Should I get an 11" Macbook air?

brendangibson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 24, 2012
10
0
Beijing, China
My 2009 Macbook Pro is on it's last run. I'll be purchasing an iMac later this year but was wondering if I could still get my work done on an 11" Air for a few months before I make my move. I imagine the 2014 Air would run much better than my lower level 2009 Pro. Can you guys give me some advice? Thanks!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,182
30,758
Boston
but was wondering if I could still get my work done on an 11" Air for a few months before I make my move.
You don't really delineate what that work is, so its hard to say how the MBA would fit your needs. Given that you're using a 09 iMac the MBA should be ok
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,572
34
It will certainly be powerful enough for whatever you're doing on your old MBP... but will the screen be big enough for you? You might want to spend the extra on a 13 inch. Of course if you're planning to hook it up to an external monitor than the size won't matter.
 

nefan65

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2009
1,352
14
I'm in a similar situation. I have a 2010 MBP/13". I like the idea of the 11" MBA for portability to meetings, etc. But I've been using the 13" as my sole desktop at work, and love the minimalist approach of not a lot on my desk. If I go the 11", then I'll need an external display, KB, and trackpad. So still up in the air...No pun intended!

I contemplated the 13" MBA, but for a few $$$ more I can go the rMBP, and it's not much heavier, and actually has a smaller footprint.

Decisions Decisions!
 

robvas

macrumors 68030
Mar 29, 2009
2,801
372
USA
I'm in a similar situation. I have a 2010 MBP/13". I like the idea of the 11" MBA for portability to meetings, etc. But I've been using the 13" as my sole desktop at work, and love the minimalist approach of not a lot on my desk. If I go the 11", then I'll need an external display, KB, and trackpad. So still up in the air...No pun intended!

I contemplated the 13" MBA, but for a few $$$ more I can go the rMBP, and it's not much heavier, and actually has a smaller footprint.

Decisions Decisions!
If you have a 13" Pro, you're looking at a 1280x800 resolution right now. The 11" Air has 1366x768 resolution so you're really gaining a little bit of screen space.

If you're going from a 13" Air or 15" Pro with a 1440x900 screen, that's where you have to be worried going to the 11".
 

csixty4

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2010
204
1
Somerville, MA
Unless you need an iMac for something specific, why not pick up an 11 inch MacBook Air and a 27 inch IPS display like they sell at Monoprice? They're several hundred dollars cheaper than a cinema display, and have an almost identical picture quality.

I do development work on an 11 inch Air all day, and it has plenty of horsepower. When hooked up to a big screen with a keyboard & trackpad, it's just like having an iMac.
 

brendangibson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 24, 2012
10
0
Beijing, China
Thanks so much, guys. My work involves a lot with Smartsheet, email, and Skype. Not really a big deal. I'd imagine it would be more powerful than this old guy. I'm getting an iMac because I told myself I would get one years ago but then moved to China and traveled around a lot. Hopefully this year I'll be settling down in Beijing and can use an iMac when I work from home and the Air when I go out. I feel like that's a perfect setup.
 

tentales

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2010
856
1,183
Define "on it's last run". Anything breaking or
is the battery just getting old ? SSD envy ?

Sure, the MBA would run circles around your "old" '09 MBP, but given your App needs, I think you could extend the life of your MBP by popping in a new battery and SSD drive to hold you over until you get your iMac later on.

Then sell your '09 MBP when you get your iMac with the orig. hard drive and use the SSD to mod your iMac to create a Fusion drive or stick it in an external TB or USB3.0 enclosure and use it as a boot drive.
 

brendangibson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 24, 2012
10
0
Beijing, China
Define "on it's last run". Anything breaking or
is the battery just getting old ? SSD envy ?

Sure, the MBA would run circles around your "old" '09 MBP, but given your App needs, I think you could extend the life of your MBP by popping in a new battery and SSD drive to hold you over until you get your iMac later on.

Then sell your '09 MBP when you get your iMac with the orig. hard drive and use the SSD to mod your iMac to create a Fusion drive or stick it in an external TB or USB3.0 enclosure and use it as a boot drive.
Battery life is awful. I use SMC Fan Control and the computer gets way too hot. I sometime do a 12 hour workday and find it getting far too laggy. It's had a really good run and I would say I definitely got my money's worth.My friend got a free computer from work so he sold me this MBP for $700 2 weeks after he bought it new.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
46,745
31,333
The Far Horizon
For portability, nothing beats the 11" MBA; it is a dream to use and will certainly be more powerful than a 2009 MBP.

The advantages of the 11" are the very good battery life and the extraordinary portability; if you partner that with a different device with a larger screen (as you say you will do when you get an iMac), that seems like an excellent solution.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,161
1,166
NYC
Personally I think the 11" MacBook is an excellent size for travel, but otherwise it's too small as a sole computer.

I would get the 13", but I don't recommend the 13" MacBook Air, but rather the 13" Retina MacBook Pro.