Imac 27''+ MBA11 VS MBA13+ATD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by coolstorm, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. coolstorm, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

    coolstorm macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2011
    what should I buy? Imac 27''+ MBA11 or MBA13 (128G)+ATD??? I also have an IPAD2. these two combo are pretty much similar price. Are you similarly struggling about the same thing? let me know your experience.
    I don't need very powerful machine anyway (not designer or game fan), but big screen is very nice and comfortable even for normal website browsing.
  2. iDemiurge macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2011
    Why not a 11" and a ATD? That's what I have and it's great.

    Even if you're concerned about not having enough power on the 11" 1.6 Ghz it still would make more sense to up the processor to the 1.8GHz and go with the ATD.

    I'm assuming you don't need all the power of an iMac, since a 13" could suit your needs.
  3. coolstorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2011
    why I did purchase 13'' is because of more battery life and bigger screen when I am off big screen (27'') I still can get good size screen. but you maybe right 11'' is the most portable and 27'' is very convenient for the home use.

    I intend to use this MBA as my main machine.
  4. philipt42 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2009
  5. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Why do you need MBA when you have an iPad 2? Anyway if I were to pick out of them, I would go MBA 13" + iMac 21.5". iMac 21.5" costs nearly as much as ATD and if you're okay with 21" screen its a great deal.
  6. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    My story: Sold my Sony Vaio Z (2 years old; got a little over 1/3rd of the price back) to buy a 27in iMac (base model). Then sold my iPad 2 (after 4 months; got almost all my money back) to buy an 11" MBA (4GB/128GB model). I use both daily.

    Using two computers can be cumbersome if you're using them for the same purposes. And to be honest, I find myself crossing that line every once in a while. This is how I handle it:
    • Use Dropbox to keep important files synced (school files, mainly). It's nice to be able to pick up a paper I'm writing or a circuit I'm analyzing on my iMac, after having started it during class on my MBA. Or, on the opposite, having started a project on my iMac, then picking it back up on the go. Dropbox is very well integrated and I find no hassle using it. It's just like any other folder, but with voodoo magic. I really wish Apple had a more seamless solution (not sure if iCloud helps this or not).
    • Both systems have the same iTunes songs, but this was done manually. I'm hoping iCloud will keep these in sync when it launches, not that it's a particular problem. I usually just use Pandora and seldom add new songs to iTunes anyway.
    • All my pictures/videos are stored on my iMac, which is always connected to my TV. So movies/shows I've downloaded or Hulu shows all go through my iMac to my TV. I use my 360 for Netflix though.
    So what it comes down to, really, is that my MBA serves as strictly my mobile device. I'm really only using it when I'm on campus, at friends' places, or being a bum in my bed (which is actually quite often).

    I really like the setup I have, but I'm not opposed to finding ways to make it more seamlessly integrated. The reasons I wouldn't want to go 13in MBA are as follows:
    1. This is my personal preference, but I don't particularly like having to use the laptops keyboard/mouse when docked to an ACD/external monitor. Usually it sits off to the side and that's awkward. So I'd have to shell out for a keyboard and mouse, which adds to the total price.
    2. An iMac with its quad-core CPU and easily upgradeable RAM (mine has 12GB) can handle a lot more intensive programs than an MBA + ACD. So if you do anything intensive (virtualizing, video editing, etc), that's a possible downside.
    3. This is just being lazy, but having to plug and unplug the MBA to the ACD takes some time and is slightly annoying. The screen flashes to change settings, etc etc. It takes a second or two. Bleh.
    Anywho, that's my input :)

    EDIT: I sound like I'm hawking Dropbox a lot, but I think there are other alternatives like Sugar Sync.

Share This Page