Using 11" MBA on Lap

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by andrewbecks, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. andrewbecks macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    I've been using an black 13" MacBook for a while now, and I find that it fits comfortably in my lap when sitting in a chair and when sitting with my legs crossed Indian style.

    However, given it's age and, more so, the fact that it's pretty heavy to travel with, I'm looking at buying an 11" MacBook Air to replace the MacBook. I was wondering if anyone would share me with their experiences with using an 11" MBA in your lap. Is it comfortable? How does it compare to a 13" MacBook or MacBook Pro? Do you find that keyboard fits your hands nicely?

    I'm a 6'3" guy, and I weight around 180 pounds (188 cm/82 kg). So if anyone with a similar body type has had experience using an 11" MBA on their lap, I'd appreciate some insight. I went to an Apple store to play around, but because the Macs were chained down, I couldn't get a great feel for it.

  2. cityathrt macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    I'd refer you to my thread in which I've got comparisons of the two sizes, and document my usage experience over the weekend that I was using both. For reference, I'm a 5'4" girl around 135 lbs -- so my experience may be significantly different compared to yours.

    11" on the lap is definitely doable, but it depends on the position. For your position, perfectly workable. I find that when I use the 11" indian style, I tend to have the screen parallel to the chair, so I'm looking straight down at it. I use the 13" in the more conventional manner of having the keyboard parallel to the chair. This is one of my favorite positions to use the 11" actually, I spent the whole weekend using it in this fashion.

    The 11" is great for curled up positions and in bed. In fact, I prefer to use the 11" in any position because it's so light and easy to manuveur, except leaving against a hard surface with my legs out. In this position, I find that I have to hunch over too much to peer down at the screen. My back quickly starts to ache as a result.
  3. celmer macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2009
    I'm 6'0" average male build and I find it fits nicely. I upgraded from an older 15" macbook pro so it had a little adjustment period. The keyboard is the same size though so that shouldn't be an issue. It looks normal too, not like I'm trying to peck at something way to small for my size. The weirdest thing was the weight of it, it doesn't weigh down your lap like other notebooks, but I got used to that quickly. It's a gorgeous laptop that is bound to draw looks wherever you use it.

    It's really the perfect notebook imho.
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's comfortable to me. I'm 5"10 and weigh 140lbs. It could be a little on the smallish side for you, but it works for me.
  5. andrewbecks thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Thanks, cityathrt! I was actually reading through your thread when I saw you reply. There's a lot of great detail in there, so thanks for sharing.

    Also, thanks for your insight regarding the 11". I keep thinking to myself that I want the 13", but then when I actually go see them in the store, I find that it just seems SO big compared to the 11".

    The only negative thing that I noticed about the 11" was that my pinky fingers seemed to hang off the side of the computer when typing. It seemed like a big deal in the store, but as I type this now, I notice that the same thing happens on my Apple wireless keyboard, so I guess I can get used to it. :)

    Thanks again!
  6. andrewbecks thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    That's what I wanted to hear. I use a 27" iMac as my primary computer, so I imagine that there will always be an adjustment period as I go back and forth between the two screens.
  7. andrewbecks thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Thanks for the insight. I just keep thinking about the time I had one of those Asus EeePCs and how tiny it felt in my lap. I never felt like a giant until I used one of those.
  8. technopimp macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have both right now as I am still in the process of deciding, and was 99% sure I was going with the 11 but this exact issue (along with battery life) may be pushing me to the 13. I LOVE the form/fit & finish of the 11, but using it as a true "lap" top is a bit awkward. I found I was always trying to find a place to put it.
  9. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I have been wondering the same thing. I'm 6'4-5" (well by the american add 2 inches I'm 6'6-7 :) ) and I have long fingers.. the thing that concerns me isn't even looking down - we get used to that.. what concerns me is fond size farther away and how small the palm rests are.. it seems there's no way to know without buying an 11"

    I have a 13" now, and it works great in the lap.. but I'm not opposed to something smaller.
  10. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    you mean like this?

  11. andrewbecks thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    That position might be slightly awkward with an 11" or 13" MBA. :D

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