I have this dilemma. I'll be upgrading from my 17" HP beast, and while I enjoy the screen size, it really never leaves my desk except for the occasional trip to the couch. I want a small laptop to use with an external display, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. My usage 6-7 months out of the year I'm in China and will be using an external display setup 80% of the time. For the times when I take it with me on a short trip, or just to the coffeeshop, the 13" size is really convenient. 2-3 months out of the year I'll be travelling, backpacking, etc. Oftentimes visit SE Asia, Africa, and places off the beaten track. In this case, the smallest, lightest laptop will be an advantage, but don't want to go less than 13" because I still have to do some real work while on the road. 2-3 months I'll be back in the US, and will have a desk and external display to plug in to most of the time. Power requirements This is where I'm pretty easy. At any given time I'll be running web-based apps with 3-8 tabs open, Dropbox, iTunes, ThinkorSwim trading platform, and Skype. I don't watch movies or game on my laptop. Options Right now the MBA is a serious contender. I am mostly worried about overheating and slowdown while using an external display. I don't think my usage will tax the MBA at all, but I'd like to hear from others who often use their MBA attached to an external display. I am also considering a Mac Mini and a Netbook. When I travel back to the US I can easily pack the Mini and a netbook in my luggage. Downsides are while I'm travelling I'll be stuck with a small screen and won't get to use OSX. Keeping the computer in sync will be a bit of a hassle but with Dropbox it's not really a problem. Also, if my cheap netbook is stolen or damaged while backpacking I won't feel nearly as bad as if it were an MBA that also happens to be my only computer. Option C. 13" Macbook Pro. This would seem like an obvious choice, but whenever I play with one in the store, something just doesn't feel right. I strongly dislike the glassy screen. The MBA screen is far more comfortable. MBP is heavier, and I never use the optical drive. The thick black bezel and super-reflective screen look cheap to me. I'd welcome any thoughts, advice, opinions, and anecdotes, especially from people who use their MBAs with external displays. Thanks!