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Thread: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

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    Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    I want to treat myself to a Macbook later this summer (as a birthday present to myself).

    Question is what size? I think I have decided MBP rather than MPA as I would miss a CD/DVD drive.

    So, next question is the 13 in MBP screen large enough for Lightroom or would I get so annoyed that I would wish for the 15in?

    The laptop is unlikely to be taken out the house much so portability is not a real issue.

    Thanks

    Lee

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    I use a MacBook Pro 13" and find it works well for occasional editing standalone, but for serious work and color calibration, I use it with an Apple Cinema Display 27" LED at my desk. If you're not interested in the laptop for mobility, an iMac would be a better price/performance buy as you will likely want a larger screen for any extensive editing session.

    Between 13 and 15 inch models, the screen size difference is minor, but the 15" are more powerful.

    For any of them, install 8G RAM and a 500-750G fast hard drive for best performance.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    If you won't take it out of the house much then I would opt for the 15" over the 13". The extra screen real estate really will make a difference for Lightroom.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Big +1 to what Terry said re: the 15" vs 13".

    I can do some editing on the road with my old 13" MBA but if I know I need to do anything serious I bring the 15" MBP.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Also, the 15" can be delivered with the antiglare screen.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Is the antiglare screen worth it?

    Lee

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Is the antiglare screen worth it?

    Lee
    Yes!! If you intend to use the laptop outdoors or in a brightly lit room, the antiglare screen is essential, IMHO. I have a 15" MBP (February 2011 model) and highly recommend it.
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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Hi Joe

    How does it affect perceived colour and contrast accuracy of the images displayed on the screen?

    I believe the anti-glare is also a higher resolution - hopefully that's a *good* thing rather than making things hard to read?

    Lee

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    What Joe says; 110% agree, as we say here.

    You may not need the quad core model (what I have, with max. RAM and the anti-glare screen) but I would recommend retrofitting an SSD from Other World Computing—way better solid state drives than the Apple ones (for why, go to MacPerformance dot com, run by our friend Lloyd Chambers); the improvement in speed cannot be imagined unless you already have one of these.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Oh, I was trying to avoid spending *too* much money :-) and was assuming the standard hard drive is 'old' technology. By SSD do you mean the type of disc in the Macbook Air or have I misconstrued?

    Lee

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    @ Sapphie: SSD is the acronym for solid state drive. and (tho' expensive) the improvement in performance is really worth it (not to mention that even dropping the laptop will not hurt the drive. Definitely better than sliced bread!

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    How does it affect perceived colour and contrast accuracy of the images displayed on the screen?
    No effect that I can perceive except it makes viewing images possible without spurious reflections. I'll never buy a laptop or monitor without an antiglare screen again.

    I believe the anti-glare is also a higher resolution - hopefully that's a *good* thing rather than making things hard to read?
    I wasn't aware of a resolution difference between screens. You can choose the desired display resolution ("on the fly") on all Macs using the Displays widget in System Preferences, or by using finger gestures on the trackpad. With Macs, "hard to read" is a thing of the past.
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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    I know there's a general bias here for the anti-glare screens, but I've been working on the glossy screen models (both MBP13 and ACD27LED) for some time now and have had no problems with them. To me, they present a sharper, richer appearance to the images.

    I calibrate and profile them to my usual targets (120 Luminance, 1.8 gamma, 5500K white point) and the fidelity of the transfer to paper is very very good.

    Yeah, getting into a situation with a lot of light sources that reflect off the screen make the view crappy, but frankly it was just as crappy to have an anti-glare screen with what appears to my eye as a haze across the view. I can't edit in that situation either and need a dark box shade for the screen.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Godfrey,

    That's precisely why Apple sells both options. Some prefer glossy and some prefer antiglare. I'd recommend to anyone who is considering a purchase, a visit to an Apple store (if possible) to see what they look like, side by side.

    And I do use my laptop in situations (outdoors, bright lighting, etc.) where glare is definitely an issue.

    My wife prefers the glossy screen and that's what she has on her laptop.

    Joe
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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Ok, what now? I am tempted by the new 2011 Macbook Air 13 inch together with a portable external had drive ...

    Lee

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Also tempted by either the 11 or 13 Macbook Air. They seem to be much faster than previous generations and are rumored to be faster than a 2010 Macbook Pro.

    Jim

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Ok, what now? I am tempted by the new 2011 Macbook Air 13 inch together with a portable external had drive ...

    Lee
    I just got a new MacBook Air. You will have no problem running Lightroom on it. I bought the 13" i7 version but I'm sure from all the testing I've seen that the i5 has plenty of horsepower.

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    HI There
    I'm going to be controversial here - I think you should get a fully loaded (256gb/4gb) MBA - I received mine last week, and it's so much faster than my iMac and my MBP (which has a 256 GbSSD) that it isn't funny (at least, it FEELS so much faster -). Everything loads really quickly, it boots up before you know it, the battery life is spectacular . . . do I need to go on!

    As for the CD drive - you're unlikely to need it travelling, and if you need it at home, then you can get the external drive.

    Added to which, the 13" MBA has the same resolution as the 15" MBP (1440x900).

    My 17" MBP is sitting sadly on the other side of the desk being used for email . . . as is My colleagues 15".

    The shiny screen is fine when you get used to it. The machine is lovely, and of course, it's much smaller and lighter than an MBP.

    I run Aperture on it all the time, which is considerably more resource hungry than Lightroom.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    I'm still happy with my MBP 13" although it's far from the current bleeding edge. I do most of my photo editing with it connected to the Cinema Display 27 LED and it's fast enough.

    Lightroom works fine on the 13" screen, I just put it into full screen mode and arrange what panels are available to make it work well. The issue really is color management on any portable display ... I calibrate the MBP often enough, but it drifts far more per week than the desktop display ever does in months.

    My only resistance to the MBA is the lack of a FW800 port. Yeah yeah, Thunderbolt or whatever they call it is there, but all my drives are FW800/400 at present, so switching to new enclosures (when they are available ... not yet!) is an additional $300 expense. FW800 does well enough.

    No need for anything new now, next machine up depends on what Apple produces next ... a quad-core in the 13" MBP form factor please? ...

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    Re: Which size Macbook for Lightroom?

    Oh you all tease ... so the 13 inch MB Air has enough resolution for interacting with LR comfortably and does not make everything so small that my aging eyes would need binoculars to see it properly?

    Hmn, tempted now ...

    Lee

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