Should I choose 11" or 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by t101, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. t101 macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    I am thinking of getting a macbook air, however am torn between the 128GB 11inch model and the equivalent 13inch model. When trying the 11inch out in store it seemed perfect for carrying around and all round portability however I have heard that the battery life isn't great and in real terms 3-4hrs is slightly short as by having to charge it regularly it defies the point of portability. I would like to know what owners of these models think is the best option after having experienced the machine for a while and whether I should instead opt for the 13inch which has a better battery and screen resolution but is not as portable.
  2. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010

    Your battery life will reflect how you are using it. If you need to take notes or write emails on-the-go it will be great. If you are going to watch Flash videos online it won't last as long, but who needs portability when surfing YouTube? If you have work to do, I think you can expect the battery to last longer. You weren't very specific.
  3. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    If you're going to be out using it all day, say at class or during constant meetings where you need to be taking notes, etc., I would say go for the 13". Not only will you be more please with its battery life, but your eyes will thank you as well.

    If you only need it for short periods of time, the 11" is fine. I would also only recommend the 11" if you have another computer or at least another larger display to hook it up to, as having only an 11" display for long periods of time would be quite uncomfortable for most people.
  4. t101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    Well I do have an iMac 3.06GHz but ideally I would like this to be the main laptop/notebook for 2 years for all things including work, videos, light games etc.

    Also on a side note I presume it would be quite difficult to maintain an iTunes library on the MBA due to the lack of storage space?
  5. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    It depends on if you have a highly compressed music collection or a relatively small one. It's possible you only need 20 GB for your collection.

    I say go to a store and hold the 11" and the 13". They are pretty similar except the size. Just decide that way. I use 13" MBPs and I would get the 11" MBA.
  6. t101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    Hmm the 11 inch seems very tempting, it's just that I have used notebooks before with battery lives similar and I know that when you start utilising videos or flash enabled sites it simply drains the battery and charging so frequently becomes a hassle in itself. I probably will have to go in and compare them both, last time I was in fact recommended the 13" MBP but theres no way I'm going for that as I would be gutted if a new design was released and I suppose with a desktop I don't really need the extra power or weight.
  7. CheesePuff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    I love the 13-inch - the battery life and screen resolution alone makes it worth it. And for such a small price getting those two items and a faster processor - can't beat it. Plus the rare chance you might need the SD card slot too.
  8. navajarunner macrumors regular


    Feb 3, 2009
    Get the 11" it's super portable. Here's one scenario: I have mine currently with me(away from home) and I haven't had to use it. But if there was something I needed to do, it's right here with me ;]
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The 13 is just as portable as the 11. They are both just as thin, with the 13 being a couple inches wider/longer, but look at these comparison pictures. The extra palm rest, screen area, SD card slot and battery life is well worth it, and you are not compromising THAT much on portability.

    Attached Files:

  10. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I ended up buying 2 13s.

    Sadly, for whatever reason, whenever I used either of the 13s I got really stingy eyes.

    I have an 11" now and have never experienced the same thing, which leads me to believe it's a panel issue, as the ppi is higher on the 11, so if it was an eyesight thing, it would likely be worse on that.

    It's a real shame because for me, the 13" was the perfect laptop. The 11's a decent compromise, but you may miss the vertical screen space.

    I'm categorically not turning this thread into a panel debate, but if I was buying one, I'd want to know peoples experiences, so I'm passing the info on.

    Both the 13 panels were LG.
  11. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    You don't really say what you are going to use it for and that makes a difference. If you will just need it occasionally when on the go then the 11" sounds like the best option for you. If you are going to need it more extensively away from home you will probably be happier with the 13" as it will last up to 2 hours longer. I go to class 4-6 hours per day and the battery can get low even on the 13" at the end of the day.
  12. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    for me....

    -loved the 11" size and weight

    -but for my older eyes the extra screen size of the 13" is perfect
  13. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Tastes better (over less filling)
    Coke (over Pepsi)
    McDonalds (over Burger King)
    11" (over 13")

    It would be unreasonable for me to say that any of the above should apply to you.
  14. Damian. macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2009
    This the reason I returned the 11" back and got the 13" instead.
    1 week after using the 11" I felt that the screen was a bit too small. (768 pixels vs 900 pixels in height) for everyday work.
  15. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    Using the 13" is a joy. The 13" is also light and portable. I have no regrets with it. It has changed how I think about computers, and what they should be like.


    I don't bring this thing everywhere I go. As much as I love it, and would want to just "throw it in the glove compartment just in case", it is just a little bit too big for that purpose.

    I'd like to hear from people that have the 11"... is it something you bring places and carry "like and iPad"?
  16. Damian. macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2009
    The 11" definitely feels like something you can always carry around with you.
  17. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Don't think so. That i'm afraid would only happen with something that weighs around 1 Lb. (for the requirements you describe).

    A phone you carry. But even a phone is a burden, if you don't have to have it.

    having said that, the 11 is VERY light and noticeably lighter than the 13 on your shoulder.

    It's a really, really, tough call this :D
  18. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I carry my 11" air everywhere I go, it is definitely a liberating feeling having my computer available where ever I go. I used to put it in the glove compartment (very tight fit) but now just put it under neath my is also very easy to use in any situation because of how small it is, it is the first computer that I could use while sitting in the drivers seat, it fits on my lap in front of the steering wheel. The portability is my favorite part.
  19. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Hopefully some of the comments will help you decide, but as reflected on the thread here that polls owners and perspective owners, the results after 6 months are pretty evenly split between 11 and 13--it seems to be there is no wrong answer--and quite possibly either choice is a winner for most users. :)
  20. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    And here I thought cellphones and texting while driving was a problem. You sir have created a whole new category of driving distraction! Congratulations... :rolleyes:
  21. cfedu Suspended


    Mar 8, 2009
    Could be worse!

    Dash mount a 27" iMac
  22. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I also like to kick kittens.....mwahhahahahaha

    Of course the car is parked whenever i use the computer, are you crazy? I would be dead if I tried while driving.:eek:
  23. Razzz macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Those who say the 11inch is just a tad bit more portable, imo is a bunch of bs.
    the 13inch is much wider and longer when your talking portability. it added that sense of "should i take it? not sure if i need it." when i switched to the 11inch. it felt so much more like an iPad whereas i would end up taking it everywhere in my bag because it added unnoticeable weight to my pack.

    If you place the 11 next to a 13 it is TINY. those pictures are misleading, even in store the 11's look so much more compact. they fit perfectly with the features inside. i find that the 13inch is stretched, they were like " eh we got more room. lets just throw in an sd card slot..."

    The 11 inch is great for what its meant. on the go, grab and go. fits perfectly on a desk and stays tiny.slip it into a small pack or w/e and weighs near nothing.

    11>13 less bulky for what it does. plus with i7 = the exact same performance as the 13's i7.

    Try them both, the 14 day return policy is your friend. make sure you have a great carrying pack. I'm sure theres lots of threads.
    heres the one i use.

    i took out the water pack and threw in a Smartcase.
  24. t101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    I get the feeling that opinions are very much divided on what model to get and clearly apple have scored on their marketing strategy. I'm actually leaning more towards the 13inch at the moment, mainly because overtime the extra battery life and screen resolution will be of more benefit to me. I guess I will go and see for myself tomorrow as last time I only really checked out the 11inch properly.
  25. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Near nothing is 2.38 pounds. The 13 inch is 2.96 pounds. So if the 11" is near nothing, the 13" is a little over 9 ounces above that. For 9 ounces you get a lot more screen, bigger trackpad, and better battery life.

    Just sayin... :D

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