Im trying to decide on a few ideas. I have been using a 2012 cMBP with 2.3Ghz i7 running 16GB and a 960GB SSD. However, I hardly ever find myself taking the laptop anywhere because it just seems a little big for me to haul around. I picked up a 2013 13 MBA with 8GB, 256GB, and an i5. i love the feel of the MBA, but when I run Handbrake to encode some video, the horsepower really shows the difference. What used to be relatively quick takes forever, and slows down the laptop overall, making it awkward to do much else. Even the browsers seem to stutter while Handbrake is running on the MBA. So, Im weighing some options: 1 - Get 2013 MBA with i7, 8GB & 512GB SSD to be my portable system, and a quad core i7 2012 Mini to run on my desk that can do the majority of the video work 2 - Get a new (or refurbished) 13 rMBP with 8 or 16GB, and 512GB SSD, maybe 1TB 3 - Get a refurbished 15 rMBP with 16GB and 512GB SSD I have a over 350GB iTunes collection of music and videos. My iMovie collection is huge too. So with the 256GB in the MBA I have now, I have to store those on an external drive. Id have to store some on external still with a 512GB SSD too, but if I had the MBA & Mini setup, I could keep iMovie stuff on the Mini and do iTunes on either the laptop or mini. Reading about the staingate issues some folks are having, I worry about using one of the rMBP systems since I typically have my laptop in clamshell mode and connected to a TB dock. One of the suspicions I have read is the excess heat while in clamshell mode. I like the ultralight feel of the MBA, and the 13" rMBP isn't far off from that feel. I worry that the 15" rMBP will still feel big, but that quad core power sure seems like it would blow past the dual core i7.