13-inch air right for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Eric8199, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    Hey guys, I need some help. I'm in the process of upgrading to a new computer. I currently have first-gen unibody MBP and a first-gen base 11" MBA. Looking to get myself a new computer that will last me a while.

    I've been looking at the retina MBP, but I'm concerned about the disk size and I don't want to spend $600 more for twice the space. So I've been looking at the 13" Air Ultimate, which I can get for the same price as a base rMBP with a bigger hard drive AND a USB superdrive. I don't care about the retina display.

    Most of my usage revolves around writing (Microsoft Word), graphic design (Adobe CS5 and QuarkXpress 8, probably soon to be 9). Is there anything, other than screen real estate, that I will be lacking with the 13" Air decked out to the max? I don't plan on doing much, if any, video editing. I rarely game on my Mac, but I assume that would be a major limitation of the Air over the Pro, right?

    Does Apple allow you to install programs on the display models in the stores? I would like to put a demo version of Quark on a 13" to make sure I won't kick myself heavily for giving up two inches of screen real estate.

    Let me know guys. I realize I can use external hard drives with the Pro, but I don't know if I want to constantly be connecting hard drives — not sure I'm ready for that compromise.
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Have you considered a refurbished 17" MBP? you can get this one for $2,159.

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7
    Originally released October 2011
    17-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Hi-Res antiglare widescreen display, 1920-by-1200 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    750GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6770M

    This gives you more screen real-estate for writing, editing, CS5, and a superdrive. Even if you want to remove it and then install a SSD to boot from, it would still be a better machine and you would get more for your money.

    As far as installing apps on store models; I would doubt it. But it never hurts to ask and maybe someone there has installed it on their own machine and could tell you about it.
  3. Eric8199 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    I want some portability. While the 17inch is awesome, it's too big to take with you. I'd get an iMac before I got a 17inch.

    I'm really starting to lean toward the Air, just would really like to be able to test Quark on it to make sure it's not too small. Used to use Quark 6 on the old emacs though, so I'm sure I'd adjust. But I have a 21.5” iMac at work, so it's a big difference to go from that to 13”.
  4. BlueOcean macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    The one thing you haven't really mentioned is portability. If that's not so much of a concern for you, then the base 15" unibody is good value in comparison to the ultimate Air.

    For the same price, you could probably get the hi-res antiglare, upgrade the RAM to 8GB, stick in a 256GB SSD in the optibay and get an enclosure for the optical drive to use separately. This way, you'll need to carry around little storage and you'll have a much faster machine than the Air. Obviously, if portability is your main concern then this is less attractive.

    The stores generally let you install what you want.

    Edit: Obviously I missed the last post so it seems like portability is important.

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