MBA 13 for web design?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lfkiter, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. lfkiter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2011
    Trying to decide which laptop to get for work. This will be my primary computer, and I'll be hooking it up to a 27" cinema display at home. I currently have an iMac 24" 2.8 core duo 4gb, but I need the portability of a laptop to work on at the office, and I don't want to keep the iMac and sync with the new laptop, I just want one machine to work on. Don't really want to spend over $1500 on the laptop, unless it is a significant upgrade. For work, I use some adobe cs5 apps, mostly photoshop, and every once in a while I use premiere to edit video off my canon t2i. The kicker is, I need to get something within 2 weeks. Like everyone, I'm anxious to see what the new MBP's are all about, but I have a feeling they'll definitely be more than $1500, considering the new air's are more than that when beefed up to 4gb, 256gb. I already ordered a cinema display as they are on sale, so figured might as well get that component. Here is what I'm thinking for choices.

    1. MacBook Air 13" 1.86 4gb 128gb

    Some people say only get an Air if you are only checking email and browsing the web, while others are reporting that the new SSD's really make them scream, I clicked around one at Best Buy, and was pretty impressed with the speed of opening apps, unfortunately I haven't been able to test it more thoroughly. Now I'm only opting for the 128 ssd, as I don't have a music or photo library to worry about, plus I'll use an external hd for extra space if needed.

    2. Macbook Pro 15" i5 320gb Refurb

    I've bought apple refurbs before, so I saw this as an option as it was about the same price as the above mba. resolution is the same as the 13" air, 4gb ram (upgradeable) but older hard drive. I like the idea of being able to upgrade the components in this laptop. Also I know the cinema display will hook up a little easier as you've got all the necessary ports on one side, I've seen the pics of the air hooked up to the CD, and it works, but not as clean, not a major deal though. Even though this machine will outperform the Air in apps like photoshop/premiere, I really hate buying at the end of a models cycle, but again it's a refurb, so I'm getting it for a few hundred less than retail.

    3. 2011 Macbook Pro ??

    This option will only work if they announce and start selling soon, within 3-4 weeks I can wait, but if the price is up there, I'd prolly end up getting an Air or last years MBP refurb. I have a feeling that the new MBP's will be just a 15 and 17" air, with more options and ports. I really only use USB and SD card slot, no need for firewire.

    I hate to admit, but I have mac fever...but at the same time, I need to get something, so hopefully I make the right decision. I'll probably be working on this machine hooked up to the CD about 60-70% of the time, if that makes a difference.

    Any recommendations are appreciated.
  2. jtmx29 macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2010
    For basic web design stuff like HTML and CSS you could use just about any machine. However, if you do a lot of graphical front end stuff I would recommend getting the most power you can. I would definitely think about going with the MBP i5. You will see great performance in CS5 applications and have a quick system is a must for a web designer.

    I've gotten very frustrated on older P4 Windows machines that couldn't handle doing multiple things at once regarding CS3 and web design.
  3. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Well I'm running CS5 right now on my MBP with 4GB of as well as firefox with a bunch of tabs open, I'm also torrenting about 2GB worth of video, I have itunes open, pages open and really not slowed down, just take a look at my activity monitor and my doc....I think RAM is important. I attached a screenshot of my activity monitor for you though....

    Attached Files:

  4. jazziethomas macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
    I would go for the Macbook Pro 15" i5 320gb Refurb well it has a much better screen resolution than the MBA 13 perfect for web designing.
  5. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

    Nov 7, 2010
    Apple Manor
    I am using Photoshop CS5 on my 13" 2010 MAcBook Air (4GB Ram) and it works just fine.
    But when you are talking about web design, maybe you would favor a bigger screen over the 13" MBA one...?
    If not then go for the MBA i say, it has enough power and awesome screen resolution to work with.
  6. lfkiter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2011
    Ya, the refurbed 15 i5 i was looking at had the same resolution as the 13" mba, if I want any higher res it'd be another $200+ on the mbp. Most of the time I'll be hooked up to a bigger ACD 27. I played w/ both machines side by side today at best buy, and the air seems really really zippy opening apps, and it was only the 11" one.

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