Main Windows, Second Air. Stupid?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by vampireszombies, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. vampireszombies macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    Do you think it would work if I got a macbook air as my secondary portable laptop?
    I currently have a good VAIO but it doesnt have long battery life.

    So I would use windows on my vaio for the "hardcore" stuff like burning a cd etc. and use the air for word, internet school stuff.
    Or should I just replace the vaio completely with a macbook pro? (for the money it makes sense)
    Either way I choose I'm worried about files being compatible with the pro or air. (Never owned a mac before)

    Thanks for the help!

    -How long do Macbooks in general (pro&air) last?
    -If yall recommend the pro route, would an air be just as good with an Apple SuperDrive?
  2. Sith Vol macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I'm having the same dilemma. I currently have a Dell Studio 15" and it's a great computer but the battery is terrible and it's way too big/heavy to carry around. I plan on getting a MBA for my birthday and using it for school while keeping the Dell as a "desktop".
  3. ThomasBoss macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    I don't really like the idea of having two laptops...personally, I would buy an iMac for your heavy/main tasks, and then use your Vaio when you need to be portable. Just me though.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I Have

    A 13" Air and a 17" MBP. The Air was purchased because it's light, and has the SSD speed.

    The Pro is a heavy beast, but travels with me on larger projects where I need the storage space.

    Everything is then copied back to my iMac for further work. I'd say why not have both?
  5. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    Similar for me. In fact, the models that I have were chosen specifically to work in tandem. My 15" MBP i7 is for any heavy lifting needs, yet still portable enough to take it on longer trips. Because this system is so capable it's allowed me reduce the performance requirements on my second system, an 11" Air (2011 i5). I really enjoy having something so tiny and portable for short trips or just for kicking around the house.
  6. vampireszombies thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    Well that would be ideal. But I dont have $3500-4000 to spend on two Macbooks lol.

    I'm wondering if everything will workout (files, word, powerpoint, music etc) If i use a PC (Vaio) AND a Macbook pro or air.

    I was really leaning towards an Air since it wouldnt be me having two "true" laptops. That way my family wont look at me like a money guzzling idiot.

    I'm thinking of getting a 128GB SSD Pro to replace the Vaio. But for the money a Pro (which was what I really wanted from the very beginning but was merged to get a Vaio when i was majoring in CompScience. But since im no longer in that field I'm lost at what to do now that I have the vaio)
  7. RLesko macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I've never owned a MBA, but I have a 15" MBP and I've never had portability issues with it. Just get yourself a quality bag and you won't have any trouble carrying it around. I bought an incase backpack and its perfect. Don't lose sight of the fact that even though the MBP isn't paper light, its only 5.5 lbs and still a LAPTOP (a portable computer).
  8. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Either a MBP or MBA will probably be okay for you running Windows. Pick the Mac that you like.

    I have a 2011 MBA 11" and 2011 MBP 17" and use the MBA about 95% of the time now.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Buying another laptop as a supplement for an existing laptop is stupid. Just buy an outright replacement. If the Air doesn't have what you need, get the Pro.

    Macs last as long as you want them to. An Air with the Superdrive would work, but it's not as convenient has having the built-in optical drive.
  10. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Your "hardcore" work on a computer is burning a CD?

    Just sayin' :p
  11. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    There must be a lot of sedentary couch potatoes in the community if any 15 or 17" MBP is thought of as too heavy to be portable. I'd hate to image how limited one is if a 5 or 6 pound laptop is a problem to carry.
  12. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    I bought my MBA to replace my Vaio with a crap battery (wouldn't even boot up on battery power). Currently wonderiong whether to re-activate my laptop as a media server until I buy something better. I'm considering an ATV and could run iTunes on it.

    I think buying an MBA and maintaining your old Vaio as a desktop (if you don't alreday have one) would be a good way to go.
  13. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A404 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I currently have a 2011 13.3" Air and 256 SSD and am very happy with it. I sometimes miss the FW800 for older drive compatibility and the ODD (I have an external one) but you know that when you buy one. It's performance, battery life, and boot time is wonderful on OS X. If you intended to run Boot Camp and Windows, it's not quite as "optimized."
  14. refurbished macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    I use a 13" Pro with 8GB and an SSD as my main computer hooked up to a 24" screen. I only use photoshop, illustrator and flash so that computer is enough as my main one.

    Then for web browsing, email and stuff I use my 11" Air. It's so light I love it. Only downside is the battery life on this thing.
  15. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    Why not just sell the Vaio and buy a Pro? A 13" Pro is powerful enough to do hardcore tasks, and small/light enough to be used as a portable machine. If you REALLY need extra power, you can put an i7 on it or an SSD if you want extra speed (although the standard i5 is still a very powerful CPU).

    Buying a MBA when you already have a capable laptop is just a waste of money if you ask me. If you want an upgrade, dont buy a second laptop; just replace it.
  16. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Ouch ... "wham with the right hand!" ...
  17. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    Yeah, because if you don't see the need then clearly nobody can have such a need. Short sighted much? ;)
  18. vampireszombies thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    Lol thanks. Well it would be considered "hardcore" to the Air since the air cant even read a cd, right?
    I also download a lot of videos.


    Well I'm getting mixed answers from everyone. Some say it'll be stupid to get a secondary and some say the air+vaio would be fine.

    I'm thinking of just going towards the macbook pro with a regular hdd.
    The Air does look very tempting though considering how nice it looks. But for the money I think a Pro cant be beat compared to the Air.
    So I guess replace it is.
    How well does Windows run on macbooks? Can anyone give me a link on what
    I need/todo to accomplish windows on a macbook when the time comes?

  19. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    If you want to run Bootcamp (as in reboot the Mac as a Windows machine) then Apple has a guide here.

    Often times it's more convenient to use a virtual Windows environment from within OS X so you can run Windows apps along side your Mac apps. Parallels and VMWare Fusion are most common for this. At work I'm a VMWare guy (server stuff, mostly) but I must admit that I find Parallels far better for Mac/Windows virtualization.
  20. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    Why don't u just go for the MBA 13" and for any burning etc get the external superdrive and sell your sony laptop?

    On MBA you are still able to run windows and from what I hear from some people windows seem to run much better on a mac than a PC.

    Also I hardly doubt you will have any problems with compatibility with a Mac etc.
  21. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If your PC was a desktop, then I would say keep it because it would be a lot faster. However, since it is a laptop, I suggest you to sell it. They are too similar computers, meaning that you most likely won't be using both. Like others have recommended, getting an external DVD drive is a better option than keeping the Vaio around just for CD burning.

    Macs use the same hardware as PCs so that statement isn't correct. If you compare MBA to a $399 Acer, then yes, but that comparison isn't fair to begin with. With similar hardware, there is no difference.
  22. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I too have been using VMware in the work setting and at home.

    I'm curious what version of Parallels you are using and how you find the speed (not that it's a deal breaker). I'm always working on optimizing my workflow and not opposed to changing to Parallels if there is a benefit no matter how small. I've also been very curious but never tried it.

    I value your opinion. Thanks :)
  23. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    They made improvements from 5 to 6 and it was very good in my opinion, but in v7 (released within the past month or so) performance optimization was a strong focus and it shows. It's very nice.

    Not sure if you were aware, but you can download the fully functioning product from the Parallels Store here. They give you 14 days at which time you need to enter a key to continue using it. In fact, when I recently got my MBA 11 I bought another copy of Parallels with it and instead of remotely attaching to an optical drive from my MPB 15" or plugging in a USB drive, I simply downloaded the trial and entered the key from the purchased copy. That way I had the latest updates straight away. Nothing to lose in giving it a whirl to see if you like it.

    Also, be sure to try it across the various modes. It can run VMs in separate windows, seamlessly integrated into OSX (almost creepily seamless but cool), full screen with a peel away view of OS X behind, etc. It's very slick.
  24. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    Macbook have a program already loaded called Boot Camp.
    That will guide you through a side-by-side installation of windows. You will need a windows cd/dvd and it's easy.
    Another option is vmware/parallels. Those programs (which you have to download) are emulators for windows (and other OSs). Which means you will run windows inside the mac interface.
    Pros and cons: Boot camp runs windows natively, but you have to reboot to change OS, while parallels/vmware/virtualbox runs a virtualized windows, which means it won't be as fast as boot camp.
    But unless you want to play a game on windows, there's nothing parallels can't do (open Microsoft office etc).

    Also, I would suggest you keep your vaio for heavy work and buy an air for mobility. The air might seem more expensive (by 100$) than the MBP, but don't forget you get a lot of portability, a better screen, and an SSD, which makes it faster (at most tasks) than the MBP. And since you will have the vaio for heavy work, you don't need such a powerful mobile machine like the pro.
    I vote for vaio+air, unless you need more than 128gb on your portable laptop.

    PS: That's what I'm doing too. I have a toshiba laptop but even though it's 15", it's so huge like a 17" laptop...
    It's a BEAST for gaming , but I want to carry it to the uni, which is hard, and that's why i'm buying the base model MBA (11" 2gb ram).
    I had the same dilemma as you, I wanted to sell my toshiba to buy a 13" air, which would not be bad as a main pc, but since I can't find a buyer, I'm just gonna buy the low-end air for portability and use the toshiba for hardcore stuff.

    PS II: If you do buy the air, boot camp won't be such a hassle because it has an ssd and reboots really fast. Then again if you don't wanna game on it, parallels is fine. Your choice. PM me when you buy so I can help you with the installation of windows (if you haven't found something until then).
  25. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Thank you very much, I'm going to give it a try. Sounds good.

    Cheers .... :)

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