Need some advice pls

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jratch66, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. jratch66 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Here is my situation. I am a photographer with a business just getting off the ground. I have an aging 2007 2.4ghz, 6gb RAM, 17" Macbook Pro w/ high-res matte screen that has been my workhorse for 4.5 yrs. It has been fantastic, but is showing signs of age (external and internal). My most recent purchase was a 27" iMac 3.4 i7 ssd with an extra screen as my office machine. That thing flies.

    I am now on the market for a replacement for my 17" MacBook Pro. I can't decide between a) another 17" b) downsizing to 15" or c) going ultra portable with a 13" Air.

    I do travel for my business and will need a machine capable of producing final images in a pinch on the road.

    I have talked myself into and out of an Air three times now and desperately need advice from some folks with some experience with these machines. My 2.4ghz 17" Pro is still capable of handling most of what I do. It is certainly is slower merging HDRs and stitching panos, but not horribly so...

    Opinions? Thanks.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I'd max out a 15" and avoid the 17" (too large for me) or the Air (not powerful enough).
  3. jratch66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Yeah that's the logical move. A 13" Air and a Drobo FS for the same price is tempting me though.
  4. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Yeah, I'd probably go 15in because the 17in just seems way too big. A maxed out 13in MBP wouldn't be a bad decision either; but as a photographer, you'd probably want the high-res screen of the 15in.

    I guess it just depends how much work you do on the road vs how much you do at the office. Sounds like you have a good machine there capable of doing anything, so maybe you could sacrifice some power for portability and go 13in MBA. I'd much rather have an MBA when traveling than an MBP (especially if it's larger than the 13in MBP).

    I have a 27in iMac at home and do all my mobile computing on an 11in, but I'm no photographer =\
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Pop over to an Apple Store, and ask them to let you load your preferred "on the road" SW onto the machines you are thinking about. It's possible they have some machines already set up with the SW, or at least similar enough to make a judgement possible.

    I think any machine you are thinking about is capable of running the SW you need - the issue is going to be the screen size - and I think you need to check that by actually seeing if you can work on a 13" screen.

    My wife has an 13" Air, and loves it - because it is so easy to carry around. But she can find the screen cramped compared to her main machine, a 17" MBP (she deals with documents - not images though).

    If you are used to working with an 27" iMac, plus a secondary monitor - I would be very worried about adjusting to a 13" screen.

  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Here's my thoughts:

    1. You have a super fast iMac for most of your imaging needs.
    2. The 13" MBA is a great travel laptop that has the same resolution screen as the base 15" MBP (and higher than the 13" MBP).
    3. I actually downgraded from the 15" MBP with hi-rez screen to an MBA for more portability. I gave up some resolution, but gained a ton of portability.
    4. If all you care about is doing final images "in a pinch" then the speed of the processor shouldn't really matter and the MBA will still be faster than your current laptop.

    In the end my laptop travels have been as follows:

    1. Started with a 13" MBP. The resolution was too low.
    2. Went to a 15" MBP with hi-rez upgrade. Resolution was great, but portability was lacking (missed the size of my 13").
    3. Bought a 2011 MBA, now I have a decent resolution (between the 13" MBP and 15" Hi-rez MBP), with the ultimate in portability.

    I still can run just about everything I ran in the 15" MBP (only exception being VM's that require more than 1GB of Memory), with the only trade off being that I tend not to run as many apps at any given time due to the 4GB memory limitation.

    This is just my opinion. I love my Base 13" MBA.
  7. jratch66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I am getting more and more excited about going from 6+ lbs to <3. My current MBP did last me 4 yrs and Im preparing myself for only 2-3 with an Air.

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