to scroll so much on the 11". The only thing I will miss is the size and weight for portability, but honestly, there isn't that much of a difference in weight.
  9. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I owned and used both the 11" and 13" for a week, and finally decided that the 13" was right for me.

    The larger screen, larger trackpad and longer battery life trumped the increased portability of the 11" for me. The 13" is still very portable.
  10. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Keep it coming guys, I will tell you my final decision tomorrow and why once I have considered everyone's posts. As for the above quote, I agree that the weight may be close to negligible since both are easy to carry.. but the fact remains that the 11" is 20% lighter than the 13". But I don't want to seem biased because I really am not, so I should also say that the battery on the 11" also lasts almost 30% less than the 13".
  11. smchan macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2008
    I'm trying to make the same decision. I'm likely going for a 13" due to battery life, screen resolution, and CPU - plus I just bought my wife an 11" yesterday. My hangup is that it was difficult to use my 13" MBP in coach class when traveling. If the seat in front of me was reclined, it was impossible. I think the 11" might fare better there.

    Anyways, I'm leaning to the 13" with the idea that for those times I fly, she and I can just swap machines. We'll just need to make accounts for both of us on both machines and make sure our docs are sync'ed appropriately.

  12. thelead macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2010
    The battery was just an added bonus for me. Really, the vertical resolution was a pain on the 11" though. The 11" MBA's trackpad was an annoyance as well if you're coming from a unibody MBP.
  13. LeakedDave macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    I solved this by getting my GF to get the 11" Air ;)

    So if I lust for that I can just use it. But 13" is my main machine, and my only computer, which is why I went for the 13"
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I doubt if anyone here will be able to tell you anything that you haven't already read or thought about yourself. Truth is, there's no right or wrong answer. In my case, I chose the 11" because size/weight were my main criteria. I was willing to trade screen space and battery life for a smaller, lighter computer.

    So far, I've been very pleased with my MBA. I'm taking it places that I never would have considered carrying my MacBook (or, I suspect, a 13" MBA). It's even largely replaced my iPad at home. Although I still like the iPad for games and watching movies and TV shows, I prefer the MBA with its keyboard and desktop apps when I have to write more than a few lines. i'm using it in bed right now, and I doubt that I would have composed this response on my iPad.

    Good luck with your decision - you really won't go wrong either way.
  15. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Take both!

    From what you are writing from your experience, it seems clear to me that you should have both if your economy allows it. The 11 and 13 are complementing each other.
  16. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I can't afford both. If I could, I would strongly consider a 27" thunderbolt display with an 11" MBA at that point :cool:

    (simply because I said earlier if I could get one or the other, screen resolution or battery, I would have likely gone with the 11" when originally making the purchase two weeks back)
  17. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Does that .x lb drop in weight really matter to you? I don't think that's a logical point to base an entire purchase on.

    Most people would go for the 13 if they had the money; the 13 is better in every way.

    Personally, I wanted to get the 13 inch Air for class; I'm a second year college student. I ended up going with the 13 MBP because of the higher overall specs and, to be honest, you're paying for that extra bit of space saved with the Air instead of performance.

    Go into an Apple store and just look at them. Is it worth it downgrading in all aspects for an inch or two saved on a desk? The Pro is pretty damn small itself; honestly I think that people get so caught up in specs that they forget how small the machines actually "feel".

    Given the choice of taking this back and getting a MBA for the same price, I'd stick with this one. If you're keeping the machine for years, you might end up needing that extra few hours of battery life, might need the increase in specs, and staring at a sub 12 inch screen all day sucks, IMO. I used a 11.6 inch netbook for 1.5 years before I got my first MB in April.
  18. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    If it's such a tight choice then you must be looking for reasons to validate getting the 11". If it's that close then you probably should get the 13" because it can do everything the 11" except be as small and light. The best reason to choose an 11" is if you want it with you at all times and want to slip it into backpacks, purses, large jacket pocket, etc. Otherwise you'll likely be much happier with the 13" over time.

    Just to keep you thinking about too many choice: Right now is a buyer's market for the 2010 C2D machines; the market has been flooded with them. You can grab a 2010 C2D 13" for $900 and a C2D 11" 2010 for $700. That's $1,600 and no sales tax and that's even less than a 13" 2011 ultimate.
  19. urkel, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The things that swayed me towards the 13" is the SD and a misconception of how a bigger screen would be more usable. But after using an 11" a little more then I'm feeling some regret because the 11" is just as usable, cheaper and probably has a better resale value. So ive got to really think this through.
  20. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Why is that?
  21. macrat, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    macrat macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2003
    I've been on the fence between this two for a while but finally ordered the 13" by simply asking myself what is it that I want this Air for? And it was for serious photo processing when I am traveling. I went for the 13 as well because of the SD slot, longer battery life, and bigger (and maybe better?) screen. From a distance the 13 also looks more awesome than the diminutive 11 and I'll get to that shortly.

    But I also have the iPad 2 so if I have to drool after the 11" ultraportability, I already have that option in my iPad2 so it became an easy decision for me.

    They say that the 11 just looks so "cool" with its size but you know what, I saw a guy at Starbucks enjoying his 11 Air and the darn thing looked like a toy and a glorified netbook specially that the guy is quite heavy and tall!!! Not cool at all in my books, if "coolness" is part of your dilemma.

    Go for the 13 and get yourself a refurb iPad in the near future. It's a great combo!:cool:
  22. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009

    Anandtech found the 2011 MBA 13" to only have about 30-40 min longer battery life than the 11" with light use.
  23. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Agreed with your point. I had this issue a couple weeks ago until I visited local Apple store to test-drive the two machines. I found the 11" is way too small for my needs.

    I asked myself, what will I be using/doing when I am outside/traveling. I have concluded I will be doing tasks that requires larger screen and the 11" will not be the best option for me. I don't wear anything that I can slip my MBA 11" to nor I want to "wear" my computer around (I have iPad 1 and I always put it in my bag while traveling).

    That said, it's an easy decision for me to go for the 13" after weighing in these factors.
  24. macrat macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2003
    I'm almost ready to conclude that those that prefer the 11" do not own or do not plan to buy an iPad, which makes sense.

    Buy if you plan to get an iPad (specially the upcoming iPad3 :p), get the 13" now. I also noticed on Craiglist in my area that iPad 1's are going for cheap ready to sell prices!
  25. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Actually most people wouldn't go for the 13 if they had the money. Money has nothing to do with it. Id pay extra for the 11".

    Also most of us business users use external monitors or desktops at work. We use our laptops mainly while traveling and commuting, which the 11" is perfect for.

    I dont stare at an 11" screen all day. I have 2 22" monitors for the mba 11" at my desk at home. At work i have a pc with a 3 monitor setup. But i use the 11" everyday on the train for an hour each way. Which the 11 is perfect for and battery life is fine for that hour. I never use the laptop for more than 1 hour off the charger.

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