MacBook Air + Thunderbolt Display vs. iMac

febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
Hi guys,
I'm writing to make a good decision for my large secreen needs. I've a top upgraded 13" MacBook Air 1.7Ghz, 8GB ram and 512SSD.
I like my MBA. I use it for surfing the Net, blogging and some office document. I don't use Photoshop and other programs, either.
Now I'm in between buying a Thunderbolt Display next to my MBA or buying an iMac.
Which one do you advise me to buy according to my needs?
Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
149
Hi guys,
I'm writing to make a good decision for my large secreen needs. I've a top upgraded 13" MacBook Air 1.7Ghz, 8GB ram and 512SSD.
I like my MBA. I use it for surfing the Net, blogging and some office document. I don't use Photoshop and other programs, either.
Now I'm in between buying a Thunderbolt Display next to my MBA or buying an iMac.
Which one do you advise me to buy according to my needs?
Thanks in advance for your responses.
Don't get an iMac, you already have a nice Mac, seems redundant.

Thunderbolt display is nice because it has integrated speakers, a camera, and a USB hub. Otherwise you can get a similar display for around $350.

If you don't mind some desk clutter, I would get a 27" display, USB hub, keyboard, mouse, and speakers and plug them all into the MBA and keep the MBA under your desk somewhere, closed. It will be less elegant than an iMac but much cheaper.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
Don't get an iMac, you already have a nice Mac, seems redundant.

Thunderbolt display is nice because it has integrated speakers, a camera, and a USB hub. Otherwise you can get a similar display for around $350.

If you don't mind some desk clutter, I would get a 27" display, USB hub, keyboard, mouse, and speakers and plug them all into the MBA and keep the MBA under your desk somewhere, closed. It will be less elegant than an iMac but much cheaper.
Thank you for your quick response. I'm also thinking to buy a Thunderbolt Display with Magic Mouse and Keyboard. I don't need speaker and usb hub.

Thanks to this option, I don't have to manage to computers as well.
 
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motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
149
Thank you for your quick response. I'm also thinking to buy a Thunderbolt Display with Magic Mouse and Keyboard. I don't need speaker and usb hub.

Thanks to this option, I don't have to manage to computers as well.
You can use the Magic Mouse and wireless keyboard with any monitor you buy. Again, you can save a LOT of money if you get a 3rd party monitor instead of the Thunderbolt display.

But the Thunderbolt display is a nice, integrated solution and it probably has good resale value. You might be able to get a refurbished one from Apple for less money too.

Personally I would be reluctant to buy a current Thunderbolt display for two reasons. One is that it isn't Apple's latest screen technology. If you get a 27" iMac, the screen is bonded (glued) to the glass and it really reduces glare. The TB screen is not bonded. The second reason is that the TB display has a fan, which is annoying if you're sensitive to noise, and it's the sort of part that might fail after several years of use.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
You can use the Magic Mouse and wireless keyboard with any monitor you buy. Again, you can save a LOT of money if you get a 3rd party monitor instead of the Thunderbolt display.

But the Thunderbolt display is a nice, integrated solution and it probably has good resale value. You might be able to get a refurbished one from Apple for less money too.

Personally I would be reluctant to buy a current Thunderbolt display for two reasons. One is that it isn't Apple's latest screen technology. If you get a 27" iMac, the screen is bonded (glued) to the glass and it really reduces glare. The TB screen is not bonded. The second reason is that the TB display has a fan, which is annoying if you're sensitive to noise, and it's the sort of part that might fail after several years of use.
Then I should wait for TB 2 or buy 3rd party monitors.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,165
9,835
California
Is there anyone who use TB display with MBA and share their experience?
I used exactly that setup with the same Air you have for over a year and I was very happy with it. As others mentioned, only having to manage one computer is a big plus. I never felt like I needed more speed or power for anything I did.

I recently updated to the new 13" Retina model and that works nicely with the TB display also.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
I used exactly that setup with the same Air you have for over a year and I was very happy with it. As others mentioned, only having to manage one computer is a big plus. I never felt like I needed more speed or power for anything I did.

I recently updated to the new 13" Retina model and that works nicely with the TB display also.
Thank you Weaselboy for your reply. I think I am gonna go with this setup. I like my MBA and do not want to change it soon. Then I provide my big screen need via TB display.

----------

I used exactly that setup with the same Air you have for over a year and I was very happy with it. As others mentioned, only having to manage one computer is a big plus. I never felt like I needed more speed or power for anything I did.

I recently updated to the new 13" Retina model and that works nicely with the TB display also.
One more question:
Should I wait for TB display 2 or just just go with the current one?
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,165
9,835
California
One more question:
Should I wait for TB display 2 or just just go with the current one?
Tough question. The current one is getting old, but still does the job. There have been no solid rumors about a date for a replacement, and the older rumors we heard were about a much higher resolution version that I suspect will cost a lot more than the current model.

It if was me and you need one now, I would just get the current version. If you watch the Apple Refurb store they are often in there for $200 off.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
Tough question. The current one is getting old, but still does the job. There have been no solid rumors about a date for a replacement, and the older rumors we heard were about a much higher resolution version that I suspect will cost a lot more than the current model.

It if was me and you need one now, I would just get the current version. If you watch the Apple Refurb store they are often in there for $200 off.
Thanks again, then I go just with the current one because I need now, not later.
 
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ctyrider

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
990
528
Is there anyone who use TB display with MBA and share their experience?
I use dual TB displays with my 11" Air. It's a great setup.

You won't go wrong with Apple Thunderbolt display. Having a single cable to connect beats all the mess with USB hubs and such that others had suggested.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
I use dual TB displays with my 11" Air. It's a great setup.

You won't go wrong with Apple Thunderbolt display. Having a single cable to connect beats all the mess with USB hubs and such that others had suggested.
Thank you Ctyrider for your experience. I was hesitant in using TBD with Air. I think I can use it with my Air easily.

I don't need both iMac and MBA. So buying a TBD will be a good solution for my big screen need.
 
Last edited:
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
I use dual TB displays with my 11" Air. It's a great setup.

You won't go wrong with Apple Thunderbolt display. Having a single cable to connect beats all the mess with USB hubs and such that others had suggested.
I would like to ask 4 more question:
1-) Shall I close cover of MBA when I connect TBD?
2-) Do I have to leave awake while using?
3-) Is there any app for not letting MAB sleep?
4-) Using MBA when its cover closed is harmful for its fan?
Thanks in advance.
 
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MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
I would like to ask 4 more question:
1-) Shall I close cover of MBA when I connect TBD?
2-) Do I have to leave awake while using?
3-) Is there any app for not letting MAB sleep?
4-) Using MBA when its cover closed is harmful for its fan?
Thanks in advance.

Can only help with 3) A free app called 'caffeine' works well.
 
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motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
149
I would like to ask 4 more question:
1-) Shall I close cover of MBA when I connect TBD?
2-) Do I have to leave awake while using?
3-) Is there any app for not letting MAB sleep?
4-) Using MBA when its cover closed is harmful for its fan?
Thanks in advance.
MacBooks have a nice "lid closed" (also called "clamshell") mode where, if the laptop is closed and plugged into a power source and monitor, it will essentially function as a desktop computer. They are designed to do this and it will not harm the machine.
 
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ctyrider

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
990
528
I would like to ask 4 more question:
1-) Shall I close cover of MBA when I connect TBD?
2-) Do I have to leave awake while using?
3-) Is there any app for not letting MAB sleep?
4-) Using MBA when its cover closed is harmful for its fan?
Thanks in advance.
1) Up to you - it works either way. Since I have plenty of screen real estate with dual displays - I keep my MBA closed.
2) Yes
3) No, you can set it to never sleep in Power Preferences
4) No
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
1) Up to you - it works either way. Since I have plenty of screen real estate with dual displays - I keep my MBA closed.
2) Yes
3) No, you can set it to never sleep in Power Preferences
4) No
Thank you for your answers.
 
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febahadir

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2015
49
6
Turkey
What made you decide to get the iMac?
Anyway, the guy who wants to but my MBA was a fraudster. I get my Air back. I think I go with Thunderbolt Dlsplay.

Why do I want to buy iMac? I just like the design when I see an iMac at an Apple Store.
 
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Hacks

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2015
55
0
What display?
I was wondering that too.

While there are a lot of inexpensive 27 inch displays, they aren't near the same quality. Most of them are only 1080p. You don't find cheap 2560 x 1440 displays.
 
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