New mac setup

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Brm-G, May 12, 2011.

  1. Brm-G macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    Currently I have got a basic 21,5" 2010 iMac and it is working perfectly. But I will need to change my setup the coming few months. On the September 1st I will go to university and I won't be able to live at home anymore during the week. In weekends I will be at home.

    I need a computer both back at home and at university, therefore I need some portability; a MacBook (Air/Pro). As I mentioned I have time till september and I think it is likely that the MBA will be refreshed in the coming few months so I will wait for that.

    As I am a student I will be able to buy my mac with some education discount. Back to school promotion will likely start by the end of may so I wait a little more to get some discount on a iPod (which I will sell or something).

    Tasks I do on my computer:
    - webbrowsing
    - work in iWork and Office 2011
    - playing music
    - watching movies
    - do a little of chatting
    - downloading
    - and some very light picture editing.

    Now there are several possibilities for my setup.

    1) Keep my iMac and buy a nice and small 11" MBA (after refresh).
    The problem is I hate to work with two computers, I don't want to sync stuff and because the 11" MBA will only have a 64/128GB SSD syncing has to be done manually. Another disadvantage is that the MBA will have a SSD and my iMac does not have a SSD, therefore it is likely my iMac will feel slower than the MBA and so I will use my MBA more...

    2) Buy a 13" MBA (4GB/128GB/i5 SB?) together with a Dell u2311h to replace my iMac.
    I will put the external monitor on my room at University to do most of my work. Because a 13" MBA is nice and portable I will be able to bring it back home during the weekends. However I am not sure if a MBA will be able to replace my iMac. It will feel nice and fast because of the SSD but I am not sure if a low voltage i5 SB processor (which will likely come after the refresh) is powerfull enough to replace the iMac.
    I like this idea very much however it is a little dependent on the MBA refresh.

    3) 13" MBP with 128GB SSD and also the dell u2311h (can't work on a notebook all day).
    The MBP has a much more power. I am not sure if I need it. Some disadvantages on the MBP are; it is heavier than the MBA, lower resolution screen and not as has a glossy screen. The MBA however doesnt have backlit keyboard..

    What do you guys think. 1, 2, or 3. My choice for now is 2 however it depends on the MBA refresh.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    When MBAs get Sandy Bridge, the 13" will be close to the speed of base 13" MBP. CPU wise, the next gen MBA might be close to the performance of your iMac due to Turbo Boost and HT. It sounds like MBA is more than fine for you as a main computer. The only issue is the storage but you can always buy an external to hold infrequently accessed files.

    I would say option 2 but it is up to the refresh of course.
  3. Brm-G thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    Thanks for your quick reply. I forgot to tell, I will put my main storage on an external Hard drive (NAS).
  4. Brm-G thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    Could I better put this post in 'Buying advice' section?
  5. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
  6. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    Well if you think posting this in the MBA forum is going to net you more MBP or Imac votes over MBA, then I got some swamp land in Florida for you:D

    I vote for the MBA!:cool:
  7. mediacomposer macrumors newbie


    Jun 21, 2010
    Boston, MA

    Oh you real fancy huh?

    Go with the 11" MBA, best thing ever, you'll forget all about your imac.
  8. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    hopefully the air refresh will be soon because i too am thinking about getting one for college
  9. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I’d get either the 11” or 13” MBA after the refresh and hook it up to a nice external monitor. I’m partial to the 11” because of its size for easy transportation, and with a nice external monitor, keyboard, mouse and hard drive at home, it can easily be a main computer. This has been my setup lately and it’s working well.
  10. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    I'd either keep the iMac and get an 11in Air, or sell the iMac and get a 13in with i7 4GB RAM, and buy an external display for like $300. THen buy 8GB of 1600MHz RAM, and an external HDD.
  11. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    When you buy, I'd suggest buying the 13" MacBook Air over the 11" model for two big reasons that I can see becoming a problem for you if you were to get an 11" model. Those two things are the screen size/aspect ratio of the 11", and the battery life on the 11".

    As you will be going to university soon, like you said, you'll need a portable laptop. Well, here's where you're going to need good battery life so you can make it through the day without having to constantly plug in. With the 11", you only get 5 hours of battery life, while with the 13", you get 2 hours MORE battery life than the 11" does, for a total of 7 hours of battery life on the 13" MacBook Air.

    Now, about the screen size on the 11". Yes, the 11" is nice a compact and as a smaller footprint than the 13" MacBook Air, but it also has a smaller screen which can cause some people to have eye strain after using it for a couple of hours, and also the fact that the screen on the 11" is shorter causing you to not be able to see as much information on the screen as you would on the 13".

    Lastly, as an added bonus, the processor in the 13" is faster than the one in the 11", which can come in handy at different times.

    Those are my reasons as to why I think it'd be the better decision to opt for the 13" MacBook Air.

    Hope this helps! :)
  12. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    SD Card slot can be pretty crucial too

    I'm personally going for the refreshed 13in MBA, whenever that may be (I'll be a third year electrical engineering student come fall)

    I just wish they could fit the 13in screen into the 11in back panel (and it'd fit... I did the math, but the logo and camera would probably have to go lol) =P
  13. Brm-G thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    The 13" is small enough to bring along. Don't need anything smaller is it would be my main system.

    Why is SD Card slot so important. My iMac has one but I have never used it, besides both the MBP and MBA have the SD card slot.

    I think I will put this topic in buying advice because most people who look at the MacBook Air part of the forums will probably advice the MBA, lol.

    Thanks guys.
  14. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    ha, well, I use my SD card slot all the time for accessing my photos from my Nikon D5000. Now granted, a USB-to-SD card reader dongle would suffice... but convenience is convenience.

    And obviously, I mention it because the 11in doesn't have an SD slot. That could sway some people one way or another, if it matters to them. lol

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