Traveling - 11" vs. 13" and specs

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Pengapine, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Pengapine macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011

    I have been reading all the forums and all the reviews that have come out recently with the MBA. I am finding this decision getting harder and harder the more i read about it. So I am hoping you can help!

    I want to get the MBA as a secondary pc. My current setup is the the 2011 15" MBP attached to the ACD. I am looking for a secondary computer that I can use around the house and also take with me when I am traveling (work as consultant, so I fly every week) and maybe use as HTPC down the line. I am going to mainly use it for web browsing, emails, gaming (D3 down the line) and like I alluded to earlier, maybe even HTPC?

    My question are:

    1) Base on my requirements, 11" or 13" ?

    2) What specs would u recommend (i5 vs. i7?) Keeping in mind that battery life is paramount.

    3) Does the Intel GPU have enough processing power to push my HDTV if I decide to hook it up via HDMI adaptor? Anyone try this yet?

    Thank you for your response and help!
  2. The Expert macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    1) Since this won't be your primary computer and you specifically want a light and portable system, I would recommend the 11'. However, if you think that your going to play D3 than your mistaken. Your eyes will cringe at the display when playing any type of game.

    2) I don't understand your question?
    If you want the best for D3: i7
    If you want to conserve money and sacrifice a bit of performance: i5

    Some say the i7 gets too hot and others say it stays cool as a cucumber during normal tasks. Nonetheless, it won't get hot for you unless your playing D3 for a long period of time.

    3) I think so.
  3. lukekarts macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Your questions have been pretty much answered by the guy above.

    In terms of making your choice, if you factor in that both the 11 and 13 perform really well; the main differences are screen size and battery life.

    If screen size and battery life are important, then go for the base 13.
  4. Bukey macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    1) Only you can really way up the pro's and con's of both the 11" and the 13" for your needs.

    I got the 13" to replace a previous 13" MBP. My primary needs (besides the power) were to be portable and have a decent screen resolution. The 13" MBP was portable. The replacement MBA is even more portable. The 11" is obviously more portable than the 13" - but for me, personally, the better screen res of the 13" far outweighs what becomes a tiny bit of weight and a couple of inches.

    Only you can decide what is right for you though - but if you travel a lot, and need to work away from home - which is more important - more screen real estate or a bit more portability.

    Bear in mind the 13" can fit in an envelope for A4 pages so will fit inside a laptop bag / rucksack without being heavy / take up much room. The 13" will also give more battery life if that's what's important to you.

    2) Depends on what you're doing really - but for most tasks the i5 would probably be best if you want the best battery life?

    3) Yup, works well.
  5. katysax macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Writing this response as someone who works as a consultant and who has traveled extensively on business - get the 11".

    When flying these days, too small and tool light is the point where you can't see the screen or type accurately.
  6. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    If battery life is the most important thing, then get the 13" i5, none of the machines are really gaming machines, they may be able to perform well on lower spec games or games over a year old, but anything new and high end I wouldn't count on it. The 11" is more portable and would recommend that one for that reason, but you said battery is very important and you'll get around 2 hours more usage per charge in the 13" over te 11".
  7. anonymous6237 macrumors 6502


    Nov 3, 2007
    Plano, TX
    Depends on your personal priorities:

    Battery Life - 13"

    Portability - 11"

    The difference between the i5 on the 13" and the i7 on the 11" is minor IMO. I chose the 13" because the 11" doesn't feel like a real laptop to me while the 13" feels so much better, and the weight difference is nothing to me (even while I travel...I'm used to carrying around a 17" Dell desktop replacement when I travel so this thing is a life-saver)
  8. Pengapine thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Thanks for all the responses...

    I realized that my questions were a mixed bag, so thank you to everyone who responded.

    I am currently leaning toward the 13"- just given the battery option. My typical plane trip gate to gate is around 4 hours. If I am looking to play movies during my flight time, it sounds like 11" will run out of juice before my flight ends and it might not be able to play the movies as smoothly.

    11" is super portable though. I have no illusions to this as a gaming machine, but put on low settings- i am just hoping that D3 might work....

    For HTPC - if I hook it up to a HDTV via HDMI, can someone verify for me whether netflix / hulu can stream smoothly in HD without any issues?
  9. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007

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