Macbook Air 13" as a complimentary laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by akshtray, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    My main laptop at home is a Alienware M14x (2nd gen i7 with 8 GB of RAM). I do have a Desktop as well (core i7 + 8 GB RAM) and a older Core 2 Duo based server that I use for media streaming/storage purposes. I am looking for something lighter which I can use while sitting on the couch for tasks like:

    - Web browsing (the most extreme case most likely being youtube videos)
    - Scripting (main reason for looking at a laptop which is portable. Python, PHP, etc) so a GUI based editor like PyCharm, Eclipse, etc.
    - Email (web and built in Apple client)
    - Maybe 'Office' software like Works, etc. Viewing PDF's
    - Once in a while watching some .mkv, .avi video files (720p/1080p)

    I will be getting the Air using my Best Buy credit card + rewards. The main question I have is if the 4 GB of RAM will be enough for my requirements? I would be all up for spending $100 more for 8 GB of RAM but Best Buy does not appear to stock those.

    Thanks guys.
  2. macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2010
    I use a Mac Pro as my main code writing beast and a 2011 air for portable needs. I really wish the air had 8gb for long term needs but right now it's great.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    Do you think 4GB would be good enough to meet my needs for atleast 2, maybe even 3 years??

    The other alternative for me could be to get a MacBook pro with 4 GB and upgrade it to 8 GB myself.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2012
    You know with the new Macbook Air's you can get 8GB RAM?
  5. macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    The...An MBA with 8GB will last you a long time...
  6. AoS
    macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2012
    I would honestly recommend the iPad for you. Aside from a GUI based App, the iPad would check off most of those things, all in a very light and compact form factor with extremely good resolution. My 2 cents.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    My wife already has as IPad at home which does not suit my purposes. I cannot script on it and I just can't get the same utility out of it as a standard laptop.

    I do understand that the MacBook Air comes with 8 GB now. However, as mentioned in my OP, I will be getting this using my Best Buy card + Rewards and BB does no appear to stock the 8 GB one.
  8. macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Why Apple?

    I have to read from your OP that you are windows/Linux person? Your desktop/laptops now are not Apple so I am wondering why spend so much money on a MBA?

    If it were my money, buy cheaper and save yourself some cash. Lenovo X1, Asus, Acer, Sony... they all do Ultra Notebooks that would be as small, as light and as attractive (imho) as the MBA.

    Don't get me wrong, I've have every Apple product going since the Newton but there is no point spending money when you don't need to. It seems, for your requirements, you don't need to!:)
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    You make some really good points.

    The truth is I love my wife's laptop (older C2D based Macbook Pro) and have wanted something like that for the last 2 years.

    Also, the main reason I am trying to get away from getting a Windows based laptop is because I want something that runs *nix natively. I have talked to a lot of people who work as full-time *nix administrators and even they recommend that using a Macbook is the safest bet to get what I am looking for.

    Plus honestly, this is more about WANT than NEED. I have a really good desktop and laptop already which are both dual-booted to use Ubuntu along with Windows 7. I am looking to get a nice Macbook to compliment these. Just not sure which one.

    As my wife would say, 'Any excuse to get a new toy!'.
  10. in2tech, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    I would just recommend getting the MBA 13" as it has more screen to work with while you are coding and for every other use. It's still so light for your needs. I just purchased my first MBA about a month ago and originally was going to get an 11" but since I use it most of the time at home the 13" is perfect and I would have returned the 11", but that's just my preference.

    Your right best buy does not carry the 8gb ram model or I would have bought it. Having said that apple it appears for my needs it wouldn't have made much difference. On the other hand my next one will have a bigger SSD, as I bought the base i5 4 gb ram 128 gb SSD. But that is only mainly because of some games I play. With the bigger SSD I wouldn't have to move things around on my external hd so much. I like simulator games and they take a lot of hd space. And they work so much better because of the SSD.

    Let us know what you get :)
  11. macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    I could never use my iPad as a laptop replacement. It's a great entertainment device, but it's mobile OS just doesn't cut it for the kind of work I do. Yet I do understand those that are so in love with tablets they'll do nearly anything to make it work for them.

    The 8GB ram option is special order (BTO) only via Apples online store.
  12. macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Macbook Air is a GREAT complimentary laptop!

    Seriously, I get compliments on my MBA all the time.

    I wish it told me I looked pretty every once in a while, though.
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    That made me laugh out loud at work.

    I am leaning towards the 4 GB Macbook Air right now.
  14. macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2005
    Of course it's a great complimentary laptop, if you're lucky enough to get one for free :)

    1. Expressing a compliment; praising or approving.
    2. Given or supplied free of charge.

    1. Completing; forming a complement.
    2. (of two or more different things) Combining in such a way as to enhance or emphasize each other's qualities.

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