11" Air and External as primary computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rockyroad55, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #1
    I currently use a Macbook as my setup. I plan on selling this machine and just using my 20" Samsung monitor along with an 11" Air as my primary setup. I might just get the low end Air when it comes out since I am not a heavy user and will never be one.

    This is what I am thinking about having:
    1) 11" Air
    2) 20" external monitor
    3) External hard drive
    4) Maybe Superdrive, but probably not
    5) Arcstand for Air, just for fun

    Options 1 and 2 are a definite. I already have the wireless keyboard and mouse ready also. Does anyone else have this similar setup to mine and love it?

    ***The iMac I have is actually a family computer not my own.***
     
  2. waters.ini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    #2
    had the same thought

    I also have an iMac as my primary and was thinking of selling it and going for a similar setup. The only issue would be file management. Even if they update the base flash storage to 128 GB, I would want to have all my music, documents and programs on the internal drive and this is not nearly enough. I have a nice 2tb external but carrying that thing around would defeat the purpose of getting the air.

    The power, of even the current air's is clearly good enough for most people, and ports can be solved with a hub. For me, I would have to seriously reorganize my file usage for it to work.

    I am trying to pare everything down and do a little house keeping in preparation for lion anyway, se we'll see.

    I really can't afford to get one as a secondary. Well have to see when they come out (next week?).

    Good luck.
     
  3. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #3
    Currently, on my MacBook, I used only 20GB of space out of the 320GB. They are mostly application space and 500MB of music (Pandora here). All of my important documents are on Dropbox. 128GB is more than enough for me, but heck no with the 64GB.
     
  4. mscofield macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #4
    I plan on doing the same. I have a 15" Macbook Pro now.
    I'll be using it for college.
    I won't be needing that much of a screen size, disk space, ports etc when on the move.
    So I think I will be doing just fine.
     
  5. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #5
    Are you planning on getting rid of the 15" entirely or just using the 11" as a secondary?
     
  6. TheQuestion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Location is relative, no?
    #6
    I have a similar setup to what you are proposing without the external hard-drive except for backup purposes. I use iDisk, Dropbox and now Amazon Cloud (and later iCloud) for storage purpose. I do have lots of files, but I don't need all of them with me all the time. I have a ton of email, but always go through the web interface. Still, i did get the 128GB ssd for the 11" air, videos I download but have not watched yet do take a lot of space.
     
  7. aleni macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    #7
    i use 11" air with 4GB and 64GB SSD as my primary computer. my itunes music library is only 9GB, and because apple recently added a "purchased" section on itunes, i deleted big sized apps and games i own that i currently dont put in my iphone and ipad like fifa11, n.o.v.a etc. so a lot of saved space. when i need em i just download it again from my iphone or ipad.
     
  8. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #8
    We Have 3 -11" MBA 4GB/480GB OWC SSD's ,when hooked to the desktop they power the 3 ACD's. When tethered to the displays they run in closed clamshell mode, we then use the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard,Trackpad,and Bluetooth Mouse. This is the perfect set up for us to run our business, as well as having ultimate in portability. Also when tethered, our iPads do light duty stuff:cool::apple::apple:
     
  9. Eggtastic macrumors 6502a

    Eggtastic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    I have a 15" MBP now, and finally hooked a buyer to take it off my hands for a decent price. I will be purchasing an 11" MBA when the new ones arrive, and plan to buy an external dell monitor, keyboard, and mouse or trackpad.

    Honestly for your uses it would be perfect. I feel a lot of people have an Imac and then a portable device in terms of a MBA or Ipad. With any 2 of those combos you will be spending a lot of money. The MBA + external combo saves you money, and is basically a thrown together Imac minus the power, which you do not appear to need.

    good luck.
     
  10. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #10
    The MBA is perfectly capable of being a primary machine. With an external display, your looking at a win-win situation.

    If you plan on going for the low one, do get an external USB HDD as the 64 will run out pretty quick. Theres been a lot of talk on the refresh MBA having 128GB SSD standard which is a good move (if it ever happens!).
     
  11. secretpact macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #11
    I've been using my 11" MBA as my only computer for the past 5 months. I am having no problems :). Oh, and I have the cheapest model. I do use an external mouse but I don't use a monitor. I do have a 1TB external HD though.
     
  12. badgerman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #12
    I am thinking of doing this as like the idea of 11" on sofa and out of house but in office with 22 or 24" monitor. I see dell are doing some food cashback deals at the min looking at hotuk deals. I have both dvi and VGA mini display adapters for my collectors unibody allu MB. I assume these will be fine for new MBA.

    Btw Are you unit3 on YouTube? If so your our (UK) techno buffalo!
     
  13. urkel macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #13
    Im trading in my 09 15" MBP for a 13" Air and using it with my 24" monitor.

    The only heavy app I use is Aperture which choked on my MBP, but I used it on an i5 13" MBP and it screamed. So while the Air may not be an ideal photo editing machine, the new Sandy Bridge seems to really be a powerhouse and mixed with SSD then I think this will all work out.
     
  14. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #14
    Thanks for all the responses, but I definitely know if I didn't say I will be using an external, then I might get different responses here since an 11" by itself isn't great for doing long term work. I still like my MB so if come next week, the airs do not excite me (but I know they will just because it is Apple), I'll just stik with my MB. Not a bad machine for my usage too.
     
  15. mrklaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #15
    I think one fly in the ointment for this approach is how seamlessly you can get your external media referenced.

    Eg my documents are all on dropbox and synced to my MBP, but don't take up much space so I'd keep them locally.

    Music I'd need to store externally on my NAS, likewise with my photos. (I already back them up there, but I use local copies on my MBP)

    But I have had problems in the past with having my shared drives automounting and being readily available, so I can imagine this being much more annoying than it sounds compared to storing things locally and backing up to the network.

    eg coming out of sleep, how long does it take to mount the drives, itunes having a tendency to screw up syncing if it can't find the target file quickly etc.

    Any guides to rock solid share mounting to make this 'air + external' more usable?
     
  16. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #16
    Dave, you are helping me make the choice. I wussed out and got 13 inch and do not intend to make that mistake again. So long as I have another Mac on hand for intense computing, having a second monitor and an 11 will make my portable computing more enjoyable.
     
  17. will0407 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #17
    I used to have a 13" pro and an imac 27" 3.2ghz i3.

    I sold both, bought an 11" air 4gb 1.4ghz 128gb and a 2nd hand apple 24" led.

    Only downside was the reduction of screen space on the monitor. Using the 11" over a 13" is no big difference to me and I have everything stored on one machine with a bit extra cash in my pocket. SSD makes a huge difference, don't think I could ever go back to a standard HD now
     
  18. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

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    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #18
    I don't think it takes much time for the drives to mount when you plug it in. On my current MB, I use my brother's HD temporarily and it mounts the second I plug it in and reads everything just fine.
     
  19. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #19
    I have a bigger problem. If one were to have 360GB in music does one simply use playlists to organize which songs are mobile and which tether to an external drive?

    I can already see the thousands of gray '!' signs when I travel.
     
  20. mrklaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #20
    sure, but I'm talkign about a network drive/NAS approach. If I'm considering an Air for portability, I want a wireless solution. Automounting shares in OSX is a pain
     
  21. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #21
    Oh right, sorry about that, didn't read it correctly. Wireless would be a pain in the ass actually. Maybe for the files you need, like music, you would get a small external and documents would be stored to the wireless network? Since iTunes can read things wrong sometimes, the external hard drive might be good for media and everything else can go to a wireless storage network?
     
  22. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #22
    When I get my MBA 2011, I will most probably pick up a dell monitor and use that setup for my new office.

    Yep, I am theunits3 on YT - thanks :D
     
  23. rockyroad55 thread starter macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #23
    You should go get a Samsung monitor. Their LED displays aren't bad at all.
     
  24. badgerman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #24
    True - its just at the min in UK you can get up to £75 off dell monitors so they are £33 for 22" or £66 for 24" 1080p. Not bad, just need a an old CRT monitor to recycle.
     

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