MacBook Air as main pc

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tonygameboy, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. tonygameboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    #1
    How many of you care to share your macbook setup? I'm planning to buy a dock and monitor to replace my aged PC. I can't afford a laptop and new Mac so this is my main PC for now. Thanks!
     
  2. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #2
    I use a Rain Design Mtower to hold the MBA, an HP 23" external monitor connected via a thunderbolt to dvi adapter, Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard and a Logitech Anywhere MX USB mouse.

    A 128 gig PNY StorEdge card is permanently in the SD slot, and I've got 1 available USB port. It works well for me.
     
  3. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    I have a 2014 13in MBA 256GB as my main/only unit. However, I also have a NAS that has all my active files (linked at login to the MBA). Since I never take my MBA outside the house, this arrangement works fine for me.

    I also have a 2014 i7 Mini that does two jobs - Media Centre for a 46in TV and as a "compute server" for heavy jobs, controlled by VNC from the MBA. So if I'm doing media conversion it gets done on the Mini and then uploaded to the NAS.
     
  4. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #4
    I like that setup. Got a 40" Sony Bravia LCD that I hook up to my MBA w/bluetooth keyboard and razor mouse. Sharing TV with Mac Mini...:cool:
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    I have a Mac Mini but I've been thinking about selling it and just using my 2014 MBA for everything.

    I don't have a dock per se but I have a 7-port USB 3.0 hub that I have everything plugged into, so if I want to dock the laptop I just plug in power, monitor, and this USB hub.

    Stuff I have plugged into the hub: mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, printer, phone (cable). If I switch to using the MBA exclusively I will also get a USB-to-sound adapter so I don't have to plug my speakers into the laptop.
     
  6. tonygameboy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    #6
    I have a Henge Dock but I'm worried about heat issues so I ordered a Landingzone pro dock. I just need a nice monitor and an external drive. I want to upgrade the ssd but not sure if it's worth it.
     
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #7
    Might want to cancel that order and rethink.

    Why are you worried about heat issues?

    MBAs vent out of the bottom rear, at the screen hinge. (Bottom when they're closed.)

    With the Henge (vertical) dock, the hinge is just standing vertically in open air. It doesn't get much better than that in terms of cooling.

    I can't tell from the pictures but if anything it looks to me like the Landingzone dock might actually partially block the hinge vent. Plus, it's pointed down, so you get no benefit from convection.
     
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #8
    Heat issues are a thing of the past. My first MBA was the first MBA produced and I spent a pretty penny for the top of the line and i returned it with a full refund after 10 days b/c it would heat up to over 200º on my lap. They put some new paste on it and sent it to the top of Apple's Tech Site and they said there was nothing wrong with it. So, present day; the temperature right now is 33º C or 91º F and very comfortable on my lap. I use a cooling fan by Belkin and it's been awesome for the MBA and MacBook Pro...:cool:
     
  9. Stocks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    #9
    I've been using a new base model 13" MBA as my main computer for a few months. The screen is just too small, especially after using a 24" iMac for so long.

    I have a Twelve South BookArc to hold the MBA, I will be plugging in the power, a USB 3 external HDD for Time Machine (this fits nicely underneath the BookArc), and an Asus 27" monitor.

    I will use the Magic Mouse and wireless keyboard from my iMac.

    For me, the speed of the base model MBA is fine. If I ever find that I need more power, I can just replace the MBA with a Mac Mini.
     
  10. tonygameboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2015
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    #10
    So you guys think I should of stayed with the Henge Dock? I have the A1369 model from 2011.
     
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #11
    If you're worried about heat, I don't think you're going to do better than the Henge dock.

    I'm curious why you thought it was bad for heat/cooling. Maybe you didn't know where the vent was?
     
  12. nutjob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    #12
    I used one as a desktop for years, driving 5 screens and a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Great setup if you like portability + desktop. Was abit slow but that wasn't relevant to me.
     
  13. tonygameboy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    #13
    Someone had mentioned that the MBA sucks in air through the keyboard. I'm NEW NEW to the Mac universe so I went with the info. I doubt I'll have any issue selling either so I'm not too worried.
     
  14. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #14
    Ah, I see. Unfortunately you have been misinformed. The keyboard is fairly well sealed-off from the rest of the computer.

    In fact, MacBooks have a "lid-closed" mode where, if you plug in the charger and an external display, they will essentially function as desktop computers. This is a feature that Apple made on purpose, and they presumably wouldn't do that if it caused the computer to overheat. :)

    Standing it closed and vertical seems good for heat removal to me.
     
  15. tonygameboy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    #15
    Soon as I get my monitor I can finally put my Canon Pixma Pro100 to good use. I like nature photography (hobby) but it's a pain getting the right set up and not go in debt with a laptop and personal comp.
     
  16. Stocks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    #16
    I went for 6 years using an iMac as my main and only computer. During that time I couldn't imagine a small laptop being my only computer.

    But then my profession changed a slight bit which required me to take a laptop with me sometimes. I found it so much easier if that laptop was my main computer since everything I need would be there in the spot that I want it.

    The only problem is the small screen, which is easily curable with an external monitor. Using this set up is the best of both worlds. I think you'll be happy.
     
  17. CookedPixel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    #17
    Very Capable

    I use a Mid 2012 MacBook Air hooked up to a 27" Thunderbolt display when I'm at my desk. After using this setup for some time, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anybody requiring a very portable solution with the power to perform as well as a desktop for 90% of computing tasks.
     
  18. Stocks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    #18
    When "undocking" the laptop from your configuration, you would have to manually go to the drive in the OS and eject the external hard drive that is connected to the USB hub before disconnecting the hub, correct?
     
  19. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #19
    Good question and point. Like I said, I have a Mac Mini and the USB hub and my devices are usually plugged into that, although there have been a few times when I plugged it into my MBA.

    I suppose you would have to (or at least should) unmount the drive.

    Maybe a networked storage device would be better. They make a lot of those now.
     
  20. furettolo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Location:
    Italy
    #20
    Do you have a 11" or a 13" MBA?
     
  21. CookedPixel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    #21

    I use the 13" model.
     

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