11 Inch MBA + Monitor as ONLY machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Andras5soul, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Andras5soul macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2007
    Please chime in if you have this setup, or if you know of anyone that does, or simply have read enough about it to give an objective opinion.

    I'm moving from a 15 inch MBP to an 11 inch MBA. I already know the MBA is enough for exactly everything I need a computer for, except for screen size. Much of the work I do on my computer, while not GPU intensive, needs much screen real estate.

    Can the MBA drive a 24 inch screen with zero problems or hick ups?
    When without screen, has anyone been able to entirely neglect the dock? While this hasn't been discussed, I reckon that the real reason for Launchpad and the multitouch gestures for switching apps is meant to help exclusively with mobile computing and insufficient screen space. Has this really worked for anyone?
    Has anyone used to 11 Inch, without a monitor, for over 6 hours? (yes, plugged in). How are your eyes doing?
    Any additional information helps. Thanks
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    That sounds completely feasible. Remember, with the Core i7 processor, there is no difference at all between the 11" and 13" versions, and even with the core i5, the main difference is in turbo boost (2.7GHz vs 2.3GHz). I don't have an external monitor that I use all the time, but I did hook up my MacBook Air to my HDTV as an experiment, and it seemed to handle the extra real estate just fine.
  3. addoh macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    I am wondering the exact same thing, more specifically how it will work with the new 27' Thunderbolt display. Will Lightroom 3 and movie streaming work fine without stuttering?
  4. ejisfun macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    I use my 2010 mba (base 11) with a 20" monitor and don't notice any problems running it dual screen. I imagine the updated one would be able to handle a 24" with no problem.

    I haven't eliminated my dock yet, just because i'm too used to it, but it sounds perfectly practical using solely launchpad. The only problem I can think of is that some of the strange thumb+3 fingers gestures can be awkward on the smaller trackpad of the 11" air.

    In regards to the native screen size, the pixel resolution more than makes up for it. I don't know what your eyesight is like, but I'm able to work on the small screen for long periods of time with no problem.
  5. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    I used the Air 2010 1.4GHz for that. Worked perfect.
    Eyes is not the problem for me. It's ergonomics. The 13" is much more comfortable for long work in my experience.
  6. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I moved from a MBP to Air also, but went with the 13". My setup is a 27" monitor (Main Screen), the Macbook on a laptop pedestal as the 2nd screen where I put my casual stuff for while im working on editing photos and my keyboard/mouse have me about 24" away from both screens.

    With the 15" that 2nd screen was fantastic and aided my workflow but with the 11" I tried then the fonts and lettering were so small from 24" away that I couldnt use it for much at all. Websites were unreadable, 2nd screen editing required me to hunch in to look at the details and even my twitter feed was unreadable. I bought the 13" for me and while its a step down from the 15", its a good size for docking and still being useful.

    Obvioiusly this is all personal opinion so no offense to anyone. I know one day I'll buy an 11" but this is my primary system.
  7. mkelly macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2007
    I'm writing this on a 27" Cinema display, connected to a 2010 11" MBA (1.6 GHz Core2Duo) and I have no problems whatsoever. The little MBA can drive the 27" without any trouble at all. I was just watching a full-screen HD video stream a few minutes ago.

    So I imagine the 2011 11" MBA won't have any trouble at all.
  8. jblock macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2006
    This is the setup I use; i5 and 256 GB. Mostly with a monitor with the wireless keyboard and trackpad. No issues with speed or screen size. I could have gotten away with 128 GB hard drive but will use this as the main system for a few years. The screen size is fine for me, with my aging eyesight using progressive lenses the sweet spot of vision is small anyway. I use the MBA as the main monitor and a 21.5-inch as a secondary monitor. The sharpness of the MBA screen is great.

    I used a Mac SE early in my career for a number of years so the screen size is great compared to that. I have a MBP 13 and the screen is just too fuzzy now when compared to the MBA.
  9. nuccadoc macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2007
    Calgary, Canada
    I just bought a 2011 11" i7, with 256 SSD, and I use a 24" ACD at the office and a 27" ACD at home, works just perfect. I've watched HD video, DVD's, etc, no problems what soever. I find it runs better than my late 2009 MBP 17" ultimate!
  10. XX55XX macrumors regular

    May 17, 2009
    If you have external storage for your music and movies, it can't hurt. Depends on your overall usage patterns.
  11. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    My wife is using a 2010 11" MBA connected to a 24" ACD as her main setup. She does quite a bit of her work in Win 7 under VMware. It is surprising how well this setup works, considering that her CPU is a 1.6 GHz C2D. Nevertheless, no issues at all here.
  12. noodles5666 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    I have a 2011 11'' 1.6Ghz/128GB/4GB and I use it as my main and only computer. I have it hooked up to my 46'' Sony 3D TV and have no issues.
  13. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    That's good to know.

    Any fan noise or heat with your i7 11"?
  14. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    i have 2 22" externals right now but i was thinking about getting the 27" add but the iMac 21.5" is only $100 more with the best buy gift card.
  15. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Why would you care how much a 21.5" iMac costs when considering a 27" ACD?
  16. macpbr98 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    I'm considering making my 11" 256GB SSD i7 my sole home computer. It's faster than my iMac as well as any other computer I've used to date. Geekbench even has it smoking my work PC that's a Dell Core i5 2.6 GHz processor.

    The SSD drive + the new iX Sandy Bridge processors makes it insanely quick!
  17. mscofield macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I'm planning on using the 11"+monitor as my only machine. Sold my MBP.
    I don't understand people saying: "if you want to get anything serious done, get the 13!"
    IMHO, if you want to get anything serious done.. you'll use an external monitor. 11" or 13" wouldn't make a significant difference for me.
  18. toi macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    it'd very well be unless you into 3d games

    it is for me now :)

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