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MBA - Suitable for me.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jamesd123, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. macrumors member


    I need some advice on a MacBook air.

    I am planning on attending University in September and I was wondering if it would suit my needs.

    I currently have a very powerful window’s desktop, Ipad 1 and Iphone 4 I also have a notebook which I used at College but is getting too slow and not very powerful anymore.

    The main reason I have been looking at the air is because of the battery life and how portable it would be.

    I would not be using Itunes on it as I have my Iphone 4 for when out and about and my desktop at home for my main Library. I may watch the odd movie on it but not too bothered as I have my Ipad for that.

    So I would use it when travelling around and for taking notes and doing some essays on at University then use my desktop for the bulk of my University work.

    I have been speaking to friends who said what I need a MBA for I could do on my Ipad, they said buy a Wireless keyboard, buy the apple software for doing notes on when at University and do the bulk of essay work at home. If I do the Ipad option it would be a lot cheaper than buying an Air.

    Sorry for the long post just wanted to give the most information possible.

  2. Moderator


    It is possible to do the same work on iPad with the wireless keyboard but you lose quite a lot of portability. The wireless keyboard is fairly big so it along with iPad would take more space than 11" MBA. You also need a table to use them comfortable (you can't really have the KB and iPad on your lap).

    MBA would be better suited for your needs than an iPad. I would consider selling the iPad unless you really need it.
  3. macrumors member

    Thanks for the fast reply.

    I thought the same about the Ipad only being used on a table with the keyboard.

    If I was to get an air which would you recommend?

    I like the 11 and my Notebook was 11 inch screen so should be easy to use for my eyes. Should I get the i5 or i7 processor? How much Ram? What hard drive size?

    I don't want to sell the Ipad as it is on contract and I got it the day after the 2 came out.

  4. And
    macrumors 6502

    Looks like an unnecessary purchase to me, you have an ipad for notes and a desktop for bulk of work (essays, etc.). If you really needed something portable to write an essay on, get a keyboard for the ipad. I'm sure you'll still buy an air, but you should realise it is a want and not a need. At the very least I would wait until you go to uni, because a) you will find out if you realistically ought to get one (and I would suggest not), and b) you can get a cheaper one via the HE education store with free 3 year warranty (£730 for base model). Regards, and.
  5. macrumors newbie

    I certainly agree that the MBA would be better suited to your needs than an iPad with a keyboard. The iPad + keyboard will be far more of a hassle - as already mentioned, you really can't use it in your lap, also, when you wish to use it, you must set it up first and it also means carrying two separate pieces, which seems rather cumbersome to me. The MBA is also, of course, far more versatile. You can even run windows on it if you desire / need to; you can really do a lot more with the MBA than with an iPad.

    I have just recently purchased the new MBA 11" for university and so far it is perfect. When starting a lecture, it's a simple matter of pulling it out, opening the 'lid' and within a couple of seconds, you have a fully operational machine, with everything right where you left it. At the conclusion of a lecture or class, simply close the lid and slip it into its case. No keyboards to disconnect and fuss around with (as with the iPad option). Although it may seem like it wouldn't take long to set up / disassemble the keyboard for the iPad each time, I really think one would tire of it very quickly - I know I would.

    I opted for the 11" i7 with the 256GB SSD. I'm sure this is overkill for my use, but that's what I wanted, and I am extremely happy with it.
  6. macrumors member

    Im student too and I got 11", i7, 128GB and its just perfect!!

    I have external monitor and hard drive in home to connect.

    ps. 4GB RAM is a must have!
  7. Moderator


    I personally have the 13" but I opted for that since I need every single pixel I can get (I'm a writer and I often need to have two windows side by side: one for research and one for the document). 11" is probably better for note taking as it's smaller and you also save some money.

    I would go with the $1199 MBA since you get 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. The base one would be okay as well but you want 4GB of RAM anyway so the price difference will be quite small, and extra storage is always good.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    I'm not at University, but do a lot of on-the-hoof note taking for my job. Have been happily using the iPad and the iPad 2 with a BT keyboard for about a year, but the poster above is right - I realised actually how awkward the set up is for intensive note taking when you may not have a table, and to have to spend a while faffing around connecting up the keyboard, and not being able to have other windows up and open when you need them. I also realised how much time I spent tidying up the formatting of documents I created on the iPad once back on my MacBook Pro.

    I just bought a, 11" 1.4/4gb/128SSD MBA and it's absolutely perfect - instantly on soon as the lid is up, and actually smaller and lighter than the iPad + KB combo.

    However, if you are able to financially, hold on to the iPad. It has come into its own for document reading/ mark up and it replaces a whole stack of papers/ books I would otherwise be carrying around with me. I carry both with me most times, and seems like the ideal combo.

    Good luck with Uni. :)
  9. macrumors member

    Thanks for the reply. :)

    Still not sure what to do. By the time I buy a keyboard and the apps for the Ipad I need it will cost maybe £60 which is fine. I have had a long think last night about this and I understand what people say about the keyboard not being very good when used on a lap and carrying it around, I would drive to Uni and from my car to classroom like a 5mins walk so carrying a keyboard won’t be an issue . But I would only need to use my Ipad on a desk or on a hard surface I can't think of a reason when I would need to use it on my lap.

    Also I love the look of a MacBook air. But for the cost I might try out the Ipad + keyboard while saving money when working and maybe when I can afford an Air then I might buy one.

    A lot of my friends have said get a windows laptop but when I had my notebook it was all ways slow and had trouble getting it fixed. But I have owned two iPhones, two shuffles and Ipad 1 and if I have had a problem there are great support systems like on here, apple site or you just go into the shop and they will happily sort you out and be so friendly never had one problem when going into an Apple shop.
  10. macrumors 68020


  11. macrumors member

    I really like that case. It makes it look like a laptop which makes it less obvious you are using an Ipad.

    Has anybody seen a case like this for an Ipad 1 I had a look and could not find a decent one?

  12. macrumors member

    Anybody else?
  13. macrumors 68000


    Sold my 64GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 and put the money toward a 2011 11-inch 4GB/128GB MBA. No regrets and should have done it earlier!
  14. macrumors member

    Sorry to bring up my old thread.

    But I got into my University today after going through clearing.

    I have decided I would like a MBA.

    But not really sure on size as I have a 10inch notebook which is fine and I don’t have a problem with the scree, so would the 11inch be better than the 13inch for me.

  15. macrumors 603

    That's a very difficult question for someone else to answer for you, since it depends on your personal preferences and needs rather than truly objective measures.

    Personally, I prefer the 13" screen over the 11" and don't need the ultra portability of the 11" over the 13" enough to make up for the screen real estate tradeoff.

    Plenty of other people have very valid reasons why they prefer the 11" over the 13".

    Both are viable systems; what's more important to you, smaller overall size or larger screen?
  16. macrumors member

    Well I have never really used a MBA to see what the screen quality is like. I do have an Apple retailer store in town centre so is my best bet to go and have a play and speak to the guys in there, I am only using it for basic note taking and essays but mainly for traveling so the 11inch may be better.

  17. macrumors 6502

    iPad can tumble down...

    It's not only the hassle and day-to-day inconvenience that limit the useability of the iPad-Keyboard combo, but also the real risk of the iPad tumbling over on a often small table in a university setting. The two unit combo is not a good solution. I have experienced that myself. But initially, I hoped it would work well. It didn't.
  18. macrumors member

    Get the 11inch. its more sexy. less wasted space. :D
  19. macrumors member

    I think I may get the 11inch, is it better off going with the ultimate set up?
  20. macrumors 68020


    if you can afford it, go for it. Thats the one I have and love it. It feels like i'm not compromising anything other than the dvd drive to get this portability.
  21. macrumors regular

    iPad doesn't suffice for serious work like full essays, but serves you in other ways.

    If you do humanities subjects that require a lot of essay writing etc. then the iPad won't suffice. You'll need to have multiple windows open, copying and pasting, inputting references, etc. For that, you'll need a MBA or the MBP.

    As for the iPad, it depends on if you've found the right uses for it. I know some people who expect it to be a PC-style thing and treat it that way, thus not getting the most out of it. I treat it just like a Pad; something you hold in your hand that serves you multiple purposes. I do most of my web browsing on it, read Kindle books on it, bang out emails, write short blog posts, scribble and draw and brainstorm, organise myself, read and annotate PDFs, play games with the kids, teach the kids, read stories with the kids, etc.

    Even when writing my essays in uni with the MBP, I would use the iPad as a secondary extension screen using the Air Display app to keep a reference material on it, while typing away and working on the MBP. Other times, I would just use the iPad as a timer and analogue clock that I'd prop up next to my MBP.

    So basically, the iPad has served me in ways different to a laptop/notebook. In short, you could get the MBA for actual serious student work and keep the iPad as a companion device for work and everything els (games, art, reading, clock, weather, frame, display, etc.). But it means you need to make sure you have the right apps installed in order to bring the right uses out of the iPad.

    The only problem you would have is the desktop computer at home. With the iPad and MBA, I don't see how much you would use the desktop. Or on the other had, you would use the desktop a lot, but only use the MBA for those occasional uni work here and there, which really doesn't justify you going and buying a £800 device.

    Personally, for my uses, the MBA appears to be enough. I plug it into a display at home and turn it into a desktop with external storage, external keyboard and external trackpad. I unplug it when mobile. This is for work.

    For everything else, I just use the iPad and iPhone.
  22. macrumors 6502

    this is how i plan to use in college
  23. macrumors member

    After reading the last couple of posts I am still not sure on whether I would need/use an MBA.
  24. macrumors 68000


    If you are planning on using your Windows desktop still, then it seems like kind of a waste to go for the Ultimate version of the MBA. If note taking in class is really the main use for it, honestly I'd try on the keyboard/case combos for the iPad for a week to see if I could live with it first - it's a heck of a lot cheaper and may work fine for your needs. Just pick it up somewhere with a good return policy and go for the MBA if it isn't working for you.
  25. macrumors member

    Yer my desktop is main machine, the main uses for MBA is note taking and travilling.

    I would have thought I would have looked like a tool using the Ipad with a keyboard.


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