Does anyone on here use the 11" MacBook Air as their main computer and how do you like it?

Hieveryone

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Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
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I've flirted with the idea of getting the 11" as my permanent main computer I use for everything.

Has anyone on here used it long term, and as their main device, and how do you like it?

What are the pros and cons?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,575
2,830
Delaware
The first 'con' for the present Air is the display.
It seems unlikely that you would enjoy going from a retina MBPro to the obviously lower quality display of the older tech used in the Air.
I think it is probable that prices of existing Airs will drop when Apple goes all-retina on their new laptops, so that might be a good plan to wait, if you are OK with the display, and assuming the rumors are correct. Refurbished Airs will probably be available, and I can't see that they will be the quick sellers that some generations of Macs have been, mostly because of the display. You should be able to find good deals in a few weeks.
 
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8692574

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Currently the 11 is the only Mac I use, and I love it, it is connected to a good display when at home and it is great for portability...went back from a rMBP 13 and apart from the screen, there is really nothing that make me "regret it".
In love with my 11"!!!!
 
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Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
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The first 'con' for the present Air is the display.
It seems unlikely that you would enjoy going from a retina MBPro to the obviously lower quality display of the older tech used in the Air.
I think it is probable that prices of existing Airs will drop when Apple goes all-retina on their new laptops, so that might be a good plan to wait, if you are OK with the display, and assuming the rumors are correct. Refurbished Airs will probably be available, and I can't see that they will be the quick sellers that some generations of Macs have been, mostly because of the display. You should be able to find good deals in a few weeks.
Thanks. I would love an 11" MBA with retina.
[doublepost=1464471844][/doublepost]
Currently the 11 is the only Mac I use, and I love it, it is connected to a good display when at home and it is great for portability...went back from a rMBP 13 and apart from the screen, there is really nothing that make me "regret it".
In love with my 11"!!!!
Great! I really hope to get one soon!
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
I've used my 11" MBA as a 'main computer,' albeit connected to my TBD. The MBA will process Adobe CC Audition files that will choke a 13" rMBP, which is why I prefer the MBA. While I respect DeltaMac's assertion that the current MBA's display is a 'con,' I would submit that when you need a fair amount of processing power in a small package, an 11" MBA with 8GB of RAM and an i7 processor is hard to beat.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
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USA
I've used my 11" MBA as a 'main computer,' albeit connected to my TBD. The MBA will process Adobe CC Audition files that will choke a 13" rMBP, which is why I prefer the MBA. While I respect DeltaMac's assertion that the current MBA's display is a 'con,' I would submit that when you need a fair amount of processing power in a small package, an 11" MBA with 8GB of RAM and an i7 processor is hard to beat.
Why would a 13" rMBP be less powerful?
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
Why would a 13" rMBP be less powerful?
I think PPCeBay hit the nail on the head: In the rMBP, you have a slightly faster clock speed processor trying to pump a signal to double the number of pixels. All I know is that you can certainly tax the processor in a rMBP far more quickly than in an MBA. I became frustrated by the lag. I think folks deriding the quality of the MBA's display (which certainly is lacking) ought to consider the tradeoffs made to obtain the retina quality on the rMBP.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,055
7,588
California
My wife has used her Macbook Air 11' as her main computer for almost a year now. She never powers on her Windows desktop that I got for her in 2012 (Windows 10 has rendered that machine almost useless). The big MUST was, she had to have dual monitors for her college work, so I have a Thunderbolt to DVI and a USB to DVI to enable the Air to do dual monitors (works pretty well). http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters...qid=1464567932&sr=8-1&keywords=mac+usb+to+dvi and http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters...567955&sr=8-2&keywords=mac+thunderbolt+to+dvi

This is my wife's first Mac and she's extremely happy with it. During the weekdays she uses it at college all day and at night comes home to her dual monitor setup. We do play World of Warcraft (for old time's sake) - and it's very acceptable FPS on low quality (vsync enabled). Works with our Brother printer I have hooked up to our network much better than her Windows desktop ever did.

Cons? Lack of USB ports. With her Logitech solar keyboard (mac) and Logitech mouse + the USB to DVI, all her USB ports are taken so she has to disconnect a monitor to do anything USB related (very very rare).

I use a Mini Late 2014 for my main computer but use an Air 11' for everything else. I got the Mini for increased ram, hard drive space, and CPU but could have gotten by with the Air very comfortably.
 

8692574

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Cons? Lack of USB ports. With her Logitech solar keyboard (mac) and Logitech mouse + the USB to DVI, all her USB ports are taken so she has to disconnect a monitor to do anything USB related (very very rare).
I use the Thunderbolt to HDMI on my 11", that could solve the issue ;)

It is undeniable that the MBA monitor is lower quality / resolution, but we did manage to use "those screen" for years and I find it funy that people are like..."I don't know how you can use that, it's retina or nothing for me".

Especially when most people use a laptop with a screen when at home, and when around what you need mostly is portability....

The Air is a very capable machine, and even if at its EOL it is still very much a lovely computer, I went out and bought a 11" before they stop selling those as for me retina is cool but not a must and the MBr has too many compromise for now for its price.
 

jahala

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2008
203
13
My wife has used her Macbook Air 11' as her main computer for almost a year now. She never powers on her Windows desktop that I got for her in 2012 (Windows 10 has rendered that machine almost useless). The big MUST was, she had to have dual monitors for her college work, so I have a Thunderbolt to DVI and a USB to DVI to enable the Air to do dual monitors (works pretty well).
I have used my 11-inch Macbook Air in this configuration for almost five years as my only computer at work. At home, I occasionally connect it to an external monitor, but usually only if I am doing work at home. For recreational use, I find the 11-inch screen to be sufficient. I am still amazed that such a tiny machine is so capable.

I use it for AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, LaTeX, and internet stuff like email and browsing. I have used literally every Mac except for the latest 12-inch retina Macbook and prefer my 11-inch Macbook Air over all of them. I am tempted to try the 12-inch Macbook, but I am not looking forward to having to purchase adapters to connect my monitors again.
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
on the pro it is moving 2x the pixels ....
Actually the MBP is moving 4x the pixels. :)

MBP: 1600x2560=4,096,000 pixels
MBA: 768x1344=1,032,192 pixels

I replaced my 2008 15" MBP with a 2011 13" MBA. I loved it, but after awhile realized the 11" MBA was what I really wanted. So I got a 2013 11" i7 8gb/512gb MBA and it has been my primary computer ever since. At home it's usually connected to a big screen, external keyboard/mouse, USB audio interface and a variety of other peripherals.

I retired a few years ago, so my pro software is getting old but still meets my needs. I run Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Strata 3d CX, Vue Infinite, VectorWorks, PhotoShop, FileMaker Pro and other demanding software. The MBA handles it just fine for my use.

A retina screen would add nothing for me. The dot pitch on the 11" screen is already very fine, I can't imagine that more pixels would be useful and it would probably create problems with my older software.

Still completely happy with my 2013 MBA and don't see any reason to upgrade.
 
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