Ultimate MB 11.6 it is

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by 99 Cent Tacos, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. 99 Cent Tacos macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    So after much deliberation, I finally decided on the 11.6 Macbook Air "Ultimate" configuration. This was a tougher decision to make than I thought. I was well prepared to purchase the 13 inch model purely for spec reasons, which include the longer battery life, SSD card reader, screen real estate, not to mention more processing power.

    But after reading all the great feedback on the 11 inch model here in the forums, I went ahead and took the plunge and purchased the ultimate and couldn't be more satisfied. Already owning a 15' I7 MBP that serves as my main powerhouse for photo and video editing (CS5 and LR3), I needed a more portable solution since I travel once a week. I initially had concerns about the screen size being too small for my middle age eyes but it hasn't been a problem at all. Quite frankly, this laptop is such a joy to use and carry around that I can't imagine my MBP leaving the workstation unless I had a need for more processing power for client events, which I imagine would be few and far between.

    I'm still amazed at the capability of this little powerhouse and am extremely happy with my purchase. Kudos to Apple for another technological wonder and thank you members of MacRumors forums for all the information which helped me with my decision. It took almost a month of going back and forth the Apple Store and Best Buy and I' m sure the employees were wondering if I actually lived there, but in the end, I'm very happy.

    Thanks again!
  2. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Congrats on your purchase, and it's great to see someone so happy with their new item. It's also great to see that you took the time to look at what you needed vs. what you thought you wanted. All too often, people get caught up in specs and/or hype end wind up wasting $$$ on restocking fees because they bought the wrong thing.

    For me, the 13" ultimate was the best choice, but of course the 11" looked so small and sexy. As much as I wanted an 11" machine, I know I would have wound up swapping it out for the 13".
  3. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    I went back forth as well. Ended up settling on the 13". But boy did I want that sexy 11" Ultimate. However, I knew my decision would be for a while, so I went with something that'll help me plan out future purchases, down the line.

    Ultimately, screen dimension, battery life, and built-in high-speed card reader edged it out for me. Still, the 11" Ultimate is a fine machine, so incredible that it does almost everything in such a tiny form.
  4. Walter Bell macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2010
    I have an Ultimate 11 and have been pretty happy with the machine so far. However, I will be returning it for the 13" today. I probably will just go for the base model 13" because I haven't exceeded 2 GB's of ram at this time and will probably upgrade in another 2-3 years anyways. For me the bigger high reas ( i think alot people overlook the 1440x900) screen, larger battery, double cache memory, SD card slot, and not to mention faster CPU are all my deciding factors.

    To me I look at this decision like buying a 2 door or a 4 door car (in my case I own a GTi). The 4 doors is a lot more practical plus has other bonus features. But the 2 door looks better and is more sporty. I eneded up with the 2 door, and now wish I would have gotten the 4 door. Same thing with the MBA. The 11.6 is awesome, but the 13" is just the better choice for what I will be doing.

    Just my .02
  5. bdeitemeyer macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I'm stuck in this predicament at the moment between the 11.6 Ultimate and 13.3 Ultimate. I've tried out both at my local Apple store, but they're both wonderful machines with their own pros & cons. Do you 11.6 Ultimate owners have any regrets over not picking up a 13.3?
  6. Walter Bell macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2010
    Not sure if you read my post above, but I am typing this on my new base model 13.3" MBA. Even though I loved the 11.6, it just wasnt comfortable for me to use. I will be doing the 13.3 + iPad combo so this works perfectly for me.
  7. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    It's really very subjective to what you want. If you lean to portability over larger screen size (or storage) the 11" is better. I returned a 13" ultimate to the store for the 11". But if it's your only Mac, the 13" might be better. Really depends on what you are looking for.
  8. Walter Bell macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2010
    I think the 11.6 would make a great primary computer with a monitor/keyboard/mouse setup at home. But if you don't have that (no space here), it does it get tedious using it as your sole computer.

    Just try the 11.6 first, see if it works. If it doesnt exchange it for the 13.3 Thats what I did, and from what it seems like on the forums, the restocking fee is being waived for most users (including myself).
  9. psirix macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Detroit, MI
    I'm also in a similar predicament. I was originally glued to the 13", but now I really like the 11.6" as well. I think I'm leaning towards the 11.6" now since it is not going to be my primary machine and I want a MBA for the portability. However, I am not confident in myself yet! Primarily because I suppose I don't really need the machine but hey, I'm a geek :D
  10. steve31 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2007
    Edmonton Canada
  11. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    congratulations. The size of the 11.6 is just the best feature. it's just amazingly portable and that's hard to say considering the 13 inch is just so thin and portable. It's like splitting the atom and then shrinking it...again.

    I was worried the 11.6 wouldn't be enough for me but I was so wrong. It's perfect!!! I'm loving my purchase and makes me wonder if other I really need my mac mini.

    Also, after using your computer for a month. Try and look at some of those computers at best buy and frys. Everything look so bloated.
  12. cobaltrich27, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010

    cobaltrich27 macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    D/FW TX
    Same Here!!!

    I just got my MBA-U 11.6" and love it!!!

    First thing I did was Bootcamp it with Win7 Enterprise 64bit just to make sure there was no issues. I didnt have any problem deciding to get the ultimate version 4GB RAM was actually a must needing the capablity to use virtual machines etc...

    I have a 13" & 15" Macbook Pro's and been wanting/waiting/hoping the smaller model rumors having 4GB RAM were true. I was so happy for this MBA refresh/redesign.

    I too was wanting to get a Mac Mini for my home theater and was so close to getting one untill these newer MBA came out glad I waited. I can even hook this puppy up to my 65" 1080P and watch blu-ray's etc...

    Great portability with lots of power and style.

    IMO for those still in a dilema I think if you dont have a decent 13" or 15" portable then you should probably get one of those for now then when you got extra cash and want a toy with lots of power then spring for the 11.6". I still need and depend on my other units for more professional use but having this 11.6" comes in handy for the home theater, lounging and still lots of power.

    I also do lots of traveling this 11.6" powehouse along with my iPad are great companions in small light weight design.

    I Love it :D
  13. 99 Cent Tacos, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    99 Cent Tacos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Thanks everyone. Apple certainly has a way of specing their hardware, in particular the MBA, to make these types of decisions tough. The 13.3 is a spectacular machine that can serve as a primary computer for most people. However, since I already have a vary capable 15" MBP, the 11.6 was the perfect complement in terms of ultra-portability and power. If this were to be my only computer, it would have easily been the 13.3" for me.

    I agree in the observation that once you have this machine and used it for a good amount of time, all other laptops look large, bloated, and dare I say it, old. Steve Jobs was right on in saying this is the future of notebooks. Sure it's an older processor, it lacks the card reader and other ports, and the lighted keyboard (which I believe will probably be in a future refresh. But it's the price you pay for early adoption). But the huge upside, particularly for frequent travelers like myself, is that you have all this power and capability that feels like you are carrying NOTHING at all. You work on this beauty on an airplane tray table and it fits perfectly. Having to carry and tote around other gear and luggage, this is certainly a net plus, and those who travel frequently know that every ounce and inch matters when you have to haul luggage through the airport, TSA, and in a crowded and cramped plane.

    One other consideration for the ultimate is the resell value. When upgrade time comes in a year or so, I'm sure this model will get the least depreciation of all 11.6 configs.

  14. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    Congrats and enjoy! I do like mine very much.
  15. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I bought the Ultimate 13" and it is really nice however I need to keep either my uMB 13" Classic or my 2009 Mini because there is just not enough space and power in the MBA 13.

    Is anyone using the MBA either 11 or 13 as their primary machine?
  16. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    I am. What power do you need? I run all of the Office 2011 apps, Photoshop CS5 everyday, iTunes, safari, Firefox, among other apps and have run into zero issues on my MBA 13" Ultimate.

    What the heck are you doing with yours? Maybe intense gaming or video editing would be areas where you'd hit issues.
  17. netbeans macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    Yes. I am using my MBA 11 as my primary machine. Loving it.
  18. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    My 13 inch Ultimate MBA is now my primary machine. Indeed, the principal reason I bought this model was its 256GB of flash storage. It runs multiple Windows apps under VMware Fusion, simultaneously with multiple OS X apps with as much speed and stability as I had on my MBP with 6GB of RAM. Although I have been using it just about all day every day for the past six weeks it has proved itself up to the task. I couldn't be happier.

    I, too, was intrigued by the 11 inch MBA but had to pass it over primarily because its 128GB of flash storage would not have been enough to support all my programs and data. I was also worried that my aging eyes might not be up to the task of dealing with such a small screen all day every day.
  19. 99 Cent Tacos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2010
    Well, after using this laptop for another week and doing some traveling around the southwesten U.S., I have to conclude that this is the best laptop ever! Maybe not the best or most powerful computer, but in terms of what I need to do, the ultra-portability, and the sexiness, the MBA 11.6 gets more attention than my 15" MBP these days. I'm actually considering this to be my main laptop or (gasp) even selling my MBP!

    The screen size and readability has not been a factor at all. Amazing how you shouldn't judge a piece of equipment alone. Quoting a little Jedi Master, size matters not.

    To my delight, my local Apple Store had an InCase neoprene sleeve for the MacBook Air. While I believe this is for the previous generation's 13" size, the 11 fits nicely and is well protected in my briefcase.
  20. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Glad the 11" is working for you. The 11" isn't a spec pleaser but it certainly has that "something". In some ways I'd have to say I "like" it more than any other Mac in recent history. There's just something about it's size that makes it more "personal" than other Macs. It will be very interesting to see what Apple sales numbers for it will be.
  21. Cerano macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2010
    glad its working out for you mate

    i put my money down for one still waiting for my ultimate 11.6
  22. D-Love macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    I also have the 11.6 but don't have the "ultimate". I have the 128GB and the 4 gigs of RAM, but stayed with the 1.4 processor. I was already stretching my budget as it is and the difference between the .4 and .6 wasn't a big deal. The upgrade in RAM is the big thing here with these machines.

    I gotta say I was afraid I was making a potentially bad decision based on pure sex appeal of this thing but I've been proven wrong. This thing has no business being this fast based on the pure specs. Incredible laptop, this will be my portable/secondary/couch machine for the next 3 years I imagine. Very happy.
  23. Cerano macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2010
  24. D-Love macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    Yep, saw that article. LITTLE less CPU power = barely noticeable performance, and only in specific apps. Less voltage used = slightly higher battery life. Worth the trade-off. Thought about getting the 13 for the better performance and battery life, but the 11 somehow makes even that seem large. I think if I was dealing with the 11 being my primary machine for a long time it would have pushed me towards the 13. As a secondary machine this 11 has no equal. As long as I make sure its fully charged before I leave the house I have no problem with battery life throughout the day.
  25. ski bum macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    I have an 11" MBA ultimate; I have had Thinkpads (2), Dell (2), Toshiba laptops and similar # of Desktops; currently 22" iMAC.

    The 11" MBA has everything that I ever wished for in a laptop--fast, light, decent memory. granted, I do not expect to run Final Cut with it. But Iphoto, web videos are fine. every program for work or "play" boots up and loads up faster than and runs as fast as any other laptop I've used.

    considered IPAD, but true multitasking, MAC OS, real keyboard for similar weight is advantage. I do not miss shorter half life from IPAD--easily lasts one day of work, and often two.

    with control + multi touch swipe to zoom, don't even miss IPAD interface or 13" screen.

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