Is the 13 in. screen too small for video editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mickeysworld, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. mickeysworld macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Trying to decide between the new 13 inch Air and the latest 15 inch MBP...I have no desktop so this would be my main computer (for everyone in the house as well: middle-school to elementary school age children).

    The notebook would be used for the usual everyday stuff - email, web-browsing, calendar, etc. The kids will use it for the occasional book report, research, and accessing their textbooks online. The kids also like to play an occasional 3D game here or there, webkinz and that kind of stuff, nothing too graphics intensive, I don't think.

    I would also like to use whatever machine I end up with for some amateur video editing, home movie type stuff, using iMovie. Today, I paid a visit to my local apple store and spoke to a genius who recommended I go with the Pro because he felt a 13 inch screen would be too small for video editing. So what do you guys think? Anyone with experience in video editing find that to be true?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Jrv macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    Long Beach, California
    Depends on how close you sit to the computer.
  3. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    it really is personal preferance. If it is a dektop and you have the $ you could buy a monitor ( not the apple one but some random one)
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I only use my laptop screen if I'm not hooked up to a monitor. If you're going to be working away from the monitor, get the biggest screen you can. The 15" MBP screen would be better than the 13.3", but not by much. Having a SSD is more important.
  5. maclook macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I've had a 13" for 5 years so maybe it is just acquired taste but I do absolutely everything on my 13" screen. Autocad, Photoshop, Movie editing through Premiere Pro, etc. 13" is the perfect form factor for me.

    It's all preference though which is why Apple, a company renowned for limited product models, offers 11", 13", 15", and 17" options. A bigger screen won't make you any better at video editing so it's really all about personal preference. If it'll be staying at home most of the time, larger may be better. If you want to carry it around on vacation or work etc, 13" is the best companion from my experience.
  6. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    I say purchase the 13" Air and play around with it for 2 weeks. If you find that it's satisfactory for your uses, you can keep it. If you want the additional resolution, but are otherwise happy with the machine, pick up an external monitor. I would only buy the 15" if money wasn't a concern and you could really benefit from the tangibles that only the 15" (and higher) can provide.
  7. TheQuestion macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Location is relative, no?
    I use my 11" MBA as my main video editor just fine (I do a lot of stuff on the go). Sometime plugging into an external monitor is a nice relief though.
  8. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    I have heard the 13" MacBook Air has the same screen resolution as the 15" MacBook Pro, but I would assume it would be easier on the eyes to be looking at a 15" screen. Not only that, while both computers have great build quality and hold up well, with teenagers and young children handling it I would be safer with the thicker MacBook Pro.

    The MacBook Pro also has a quad-core processor which will help in video editing and a better GPU if your kids want to play some games.
  9. dennya macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2009
    Get the Air, and just get a nice Displayport monitor for video editing. I'm going to be using mine with a 24" Dell U2412M, which is a super-nice-quality IPS display on a par quality-wise with Apple's Cinema displays, but only $339.

    You can get a less-awesome but still fine for personal video editing TN display for closer to $200.
  10. mickeysworld thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Wow! Thanks everyone for the replies. Needless to say, my head's kinda spinning and I'm more confused than ever! You all make such good and valid points for both machines. Think I'll start a pros and cons list or maybe go old school and toss a coin! Thanks again, I'd love to hear more if anyone else wants to jump in!
  11. KohPhiPhi, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011

    KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    For serious video editing you will necessarily want a large screen eventually.

    Your best bet is to buy the air and hook it to a cheap external monitor: 23" 1920x1080 resolution, which can be bought for as little as $200.

    I have that setup at home and it's perfect: you can take the air with you, while keeping plenty of screen room while at the desk.
  12. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    I was stuck with a similar decision (but for programming). Had a MBP 13" 2009 (too small screen) but wanted a better screen size/res and still portable. I settled with MBA 13" i7 - it is very light and portable, it has a fast SSD (Samsung) and the screen res is the SAME as the standard MBP 15" so the 13" MBA really won it for me.

    You might be better with a faster processor for rendering/8GB ram so that's the more important thing to consider. You can always add an external monitor to the MBA (i have 24" 1980x1200)..

Share This Page