What would be the ideal setup for a road warrior?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dontwalkhand, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I am NEVER home, which is why I had decided to purchase a MacBook Pro instead of an iMac. I have tried numerous types of setups, and spent a lot of money in just trying to perfect a setup....I still haven't found what I liked yet in a setup, and this is getting very annoying :(...so I turn to MacRumors for advice ;). I am out of the house from 8AM to around 9PM at night...6 days a week.

    Here is what I have done so far...

    Setup Scenario 1:
    ...Purchased a 20" Samsung LCD Monitor + a Mini-Display Port to DVI adapter, a wireless bluetooth keyboard from Apple, and a Magic Mouse. Also purchased an iLap stand from Rain Design with the intention of propping the MacBook Pro up a little bit to be more in line with the bottom of the monitor.
    Speaker system with subwoofer.
    What I like about this setup:
    Lots of screen real estate, and supports the idea of good posture. Also have a "central location" for all of my computing needs. Kickass sound when I need it.
    What I don't like about this setup:
    It feels useless, as I am only home for about an hour or two, and it seems that I don't need such an extravagant setup when I am never home to actually "sit at my computer"...rather, I use my computer as a laptop, as designed. Also seems like I have to reconfigure the displays every time I get home, and it wastes time. Also feel like I am tied to using my computer in that one location. Lots of cords to disconnect when I just want to get up and leave.

    Setup Scenario 2
    Just set the MacBook Pro on a desk, and use it as such.
    What I like about this setup:
    Grab and go. No configuration, nothing to unplug but the MagSafe. I don't find the screen size or screen resolution limiting at all, so screen real estate is not an issue at all.
    What I don't like about this setup:
    Promotes horrible posture during overnight cram sessions. Though this is generally very rare. Also, because the table cloth is fabric, I am not sure if this is good to use the MacBook Pro on at all, though people told me I shouldn't really be worried. Sound quality from MacBook speakers is horrid.

    Setup Scenario 3:
    The bed. Just laying down and using it. Same cons as above however....and definitely promotes laziness.

    Other things at my disposal:
    HP Photosmart C310a wireless printer...so printing is not an issue.

    Anyways, what do you think is the best setup for someone who is never home, but would like a home for his Mac? What do you guys suggest? What should I buy/return to the store?

    I was thinking about picking up a laptop utility cart instead (Kind of like what Freddie uses on iCarly....yes yes I know, ;))
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I think we are still missing something here...

    Which Macbook are you talking about?
  4. dontwalkhand thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    The one in my sig, MacBook Pro 13" Early 2011
  5. Higney85 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    I am gone a good bit and utilize the following setup:

    13" MBP is my main machine. When home it's hooked up to a monitor/hub that has a keyboard/mouse/audio/iphone&ipad cables.

    Ipad for the road

    iphone in the pocket.

    When I have a long layover and it's not a place where I want to "see the city" i will bring the MBP.

    Been working well for almost a year now.

    Main perks of the ipad is that when I have to go through security, it stays in the bag. When I have to ride as a passenger it's not too big if put into the dreaded middle seat. Works great in hotels. I also have a home server that allows me to access stuff on the road that I may need.
  6. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    In which case, I think the best and ideal setup for the 13" MBP 2011 would be an Apple Thunderbolt Display, so that you only have 2 cables to deal with: Thunderbolt and MagSafe. The rest of the other peripherals can be connected to the Display instead.

    That is... assuming you want the extra screen real estate.

    Otherwise, I'd suggest that you purchase some good headphones. More portable than speakers. If speakers are a must, take a gander at the Audioengine A2. Those are small enough to fit into your bags, and they pack a lot of quality.

    I'm not a road warrior per se, but I'm out of the house quite often as well (7am to 4-5pm every weekday except for Saturday/Sunday), and my main setup is a 15" MBP with a pair of headphones. That's about it. I found that as I traveled a lot, I would want to bring the whole setup with me... while making sure I have enough space for something else, and not a lot of stuffs to plug in while I sit down.

    I don't think posture or laziness should be a problem with your #2 or #3 setup since you wouldn't be home long enough for those to be a habit.
  7. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Interesting, my mum has an ipad as-well and everytime we went through security she was asked to take it out, maybe its a European thing?
  8. derickdub macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2011
    This is basically my setup. I too am hardly home to use it, but when I am I can truly appreciate having it set up this way because of how much more comfortable it is.

    I don't really get what you mean by having to configure your displays. I just plug my MBP into my monitor and everything is fine. It only had to be configured once.

    You may want to look into getting a dock, it would probably make leaving in a hurry easier. I personally don't use one, but I don't mind the 10 or so seconds it takes to plug/unplug 7 cables from my MBP. One thing that does make it easier is having two chargers. I keep one in my bag and one at my desk. That way if I'm on the go and my battery dies (it's rare, but happens) I'm all set.
  9. Higney85 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    Having a "Crew" badge bypasses a good bit of the shenanigans in the US and abroad. I believe iPads are exempt in removal for the general public. I know the vast majority of my coworkers utilize an iPad for "the road". Taking out the laptop is a PITA when going through security. Especially if its tucked away in the bag shielded by clothes.
  10. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    13" MacBook Air and iPad2 are my tools of choice on the road. Tried everything from 13 - 17" MBP's, 11" Air, even a few Lenovo's.

    At home it's handy have at the very least and external display to hook up to, or better yet an 'always on' desktop to act as storage, server, back up...

    I'd say choose the smallest screen you're comfortable with for traveling, for some that's a 17" others an 11 etc..

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