MacBook Air 11" with 27" TFT as workstation?

Discussion in 'Apple Products' started by cv643d, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. cv643d

    cv643d Limp Gawd

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    Hi guys,

    Thinking about getting the MB Air 11" with 4GB mem, 1.4 GHz and using it as a workstation with the 27" screen. So small I can take it to bed or couch for browsing when I do not work.

    I mostly browse the web, running Spotify, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, sometimes Flash, I am a web developer so need XAMPP like package, text editor etc. Nothing heavy I guess.

    Need to run XP to get IE6/7/8 but maybe not all day long.

    But I really like to be able to run Photoshop and DW (I dont run DW often these days though) in the background all day long on my quad core system without performance penalty. These Q6600 4 core CPU's are awesome, I never felt the system slowed down no matter how hard I pushed it in Windows apps other than harddrive slowing some things down.

    So I am a bit afraid 11" Air is going to feel slow when running many applications, should I be that afraid when I experienced elite four quad experience?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  2. silentcoercion

    silentcoercion Limp Gawd

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  3. cv643d

    cv643d Limp Gawd

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    I dont do video editing, if uploading a video from my x10 mini to YouTube does not count?

    Only PS work I do is web-stuff, and throwing like 40 3MB files inside PS at once to adjust lightning etc. Nothing too heavy, talk me out of it please :)
     
  4. jrdonnaruma

    jrdonnaruma Gawd

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    Photoshop is one of the few apps that is very processor intensive, the 1.4 Ghz processor is going to choke on that many images. One, maybe two at a time, might not be a problem, but much more than that will be a PITA to handle. You would be better off looking into a 13" Macbook Pro.

    For the rest of your work though, the MBA would be fine.
     
  5. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    The 11 MBA is for itunes and web browsing.... ONLY.



    Everything is slow on those 1.4 processors.... a workstation, you have to be kidding.
     
  6. KaosDG

    KaosDG [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you want to be talked out of it, why are you even considering it?

    Going from an actual workstation to an ultralight notebook whose focus is on portability and battery life...
    is like going from a mack truck to a unicycle.
     
  7. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    One word: iMac.
     
  8. cv643d

    cv643d Limp Gawd

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    Sorry, I will think twice before posting next time.

    BTW, how where do you place that ugly imac when you want a computer in your lap when sitting in the couch?
     
  9. Zinn

    Zinn Pronouns: ze, zis, zit

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    Macbook Pro? Trust me, you'll want the extra performance, and it's overall a better value. Macbook Air is a computer I'd only want to use for web browsing and listening to music....
     
  10. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    You buy a laptop to complement your primary workstation.
     
  11. ryken

    ryken 2[H]4U

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    You sir, need to get an imac and an ipad. Or, get an imac and a netbook. Or, just get an ipad and upgrade your windows machine.
     
  12. 450

    450 [H]ard as it Gets

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    iMac + iPad might work for you.

    IF you must have a laptop, why not the Pro?
     
  13. 100inch

    100inch Limp Gawd

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    macbook pro 13.3" still has 2.4ghz c2d along with a much much slower HD. So its not really blazingly fast for photoshop either. It doesn't seem to blow the 13.3" macbook air out of the water.

    I wouldn't say that these MBA's are for webbrowsing only, unless you consider the slightly older macbook pros(pre 2.4ghz c2d) were for web-browsing only too. 11" MBA is slow, 13.3" not as slow.

    Either way 11" is tiny. As for why you would choose that over 13.3" air or macbook pro, i have no idea.

    Chances are the macbook pro will be updated with a modern proc. soon.......ish(<5 months).

    Or look on the PC side of things were the performance will blow them out of the water.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  14. jrdonnaruma

    jrdonnaruma Gawd

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    In Macworlds review, and their lab tests, the current MBA is perfectly capable of Photoshop with web-resolution graphics. So, for the OP, the MBA might actually be a perfect pairing for him, if he wants a thin and light that can still do his web development. It isn't like he is running xCode compiles for any length of time, or rendering video, or creating complex musical pieces.

    For web development and general usage, the MBA should be just fine. Try to game, you'll likely be disappointed, HD video, you'll probably be disappointed, High-res graphics.. disappointed.

    As for comparing to the PC side of things, Their is nothing like the MBA in its price range. Sure their are more power systems for around the same price, but their build quality is crap, they feel like they are going to break when you pick them up, and their software bundle is.. well, nothing. Microsoft Windows Live product do not compare to iLife.

    That, and battery life on the Windows side of thing sucks miserably.
     
  15. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    hahahaahahhaahhhahahaahahahahaahahahahaahah




    hahhaahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahh




    Damn macworld is biased.... These thing are slow, anybody who isn't the most lunatic of fanboy will tell you that. It's the same processor as the original MBA is it not(1.6ghz C2D)... it's slow.
     
  16. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    No, it isn't the same processor.
     
  17. Terpfen

    Terpfen [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thanks for revealing that you have never used a MacBook Air. Meanwhile, those who have tell a different story.

    It&#8217;s a perfectly usable thin & light notebook.
     
  18. AthlonXP

    AthlonXP [H]ard as it Gets

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    The laptop is great for anyone on the go who wants some power but doesn't need a huge amount of horsepower.
     
  19. Jerome36

    Jerome36 2[H]4U

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    I'd just like to point out that the 13 inch MBP is available with a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo as well, though I'm sure the performance boost isn't all that much, compared to the base 2.4. The hard drive is easily upgradable with the Pro though.

    Anyway, I wouldn't want to use the Air for Photoshop work. I'd say either get a MacBook Pro, if you're set on a Mac, or look for a good Windows based laptop, with good specs for running Photoshop.
     
  20. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wouldn't want to do a lot of Photoshop work on the Air, but it might be acceptable to do some. The SSD helps percieved performance a ton, but once you get down to pounding the CPU it's only got so much to work with.

    I've been using a MacBook Pro and finally decided it's a bit more bulky than I want on my lap, or when I travel. Horsepower wise, it was still too slow for my tastes when I went to do video encoding or something like that.

    I just picked up a Mac Pro (hate all-in-ones) and I'll be replacing the MBP with an Air.
     
  21. 100inch

    100inch Limp Gawd

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    There are a lots of cheap laptops that feel like they are going to break on the PC side. You just gotta be smart enough to stay away from "bargins".




    Envy series. Sony has a few really nice series. If OP isnt stuck on mac. 99.5% of Dells/gateway and some other common brands are built like crap but you can't make a blanket statement saying PC laptops are built like crap.


    And 320m in air is same as 320m in pro 13", so they are both pretty equal in gaming(mediocre). I'd be fine doing casual gaming on a 13.3" air and would be comfortable playing some games on external monitor with macbook air.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  22. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have used one, would you like a picture of my bird sitting on the keyboard?


    Notice it getting BLASTED in photoshop by a macbook from 2008. Yes, that would make an AWESOME workstation... thanks for the heads up terpfan. We are clearing out our datacenter right now for macbook airs.

    Please read the damn thread next time, this guy is wanting it for serious computing, not "usability."
     
  23. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    I would say most of them.


    My brand spanking new Latitude has had 2 keyboards already... i haven't even flown with it yet.
     
  24. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    He didn't say "awesome", he said "usable". I suggest you calm yourself down, as this certainly isn't something to get so worked up over.
     
  25. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

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    I have a 13' 2gb 1.86Ghz MacBook Air and I am not a Apple fan boy in anyway.

    However with that said I love this dumb, thin, portable, spendy laptop!

    I bought mine because its just easy to lug around, its not heavy, it's built great, and its battery life is amazing. I get around 4 to 5 hours with 3 Virtual machines open at a time. My Virtual machines don't lag, you click they do. For as little power as this thing has it runs better than I can ask. I would probably like the 4Gb model but who knows I haven't used one with what I do and I can't say its that much better for the price.

    My daily use is
    Virtual machines mostly 2 up at a time.
    Photo Editing.
    Web Design.
    Music.
    Web Surfing.
    Xcode.
    Video Chat.

    Most of the time I have 2 Vm's up, xcode, video chat, and a web browser with about 7 tabs sometimes more. An this is the 2gb 1.86Ghz model, I really don't care if it is a couple seconds slower or takes a minute longer I don't notice it hindering anything else I am doing on it. Everything just keeps running as is and doesn't slow up.

    That's all I got, I love it and I would buy it again. An I dislike Mac OS X in so many ways I couldn't explain :).
     
  26. 100inch

    100inch Limp Gawd

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    I specifically mentioned dells, they have never put a huge emphasis on build quality to be it gently, even on their higher models. Sony/HP has laptops that have money in the build quality especially some of the higher ones.



    Tee, have you been using Window7 or OSX?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  27. illuminate

    illuminate [H]ard|Gawd

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    Pretty sure OSX. I think xcode is OSX only because it's for apple development, but I could be wrong.

    I thought about getting a macbook air to compliment my 15in macbook pro, but 1. I already have a gateway netbook running Linux, and 2 I kinda want a ipad. Between those 2, i have everything I need.
     
  28. 450

    450 [H]ard as it Gets

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    xcode is OS X only, you're right.
     
  29. Terpfen

    Terpfen [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thank you. Though it was funny to let him keep stepping into a lawn rake.

    Anyway, there are some reports that the MacBook Air is slightly cannibalizing iPad sales. I can believe that. The overlap between the two is the boundary between a mobile Internet device and a mobile computer.
     
  30. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

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    You can write xcode on windows as well. Apple provides the suite to do it under the development section.

    I run Windows 7 however inside a virtual machine on my macbook air with only 384mb of memory and the second i click on something it opens. I run office 2010 off of it and some other small stuff that I cannot do on the OS X side.
     
  31. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    You will be disappointed with it for photoshop, besides that it seems like it fits your uses well.

    Lots of images, even small ones, in photoshop really starts to chew on the processor.
     
  32. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    How exactly do you run xcode on windows ?
     
  33. jrdonnaruma

    jrdonnaruma Gawd

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    xCode is only on OS X. It is only the development suite that you can code for Cocoa and iOS on.
     
  34. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    Perhaps he was referring only to Objective-C.
     
  35. Mozex

    Mozex [H]ard|Gawd

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    OP, I wouldn't go with the 11" air. The 13" air is not much bigger but significantly faster.
     
  36. darkhorse

    darkhorse Gawd

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    you should get a 27" imac now as your workstation and an 11" MBA later, the imac can be used as an external display for a macbook so you will be able to hook a future air purchase up to it.
     
  37. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

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    Never said you could run xcode in windows.

    Objective-C, C, C++ all can be written under windows and you can use Visual C++ to compile.

    That is all I was stating :)