MBA Desktop Setup

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Geekazoid, Jul 14, 2013.


Do you have this kind of MBA Desktop setup?

  1. Yes

    21 vote(s)
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
  1. macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2012
    Hey guys,
    Just interested to know if any of you have your MBA setup with an external display and an Apple Wireless and Magic Trackpad for a desktop setup and how you're likeing it, as I plan on having this setup myself.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2009
    I occasionally plug mine into an external monitor and use a mouse, but it's not a common setup. Oh and it also gets plugged into the surround sound too :)
  3. macrumors 603


    Apr 6, 2007
    I have this setup and like it. I plug my MBA into a Belkin thunderbolt express dock, which has all my desk USB/Firewire/audio/external display connections on it. From that I have a 22 inch monitor, an extended USB Apple keyboard, and a wireless magic mouse. Works great!
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I have a Thunderbolt display with an Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad. I prefer this setup to the 21" iMac I gave to my parents. The performance is great and I love the extra screen real estate.
  5. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    San Francisco
    I don't because I have a 27" iMac as my desktop setup, MBA is my secondary computer for bed use and travel.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I've got this. When I previously had a 11" MBA, I used this setup almost exclusively except when traveling. I upgraded to the 2013 13" MBA, though, and now I hardly ever use the external monitor or the other peripherals. The screen is big enough as is for daily use. I don't find myself really needing the extra screen real estate often and the built-in trackpad is incredible.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    I at the moment am waiting for my MacBook Air to arrive, but I have a 15" MacBook Pro 2010 which I am replacing with the Air, my setup is as follows.

    MacBook Pro (soon air).
    Dell 27" U2713HM.
    Apple wired keyboard (with numpad).
    Logitech MX Anywhere mouse.

    I use the MacBook in open mode as a secondary (sometimes primary depending on what I'm doing) screen but sometimes I do close it and just use the external display. It's just like having a desktop (for what I do at least, for power power users it would be a lot slower/worse for CPU things and games!).
  8. macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    I also have a 27in iMac. No external monitor / mouse here
  9. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  10. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    Depends on the nature of your work, and whether you envision yourself sitting at your desk for an extended period of time.

    At home, it's a no-brainer if your laptop is your only computer, though I prefer to work on the couch or bed.

    I tried such a setup at my table at work (I am a teacher), but I find myself hardly at my desk these days (more responsibilities that involve me running about, plus I prefer to work at the lounge), so my monitor went largely unused.

    I find that it's a very seductive concept in theory, but is also ultimately something you need to try for yourself before you know whether it is suitable for you or not. Try with a cheap monitor and some spare keyboard+mouse lying around. If it works for you, then consider upgrading to a better screen and peripherals as funds allow.
  11. macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Knoxville, TN
    I am hopefully ordering my macbook air 13, this weekend. I am looking to do this set up, I am planning on magic mouse, but using a usb apple keyboard. Looking to see what you guys thing about for a thunderbolt docking station, preferable with more than one thunderbolt and USB 3 and what you guys recommend for a external optical drive. Thanks!
  12. macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2013
    11" Air with a 27" Thunderbolt display. I use the keyboard and trackpad on the Air- because, why not? I love the setup just make sure you plug in because a Thunderbolt display on battery alone will drain it fast.
  13. macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    i wished i got clam shell desktop setup, but i doubt i ever need it anytime...
  14. macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    My MBA is dual purpose with two logins.
    1. My personal machine
    2. My corporate laptop
    As a personal machine... I almost never plug it into a monitor. Instead I use my 27" iMac along with a 27" ATD. I love the dual 27" display setup.

    As my corporate laptop... I am 50/50 using the MBA as just a laptop vs using it with an external monitor. I travel a lot, so I love the mobility of the MBA. When in the office, I am also in lots of meetings... so the MBA is great to take from meeting to meeting.

    I also use my MBA with external monitors:
    • At work I have a 27" ACD
    • At home... I switch the ATD cable from my iMac, to my MBA when I want to work on some work project with a larger screen (ex: a presentation).
    For both work and home... I have a complete set of wireless kbd/mouse/trackpad dedicated to the same MBA.

  15. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013

    Yes, I do. I have my 13" MBA 2013 attached to a 23" 1080p HP monitor via a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter. I have a 7 port powered USB 2.0 hub in one port, and a 3TB USB 3.0 external HD in the other port. I have a speaker system in the headphone port and the Magsafe obviously. This setup works great, I can pick up the Air and use it wherever I want or just put it on my desk and plug in the five wires and we're good to go.

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