Scrivener on 11" MacBook Air

Hi all -

Do any of you guys or gals have Scrivener on a 11" MacBook Air, specifically? I’'m hopefully coming to the end of my journey choosing a laptop, but I’m curious as to what you think? How you think Scrivener operates on this model of Mac? Is the screen too small?

Any comments, good or bad, will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks -
MarchHare

I have used a MacBook Air 11" since shortly after the model was announced back in, what 2010? Hands down the best laptop I’ve ever owned and a beautiful little machine for running Scrivener. I’m pretty happy with the MacBook Retina I got to replace it, the MBA was getting pretty old and slow (the newer ones are better), but I definitely have some grumbles with that model that I miss from the MBA-11. Screen space is going to be an issue of taste and how you like to use Scrivener, I never had a problem with it myself, but I have good close vision and so running small fonts never bothered me. I could nearly always do what I wanted to do in Scrivener—sure it’s not as nice as when I’m home with the big screen, but I rarely felt hindered or frustrated. Others went with the 13" model instead for the few extra pixels.

So, if you get a chance to sit down with both of them somehow, I’d really recommend it (or at least have a good return policy). It is a small screen, but if you’re like me you get used to it, and even come to appreciate it since it makes the overall package so small and easy to tote around.

Also use a MBA 11 here (mid 2013 edition)… and have no issues at all… love the smaller package for being able to write on it… not really ever noticed a real estate issue… yes the 27 inch iMac is going to give a better experience… but it wont fit on your lap as easily…

I probably do most of my writing on the MBA 11… no issues…

Thanks, AmberV. How did you find the full screen mode of Scrivener on the 11"?

Cheers, naquada.

I haven’t used Scrivener on an 11", but figured I’d wade in regardless…

I’m that guy that wanted a 15" for the extra screen real estate, but settled on the 13", due to the significant difference in price. My compromise, was connecting it to a 24" external monitor. Do most of my writing with that setup. Use Spaces a lot as well, so if I have to be away from the external, use Duet with my iPad, so mimic the dual screens.

The short of it, was that I was convinced I could never go smaller than a 13", and would always require an external as my default setting.

Then my wife bought a 11" MBA. Her 1st Mac. I spent the afternoon setting it up. Within 10(?) minutes, I had stopped finding the small screen jarring. Within a few hours, I had stopped noticing anything problematic about the size. I had adjusted completely, so much so that I’ve now started thinking about an 11" as a viable option for my next laptop – especially in light of the fact that if you really want bigger space, you can simply plug it into an external. 11" laptop with 24/27" external = sorted.

Bottom line, try and spend some hours on one – and I think you’ll be amazed at how quick the transition can be!

Obviously, YMMV, but here sits a convert. Good luck!

I agree that small is the new big :smiley:

However, now that there is the new MadBook 12" with Retina display that is even lighter (and not much bigger) than the MBA 11", I’d definitely go for that one

This was the first I’d heard of Duet. I’ve just downloaded it and set it up on my new 12" Macbook – looks like it’s going to be very useful indeed. I haven’t found Scrivener to be much of a problem on the single screen, but it’s going to be very useful for DevonTHINK, Tinderbox, and Xcode, I think.

Thanks for the throwaway line recommendation!

Glad you found something useful!

They’re a bunch of ex-Apple engineers apparently - and are the only ones, AFAIK, to get this type of dual-screen view to work via the lightning cable. I used to simply rely on Splashtop (and others) to connect via Wifi - but since there are times when that’s not available, the direct line becomes very useful. Far more responsive than wifi as well, which is the biggest plus point!

Some interesting points there, Cassady. Thanks. I’ve not decided as yet, but I’ll get there in the end. My concern in a way is that a laptop is meant to be a laptop, and have read that with some people if there laptop is too large then they just end up using it as a desktop - which would defeat the object. But at the same time, there’s a lot of money at stake. Need to get my choice as right as possible, first time.

Cheers, marcoiac. I have seen the 12" briefly. I like the size of the screen, and the weight of the machine… I just find the keyboard a little too ‘flat’, and the keys a little too big.

I’m not the best person to ask because I really don’t care for Apple’s Full Screen—primarily because of how it isolates the project window into its own Space. You can’t even so much as bring up a Dictionary.app window without this big scrolling animation and moving to another Space.

But that aside, purely speaking on what the mode gives you: I really do like the way Scrivener feels on the 11" in full screen. Every pixel matters, but there is also something about having no on-screen distractions that is nice, no status bar with a clock blinking at you, no dock, just the project. So if the inability to easily multitask isn’t a deal breaker for you, you’ll like it!

You can toggle the blinking :unamused: off.

But I like it for the most part! :mrgreen:

Aye, something to (ahem) /watch/. :stuck_out_tongue:

(‘Bah-dah-bing, bah-dah-bing, bah-dah-bing, what a triumph’)

Don’t order one without trying the keyboard. It’s very short-travel, to enable the extreme thinness, and personally I think it’s awful to type on. I’ll be sticking with the 11-inch MBA.

On the other hand… I find the new Macbook keyboard excellent to type on and have done since the first time I tried it – you’ve got to be light-fingered with it, but then, that’s all you need to be to type quickly and accurately. The keys are bigger than the standard mac laptop layout: it doesn’t feel like a compromise to me, more a step forward.

But your fingers may vary of course, so as the previous poster says, it’s best to try it out. But if you try it out next to a Macbook Air, be prepared to find the screen on the latter look inadequate in comparison…

Thanks for the advice. I’m still undecided. But I’m taking in all this advice. It’s appreciated.

I think I liked the feel of the new keys, too. But will nip over to the Apple store again to retest before deciding. It’s a lot of money if uncertain. Need to be sure. I think I’d be more concerned about the single port - no USBs , etc.

You’ve got a 14 day return period anyway, which is more than enough to decide whether you can cope with the keyboard.

As for the ports, then that depends on your usage, of course. Personally, I do everything I can over the home wireless network anyway (and did with the MBP 17" which is still sitting heavily and hugely upstairs with its 107 different and largely unused ports…). I bought the £15 single USB-A to USB-C connector, just in case, but I’ve only ever used that once in the four weeks I’ve had the Macbook, to try out using the iPad as second display. If you need more then there’s the more advanced hub with the USB-A, USB-C and one other port that I can’t remember – coffee-machine?

I think the way to look at the ports issue is that unless you have constant need for something to be plugged in, then you’re paying for the ultra-light weight and portability of the MB with the compromise that you’ll occasionally need to carry a small lead or hub. Other computers have those ports built-in, but if you don’t need them, or only need them rarely, why have them permanently installed?