My next desktop system may be a MacBook Air

Summary:My current 'desktop' system is getting long in the tooth, and I am starting to look around to consider my options for upgrading. I am leaning toward an unusual desktop system, the MacBook Air.

My current 'desktop' system is getting long in the tooth, and I am starting to look around to consider my options for upgrading. While I am a fairly mobile guy and I have a tendency to work all over the place, most of my work time is spent at the desk in my home office (Mobile News Manor). I've only just begun my process of seeing what might work for the next iteration of my work system, and I am leaning toward the most unlikely desktop system of all, the MacBook Air.

The ultraportable MacBook Air is not that big a stretch for my desktop system when you look at what I have been using for the past three years. The system that has served me well is a unibody MacBook, not a Pro, that is connected to an Apple Cinema Display for multiple screen goodness. The Cinema Display connects to the MacBook via both a DisplayPort and USB connection, which makes for a solid desktop system. I have plenty of screen real estate, yet I can unplug the two connectors and take the 13-inch MacBook along when I go mobile.

The MacBook is getting pretty old in laptop years, with its relatively slow processor and heavy weight that impacts the mobile usage. That's why I am seriously considering a 13-inch MacBook Air to get the best of both worlds: mobile and desktop. I could plug the MBA into the Cinema Display as I am doing now with the MacBook, and have a faster system than I currently use due to the SSD in the MBA. I would almost certainly wait until the expected refresh of the MBA later this year to get updated processors.

When I consider my work methods currently, it strikes me that if I am honest about things I'm not taking the MacBook with me very often. I have Windows laptops all over the Manor, and I usually just grab one of these when I travel or go mobile. I am truly platform agnostic due largely to the cloud, so I can switch back and forth between OS X and Windows 7 without missing a beat. This keeps the MacBook sitting on my desk most of the time, so perhaps it's time to get an iMac instead?

The new iMacs are very powerful all-in-one systems that would fit right in to my office. I still have the Windows laptops when needed, yet would have a screamer on the desk all of the time. That would sure handle video editing better than my current setup. Of course the iMac would be more expensive than the MacBook Air, based on current pricing. Decisions, decisions.

Why am I not considering a Windows all-in-one system for my desktop replacement? Two reasons: I like using both OS X and Windows to keep up with both platforms for my work, plus I find OS X to be so much easier than Windows on a full-time system. That may not sit well with the Windows faithful, but my own experience bears that out quite clearly. I spend far more time maintaining my Windows systems than I do the Mac, and that is madly liberating on a daily basis.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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