USING a 2018 Mac laptop (any) as a hard drive

#1
For years, we have used our MacBookPro (2009) as a hard drive, hooked up to a keyboard, monitor and mouse when not traveling. It's time to replace. I was looking at the new MacMinis and considering an iPad. I actually do lots of video editing, etc., but for this use, it's really internet, emails, word, that sort of thing. That got me thinking: I could possibly go with a refurb'd AIR or the 128gb, etc etc you know lower end, use EHDs when necessary. But I also understand that all those slots that I used in the past for the printer, keyboard, USBs, etc. are gone.
So, the question: Are there Hubs for the "C" and Thunderports (or whatever they are called?) That connect micro usb and reg usb to the Air? And is it still feasible to use a laptop as a HD?

And, of course, this has hit a wall now as I have been researching the apparently nightmarish butterfly keyboard.
In any event, thoughts on using the AIR as a Hard Drive when not needed as a laptop? Or, iPad with a keyboard for travel + the Mac Mini ... At least with the iPad there isn't a dust issue :-0
 
#2
Not sure if I understand your question. As near as I can tell, you would be describing using the Mac portable as a desktop (with lid closed, and external display, keyboard, and mouse, etc.) That's not just using as a hard drive, but using the CPU and booted to internal drive, but with the lid closed. That's what Apple calls "closed-clamshell mode".
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834
And, yes, you could use a new MBAir in clamshell mode. Plug in an external display, and add an external keyboard/mouse/trackpad/whatever.
You just need the correct adapters for a display, and USB-C to USB-A adapters of the correct orientation for wired keyboard/mouse, or a hub with the suitable connections, or simply use bluetooth keyboard mouse. Your choice on that...
When you are ready to purchase your MBAir, that's a good question to ask at an Apple store, and they would have a couple of different choices for external connections for those USB-C/Thunderbolt ports.

There's also the mode called "target disk mode"(TDM), where you connect via thunderbolt or firewire to another Mac, and boot the first Mac to TDM. You get access only to the hard drive (or other drives that might be attached), but the CPU and vid card are not used at all. TDM operates the first Mac as an external drive, and that's it. You would use two separate Macs for TDM, one for the computer, and one for storage (which could also be the drive that you use to boot your other Mac :cool: )
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201462
 
#3
Just to clarify... Yes, simply using the laptop as a mac mini so to speak, with everything hooked up to it. Used our MacBook that way for 8 yrs.
 
#4
And I've been researching the hub issue. Nickels and dimes but I think I can still chain hubs with one of the USB slots in the u c hub. I need to connect printer, Webcam, etc 5 bits to the computer. I'm starting to lean toward iPad and Mac mini Vs laptop as HD. Using iPad for travel and have mac mini set at home. Cheaper for this in the long run. Low ends will work here.. For the usage... Needs.
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
#5
And I've been researching the hub issue. Nickels and dimes but I think I can still chain hubs with one of the USB slots in the u c hub. I need to connect printer, Webcam, etc 5 bits to the computer. I'm starting to lean toward iPad and Mac mini Vs laptop as HD. Using iPad for travel and have mac mini set at home. Cheaper for this in the long run. Low ends will work here.. For the usage... Needs.
I've seen many reviews on they Caldigit Thunderbolt 3 Plus Dock seem very good if you get and active Thunderbolt 3 cable thirty's 2.0 Meters long to use under a desk!
 
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