Using the 11.6 air as primary computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jeff_siler, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. jeff_siler macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2005
    I recently sold my desktop PC so that I can be more mobile. I'm trying to decide between the 13" MBP refurbished from apple ($1019) or the Macbook Air 11.6 ($1000). I have an iPad and an iPhone and love the portability iOS has. I would like to have a laptop for typing longer emails, surfing the web, syncronizing itunes content, and converting movies in handbrake for my apple tv. I realize the airs 1.4 core 2 will take considerably longer for handbrake conversions than the 2.4Ghz MBP. I am considering using the macbook air as my only computer for a year or so when I will then get a desktop system.

    Can I practically use the 11.6, or should I just get the larger, bulkier MBP?

  2. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I say get the Air and get a cheap external monitor.
  3. mike.coulter macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    Personally, I'd either go for the 13" mba or mbp. I'd also probably lean more towards the mbp, more battery and a faster CPU.
  4. secretpact macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    I am also wondering this. I'll be studying abroad next year and I don't know which MBA to buy..11" or 13". I basically go back and forth every day -_-.
  5. Durious macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    You will have no issues with the 11.6" at all in terms of speed of usability! I am getting much better performance response than my 2008 MBP
  6. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Keyboard on both MBA models is really no different than on the MBPs.

    I just played around w/ the new MBAs today for the first time. They really don't do much for me. When the MBA first came out I wanted one b/c it was the new kid on the block. Ultimately, I decided the 13" MBP would last longer and perform better. I put in an SSD and never looked back.

    The great thing about the MBPs is that you can upgrade the RAM and HD/SSD anytime you want in minutes. That is really the major difference between the machines. Well and you don't get FW800, built-in Ethernet, or optical drive (and SD slot in the 11.6").

    Really just depends where your priorities lie. The MBA seems more like a 2nd or 3rd computer, computer though. I'm sure people will disagree, as I know a lot of people advocate the iPad as a sole computer.
  7. Zord macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    I sold my old Macbook 13" and my iPad to get my new Macbook Air. I got the 11.6" and i'm loving it!!
    I'm using it as my primary computer for the very same reasons you are talking about.

    With some Logic Studio thrown in here and there. :)
  8. nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    If it is your only computer and you are on a budget, I would get the refurb MBP, just because it is more for your money. It is still portable and powerful.
  9. cburton macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    If you live in the US stop by your local Microcenter (if you have one) and pick up that 13" MBP new for $999.

  10. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    I'd go with 13" MacBook Pro and upgrade it to a SSD myself. I have a specific need for the firewire port so MacBook Pro is a must for me.
  11. iViking macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    I sold my MBP 13" to make the 11.6 MBA base model my primary computer. It works great. I write hours a day, surf the web, edit photos daily, and edit video in the new iMovie, (I only edit video about one weekend a month). Works fine for all of that!

    64 GB doesn't really matter because you can plug a $50 500 GB portable 3.5 hard drive into a USB, or get a SanDisk MicroMate card reader and a 64 GB SDHC card, or whatever.

    Jobs was saying the future of the macbook, or any notebook computer, for that matter, is no optical drive and definitely no hard drive as there's no need anymore with all the portable storage and streaming options, and he's right.
  12. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    The 11.6" Air will comfortably do all the tasks you've mentioned..
    Have fun with it.
  13. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    If it meets your needs, absolutely. The idea that the MBA has to be used as a "second computer" is bologna.
  14. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    Having used the 11" and 13" MBA, the 13", 15", and 17" MBP, the best overall in price/performance is the 15" MacBook Pro -- especially if you are running apps like Photoshop, Handbrake, iMovie, Steam Portal, WoW, and Starcraft.

    If performance isn't important but smallness/lightness is, then the 11.6 Air is an okay Mac. In that case, I recommend the top model with 1.6GHz model with 4G RAM and 128G storage.
  15. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I have the MBA 11.6" with the 1.6 GHz processor and 4GB of RAM. It will do light work just as well as a 13" MBP. But I've got to agree with the statement above. It's really a second or third computer. It's great for traveling. Much better than an iPad.
  16. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    I purchased the MBA listed in my signature, and replaced my Spring 2010 MacBook Pro 13". So far, I have noticed very little in terms of change of speed. The battery has been great so far, and the speed has been fine for almost everything I'm doing. I even did a voiceover on a video and exported an HD movie from iMovie and it took roughly the same amount of time it would take on the MBP.

    I say, do it. This MBA is my only computer, and I'm damn happy with it.
  17. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    Don't look at the processor speed numbers or the benchmark tests. The 11.6 Air is fast enough for most everyday computing. If you can live with smaller storage and short battery life, the 11.6 is a capable everyday machine. It can even do heavy grunt processor work, may not be as fast as the Pros but gets the work done, albeit longer, anyway.
  18. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Guessing you don't have much leeway in your budget in which case, the 13" MBP might be a better buy for you as an only. If not I'd recommend getting the 13" MBA + 4GB memory. If you get the 11.6" base Air, do upgrade to 4GB, you'll be happy you did.

    Best pricing on 13" MBP is the Microcenter $999 in store only option.
  19. edoras macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007
    The 11-inch model is slightly small for me (although it looks awesome).
    Thus, I have chosen a 13-inch CTO. It will become my Primary computer replacing my heavy 15-inch MBP.
  20. gustav531 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    I have received my 11.6" 1.4/4/64 MBA and will definitely use it as my only and primary computer.
    Originally I intended to use it as a secondary to my iMac. But now that I have used it a bit I realise that this is all that I need, it runs all the stuff I use very well (including Photoshop and Eclipse). So I will be selling my iMac as I wont use it anymore.

    I was afraid that I would feel cramped on the screen but due to the high resolution it isnt an issue for me at all. I love it and would recommend it to anyone. The one thing that it lacks is space though, so I got an external HD to keep at home.
  21. G_Cassius_Longinus macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    for what do you use it (cause im considering also to buy a mba as primary computer (with external screen). also how is logic on it/
  22. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    I agree here! It really depends on what you use the primary computer for. Everybody's needs and uses are different. It's a very personal decision!
  23. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    You can easily use the air as a primary computer. However it all depends on the tasks you are going to use it. It can cope with transcoding, and all that jazz, but would I want it to? Nope... I'll be keeping the unibody MB for those tasks, and it will sit somewhere else and I'll control it via screen sharing, or ssh.
  24. snorkelman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2010
    If you can pick up MBP for similar price then I'd go with that as my sole/primary machine

    As has been said could be used as a primary computer if I absolutely had to, but for me its much more enjoyable (and more likely to stay enjoyable) as a secondary machine with my i7 desktop as main box

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