Who here uses their MBP at home as is, no external monitors?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Misskitty, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Misskitty, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I know a few people, (one with a 15" and other two with 13"), who just use their MBP as clean and simple of a desk setup can be. They like it because theres practically no clutter in their setup. Its simple and no extra money spent on big monitors. No external monitors, no ext speakers, just the MBP and a mouse and ext hard drive. Not sure how they do it. Computing on a single monitor just feels so outdated right now, especially after you use dual 24" and dual 27" monitors at work and home.

    Just surfing the web and playing music, I could settle with a single monitor. Its not the greatest for screen real estate, but i wouldnt spend the cash on a dual monitor setup if this was all I used my computer for. But once you start doing stuff like typing docs, working on spreadsheets, ya...you really benefit from that 2nd monitor and especially if its two external monitors. I even used a 1 ext monitor setup in combo with my MBP display, but it wasnt quite the same experience as two ext monitors the same size.

    Im sure anyone would love to trim their computer setup, means more cash in your pocket, Im always a fan of keeping my stuff simple at home. Afterall, the average person spends more time on their work computer than their home computer, but computing on a single laptop screen just feels so limited, especially a 13", but even a 15" is small...too much max and minimizing for my tastes. Its tedious.

    Maybe im just spoiled, but with dual monitor setup, Im always web surfing with both, constantly turning my head left and right.

    I do prefer the look of single monitors vs dual as it just just looks cleaner and less clutter, also more free desk space, but it would have to be one of those 30" ultra wide monitors for me to consider going back to a single monitor.

    For those who do this, how do you do it? Have you ever had ext monitors before? If so, what made you trim down?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    A single 15" display is perfectly sufficient for my needs. I also have an external display in the office, but I barely use it - there is just no reason. Sometimes, it can be useful for LaTeX compilation preview or a database window, but that's it. I also don't have an external drive I would use on continuous basis - 256GB SSD is more than I realistically need.
  3. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    What do you use for your backups? What do you do when you reformat your drive?
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I use Time Machine. You can call me lazy ;)
    As I like to work on my lap, not on a desk, external display is not an option for me.
    I've tried the AirPlay monitor of Mavericks, but the 1920x1080 screen, 3 meters away, is only good for watching movies or photos, not for reading or writing anything. Yeah, the Retina display spoiled me.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Time Machine with regular backups of the TM drive + online backups of most important stuff + external HDD when traveling. I do not reformat my drive. Why would I?
  6. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Its still recommended to do a clean install every 18 months to optimize the computer, or is that for windows only?


    So time machine can back up your hard drive online? So we dont need ext hard drives?
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Uhm, that might have been the case with Windows XP, but it was never an issue with OS X as far as I know. Actually, 18 month is more or less how often I shut down my computer :D
  8. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I have a 13 not a 15, but I can barely stand to use the laptop display because of the lack of real estate compared to an external monitor. I have six workspaces and use lots of windows -- all of the Office suite, plus Adobe CS (PS, Illustrator, InDesign), FCPX, coding, etc etc. So I feel claustrophobic without a larger desktop to work on… But to each their own...
  9. james010101 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2013
    maybe I'm just a casual user as a uni student... but i use my 13" mbp as it is, with just the additional TB ext. storage, magic mouse and apple wireless keyboard haha. the screen estate doesn't bother me at all.....:eek:
  10. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Nope. Not online. You either use a USB external drive or AirPort TimeCapsule or OS X Server for that. It all happens on your local network.
    As of latest AirPort routers, you can also use USB drive connected to it. But the router + drive = TimeCapsule price-wise. Performance-wise the TimeCapsule has a slight advantage thanks to internal SATA connection vs external USB 2.0 connection.
  11. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    I like all the options my gear gives me ... Dual screen at desk, iMac and Dell u24", and MBPr and ipad4 everywhere else and sometimes at desk.
  12. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    I probably won't use my MBP connect to a monitor very often. Of course, I have a mini and a Wintel box I built for gaming hooked up to my 10" monitor.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Definitely not the case in OSX and that hasn't been the case for windows since winxp.
  14. EvilQueen macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2013
    In my own world
    I have a multiple setup for my desktop but not my laptop.
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    My 13" MBP has no external monitor; I mostly use it in my lap in the living room.

    I backup using SuperDuper to round robin clone drives. The clone is great for recovering from an accidental delete or a software update that screws things up. It's also a great way to check for failing internal disk VS failing logic board.
    I prefer physical drives - I keep one in a fireproof box in the basement. I use dropbox for files to share on multiple Macs.

    Only had to re-install once since I switched to Macs, and that was for an iBook G4 in 2005 where the software update was bad.
  16. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    I tend to at home. But that's easy with a 17" ;)

    At work I have a 27" external, I use the 17" + 27"
  17. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I've been using one or another of either a 12-inch (iBook), or a 13-inch MacBook for at least 10 years now, with no other need for additional screen space, and never have used an external display on my portable Macs.
    It's all in what you get used to, and how you work.
    You discover tricks to use the small screen space (or you would quickly get frustrated)

    I still have a 2004 iBook, that is used most days, and has never needed a reformat. It's on a third battery, but that's pretty much it.
  18. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    13-inch rMBP here, no external monitor or any external hard drive or anything like that.
  19. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    The other thing is I really prefer and am much more effective with a full size keyboard (mechanical, natch) so that also plays into my docked setup. Anyone who deals with Excel and numbers will certainly appreciate this...
  20. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    13" MBP. No external monitor. I use Time Capsule for back up. I'm running Mavericks and I have only done upgrades, never a clean install.
  21. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    I used to always have an external monitor for years until the first rMBP in 2012. Before that every laptop I had (many Dells, Sonys, every windows brand you could think of, and many Apple MacBooks) had disgusting TN panels with horrid viewing angles. Tilt your head slightly or move the display half an inch and the colours would shift, etc.

    That all changed with Apple's push towards iPS screens. Now my iPhone, my iPad, and my rMBP all have iPS screens. Even my TV (LG brand) has an iPS panel. So being surrounded by iPS quality displays everywhere finally got me to get rid of my external monitor.

    I never would have gotten rid of an external monitor if the world was still using TN panels or Apple hadn't introduced retina resolutions.
  22. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    No external monitors, and I don't use my external drives regularly. I have a 1TB desktop model for backups and a 500GB portable for movies. I haven't found screen real estate to be an issue, but I'm used to switching between apps and occasionally finagling windows.
  23. Misskitty thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Whar tips and tricks do you have to share? Every now and then i use my 13" in the library, and its painful.its so tedious moving windows, min and maximizing. I rarely take my laptop out anymore and kinda wish i have a 15" instead, it would help.


    Hmm interesting. For me, Ips Isnt a big deal. I just like big monitors for at home for bang for your buck value. Like my friend always tells me, go big or home:)
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I just use two 15"s (one early 2011 15" antiglare MBP and one 2013 Haswell 15" rMBP). For a big display, I have two iMacs, Haswell 21.5 and 27 inch models.
  25. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    My setup went from minimalist to very complicated to almost minimalist again - I previously had a 12" iBook and was limited to only mirroring on the display, so I never added an external display. I did add a keyboard, mouse, stand, and external drives. Later on, I got a Mac mini, so naturally took all of those components over to it and added a display. Once I replaced the Mac mini with a MacBook Pro (15" non-unibody), I used the display and peripherals with that (made the mini a server), but it basically meant that my MacBook Pro was more often a glorified desktop. I downsized to a 13" MacBook Pro (unibody) and really enjoy using it by itself with maybe just an external hard drive. It just feels like a good, sturdy, durable machine, which wasn't necessarily the case with my prior Mac portables (they were good, just not as solid as Apple's current options).

    My setup at work involves and iMac with an external display and lots of peripherals, but I find myself easily adapting to the smaller screen on the MacBook Pro when I'm at home.

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