Using the new MBA for all my needs

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by biodigitaljazz, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. biodigitaljazz macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    I am making my first Mac purchase. It's going to be a laptop, since I am going to college. I am torn between the 13" MBP, since many have said they were satisfied with it on this site, and a MBA, obviously because of its size and insane portability.

    This what I would use it for, maybe you guys can help me make the best decision.

    Word processing: papers for college, or taking notes in class
    Music: hosting my iTunes library
    Web: obvious basic web-surfing on Safari
    Video: Streaming/ripping vids from Youtube, playing 1080p Blu-ray rips, possibly buying movies from iTunes. Videos would probably be played on an HDTV through the adapter available from the Apple store

    Whatever I get, I'm going to get an Apple Magic Mouse with it.

    Thank you very much.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Get whatever fits your budget. Any Mac made in the past 5 years can do what you need it to.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    How much storage do you need? This is MBA's biggest setback. If you can fit everything into 128GB, or you can afford 256GB model and fit everything into it, then everything is fine, but especially the 1080p BR rips take a lot space. You could, of course, put them into an external HD or NAS if that is fine (though it adds costs).
  4. biodigitaljazz thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Yeah, trust me, I've noticed, lol. I have an external hard drive that I have all my rips on right now, which gives the MBA a plus since if I were on the go, I wouldn't really need to watch one of those; they're more for viewing movies in my room, which leads to another point. If I were going to permanently switch to viewing movies off the computer and from the iTunes store, I could save money from buying a Blu-ray player, but then I have a ton of DVDs, and no player- my DVD player is currently built into my big hulky TV that I hoped to get rid of by getting a 22" HDTV that could also double as the computer monitor. But if I got a Pro, I'd have the DVD capabilities, and it also has backlit keys. AHH. The decisions are so difficult, since it's a big purchase, I want to be 100% sure its the right one. If the new Airs have backlit keys and a Thunderbolt port, I'll probably be sold. I wouldnt need an SD card slot, since I hope to buy an iPod touch, I can use the iCloud part to wirelessly put pictures taken on it onto my computer. Isnt there also something about the Airs having a remarkable resolution?
  5. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I do everything you listed on my 11" MBA, if you're heading to college and using this as your main machine I would suggest the 13" MBA just for the additional screen space and hard drive. It's just as light as the 11" but a tad nicer.

    Good luck in college.
  6. biodigitaljazz thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    I might actually end up getting the 11" just for the price, and maybe trying to add the storage size. Like I said, it all depends on Thunderbolt being available on the new MBAs. Is backlit keys really a big issue? I hear people saying they can't live without it, others saying its not worth it for it to be a decision maker or breaker.
  7. biodigitaljazz thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Well, you say you can watch 1080p Blu-ray rips on your 11", and I've got an external that I keep them on right now, so what have I got to lose?
  8. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I would go with the MBA. Once the new model gets released, the power gap between the MBA and MBP line will be pretty narrow, so if you don't make any professional use of it the MBA is more than fine.

    I'm a student too and will be selling my 2009 15" MBP for a 11" Air. I used to have the 2008 Unibody MacBook too. Both made my backpack considerably heavier. My friends has the 13" MBA and I can't tell if it's in his backpack just by lifting it. I wish I could say the same with my backpack. It gets uncomfortably heavy when I have both my laptop and books.

    I'm choosing the 11" MBA because of the form factor and because of the fact that I have an external 24" display at home, so the screen size won't be an issue. It has a pretty good resolution for a 11" screen (1366x768), which is enough to display websites and most applications comfortably. If I ever want to use more complex applications (heavy Photoshopping, Final Cut Pro, Logic and such), I'll do it home on my 24" monitor anyway.

    If it's your only computer and don't have a bigger monitor the 13" could be a better choice though. The thing is that the 11" is 16:9 not 16:10 like all other MacBooks. So the screen is almost as wide as a 13" but not very tall. If you don't have a Dock that auto-hides it can be pretty frustrating when navigating websites with a lot of content.

    If you're unsure you could try using them both at the Apple Store. Buy the one that feels adequate, and if you ever have regrets, you have 14 days to return it no question asked without restocking fees.

    As for the backlit keyboard, yes, I think it's very useful when at home in the dark (not at school though), I certainly hope the next Air will have it, but it's not a deal breaker if it doesn't. I think the size/weight matter more if you're going to travel a lot with it.

    Enjoy your new Mac :)
  9. biodigitaljazz thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Well' I gotta say, I'm satisfied with the responses and information Ive gotten from this forum, and I'm excited to participate in the future. Thanks for your help. I'll probably go with the base model 13" Air when it comes out, hopefully it will have Thunderbolt and a backlit keyboard. I'm probably gonna buy after Lion comes out, because downloading its 4GB size would be a pain at my house. Also, I have some cash and I can see if I get an HDTV for my birthday, whether or not I can get a refurbished iPod touch as well.
  10. cleric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Anyone collecting 1080p Blu-Ray Rips has a raid array(or a large mess of drives) in my experience 3TB drives are on the small side and not redundant.
  11. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
  12. tallyho macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2004
    Or have the dock at the left edge of the screen? That's what I do on all my macs, regardless of their aspect ratio. Makes a lot of sense on a 16:9 display especially, though.

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