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View Full Version : MacBook Air 11"/13" as a Secondary Computer?




rekhyt
Mar 22, 2012, 08:35 AM
Brief background about my situation. While I do not travel a lot, I stay in different locations throughout the year. (I have a MacBook Pro 15" Late 2008 unibody, in which the screen broke one week ago, unfortunately, right before the new MacBook Pro refresh comes out in April.)

As a result, I use my MacBook Pro 15" for most of my work when I am stationery, but when I go on holidays / short journeys, I can't usually bring it because it is too cumbersome and heavy. I've thought about purchasing an iPad, but it doesn't really seem geared for work in my opinion (Regardless of whether you get a keyboard dock or not).

I'm thinking about getting a MacBook Air 11" or 13" to act as a glorified typewriter / place for jotting down ideas, as well as for searching information. Even if the new MacBook Pros come out, it is likely that I will be getting a 15" to act as my main computer.

What do you guys think about using a MacBook Air 11" or 13" as a secondary computer? I quite like the idea of the 11", but the aspect ratio is a bit off 16:9 rather than 16:10 for me, and the resolution is a bit too high for such a small display (I do not have good vision.)



nexsta
Mar 22, 2012, 09:07 AM
I can't believe people still asking the same questions since the release. Just buy the computer and see for yourself, nobody can tell you what's good for you. But I can give you a summary of all the answers of this type of questions:

blablabla good secondary computer blablabla buy it blablablab dont be afraid blablablabla its good for travel balbalbalblabal the resolution is fine blablablablablablablablabla

jinesh
Mar 22, 2012, 09:14 AM
MBA 11" is perfect for the usage you described, in fact i'm using it as my primary machine. however without an external monitor i find the screen size a bit too small to let me work comfortably for longer periods.

A benefit of the 13" is you'll get about the same size trackpad you had on the MBP 15" along with better battery life & a little more processing power (compared to the 11").

Try using both 11" & 13" at the apple store. The 11" is almost like having an iPad but the 13" will definitely be more comfortable if you're coming from a MBP 15".

Xikum
Mar 22, 2012, 10:03 AM
Go to the Apple store.

Try both out.

Buy one.

CWallace
Mar 22, 2012, 01:15 PM
I use a 27" iMac as my main machine and an 11" Air as my portable because I wanted something small but still a "full" computer, even though I mostly use it to surf the web, watch movies and work in Word.

larryinfl
Mar 22, 2012, 01:57 PM
I use an i7 15" Macbook Pro for my main computer and its a bit big to lug around on a daily basis. I use it at home.

I recently bought an 11" Macbook Air as my carry around computer. I take it with me when I go to work to do some of my side projects and I can carry it easily with me on trips.

I'm really liking the combo myself. I also setup SugarSync to sync up my files between computers. If I modify files on one computer it automatically syncs them on my other computers. Makes working much easier.

SugarSyncs Website (https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=c5e7ar6h4faka&utm_source=txemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=referral)

robvas
Mar 22, 2012, 09:18 PM
The 11" is awesome to carry around and you can always plug it into a big monitor when you get back to the office.

The only bad thing about it is the battery is only good for about 4 hours instead of 7 hours like the 13". 4 hours is a pretty long plane flight though.

r6girl
Mar 22, 2012, 10:39 PM
I have the same set-up as CWallace though my MacBook Air is my work computer when I'm away from home. I "upgraded" from a 2008 13-inch MBA ultimate to the 2011 11-inch base model and I couldn't be happier. Though it might not seem like it on paper, the difference in portability between the two is enormous in reality and the *only* thing I really feel like I missed out on with the new 13-inch MBA is the better battery life, though I really have no complaints about my experience to date with the 11-incher. I feel like I get around 5 hours out of it at a stretch, which is far better than what I ever got with my old MBA.

I think it depends on the frequency with which you'll use the secondary laptop. If it's only a for a few hours here and there when you're away from your MacBook Pro, I'd say go for the 11-inch - it will be fantastic to travel with. If you really expect to use the secondary computer a lot, the 13-inch may be better for you with the larger screen size and your vision.

JasonR
Mar 22, 2012, 11:23 PM
So far I've had bad experiences hooking my MBA 13" to a 27" ACD. Maybe I need the power a Pro provides...

entatlrg
Mar 23, 2012, 01:54 AM
^ same here. Both the 11 and 13" i5/i7's seem to be working pretty hard when attached to the TBD. Although others here will strongly disagree with this.

No doubt it depends on the tasks you're doing, the software running etc. Get doing some multitasking and the fans roar up and it gets a little laggy when attached to 27".

For such small machines they do pretty good though. For my needs not good enough to be a full time desktop replacement. My 17" MBP is my all day work horse and my Air gets used as the mobile computer it's designed to be. I love my Air!

JasonR
Mar 23, 2012, 11:14 AM
^ same here. Both the 11 and 13" i5/i7's seem to be working pretty hard when attached to the TBD. Although others here will strongly disagree with this.

No doubt it depends on the tasks you're doing, the software running etc. Get doing some multitasking and the fans roar up and it gets a little laggy when attached to 27".

For such small machines they do pretty good though. For my needs not good enough to be a full time desktop replacement. My 17" MBP is my all day work horse and my Air gets used as the mobile computer it's designed to be. I love my Air!

At least someone agrees with me? I think I'm going to sell my Air and pick up a 15" MBP and use my iPad as much as possible. I don't need two laptops but I think the MBP and iPad combo will be great. :D

NutsNGum
Mar 23, 2012, 11:49 AM
I think the MBP and iPad combo will be great. :D

It is! :D

robvas
Mar 23, 2012, 12:52 PM
My iPad works great for games and surfing the web - but it's useless for programming or IRC, or long-winded replies on messageboards ;)

Scepticalscribe
Mar 23, 2012, 03:48 PM
At the moment, and for most of the past year, my 13" MBA is my primary (and only) computer. As it happens, I travel a lot, and do a lot of writing, so it meets my needs perfectly.

Re the question asked by the OP: Either MBA will more than adequately do duty as a secondary computer, and do it extremely well.

blovely
Apr 4, 2012, 08:02 AM
Hi,

I've been using my MacBook Air for the last year, and I'm so impressed by how it doesn't heat my seat or sound like it's going to take off from an aircraft carrier, like the fan in my old laptop did.

This is the best traveling computer I've ever had. So portable, instant on.

I'd recommend the 13" version because it's so lightweight, and you get the extra screen real estate.

Belovely

JasonR
Apr 4, 2012, 10:39 AM
Hi,

I've been using my MacBook Air for the last year, and I'm so impressed by how it doesn't heat my seat or sound like it's going to take off from an aircraft carrier, like the fan in my old laptop did.

This is the best traveling computer I've ever had. So portable, instant on.

I'd recommend the 13" version because it's so lightweight, and you get the extra screen real estate.

Belovely

Hook it up to a Cinema Display and then you can hear the fans. LOL

NutsNGum
Apr 4, 2012, 02:35 PM
^ same here. Both the 11 and 13" i5/i7's seem to be working pretty hard when attached to the TBD. Although others here will strongly disagree with this.


For the record, I agree. I certainly noticed that the past day or so using it, and this is only the i5 model.

entatlrg
Apr 4, 2012, 07:15 PM
Yea, although its possible, I don't really think the little Airs are designed well to power the 27" unless you're doing light tasks. While they 'can' get the job done in most cases it's not ideal and the Air works hard to keep up.

My 17" MBP on the other hand powers my TBD perfectly :D

halledise
Apr 4, 2012, 07:54 PM
Go to the Apple store.

Try both out.

Buy one.

classic :)