Anybody using an MBA as their main rig?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dontwalkhand, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. dontwalkhand, Dec 10, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011

    dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I own an MBP, and I love it. Though I did come across threads here on MR of people who are stuck in deciding whether they want an MBA or MBP. And this just got me curious, is there anyone here who uses an MBA as their main computer, and is there enough power to handle what you need it to do?

    Mad props if you have pictures :)
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I don't, but there's nothing that my 11in MBA can't do that I do on my 27in iMac ... aside from having a gigantic screen. So I could easily use it as my main rig, especially if I had a Thunderbolt display. Alternatively, solely depending on the 13in would be cake.

    I guess space would be an issue as I only have 128GB on my MBA vs the 1TB in my iMac. But 256GB would get me far and a networked drive could easily supplement the (not often accessed) rest of my files.
  3. apexeffect macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2011
    I own both the MBA and MBP. I honestly use my MBA more than the MBP because I find it to be a bit more convenient. I don't have to wait as long for it to boot up, and it's a lot lighter to carry around. I do some pretty intense things with the MBA, and it has stood up to all of them.

    I do, however, use my MBP for work. I find that the processing power comes in handy during 10 hour days when you don't realize how many things you have open and running. I'm not saying my Air couldn't handle it, but there would probably be a bit of a delay.
  4. ThomasBoss macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    For most people the MBA is more than enough power. I only got the MBP because when I bought it the new ones weren't out yet. :rolleyes:
  5. sm0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wellington, NZ

    MBA 2010 was my one and only for a year. No issues, apart from the odd slow down. You can call me the extreme multi-tasker. I recently upgraded to the 2011 i5. More than enough.
  6. Nioxic macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    I only use mine for ... well anything, when i'm not at home. at home i use my desktop pc. this is mainly because i got the 11" model, and it hurts my neck when i use it for longer periods, at my desk. Its not designed for small monitors.

    my PC has a 27" monitor similar to the apple one (just 50% cheaper. and black <3)

    i bring my air with me, everywAir (see what i did there?)
  7. russelldirect, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011

    russelldirect macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Yup, the 11-inch. It's pretty sweet with a full-sized monitor attached.

    IMG_0095 by sudoexec, on Flickr
  8. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    My 11" Air is my main machine (connect it to an external monitor when I'm working). Only time I use my older/bigger Macs is when I use software that only runs on Snow Leopard or lower.
  9. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    It depends: for video editing/encoding, I find that my MBAs are underpowered for those tasks. Otherwise, I could get by with my 24" ACD for use with Ps, etc.
  10. larmende macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2011
    My MBA is replacing a 4 1/2 year Sony laptop and will be more powerfull than that anyway. There are plenty of people out there who only have a laptop, and for most users the Air is enough.
  11. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    I bought a 2011 iMac before I bought a 2010 Air, but really, I feel that if I had bought my Air first, I wouldn't need the iMac.

    I don't want to sell the iMac purely because I don't need the money, but, the Air is more than enough computer (even the 2010 model) for an average user.
  12. jmgregory1 macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    This is definitely a question a lot of people have - and I'm guessing it's fueled by those that are spec comparing. I'm guilty of doing this and yes, it worried me that the slower processor and lack of ram upgradability might be things that would push me to not get the mba. Of course, once I used the mba (I'm talking 2011 version here), all my worries went out the door.

    Having recently had to do set-up for my wife's new work 13" base mbp, I can say that this comparison specifically, to the 13" base mba showed me that at least the 13" mbp is just not even in the running when compared to the mba.

    As for using the mba as a main rig, given you can plug in an extra monitor, why wouldn't you use it. Unless you're running processor intensive apps or video intensive work, the mba should do just fine.
  13. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    RAM. If it came with the option of 8GB RAM, I would all over it.

    My current 2009 MBP 13" is still well capable, (after SSD + 640GB combo and 8GB RAM injection), but it's glossy screen, temperamental trackpad and comparatively pedestrian C2D CPU are a frustration. Not to mention the f*%$# battery, but at least that can be replaced.

    15"MBA with improved graphics and 8GB RAM would be a sweet replacement!
  14. Dubba macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2006
    Nairobi, Kenya
    It's my only machine...

    ... And leaves me wanting for nothing more.

    Between my 13" MBA for home / office use, my iPad2 for when I'm travelling, and my soon-to-be-received iPhone 4S, I'm good to go.

    The only thing I long for when editing long documents is an external screen, and I may get one in 2012.

  15. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
  16. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    I had a toshiba 15" laptop powerhouse and bought an 11" MBA (base model).
    I kept using the MBA (even for games, not too demanding though) for everything, the resolution makes everything look so sharp, and the small screen doesn't bother me.
    It's extremely portable (d'uh), which I love as I wanted a laptop that I can take to the university every day (and without a charger ;-) ).
    It can handle pretty much anything (and remember, I have the BASE model with 2gb ram).
    Depending on your needs and screen size preference, I suggest the 4gb 11" model or the base 13" version.
    I don't recommend any i7 as they heat up a lot. From my experience:
    :apple: I'm gaming on windows (boot camp) with no problems (warcraft3+League of Legends) on the base 11" 2011 model.
    :apple: My friend can't play the same games in windows in his core i7 13" model because it will overheat and shut down.

    Even though I have the smaller version (things are more crammed inside), the 13" will overheat because of the i7.
  17. B2FiNiTY macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    yep, it's my one and only. does everything I need it to do and more. :cool:
  18. Internaut macrumors 6502a

    Getting there......

    Typing this on my 2008 White MacBook because it's convenient (it's permanently on my desk and connected to my firewire storage) but within the next few months, I can see myself mostly using the MBA. I already use it whenever I want to be away from my desk and crucially, for heavy lifting (Aperture's a breeze on the MBA).

    So, once I have a Thunderbolt docking solution, I will probably mostly be using the MBA at home and keeping my MacBook at the office (where a second computer would come in useful).
  19. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Between my MBA and my iPad, its all the power that I need. If anything, it is more powerful than what I need, but the extra speed is always nice. :)
  20. jkim3691 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    When you do that (full screen on external monitor) doesn't your MBA's fan get really loud?
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's not full screen in that image.
  22. Epic Xbox Revie, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011

    Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Washington, D.C.
    Yes. And it's awesome.

    Attached Files:

  23. adamtj11, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011

    adamtj11 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I do and I don't, I have a White MacBook loaded up with 6gb of Ram(soon a SSD) plugged into a 24" 1920*1200 screen with a large External HD for anything that requires a load of space (movies, bootcamp, iTunes), and I use it to act as a media server for my air(iTunes Sharing, Movie sharing etc) and a MBA for moving around with for coding and working away from the desk, I'd call them both about equal , for some things I prefer the desktop setup(I'm looking at you Xcode) and other things the MBA.

    Attached Files:

  24. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    What makes you keep the MacBook? I mean, why don't you just use the MBA with the external storage instead?

    Just wondering :p

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