MacBook Air: Comparing the 11 and 13 inchers

Posted on by Mike Evans

Since the latest MacBook Airs were listed I’ve been pondering the wisdom of upgrading my 2010 eleven-inch model, despite the excellent service it continues to provide. I decided not to do anything and, perhaps, wait a few more months to see if there are any tweaks to the specs. In particular, I would much prefer to have 8 GB of memory rather than the 4 GB maximum available with the new models.

I have been absolutely delighted with the 11-inch laptop and up to the last week I was convinced that I would get another elevener instead of the thirteen. It’s just so handy and you hardly feel it in a backpack or messenger bag. Not to mention the cuteness factor, which is off the scale.

When I first bought it I was without an iPad and I took the little Air almost everywhere. But since the iPad 2 arrived I have been happy to carry that and leave the Air at home during the day. In the past year the iPad has become much more capable as a laptop replacement and, at the moment, the Air simply isn’t leaving the house—except when I travel—as much as it did when I first got it.

Thoughts are turning to the 13-in model which offers a considerably bigger screen in return for a slightly footprint and a few more ounces. If I don’t intend to carry it around during the day, why buy the smaller computer?

Price is another factor. If you spec up the 11-in model with a 256GB drive, 4GB RAM and the 1.8GHz i7 processor, the British price comes to £1,399 including tax. The 13-in model, with exactly the same specification, is only £50 more expensive. Bear in mind, though, that the base Air, even with its 2 MB of memory and the slower processor, is no slouch and is great value at £849. It’s all food for thought and proves that you really need to analyse your requirements very carefully before making a decision on purchase.

At the moment, then, I’m pretty happy to be sitting on the fence. I’ve read some powerful reviews of both Air models, but it seems that many of the writers I respect are opting for the larger screen. I enjoy pondering on decisions like this and will keep an open mind.

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