I think I'm going with an Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MauerFan, May 24, 2012.

  1. MauerFan, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

    MauerFan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #1
    I start college in the fall, and I think I'm going with the MBA. I'm not sure if the new ones will come out before August, but that's fine. I was thinking of doing this as my set-up

    11 in air
    20 in HP display

    I want to get a hard drive as well, and would spend $200 at most. What are some recommendations for that?

    For what it's worth I'm going into econ or sports management.
     
  2. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #2
    I am assuming you mean External hard drive?

    Would you want to be able to access this drive on the go (USB Powered), or have it tethered to a power brick like at your desk for backups and such?

    Honestly if you are going to be doing lots of "work" on the device, I would consider a larger screen. And, if you don't need it until fall, I would wait until the line refresh before I took the plunge.
     
  3. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #3
    Do you want your external hard drive to be USB powered or be powered by a wall wart? This is the main size limiting factor to your hard drive search.

    Example: last month I bought a 3TB hard drive from Best Buy for $160 + tax. It needs to be plugged into the wall to work though. For $110 + tax, I could get a 1TB bus powered hard drive from Best Buy ( http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western...lack/4911796.p?id=1218575757942&skuId=4911796 ).
     
  4. cnixon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #4
    "I start college in the fail...."

    I would recommend starting college in the pass, by always proof reading your work. ;)

    Regarding your set-up. You should be happy with it. I am not sure how you will connect the HP display to your Air. Not to say that it will not work, I just have no experience in the matter, and I know Apple is pushing Thunderbolt.

    You should be fine with any name brand External USB HDD. Just make sure that it has adequate space for Time Machine back-ups.
     
  5. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    #5
    I have the 11" and a thunderbolt display. Great combo, but I'm sure any external will be good. You're also going to want a BT keyboard and some type of pointing device.

    As for external HDD, and good quality on should be fine. Often times you get what you pay for.

    One further consideration. I was an Econ major for undergrad. This is going back several years, but we used a lot of Microsoft Excel for modeling, etc.. I'm not sure if Numbers will be approved for your courses, so you may well have to run Office. Keep this in mind when buying your MBA. I suggest going for 4GB ram.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #6
    I'd keep an eye out for redesigned Macbook Pros coming in June/Summer. They may be the better decision. They'll be thinner, possibly lose the optical drive and ethernet cable (like the Air), and will come with the latest OSX. May even adopt SSDs, which shouldn't be a problem for you if you plan to get an external HD for your set up anyway. EDIT: How can I forget, they'll likely have "retina" display too, whatever that'll mean. :)

    If they can really make the 15" MBP more portable than it already is, it'll be a hit.
     
  7. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  8. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    check out eBay for the hard case...I bought a nice one with Apple Logo Cutout for $24 from hong kong, China. This is my 3rd one (Own 2 for previous macbook Pro's) I love the case's they are very durable. Search "macbook air 11 plastic clear case" or replace "Clear" with the colour choice of yours and plenty will show up. They usually take 7-15days to arrive but well worth it because they also come with keyboard cover if you want to use it which I have been and is very useful because prevents crumbs or any other dust/liquid from flowing in.
     
  9. MauerFan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #9
    I guess I don't know if I'll for sure get an HP display, but I'd like to get some kind. My friend who's good with computers just mentioned it as a possibility.

    ----------

    Exactly. I'd like to be able to use it on the go. I probably could go with a 13 in air.

    ----------

    So the 11 in air works great for you? Typing a lot isn't difficult? What kind of display do you have and how much was it? If you don't mind me asking.
     
  10. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    He said he has Thunderbolt Display --- Costs $999(+ Applicable Tax or ~$650-$850 used and it has many advantages that I listed below) The 11" MBAir has a full-size keyboard except the top control buttons are just little bit narrow thats all So typing wouldn't be affected at all. If you get a external display, you would want to get a Bluetooth keyboard + Trackpad or MagicMouse (I would recommend the former) so you can use it comfortably and let your macbook air be in a ClamShel mode. 11" can workout just fine for you if you wanted it to (I would recommend 13") and when you get home it will be like having a desktop with a Monitor, keyboard and Trackpad/MagicMouse but advantage is your "desktop" is portable.

    Apple Cinema Display Ports/Advantages:
    Ports

    - Three powered USB 2.0 ports (Essentially when your home You will have 5 USB ports available if I'm correct---PS I don't own one cause I don't hav the money but I know people who do n they love it)
    - FireWire 800 port
    - Gigabit Ethernet port
    - Thunderbolt port
    - Charges your Macbook Air via its built in Mag-Safe Charger
    - Built-in FaceTime HD camera with microphone
    - Built-in 2.1 speaker system (49 watts)
     
  11. jgc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    I'm going into my fourth year of university in the fall and that's pretty much the setup I'll have. I'll be pulling the trigger on a new MBA when they come out (I want the 13", though) and I have an HP display I just bought for a good price. I bought an HP 2011x at Best Buy in Canada for only $99 + tax. It's a 1600x900 resolution on a 20" diagonal screen. I got it for a steal of a price and it's honestly a great monitor. It looks very sleek, it's nice and thin and the display looks great. Not the fanciest monitor, but affordable and nice.

    I also just got a new external hard drive. I know some people hate Seagate but I haven't had any issues with them. I have a 2 TB desktop FreeAgent GoFlex and it works great. What I really like about it is it has a SATA connection and simply connects to the base (a dock). I have USB 2.0 but I can buy a $20 dock on eBay and upgrade to 3.0, assuming the forthcoming MBA supports it. Seagate also has portable FreeAgent GoFlex models that run off your bus power. They also have upgradeability to USB 3.0, FireWire, etc. so you won't be stuck in the stone ages with new technology.

    Hope I helped a bit. I really recommend the products I've mentioned. Have fun on your MBA (I hope to, soon) and good luck in school.
     
  12. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #12
    If you're doing math or other courses with numeric input you'll probably want a wired keyboard with numeric keypad. There's no problem with having a thin wire when it's stationary, and it saves on batteries.

    If you like the trackpad on the MBA, you'll probably want a magic trackpad as your pointing device.
     
  13. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    #13
    What satnam1989 said!
     
  14. oscolivar1, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012

    oscolivar1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #14
    For me I would just buy a macbook pro 13- or 15" buy an Mstand that elevate it 6" and any bluetooth keyboard/mouse will do. I cant imagine lugging around the current 15in. pro, they are extremely heavy to be carrying around if you were looking for something portable so i'd wait for the refresh coming this summer because they'll be slimmer. My sister has one and i hate it because of how big it is. I have a macbook air that might be the reason why i dont like it....speed and portability.

    But the Air can easily get the job done for school with a monitor/accessories. I use the 11" AIR on campus for portability a lot of times I use an app called Splashtop remote desktop which control my IMAC from my AIR. So just using the 3 finger swipe I have an Air desktop and a IMAC desktop....Best of both worlds on one Mac. Just giving your options if you have no budget

    Also use a Blue silicone rugged armor A80 1tb Ext. HD from amazon...no problems at all with it. portable, water proof, drop test approved. On youtube someone flushed it down the toilet and it still works, others submerged it under water over night. Another ran over it with his car.... still works.
     
  15. Zzari macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    Just finished my 2nd year of college and would recommend the 13" Air. I have the 13" Pro, but knowing what I do now, I would have bought the Air. You don't need the optical drive, so there's really not much reason to get the Pro. The Air is lighter, and when you're carrying around textbooks, every lb makes a difference.

    If I were you, I would look into getting the following:

    -13" Air w/ 128GB SSD. Don't really need the 256GB since you'll have an external hard drive.
    -1TB External Hard Drive (for pictures, movies, old files, etc.)
    -24" 1920x1200 external display. The reason I say 1920x1200 is because it's great for working with any sort of document, whether it's Word, Excel, PPT, etc. The 120 extra vertical pixels make a huge difference. If you can spring for the Thunderbolt display, do it. It's expensive, but definitely worth it. I have a 27" iMac, and it is unbelievable to work on with the 2560x1440 workspace.
     
  16. MauerFan, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012

    MauerFan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #16
    Do you have any suggestions for the display brand and hard drive? Also based on rumors do you think I'd be fine if I didn't wait for the Air update? I'll probably get one by July no matter what. Retina display would be nice, but I don't know how much of a difference it would make. edit: I don't think I'd be able to get an iMac right now, so if you know of any other type of display that'd be great!
     
  17. thewoz, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012

    thewoz macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    #17
    I think external hard drives suck. They break all of a sudden and you could lose tons of stuff just like that.

    Better pay $6 a month to Crashplan and cloud backup (unlimited GB). Why have a hard drive when you can use someone else's?
     
  18. MauerFan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
  19. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #19
    1) Don't go with a online storage space - Its all dependent on the internet...slower internet will create frustrating situations at times, I'm sure you don't have that much data that you need 1TB....get your self a 256GB Crucial M4 256gb SSD (costs around $200) pop it into a usb 2.0 enclosure(costs ~$10-$20), reason I say SSD is because they are faster to work with yes even though It will be dependent on the usb 2.0 speed which is ~ 38MB/s max u can achieve also LESS POWER CONSUMPTION. SSD's are instant plug in and plug out faster than standard HDD's as HDD's do take few extra seconds to spin up and down during read/write/access

    2) Get the 256GB Macbook Air...its worth it honestly 128GB is LOW and you will run out of it faster than 256, just because other people can do it doesn't mean you can too.....also most people who buy small things regret later anyway.

    3) Depending on how much Data you have....you can even get http://www.sandisk.com/products/usb-flash-drives/cruzer-fit-usb-flash-drive...cost costs around $30 on eBay from reputable sellers and the add-on is seamless. I have a 32GB and its a great addition to my 256GB SSD as I store my iTunes Library on it.
     
  20. MauerFan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #20
    Do you recommend waiting for the refresh? Retina isn't a need, but I may as well wait if it happens by July. Assuming the Air even gets retina.
     
  21. HenryHealy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #21
    I'm uncertain

    I'm not sure which one I should get. The one I get will be my main laptop, using my iTunes and so on. Should I get the Pro if I intend to use it for media?
     
  22. thewoz macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    #22
    It will. The new Zenbook is coming out with an IPS screen 1080p both 11" and 13". So, I'm sure air will too. Since its ivy bridge, maybe 1600x900 standard and "retina" boloney as an option.
     
  23. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #23
    I don't know if retina will come but the current Air is excellent.....it already supports higher resolution then most laptop/netbooks 1440x900.......which i find excellent. Sure you may get the speed increase little bit via IvyBridge....but I don't think usage time is going to increase much....also depends how much u want to spend on it...you can get the Current Air refurbished for a lot cheaper or even brand new on local classified's compared to dishing out $1700+tax on a sealed one in two months.

    ----------

    First you have to decide on size, if you decide on 13" then go with air because the 13" MBP resolution is LOWEr than Air's.....thats the one and main reason I stuck with Air, plus air weights next to nothing and is more portable then a Pro is. I went from a 15" MBP to my 13" Air and love it. Yes with MBP you can add tons of storage and tons of Ram but if you don't need it then why suffer with a heavy laptop?
     
  24. Zzari macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #24
    I would wait as long as you can before buying. Most people believe that a refresh is possibly due out in July, so it would be worth waiting for that at least. If it ends up being October, your school will have probably already started, so I would just purchase before. It really is up to you - if you're just doing school work and other casual use things (movies, music, browsing, etc.), then you won't notice any difference between the current model and the new model. Retina display is overhyped on laptops IMO - you'll really only notice the difference if you sit less than two feet away from your screen, and even then it's only really worth it for movies/pictures (in my opinion).

    As far as displays, I would look at the Dell U2412m or U2311h depending on what you can afford. They can be had for $280 and $200 refurbished, respectively. The U2412m gets you the 16:10 aspect ratio (1920x1200), which is a significant improvement over the 16:19 (1920x1080) for work purposes. They're both IPS, so you'll have good image quality (once you go IPS, you never go back...haha). You'll also have to pick up Apple's Mini-DP to VGA adapter ($20) in order to connect to the monitors.
     
  25. MauerFan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #25

Share This Page