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Operate MacBook as a monitor & controller for iMac;

I have an iMac and I also happen to have a MacBook Air. What I need is this strange layout - I want to be able to control my iMac with my MacBook. I also want to be able to share my iMaс screen to my MacBook's. So ideally I have a single machine - iMac responsible for all the hardware and the MacBook as just as an external display and a keyboard with a touchpad. How do you achieve this?

I am sorry for writing the most annoying and clichéd statement. But the answer is “it depends”

It depends on whether or not the portability of a laptop is of paramount importance to you.

It depends on your budget. You can usually get more hardware in an iMac for the same money than a Macbook.

It depends on your connectivity needs. iMacs still have plenty of USB ports, etc. Macbooks are starting to drop all of them with time.

It depends on the screen size you want to work with.

In all, there's no objectively best option, only something that suits your needs better.

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You can't really use the MacBook as display or keyboard. What you can do is control the iMac remotely via Screen Sharing. This is a builti in function in OS X since 10.5: Screen Sharing.

Please note that his is not a workable solutions for anything that requires fast display refreshes as all data is send via your network.

There are several instruction out there: http://macs.about.com/od/usingyourmac/qt/Mac-Screen-Sharing-How-To-Connect-To-Another-Macs-Desktop.htm

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