In early July, I purchased the new 13″ MacBook Air to replace my 2008 unibody MacBook. The MacBook, as have other Mac laptops in that past, had migrated to a family member to replace a failed Windows machine (BTW, all the Apple laptops are still functioning; even a 2005 iBook).
As I had done in the past, I put the new Air in my laptop bag. If my usage patterns remained the same, it would see the light of day on an infrequent basis. It was my “I can’t get to my desktop” machine. You know, the family comes for a visit. My office turns into a bedroom. I can’t get the my trusty Mac Pro (2006 edition) and the iPad is just not quite enough.
But, there was something different. This was my first introduction to a PC equipped with a solid state drive (SSD) and the battery life was amazing to say the least. Not to mention that I could take advantage of Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Alas, the powers at Apple determined that my Mac Pro needed to be marrooned at Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Still a touchy subject with me. The Air provides the promise of future compatibility with later versions of the Mac OS.
However, my vision limitations still requires the use of an external monitor for longer sessions. I can use the small laptop screen in tandem with Mac OS X accessibility features for a short time, but long sessions necessitate the external monitor.
Well, I am attempting to cultivate the MacBook Air into my new desktop machine. My intended setup includes:
- the MacBook Air (kinda seems an important part)
- mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable (happened to have one handy)
- Gateway 24″ LCD monitor. Getting “long in the tooth”. I want to replace it with a new LED monitor at some point.
- Apple Magic Mouse (again; had one gathering dust in my desk drawer). I use the Magic TrackPad for the MacPro. If all goes well, I will switch them around.
- Logitech K750 Solar keyboard. Right now, I am “sharing” the keyboard between the Mac Pro and Air by switching the wireless uSB receiver. I am considering purchasing the Logitech Easy-Switch Bluetooth keyboard for a multi-link capability, but I like the full sized keyboard with the numeric keypad. Yes, I had tried Bluetooth keypads, but never had much luck with them.
My new desktop is up and functioning, but I am lacking USB expansion. It’s also a little inconvenient to plug everything up to use and unplug everything to go mobile.
Now enters the next piece of the puzzle; the LandingZone 2.0 Pro Dock for the MacBook Air. It’s supposed to arrive on Tuesday. Looks promising. The LandingZone dock provides a dedicated mini DisplayPort connection, Gigabit Ethernet and a powered USB 3.0 hub. Just line the MBA up and snap it in place. There were other docking solutions that I considered, but most required you to stand the Air on it’s side pointing vertically toward the ceiling. Not much help if I wanted to open up the lid to activate the onboard display, keyboard or touchpad.