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tfitzsimons
Aug 9, 2011, 01:02 PM
Hi all,

So, I am a relatively knowledgable mac user, but lately my 15" macbook pro has been weighing me down. I am a journalist and have to lug it around in the hot Washington summers, and I was considering downgrading to a Macbook Air.

Here are my concerns. I understand these new MBA processors, while lower processing speed in raw gigahertz, can perform well because of the multiple cores. I am not a gamer, and the most demanding of tasks I usually ask from of my computer are the following:

-Photo editing through Adobe Lightroom (and occasionally Photoshop, but I rarely do much to change my photos aside from toning). More like photo organizing, exporting for a website, and uploading to my website.
-Audio editing for radio through Adobe Audition
-Very occasionally - aka, I can see myself doing a video project maybe once a year at most - a video project on Final Cut Pro.

I can get a top of the line MBA for only a bit more than I imagine I could sell my nearly perfect condition late 2009 top-of-the-line MBP. Specs are: 2.8 Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 Ram, 500GB hd, and 512MB Nvidea 9600M (which I usually don't use, because this version of the MBP requires me to manually switch to high graphics mode and I don't do that for battery reasons).

Since I do a ton of work on the go, while traveling around DC and while freelancing abroad, would you guys recommend I ditch my MBP for a MBA? I understand I will sacrifice screen size and hard drive size, but I will gain portability (invaluable) and battery life.

Thoughts?

Tim



hereyago
Aug 9, 2011, 01:16 PM
downgrading to mba? that's an upgrade :p

if you dont use your gfx card, then the new mba will be loads faster because of i5/i7 and ssd compared to c2d and harddrive.

dont know about the battery life. screen size might be a problem depending on how you use it. carry an external hd for storage

Twe Foju
Aug 9, 2011, 01:20 PM
how can you say downgrading by going from 2009 MBP to the 2011 MBA?

that is an insult!! :p

nah, but the new Air will work like a charm for you, that i guarantee sir,

plus, you just said you are not a gamer, so the Air is, the perfect replacement for you

my suggestion is to go for the 13 Inch base model, more battery life than the 11 inch

Gator Bob
Aug 9, 2011, 01:30 PM
Absolutely yes. I just switched from my 9-pound 17" display Lenovo W700 beast laptop pc to my very first Mac -- a new 2011 Air with every available option. It works like a charm. I use my Air at home with an external 24" display just as
i did with the Lenovo. Traveling with the Air alone is a delight. From Amazon I got a $29 leather "envelope" slipcase for the 13" Air. It looks and hefts exactly like a paper mailing envelope. If heavy duty protection is not a concern, it's a neat trick.

DarwinOSX
Aug 9, 2011, 01:36 PM
The new Airs are quite a bit faster than your MBP in processor and way faster in disk. Make the move. You won't regret it. Check the prices listed on the Apple Insider web site for best price.

YEEZY
Aug 9, 2011, 01:39 PM
It really depends how heavy your video editing project will be.

I'm in a similar situation as you. I figured I might do a project or two for video editing. BUT I'm going to be in college and will use Lightroom/Photoshop/Illustrator way more than any video program. It was a MBP vs MBA debate for me and I chose the MBA based on how much power it had and how it performed.

Right now, I'm typing this on my MBA while on Photoshop and listening to music on Spotify. It's barely using any resources. Amazing.

h00ligan
Aug 9, 2011, 02:49 PM
It really depends how heavy your video editing project will be.

I'm in a similar situation as you. I figured I might do a project or two for video editing. BUT I'm going to be in college and will use Lightroom/Photoshop/Illustrator way more than any video program. It was a MBP vs MBA debate for me and I chose the MBA based on how much power it had and how it performed.

Right now, I'm typing this on my MBA while on Photoshop and listening to music on Spotify. It's barely using any resources. Amazing.

If OP is happy with the video output on a 2009 I would think the air will be just fine.. if they are looking for a drastic speed boost maybe it would still be fine. The new chips are so much faster, even the ulv ones.

For photo editing.. one problem - screen color depth. If you are shooting photojournalism it may not matter that much. But since you specified toning, that may matter. It may look as if you have blow channels when you don't.. which is fine if you are ok with using the histogram and have faith in it.

tfitzsimons
Aug 9, 2011, 03:07 PM
What do you mean specifically? I do take photographs for publication, but I am also not quite one to obsess over color profiles or anything like that because the editors will generally do their own edits before anything is printed/put online (and I have never run into a major issue with coloration or toning in something I had published before, either).

What is the difference between the color capabilities of the two?

If OP is happy with the video output on a 2009 I would think the air will be just fine.. if they are looking for a drastic speed boost maybe it would still be fine. The new chips are so much faster, even the ulv ones.

For photo editing.. one problem - screen color depth. If you are shooting photojournalism it may not matter that much. But since you specified toning, that may matter. It may look as if you have blow channels when you don't.. which is fine if you are ok with using the histogram and have faith in it.

LeakedDave
Aug 9, 2011, 03:43 PM
What do you mean specifically? I do take photographs for publication, but I am also not quite one to obsess over color profiles or anything like that because the editors will generally do their own edits before anything is printed/put online (and I have never run into a major issue with coloration or toning in something I had published before, either).

What is the difference between the color capabilities of the two?

An Air sounds like a perfect solution for you, as with 90% of everybody that doesn't know it ;)

Gregabyte
Aug 9, 2011, 04:57 PM
Go for it. I made the switch from a 2007 macbook pro. I'm a developer and always have lots of apps running, and the 13 inch i7 takes it like a champ!

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

Scepticalscribe
Aug 9, 2011, 05:17 PM
I transitioned from a 15" MBP to a 13" MBA last year and am very happy with that. Granted, I'm not a gamer, and also, I'm not much into video usage but the MBA is much more portable, far faster and the 13" has better screen resolution than the MBP.

My only worry would be battery life; hence, I'd recommend the 13" for your situation.

Cheers

misterneums
Aug 9, 2011, 05:27 PM
What do you mean specifically? I do take photographs for publication, but I am also not quite one to obsess over color profiles or anything like that because the editors will generally do their own edits before anything is printed/put online (and I have never run into a major issue with coloration or toning in something I had published before, either).

What is the difference between the color capabilities of the two?

Unless you're making professional quality prints, it won't make a difference for you. I think the air is going to be a high quality upgrade for you.

LeakedDave
Aug 9, 2011, 05:59 PM
I transitioned from a 15" MBP to a 13" MBA last year and am very happy with that. Granted, I'm not a gamer, and also, I'm not much into video usage but the MBA is much more portable, far faster and the 13" has better screen resolution than the MBP.

My only worry would be battery life; hence, I'd recommend the 13" for your situation.

Cheers

I'm a happy gamer with a MacBook Air ;)

h00ligan
Aug 9, 2011, 09:33 PM
What do you mean specifically? I do take photographs for publication, but I am also not quite one to obsess over color profiles or anything like that because the editors will generally do their own edits before anything is printed/put online (and I have never run into a major issue with coloration or toning in something I had published before, either).

What is the difference between the color capabilities of the two?

Color depth. If you don't have experience with the terms used, it likely won't be a problem! (btw, I don't mean that in a condescending way at all)

Kafka
Aug 9, 2011, 09:57 PM
Color depth. If you don't have experience with the terms used, it likely won't be a problem! (btw, I don't mean that in a condescending way at all)

I do not have any experience with color depth or digital photography in any way or whatever, but the difference is obvious between MBP and MBA.
Use both for a while, if you don't see a difference good for you (or not, whatever).

Lots of people are getting all excited over the higher resolution but in the end it's sad if that's all your eyes can perceive.
Sure a higher resolution is nice but if that's all there is, with a step backwards concerning display quality, then if it's sad, like going from CDs to those pathetic MP3s. Yeah you can have more, but at what price?

tfitzsimons
Aug 10, 2011, 11:34 AM
Theoretically though, if I got that gigantic expensive display, I would have better luck with color fidelity, right? It has the capacity to output the colors, the LCD screen is just cheaper?

I do not have any experience with color depth or digital photography in any way or whatever, but the difference is obvious between MBP and MBA.
Use both for a while, if you don't see a difference good for you (or not, whatever).

Lots of people are getting all excited over the higher resolution but in the end it's sad if that's all your eyes can perceive.
Sure a higher resolution is nice but if that's all there is, with a step backwards concerning display quality, then if it's sad, like going from CDs to those pathetic MP3s. Yeah you can have more, but at what price?

Kafka
Aug 10, 2011, 01:46 PM
Theoretically though, if I got that gigantic expensive display, I would have better luck with color fidelity, right? It has the capacity to output the colors, the LCD screen is just cheaper?

Exactly.

SamTheeGeek
Aug 10, 2011, 02:28 PM
Hey you guys,

I gotta say im one of those people that made a transition from the MBP to the MBA and thanks to Apple they made the new MBA powerful.


I recently purchased the maxed out high end model 13" MBA check out my unboxing on youtube Macbook Air 13" Unboxing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ1ruyJT_5Q)


So yes the MBA is an upgrade ;)

macgrl
Aug 10, 2011, 02:44 PM
Great thread, I have a late 2008 mpb and am going to get a mba as I travel a lot (phd research) and notice the weight too:)

tfitzsimons
Aug 10, 2011, 02:54 PM
One last question.

I just looked at the teardown online and I see the SSD is replaceable. So, theoretically, when the price of the 512GB chip comes down, I could expand the hard drive size. Theoretically.

And is there anything different between the i5 1.7Ghz chip and the i7 1.8 other than the 100 mhz? Or is there another core? Just a different name to trick you into paying for 100Mhz more?

After those questions are answered, I'm going down to the Pentagon City mall to take advantage of Virginia's lower sales tax and make the purchase.

Constantine1337
Aug 10, 2011, 03:04 PM
I myself transitioned from Mid 2010 MBP 15" i5 2.53GHz 120GB SSD to the base line 13" MacBook Air. And to be honest, it is an upgrade!

I use both machines at home with an external display, so I still have the same working environment there. On the go the 13" is simply awesome. And for my gaming needs it is really ok (CS 1.6 runs pretty nice on the Air). Just a little bummed about getting the Toshiba SSD, but hey... I can always change the SSD to bigger/Faster one later on.

By the way, does the new Air have SATA II or SATA III?

IngerMan
Aug 10, 2011, 03:07 PM
Prices are dropping :D

deeddawg
Aug 10, 2011, 03:09 PM
And is there anything different between the i5 1.7Ghz chip and the i7 1.8 other than the 100 mhz?

See http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review/10

Looks like about an 8% gain on cpu based stuff. Not worth it for me considering you can't order the 13" i7 MBA via Amazon (see the 20% discount thread here, coupon codes still available on ebay)

tfitzsimons
Aug 10, 2011, 03:39 PM
One last thing. The audio in jack - does it also have the capacity to take input from a regular microphone? For my radio stuff I usually use an external Marantz recorder, but I imagine that at some point it could be useful to be able to plug my mic into the computer and record. I know the MBA audio jack works with an iphone headset/mic, but that is I think due to the fact that the iphone headphone jack has an extra thread for the mic and not because it's a true dual direction jack.

Anyone know for sure? This isn't super important but it's just a general thought.

stevey69
Aug 10, 2011, 04:48 PM
guys, the owc ssd have NO TRIM. if you dont know what it does... google it.. basically... you will have to manually clean up your ssd and over time, the performance will decrease which blows. the ssd's in mb air.. have TRIM... means the life of the ssd will be long as well as the performance.

g-boac
Aug 10, 2011, 06:31 PM
guys, the owc ssd have NO TRIM. if you dont know what it does... google it.. basically... you will have to manually clean up your ssd and over time, the performance will decrease which blows. the ssd's in mb air.. have TRIM... means the life of the ssd will be long as well as the performance.OWC SSDs have no trim, but the SandForce controller rates pretty highly in its own garbage collection. I encourage you to read the review (about a year ago) on Macworld. They essentially abused an OWC SandForce drive to the end of its rated life in write cycles, and the drive was essentially as fast as it was at the start of its life.

h00ligan
Aug 11, 2011, 01:36 AM
I do not have any experience with color depth or digital photography in any way or whatever, but the difference is obvious between MBP and MBA.
Use both for a while, if you don't see a difference good for you (or not, whatever).

Lots of people are getting all excited over the higher resolution but in the end it's sad if that's all your eyes can perceive.
Sure a higher resolution is nice but if that's all there is, with a step backwards concerning display quality, then if it's sad, like going from CDs to those pathetic MP3s. Yeah you can have more, but at what price?

I don't buy the analogy. Post abc results with aac 256. :)

stevey69
Aug 11, 2011, 02:19 AM
OWC SSDs have no trim, but the SandForce controller rates pretty highly in its own garbage collection. I encourage you to read the review (about a year ago) on Macworld. They essentially abused an OWC SandForce drive to the end of its rated life in write cycles, and the drive was essentially as fast as it was at the start of its life.

hmm thats weird. link me pls. the fact that it didnt have TRIM really made me mad... figured owc would be on top of the game to begin with and not ship out non-TRIM ssds lol ... for a sec i thought i was livin in 2009.

tfitzsimons
Aug 11, 2011, 01:50 PM
Went ahead and bought it. Very happy so far, even though I have the toshiba drive. I don't care, really. I'm just figuring out how best to migrate over my old user account... I don't want all the crap I have built up over the years so this is kind of forcing me to do some spring cleaning!

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

Tim

h00ligan
Aug 11, 2011, 01:52 PM
Enjoy your new machine!!

jsolares
Aug 11, 2011, 01:59 PM
hmm thats weird. link me pls. the fact that it didnt have TRIM really made me mad... figured owc would be on top of the game to begin with and not ship out non-TRIM ssds lol ... for a sec i thought i was livin in 2009.

It's not OWCs fault, the drives DO support TRIM, but apple only supports TRIM on their drives unless you hack it but some ppl have reported problems doing so.

tfitzsimons
Aug 12, 2011, 09:23 AM
One last query guys. All seems to be fine aside from one thing. My new macbook air theoretically shoudl have come with ilife 11. But when I used migration assistant, it simply copied over the older version and now app store is not letting me upgrade without paying. Anyone know a way around this?

h00ligan
Aug 12, 2011, 09:39 AM
Open the app store and claim your copies

Under the purchased tab.

Queen6
Aug 12, 2011, 09:50 AM
I did the same, transitioning from a 2.4Hz 4.1 15 inch MacBook Pro to the 13 inch i5 with 256Gb, found the Air to be a vast improvement in performance, all round.

I prefer to import my data, I find that the Migration Assistant, brings over everything and as others have said it`s a good reason to clean up all the data and not end up with junk on the SSD