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Thread: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

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    Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    i know this has been discussed before, but i thought i'd ask people's comments again now that they've really had time to use them.

    i bought a 15" MBP over a year ago thinking it would be a joy to travel with after lugging my 17" around... in comparison, yes, but not really... after six very long travel days in six weeks, i can honestly say it's too heavy.

    i will be doing a lot more travel in the foreseeable future (trains, intercontinental flights, and hours lugging between), so i'm looking at an Air again... mostly to dump and view my images (rather than intensive processing), email, web, etc.

    i'd love to hear people's experience with them and the pros and cons of each size -- battery life, weight, screen size, whether the convenience of having a card reader built-in is worth it, etc.

    thank you in advance!

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Hi Cam,

    Have you considered taking an iPad? It would be lighter and more convenient.

    On a recent two-week trip to Utah/Arizona, I left my MBP at home and took only the iPad; i used the camera adapter to download images for viewing.

    It worked out well. I kept it in my camera bag and took it everywhere. The 4G versions have a good GPS chipset, which along with a Motion X app, allowed us to wander way off-road without fear of getting lost; just watch your battery level, it's only good for about 5 hours with the GPS on.

    The new iPad Mini would be even more convenient to take along.

    The only downsides are:
    Serious post-processing is not feasible.
    If you want back ups of your images, 64 GB may not be enough. I just take extra memory cards along.

    Cheers
    Santo
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    In my extensive experience with both the 11" and 13" of several generations I can tell you the 13" is well worth the extra few ounces and inches. The battery is considerably larger and the extra screen space is very appreciated, as is the built-in SD card slot.
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    cheers, Santo!

    i've been thinking about that for smaller car trips (i got an iPad3 as a present and paid to upgrade it to the max) and picked up the adaptor -- though i haven't tried it yet

    but then how do you get the images back out again?

    anyways, the 20+ hour trips i'm taking are back and forth between europe and the states and i'm usually staying at least three weeks and i think i'd go mad without a real computer.

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    In my extensive experience with both the 11" and 13" of several generations I can tell you the 13" is well worth the extra few ounces and inches. The battery is considerably larger and the extra screen space is very appreciated, as is the built-in SD card slot.
    Brad, thank you, that was exactly what i was hoping to hear about.

    next question then, have you noticed a huge difference in each generation? (trying to keep my costs down and buy used)

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    I have had both and the 13" is easily the best choice...the screen on the 11" is just too small and weight differences are not that significant
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Hi Cam,

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

    Follow the link above to the Apple support site for info on iPad to Mac transfer.
    I just download from the memory cards when I get home.

    I was skeptical about taking only an iPad, but I didn't miss my MBP at all.
    Email, web browsing, Facebook, GPS .... All worked flawlessly.
    Of course, if you're travelling on business and need to use spreadsheets or word processing, an iPad won't do.

    Cheers
    Santo
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    I have had both and the 13" is easily the best choice...the screen on the 11" is just too small and weight differences are not that significant
    thank you, RVB. that was initially my thought when i bought one for myself (13") and one for my boyfriend (11") when they first came out. i kept on having size envy, but thought i'd ultimately go a little mad with the 11".

    as my ownership of the 13" was cut in it's prime by an errant glass of Sauvignon Blanc, i didn't get to use it for very long or travel with it alone (it came back in the shoulder bag with my 17")

    that's why hearing from you guys who have used both is invaluable!

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangio View Post
    Hi Cam,

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

    Follow the link above to the Apple support site for info on iPad to Mac transfer.
    I just download from the memory cards when I get home.

    I was skeptical about taking only an iPad, but I didn't miss my MBP at all.
    Email, web browsing, Facebook, GPS .... All worked flawlessly.
    Of course, if you're travelling on business and need to use spreadsheets or word processing, an iPad won't do.

    Cheers
    Santo
    thank you, again, Santo!

    i might do a dry run for a two-day trip and see how it goes. it also will be brilliant to bring with me when i'm checking out some old glass at a photo trade show.

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    thank you, again, Santo!

    i might do a dry run for a two-day trip and see how it goes. it also will be brilliant to bring with me when i'm checking out some old glass at a photo trade show.
    I forgot to mention that if you're travelling by car, an adapter that will charge the iPad while driving is very useful, especially if you have GPS enabled.

    This one is from the Apple store.
    Just Wireless Thin Car Charger for iOS Devices - Apple Store (Canada)

    You can find a generic adapter for less money at most electronic or big box stores, but make sure it supplies 2.1 amps; not all do.

    Regards
    Santo
    Last edited by sangio; 7th January 2013 at 13:08. Reason: Spelling
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    but then how do you get the images back out again?
    Hi Cam
    I've used my 64gb ipad 3 on trips - you'll need to shoot RAW+jpg on the MM to get decent images on the ipad, and although it's not feasible to do any real PP, you can easily do a few tweaks for email using iPhoto.

    Then you can cull the rubbish (if you ever take any) on the ipad. When you plug it back into your Mac, then it just behaves like an SD card, and you can import the files you haven't deleted.

    all the very very best

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    Brad, thank you, that was exactly what i was hoping to hear about.

    next question then, have you noticed a huge difference in each generation? (trying to keep my costs down and buy used)

    The newer generation features USB 3.0 ports which significantly speed up memory stick and external drive operations. The Thunderbolt port is speedy but expensive for cables and peripherals.

    Other than that, just buy one of the i5 chip ones - they're faster than the core2duo generation.

    Buy from Apple's refurb list - great savings and full warranties.
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    I went around on this question too and decided that the latest generation 13" MBA would be great, loaded up with the most drive and RAM it is quite a good performer. Match that up on your desk with a Thunderbolt 17" display, keyboard and mouse. Then you have access to FireWire peripherals too.

    Not cheap, but it would do the number beautifully.

    <<
    Ultimately, however, I decided that the iPad and iPad mini were doing the business for me very nicely for my mobile use and bought a new Mac mini (maxed out with RAM, drive, and i7 quadcore processor) for my desktop. More bang for the buck, and I still have my older MBP 13" if I really really need the laptop some times.
    >>

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Jono -- i still *do* shoot RAW+jpg as per your instructions

    thank you for the other info as i know you were crippled (as am i) by having to use LR (not Aperture)... and moi, take rubbish? how dare you!

    are you still happy with your 13"? xxx


    Brad -- again, thank you, excellent info! and the Apple refurb was exactly where i was going to look!


    Godfrey, thank you. that would be the wisest choice if my travels were of a shorter duration. last spring, however, a three week trip turned into almost five months (with a few weeks in the UK and back home in the middle). i would go mad having only my iPad for that duration! ...my trip(s) in february will likely have me gone for a month -- even that is long time without a computer methinks.

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    Re: Revisiting the question -- which MacBook Air for travel?

    Another vote for USB 3.0 as a requirement - it's a real Swiss Army knife of connectivity. Thunderbolt has more bandwidth but USB3 is fast enough for almost all conceivable uses (I know, famous last words).
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