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View Full Version : Do you use your MacBook Air without external display? My story...




Sech
Nov 6, 2012, 01:41 PM
I've seen similar threads but I have a specific question. I am a little curious how many people use their MacBook Airs (11 or 13) as their primary machine without connecting it to a external display. Further, would you mind explaining what you primarily do on the machine?

Two months ago, I switched from a 11 to a 13 for screen real-estate alone and I've been spending a considerable amount of time on the machine without a external display. I've found the experience refreshing. Previously I've always had a desktop or a laptop that is almost always docked. With this Air, I've gone crazy with multiple spaces that I fly through to increase my productivity (something I did with the 11in Air as well).

My experience:

I am in upper management on the IT side, so I spend a considerable amount of time in budget spreadsheets and project plans, but I still muck around quite a bit inside switches and routers, code all the time (more for fun now) and like to script everything and anything. I do all of this on a 13in 2012 MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB HD. I love this machine and wish I had ordered it with 8GB but it's a good machine. The battery life is simply amazing.

For fun, I'll fire up Diablo 3, a random old RPG, or FTL. The experience using the computer like this, for such long periods of time, feels very personal and is something I've never done before. I admit at times I think about connecting to an external display but as of yet cannot bring myself to do it (silly I know).

Anyway, I enjoy reading how others use their gear and their experiences.

Thanks for sharing



msjones
Nov 6, 2012, 03:32 PM
I work in the infosec industry and regularly (almost daily) use my 11" base MBA (64GB/4GB) on site without a second display connected. Being a heavy terminal user the small screen is more than adequate for me. The introduction of full screen applications means I can use every inch when working on a coding project.

I do connect up to an external screen when at home or in the office however.

TheRichboy247
Nov 7, 2012, 01:45 AM
I am a student and since I purchased my MBA, I have been using it WAY more than my iMac. My iMac is great and all, but I love my MBA. I use my 13.3" for homework assignments and internet browsing. Maybe the occasional game and light video/photo editing. I plan on expanding my knowledge on Final Cut, Aperture, Creative Suite etc. I feel as though as this machine can handle all may needs. If I do need extra screen real estate, I go to my iMac. After using my MBA all day, my iMac suddenly feels like a theatre screen. If needs be, I can upgrade to a 15" rMBP as my needs grow. For now, my MBA is the perfect computer.

JHUFrank
Nov 7, 2012, 01:46 AM
Ditto to both of you guys. I am a regional IT manager covering three states, but I still have to do some dirty work. I take my MBA everywhere I go, plus carrying this thing up and down ladders for switch work is a dream. When I am working on month end fiscal stuff, spreadsheets or project management, put it in clamshell mode, hook it up to a 24 inch monitor and go to town.

TheRichboy247
Nov 7, 2012, 01:51 AM
I might consider picking up an external. Maybe later down the road. Don't really feel the need for it now.

yinz
Nov 7, 2012, 10:19 AM
I've been using my 13" MBA for half a year now. I use it mainly to surf the net, watch videos, listen to music, power point presentations, word processing, picture editing, light gaming, socialising and organising my schedule.

It's great, and even though I got Mountain Lion just to Air Play Mirror to my TV, I've found that I've only used that feature 2 or 3 times. I do enjoy using iMessage to my friend's iDevices though.

With the 13" MBA, I find that the screen is large enough for me to enjoy all of the things I need to do with it. That's not saying much though, since I came from a 10" netbook, but the difference in vertical screen space is such a relief, and so much more comfortable. I find that the screen is massive compared to my 10" netbook. I find that I can further away from the screen and still enjoy it. I think with an external display, I feel tethered, as I enjoy moving about with my computer, whether I'm at home or at work.

MacPat333
Nov 7, 2012, 10:41 AM
I placed the order on a 13" MBA i5, 128GB SSD with 8GB RAM and for me this will be an upgrade from my current ASUS Eee Netbook with 10" screen.

I went for the 13" as the 11" would have been no real upgrade in regards to screen real estate. 3" more screen makes a big different and I will be using this as my only machine until next summer when I am planning to get the new 27" iMac as desktop heave duty machine!

mattnxtc
Nov 7, 2012, 11:24 AM
It seems kind of contradictory to the purpose of the MBA to keep it tethered to an external monitor :)

I'm considering getting an external monitor, but it would be more used for work or other stuff that I have a different "work" laptop for.

It seems if you are paying to have a light computer with a long battery life you should use it for its intended purpose

Agent-P
Nov 7, 2012, 09:25 PM
For context, I have a 13"/8gb/128gb MBA.
For the majority of the time, I use my MBA as is for internet browsing, listening to music, writing papers, photoshop, and doing my online homework. However I have a 23" external monitor I connect it to when doing research papers because it's easier to manage my windows between the two screens. Sometimes I watch movies on my MBA, but most of the time I use my 15" Sony Vaio because it has a 1080p screen. And then there are those days I use only the external with my Apple bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse controlling everything while my MBA sits in my BookArc stand.