Would be grateful for opinions: MBA sufficient for my needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by isobell, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. isobell macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Rockies
    Hello all,

    I'd be very grateful for your opinions.

    I have an iMac at home that is a few years old but still quite powerful and gets the job done. I'm starting grad school and would like something lightweight and portable for computing at school. Although I'm used to and happy with MacBooks, I'm definitely interested in the MBA. I am not familiar with the MBA and even after looking at the specs, I'm not sure if it is the right choice.

    Heavy computing can be done at home on the iMac. At school, I'll need the following (with several things open at once):

    1.) Use the entire MS suite (not all MS apps at the same time, but one or two open at once)
    2.) Have a couple of PDFs of good size open at the same time as MS apps and other things on this list
    3.) Connect wirelessly to to the Internet to make us of powerful web apps
    4.) Access the school's VPN
    5.) Give Powerpoint presentations that make use of video, etc.
    6.) Use statistical analysis software
    7.) Maintain a small to medium library of docs and PDFs, if possible

    There are likely some other ways I'll be using the computer, but that list likely covers the main things.

    What are your thoughts? Will the MBA do, possibly with me making a few adjustments (such as keeping a smaller doc/PDF library by making use of online storage)? Or do I really need a MB?

    One other note: To keep costs down, and since I have a good iMac at home, I'd like to go with a lower end MBA or MB, too.

    Your help is greatly appreciated. Since I don't have a lot of cash to throw around, I want to make sure I make the right choice!
  2. drxcm macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    Any of the Macbook Air models will serve your needs very nicely I would think.
  3. jim4spam macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
  4. Retops macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2008
    I'm a college teacher and my needs are very similar to yours except I run financial software more than statistical. I have been very happy with my original MBA but recently purchased the new 11" with 2GB of RAM and the 128 gig solid state drive. That machine works perfectly for my needs.
  5. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    You'll be fine even with the base model. Don't forget to check out the apple refurb store for extra savings.
  6. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
  7. Mac Composer macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Agree with the others, any model Air will work for your needs. The only factor I think you should consider is how long you want this Air to last for you. If you're planning on using this for at least 3 years, then I'd recommend getting a machine with 4 GBs of RAM. If you're going to replace this in 1.5 years, then a base model would work fine.
  8. isobell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Rockies
    Thank you all! This is good to hear since the school's IT department strongly recommends against an Air. Also, Mac Composer, thanks for bringing up how long I plan to use the machine. I do intend to keep it around for a while, so the RAM upgrade is good advice.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Do they way why they recommend against the Air? Are they specific? Perhaps they mean the older Air, which is more limited because of the single USB port and poor heat management (which caused the CPU to throttle down a lot). I have a 2.13GHz model with 4GB and it flies through most tasks. I'd guess that a 1.6GHz model with 4GB would be sufficient for many people.
  10. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    a low-end Air will be all over a low-end MB, thus whichever Air you go for, I'd strongly suggest you opt for 4 gb memory

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