Should I get an 11" MacBook Air or a 13" MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mrcarter2, May 26, 2013.

  1. mrcarter2 macrumors member

    May 26, 2013
    I know that this question has been asked dozens of times in the other threads but I thought I should start my own in order to get the best answer. I have an iPad 2 and an iPhone 5. I'm about to be a sophomore in high school, and I used my iPad to type up school papers all year and the situation was less than ideal. I generally type up 3 papers per month and it was awful. I would use the laptop for a lot of PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, a lot of Word documents, some video editing, managing the files between my iPad and iPhone,and some web browsing. I wouldn't be bringing the computer to school very often though portability is a small factor in my decision. My main concern is that the 13" will be just large enough to become unwieldy and heavy or that the 11" is simply too close in size to my iPad and won't be any larger. Thanks for your help in advance!
  2. beysus macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2012
    I would recommend you getting the 13" as I personally think the 11" is too small to work convienently with. I take my 13" to university and it's the perfect size for me. Also I think for video editing the 11" would be way to small.
  3. mrcarter2 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for the quick reply! I'm somewhat attracted to the 11" due to its extreme portability as I could just slip it into my bookbag when I need to take it somewhere. I'm afraid that the screen will appear very cramped when I have multiple windows open though :confused:
  4. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    One vote for the 13". In my opinion, the 11" screen does get cramped easily and the 1440x900 resolution is much more useable. And it is only around 0.6 lbs. more than the 11", so it's not too noticeable.
  5. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    nobody can answer this for you. go to the fruitstand and play with them. i was set on the 13" until i did that, but realized the 11" was better for me.
  6. LeeM macrumors 6502a

    Jan 1, 2012
    for portability, 11"
    if youre not going to take it out much, 13" but if its going to be practically a home computer id go for a pro.
    go to apple and play with them all, best way
  7. mrcarter2 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys! I think I'm leaning a lil towards the 11" since my dads surface pro doesn't sdem THAT small. I guess the only way to see what I prefer is to go to the Apple store and try them both for myself. Thanks for the help!
  8. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    I have one of the original 12" PowerBooks. I love the size and was very disappointed when it was discontinued at the Intel shift. Bought a 13" BlackBook after the second upgrade and was fairly pleased, although the weight still feels like a lot more. I think the form factor accounts for that. All that being said, the screen on the 11" Air is quite nice and roomier than you would think. All the worry about it's size is a little silly. If screen real estate is that important, get the 15" MacBook Pro or an iMac. Quite a few road warrior friends, mostly consultants, use the 11" Air and love it. Look at them both at the Apple Store and decide which best suits your needs and buy that one.
  9. noodile macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2012
    unless you wanna buy another one in a year or 2, get the 13". it'll make life much easier especially starting college and all those group projects and stuff.
  10. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    what's your reasoning there?
  11. noodile macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2012
    Once you start getting into the more involved group projects, you'll need some decent screen real estate.

    11" isn't much when you have Google docs opened, as well as one article in a different window and you're using them both. 13" is way better.

    Last august i decided it was time to sell my 13"MBP. spent a day with a 11" MBA a 13" and 15" MBP. 11" ended up being way too small for multi-tasking. and my tablet was already 10. so i might as well have added a keyboard to my tablet.

    so it ended up being between the 13" and the 15". so trust me, for huge group project, you need at least a 13"
  12. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    Do you have access to an external display? I think you're ideal setup could be the 11 inch with a monitor/dock setup.
  13. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i have spent 10 years as a bench scientist and now i am in law school. the 11" MBA has been perfect for both. science is highly collaborative, so i can easily use it to show data in small group settings. for larger meetings everyone plugs their computer into a projector so that's moot.

    for working at my desk i have a cheap external monitor for modeling, large spreadsheets etc.

    i think this is going to be a matter of personal opinion. obviously times have changed since i was an undergrad - most kids didn't carry around laptops until the end of school and those were nowhere near as light and portable as today's machines. however - portability for a college kid is just as important as for a professional, if not more so.

    i think it's essential that everyone try before you buy as it's definitely going to be a matter of personal taste. your argument for the 13" is perfectly reasonable but for me the 11" is a better fit.
    i would also like to point out that i walked into the apple store set on the 13" mba with no interest in the 11 - for many of the reasons you alluded to your in your post! it wasn't until after i played with it that i realized the 11" was the better choice for me.

    also - i agree entirely that the choice is between the 11" and the 15. at least for me - did i want ultralight or ultra portable... so at the price difference between the 11 mba and the 15" rMBP - i went with the mba
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    11" MBA plus a cheap 1920x1080 monitor when stationary.
  15. mrcarter2 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for all the help guys! I went into the apple store today and played with both and the 11 inch wasn't nearly as cramped as I thought it would be. It's also the perfect weight. While the 13" isn't backbreaking, I feel like its just big enough to lose that "Pick it up and bring it anywhere" feeling. Maybe I feel this way because I'm coming from an iPad 2, not a notebook, but this 13" just felt heavy to me for some reason. I'm sure I'd get used to the size of the 13", and while the 11" screen wasn't as small as I thought it would be, it still felt somewhat cramped when I had apps open that couldn't be expanded to fit the full screen (pages for instance). I'm kind of leaning on the 13" at this point, since I expect the computer to lasts a couple years. The 11" seemed borderline in the store, so I'm sure the constraints of the size would grow down the line.
  16. solderguy1 macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    My 13-inch with sleeve fits into a backpack no problem. And I like the SD slot, 2nd usb port, and longer battery life. I'm laying on my bed typing with it on my stomach right now.
  17. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    I needed a super light laptop that I could take to school everyday and handle 95% of my workload which is mainly internet usage and typing papers. The 13" is a great size and completely replaced my desktop (an older but capable win7 PC).

    As far as weight goes, I was in a severe motorcycle wreck that destroyed my back and I cannot carry much weight at all. I feel every pound in my bag which was my need for the lightest laptop possible. The 13" is almost not noticeable, I have had to check several times to make sure it was in my bag after I put it there. It is really that light. I think the few extra ounces from the 13" is worth the ability to easily do almost any work, plus extra battery life, and an SD card slot.
  18. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Same reasons I switched from an MBA11 to an MBA13.

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