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View Full Version : MBA + iMac combo




kjid
Aug 9, 2011, 04:24 PM
Before i decide to buy a macbook air 11" i'd like to know how it can be combined with my 2011 27" imac.

Would i be able to use the imac as an external screen for the MBA via the tunderbolt cable? And can the imac be in sleep or shut down while doing so?



happyslayer
Aug 9, 2011, 04:29 PM
This is a great question! I also would like to know this, as I am considering a 27"iMac in the near future to replace my desktop PC.

DeusInvictus7
Aug 9, 2011, 05:23 PM
The iMac does have to be on to use Target Display Mode, but basically pressing CMD + F2 will toggle between the iMac using it's own display, or the MBA using the iMac as an extension/mirror.

thelead
Aug 9, 2011, 05:38 PM
Before i decide to buy a macbook air 11" i'd like to know how it can be combined with my 2011 27" imac.

Would i be able to use the imac as an external screen for the MBA via the tunderbolt cable? And can the imac be in sleep or shut down while doing so?

Should be able to but why would you want to? The iMac would be so much faster. The iMac would have to be on.

KylePowers
Aug 9, 2011, 06:01 PM
My biggest concern with my 27-inch iMac and my 11-inch MBA is how to keep files relatively synced. Anyone have any suggestions (aside from Dropbox/SugarSync) on that? I don't plan on using the MBA on the iMac's screen (what's the point of the iMac then?).

DeusInvictus7
Aug 9, 2011, 06:07 PM
My biggest concern with my 27-inch iMac and my 11-inch MBA is how to keep files relatively synced. Anyone have any suggestions (aside from Dropbox/SugarSync) on that? I don't plan on using the MBA on the iMac's screen (what's the point of the iMac then?).

At least for me, I've actually given up on trying to keep two computers synced up. I decided to keep each computer dedicated to a specific purpose, and only sync/transfer things when I need to use a bigger screen, but with Target Display Mode I don't have to worry about syncing and still be able to use the larger screen.

LeakedDave
Aug 9, 2011, 06:09 PM
My biggest concern with my 27-inch iMac and my 11-inch MBA is how to keep files relatively synced. Anyone have any suggestions (aside from Dropbox/SugarSync) on that? I don't plan on using the MBA on the iMac's screen (what's the point of the iMac then?).

Sell iMac... Get 27" Cinema Display... Solved... :p

neile45
Aug 9, 2011, 06:40 PM
My biggest concern with my 27-inch iMac and my 11-inch MBA is how to keep files relatively synced. Anyone have any suggestions (aside from Dropbox/SugarSync) on that? I don't plan on using the MBA on the iMac's screen (what's the point of the iMac then?).

I just keep most of my files on my hard drive attached to my router. I have it setup as a cloud, so as long as I have internet, which is mostly everywhere, I have access to it.

KylePowers
Aug 9, 2011, 06:45 PM
I just keep most of my files on my hard drive attached to my router. I have it setup as a cloud, so as long as I have internet, which is mostly everywhere, I have access to it.
Do you have to have a specific router or hard drive to do that? Because I have a D-Link router (I don't recall which model; I'm not home right now) with a USB port and an extra external hard drive laying around... I was thinking of at least setting up a NAS solution for my apartment that way (presuming that's possible). But if there was a way to make it accessible from anywhere (which I'm assuming means not on my network), that'd be awesome.

neile45
Aug 9, 2011, 06:49 PM
Do you have to have a specific router or hard drive to do that? Because I have a D-Link router (I don't recall which model; I'm not home right now) with a USB port and an extra external hard drive laying around... I was thinking of at least setting up a NAS solution for my apartment that way (presuming that's possible). But if there was a way to make it accessible from anywhere (which I'm assuming means not on my network), that'd be awesome.

I bought a pogoplug from buy.com for $35. It should work with any router. You download the free software, and it shows up as an external drive on your laptop. It won't be fast for pics and video on the road, but we watched a movie off of it at home, and it worked like a charm. Accessing all my other files are seamless.

rattler
Aug 9, 2011, 10:37 PM
This video should answer your question:
http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=8bVOssjlsGY

kjid
Aug 10, 2011, 04:44 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nl-nl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Thanks. Using the imac when i want the bigger screen is better indeed. I just wanted to know how it would work :). As for my file managemend i will have everything on my imac and copy files im working with to the mba. I plan on doing that via lan.

MacRumorUser
Aug 10, 2011, 04:51 AM
Do thunderbolt iMac's actually support Target Display Mode. I was under the impression this was dropped when they introduced the thunderbolt ?

kjid
Aug 10, 2011, 05:10 AM
I'm not sure what you actually mean, since i havn't used minidisplay or thunderbolt ever, but i think the video posted earlier proves that it works ;)

NutsNGum
Aug 10, 2011, 05:46 AM
Do thunderbolt iMacs actually support Target Display Mode. I was under the impression this was dropped when they introduced the thunderbolt ?

Yep, but only with thunderbolt equipped Pros, Minis or Airs.

Thunderbolt -> Mini displayport = yep.

Mini displayport -> Thunderbolt = nope.

urkel
Aug 10, 2011, 08:49 AM
At least for me, I've actually given up on trying to keep two computers synced up.
Im surprised Apple or Microsoft have figured out a way to keep computers synced. I know theres workarounds and file sync apps but it's not the same as a RLIABLE first party sync solution (and no, NAS or the magical cloud isn't the answer because it requires still copying files locally when working mobile and offline).

Aperture and iTunes are the ones that kill me because if I could get those consistently synced I'd probably own a lot more computers .

flynz4
Aug 10, 2011, 09:42 AM
Aperture and iTunes are the ones that kill me because if I could get those consistently synced I'd probably own a lot more computers .

Aperture 3 is spectacular across an iMac and a MBA. Project portability is built into the A3 as a key product feature, hence A3 projects are easily transported from one machine to another.

I keep my full A3 library on my 2TB iMac... which would not fit in my MBA. In the field, I create new A3 projects and then import them into my master library once I return to my iMac.

From my understanding, iTunes sync will be solved by iCloud... finally!

For the normal "data" that I need with me... I use dropbox. For email sync, I use IMAP.

Except for iTunes, it all works seamlessly now... From what I understand, iTunes fix is on its way.

/Jim

blevins321
Aug 10, 2011, 09:57 AM
Except for iTunes, it all works seamlessly now... From what I understand, iTunes fix is on its way.
/Jim

I recently got an MBA and wanted my library on here. I must say that the iTunes sync is the #1 feature I'm looking forward to in Lion (close 2nd is iTunes Match). I usually sync my phone with my iMac, and occasionally access iTunes media on the Mini HTPC. Having one centralized location was hard when the MBA came into play (before, I had the library on a NAS). So I'm forcing myself to sync with the laptop, and play music using the iPhone.

iCloud hurry up :)