Primary Machine

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mattpreston11, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. mattpreston11 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2007
    \Anybody using a MBA as a primary computer?

    Thinking of getting an external monitor and just using my 11'', has this worked for anyone? Obviously differs depending on your computing needs.
  2. Jman14 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2008
    I can't answer this question... But look forward to the answer, as I plan to do the same.
  3. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    Q: Do you need the power of your iMac i5?

    A: Yes:
    Don't use the MBA 11" as your primary machine.

    A: Yes, but not that often, and I don't mind waiting a bit longer:
    Use the MBA 11" as your primary machine (+ external monitor / external hd)

    A: No:
    Use the MBA 11" as your primary machine (+ external monitor / external hd)
  4. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    It has not replaced my desktop PC as my primary computer, and likely never will simply becuase some of the things I do are better done on a powerful desktop, but it is my primary laptop.
  5. MacBook08, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    MacBook08 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    San Jose, California
    Yes! I absolutely love my 11" MBA. It is my primary computer and I don't feel like I am missing anything. Why? Because it isn't a Dell hacintosh netbook using an Atom processor.

    The only reason(s) a reasonable person wouldn't want to buy one:
    1. You're a crazy, hardcore gamer.
    2. You produce more than you consume (film making, music making) and you're not patient enough to let the processor do its work.
    3. You have a phobia of external monitors.
    4. You have a phobia of external hard drives.
    5. You have a phobia of desktop speakers.

    I am sure other users can add to this list. The bottom line? You know what you need. Are you a power/pro user or are you not? If not, do you plan on becoming a power/pro user in the future? If yes, do you feel as though you won't be able to buy an iMac or something to complement your ultraportable Air? (Note: I see the OP has an iMac. I am thinking mainly about users, asking the same question, who don't.)

    Perhaps someone can make an (objective) decision flow chart to end all of these threads. That would be cool.
  6. Jman14 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2008
    I'm glad to hear you say this.. But I agree (even though I didnt help the cause) I realize there is ALOT of these questions.
  7. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    I use my 11.6 MBA as my primary Mac and it works well for me!
  8. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Op only you know your usage. If it boils down to everyday stuff (office, web, iemail, iphoto & itunes) then yes ir prob could be your primary computer.

    If your requirements are very heavy graphics work, pro tools audio, final cut pro editing etc... then no you eould be better served with other hardware.
  9. gb1631 macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    PNW Puget Sound
    Recently I spent over two weeks at our time share condo hooked up to their ethernet internet connection on my MBA 11." (Using the Apple USB-Ethernet converter.)

    I mostly surfed the internet - facebook, other websites, e-mailed, used iPhoto, iMusic to sync my iPod, iCal/Busy Cal, MS PP and had a few Skype Video conversations. (Newest Skype Version.) Also watched movies on Netflick & Hulu.

    I found that if I had too, I could use my MBA as a main computer. That said I'm on my iMac i7 now. ;) :apple:
  10. St. G macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2010
    Define "primary."

    I use it more often than any other recreational computer, but I still a) Transcode Blurays on a desktop b) Store my media on a NAS, c) Playback said media and stream video on my HTPC and d) Spend 8 hours a day editing on a superduperpowerhouse editing rig.

    But for surfing the net, audio recording, and PC gaming? Yeah, I mostly use the MBA these days.
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Thankfully, you acknowledged that your criteria aren't "objective."

    I don't have a "phobia" of any of those things. I am, however, much more comfortable working on a 24" monitor than I am an 11". I'm much more productive (and faster) using an external mouse instead of a trackpad. Nine times out of ten, I don't need portability. So I chose an iMac as my primary machine.

    Please try not to take your criteria for computer use and apply it to everyone. That strategy is doomed to fail.
  12. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    doing just fine

    with the ultimate 13" as my main machine (I stream netflix & watch DVDs on an old macbook hooked to an external screen). The 11, just too small, like the 13" form factor.

  13. Applepi macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2007
    I use my 13" Air as my primary, works perfect for me.
  14. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Depends what you need your primary machine for. I'm thinking of getting rid of my desktop Mac, and setting up my MBA 11 with a large 27" monitor, plus a few accessories (mouse, SD card reader, etc.)
  15. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I'll echo a lot of other comments and say that it could be a primary computer, depending on your usage.
  16. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Agreed. I do quite a lot of PC gaming so that rules out the MBA as primary already. In addition to that, my desktop is a media server with my PS3 being the media server extender. This requires a lot of bandwidth (gigabit helps A LOT), a lot of drive space and a lot of processing power for any media files not natively supported by the PS3 as they have to be encoded on the fly. Having the desktop allows me to stream bluray quality movies to my tv, while i'm on the couch with my MBA. Something I could not do if the MBA was my only computer. Not to mention I find it more convenient to press a button or shake a mouse and have my PC ready to go then it is to connect/disconnect a series of cables depending on whether I'm mobile or stationary.
  17. kettlecorn macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Just got a 13" and it is my sole computer. I knew that getting it and I had the MBP 2010 13" model but I sold it to get the MBA. I would personally not use it as a primary computer unless it was the Ultimate edition because then I would just get a MBP 13" for less price. The 2.13ghz, 4gb ram and 256ssd are all sufficient for me but Im not sure if it would be if i got the 1.8ghz, 2gb ram and 128ssd.

    Im absolutely satisfied with it. Battery life is so conservative when it needs to be, I can play SCII with good quality when i like even though i use xbox live to game. And everything else like multitasking and what not, it is lightning fast. My MBP 13" with an expensive performance SSD was a fraction faster but it did have 2.4ghz and not 2.13. Overall, best computer ive had so far. I actually prefer portability cause i use my computer on the desk, couch, bed, etc. and 13" is plenty esp with the hi-res screen I have no problem reading PDFs and word docs.
  18. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    Same here and I have no problem at all. Fast, light, and sexy! :D :apple:
  19. rovitotv macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    My 11" MBA Ultimate is my primary machine. I do lots of programming on it and it works great. The setup I have includes a 30" LCD and I use a Mac Mini as a file server. Mostly my tasks are programming, writting, and some entertainment (music and videos). I rarely play video games but sometimes I do. So far the 11" MBA seems to be perfect for me.
  20. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Damn, thinking about doing this.. you make me want to. I have a really nice SSD in my 2010 MBP but tbh I simply want that higher res screen in the 13". I find myself debating between a 13" MBA or a 15" MBP. I'm impatient and don't want to wait for a new MBP which is why I'm leaning toward MBA b/c I know that won't be refreshed soon lol... sigh. My MBP does what I need from it, I play WoW and SC2 on it and occasionally go into bootcamp, but rarely anymore, so I don't know if I'll miss it if I get an MBA since I won't put bootcamp on that. I have a HDD caddy in my MBP right now too. If the higher res screen was available for my 13" MBP I would do that instead... anyway rambling!!
  21. MacBook08 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    San Jose, California
    Well, it looks like the decision was easy for you and thus this thread doesn't apply to you. I don't think anyone is confused about whether they should buy an iMac or whether they should buy a MacBook Air, instead. I think most are just questioning how capable the Air is.
  22. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    What's kind of funny is, when I first got my 11" MBA, I hardly touched my 15" i5 MBP...then I got the 27" ACD and use it mostly with my 15" MBP and now I love using the ACD/MBP combination...:confused:

    Honestly though, the MBA is the PERFECT ultra portable as it goes everywhere with me and I use the ACD/i5 MBP combo as my main desktop unit...the ACD is just gorgeous to look at and to watch 720p/1080p movies and the MBA is my grab and go computer...

    Oddly, I want an iPad2 when it comes out...what the heck am I going to do with that? :confused: :D :cool:
  23. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I never got the impression that this thread was only for people who are struggling with whether to use a MBA as a primary machine.

    Specifically, I only responded to your out-of-bounds comment:

    thereby calling me - and many others - unreasonable.
  24. Insilin1i macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I could use it as my primary but I enjoy the 27" screen for browsing and watching movies to much. When I'm not home it becomes my primary and really enjoyable to use.

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