External Displays & Air - Pro's & Cons

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ShaneBunting, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. ShaneBunting Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    I'm planning on using my Air at home fully on an external. Only using it as a 'laptop' when I'm at school.

    Can this have any effects on it? E.g. Cooling, wearing out the graphics..

    I don't know if I should invest in a good bit external display or a Mac Mini to use at home.. Preferably the Air + Monitor..

    What do you recommend and can you find any problem with using the Air as a 'desktop' 70% of the time.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    There's no problem with using your Air with an external display, as long as you don't run on battery all the time. You're not going to wear out the graphics, and cooling isn't a problem. As long as you unplug and run on battery power for a few hours every few days, to keep the battery healthy, it won't be a problem.
     
  3. ShaneBunting thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    Keeping it plugged in the whole time it's connected to the display is okay though? :)

    Then when I'm at school I can let it deplete as per usual from its own power and that should be sufficient for keeping it in good condition?

    So happy I can get a good display instead of a mediocre one due to having to buy another Mac!
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Yes, that should work just fine. The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
     
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #5
    I'm using a 2013 Air this way and not had any trouble since I got it. And before that for 3 and a half years, I used a 2010 MBP the same way. You should be fine.

    You might want to look into a Thunderbolt dock for your desk. With that one Thunderbolt connector you can add an external display, external speaker audio connectors, a USB hub, firewire and ethernet, making connecting and disconnecting your MBA from your desk setup really easy.
     
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #6
    Pro - you can get a bigger screen.

    Con - it takes the portability factor down a couple of notches.

    The Apple TBD is sweeeeeet....
     
  7. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #7
    Using the MBA on an external display is perfectly fine. In fact, I'm using it on two Thunderbolt Displays.
     
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #8
    If I have a 2048 external display, will the MBA's GPU display at the new resolution or it just merely give me bigger size pixels?
     
  9. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #9
    It can't be on battery. The Air will not drive an external display on battery power.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    I obviously don't mean to leave the external display connected on battery power, but to unplug from the display and from AC power to run on battery for a while. Read the battery FAQ for more information.
     
  11. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #11
    Oh, sorry. I run an 11" MacBook Air with a 27" Cinema Display. When I'm home, I have the wonderfully large display, but when I take the machine traveling I have the wonderfully small MacBook Air. Most of the time, the machine acts as a desktop and is plugged in. I set a Reminder once a month to discharge the battery completely and perform a full charge. That's it.
     
  12. glenbogle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #12
    Yeah, it will. I'm doing it now.
     
  13. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #13
    Our setups must be different then. If I pull the power from my Air, my external Cinema display goes dark.
     
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #14
    New higher resolution.
     
  15. teffers macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    If you use it in clamshell mode the power has to be in, if the MBA is open then it can run a 2nd monitor and it's own display, whilst on battery power :)
     
  16. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #16
    It certainly runs an external display on battery power. I do this sometimes myself with an old Apple Cinema Display with no problem. Don't know about clamshell since I never use it that way.

    Should be no problem to use an external as your primary display. I did it for 2 years without problem on my 2011 MBA and do it now on my 2013 MBA. Battery life was still very good on the 2011 machine when I sold it. Just "excercise" the battery every now and then and you will be fine. :)
     

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