Skip navigation

11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air?

216766 Views 135 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2013 3:16 PM by kerny99 RSS
  • 6ko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2011 8:20 AM (in response to JE13)

    Hi JE13,

     

    It's quite simple: at the office, I have a MacBook Pro 15" 4 GB RAM / 750 GB HD. At home, I have a MacBook Pro 13" 8 GB RAM / 500 GB HD. The first is only for work. On the other, I have my music, pictures and all documents I've working on for the past 10 years. I'm looking for something very mobile, something where I can manage my e-mails, do some word processing and work on spreadsheets, social networking... I've bought the 13-inch MacBook Air but it seems too big ! So I went to one of the Apple Stores in Paris and took the 11-inches. I'm willing to give the 13" to my wife and use the 11 inches (4 GB/ 1.6 GHZ / 128 GB Flash). Is it a good move?

     

    Thanks,

  • 6ko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2011 12:28 PM (in response to stevenaquino)

    Hi,

     

    I've sorted out my issue. I was about to switch from 13 inches to 11, from 256 GB to 128 and I stopped. 128 is not enough for my documents and my pictures. So I will return the 11 inches.

     

    Thanks to all of you for the posts

  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 7:10 AM (in response to 6ko)

    If you really like the 11" format, the SSD is easily replaceable.  Modules up to 480GB are available... but the 240GB model seems to be the best with respect to cost per GB (although they're all quite pricey... but inline with standard SSDs of similar capacities and performance):

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Aura_Pro_Express

     

    The module is actually easier to replace than a standard hard drive as there is one single screw holding it in.

     

    RAM on the other hand, can't be upgraded.

  • 6ko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 7:28 AM (in response to JoeyR)

    Hi,

     

    Is it a SSD or Flash memory? I've told that there's no room to put 256 GB in 11". Can you confirm?

     

    Thanks,

  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 7:52 AM (in response to 6ko)

    I have it in mine...  it is a replacement for the Air's SSD (with better performance).  I bought the lowest capacity Air (64GB) as I intended to upgrade the module to a larger one.  I'm using the 240GB.  There were some issues reported which impacted the 360GB modules only.  I don't know if they have yet been resolved, but the issue affected that specific capacity module only.  Apple does not offer a capacity higher than 128GB for the 11.6" Air.  It's not unusual for Apple to offer a maximum capacity which is less than a system is capable of using.  In the past systems have been able to utilize more RAM than Apple officially supported.

     

    OWC also has an excellent reputation in the Mac community.  There are quite a few posts and reviews on these SSDs.  OWC also provides a great video as well as photos on the installation on their site.  You should check those out as well as Google the Mecury Aura Pro Express and check out the comments.

  • MINIcooper Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 23, 2011 11:10 PM (in response to stevenaquino)

    Ok... now that we have brand spankin' new MBA toys to play with this July, let's revisit the 11" vs 13" question. I went to the Apple store and found that Lion in full screen makes the 11" very compelling. Anyone else have experience with the new i5 running Lion? More pointedly, anyone else a graphic designer using the MBA as a mobile computing device? Of course, most of my design work will be done on my 26" iMac, but has anyone run CS5 apps on the new MBA and in particular on the 11" display? Can you do some light editing in InDesign, Illustrator of Photoshop on this small screen in full-screen Lion mode??

     

    I really want the 11" for the portablility, and yes, the cool factor too! But I could definitely use some constructive advise on the subject.

     

    Thanks,

    MINIc

  • Cap Level 2 Level 2 (365 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 26, 2011 10:19 PM (in response to stevenaquino)

    I've got the 13" Air (the previous, 1st gen. model with the vulnerable hinge), and I've invested over 3 grand to make it right after breaking the hinge.  Then Apple came out with the 11" Air in late '10.  Now I can't use the 13" Air or, for than matter, an iPad.  Both feel far too heavy.  If you use a computer in bed, on your lap, etc., the 11" Air is the only way to go.  But if you go with one, you won't be able to go back to a the dead weight of a 13" Air.  So you may wish to hold off before going for the 11", because the latter will spoil you for good.

     

    I'm just sore that 2/3 of a year later, Apple has upgraded the 11", which leaves me in a quandary.  It just seems too early and costly to make a change this early.  But I do miss the back-lit keyboard (whcih is on my 13" model), and any precious minutes gained in downloading music files or opening Word is a plus.  So I may have to change to the Air 11" 2nd ed.

     

    It seems silly to buy extended coverage on the first 11" Air when the newer, faster one is now available fore 2 times the cost of the coverage.

  • dmule Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 7:44 AM (in response to stevenaquino)

    i'm personally going to wait until december to buy a mba.... i hear there might be some big changes coming around that time.

  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 7:53 AM (in response to dmule)

    There just were "some big changes" only a few days ago.  I'm not sure what big changes there could be in December as the lastest technologies are already in the newly updated Airs... there isn't anything newer out there for them to update.  Apple has certainly not (as usual) indicated anything about an update in December.  While rumors are rumors and should be taken with a grain of salt... I haven't even heard from any remotely reliable sources of an udpate in December.

  • dmule Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 8:01 AM (in response to JoeyR)

    there was an article in macrumors.com yesterday, as well as some other sites that indicated some "additions", possibly around december.

     

    granted rumors are rumors and should be taken with a grain of salt. but if they just happen to true, those "additions" would be a really nice addition to the macbook air... do i dare say a macbook air pro?

     

    i wont say anymore for fear of violating the terms of use... i feel i might have already said too much.

  • pmcd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 2:55 PM (in response to stevenaquino)

    I am also trying to decide between the 11" and 13" models. The only question I have is whether or not the extra 2 hours of battery life is worth going with the 13". For me

     

    13" and weight = negative

    SD slot is not a factor

    11" and weight is a positive

    11" and 5 hour battery vs 13" and 7 hour battery life is a negative

     

    Any advice assuming screen size is not a factor is the lower battery life worth the smaller size?

     

    Thanks...Philip

  • hawleyrw Level 3 Level 3 (625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 3:00 PM (in response to pmcd)

    For me, there was one other spec which made the difference.  I chose the 13 due to the battery and ASPECT ratio.  I'm not a real fan of true widescreen laptops.  I mean, I watch a movie now and then, but the bulk of what you do on laptop doesn't really need a 9:16 ratio.  Take this webpage for example...I've got 2 large grey bars on either side.  They'd be wider, if I had an 11" model.

     

    So, for me aspect ratio was also a determining factor....

     

    My 2 cents...

    Cheers

  • oddjobs Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2011 6:46 AM (in response to pmcd)

    Based on Anandtech's recent review, the real-world difference in battery life between the 11 and 13 seems to be about 30 minutes. 

     

    I have a 2010 13" MBP so I opted for the 11".  The 13 will be great for projects that require a bigger physical screen (if only 1280 x 800 resolution, unlike the Air's 1440 x 900) and slightly longer battery life.

     

    The small text on the 11 display can induce a squint or hunch response, but if you convince your eyes to relax, it's perfectly legible at normal distance, just small.  If one really needs a larger view, there's always a display port to DVI/HDMI/VGA adapter.

     

    On battery:

    "It looks like you'll see anywhere from an additional 10% to nearly 20% battery life from the 13. If we're talking time, the 13 will give you at least another half an hour of battery life from a full charge under OS X."

    --http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review/13

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2011 10:42 AM (in response to pmcd)

    <I am also trying to decide between the 11" and 13" models. The only question I have is whether or not the extra 2 hours of battery life is worth going with the 13".<

     

    I went from a 13" Pro to an 11" Air and I regret it not at all. I can't say if the extra batterly life is worth going to a 13", but what I can say is that the smallness, slimness and lightness of the 11" can't be beat (except maybe by an iPad ). It's not just that I can haul this thing around town without feeling weighted down (I walk a lot), it's that slipping it in and out of the bag is easier. You never think of that, but the lightness and slimness means you can handle it better one-handed. I can unpack quickly, and pack up in an instant.

     

    And there's so much more room for other things in whatever bag you use.

     

    My recommendation, go to a store and play on both. Some people don't like the small screen and if you aren't feeling it you'll know right away that the 13" is for you. But if it doesn't bother you, then I think the 11" is well worth getting over the 13", and the extra battery doesn't make enough of a difference. What makes a difference is how much hard drive you need (13" give you more, obviously), screen size, weight. These matter more in considering one over the other than battery life unless battery life is crutial to you--like you'll regularly be without a plug for hours on end.

     

    If both suit your needs fine, then go with the Air that you like best.

  • oddjobs Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2011 11:13 AM (in response to stevenaquino)

    I was originally a little concerned about the screen size of the 11", but after a few hours with it at work (compared them in the store, but still wasn't certain), I'm very happy I picked the 11" over the 13".  Of course, I do have the 13" MBP as a fallback, but I doubt I'll fall back to it often.

     

    Also, the keys on the MBA seem to have a "softer" (less clicky) response than the MBP.  I like it!

     

    Battery life seems solid.  Then again, any modern MacBook seems to have twice the life of my old MacBook Black or the original Core Duo 15" MacBook Pro.

     

    The MBA 11" is truely a "notebook" computer.  Everything else is/has been more of a "coffetablebook" computer.

1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 10 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (2)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.