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MacBook Air -- how are you liking them now?

cam

New member
my 13" MBA had a run in with a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc... need i say more?

i'd like to know what everybody who got one of the new MBAs is thinking, now that they are not so shiny and new any more -- both the 11" and 13" (as i may not be able to afford the big boy again).

does anybody have regrets on what they bought? finding the 11" just too small and not enough power? or maybe the 13" too big to carry everywhere?

and what photo software are you running on it? are you running an external monitor through it at home? could you see yourself using it as your primary machine, for a few months at least?

i'd really love to know everybody's experience to help me decide which way to go.

thank you in advance,
cam
 

cam

New member
Send it to Apple for cleaning.
it's been done...

the quote, thus far, is more than i paid for it in the first place (Black Friday sale in the U.S. -- i am now in Belgium): logic board, top case, and battery all need to be replaced. all, that is, with no guarantee something else won't go pear-shaped in a few month's time.

ETA: after replacing the first two mentioned, it was on the advice of an experienced authorised technician that i am looking to buy new.
 

Terry

New member
I would not want to give up my MBA. First laptop I haven't minded traveling with through airports. I have 13"/128 gb/1.8ghz/4GB RAM.

I've used it with C1 and LR3 without issue on big medium format files.
 

cam

New member
I would not want to give up my MBA. First laptop I haven't minded traveling with through airports. I have 13"/128 gb/1.8ghz/4GB RAM.

I've used it with C1 and LR3 without issue on big medium format files.
so you don't regret not getting the 11" (i know you travel a lot!)? or are you mostly traveling with just your iPad?
 

Terry

New member
Cam - I seriously considered the 11" for size but the sweet spot of the price/specs seemed to be on the 13". By the time you take the 11" and go to 128gb, and the faster processor (1.6), they are the same price. But even with that bump in specs on the 11" it is still lower specified tech than the 13" counterpart:


View attachment 40029


I'm glad I got the 13" because it has exceeded my expectations on speed and can use it for photo edits on the road. For photo edits the extra screen size is important to me.
 

cam

New member
thank you, Terry. i appreciate your experience and insights!

i just took a try on my other's 11" (he loaded C1 and CS3 for me)... only used an M8 image (next will be an M9 :eek:)... everything seemed speedy enough (keep in mind i've been using an ancient 17" maxed out with 2GB RAM as my primary) but i could have taken a long bathroom break waiting for the image to save...

i will play with it more, but i don't think i could ever do anything serious with the 11" unless i had an external monitor...

unfortunately, the price differential here, especially considering the conversion rates is killing me ($1799 plus tax vs. €1779 which includes tax) on the fully loaded 13".

after my idiocy, i am inclined to just go with a bulkier MBP but know they'll be revamping those soon so now is not the time... sigh.

i may just buy the Eizo 22" ColorEdge for now and muddle along with my antique... wait for new offerings and/or buy again in the states when i'm there...

(if we had a dunce cap emoticon, i would be wearing one now!)
 

Terry

New member
I think at that price difference you could fly to NYC and pick a new one up and have a fine weekend.
 

cam

New member
I think at that price difference you could fly to NYC and pick a new one up and have a fine weekend.
no sh*t!

he more i think about it, the sicker i feel... (and it was a crap wine to boot!)

maybe i should have asked if anyone is planning on taking a european vacation soon :D
 

cam

New member
okay... so i tested the 11" on an M9 image (particularly noisy at that).

i have to admit that i was quite impressed with how the little computer handled it all once again, except for the save (multiple layers).

after i was sure i didn't bomb K's computer, i was quite impressed!

would i be happy with the 11", though? not sure i would...

i'd still be interested in other people's opinions and experiences because i still need to stew about this awhile longer.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I had planned to buy a MacBook Air 13" as my ancient PowerBook 15" simply isn't up to what I need anymore. However, once the money was in hand and I did my research, to obtain what I wanted in the MBA compared to a MBP 13" was simply not worth the differentials in cost and size/weight, for me.

I went with an MBP 13" 2.4Ghz refurb, upgraded it to 500G 7200 rpm drive and 8G RAM. My total cost was $1160 (before buying AppleCare). It was the better choice for my needs (nice to have the ethernet, firewire, and optical drives built in for my uses, and I like the illuminated keyboard). It runs all the same software I run on my desktop system. I don't think the additional 1.5 lbs is going to kill me.

I'd still like an MBA 13" though. ;-) "Ya make your choices and pay the prices." I'm done.
 

trisberg

New member
i like the 11" (128GB model with 4GB) because of the form factor - it even fits in my Domke J-803 bag. So this means that I don't have to think too hard whether to bring it along or not. It's powerful enough to process my m4/3 and M8 files with LR3. The screen is a bit small, but you can't have everything and for something like an MBA I favor the portability aspects.

-Thomas
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
A slightly different perspective from me.

I have a 15"MBP, matt screen, with a large SSD, max. Ram, and the i7 chip and driving a calibrated 30" screen—tested, it ran ~25% faster than my quad-core MP, optioned to the max.

Now, I travel with an 11" MBA; unlike Terry I find it large enough for emails, writing articles, all web work including updating my site, and so on. Smaller is better on board.

So, if I am travelling for a shoot, I disconnect the 15" and take that. If not, the 11 MBA. One happy camper here.
 

Terry

New member
Now, I travel with an 11" MBA; unlike Terry I find it large enough for emails, writing articles, all web work including updating my site, and so on.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. 11" is perfectly good for everything (web, emai, etc) but photos for me. I bought the 13" for time when I wanted a full computer with C1 or LR3 and I'm flying. If I am on my normal routine and traveling to LA, Seattle etc for a day or two of work, I only take an iPad with me.
 

cam

New member
thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice and why you made the decision you did -- keep them coming, please!

(and, oh, if anyone hears any solid rumours about the new MBPs, pass those on too.)
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
The Intel problem aside, any idea about how these MBPs will be improved?

As a "power user", I skipped the previous generation of MBPs, because they did not have Firewire ports. Crazy thing: all pro audio and video equipment uses FW! I think Apple lost a lot of customers like myself who always get the new machines, no questions asked, when that iteration of MacBooks appeared.

And many of us hated the shiny glass screens, too. The optional matt ones are extra-high resolution, and can be used anywhere: no reflections, and calibrate perfectly (I use an older Eye-One device; new software available from their site).

As an aside, the 15" MBP that I am using now is fitted with a Mercury Pro Extreme SSD (for reasons why not to use Apple's SSDs, see our colleague Lloyd Chamber's sister site, here. Installing one of these drives will not void the warranty, according to my Apple Tech guy who installed mine, and (compared to a 2.5" normal mechanical HDD) is by far the best performance enhancement you can make to a MBP. Photoshop opens in three–four seconds[/].

They are available from Other World Computing, which is where I sourced my Ram, too, at a fraction of Apple prices—for 100% tested and approved chips.

Spend the extra money (talking current generation MBPs here) for the i7chip, too.

Back on topic: the present MBPs, optioned the way I suggest, are the most powerful tools available to photographers currently, IMHO. 100% happy with mine.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
...
As a "power user", I skipped the previous generation of MBPs, because they did not have Firewire ports. Crazy thing: all pro audio and video equipment uses FW! ...
All MacBook Pro models have had FireWire ports, to the best of my knowledge. I haven't found any evidence to the contrary on the Apple support website. ?

My brand new MBP 13" includes FW. It's got a FireWire 800 port ... you need an adapter to plug in FW400, but it works a treat.

I'd love to put an SSD in it, but a 7200rpm Hitachi 500G drive is $67 and a 400G Mercury Pro RE SSD from OWC is $1700. That's a tad bit more than I'm willing to spend. ;-)
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Godfrey, very unusually, you are in error. A search of the blogs from 2-3 years ago will turn up hundreds of references.

All current MBPs have FW, which was my point: I and many others who use video and audio peripherals skipped that unibody model.

And I use only a 128GB SSD on both my machines, and do not store files on them at all: they are used only as system disks. The 128 SSDs are very reasonably priced (tho' not $67; about $325 from memory!). I use FW LaCie Ruggeds on location for images or video files, and a bunch of other FW HDDs in the studio.

cheers, L:
 
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