My first post after years of lurking... I do light photo work (using Aperture or Photoshop with large RAW files) and will do occasional video editing (AVCHD). I realize having a fast external drive for files is considered important or necessary for this kind of work. I'm trying to decide between two alternatives: Keep my 2011 11" MBA i7/4GB/256GB, and add a Thunderbolt drive (probably Lacie Little Big Disk) -or- Sell my 2011 and buy a 2012 11" MBA i7/8GB/128GB and use a USB 3 external drive. Both alternatives have similar costs (roughly). The 2011 has only USB 2, so Thunderbolt is the only fast external choice. A 2012 lets me use a USB 3 drive which is considerably cheaper (and a little slower) than Thunderbolt, but at the same time has double the RAM and better video performance. Portability is a concern, that's why I have confined the alternatives to 11" MBA only. Which would you choose? Alternatives (other than a different computer or spending lots more money) I haven't considered?