View Full Version : Traveling and Packing a MacBook Air

05-17-2010, 01:40 PM
I'm interested in how many folks on this board travel with Tom Bihn luggage that includes a MacBook Air (and presumably some accessories for the Air) on their packing list.

Does your Air use a hard disk, or is it equipped with a flash drive?

What accessories do you pack with your Air while you travel?

How you found the Air to be a significantly lighter alternative to other Mac laptops?

Do you carry your Air in a Brain Cell?

How satisfied are you with your Air?

Do you use iTunes or your Air to rip/watch movies while you travel?

05-17-2010, 02:15 PM
I "used to" (more on this later) travel with my MBA exclusively. I usually put it in a Cache and put it in my ID bag along with a HyperMac external battery for long flights. Since I have an iPhone, I usually just rip or download films/TV shows onto the iPhone and watch from that. It is much easier and portable. I only use my MBA for work: reading PDFs, writing or go over my slide presentations. After I got my iPad, I now use the iPad exclusively when I travel. I still take the MBA along for work when I reach my destination, but all my in-flight activities are done on my iPad--reading comics, PDFs, play games, watching movies, etc. I have the Apple case for the iPad and I just throw it in whichever TB bags I happen to carry. I love the MBA, but for consuming digital contents, iPad rules.

05-18-2010, 12:25 PM
Hey! Thanks for getting back with me!

Very interesting and informative comments! Great!

I haven't ruled out an iPad, but the setup I'm thinking about would actually be owned by my parents. They currently use a white first-generation MacBook. I don't see them migrating to anything else (let alone adding more hardware) until (1: sufficient $$$ are built up for new hardware, and (2: the technology improves enough so that they can make a clear decision on what will work for them. (Will the next generation of Air offer LightPeak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightpeak), for instance? Only time will tell.)

Right now, their existing hardware isn't getting any younger, but the Air hasn't quite arrived yet, in my opinion. I'm wondering about it for my parents, though, and I'm wondering what the luggage arrangement would be. Hence my question in this thread.

(I use a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a SuperEgo briefcase, and a Brain Cell, BTW.)

Thanks again.

05-18-2010, 08:57 PM

The iPad has it's limitations compared to the MacAir and the MacBook.

As I have advised other individuals, it depends on usage.

What do they use their MacBook for? If it is email, internet access, simple photo viewing, the iPad and MacAir would work.

Since they are used to the Mac OS, the current crop of Netbooks wouldn't work for them for portability.

My main PC is a 17" laptop. Too big to carry around, so that is the reason I have a Netbook - portability on the road. It has Office on it and allows me internet access and email on trips.

My first bag was an Ego with a brain Cell that fit a 12" laptop. The netbook fit it along with the power supply, a mouse, and external HD. This is my work bag.

However, as time went on, I wanted something smaller to carry the Netbook.
I now have the cache for Netbooks, a large and medium cafe bag to carrry the netbook. I have both cafe bags so I can carry the netbook plus other needed items and not be cramped for space. I carry the medium cafe bag with the cache in the EGO so I can carry the netbook alone as needed.

Bottom line is, there is a TB bag solution for your parents. It just depends on what they use the Mac for. That will determine their Mac selection and bag sizing.

For example, my wife uses a 15" laptop. She mainly uses it for internet access for our trips or other informational searches. She doesn't use email that often. A Netbook wouldn't fit her usage because she doesn't like the size of the keyboard. For portability, a MacAir would fit her profile. But she is used to Windows. But then both of us are locked into the PC environment (I'm a hardware hacker from the early 80's, programmed on Unix as a hobby, occupation as mainframe programmer who migrated to the PC world and now a developer on Microsoft .Net at work).

05-20-2010, 09:23 PM
^ Actually, they use it for more than that. They do occasionally plug into some FireWire hard drives, so that complicates matters since the current Airs only offer USB. They don't often take their current white MacBook away from home, but occasionally they will to present overhead slideshows and to exchange information. They even occasionally copy CD-R and DVD-R discs with it while on the road, so that complicates matters even further.

05-21-2010, 06:41 AM
Firewire and USB are distinct technologies, thus there are no mainstream converters. I think one company makes them, but I'm sure they would be expensive.

Another possibility is getting a USB external hard drive shell and moving the hard drive from the Firewire drive to it.

For CD/DVD burning, an portable DVD burner can be used.

This would give them the MacAir with the devices they need.
Downside is the additional expense.

This arrangement is what I have for my Netbook and they fit in a large cafe bag.