MBA with Windows Question

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by BJMRamage, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    My wife needs a laptop for a new job coming up ...bring your own device.
    It needs to run Windows.

    That said, I am wondering if I could go with a 2014 or new 2015 MBA (probably 13" as 11" seems tiny) and if I could run Windows on it successfully.

    I prefer Apple to Windows-based machines and know a Chromebook is out of the question.

    Thoughts or advice?

    PS, which is the best way to get Windows onto a Mac? (I used to test websites and code on a Mac running Windows a couple years back but not sure of the program.

    This is a job NOT graphic heavy. We have an iMac and I use a MBP for work (designer). It just needs to be something to enter some numbers and word-like apps. nothing fancy. I might use to edit some pictures or something but have the 2 other computers for that.
  2. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Not sure what you are asking, but yes, Bootcamp works well. A few considerations:

    - If you don't want to use Windows exclusively, I'd look into a hypervisor like VMWare Fusion, Parallels or Virtualbox rather than Bootcamp, so you don't have to reboot all the time to switch OSs. If you are considering this, I'd strongly recommend to get a model with 8GB RAM. Given enough RAM, it works very well for things like MS Office etc..

    - You'll obviously need to get a Windows license somewhere if you don't already have one.

    - If Windows is the main requirement and your wife isn't very demanding with regard to ultraportability, you'll probably be able to find a comparable (perhaps slightly bigger) standard notebook or even ultrabook for significantly less money.
  3. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    Why the MBA if you are going to run Windows? There are more portable PC alternatives to the MBA if you are simply going to run Windows on it.
  4. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    I am asking about a MBA because it is a Mac and slightly cheaper, more portable.

    We had (well, still have) a cheap Samsung or Toshiba Windows Laptop. it was $300-400 new and it was crap within 2 years.

    My experience with Macs (for the years I've been using them) has been they can last a while longer. Plus, I like how everything works better on them. and we'd be just fine using the Mac OS at all other times.

    Still, this is up in the air. Not sure about it all, need to look things over. I know I wouldn't want a netbook style or Chromebook (of course since they are requesting a Windows machine) Though not sure if the software to use is Web/Cloud-based or if it could be had via App Store/Mac versions.


    from the looks of it, a Virtual Machine would be best with 8GB of RAM.

    that is good to know.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The MBA runs Windows better than most Windows laptops. Bootcamp drivers are very solid. So if you can get your hands on an MBA, it will make a lovely Windows laptop.
  6. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    The trackpad driver under Windows is not so great however. Makes it rather
    'jumpy' in my experience, otherwise I agree, it works fine.
  7. Pootan macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2014
    I run parallels windows 7 with Visual Studio 2013 without problems on base 11" 2014 air.
  8. LAnMarc macrumors member


    May 11, 2010
    Adelaide South Australia
    I have also been running Parallels and Win 7 on a 2010 13" MBA for the last 4 years with no issues.
  9. tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    I would (and do) run Win7 in a virtual machine for those types of applications.

    I use VMWare Fusion, and it is great. If I double click on a file in Finder associated with a Win7 program, it will jump to the virtual machine and open the win7 program.

    This is running on a 2012 MBA (with 8 GB), and it runs smoothly.

    If you do want to run a VMWare on a MBA, than I strongly recommend 8GB of RAM, and give the VM 3 GB of that. I suspect my experience would not be so favorable if I had a 4GB machine. I have found if I give the VM 4 GB (of my 8GB), win7 starts stuttering. 3GB works great. I guess OS X doesn't like to share....
  10. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I tried to run windows 7, windows 8 and windows 8.1 on my mac mini and a macbook air over the past 2 years. It is an atrocious experience, because the trackpad does not work as fluently as under Mac OS. At my last attempt, windows 8 could not be installed, because the trackpad and keyboard stopped responding during the installation process. I wasted 10 days on this and evetnually gave up. During research into the problem, I found out that this is a common problem.

    In short:
    There is no guarantee that you will get windows to run on a mac.
    Neither :apple: nor microsoft will help you because microsoft does not officially give support to run windows on a mac and :apple: does not officially support this either, despite providing bootcamp.
  11. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    How does the trackpad behave under Parallels + Windows 7? Under bootcamp it is a rather poor experience, comparable to a Lenovo touchpad which is about as bad as it gets...
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I've been running Windows (via Boot Camp and via external drives) smoothly for over 2 years already. It's rock solid except for the slightly wonky trackpad drivers.
  13. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    thanks for the feedback. My wife needs a numberpad and so we've opted to look more into a Windows Laptop.

    I understand her need and sure we could probably find a number-pad to attach via USB but that just adds more things.

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