Is the Macbook Air okay to have as your only computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by icydog, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    I have a MBA and I like it. But I am not sure I would want it as my only computer. I can do more with my iMac than with the portable that much I know.

    My SIL wants a Mac Laptop for Christmas. I am steering him towards a Macbook Pro since it will be the main computer in the house. It is substantially more expensive so the decision should be well thought out.

    Am I correct in my advice?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    jackc

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    #2
    It depends, obviously.

    But I think for many people, it would be fine as a main computer.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    #3
    For me it is my only computer. Last week I sold my '08 Unibody MacBook Pro. It had the 2.4GHz Core2Duo w/ 8GB RAM and a 120GB OCZ SSD.

    After selling that I purchased the 13" Air with the i7 processor, 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

    I couldn't be happier. I never used the optical drive and when I need to I have a little external that I had before. The resolution on my MBA is the same as my MBP was and the screen is LESS glossy on the Air which is great.

    For me I don't miss the discreet GPU on the MBP - I never really used it.

    Lastly - the battery on the air lasts so long that even though I take my air with me every where I go I never need the charger because it lasts practically a full work day (7 hours).

    So yes, I think it can easily be your only computer.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #4
    I have yet to find anything I want to do that my 13" MBA can't do for me
    I replaced my 17" MBP with the Air and never looked back
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    cedwhatev

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    In one word: Yes. It's my only computer and is capable of even more than I need. :D
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #6
    The only thing it can't do is play the latest 3d games. Otherwise yup, absolutely, this is just great as an only computer. It is a very capable machine and would easily recommend it to anyone.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    #7
    I was hesitant, but I moved from my 20' iMac to an 11' Air for portability. The Air is excellent for mobile use, and weighs almost nothing. However, I would suggest a cheap external monitor for desk use simply to reduce eye strain. Overall, the Air is perfect for anything except probably for hardcore gaming. It does perfectly for media viewing, even full-quality blueray rips.
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #8
    It can definitely be an "only" computer. Remember, it has a Core i5 or Core i7 inside. Unless your sister-in-law is running something RAM-intensive or graphics-intensive (games, advanced photo editing), the MacBook Air is likely fine. Do you know what the intended usage is?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I only use my 13" Air my bro is now selling his imac and following in my footsteps external monitor for wen needed just makes it that bit more excellent
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    check the tracking device
    #10
    it works for me. i use it for pretty much everything, even light web browsing over my slow iPhone 3g.
    If it is the small sad storage putting you off, get an external portable hard drive
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #11
    Yes. As long as your SIL isn't a hardcore gamer, programmer, photographer or video/audio editor.

    She may want an external hard drive eventually (probably would need one to back up a MBP anyway) and an HDMI cable to hook up to a TV if she wants to watch movies etc on a larger display. Maybe an external optical disc drive too, depending on her needs.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    For someone like me, an out specced Air would suit for most things. I could run Dreamweaver, Flash Pro and Photoshop well enough. Office, Skype, iLife and about 1 video conversion per week are also hardly strenuous. I could then get an external HDD of about 500 GB, which would cover me for everything. Except Civilization 5 might not like running on an Air. But that's not a modest game by any means.

    So for basic usage an Air would satisfy me, and I do web development and reasonable photoshop use as a hobby. It's just a single demanding program-Civ 5 that tipped me towards a Macbook Pro. And that's it. If there's the chance that either now or in the future you'll need 1 program that wants a slightly speedier processor or something, you'd regret the Air decision. If not, the Air's a great choice. :D
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #13
    From experience MBA is powerful enough for a programmer and amateur photographer (who hasn't got picture files that are GBs of size). Don't think I could go back from my air to any other Mac/PC
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #14
    Absolutely. I retired my MBP when I got the 13" i7 MBA and it does everything I want to do faster. I also have the Thunderbolt display that gives me the extra ports that I lost. I do heavy office work, as well as a lot of photography work with Lightroom and CS5 and am quite pleased with the MBA. I see no reason why I'd want a second computer to have to sync with.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    My MBA is more than sufficient for what I need to do :) As long as you aren't doing some serious graphics or video work, or gaming, I think you'll be just fine. :)
     
  16. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #16
    It all depends on what they want to run. Without more of a description there I find it too difficult to make a suggestion. The most important factors to satisfy for a typical user are gpu, ram, hard drive capacity, and display size. Unless he's running heavier computationally intensive software or working with large files, he won't choke the cpus.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Rip City
    #17
    This.

    Mine works perfectly as my only computer.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #18
    Another vote in this direction - I have used my 11" 2010 MBA as my main machine (10 hrs a day give or take) since April 2010, and I love it. I'm not a gamer and my computing needs are not cpu intensive - mostly writing, email, internet and light excel use. I will say that I also have an iMac which holds all the home's media (30k iTunes tracks and 25k photos) which would be fine on an external HD if your SIL has similar storage needs.

    Good Luck!
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The Black Lodge
    #19
    Exactly what are the shortcomings of the MBA for a hardcore programmer?
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #20
    LOL. As long as I don't see "coding rockstar" or "coding ninja" come up in this thread I'm fine. I'll start to think I'm in the help wanted section on elance...


    I know several Ruby coders who use nothing but a 13" MBA now. And they report most of the guys in their sphere are on some sort of Mac.
    All the Delphi guys I know are still hanging on to their PC homebrew kits and some Thinkpad/other laptop users, but I haven't checked with them in a few years.


    Anyway to answer the OP; "Yes".
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The Black Lodge
    #21
    I do a lot of programming in Java and Objective-C, and I don't see why I would need a more powerful computer than my Air for that kind of work (within its expected lifetime, that is). I guess I'm not hardcore enough, he he.
    +1
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #22
    ..and is 2 gb of ram enough for everyday light tasks (web surfing, email, writing etc..)?
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #23
    I'll add to the chorus saying that an MBA is more than enough for a sole computer. The only reason I'm considering anything else is as a media server. Even then I'm still hoping (with low expectations) that Apple will release a home media device that doesn't need iTunes running on acomputer
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #24
    I think you can shoot that hope in the head and move on in life...
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #25
    Yes, but.

    The issue w the MBA is the lack of GB networking.
    If you deal with BIG files, then a GB LAN connection is a must. This usually means Video files.
    Apart from that, my 2x home made Win7 PCs are unused. Until there is a stand-alone TBolt GB LAN box a TBD is the only solution.
     

Share This Page