Wanting to buy macbook air and screen?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gadgetgirl85, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I'm thinking about buying a macbook air (to take to uni) and 27" thunderbolt screen so I can do my PhD on it. Do you think the apple screens are good or is there a cheaper alternative?
  2. jpdunford macrumors member

    May 15, 2012
  3. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    There are cheaper alternatives. I have a late 2011 15.4 in "hires" MBP and an Acer 23 in 1080p monitor. It is a great setup. I think a 1080p monitor would do just fine with a MBA. The only reason I'd consider an Apple Thunderbolt monitor is the built in Thunderbolt hub that turns it into a docking station. Of course Apple screens are good or they couldn't get away with charging so much for them and of course there are cheaper alternatives. Since you are a student working on your Phd, perhaps the time to splurge on the expensive monitor is AFTER you defend your dissertation.

    I never carry my MBP around. I have an iPad for that. That's why I went ahead and got the heavy 15.4 in machine. In your case, perhaps a 13 in MBP paired with an iPad would make a suitable setup. I also have a BT keyboard for my iPad that lets me turn it into a "netbook" setup when I need to type something longer than a quick email.
  4. gadgetgirl85 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I'm mainly thinking of screen re cheaper alternatives. I think the macbookair would be quite handy to carry around to uni and working for short periods. I'm finding it difficult to work for long hours on a smaller screen. What does a docking station do? (sorry I don't know much about this stuff)
  5. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    A docking station has a variety of ports into which you can plug external hard drives, printer, scanner, etc. In the case of current MacBook Pros and Airs, you can leave all that stuff connected to a Thunderbolt display with its built-in hub, and connect your Mac to the display via a single Thunderbolt cable. It's very convenient. I have an older MBP and a USB 2 hub, and I leave my USB devices connected to the hub, and connect one cable to my MBP. I have to connect my FireWire devices to my MBP, though, and when I disconnect my MBP, I have to eject the drives. It's a bit more of a hassle, but not bad.

    Another thing you're paying for with the Thunderbolt display is the screen resolution. Other brands with the same resolution are similarly priced. But a 1080P monitor is pretty nice, too, and a whole lot cheaper.

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