The 13" isn't really THAT much bigger than the 11"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Fattytail, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Owner of a 2010 11" here. Thinking about testing the waters with a 2012 13". Love how small the footprint of the 11" is, but I went to an Apple store today and compared the two. The 13" doesn't even feel that much bigger or heavier than the 11". The difference was a lot less than I thought it would be and is more than made up for by the greater usability of the bigger screen.

    Any thoughts? Particularly from those who went from an 11" to a 13" ...
  2. clearyjp macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm thinking of going the other way! There's just something about the proportions of the 11" that make it so sexy, whereas the 13" seems too big and top heavy...
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    My Personal experience has been that on paper they do not seem that different in size, but in person and with every day use, the size difference is definitely there. I can work with 1 hand under the mac and one hand typing on the 11" and not on the 13". If you work a lot outside of the shops, on a sofa, on an air plane, you will really notice the difference in size. If you just post up always at a desk, then the 11" vs 13" is less noticeable aside from screen sizes.
  4. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Interesting. You would not think the MBA13 only being 1" wider and 1.4" deeper would make that much difference.
  5. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Only a man could write that.
  6. MiBook84, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    MiBook84 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Malmö, Sweden
    I have also taken the road from the 11" to 13". I rely on it heavily since I travel much. Mostly by train. I loved the 11" which always worked good for me.

    I think the 16:9 screen looks much cool than the 16:10 13". However I always had low battery on my 11" and while it was not a big issue since I had the cable with me the 13" has much better battery.

    Still havent decided because the 13" is a bit too big for a few tray tables. Many of them have a hole in them for a drink or something and the 11" could sit nicely beside it but the 13" often get caught in it on one side - making the bottom case possibly scratch against the surface below. Therefore I have to rotate the computer a few degrees so I don't sitt entirely in front of it.

    In that way the 11" is much better but the 13" has other benefits. The larger screen makes it possible for me to use it more as a computer than a "emergency computer". I can easily work with indesign which was difficult on 11" making it less useable.

    Having the extra pixels makes a little difference and I used to zoom in on the 11" which I do not do on the 13" as much since the pixel ratio is lower on the 13".

    I love the format of the 11" and perhaps I will go back, but being able to watch a movie, and work, and look at the battery meter and see 6:20 hours left is very calming. On my old 11" it would say 1:50 or something, perhaps the 2012 model is better, didnt have time to try it before I switched to a 13".

    The bigger touchpad also makes a world of difference.

    So there are both good things and bad things about it. I have an iPad that I can use almost like an 11" MBA. It weighs half of a MBA 11" so I can use that when I want to travel light. Otherwise the 13" is a good travel companion, not necessary to plug in as often and a good screen, keyboard and speakers(better than 11").

    I think if there will be a retina 13" macbook pro that the gap between that and an air will be very small.

    The smaller the computer gets the more limited I seem to get, even if I like it. So I think the compromise is necessary. I can carry both the iPad and MBA 13" and it is still lighter than my current MBP 15".

    Another thing(!), I love to watch TV-shows on the MBA when traveling. My favourite show is Frasier and it is not filmed in 16:9 (perhaps some of the last episodes) so the 16:10 format is a bit better since it doesnt put so much borders around the video, and if I cut it or change aspect ratio it won't change as much as on 16:9.
  7. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    :D Bah Dah Bing. Rim shot. Yes, folks, I'm here all week, 2 shows on Saturday. :D
  8. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Partially why I went for a 13-inch this time around. For portability the size difference is negligible imo.
  9. Fattytail thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Interesting. So the question is is the noticeable difference enough to keep the 11"? I noticed the difference in the store, too. I just didn't think it was a big deal at all.
  10. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    No one can answer this question but you and you've seen both of them in the store.
  11. Fattytail thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Not true. My playing around in a store is nowhere near as revealing as someone else's real world experience. The computer was tied to a security cable, for crying out loud.
  12. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    No one but you can determine if the 13 is too big for how you use it. Look at this thread, one person says the 13 is too big for how they use it while someone else says it isn't.
  13. radicalcentrist macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I went from the 13" to the 11" and almost went back....

    So I went from the 13" to the 11", and I contemplating going back for the screen real estate (I do tons of reading on it with really big PDFs), but I found that the portability of the 11" is really incredible.

    In fact, I ended up getting rid of my 27" iMac and now use my 11" (with a 27" Dell Ultrasharp) to run my business. It's great not having to transfer files, and it lives on my desk during the day.

    I guess my thought is that the one time I miss the 13" is if I'm stretched out on the couch or in bed working. I could zoom in more without using every possible inch of the screen on the 13."

    Working in an office setting and traveling for work, where most of the time I'm sitting generally at a desk-type location, I don't miss the 13" at all.
  14. idencustom, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    idencustom macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Oh good!!!! Another 11" vs 13" thread. I can NEVER get enough of these. Tomorrow I expect to see a thread called the "Is the 11" really THAT much smaller than the 13?" thread.
  15. Fattytail thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Yes, but the point of this thread is precisely to field different opinions. Gad, what bit you in the arse today?
  16. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    You did.

    Opinions are fine but if your use doesn't match someone elses, their opinion is useless in helping you make a decision. Duh.
  17. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    What I dislike about the 11" model is the thick bezel, small screen real estate and the lack of an SD card reader ( not that the lack of SD card reader would be a deal breaker or something, but it's nice to have ).

    Of course, the battery life could also be better...
    Other than that, it's a nice little machine.

    Size wise, I personally don't find the 11" model significantly smaller.
  18. Fattytail thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Yeah, but the reason for the thread is because others' experiences will help inform my opinion. How hard is that to understand?

    We can go at this all day if you'd like. Best to start another thread though, so you don't continue to hijack this one.
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Well said. I agree the decision between the two is hard, but in the end I find the 13" a better choice for getting things done.

    The larger screen is a benefit, as is the battery life. For long hours of typing if find the 13" more comfortable, the palm rest size, larger track pad, a little more stable on the lap...

    I still love the 11", I've owned both sizes for long periods of time. There's instances where you'll be using the 13 wishing you had the 11 and vice versa ... damned if you do, damned if you don't :)

    Makes no sense to own both and I hated to give one up, I'd say the margin was 51/49% in favor of the 13".
  20. kolz macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    owner of 11" here, I think the 13" is just there for the battery. In terms of hardware, the ultimate configuration has the same components. I personally don't mind 5hrs, and because i had a 15" mbp pre-uni body, weight is definitely the tipping point in choosing 11".

    I felt like a strongman with 11". If applecare provide accidental coverage I'll spin this laptop with one finger. :cool:
  21. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    This sums up my experience, too.

    At the end of the day, it´s all about personal preference and use patterns. I use my iPad for my everyday portability needs. My air is used for more serious content creation and for travels of more than two nights, and then I really appreciate the additional screen estate. I work with a lot of apps where I spread content around the screen (e.g. Scrivener and Curio Core), and the potential of those apps is really maximised the larger your screen is. I also frequently work with different apps next to each other. If I had just been taking notes in Pages, then the difference in screen size might not have meant that much.
  22. Devyn89 macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2012
    I came to a 13" inch from a 10" netbook as my main computer (it was freezing and was ridiculously slow, it took about 2 minutes to open iTunes and I couldn't handle it anymore). The extra screen real estate I notice a lot as well as a battery life that is better than my netbook which is nice. So technically you're right the screen difference isn't huge on paper but in my experience it makes a world of difference.
  23. BenClement1978 macrumors member


    Sep 10, 2011
    Antwerp Belgium
    why did you get a 11" in stead of a 13" when you got your Air?
  24. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    The form factor of the 11 is perfect for me!

    IMO the little but indeed noticeable difference between the 13 and 11 is of importance: For me, the 11 is the clear preference, and that is because both of portability (the difference in size is just big enough to have consequences for getting in my bag), and I also think the screen size of the 11 is large enough for my primary uses (writing and reading), and the keyboard difference between the two models is in fact very small, and I think just very few of us bothers about just that. The 11 incher's keyboard is not much smaller than the 13's keyboard.

    But one thing I really hope that Apple will change in the next model (of both the 13 and 11) is to make the bezel smaller and instead make the screen bigger, but keeping the outer form factor as it is today.
  25. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Don't you think they would have if they could have? To think otherwise implies a bigger bezel and smaller screen was a conscious design decision.

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