replacing Windows desktop and laptop with one MB laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stract, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. stract macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2013
    Hi, I've recently made the decision to jump the Microsoft ship in favor of Mac. I currently have a Dell Inspiron One (23") desktop computer and a Dell Inspiron 11z (11.6") laptop. The laptop is about 4 ish years old and is definitely showing its age. The desktop is about 3 years old, and still working ok, but I'm to the point where I have most every other Apple product and want things to integrate better. (iPhone 4, 5, iPad 2, Apple TV 2nd gen).

    I want to replace both the desktop and laptop with one machine + 27" Lightning display. So my struggle is MBA vs rMBP. I like the rMPB for two reasons over the non-retina: weighs less and retina display. I like the MBA over the rMBP b/c it weighs less, but the con is no retina display. I've played with both at the local Apple Store.

    I'm a big fan of having a light and portable laptop for travel; the iPad by itself doesn't have all the features I'd want that the laptop can provide. I need MS Office software for work/school purposes, and potentially some other windows-only software which would require bootcamp/parallels, and also the ability to plug in USB devices to transfer files. So that means I can't just go solely iPad.

    I also want to replace my desktop computer with the new laptop, so I want to make sure I have enough computing power to cover the times when I make short videos (4-5 min in length usually, shot from my contourRoam). I don't game, and don't do other sorts of memory/processor hogging things like instensive PhotoShop work or anything like that. It's mostly internet browsing/ MS Office work, with the occasional video editting thrown in. I want this laptop to last for years, so I'm willing to load it up with as much RAM and disk space as I can for future-proofing.

    Does the fully-tricked out MBA meet my needs or do I need to wait for the new (Haswell) rMBP to be released?

    Do I need to wait for Mavericks, or are OS upgrades cheap and easy (assuming the masses here suggest the MBA meets my needs)?
  2. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    I assume you are comparing the 13" MBP with the 13" MBA?

    This is my opinion if my intent was to replace a desktop I would go with the more powerful laptop. If I had a desktop already in place I would go with the more portable option being the MBA. The MBA is no slouch just my own personal opinion others may think differently.

    Either way if you can I would hold off until the next MBP with Haswell are announced and then make a decision.

    The past 2 osx updates were $20 so I assume this will be the same for Mavericks, at least I have not heard anything mentioned to assume it will not be $20 again. Typically in the past if you purchase a new mac within 30 days of an osx update you are eligible for a free upgrade.
  3. stract thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2013
    I don't want to just default to rMBP just because of the idea that I'm replacing a desktop; I want to buy a computer that fits my needs. If the MBA is not powerful enough to do the light video editing I do maybe 4 times a year at most, or won't remain powerful enough for 4-5 years, that's one thing. Still interested for others' opinions as well, keep them coming!
  4. stract, Oct 20, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013

    stract thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2013
    Now that the rMBP is about to hit the streets, decision time is near...question right now isn't MBA vs RMBP, but more about system specs. I know from research that these laptops cannot be upgraded aftermarket, so I plan to max out RAM, and am debating maxing out the processor. The idea here is future-proofing.

    What I'm not sure about is the SSD, however. I currently have 211 GB of stuff (docs, pics, music, video) that I need to keep. I've never dealt with an external storage solution for this stuff (as opposed to keeping it on my computer HD). Other than my iTunes library (93 GB), and raw video footage from my ContourROAM (estimate ~20 GB of raw footage right now), I think I'd want everything else to reside on the actual computer.

    Should I jump for the 512 GB SSD or will the 256 GB be ok? I want to make sure there's enough room for various programs, etc to be installed, but I also want to make sure my purchase is future-proofed...
  5. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    This is my opinion on it. Don't worry about maxing out the processor. I would go with the mid range one. The high end processor is not that big a difference from the mid range to justify the cost.

    As for ram.. Personally I would go for 16 to future proof it but I doubt that you would use more then 8.

    HD.... If you have 211 gigs that you are dead set on keeping on the laptop itself then get the bigger hard drive. Don't forget that you will now use 2 operating systems which eat up more space. You will also have mac software that will eat up more space. Honestly, I would get the 512 even if you didn't. I personally think 256 is too small, but I am use to having at least 1TB. Also, I think you should get use to having an external hard drive for storage. Its quite easy to move files back and forth.

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