MacBook Air (2012) Decisions

This is just a brief post for anyone who may search and discover this blog and is deciding between whether to get an 11″ or a 13″ MacBook Air.  I recently sold my MacBook Pro so that I could “downgrade” to a much more portable computer.  My foreseeable future will have me less at home and more at the libraries and research tables.  So I want something that’s really really really easy to carry around.  “iPad!” Nope, I type at least twice (if not 3x) faster on a physical keyboard.  “Netbook!” Seriously? That’s worse than an iPad.  I need a computer, not a tech toy (yes, I know, that’s what an iPad is).  I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound demeaning but in general I think the whole netbook concept is pretty much an epic fail.  Now the Chromebook?  That’s a different story (completely under-appreciated concept).  Anyway, once again I digress.  So are you in the same boat as I am?  Well I’m currently typing on the 11-inch MBA and here is why so far (14 days to test drive) I am sticking with the 11-inch.  I have a Thunderbolt Display.  To me, this reduces the 11 vs 13 debate to one simple comparison: battery life vs. portability.  Extra screen real estate, resolution, and an SD card slot (that I’ll never use) mean very little to me if I have an option to get all the space and resolution I want when I get home.  However, the 13-inch does have a rated battery life 2 hours longer than the 11-inch.  So why am I going with an 11-inch?  If you’ve ever used a netbook you’ll how great it is to have something so small on your lap while you type.  Again, where netbooks fail is their performance (praise God for the ultrabook category!).

So here I am loving the fact that I can comfortably type on my couch while not feeling the weight of my former 5.6lbs powerhouse.  Sure, an extra 2 hours of battery life would be nice but I’ve never had a scenario where I was without power for even half that length of time (unless I intentionally did so).  I’ll keep using this for a few more days and update.

Update #1: I have 3 more days before the point of no return (pun intended) and I must say my mind is even more made up.  I simply love the ultra-portability. If you’re not a Mac person then I highly recommend the Asus Zenbook Prime that is coming out soon.  It is essentially the 11.6″ MacBook Air (wedge shape and all) but with a much higher resolution screen.  AnandTech did a great review of the MacBook Airs and noted that, in his opinion, if you were to have only one computer, the 13″ MacBook Air is his recommendation.  I fully intend to have a desktop in the future so I opted for the portability.

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