MBP Retina + 27" TBD or MBA 13" +27" iMac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AlvinNguyen, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. AlvinNguyen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I'm in a dilemma here - I'm a fashion photographer and I travel for 5-6 times out of year - each time minimum of 10-14 days. Typically while traveling I would edit 3-5 of those days using CS6 + Bridge and maybe running a while background apps like Safari and iTunes.

    When I'm not traveling out of the city I'm still taking my laptop on locations every time I shoot to review images and do light editing. Dragging my 17" MBP & a 24" Cinema Display around is beginning to be too much so I'm looking to sell it and go to a new setup. This is what I'm contemplating.

    15" Retina MBP Base + 16gb ram option + 27" TBD = $3400


    13" MBA + 8 GB RAM ($1300) + wait for new iMac in a few months ($1700) = $3000

    I'm wondering if the 13" MBA would give me enough editing power on-the-go. At the rate I'm traveling I would be editing 3-5 days every other month it seems. I shoot with a D800 in RAW so the file size is heavier. I have contemplated on getting a 15" MBP and using my current 24" cinema display and waiting til next year to get an iMac as another option.

    What I want is the best balance between carrying a laptop around + having enough power to do what I need. I wouldn't edit a ton of stuff on a laptop screen (even if it's retina) - I need a giant monitor with good color reproduction for grading anyways.
  2. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Option 1 - I don't really like managing multiple computers and a 15" Pro will last you quite a while (plus you don't have to wait indefinitely for a new iMac).
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Since the prices are so close, I would lean towards the Retina MBP + a display. That way you aren't having to constantly swap files around between the machines. You would just have one computer with all of your apps on it, and possibly an external hard drive that stays plugged into the Thunderbolt display for large amounts of storage.
  4. AlvinNguyen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    The problem I run into is that right now my 17" Mbp sits on a desk connected to the cinema display 80% of the year - just seems like such a waste to have an expensive laptop that sits there.
  5. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    Have you messed around with the 13" screen? If the size is fine go with that but I have a feeling the MBA will skip a little handling D800 RAW files.

    I would get the 2011 or 2012 15" MBP than upgrade the RAM and hard drive myself as needed. How about a Eizo monitor too? :)
  6. iDabble macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Mbpr + tbd

    Those times you do need a portable it's really nice to have. I plan on using the 15" screen a lot even with the display just because of the resolution
  7. Basic75 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2011
    Having more than one computer is a awkward, you'll have to manually synchronise your Aperture (or Lightoom) libraries and take care to never make changes on both computers that you then can't merge, so think about whether this overhead is ok.

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