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rockymtnhigh
01-19-2012, 08:35 PM
I made the switch to Mac last summer when my work bought me a mac book pro. I have a very powerful laptop, and I love it. In recent months I have come to the conclusion that I need to actually OWN one, since I have a lot of personal stuff on the mbp, and its a work machine. Originally i thought I'd just get my own mbp, but that seems kind of silly, since the one I have works great, and it is only used by me. Then I thought about a mac mini (I have a Dell 24" display at home, and don't see the need for an iMac. And the mac mini is very nice. For $610 I can get a core i5 model with 8GB of ram (2GB model, with $41 upgrade for the ram through Amazon). But today I spent an hour or so at the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago (heck, its stinking freezing here, so an hour at the Apple store seemed like a good use of time) :)

And I spent all that time playing with a mba. I was really impressed. Same size keyboard on the 11" model as the mbp I am writing on now. The screen was remarkably workable for just 11." But what blew me away was that this device had only 4GB of ram, but it was blazing fast. I loaded up a bunch of apps: Word, File Maker Pro, Aperture, Bento, Garage Band, DeeJay, Safari. And its response was just like my mbp. Then the Apple guy took the machine next to mine and selected every app in the Applications folder, and launched them at the same time. IN less than 15 seconds EVERY app on the machine was running. I was blown away.

Now I get that the speed is largely coming from the SSD drive -- the read write speeds clock this thing up in ways that I never really grasped. The Apple guy did say that if I was doing processor intensive stuff, like running analysis in SPSS, it might not be so fast, but since I still have the mbp for my power work, I am thinking this might be well worth it.

My other concern is space -- 128GB of storage gives you about 110GB to start (the 256GB model is just too expensive). The thought I had was to setup the mba in my home office with the 24" monitor and a 2TB external hard drive, which I will use for iPhoto libraries, and for storing my music. I would only keep iTunes Match on the actual mba. And setup a second itunes library on the external drive to actually store the music I own. I'd also probably setup dropbox for a selective sync.

Ok mac folks, what do you think of this idea? Is the mba a decent secondary mac for the setup I am talking about? And PC folks, I don't care about Windows solutions -- my goal is to add a second mac to my setup. Thoughts?

jgags6
01-19-2012, 08:43 PM
Ive been a longtime mac guy too and I'm getting to that time where I and "getting the itch" to buy a new one.... I am going to switch my MBP in for a MPA, but after looking into it i decided to wait until they refresh them... if you go to Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/) they do a good job of telling you when to expect new updates in computers... If you wait you will probably see a boost in the SSD.

I would stay away from the mini, as the new ones don't have a optical drive and they are still pretty expensive.. if your looking for a desktop solution just shell out the extra 500 and get an iMac.

If you don't want to wait for a refresh then go ahead with your plan, it should work just fine with using the EHD to store pics/ect. Let us know what you decide (right now I'm thinking I'm going to get the 11 inch MBA, I had a 12 in MBP way back when and loved how small it was!).

DodgerKing
01-19-2012, 09:29 PM
A little off topic, but still related to MACs.

I was at an 8 hour trainer of trainers meeting today (basically an in-service on how to train other teachers on this new software the district is adopting) and guess what type of computer we were trained on? Even took an image of me using Satelliteguys on the iMAC during one of our breaks. :D

73452 73453 73454

As far as a MBA, when we got my wife her MBP we were looking at the air. We decided on the pro since it can do more and since she wasn't going to be dragging it all over the place. If we got her a secondary computer that she will be taking with her a lot, we will probably get her the air. Personally, I don't care for small little laptops with small screens and limited functionality. But to use as a secondary device in addition to what you already have, the mini laptops are great and there is really no need to have another laptop of the same size.

rockymtnhigh
01-20-2012, 06:31 AM
Ive been a longtime mac guy too and I'm getting to that time where I and "getting the itch" to buy a new one.... I am going to switch my MBP in for a MPA, but after looking into it i decided to wait until they refresh them... if you go to Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/) they do a good job of telling you when to expect new updates in computers... If you wait you will probably see a boost in the SSD.

I would stay away from the mini, as the new ones don't have a optical drive and they are still pretty expensive.. if your looking for a desktop solution just shell out the extra 500 and get an iMac.

If you don't want to wait for a refresh then go ahead with your plan, it should work just fine with using the EHD to store pics/ect. Let us know what you decide (right now I'm thinking I'm going to get the 11 inch MBA, I had a 12 in MBP way back when and loved how small it was!).

Of course, it's Reommendation is neutral, mid cycle. The rumors I have seen about the new processors would suggest early summer and I doubt I can hold off the itch that long.

I have a 24" monitor and an external blu-ray burner so the air or mini would both be an easy device to configure for my home office.

I am well aware that there is a small price differential between the mba and mbp, but I already have the pro for power crunching. I can use the air for light stuff.

Only wish the 11" had a sd card reader built in.

Sent from my iPad using SatelliteGuys

lparsons21
01-20-2012, 09:31 AM
I'm an Apple guy too, although I do have other things here. Currently using this Acer el-cheapo laptop while my iMac's drive gets swapped out.

The Air would be my choice for what you describe. It is one slick little box and for most things feels as snappy as computers with faster processors. For the external, I use a 2TB drive on my Airport Extreme and share it wirelessly on my network. Getting data is a bit slower that way, but not bad imo. And the way I'm doing it makes it always available as long as I'm on my network.

berck
01-20-2012, 01:33 PM
My only issue with the mba is that if you don't have another base Apple system, you're hosed if you need to use a DVD. Yes, you have an mbp, but what happens if you loose your job?

Also, with the limited space on the SSD drive, you'll want an external system for storage/itunes sharing, or possibly just an external hard drive. This way you can swap out large files or movies.

rockymtnhigh
01-20-2012, 03:36 PM
My only issue with the mba is that if you don't have another base Apple system, you're hosed if you need to use a DVD. Yes, you have an mbp, but what happens if you loose your job?

Also, with the limited space on the SSD drive, you'll want an external system for storage/itunes sharing, or possibly just an external hard drive. This way you can swap out large files or movies.

Well, I'm a professor and don't intend to lose my job. :) But I have an external USB Blu-ray/HD DVD writer that will provide all the optical drive I need. I figure I'll move my iTunes Library to an external drive on the mba, and as it is, I have iTunes Match for my music library. But all valid concerns.

I am visualizing my workstation in my home office as:
mba
24" Dell Display
2TB External HDD
External USB Blu-Ray/HD DVD writer
Mac Keyboard
Magic Trackpad
apple Ethernet USB connector
USB Hub

The mba would have two iTunes libraries -- the one which includes ALL THE ACTUAL MUSIC, stored on the external HDD (same with an iPhoto Library), and one local on the mba with just itunes Match.

The idea as I am visualizing it is when the mba is in the office, its just a matter of one usb cable to connect (to the hub) and I have ethernet, optical, external storage, etc... )

The itch is getting bad. :D :D

berck
01-20-2012, 06:51 PM
Sounds fine Doc Roc! ;)

rglore
01-21-2012, 12:01 AM
Just ordered a 13" MacBook Air and a refurb 27" T-Bolt display with built-in docking station for the wife's new job. Going to the Apple store tomorrow to pick up the MBA! This setup is to replace her 5 year old iMac and 4 year old MacBook Pro.

ronton3
01-21-2012, 07:50 AM
I have a G5 PPC tower with a 22 inch cinema display, I used a windows laptop at work and never became enamored of the laptop experience. I am waiting for the new Imac's(hopefully May), since they are rumored to be a new form factor. There have been many innovations since the last change. Iphones, Ipads, IOS, retinal displays, touch, to name a few and the work they have done on TV's, be may an influence. I am sure you know you can haave more than one identity on OSX. I use an omega hard drive that acts as a usb/firewire hub that also has an OSX installation on it that I can switch to. I am hoping for a revolutionary new Imac.

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