Macbook Air as a sidekick to my Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nero9171, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Nero9171 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I'm an 18 year old college student who has to lug around a backpack 8 hours a day, 4-5 days a week. Having a laptop with me is a must, but I need to reduce weight in my backpack. If I bought an Air to take to school, I would be dropping around 2 pounds, plus whatever I lose by leaving my study guides at home.

    For most people, the weight wouldn't be an issue. However, I have a lot of shoulder and back pain from an accident about a year back.

    So for my first question, does buying an Air to take to school/library make sense? I use my regular Macbook for everything else that I do.

    Now for question number two.

    I wanted to buy a Rev A refurb for $999. I am aware that they are glorified netbooks, but they must run faster than an Eee, or an Aspire One. I would keep and use my netbook, but I cant stand the screen size, buggy OS and keyboard.

    I need to use Word, email, Safari, iChat, and possibly Preview (all at the same time). Is that going to be doable without headache? I also want to be able to watch DVD rips at home on it, they are 640x480 res. Are those going to run properly?

    I don't expect one person to answer all of these questions, so any that do get answered are greatly appreciated.
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    I would try and find a rev B, they are considerably better.

    Saying that, the rev a will do all what you requested, any computer pretty much would do that.

    Don't forget to run all the updates though, there is a h.264 (video codec) update that dramatically makes video playback better.
  3. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    If your main goal is to reduce weight, why not get a VAIO P? 1.4 pounds. If you absolutely need OS X though, MBA Rev A is fine, will run all your apps at the same time plus watch 720p videos perfectly (no 1080p though). I think you'll find yourself watching all your videos on the Air as the screen is MUCH better than your MacBook.

    However, you need to be willing to buy CoolBook if you happen to get an overheating unit.
  4. jono_3 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    if you just want to have a lighter bag, it might be a little cheaper and easier to try and ditch unneeded books or extra paper or supplies. budget pending, a mba would probably help though if youre only using the interweb and word processwing
  5. Nero9171 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Rev B is more than I want to spend, plus the Rev A can handle what I am using it for (I'm not going to be downloading HD videos on a 80GB HD.

    I saw a 1.8 GHz Rev A for 1099 today with an 80GB HD, I will probably get that one.
    I want to stay with Apple, I am not a fan of Windows.

    Already got rid of all the books I can, nothing more that I can leave at home. My lab days alternate, so I am always bringing a lab manual with me.
  6. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    Do it I have a 17 inch pro with an Air best choice I made! The airs power will surprise you.
  7. ducatidoc macrumors regular


    Apr 20, 2008
    unless your macbook is a new unibody one, the macbook air revB outperforms most macbook models based on benchmark data.

    sell your macbook on ebay or craigslist, and shell out for the revB. it's lighter, and should perform about equal to (or possibly outperform) an older macbook. with the cash from the sell, the extra $$ for the mba should be a concern. (imo)
  8. Nero9171 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Thanks guys :)

    I have a 2.4 aluminum Macbook, and I don't plan on selling it.

    I really think that I am going to get it, but I just want to hear some more opinions (I am annoying like that :p)

    I am selling my Aspire One for $350 to my friend, so I will only be spending $650 on the Air
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    You might also try a rollaround briefcase. I use one myself and it's a godsend. But then, I carry a pretty heavy load around with me - a laptop with all the accessories (power supply, mouse, card reader, etc.), P&S camera, flashlight, tape measure, notebook, pens and pencils, calculator, voice recorder, etc.

    EDIT: Search the forums, there are threads on here advising people against using two laptops. The PITA factor of maintaining two portables seems to be through the roof - it seems to make more sense to pair a laptop with a desktop.
  10. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Two laptops seem unnecessary to me, but its your money. I would decide if I really needed an air and if so, get rid of the macbook and get an imac or macpro (some desktop).

    Then you have the power when at home with the screen size to work with and when you travel you have the MB Air.

    I think you will find yourself always using one of the laptops and not the other one.

    Just my 2 cents.
  11. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    Similar story with me, I had my 15" MacBook Pro and then I bought an Acer Aspire ONE which I hacked OS X onto, but in the end I found it was a less than satisfactory result - it's not easy to update OS X (plus it didn't sleep or shutdown properly), the display, keyboard and trackpad were annoyingly small so I sold it and recently picked up a RevA MacBook Air. I love it! It's sooo much lighter and thinner than the MacBook Pro, and it is surprisingly responsive, I really haven't noticed it being that much slower than my MBP in casual use, apart from it taking fractionally longer to launch apps, but other than that it's fantastic!
  12. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    2 laptops seems a bit limiting, why not sell everything and buy a Rev B Air and a mini?

    Otherwise, I completely endorse getting an Air. Though I think you will find even the Rev A to be much more then a glorified netbook.
  13. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Seems like you have too many computers already! Adding a MBA would be kind of redundant if you already have a MB and netbook. For me, my rev.A MBA + AirPort Extreme (for USB disks/printers) has negated any need for a separate computer. It's incredibly freeing to not have to synchronize files and settings on multiple computers, especially as a student.

    Best to address the problem first by either making do, or lightening your load. I know WAY too many people who carry around tons of unnecessary books to class. Save your money :)
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    You could buy a revision B MBA and get rid of your MB. Sell your MB and use the money as the extra to buy a MBA revision B. They are generally the same computer. The MBA has a little slower CPU speeds, but with the added L2 cache (6 MB in MBA revB and only 3 MB in MB) and running the same Penryn 45 NM chips the difference is very minor.

    The revision B MBA is a real workhorse MB in an ultra portable shell called the "Air." The Air doesn't need to be a sidekick to any MB.

    Whatever you do, don't buy a cheapie v1 MBA. The difference between the two MBAs is HUGE. The upgrades in v2 of the MBA:
    45 NM Penryn CPU
    Nvidia GPU

    Those differences make it a fully operational MB in "Air" form.

    I know you said you want to keep your MB, but really the differences are very minor other than ports. If you need light, the MBA is that and yet fully powerful as the MB.

    Good luck.
  15. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    But a MBA revB and grab an external screen for working at home.
  16. Nero9171 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I know for a fact that I will end up using the Air more, except when I need my music, movies, Photoshop, hacking programs, games, ect. The amount of time I would use them is about 60% Air and 40% Macbook.
    I had no issue with getting OSX to function right on mine, but I have the keyboard/trackpad combo.
    The Mini is all around slower than the Air (damnit Apple for not releasing new Mini's!), otherwise, that would be a great idea.
    If I bought the Air, the netbook would be sold to a friend for $350, so the Air would only set me back $650.

    I really wish I could unload more from my bag, but everything I have left in there is essential.
    I can't sell my Macbook for a Rev B, an Air wouldn't work as my primary computer. People keep mentioning the idea of buying desktop/Air combo, but my Macbook really is my desktop.

    Here are the reasons I think the Macbook/Macbook Air combo would work best:

    1. If I had a desktop, it would be for my 60GB of music, my photography, video/picture editing, virtual machines for hacking, video and heavy multitasking. My Macbook does all of those perfectly, and has the added bonus of portability for when I do trips or weekend road projects.

    2. Selling my Macbook for an iMac wouldn't save me any money, it may actually cost me money

    3. I have everything I need to use my Macbook on a 32" 1080P monitor.

    4. The Air would get plenty[/I of use, at school or anywhere that I need basic functions.

    If I could buy an Air with at least a 320GB HD, I would sell my Macbook in an instant and get it. However, such a product is a year or so off.
  17. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    If I were in school, I'd think about trading the unibody Macbook for a nice big iMac, and getting that refurb Air before its gone.
  18. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I would get an iMac and a MBA. Having two 13" laptops makes no sense to me. Have one for power, one for portability. I would just lug around a 15" MBP, but that's me.
  19. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Sorry I hate to be blunt but this sounds more like greed rather than need. Your new macbook will do everything for college.

    If you also buy an MBA you'll end up using the MBA more (it's addictive) and your new Macbook will collect dust. Syncing files between 2 laptops gets old.
  20. children macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    just keep your macbook, its not that heavy compared to macbook air..

    if i were you, with the money i would buy a refurb imac instead. it makes little sense to have 2 similar notebooks due to the slight difference in weight..
  21. cerealj macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    That sounds like a pretty good deal, though kindof a ripoff for your friend :\ A brand new 1GB RAM AspireOne is $300 here in Canada, so I can only assume they're the same or cheaper in the States.

    If I were you, I'd probably just ditch the OS that came with your Aspire and install Ububtu 8.10. I've got Eeebuntu Remix on me Eee and it's awesome.

    Still, if you have the money to spare and you want an Air (haha that rhymes), why not I guess.
  22. Popsie macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Ghent, Belgium
    Hi, i'm using a MBA Rev A and at my work i use (at the same time) Safari - Mail - Word - Exell - Internet Aywhere (G3) - Eye TV and sometimes Pages. Everything is working smoothly and the temp is about 65°C (5000 rpm). Ony when i watch eye tv in the max window i have some stuttering. Not when tv is in a smaller window or when it is full screen. :)
  23. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  24. altair macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Just get a iPod touch and use it to browse/preview/take notes.

    I haven't used my laptop for much of anything since I got the touch.
  25. Blakely028 macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2008
    I would go with altair, the iPod touch would be suffice for your needs.

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