MBA as secondary laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by danielveeee, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. danielveeee macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm looking into Selling my iPad and gettin an 11 MBA. I go to college and have found that my new 15" is just too heavy to bring to school everyday. And bringing iPad isnt worth it bc I have iPhone 4. And most of the stuff I do at school requires flash.

    So I was wondering if any of you have a 15" or 17" and use that as your main, and a MBA as your secondary computer.
    Is it overkill, or is it a nice combo. I know I would love the air to bring everyday to school. But I don't want my nice MBP to never get used again. Do you guys find balance with this combo?

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I have 24" iMac + 13" MBA combo and I find it to be nice. MBA is great when portability is needed but there are moments when I appreciate having a bigger screen and much, much more storage. It depends on a person though. Someone might be fine with MBA as his main computer but at least in my case, it would involve external equipment like HDs.
  3. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Thanks for the reply

    I love my 15 MBP with AG, so I'm definitely not gonna sell it. If I had an iMac no question I would already have an iMac MBA combo. But I really wanna know how the two laptop thing works for people.
    I think it would be pretty good in my situation
  4. kevfree macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2010
    I was pretty much in your same position. I have a Imac and 16.4" Vaio notebook, that I still wanted to keep, but it is much to heavy to carry on a daily basis. So I purchased the 11.6 base model MBA and have no regrets. I would say go for if you have the cash.
  5. AMDGAMER macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2011
    I just returned my xmas gift iPad and ordered a MBAIR with the money...
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I don't know, I can see the desktop + laptop thing working well, but two laptops? I don't see the benefit.

    OP, if the 15" MBP is too heavy and you just have to have a MBA to carry with you, would you consider selling the MBP and getting an iMac?
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    15" too heavy? Might want to go to the gym. (Um, ever tried to carry a girl?)

    I carry 17" MBP around almost every day. A good bag with comfy strap makes a world of differences.
  8. double329 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    I bought MBA as my secondary laptop. As it turned out, the MBA is my primary laptop now.
  9. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I used to have a 17" MBP. Now I use an 11" MBA. I don't like having two laptops because I prefer to have all my files and preferences and applications in one place. The inconvenience of bouncing between two machines is, subjectively, larger than the bother of carrying around extra weight.

    I agree with the others that say a desltop+laptop combo works, but not laptop+laptop. I find that even when I have two laptops, I end up using only one.
  10. citizenal macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2010
    I have a 15 inch macbook pro hooked up to a 27 inch monitor and a 13 inch air for carrying around.. Love the combo.
  11. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    The 15 inch is heavy when carrying my big textbooks and binders and notebooks. Its not too heavy by any means, but with all that stuff, it is an inconvenience so I never end up bringing it. I would love an 11 to bring every day and not even notice the weight in my bag.

    I would sell it, and maybe pick up a 27 iMac. But nothing like antiglare.
    Also is craigslist the way to go when selling?
  12. aCondor macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2010
    United States
    It sounds like a waste of money to me. If you want to spend $1,000 on another laptop that will be marginally easier to carry around (I mean, really. You can carry your 15" around. Right? Please say yes.) that's your decision. But why would you want two laptops? One to carry in your backpack? That is not smart. No sir. Uh uh. Nom nom nom.
  13. aCondor macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2010
    United States
    Having said that, I would like a MBP and a MBA, too. So I'm a little jealous. But it is just so much money for two devices that are designed to do basically the same thing (portable Mac).
  14. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I use to have an iMac/air combo best setup ive ever used better than 17 inch macbook pro and air. I plan on getting a new air and imac later this year their great together. The macbook pro became too awkward for me to use while having an air I ended up getting an external display etc that defeated its purpose.
  15. drxcm macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    I have a 17" MacBook Pro and an 11" MacBook Air and think they complement each other beautifully.

    I've been stationed away from my home country, moving a lot, for a long time now and so the 17" has become my 'desktop', and the 11" my daily 'take-out' computer.

    It's a beautiful combination and the 11" does not seem redundant. I mostly use the 17" at home still, and occasionally the 11" at home too. I love both. The 17" is still king for watching video, doing photo editing etc. The 11" is a perfect net / mail / office computer (although it can do the other stuff, that's what my MBP is for).

    I agree the MBP's (especially the 17") are too heavy for daily commuting, perhaps not on their own, but when you are carrying a bunch of other stuff, it starts to get very very heavy. Also the 11" size is perfect - it will fit in just about any bag and hardly seems like its there in comparison.

    So - go for it!
  16. drxcm macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    I wish I was strong like you. I find the 17" too big and heavy for every day use personally, but I carry a lot more round than just my computer, so it all adds up.
  17. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I have a 15" MBP HR AG hooked up to a 21" HP monitor as well as a MBA 11.6.

    So for my needs - I needed a main machine that is capable of video and photo editing, and is capable of being upgraded because of the sheer volume of my media. I chose the MBP over an iMac, because I wanted to have the option of using my mbp on the go. That and I enjoy using a laptop over a desktop.

    I picked up a 11.6" MBA because of my needs for a travel computer that is not obstructive while I am on hospital rounds (pharmacy student). The MBA serves for me to take notes on patients and look of drug references on rounds and not completely stick out like a sore thumb.

    I do agree that it is slightly overkill, but I love the set up, and it is just want I need. I had an iPad before that was perfect to accompany my mbp, and that was the ideal set up because it let me have quick access to pdfs, school notes, and text books.

    Depending on your needs you may find the MBA a great solution for a secondary computer if you use it to it's fullest capabilities. This is coming from a person who has the machines that you are interested in.
  18. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    I have a 2008 (pre-unibody) 15" MBP and a 13" MBA and I love 'em both. :D

    The Air is used purely for (law) school and the MBP has turned into my media sits on my desk in my apartment all day hooked up to speakers, and I use it for gaming, movies, and music/iTunes. I try to keep the MBA free of all media files.

    I decided to get the Air b/c the Pro took up too much room in my bag and wasn't really convenient to travel around campus with (since I'd have to bring the charger along too...the battery in the Pro only lasts 2-3 hours now).

    I don't think those that say that there isn't much of a difference when travelling with a 15" MBP (plus charger) and a MBA (without charger) have actually tried it. When I'm walking around campus all day with text books, lecture notes, gym clothes, an umbrella, a coffee mug and my lunch every little bit of space and weight matters and the shoulder straps of my backpack definitely don't dig into my shoulders as sharply as they did before.
  19. Dharma32 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2010
    I'm in a simular situation. I'm in grad school and my 15 MBP was weighing me down, especially when carrying 5 or 6 thick monographs. I now use my 15" MBP as a "desktop" and does most of the heavy lifting; such as video editing and a like. Over time I'm planning on upgrading the RAM, HD, and replacing the optical drive with another HD in the MBP to make it more of a desktop. Add a keyboard, mouse and and iCurve and so far its been working out.

    For class and most other school work I use a 13" MBA. The Air is great for class work. Syncing between the two is pretty easy, between Dropbox and DropCopy keeping files in sync has been pretty simple.

    It is a bit odd having two "laptops" but it works. My advice is to have a plan for your MBP. I get that you don't want to sell it, but it does make sense to know how you will be using it.
  20. phelsuma88 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm thinking almost the same thing, but I want to carry both my 17" mbp and the 11" mba around with me...well at least sometimes.

    I'm hardly ever at home for extended periods of time, which is why I wanted the 17", so I could have the power and size of a desktop machine at all times.

    But I'm also starting to notice that some places are just not fit for a 17" computer (some college desks, meeting tables). I think it would be a perfect match to have both at the same time when I'm out and about because I could do my big project stuff on the 17 and the notetaking/casual use on the 11. It would also give me the option of just taking the 11 when the situation calls.
  21. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Unless you actually need the extra processing power the MBP provides, I think the MBA will end up being your primary machine, particularly if you get the 13" for basic day to day tasks it's faster than a MBP due to the SSD.

    I also agree that the two laptop idea hardly ever works out. I had a very nice Lenovo before I got the MBA and planned to keep both but it just became too much of a hassle to bring both machines with me everywhere I went, not to mention the Lenovo was a 15" and quite a bit heavier than the MBA. I ended up giving it to my mom and just installed Win7 on my MBA via Boot Camp, so now it really does meet ALL my needs, both personal and professional.
  22. solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm in the situation that the OP has described. I'm a grad student and have recently acquired the base 11". I also have a mid 2008 MBP and am currently evaluating life with two laptops.

    To be honest, I never found the 15" that 'portable'. Sure I can carry it around to the library and whatnot, but with textbooks, folders etc. I often lacked the bag space and things quickly become needlessly heavy. Further, as mentioned above, there are quite often times when the footprint of the 15" is rather big; for example, coffee shop meetings, small desks etc. The 11" is the perfect size when it comes to a laptop for university/school. The footprint is basically that of a pad of A4 paper, and you can prolong the battery life to make it last the day by using small tricks such as dimming the screen, using Click2Flash, and installing CoolBook.

    My 15" has been relegated to my home desk and rarely moves. I use MobileMe so a bunch of stuff is synced through there. Dropbox is perfect for syncing files between the two computers - you're a student so you can get quite hefty referral bonuses, I think up to 16GB.

Share This Page