was it hard to get used to an 11" screen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Tony78228, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Tony78228 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
    I own a 15" windows 8 laptop, and I really want to buy a Macbook air, so my question is for anyone that went from a 15" laptop to an 11" Macbook air, did the small screen size come as a shock when you finally had it in front of you?
  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    In my opinion, there is no better OS than Mac OS for window management. Mission Control, Spaces, full screen apps, cmd-tab, and App Exposé all make the 11" screen eminently manageable. Yeah, it's small, but it's super portable. At home, I plug it into an external 27" display. It's the best of both worlds, I think.
  3. IJBrekke macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Beach, CA
    I've had one for 2 years and I still think it's just a touch too small. My next buy will most likely be a 13".
  4. richorlin macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    Believe it or not, I went from a 15" MBPr, to a 13" MBPr and finally to a 2013 11" MBA. For the first week, I thought "no way am I going to be able to use this". After the first week, I couldn't live without it. I bought an open box at BestBuy for $1025 vs the 15" for $2100. I sleep easy at night because of that.
  5. yosemit macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2013
    I've used 11" for three years. No problem getting used to it. It's sufficient for checking emails, web browsing, watching videos, working on presentation. It's indeed small for MS Word and particularly writing programs. That can be solved by using a big external monitor.
  6. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can't really answer your question because I never had a 15" laptop, but adjusting to a smaller screen wasnt that difficult for me. I've read that some older people (40s+) have difficulty reading on the smaller screen, and that's completely understandable. I went from a 14 inch POS to a 12 inch dell for about 3 years to a 13" MBP for several years (felt it was too heavy) to 11" MBA for the past 3 years. For me, the 11-12" laptop is perfect. Plus, the wider display on the 11 is excellent for video playback.
  7. 3lite macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2011
    I think 14" is the sweet spot when it comes to notebooks and 13" is the closest to it. Consider the 13" model for the Air... it's not that much bigger than the 11" to be honest. The Air models are so damn thin and light that you wouldn't miss a beat... best notebook design ever.
  8. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    My 15" 2011 MBP is still my main axe, and spends most of its time tethered to my TBD. I have an 11" MBA (2012, i7-8-256) for travel.

    I love the portability, and I've adjusted to the display size without much difficulty. I would upgrade to the 2013 iteration in a heartbeat, if I could justify the cost, because I'm convinced my 2012 model performs nearly as well. I would plump for the 512GB "ultimate" this time around.

    I honestly think the 11" MBA is the sweetest machine Apple has ever made. I've had two 13" MBAs as well; while I love the SD slot and the form factor, there's just something undeniably unique about the 11". If you're frequently on the go, it's the Air to buy.
  9. Tony78228 thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
  10. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I use pinch-zoom quite a bit. BUT portability is my top priority so 11" is for me, end of story.
  11. ShaneBunting Suspended

    Aug 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    My view is 11" is a bit small at home and for gaming, however, the machine is very capable of running them. So I personally plug it into the 40" TV and the experience is great! Runs at full 1080p res too!

    The portability is amazing at school where I don't want any bigger screen and want to be in 'stealth' computing mode lol

    I'd say go for it! You'll amaze people with a machine so small but fast!
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    My recent journey was from a 15" 2008 MBP > 13" 2011 MBA > 11" 2013 MBA. I do find the screen a bit small on the 11" machine and my old eyes strain a bit to read small text in some software. But I agree with MrBob above - I wanted the portability of the 11" model. So I think the smaller screen is a reasonable trade-off.

    At home, it really doesn't matter because I use a big external screen.
  13. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Most of my friends have the 13" model, but I have always loved the form factor of the 11". I bought the new 2013 11" model a few months ago. I've since done some international travel and the 11" is so great from a portability perspective. It's great on an airplane, and it's awesome in my backpack for those morning trips to the coffee shop.

    I also do some heavy word processing, spreadsheets, and e-mail. Love the 11" model!!
  14. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    I used a 12" PowerBook for several years and loved the form factor. The portability was excellent and the weight ideal. I have been using the 13" BlackBook now for about six years and I am looking at a BTO 11" MBA as a replacement. I feel with 8gb RAM and a 512 SSD, it may well be the perfect laptop ever. Waiting for year end bonus to pull the trigger.
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Great post, which sums up my feelings completely. And I agree with you utterly that the MBA is the best machine that Apple has ever made; given that I travel so much, and a fusion of portability and power (and speed) matter, I cannot envisage a situation where I would not have a MBA, irrespective of my other computing purchases.

    As I travel a lot, I love the portability of the 11". For the past few months, it has been my sole computer, and I was surprised at how rapidly I adjusted to the smaller screen size. Okay, - as someone over 40 who wears spectacles - it meant that my default setting for new Word documents was 150%, or, even, occasionally, 200%; well, the computer allows one to do this, and it makes it very easy to work with documents.

    Actually, the 11" is back with Apple (some of the chicklet keys had started to part ways with the keyboard, and initial attempts to resolve the problem locally in an Apple store didn't work), and I have finally received the CTO 13" (2013 model, 512 SSD, 8GB RAM, and i7); I confess that I was astounded at the size of the screen real estate provided by the 13" (and originally, three years ago, I had migrated from a 15" MBP to a 13" MBA); that is how used to the 11" screen I had become.

    Agree utterly about the portability and weight. Agree, too, that 8GB RAM and 512 SSD may be the perfect configuration; I have the 2012 model MBA, purchased earlier this summer as a refurb which came with 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD and is an i7; a terrific machine.
  16. bubulol macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2013
    i started with netbook eeepc from Asus
    it was 10''1
    then i switched for Lenovo Thinkpad in 11''6, size difference was sightly insignificant
    then i bought the Macbook Air's rival at that time, Dell E4200 which is a bit larger than MBA, 12'1 but honestly size difference was unnoticeable
    when i see 11'' and 13'' MBA together, you actually feel the size difference
    there is a jump between 11'' and 13'' as 15'' and 17'', 7/8'' tablet and 9/10'' tablet
    11'' MBA does match to me according my laptop habits
    for someone who has opposite laptop experience, i would definitely suggest to use 13''
    common sense, its like smartphone, i have 5'' Android smartphone, i cant get back for smaller smartphone, even if its an iPhone, its too tiny :mad:
  17. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    whatever you do, definitely go to the apple store (or wherever) and try them out. i was sure i wanted a 13 until i did that...and now i love my 11
  18. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    My 11" is used as an iPad replacement and I use it for most things. I came from a 13" MBP and I love the 11". I haven't found it limiting at all - its a lovely, portable size.
    I've just purchased a 15" rMBP for my video editing etc, but for all other uses I'll still be using my 11".
    You can go to Apple store and test all you like - until you buy one and try it with the stuff you need to do on a laptop you won't be sure. I would say buy one and try to for a week. I bet you end up keeping it!! lol
  19. 3rdiguy, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013

    3rdiguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm about to get a ipad air and afterwards I'm leaning to a MBA 11. Therefore I can do computer only things and then for casual browsing,games, and some content creation the ipad will do just fine. I had an ipad before but I know there's still things I need a laptop for and I'm not a heavy power user. Just browse and watch videos and download PDFs and listen to music. No video editing or major word processing.
  20. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    I thought it was a little bit difficult to get used to the lack of verticke space. To help compensate, I moved the 'dock' to the left side of the screen and chose to have it only show up when I moved the pointer over there.
  21. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    I went from late-2008 15" MBP to a 2011 11" Air and never regretted it for a second. Considering it's the same resolution as my TV is convenient as well. :)
  22. jeffsmitth macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    i think it is best to use 11'' because i am using it from some months and i think that it is the best for you and also suffircient for web browsing for checking e-mails etc so it is best for me.
  23. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    I second this.
  24. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    agreed. but for me the 13" was a touch too heavy.
    very happy with my 11 as i'd sacrifice some real-estate which is occasionally annoying for the reduced weight which is always appreciated.

    to each his own and there are excellent arguments for both!

    my "solution" was to spend another $900 or so on the TBD:p

    (and my total cost was still under budget for the 15" rMBP mind you)
  25. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    Is it small? Yes. Does it suffice for normal daily usage? Absolutely. I loved my 11-inch.

    As others have stated, the one "issue" is indeed a lack of vertical space. It would be nice to not have to scroll as often in certain situations but if you want portability some screen space will inevitably be sacrificed. I say go for it.

Share This Page