macbook air (as a desk top replacement) any one doing it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by greendragon, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. greendragon macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2006
    just curious? i'm going to pick up a refurb as soon as apple store has them. as for an internet and photoshop user, would this work? and with an external monitor?

  2. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  3. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    It isn't really where the air is useful. It works well on the train or on a flight but as a desktop, maybe not. Like KingYaba said a Macbook is a better choice for this. Internal LAN connection, more USB ports etc.
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    The Macbook Air is meant to be a complementary computer, not a main one. Frustration will abound for those looking for it to be a desktop replacement.

    You'd be far better off with a Macbook as your sole computer.
  5. shvartsies macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    macbook airs refurbished will prob start at 1600-1700 (for 80gb and 1.6), I would def recommend either a macbook and display or a refurbished macbook pro for those moulas.

    you can get a macbook on craigslist for like $900, leaving you with plenty of money for a 23" ACD or a Dell monitor, or external hard drive, etc.
  6. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    No, using the MBA as a desktop replacement is foolish. The machine doesn't have the array of ports used in common use, nor does it have a whole lot of power. Save your money and get a MacBook, you'll be happier with it that you will with a MBA.
  7. .mag macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2008
    actually worth it..


    I´ve been using the MBA as a desk top replacement for a month or so. I know there are stronger (and cheaper) laptops, but portability was the most important thing for me when I chose to buy it.

    At the office I use it with an Apple Cinema Display and wireless mouse + keyboard. MBA is a little bit slow some times, but I use Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Lotus Notes, in addition to "normal" programs like Opera/Safari, iTunes ++, without any problems.

    I do not regret choosing MBA as a desk top replacement, allthough there are some negative sides to take into account - these two were the most critical for me:

    * HDD space.. 80 gb is little, allthough this can be solved with external HDD.

    * Only one USB-port. I use Apple Display as an USB-hub at the office and wireless printer connection so I do not have much problems with this, BUT note that the external CD/DVD drive (unfortunately) only work when connected directly to the MBA.

    If portability is the most important thing for you I would consider MBA as a possible desk top replacement, especially together with an external display. But it´s not without challenges, but I found it´s worth it =)
  8. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2006
    I don't recommend it. The initial portability is great but sooner or later you will run into the innate limitations of the MBA.
  9. danvan21 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    a desktop replacement isn't meant to be portable. If you want portability go with the macbook air but if you want a desktop replacement I'd get the 17in macbook pro
  10. jay1097 macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2008
    For $200 more a MBP is a much more capable machine and will be pretty portable. Either way I think the MBA might be good for now but a year or 2 down the line it's lack of power might be a problem.

    I find it hard to believe that people buy MBA to use a primary computers when a MBP can be had for just a bit more and is a more competent laptop.
  11. cheekybobcat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
    U-S of A
    Or for several hundred dollars less and better performance and capabilities then the MBA, I think that just a regular MacBook would suit your needs much better. You get a lot more with the MB at much less of a price compared to the MBA
  12. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    As nearly everyone has already said, this is a Bad Idea. Get a Macbook or get an MBP. Now is not the time to Think Different™.
  13. Saliwa macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2008
    MBA is the most stupid invention of man.

    For portable desktop, buy a regular MacBook and a huge external display for the same price (or even less).
  14. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    #14 isn't

    MBA is a laptop
    MacBook/MBP are portable computers

    (not the difference)

    therefore, the OP needs one of the later...if he could stretch, i'd recommend a 15" MBP with the 2.5GHz/512MB graphics
  15. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Like everyone said the original iPod was? And now its the most popular music player in the world. You'll be eating your words soon.
  16. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    I thought of doing this myself. I'm not a big power user either and while I don't travel enough to justify using a MBA, I move around enough to appreciate the lightness of the MBA over even the MBP.

    Ultimately though, I was looking for a computer (desktop replacement) that would last me 4+ years. And while I am a low-power user, I am also a highly impatient person.

    I know I would be willing to put up with any growing pains when the product is new. But when the novelty wears off and I'm stuck with a fairly slow machine for $2000, I'd be slightly ticked off.

    It's why I opted for the MBP.

    Not as mobile. Just as pretty (IMO). Powerful enough to last me 4+ years even in its most basic configuration. (Again, I'm a low powered user here. It's nice to know that if I do need to, however, I can always upgrade the HDD and upgrade the RAM. There's a nice feeling in having everything bundled in one attractive package too. No separate DVD drive or ethernet port. Pick up the laptop and go!)
  17. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I can't help but agree with you on this one. It's pretty pointless.
  18. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    That's a really bad idea, It just doesn't have the power for those tasks. However that doesn't mean it's the stupidest invention ever. It has it's uses.
  19. Saliwa macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2008
    MBA doesn't have a DVD reader and no Firewire, so what can you do with it beside watching pirated videos and lurking on Techcrunch...

    I am not sure the iPod was bashed when it came out. Actually it is a copy of a former HD music player that came out before but it was ahead of its time, read: too expensive.
  20. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Desktops are powerful machines used to crunch video, multitask, and get things done in a timely manner. MBA's are meant to supplement you and help you be productive in transit or at lunch etc. No way I am going to count on getting any meaningful production done on a MBA. Go with a macbook Pro. You will actually be able to do something meaningful with it if you need to.
  21. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    erm in theory you could manage if you get an ACD and a KB and mouse (will only use a single USB as mouse plugged into KB USB)... lack of optical drive would be frustrating, ultimatum of typing with KB or using a CD..

    I suppose it would be good if you are on the go a lot and spend minimum time in office. Make sure any resources you need to access on office network ar emade available wirelessly otherwise you will be in trouble..
  22. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2006
    I have an MBA and I love it, but I wouldn't want one as my main machine.

    In the OP's position I'd go with a MacBook as I think that's the better option as a Desktop Replacement.
  23. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    It's just such a luxury item. I don't get it. Where the EeePC is driving the cost of things down, the MBA is going the other direction. It just isn't a novel enough of an idea to get my vote.
  24. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Lots of people I know, mac and PC users alike (and these are mostly people who don't usually care about their computers like we do on this board) absolutely drool over the Air. If you compare specs and whatnot it doesn't seem like a good idea, but most people who see it are in love.

    I don't see how you can mention the eee in the same breath as the air. It has an 8" screen and a 900 mhz celeron. It's a completely different product.
  25. change macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Who knows...
    More Power

    A MacBook and an external display or a MacBook Pro wouldn't cost much more, and either one would make you way happier for Photoshop use compared to the Air. Even for day to day though, the Air has limitations. It is simply not designed, nor does it function well, as a desktop replacement. The MacBook Pro, especially, does.

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