I'm a freelance graphic designer, but have just accepted a job that 95% of the time will have nothing to do with design. But because of my skill set, I'll be asked to design the occasional project. I've been told I have a $2000 budget to buy a laptop, software, and external monitor. (Obviously, buying CS5 blows a huge hole in the budget, so I'm treating that expense separately for the moment.) Before I realized I needed to accommodate running CS5, I'd been leaning toward one of the new 2011 MBA's -- I've got two hours of commute time each day and thought the MBA would make it more feasible to get some work done on the commuter bus (though I'll also have a work smartphone available for email and other tasks). The other option is a 13" MBP, which is what most of the other staff have. It's slightly less commute-friendly and has a lower res screen, but is somewhat more powerful and more upgradeable (RAM and harddrive). But with the CS5 curve ball thrown in, I'm back on the fence. Is it insane to think the MBA can handle light Photoshop, InDesign (small documents), and a little Illustrator? Is max 4GB RAM just too low? Is it future proof enough if I'm going to be stuck with it for 3+ years? Is the 13" MBP much better on any of those points? I'm actually not all that picky about blazing fast performance in CS5 (though I am for productivity things like Office, Firefox, email, etc). I successfully freelanced for 3 years using CS3 on a Core2Duo 15" MBP with 2GB of RAM (a painful six months of that without an external monitor). I'm thankful those days are over, but for the occasional work project, I expect I can put up with some less than optimal performance. Also, does anybody have suggestions for a low cost 24" external monitor that isn't awful (even if it's TN)? I have a Dell IPS display at home connected to my 27" iMac and I'm happy with both screens, but I don't think it's worth $399 of my budget for a refurbished Dell 2408WFP, given the small amount of design work I'll be doing. I can start a new thread for that somewhere else if I need to. Another caveat -- I know some people here don't like the integrated graphics on the MBA and 13" MBP, but I don't expect my usage will really get me into much trouble with that. And anyway, I'd have to bump up to the 15" to avoid it, which puts me over budget pretty quickly. Any feedback would be appreciated!! Thanks!