11inch MBA as primary device?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Gunny011, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Gunny011, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    Gunny011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #1
    Hi!

    I might be picking up the new 2011 MBA 11inch model tomorrow. I hope to use it as my primary device: I'll be using it for tasks like: web surfing. writing essays. email, the regular stuff.

    My primary device is an acer however since my iPad 2 purchase, the iPad has been my primary device for my tasks (mostly because of the summer holidays and I don't have to write essays!) I'll be giving my acer to a family member who needs a computer!

    I feel the MBA 11 inch will be just fine as my primary device, the screen is just about right, with a nice resolution and isn't much smaller than the 13 inch.

    Has anyone got any opinions on the MBA 11 inch for being a primary device?

    Thanks.
     
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #2
    It's fine for me for similar tasks. The keyboard is full size, though since it's physically smaller there is less room for the palmrest area. However, the trackpad is fine, and I've gotten used to the screen. PowerPoint and Excel are two of the only applications where sometimes I would like more vertical real estate (that ribbon hurts), but if Microsoft updates Office to support Full Screen that would be less of an issue.
     
  3. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

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    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #3
    All by itself I don't think I'd be happy using the 11" MBA as my only computer. It does feel a little bit cramped -- the trackpad is small and the screen resolution is just barely adequate. It's a joy to tote around, for sure, but 1366x768 is small no matter how much you like "full screen" apps.

    From a performance standpoint, though, I think it's more than enough for most people. If my 11" MBA was my only machine I'd be anxious for Apple to start shipping those Thunderbolt displays. Add a keyboard, a mouse/trackpad, and the Thunderbolt display and you've got a pretty great package.
     
  4. PaulWog Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #4
    So long as you aren't an intense gamer, it's great as a primary device. Screen size *could* be an issue from time to time if you're sitting down at home using it as a desktop... but that's what an external display is for anyways.

    Yes, I'd say it's a good primary device so long as you don't game, or do lengthy encoding/decoding. Basically so long as you don't do anything that keeps it at 100% CPU usage for huge amounts of time (since that tends to break parts down quicker... unless if you have Applecare then you shouldn't really care).
     
  5. Eggtastic macrumors 6502a

    Eggtastic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    i have been exploring my new 11" MBA for the past hour, just got it via fedex today and it feels like christmas morning.

    I sold my MBP 2006 15" model a week ago and used my moms 17" HP laptop in the mean time. So going from a 15", to a 17", down to an 11" is a big change but i can attest to the awesomeness of the machine.

    the screen takes a bit getting used to but i now find myself using safari and other apps full screen to help with the smaller real estate. also this screen appears to beat my old MBP and the HP i used.

    your uses are very similar to mine, and I would say this is more than perfect as a primary machine. I pair this with a 500 GB Western Digital portable HD for backups and if space gets cramped (i have a 128 sad MBA).

    If you really miss having screen real-estate than you can purchase an external monitor for cheap (if its not apple), i found a couple of Dell ultra sharp monitors for under $300.
     
  6. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #7
    I'll need to start my own thread because those in the list are not all that specific. :)
     
  7. kelhart macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    Yeah, I think it would make a great primary device. Particularly if it gets merged with one of those Thunderbolt displays.

    I've got two machines running right now. My old MBP is pretty much just a standby desktop now, but I do the lion's share (pun not intended...but couldn't be helped) of my work (reading/research, software development, and all the usual) on my MBA.

    I have a friend who is interested in buying my old MBP and I'm pretty much ready to part with it and live off the MBA.

    I'm a bit of a gamer, so that's the only thing that makes me pause, but I may as well go get an XBox or something to feed that need.
     
  8. 482214 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #10
    I travel a lot

    Today i have managed to order an 11" air with the 128 ssd and 4 gig ram as an insurance replacment from comet.

    I will be using this as my main machine.

    I also ordered a 64gb ipad 2 which along with an iphone means i really am portable.

    I think you'll be fine going from ur listed needs.

    Enjoy it
     
  9. genosseinski macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #11
    I will use my MBA 13 as my primary computer, since I don't really get the concept of having 2 computers. It's a big hassle to keep iTunes, software, Photos, Documents and all that synced across multiple computers. Yes there is some sync-software out there but it's really not the same as just using one computer and knowing that everything is on there!

    At home I plug it into a cheap external monitor, since I don't like to work with small screens for a longer period of time. The sitting position is more comfortable as well. I'm only a little worried if SSDs stop working after some years when you use it as a primary computer.

    For me, Laptop+Monitor is the ideal solution. Completely mobile, full work-station at home and no annoying syncing.
     
  10. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    I've been using the Macbook Air 11" as my primary computer for a few days now and so far so good. This is coming from a previous 15" MBP user. Passed the MBP to my sister(it's not even a year old yet) The vertical height limit does force you to scroll more and the smaller trackpad height does make the gestures a bit more harder to do. Once you get used to it all in all you'll be just fine. Just don't expect to have any intense gaming or if you tend to photoshop and video edit you might want to opt for the 13" instead for screen space. I do not use any sort of external monitor and use the Air's own screen. If I want to do something with a bigger screen I just use my iMac for that.
     
  11. adnoh, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #13
    Gentlemen,

    I see both of you have the mba11 and iPad 2. What's the point of that? Is there not a lot of functional overlap here?

    I ask this as I'm actually thinking of selling my iPad 1 and MacBook and getting a mba11 to replace both.
     
  12. 482214 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2010
    #14
    Trust me - once you try it you won't go back... The ultimate trio

    If money is an issue then just stick with the 11" MBA
     
  13. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #15
    I have an air on the way and currently own an iPad 2. I've always used the iPad for viewing/reading and will continue to do so. When it comes to actually creating content the iPad doesn't cut it for me.
     
  14. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #16
    OneMike doesn't overstate the imprudence of trying to get anything done using an iPad. For content consumption, it's a marvel ... and a genuine pleasure to use. But the iPad is, at least to me, almost useless for creative or work-related purposes.

    The 11" MBA, on the other hand, is a full-fledged computer with none of the deficiencies of the iPad. I have a 2010 Ultimate, and find myself using it so much (and longing for more storage space) that I'm considering upgrading to a 2011 Ultimate. I seldom tax the processor in the 1.6GHz version I own, but I keep running perilously close to filling the 128GB SSD.

    I've had the 13" MBA as well, and gave it to my wife. I've heard others say that the 11" MBA is a glorified iPad, and for some, that may be true. If you want to get work done, on the other hand, the 11" MBA is an the perfect machine ... especially if you travel a lot. I smile every time I get to leave it in my bag at a TSA checkpoint.
     
  15. Nugget, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #17
    I disagree with 482214. I haven't picked up my iPad 2 since I got the 11" MacBook Air. The MBA is just as portable as the iPad and significantly less compromised for actually doing stuff. As others mention, using the iPad to produce content is like trying to type while wearing mittens.
     
  16. Hey Jude, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

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    May 9, 2008
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    Florida
    #18
    I have the original iPad with an 11" MBA scheduled for delivery tomorrow, and I am seriously considering selling my iPad. I think that what I love the most about my iPad, its portability, is what I will have in the MBA so it might be pointless to have both.
     
  17. 482214, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    482214 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2010
    #19
    Im glad you disagree bro... Like i said, i feel like im living the sweet life when i rock up for my flight with an ipad for movies, iphone for work and soon to be delivered air for e mails and spread sheets. Virgin upper class even provides a charging socket in the car that picks me up!!!
     
  18. Stein357 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Rip City
    #20
    13" is the perfect size screen IMO, and I already have an iPad 2, so the 11" would be borderline redundant for me.
     
  19. entatlrg, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #21
    Different people different needs. If you don't think you need one then you probably don't ...

    I use my iPad2 along with my MacBook Airs everyday all day....
     
  20. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #22
    I think I bought the Ipad because of all the rave when it was released but I have found myself using it less and less. I also have a 13" macbook as my main machine.

    My main uses are email, general browsing, facebook and youtube. Not exactly very demanding I agree. I bought the Ipad as a sofa surfing device but its SO slow and the fact that tabs keep refreshing irritates me more and more hence I use my MB 95% of the time.

    I am seriously thinking of selling both and just keeping the MBA. Its as portable as an Ipad and as functional as my macbook.

    My only and major concern is the screen size. Some text I see on my 13" is small so it would be even smaller on the air. I dont want to be squinting all day at my screen and I live in a small flat so an external monitor is out the question.

    So in theory yes it could be my primary device but Im heading to an apple store today to check out the mba11.
     
  21. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #23
    I'm a web developer. I had a 15" Macbook Pro at home, and an iMac base line i3 model computer with 16 gigs of ram. On a normal day, I'm running quite a few applications... Dreamweaver CS5, Photoshop CS5, svnX, sequel pro, s3 client, textedit, iTunes, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, VMWare Fusion (1 gig and 1 core running Windows 7 with IE and Firefox), Mail, Adium chat client, Preview, and a few other odds and ends, all hooked up to an external 21" monitor and keyboard / mouse.

    I have the 11" Ultimate config (i7, 256gb, 4gb ram). Let's just say that I still have my iMac, but I'm going to be selling it in the next week. I gave everything a trial run after testing my friend's macbook air, my ultimate config air is more than sufficient to run everything that I mentioned simultaneously. It runs all of those without a hiccup or lag or graphic display lag.

    I'd consider myself a bit more of a power user than the average "email, browsing the web, playing facebook games" user. After a pretty heavy trial, this computer will easily become my primary computer for work and for home (I do iPhone development after my primary job). Trust me when I say that this computer is more than competent enough for your average / semi above-average needs.
     
  22. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #24
    You don't mind the i7 heat? I believe the i5 runs cooler and still has lot's of power compared to the 2010 MBA's.
     
  23. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #25
    With all of those apps running, I don't run into any heat issues, and the fans aren't kicking on. Most of the times it's running in clamshell mode hooked up to an external and it's very silent. The only times the fans came on and it was running with heat was when I first got it and it was spotlight indexing and I was installing several things at once. I do believe lots of other people are having heat issues, but I'm definitely not having those problems. They also might be running different applications than I am as well.
     

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