Which MBA for MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sam2428, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. sam2428 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Planning on going back to school to get my Masters in Business (MBA) and cannot decide on the 11 or 13 inch air. I know...sorry for another one of these threads... But I've searched and probably read every post on the topic.

    My heart keeps telling me 11" but my brain keeps telling me 13".

    Looking for advice from those in grad school and getting their MBA. Which one did you choose and why? Do you think the 11" screen make a big differenc and would be too small to work?

    I do have an iMac at home for more real estate, but the battery life, SD card slot and 13" screen keep telling me its probably more practical. Btw, yes, I have been to the apple store and played with both multiple times and still can't decide. :confused:
  2. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    11" is not too small, and 13" is not too big as well. Try to figure out the check list:
    - do you have external monitor at your work / study location?
    - do you frequently bring the laptop for your travel?
    - do your study require you dealing with the data, similar with statistic analysis?
  3. TjeuV macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    Always follow your brain!

    I have been in your situation and I chose the 13". Every extra hour of battery life was welcome since I spend long days at university.

    Forget about working on two documents at the same time on a 11", which goes perfectly on the 13".
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Go for the 13", you get more bang for your buck. Better battery life, better resell value, better performance, and overall a better experience.

    One thing I can almost guarantee: if you get the 11", there'll be times that you wish you bought the 13". But if you get the 13", you'll never wish you had an 11".

    Reading back, I'm not sure if I actually justified my points, or just spewed out a load of opinionated hyperbole. :eek: But get the 13"! :D
  5. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    go with your heart - always ;)
  6. mtom12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    If your university is anything like ours with little lecterns you will want the 11 inch. The foot print of the 13 is significantly larger on those little fold out slides.

    For using at a desk most of the time you will want a 13.

    I dont really feel the 11 inch is a good 'desk computer'. Its a computer for fold out lecterns or using in bed or at a coffee shop or on the lounge.

    It is not a primary computer.

    The 13 however is used by most people as a primary computer, its big enough to use at a desk and still compact enough to take with you every day.

    In reality the difference isn't that much. The thing that swayed me to getting the 11 is that I can buy an 11 and a decent 24 inch monitor for the same price as the 13. Best of both worlds


    The new 11's last all day easily on battery alone. Unless your day is 8am till 10pm.

    The key thing for me is if you are using it at a desk (ie were you sit up a long way away from the screen) and editing documents, you will want the 13.

    I got the 11 and im still not sure I made the right choice.

    Another point of note is the only real difference is vertical space. For instance the 11 has the same text size on screen and width, it just doesnt fit as much of the website in.

    You will find a lot of people saying the 13 is too big and the 11 too small. The difference in reality isnt a great deal. The 11 feels almost alien in its size, its unbeleivably small for a full featured computer.
  7. Booji macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2011
    Having owned both, there are the tradeoffs you must consider.

    However, for a business person, the 11" is the way to go. Its highly portable and does everything a business user needs. Its sleek and fits the MBA needs.
  8. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I'm in the same boat and am only seriously considering the 13" due to the longer battery life.
  9. TC25, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

    TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Eight Replies, counting this one. I've owned both, get the 13"

    • 2 - MBA11
    • 4 - MBA13
    • 2 - Typed a lot but didn't answer

    EDIT: No offense OP, but MBA11 v. MBA13 recommendations do not change as a result of specific circumstances, e.g., grad school and getting an MBA. If you read every other post on this topic, you already had your answers.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally, I find the 11" too small and that after extended use my eyes would hurt. I'd say go for the 13" MBA
  11. sam2428 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for some insight everyone. I understand that if I've read most of the threads on the topic then I should know the general responses. I guess I was looking do more of a confirmation if the 11" would be too difficult to use as a MBA student.

    1. It would depend where I am studying. At home, yes, buy otherwise it would be just the laptop.
    2. Right now I typically only travel with my ipad mini but that is also because my old macbook is basically retired and doesn't get used at all.
    3. I will most likely be dealing with data in the finance and accounting courses.

    Was originally leaning toward the 11 but you guys make some very strong points toward the 13".
  12. mtom12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    What size is your other Macbook?

    I completed most of my uni work on a 10 inch netbook. It was actually 'genesis' of the benefits of small computing for me. I was originally lugging around 15 inch and 13 inch dell laptops. But my brother gave it to me and I couldnt believe how awesome and portable little computers are. It done all I needed to do and it just slipped inside my small tiny bag.

    Another recommendation. If you buy from Apple directly you can return a computer within 14 days. If you go with one but decide its too small, you can just send it back for a full refund.

    I'm with you that its hard to tell from using them in the store. In the Apple store the 11 inch ones feel absolutely tiny. I kind of had to go with past experience of smaller notebooks to know that its an illusion based on space.
  13. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Another vote for the 13" here. To me, the screen size was the decisive factor, because I do hours of work on it every day. If I was only taking a few notes in a lecture a few hours a week and generally wanted something portable for light note taking and emailing, then the 11" would be perfect. However, as a researcher I work a lot on academic articles and like to have several apps side by side, with e.g. my writing to the left and my data/ articles / notes to the right.

    So, if you're just doing some lecture notes, the 11" will do, but if it's going to be your primary computer for all your university work, I'd recommend the 13" (unless you want to do most of your work at home and hook a 11" up to a larger screen, which is another option).

    While the 11" obviously is a bit smaller, I still think the 13" is a very good deal in terms of portability - it's pretty light.
  14. mtom12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    The other amazing thing about Apple laptops is... their resale is tremendous. You see 3 year old examples going on ebay for 60+% of the brand new purchase price.

    So you dont necessarily have to get that feeling of 'locked in' ness you do with a windows system in which the hardware loses nearly all of its value instantly
  15. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Please don't do this, it just drives up the price for everyone. The 14 day return policy is for people with valid problems with a laptop, so they have a no quibble return. Abusing it just so you can 'play' with a laptop isn't what it's meant for.

    If you want to try the laptop then go to a macstore and play with it there.
  16. mtom12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Good point. ive never done it before, but lots of people do.

    I rarely buy from Apple anyway. I just wait for sales at stores.
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    OP, do you plan on using your MBAir while at home connected to an external display? If not, I would go for the 13". When I was in grad school for the same thing I used excel quite frequently. I would most certainly appreciate the extra real estate. I had to lug around a 15" PB so certainly you can lug around a 13" MBAir.
  18. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    I picked the 13 for a few reasons..

    1. I think the 11 inch is uncomfortable to type on.

    2. Price Point is touch to high for me

    3. Resale- by far easier to sell a 13 inch

    4. SD Slot 11 doesn't have one
  19. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010

    More screen.

    More battery.

    Not heavier enough to make a difference in portability.

    I understand the allure of the 11" but unless you NEED the smallest, lightest machine available the 13" will be a better overall experience.
  20. MaxinMusicCity macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    Another option is to buy a good used model on ebay at half the cost. You can always resell it after evaluating its size for however long you need. Make sure you choose the seller carefully.

    I purchased an 11" 2011 macbook air at $600 in very good condition with no regrets. I was fully aware of its specs, but I couldn't decide on size or features either. Though I now know what I'd like, this machine is good enough for now. I have a 2-year service contract with SquareTrade just in case, but that's an optional personal choice. :cool:
  21. sam2428 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX

    This is a pretty good video although from the get go he is pretty biased toward the 11".

    One thing that really stood out for me was the fact that he kept emphasizing that he loves the 11" as a grab and go, take it with you everywhere machine. He also likes to use it in bed as he can easily due to the size and weight, etc.

    With that said, my "grab and go" device is my iPad Mini and thats what i prefer to use in bed to read, browse, and do emails. The 13" will probably make the most sense in terms of productivity and getting work done for my use. As I can see needing to do work away from an external monitor.

    EDIT: for a couple of hundred more, the rMBP now sounds a little interesting too lol.
  22. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    Without question, the 11". Your heart is telling you to do it, so do it. Try it out for a week, if it's not what you're looking for, take it back and get the 13". Test the waters, therefore, you won't regret your decision in the end. But I will give you a heads up, the 11" is amazing. :rolleyes:
  23. jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    Go for the13. You will spend far more time working on it away from your desktop than you realize and the extra screen space will be very useful for presentations, spreadsheets, etc. more importantly, you can stick in an SD card and use a product like Decimus' Sync to save a backup file as you work. If you SDD fails you won't lose your work.
  24. Human Jukebox macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2013
    actually went with retina for grad school (graduate in the spring)....with all of the research and staring at the screen, the screen for me has been a difference maker but everyone's different...

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