Those looking at the 11 inch, you do grow used to the size.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by thomas99, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. thomas99 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    I recently picked up a MBA11 sight unseen just as a secondary system. Initially after using 15 inch windows laptops I was convinced that I had made the wrong choice as it looked absolutely tiny.

    But after spending 2 weeks with it my brain no longer picks up the 'smaller' screen and just enjoys the portability of it. That I can cary it one hand, use it on my lap in the bus, watch movies on it in bed, carry it out to the lounge with me. Even at desks the size doesn't seem as dramatic.

    Those wondering if its too small its honestly mostly what you are used too.
  2. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    yup, i had 13-15" macbooks/powerbooks before the 2010 11" mba came out.

    had always fancied the compact powerbooks 12" way back when so went for the 11" mba when it came out and love it. there is some adjustment but the portability if amazing. full screen mode and 2 finger tap to zoom really make it even more usable.

    and with the 2013's boost in battery life it really is a take anywhere, use all day laptop now.
  3. thomas99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    The question I asked myself about the 13 inch air was "If i'm going for a regular size laptop, why not get a Macbook Pro?" I couldn't answer the question so I went with the air. I think the 11 inch better represents what the air is about, being small and portable, while the 13 inch is more of a mainstream desktop replacement style system for people who use it as their primary computer.

    Having said that like you i'm on the air all day. Rarely would a day pass I dont spend a few hours on this thing.

    Also as its more a 'baby' computer so to speak it doesn;t really have an expiry date on its usefulness, so you can continue on using it indefinitely as I have no doubt in my mind in 3 years time it will still be perfect for basic tasks. If it lasts that long with my rather 'vigorous' treatment of laptops moving them around all the time and opening and closing them 20 times a day will remain to be seen.
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    My Apple laptop has gone from:

    2007 - 15" MBP
    2008 - 15" MBP
    2009 - 13" MBA
    2010 - 11" MBA
    2011 - 11" MBA
    2012 - 13" MBA
    2013 - 13" MBA

    The first two were supplied by my employer. The next 5 were bought by myself. I buy myself a new one every year, and then waterfall my previous one to whoever in the family has the oldest machine.

    I was all set to switch back to an 11" this year... but really wanted to try a true "all day" machine, and wanted the extra battery life of the 13"... hoping to brake my obsession with charging it often during use. My thought was to use it all day on battery, and just charge it at night, similar to what I do with a phone and/or tablet.

    As it ends up... I think I would have had "full day" use with either the 11" or 13". I suspect that in 2014, once I have convinced myself of this, I will probably move back to the 11".

  5. DisplacedMic, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013

    DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    that is EXACTLY how i looked at it. I am sure people are tired of reading me post this same story but i walked into the store ready to buy the 13 air - but compared to the 13" rMBP there was almost no difference and the the retina looked incredible.

    While the retina is a "better" computer the 13 Air is the better deal in my opinion based on bang for your buck. However compared to the 11 it didn't seem quite as portable. Obviously this is silly and people love how portable it is, but for me the 11" seemed like the better choice. That or the 15" retina.

    So, did i want ultraportable or ultrapowerful? Both seemed attractive and since one option was a grand less I went with the 11"

    Also - regarding the thread title: That's what she said.
  6. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Yep, I've not noticed an issue with the small screen size of the air, and I've been using an 11" one as my main computer for a few months now.
  7. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Same here. I had a 15" Titanium PowerBook, then a 17" PowerBook and then a 12" PowerBook. I "loved" the first two but the went head over heels for the 12". Because of that I held out on purchasing an intel notebook for years. Along the lines I inherited (literally) a 17" MacBook Pro that performed well but I rarely took it anywhere because I hated the bulk of it. The day the 11" was announced I jumped for joy. The following day we got them in at our Apple store, after playing with it for about 20 seconds I went back to a spare computer and placed my order. Been happy ever since.

    Would I like an SD card slot? Yeah, maybe, but it doesn't hinder my work in any way. Would I like a smidge more screen real estate every once & a while? Few and far between, mostly when I'm being lazy. Beyond that I really don't feel like there are any true trade offs.
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Same thing here. I was all set on a 13" Air as well. Then I started really looking at the 11" Air, especially in the past 6 months. It has come to the point where there is no performance difference between the 2. The CPU, GPU, RAM and SSD are all the same in either model.

    I've found that battery life is sufficient enough in the 11" Air that it really doesn't make a difference for me (I've even gone nearly 2 full days on a single charge). For me the 11" Air is perfect 95% of the time. For the other 5%, the 13" wouldn't provide me with any benefit over the 11".

    I did find that the text on some websites was too small, so I went in to Safari's preferences and changed the minimum font size to 12 (up from the default 9). Made a huge difference and now I don't need to zoom in.
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    The 11" of the Air can be tight depending on what you're doing. When you jump over to a 13" Air the 1440x900 really gives you room to stretch your legs. If you don't mind being on an external monitor at home/office, you don't have to worry about it.

    The old 11" Air can be limiting as far as battery goes, 4 hours goes so much quicker than 7. But the newest model has that problem licked. The 12 hour battery of the 13" is nice but I can't work for 12 hours straight even if the computer can.
  10. Zaphyrus macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    You make a great point. And this was exactly why I went for the 11". The 12 hours on the 13" is nice, but out of a 10 hour work day where probably only 6 out of those 10 hours is actually spent on my MBA, I find the 11" more than sufficient. :D
  11. Tarrou8 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2013
    I read the title of this thread slightly different than everyone else it appears.
  12. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    +1 ... and unashamed!

    And MrKramer ... I love your sig!
  13. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Jim, I see more and more people on here gravitating towards this sort of usage (i.e., treating a computer like an iOS device and charging only at night). How's that working out for you so far? I, like you and probably most people out there, have been conditioned to use laptops plugged in most of the time simply because laptops never used to last 10+ hours. I'm still finding it psychologically difficult to untether myself from the plug whenever possible.

    Back on topic: I had the 11" previously and sprang for the 13" this time. While I agree that you can get used to the smaller screen of the 11, that never really happened to me. I think part of the problem is that the small screen size constantly had me hunching over my laptop which was just uncomfortable over extended periods of time. I also much appreciate the increased real estate on the 13". It just feels nicer being able to see more of whatever it is I'm doing without having to resize and move windows, etc. The portability difference between the two has been insignificant to me. They're both too big to fit in, say, a pocket, so bringing either necessitates the use of a bag. The 0.6 lbs or so of weight difference really has not mattered at all. I haven't once thought to myself I wish I had a lighter laptop.

    As for the OP's thought re: why not go for the Pro if I'm going to get a 13", frankly, the Pro doesn't run as quietly or as cool-y as the Air. This machine is hands down the quietest running and coolest running computer I've ever had and those two reasons alone make it a keeper.
  14. AXs, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013

    AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Yea, honestly, that reasoning is weak. Just because there is an alternative Macbook that sits at 13", it doesn't make the 13" Air obsolete.

    You're buying a portable all-day laptop. The 13" gives 3 more hours. It also has the sd slot which means an additional 64GB storage that's the easiest external memory to carry. Will fit into your wallet.

    And of course 13" makes it feel like an actual laptop. 11" is just too little space to multitask lavishly. OP admits this when he says he was initially disappointed with the screen size, esp coming from 15".

    @OP: I'm happy for you that you have come to terms with your 11" Screen...But why are you coming to push the 11" on people just because you now find the size bearable?
    If anything you should warn people from making such a drastic drop down in screen size.
    There are people who truly prefer the 11" and never doubted their purchase. You're clearly not one of them.

    Oh and not to mention there's a chance of getting the sandisk SSD at 11" :p
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Truthfully... I am having a hard time adjusting to using a machine that lasts all day. However... slowly I am beginning to change my attitude.

    I have chargers all over the place. I have one next to my bed. I have a 27" TBD on my home desk. I have a 27" ACD on my desk at work. I have a charger in my backpack, another on my desk in case I had a long meeting... etc. No matter where I am, I am almost always within reach of a charger. Plus... since I usually us my MBA in clamshell mode with my ATD or ACD... it often gets recharged a few times during the day just from normal use.

    I am starting to unplug these chargers and putting them away... going to just a charge at night. I haven't come close to running it to near empty yet, mostly because of the 27" displays that provide power during most days.

    This afternoon, I had a meeting in the cafe where three of us peered over my laptop for well over an hour collaborating on a presentation... at 100% brightness. When I left... I still had 92% battery left... and I just smiled as I closed the lid and walked away.

    It really does matter... and I really do not need to worry about running out of battery anymore. The machine outlasts me.

  16. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    The portability of the 11" Air, now combined with fantastic battery life and a good CPU/iGPU, is really a great combination. My first Mac was the late 2010 11" Air and I loved that little trooper. Went all over with me on field work and worked perfectly for two years.

    But, I did notice that it can be hard to get certain types of work done on the small screen (such as working with large spreadsheets), and I did find myself hunching over a lot and getting sore shoulders.

    My work changed a bit to include less travel, so I went from an 11" MBA to a 15" rMBP. Sure, it's a bit heavier and has a larger footprint, but it's still light enough to carry around with one hand easily and the screen real estate makes work a lot easier. Plus, with the dedicated GPU, 16GB of RAM, and larger SSD, there aren't really any compromises for me to make it my main machine.

    But yeah, I agree that the 11" MBA is one of the best Macs ever. If I didn't need to rely on one machine for everything, it would be my Mac of choice for a secondary computer. Amazing little piece of tech.
  17. thomas99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    Not saying you have to prefer it. But I just read a few threads and noticed a lot of 11 inch hate on here about screen real estate.

    I put the 11 inch next to my previous 15 inch Dell and amazingly it displays the exact same amount of website as the dell does on one page.

    One thing I do recommend is moving the dock to the left.
  18. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Well yeah I can make an entire web page for one phone if I zoom out lol. I ordered the 13" since if I need the laptops the I am working on it so screen size is important. It I need basic surfin one te couch, iPad or iPad mini are fine.
  19. thomas99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    Completely agree. As a desktop replacement i'd get the 13 inch too,.
  20. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Part of my decision in choosing the 11" is that for certain tasks, neither 11" nor 13" is going to be enough real estate. Things like CAD or 3D modeling are going to feel cramped on both machines. Even a retina display like on the 15" would feel cramped. When I'm drafting, I like 2 large widescreen monitors if at all possible.

    It's like storage space. After you hit a certain threshold, you just can't get enough. It's why some people can make do with a 128GB SSD and some can't make do with 12TB.
  21. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    well said
  22. johnjey macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Northern CA
    Well, i am coming from a 13.3 inch screen to 11' now and i ALWAYS have to increase the PERCENTAGE from 100 to 150 for word and Excel documents on 11 inch mac.....air !

    There are + and - of both, and i took the dive with 11' this year.
  23. webster69 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    I couldnt get used to the 11" and returned it for a 13" - I found it was just too small and a pain to zoom, especially in MS excel.

    I personally find the 13" air a perfect size, weight, and screen resolution without the need for an external monitor.
  24. johnjey macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Northern CA
    The bigger question is are you ready to sacrifice the ease of use and the smaller size to be used in bed for an excel file that you will barely work on for 30 minutes in a month lol?
  25. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I think this is a good point. It really does depend on what apps you use. I mostly use Pages, Safari, and Preview for .pdfs. The 11 inch screen does not hinder me on those apps but I find myself scrolling a lot on rare occasions where I use Excel or Numbers.

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