Advertising MA what computer would be good?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by munnstermac, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. munnstermac macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2008
    Hi all,

    Just a quick question, I am currently selling my imac to invest in a new laptop. In september I hope to start an MA in brand management and innovation, however it is a 2 hour commute each way and I will be doing this 3x per week, (its all buses and trains). I have a budget of around £1600 and would love an SSD macbook air. Are there any copywriters or creatives around who could tell me what software/ computer they use and if this computer would suffice. If not what would you recommend, a macbook or a pro. My main concern being the weight and ability to handle tasks.

    Many Thanks,

  2. Oversoul macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2007
    My girlfriend just completed her MFA program in Advertising (Art Direction), so I'm speaking from my impression of her experience. And I don't know how your program is structured in the UK, and I'm assuming your focus is copywriting, so your experience may vary.

    If you'll be pursuing copywriting, I don't think you'll need much power. Copywriting is about coming up with creative copy, and you can commit these words down with as little as a pen and piece of paper. So really, any computer that can run a word processing application like Word is more than enough for that task.

    However, you will likely be working on campaigns for class that involve teaming up with an art director. The art director will be doing the visual heavy lifting, and she'll likely use a lot of Photoshop, InDesign (or Quark), Illustrator, and (on interactive works) Flash and Dreamweaver (basically, the Adobe Creative Suite). Email and various chat programs come in handy for remote teamwork.

    You may want access to the above programs so that the art director and copywriter can share files. But even without these applications, you'll get by if you can open JPGs, PDFs and SWF files. You may also want these programs because you'll likely use them in putting together your portfolio.

    All that said, I've never been a fan of the MacBook Air for power per price. It's just not that great of a value. You shave a few pounds off, but you're taking a hit on the performance.

    If you're concerned about the weight on a long commute, look at the MacBook as a nice compromise between portability and power. I commute between San Francisco and San Jose daily (about 1.5 hours each way), and a lot of the techies who ride the Caltrain down the peninsula carry and do their work on much bulkier computers during their commutes.

    Good luck!
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I think an MBA would serve you needs, even if you were to use applications like Illustrator or Photoshop.

    I can run these applications just fine on my white MacBook with 2.0 GHz processor, and the new 1.6 Ghz MBA is essentially the same speed in practical terms. In terms of specs, the faster front side bus (faster RAM), and much faster integrated graphics (Nvidia 9400M versus my GMA 950) makes up for the slower processor speed. If my computer can handle it, the new MBA can handle it. ;)

    Saying that, the new MacBook is much better value. I like the new MBA, but the MacBook will almost be as portable, be slightly faster, and save you money.

    Of course, with a budget like 1600 quid, you could probably get a MacBook Pro using your educational discount. :)
  4. JasO macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I put together a good half of my portfolio for a top Australian university on my MacBook Air.

    Sure it would lag like all hell when i would have 100mb files open whilst listening to itunes and trying to watch youtube videos at the same time! But i just learn t to keep firefox closed unless i needed it open for work!

    It can do the job. Was it pleasant? Not really... but that being said it was sitting on a desk the whole time, so i should have been using a desktop, though i don't have one.

    I would say go for it if you're doing the long commutes, I live about 20 minutes walk from uni, and even then I wouldn't want to lug around anything more than my MBA... my girlfriend says i've been spoilt by it! Which i probably have.

    I'd say get it =)

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