Transitioning from MBP to MBA...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tfitzsimons, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. tfitzsimons macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    Hi all,

    So, I am a relatively knowledgable mac user, but lately my 15" macbook pro has been weighing me down. I am a journalist and have to lug it around in the hot Washington summers, and I was considering downgrading to a Macbook Air.

    Here are my concerns. I understand these new MBA processors, while lower processing speed in raw gigahertz, can perform well because of the multiple cores. I am not a gamer, and the most demanding of tasks I usually ask from of my computer are the following:

    -Photo editing through Adobe Lightroom (and occasionally Photoshop, but I rarely do much to change my photos aside from toning). More like photo organizing, exporting for a website, and uploading to my website.
    -Audio editing for radio through Adobe Audition
    -Very occasionally - aka, I can see myself doing a video project maybe once a year at most - a video project on Final Cut Pro.

    I can get a top of the line MBA for only a bit more than I imagine I could sell my nearly perfect condition late 2009 top-of-the-line MBP. Specs are: 2.8 Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 Ram, 500GB hd, and 512MB Nvidea 9600M (which I usually don't use, because this version of the MBP requires me to manually switch to high graphics mode and I don't do that for battery reasons).

    Since I do a ton of work on the go, while traveling around DC and while freelancing abroad, would you guys recommend I ditch my MBP for a MBA? I understand I will sacrifice screen size and hard drive size, but I will gain portability (invaluable) and battery life.


  2. hereyago macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    downgrading to mba? that's an upgrade :p

    if you dont use your gfx card, then the new mba will be loads faster because of i5/i7 and ssd compared to c2d and harddrive.

    dont know about the battery life. screen size might be a problem depending on how you use it. carry an external hd for storage
  3. Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    how can you say downgrading by going from 2009 MBP to the 2011 MBA?

    that is an insult!! :p

    nah, but the new Air will work like a charm for you, that i guarantee sir,

    plus, you just said you are not a gamer, so the Air is, the perfect replacement for you

    my suggestion is to go for the 13 Inch base model, more battery life than the 11 inch
  4. Gator Bob, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    Gator Bob macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    Absolutely yes. I just switched from my 9-pound 17" display Lenovo W700 beast laptop pc to my very first Mac -- a new 2011 Air with every available option. It works like a charm. I use my Air at home with an external 24" display just as
    i did with the Lenovo. Traveling with the Air alone is a delight. From Amazon I got a $29 leather "envelope" slipcase for the 13" Air. It looks and hefts exactly like a paper mailing envelope. If heavy duty protection is not a concern, it's a neat trick.
  5. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    The new Airs are quite a bit faster than your MBP in processor and way faster in disk. Make the move. You won't regret it. Check the prices listed on the Apple Insider web site for best price.
  6. YEEZY macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    It really depends how heavy your video editing project will be.

    I'm in a similar situation as you. I figured I might do a project or two for video editing. BUT I'm going to be in college and will use Lightroom/Photoshop/Illustrator way more than any video program. It was a MBP vs MBA debate for me and I chose the MBA based on how much power it had and how it performed.

    Right now, I'm typing this on my MBA while on Photoshop and listening to music on Spotify. It's barely using any resources. Amazing.
  7. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    If OP is happy with the video output on a 2009 I would think the air will be just fine.. if they are looking for a drastic speed boost maybe it would still be fine. The new chips are so much faster, even the ulv ones.

    For photo editing.. one problem - screen color depth. If you are shooting photojournalism it may not matter that much. But since you specified toning, that may matter. It may look as if you have blow channels when you don't.. which is fine if you are ok with using the histogram and have faith in it.
  8. tfitzsimons thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    What do you mean specifically? I do take photographs for publication, but I am also not quite one to obsess over color profiles or anything like that because the editors will generally do their own edits before anything is printed/put online (and I have never run into a major issue with coloration or toning in something I had published before, either).

    What is the difference between the color capabilities of the two?

  9. LeakedDave macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    An Air sounds like a perfect solution for you, as with 90% of everybody that doesn't know it ;)
  10. Gregabyte macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2011
    Go for it. I made the switch from a 2007 macbook pro. I'm a developer and always have lots of apps running, and the 13 inch i7 takes it like a champ!

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I transitioned from a 15" MBP to a 13" MBA last year and am very happy with that. Granted, I'm not a gamer, and also, I'm not much into video usage but the MBA is much more portable, far faster and the 13" has better screen resolution than the MBP.

    My only worry would be battery life; hence, I'd recommend the 13" for your situation.

  12. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    Unless you're making professional quality prints, it won't make a difference for you. I think the air is going to be a high quality upgrade for you.
  13. LeakedDave macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    I'm a happy gamer with a MacBook Air ;)
  14. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Color depth. If you don't have experience with the terms used, it likely won't be a problem! (btw, I don't mean that in a condescending way at all)
  15. Kafka, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    I do not have any experience with color depth or digital photography in any way or whatever, but the difference is obvious between MBP and MBA.
    Use both for a while, if you don't see a difference good for you (or not, whatever).

    Lots of people are getting all excited over the higher resolution but in the end it's sad if that's all your eyes can perceive.
    Sure a higher resolution is nice but if that's all there is, with a step backwards concerning display quality, then if it's sad, like going from CDs to those pathetic MP3s. Yeah you can have more, but at what price?
  16. tfitzsimons thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    Theoretically though, if I got that gigantic expensive display, I would have better luck with color fidelity, right? It has the capacity to output the colors, the LCD screen is just cheaper?

  17. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
  18. SamTheeGeek macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Macbook Air 2011 rocks!!

    Hey you guys,

    I gotta say im one of those people that made a transition from the MBP to the MBA and thanks to Apple they made the new MBA powerful.

    I recently purchased the maxed out high end model 13" MBA check out my unboxing on youtube Macbook Air 13" Unboxing

    So yes the MBA is an upgrade ;)
  19. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    Great thread, I have a late 2008 mpb and am going to get a mba as I travel a lot (phd research) and notice the weight too:)
  20. tfitzsimons thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    One last question.

    I just looked at the teardown online and I see the SSD is replaceable. So, theoretically, when the price of the 512GB chip comes down, I could expand the hard drive size. Theoretically.

    And is there anything different between the i5 1.7Ghz chip and the i7 1.8 other than the 100 mhz? Or is there another core? Just a different name to trick you into paying for 100Mhz more?

    After those questions are answered, I'm going down to the Pentagon City mall to take advantage of Virginia's lower sales tax and make the purchase.
  21. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    I myself transitioned from Mid 2010 MBP 15" i5 2.53GHz 120GB SSD to the base line 13" MacBook Air. And to be honest, it is an upgrade!

    I use both machines at home with an external display, so I still have the same working environment there. On the go the 13" is simply awesome. And for my gaming needs it is really ok (CS 1.6 runs pretty nice on the Air). Just a little bummed about getting the Toshiba SSD, but hey... I can always change the SSD to bigger/Faster one later on.

    By the way, does the new Air have SATA II or SATA III?
  22. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    OWC blowout Sale 370 GB SSD

    Prices are dropping :D

    Attached Files:

  23. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010

    Looks like about an 8% gain on cpu based stuff. Not worth it for me considering you can't order the 13" i7 MBA via Amazon (see the 20% discount thread here, coupon codes still available on ebay)
  24. tfitzsimons thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    One last thing. The audio in jack - does it also have the capacity to take input from a regular microphone? For my radio stuff I usually use an external Marantz recorder, but I imagine that at some point it could be useful to be able to plug my mic into the computer and record. I know the MBA audio jack works with an iphone headset/mic, but that is I think due to the fact that the iphone headphone jack has an extra thread for the mic and not because it's a true dual direction jack.

    Anyone know for sure? This isn't super important but it's just a general thought.
  25. stevey69 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009

    guys, the owc ssd have NO TRIM. if you dont know what it does... google it.. basically... you will have to manually clean up your ssd and over time, the performance will decrease which blows. the ssd's in mb air.. have TRIM... means the life of the ssd will be long as well as the performance.

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