Anyone using the new 11" Air as their main machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entatlrg, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    What model/spec's, i5/i7?

    How many hours a day use?

    Hook up to an external display, what kind?

    Heat or fan noise issue's?

  2. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    i will be using the 11" as my main.

    Im getting the 11" 128 gb 4gb ram i5.

    6-8 hours of usage a day.

    While in the office will be hooked up to 2 22" lcd monitors, Samsung T220 i think.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    Uhh... Perhaps I am just missing something--but I thought you could only daisy chain off of Thunderbolt equipped monitors. I was under the impression you could hook up the air to a single monitor unless it was Thunderbolt.
  4. macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2010
    1.6GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB. I'm using it for everything, up to 8 hours at work and then for personal stuff at home. I'm doing mostly web development and image editing. No problems with fan noise. It's a little quiet under the sound of the air conditioning at home, but it would be decently loud otherwise. I've only been using it for a couple of days, but it's a great improvement over my last-gen 13" one, almost 2x the GeekBench score, and it's noticeable, especially doing image editing.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2005
    San Diego
    Web developer here, I use it at the office as my primary computer for 8 hours, then at home doing iphone coding for about 3 - 4 hours a night.

    Have it hooked up to some an external monitor at all times while at work and at home. Last night I worked from a coffee shop and it was great even on the 11" screen. The external monitors aren't anything special of a brand.

    11" ultimate (1.8 i7, 256gb hd, 4gb ram)

    I definitely have no heat or fan issues. It does get mildly warm when I'm running the peak of my apps, but nowhere close to burning hot or anything.
  6. macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    11" 1.6 i5 with 128GB/4GB hooked up to a 46" Sony Bravia 3D HDTV.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    I did try it for a day

    I used a 17" 1920x1200 Windows laptop. I went in looking for a 13" MBA 2 days ago but instead went for a 11" yesterday. I really like the size, and wanted to see if it would work for me. There was really no way to tell but try it for yourself I think.

    I am a software developer and I figure when I need the real estate, I can always hook it up to my 24" LCD. Here are my list of pro's and con's for the 11":

    1. can always go bigger (with external display)
    2. tiny and light

    1. 768 pixel tall
    2. 2 hours less of battery
    3. no sd card reader

    But I was skeptical about how much better 900 pixel height is compared to 768. I figured that I may get used to it. After all we are talking about just 132 pixels right?

    Well, after a day I kept wishing for a larger screen. It's not just web browsing but general coding, the screen felt a bit cramp, even with full screen apps. Then I asked myself what's the drawback of a 13" and decided that for me there's none. So I went back and exchanged mine for a 13". Here are my pro's and con's of the 13" in comparison to the 11" while I still have the 11" experience fresh in my mind.

    1. larger screen (duh)
    2. doesn't feel any heavier (too light to start with)
    3. wider base is more stable on lap
    4. longer battery life
    5. larger trackpad
    6. sd card slot

    1. I can feel the sharp base on my forearm as I type (not a problem on the 11")

    So my reasons to go with the 11" were unfounded: weight and size is not a problem at all. It's surprising to me on the one drawback of the 13" sharp edge on the forearm. But that's a small thing compared to the rest of the pro's, nothing a pair of wrist sweat bands can't fix :)

    I hope my experience help someone else in the same boat.
  8. macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2008
    i do. The cheapest one. I just use an external wired apple keyboard, full size. It is my only machine and i´m happy with it.
  9. macrumors 68000

    Jun 2, 2006
    768 pixels tall doesn't matter anymore with Lion's fullscreen apps.
  10. thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    True, and the i series processors power the external displays and peripherals with no problems.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Yup the base model, have a Mac Mini that hasn't been used in 2 weeks now!
  12. 3bs
    macrumors 603


    May 20, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    I use my 2010 11" ultimate as my main computer. Sometimes I notice the fans and a bit of heat but generally it isn't an issue. I use it at least 4 hours a day and I usually have it hooped up to the power supply but no external monitor.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2011
    I use my as primary. 1.6/4/128. It's hooked up to 27 ACD. Haven't found anything it can't do yet.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2005
    Bristol, UK

    Same setup here. Just using it for the first day today. Still transferring everything over so it's hard to comment on just how it's going. So far it's great, I have some file sharing issues to bottom out, but that's for tomorrow.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2007
    Main machine in the sense that I manage all my media on mine. Right now I'm splitting equal time between the MBA and Mini. I have the 4/128 model and I can easily fit all my music (50 GBs) and pics (5 GBs) with plenty of space left over (All backed up on an external, of course.) All my videos chill out on my external.

    Haven't heard the fans yet (knock on wood).
  16. macrumors 68020

    Nov 3, 2008
    Had 15" MBP 2009. Replaced that with 13" MBA 2011. Got jealous and replaced that with 11" MBA 2011.

    So for me its:
    11" MBA 2011 w/128GB
    4hrs day use (mostly Aperture, Banking, iTunes Sync)
    24" External Samsung Display
    TONS of Heat and Fan Noise but thats because I'm an idiot and bought a Time Capsule so my initial backup is at hour 9 and still has 50GB to go. Hopefully the noise drops when the Time Capsule gets its data.
  17. macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    You don't use an external for your 11"? Do you ever have issue with having to curl up your fingers a bit more to use the keyboard on the 11" while making sure your palms are resting above the edge so that it doesn't cut into your wrists? Or the trackpad being a bit shorter so that you have to narrow the gap between your fingers and thumb to use it? What programs do you use on it, what kind of usage?

    I'll be doing designing/developing on it (Xcode, CS5, Eclipse, with lots of browsing, some music and video) and it would literally be my only machine, no external monitor. Would I be better off with 13" or is 11" good for my needs?
  18. macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2009
    My base model 11" is becoming my main machine. Once I finish transferring over all my documents, and various other files to it, I will be using it full time. I use it with an hp2009m monitor whenever i need more screen space.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2010
    My 1.6 /4GB/ 128GB is fast becoming my main machine - unintentionally. It's such a pleasure to use.

    Using for up to 7/8 hours a day
    Rarely hooked up to an external display, but works great when I do (HP)
    Only a bit of heat and fan noise when it's been running videos for a few hours
  20. macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Guys, how many different things can get attached to a USB at one time? (and still work, obviously)

    I would need to connect an Ethernet adapter, an external DVD burner, an external keyboard, and probably something else I'm forgetting. That's 4 things.

    Would all 4 of the above items work if they all plugged into a USB hub, then plugged the hub into the MBA?


    Edit: I just remembered that I'd most likely need an external hard drive to be connected at all times.

    Also, I realized the DVD would not need to be connected at all times.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2010
    I don't do this myself, so can't claim first hand experience, but I can't see why not?

    If not, could always consider a few different options - bluetooth keyboard, Wifi, using another machine for Remote disk access....
  22. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    11", i7, 128GB is my main machine. I got external monitor and network storage (soon).
  23. macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2011
    i5, 128GB, 4GB RAM

    Been using it for several hours each day for the past few weeks. No problems yet. Played around with iPhoto, iMovie no problem. Been using GarageBand with Midi Keyboard no problem as well. Email/web/iTunes etc blazing fast.

    Also using it to play some games (from humble indie bundle) and does get hot at times with the games, but other than that no qualms.

    This is definitely going to continue to be used as my main machine. I also could not justify spending 1200$ on a computer and not using it as much as possible to its full capacity.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2011
    i7/4GB RAM/256GB SSD.
    I will use it probable 3-4 hours a day on the move without an external.
    Also have a 24" Samsung external for processing large amounts of data when I'm at home. I also have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to use it in clamshell mode for watching movies, etc.
  25. macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm a little surprised on the forearm bit. I found that the 11" would dig into my palm/wrist at the edge. But if I kept my wrists above the edge, I had to curl my fingers inward a bit to type so that my fingers are on the keyboard home row (F and J). You didn't find that to be the case? And how about the size of the trackpad? Didn't you have to reduce the gap between your fingers and thumb while using it on the 11"?

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