Hey y'all, I've been a lurker for a while and an avid reader of MacRumors for years now and finally set up a forum account. I need help choosing a new laptop. I am trying to upgrade my Macbook 2.4GHz (13.3-inch Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn") - Early 2008. It's been good to me but I'm looking for a RAM upgrade and as much speed as I can possibly put into a a Mac laptop. Essentially, I'm trying to purchase a new primary computer. What I'd do with my computer: - Word Processing (Word, Pages, Notepad, Adobe Acrobat X, Excel) - Slideshow presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote) - Internet browsing (FaceBook, e-mail - Photo viewing/editing - Movie viewing/editing (homemade movies, DVD's, no editing beyond whatever one can do in iMovie) - Lots of file organizing - iMail, Adium (instant messaging), iTunes, Kindle, iPhoto, iCal, Dropbox - I'd do multiple things simultaneously: internet browsing, photo viewing, instant messaging, e-mail checking via iMail, calender viewing, text editing, viewing Excel, downloading minor things (almost never video files, occasional songs and pictures) My list of priorities are as follows, highest priority first: - Speed (RAM and processor) - Battery Life - Outside Design (I'm a student and need an ultra portable device) - Price (I'm a member of an honor's society that gives around 8% discounts and I'm aware of the Amazon 20% discount via Kindle if I choose a stock PC) (My cap is around 1600-1700 total, but I'm trying to bring it down lower if at all possible for obvious reasons) I'm considering between the following: Macbook Air 11" 1.8 GHz i7 128 GB SSD 4 GB RAM 13" 1.8 GHz i7 128 GB SSD 4 GB RAM Macbook Proq 13" 2.7 GHz i7 128 GB SSD (I'll upgrade myself) 8 GB RAM (I'll upgrade myself) iPad 64 GB with bluetooth/attachable keyboard of some form So basically I want to do all those things I said I'd do above as fast as possible. I don't care about the loss of all those ports and DVD drives, so that's not a plus or minus for me. I just need USB ports and a headphone jack. My main questions are: 1. Does putting an SSD in a MBP essentially make it faster in speed (since higher RAM & Processor) than an MBA w/ all the upgrades? 2. Is the iPad as limiting as it sounds considering what I'd do with a computer? aka Am I crazy for even considering the iPad at this point? 3. How badly does higher processing power compromise battery life? Any recommendations you can give me will be thoroughly helpful. I'm already guessing the iPad shouldn't even be considered as a primary computer yet, so for me this is really a battle between MBA and MBP in terms of speed and battery life. MBA's are tempting to me for their design and price drop, but if the MBP proves to be significantly faster w/ SSD and RAM upgrades I'd get it instead.