Is the 13" MBA Suitable for Photo Editing? [Display quality]

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sstr, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. sstr macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2010
    Here's the situation:

    I work for a company that requires pretty high quality photos. I occasionally have to touch up photos I take using Photoshop. The photos are used primarily online, but are sometimes also printed out for use in magazines. As well as this, I am a university student who will use the notebook primarily for note-taking, web-browsing, etc.

    All in all, I prefer the form factor and weight of the MBA over the MBP. I also appreciate the higher res display. However, having spent a little time on google I've found that there are a number of common complaints about the MBA display. The two most important, in my case, are the worse color gamut and the problematic vertical viewing angles. Since I am going to use the laptop as my primary work machine, this might be a problem.

    So my question is, is the MBA suitable for photo editing of this kind? In particular, how is the display in terms of accurate color reproduction, and how problematic are the viewing angles? Would I be better off with the 13" MBP, or will the MBA be good enough? I'm moving from an Asus UL80Vt, so I know that pretty much any Apple display will blow away what I'm currently working with, but since this is one of my main reasons for upgrading, it's important that I get a good quality display...
  2. sstr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2010
    Nobody has any comments about display quality?
  3. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    The display on this machine is great!

    Not very glossy (meaning if theirs sunlight or people walking behind me, I will not see them), and you already know that its the same res as the 15" MBP.

    Buy the 256GB SSD Version and get 4GB Ram.

    Its fast, with all task. I can't really commit much on photography usage because I currently have taken a break from photography but I plan on uploading many images into this machine.

    I use mine for mainly web development work since it's my only computer.

    I don't use photoshop, I use pixelmator, its way better then photoshop and only cost $30 in the Mac App Store.

    I would recommend you buy Aperture from the Mac App Store as well. The SD card slot may allow you to put in a SDHC card in as well but Im not entirely sure. The machine has Loud speakers. Overall its the best Mac Portable Apple makes at the moment.

    The 13" MBP are very overpriced and lack benefits of the Air.
  4. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    i really would like to be able to use pixelmator for my t-shirt design, but my clients all are doing things in photoshop. when working with psd files on pixelmator, it's slow as hell, especially if you are working on a new image in pixelmator, and then export it to psd. it's very slow.

    did u notice that? or something about my settings are just not right?

    i'm using 11" 64GB with 4GB of ram.

    actually exporting to psd files from pixelmator in my early 17" mbp with 8gb of rams and 128GB Corsair SSD is still slow too..
  5. Robin Chung macrumors member

    Robin Chung

    Apr 6, 2010
    I've used the adobe CS5 packages and it works great. Smaller photos are instant when editing, and the SSD helps with moving great chunks of data or video editing. Overall the CS5 programs worked great and it wasnt until I ran 3dsmax and UDK in parallels when I started to miss the speed.

    Screen is crisper than my old MacBook pro late 2008 (first unibody). The anti glare helps with displaying realistic colors (glossy oversaturates). This review might help:

    MacBook air 2010 review

    Also take the 4gb option. Usually the system is at 3.xgb in use with 2 adobe programs open, itunes, safari and few finder windows.
  6. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    I do advanced amateur photography and use Photoshop and some other image editing apps on the MBA Ultimate with no problems. It is snappy and the screen resolution is great. You'll have the same amount of space to work with as a 15" MBP, but because of the smaller physical dimensions images will be smaller. Sometimes when doing detailed touchup work this can be a problem. But, I get around it by simply magnifying the area.
  7. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    As I understand it, Apple makes only one laptop that renders colors properly for photo work. I believe its the Macbook 17. Something to do with the video card.

    Do some internet searches and this information should perculate to the surface.
  8. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    Well the graphics card in the 15" and 17" are the same, so maybe both.

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