What is it about the 11" MBA? The 13" ticks more boxes but still want the 11!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entatlrg, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Anyone bought the 11" Air even though they knew the 13" may of been a better choice and far as productivity and spec's are concerned?

    I had both, I choose the 13" MBA for 'practical reasons' ... I'm on my computer a LOT, a larger screen typically means more productivity, more power can come in handy, as can the larger HD and SD slot .... and the 13" isn't really that much less portable than the 11".

    Decision made, right? Wrong.

    I really miss the 11. What is it that is so damn compelling? For me it's not the price difference ... it's just that perfect size I guess ... so super easy to grab and go, do work on, it just works and is inviting to use, perhaps the most inviting notebook I've ever used.

    Anyone else feel the same way or have the same experience?

    If so what size did you end up with and why?
  2. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Price & Size. The base 11" is perfect; in that it fits in my iPad bag along with AC Adapter so I only need to carry 1 small bag when traveling. Any other time I use the iMac in either office. It also plays Starcraft ok so I can play when I'm away. The small disk (SSD) and RAM were concerns but thus far have not been an issue.

  3. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I'm in much the same situation ... totally happy with my base 13" MBA, but lusting after the 11" as well. In fact, I bought - and just returned - the 11" "ultimate," thinking that I would be so happy with it that I could give my 13" to my wife.

    Well, I wasn't. I'd probably have just opted to exchange for the base 11" and put some cash back in my pocket were it not for the strong June refresh rumors.

    I think we've hit the nail on the head in this thread: The 11" has that "get and go" feel that is still lacking in the 13". Now if it just had a faster processor and a bit better screen, I'd be happy making the switch.
  4. Lateraleye macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2011
    I'm totally there. For the last few months researching my next Mac laptop purchase, I was settled on the 13" Air. The max spec'd out version is way out of my price range though.

    I then looked at the 11" mostly for money reasons and rave reviews from those that had used one. I priced it out and the max version of that one was nearly the same price as the 13" I settled on (128GB/4GB). So I switched back to the 13".

    Now I'm leaning towards the 11" again. I personally HATE fan noise after the last few years using a 15" Pro, and the 11" Air seems to be the quietest portable available from most accounts. I'm sad that I'll have to sacrifice gaming after the Sandy Bridge refresh, but I will just have to catch up on my console backlog instead.
  5. rrl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2009
    You just served up a meatball to us 11" owners.

    It's simple: The 11" is hotness, the 13" is notness.


    The 11" ultimate is... The Ultimate.

    Kidding aside, I've always bought the smallest and lightest laptops I could find. This is obviously the best one yet. The others, Dells and Compaqs, served me well, but eventually disintegrated into plastic shards. I was very productive with those machines, and none of them had a higher resolution than 1024x768.
  6. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    My wife and I adore our two MBA 11" 4Gb Ram 64 SSD refurbs, both are awaiting install of a 360 OWC SSD in each, then they will become our main machines:eek:, Mine will share duty with my 1st gen iPad, and hers will share duties with the iPad 2. We so love the size and weight of our iPads, we chose to downsize to the 11"MBA as well.
    We have a 27" ACD, BT Keyboard, and BT Trackpad and Magic Mouse we can go to should we need more screen real estate.
    :cool:,very :cool:
    Yes Scottsdale I did it! we are in Nirvana, These MBA's are divine!
  7. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2004
    The 11" is the true successor to the 12" PowerBook, simple as that. I had one of the original BlackBook's, and while it was an immense step up power-wise, it never felt as portable as the 12" PB did. The 11" Air brings the best of both worlds.
  8. pinkoos macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2005
    I've got an 11inch. The only thing I truly wish it had is the SD card slot.
  9. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I found the 11 to be too small for my needs. Can't really get serious work done on it so I gave it to my sister.
  10. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    I think I just puked...
  11. albusseverus macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Side-by-side, the 13" looks bigger and better than the 11".

    Put the 13" Air beside a 13" MacBook Pro and they're not that different in size/footprint, but the Pro has more of everything - drives, FireWire, etc. Thin doesn't seem so important with that many features at stake.

    The 11" now starts to look like the compact Mac - a better trade off between size/portability and features.

    The 11" has a 16:9 screen, which is a more pleasant and useful aspect ratio. And once you work on it, you don't miss the somewhat illusory additional screen real estate of the 13" 16:10. It's bigger, but in all the wrong places. However fractionally different, the footprint -seems- to change dramatically.

    If Apple made a 16:9 13" Air, there might be something in it, but at the moment, the 11" is fast becoming the MacBook Air and the 13" is lost somewhere in between. It has thinness, but the same footprint as the MacBook Pro, with none of its advantages.

    There's magic in that 11" MacBook Air, no doubt.
  12. sarends, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

    sarends macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2009
    This is interesting to listen to! The reason this conversation is so beat to death is because both machines are SO VERY NICE!

    I bought the 11 initially and loved it. But, after a few long sessions using it (4 or 5 hours straight), I began to have serious 2nd thoughts. My eyes just grew tired too fast. I ordered a 13 just to see what I thought. Well, I returned the 11 for the 13 and I am as happy as a clam! If I had kept the 11 it would have been a bit better traveling, but the 13 is pretty compact and light as well.

    But, the 11 is maybe the sexiest looking personal computer I have ever seen! But alas, I am 55 years old and I need a little bigger screen. One more thing that I really enjoy more about the 13 is the longer battery life.

    Each person has to weigh which factors are the most important to them. It is great that both if the Airs are so great that people labor over the decision as to which is the best for them individually.

    Another thing that swayed me. I had a Dell xps m1210 (12" screen) for a couple years (in my PC days) and it was my favorite Windows PC of all times. However, when I got another laptop I went to a Dell 17. I only enjoyed it for about 1 month - it was too darn big, hot and heavy. It was at that time I went to a white MacBook and fell in love with Macs. As of rt now in my business I have access to iMac 27, MBP 17, MBP 15, MBP 13' MBA 13 and iPad 2. Right now I am traveling so am writing this on iPad 2. The MBA 13 is with me on the trip and will be pulled out when I get serious about working!

    Honestly, the MBA 13 is the machine that I use 90% of the time when I am working. The iPad 2 is what I use when I am just relaxing or responding to email.

    I hardly use the iMac 27 because I hate sitting at a desk. Once in a while when I am working late in the home office I will sit in the recliner with the MBA 13 as primary and connected to the MBP 17 as a 2nd display via Air Display.

    Each person has to work thru their own requirements . I think it is great apple has so many great machines to choose from and work with.
  13. oakie macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2008
    and i thought i was the only one with "11 envy"

    i bought the 13" ultimate to finally dump my 2009 15" MB Pro but even now i still wish i had an 11" ultimate. i bought for the best compromise between size and portability, but the 11" exemplifies the ultimate in portability and i wish i had one.

    right now im trying to decide whether to buy the 11" MBA to compliment my 13" or to just go with an iPad and i'm currently leaning toward the iPad... but this thread now has me teetering the other direction again.

    what i REALLY should do is go with the iPad and use what i'd save on a loaded 11" toward upgrading my desktop.

  14. Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    for me, the 11 Ultimate is the beauty of all the Airs

    just compare it to the 13 Base model with 1.8 and 2gb

    i'd rather max out the 11 with 1.6 and 4gb and 128ssd, because 200MHz difference really does nothing and still smaller and very nice to use

    i always hijacked my cousin's 11 Ultimate. lol
  15. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Glad to read I'm not the only one drawn to the 11" MBA. Still I can't make a final decision.

    I can afford both for my business but I'm trying to use less computers not more. That's why I originally chose the 13", so it could be my one 'main machine'.

    As sensible as that is I still want the 11" for a main machine. The ease of carrying it everywhere, fun to use aspect just might outweigh the practicality of the larger screen, added power, SD card slot.

    I'm still undecided. :eek:
  16. Ol!ver macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2005
    Just bought the 11" Air for the wife as her Windows machine was on its last legs. She wanted something smaller than her old unit and also fancied getting into OS X after using my MacBook. I wanted an Air anyway so it worked out perfect.

    I think if I was buying one for use by me more I'd get the 13" model but the 11" is more than usable for writing on. Refurbed 13" models are going for 13" MBP prices. Yes the MBP is more powerful but how much power do I need to write content!?

    The 11" is just gorgeous though.
  17. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I have the same problem with the two MBAs also. I REALLY want the 11" for the form factor. But the larger SSD, screen, and SD slot on the 13" make it a much better fit as a "main" machine.

    I have a desktop also, but I want a portable to use as my "main" since I can have it with me more. To qualify for this I need the ability to synch an iPhone and iPad and want the ability to process photos from a camera. The 11" can do this but with the limited storage it's a stretch. And the SD slot in the 13" means one less adaptor to carry. And the longer battery life in the 13" is good too.

    But my heart yearns for the 11" form factor. If they could reduce some of the border around the 13" so the dimensions were a little smaller, it would be perfect. If they could increase the storage in the 11" and maybe fit a slightly bigger display in that frame it would be the winner also to me.

    As it I'm trapped in the middle "knowing" the 13" is better for me but "wanting" the 11" just the same.
  18. andershoeg macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    I have the 11". While it IS a very nice machine, I can't really get used to the size of the screen. My eyes gets tired looking at it. I also have an iMac 24", another story, another screen. And I have an iPad. The couch-surfing is done with the iPad, and my eyes don't get tired looking at that screen. So as much as I adore the look and feel of the Air, I can't really get used to the screen. So I am really thinking about selling it, and maybe later buy a 13" Air or maybe a MBP. Tough decision, ,'cause the 11" is a beauty.....maybe my problem is the lack of glasses on my nose :p
    B.r. Andershoeg
  19. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    I'm under the spell of this little 11" siren as well.

    She's just so cute, I want to cry.

    Then I want to burn things.

    At 16:9, she's a bit short, but her hyper-waif body seems to redeem almost anything.

    All she needs is a brain transplant, and I believe Igor has dug one up that will do nicely; He's just taking forever!

    After that, if she can pass my quiz, I'm taking her back to my dungeon to do terrible, terrible, wonderful things to her.
  20. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    I first had a 13", then a 11", now back on 13".

    I prefer the 11" when I'm travelling. I prefer the 13" when I'm at home.

    For me the 11" is too small to work comfortably when I'm sitting on the couch. (I'm 6 ft 2.)
  21. Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    Yeah, the 11 is such an adorable machine, it's just so hard to resist :p

    but again, i think the only let down is the SSD and Battery Power, that's the only thing i think the 13 truly have the advantage over the 11 one

    because SD Card slot can be resolved with a single usb sd adapter which i think should be okay if you truly want to own the 11 inch
  22. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    I'm in the same boat trying to decide between a 11" and 13". I need something for travel, 2nd computer for the kids, and casual computing. Just got a 17" MBP to replace my aging 2007 and I already have an Ipad but I'd like something very portable with a keyboard. I'm thinking the 11" would be perfect...then I would have the LARGEST and SMALLEST macbook!
  23. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I really want the 11", but jumping from the 15" MacBook Pro to the 11" MacBook Air would be too great. Right now I have a 13" MacBook Air and I never use it.
  24. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    LOL, and you WILL clean that up NOW!
    Hey I know the SSD's were a LOT of money, BUT I am semi retired, own my own business, and made a killing on :apple: stock, and I CAN!:p
  25. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    ... indeed, for me, the screen does present a potentially serious compromise, mainly the shape. but, i figure i'll give it a shot and worst case scenario, i bring her back and take home her bigger sister.

    ... though that would make the holidays a bit awkward. :(

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