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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Air, MBP and Retina

Hi all

I currently have a mid-2009 macbook pro 13 but looking to upgrade now. I started with it as a companion to my desktop but over time it has now become the primary machine which I use for development as well as browsing, word processing and photo editing etc (Not a professional photographer but more of an advanced amateur). And I do most of my work on the go these days. So with that background improvements in performance, portability, and display quality are all going to be welcome and desirable.

My current configuration has core 2 duo 2.26GHz, 4GB Ram, 250GB HDD. Looking at the upgrade options I can get one of the following 3 fairly different machines in the $1300-1500 range:

1. MBP 13 with Retina (2.5GHz i5, 128GB SSD, Retina Display, 8GB)
2. MBP 13 non-Retina (2.9GHz i7, 750GB HDD, 1200x800, 8GB)
3. MB Air 13 (1.8GHz, 256GB SDD, 1440 x 900, 8GB)

My first thought was that the Retina is perfect - I get higher performance through processor+SSD, better display as well as lower weight. So seems to be an all-win combition. However on further thought I would be cramped for space with just 128GB SSD. And it is already the most expensive of the 3 and paying for a higher capacity SSD is not an option.

So that then leaves 2 and 3 as the more likely candidates. I like the ultra-portability of the Air, and 256GB while not ideal, is probably manageable. I don't like that the MBP 13 non-Retina persists with the 1280x800 resolution so the Air improves on that as well. However the main concern there is performance. For browsing, word processing and most of my development tasks, the performance of even my current system is OK. However it struggles a bit with the latest version of Adobe lightroom and photoshop CS5. I am wondering how would the latest 1.8GHz Air compare to my current MBP in terms of performance - would it be about the same or significantly better or what? Also how would performance compare between the 2.9GHz HDD MBP vs the 1.8GHz SSD Air.

Sorry for the really long post. Hoping to get some insights!
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