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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    mynameis's Avatar
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    Default To go Pro or the air.

    Alright, so my parents are thinking about getting me a macbook for my graduation gift. The reason is because I am very into photography and I know you can get some good editing programs on it. I did just buy a chromebook because I didn't know they were thinking about it. But I don't know what would be the best laptop. The Macbook pro or the air. I just don't know what the big difference between them is and if I get one will I be missing something from the other.

    Like I said, I would use it for editing my photos and even videos.

    Thanks,

    Blake
  2. #2  
    JustMe'D's Avatar

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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Read the well-written guide via the link below bit should give you a very good idea of which one you should get. Take care...

    http://forums.imore.com/macbook-pro/...g-macbook.html
  3. #3  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis... View Post
    Alright, so my parents are thinking about getting me a macbook for my graduation gift. The reason is because I am very into photography and I know you can get some good editing programs on it. I did just buy a chromebook because I didn't know they were thinking about it. But I don't know what would be the best laptop. The Macbook pro or the air. I just don't know what the big difference between them is and if I get one will I be missing something from the other.

    Like I said, I would use it for editing my photos and even videos.

    Thanks,

    Blake
    I think the Air is the best bang for buck laptop at the moment followed by the 13" Pro (non retina).

    I find it really hard to recommend the current 13" Pro Retina due to the relatively poor performance of the integrated HD 4000 graphics but that may well change when the Pro's are upgraded to Haswell.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo_Campher View Post
    I think the Air is the best bang for buck laptop at the moment followed by the 13" Pro (non retina).

    I find it really hard to recommend the current 13" Pro Retina due to the relatively poor performance of the integrated HD 4000 graphics but that may well change when the Pro's are upgraded to Haswell.
    Remember now, performance is subjective. Unless you're playing games with some serious graphics, the integrated graphics card will perform quite well.
  5. #5  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe'D View Post
    Remember now, performance is subjective. Unless you're playing games with some serious graphics, the integrated graphics card will perform quite well.
    You don't think that pushing twice (not an accurate number) the amount of pixels with the same hardware is problematic?

    You could always set the display properties to best and reduce the strain on the integrated graphics but that would defeat the purpose of having a high resolution screen in the first place. Especially one that comes at the premium price of the retina display and hence I find it really hard to recommend.

    If you're going Retina, the 15" is where it's at but be prepared to pay for it.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    My needs may be different than yours and I've stated on numerous occasions that I would choose a 13 inch MacBook Pro without the retina display over one with a retina display. Heck, I'm still using 13" MacBook that I bought in 2009 and it is still meeting my needs and expectations. Know what I mean?
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo_Campher View Post
    I think the Air is the best bang for buck laptop at the moment followed by the 13" Pro (non retina).

    I find it really hard to recommend the current 13" Pro Retina due to the relatively poor performance of the integrated HD 4000 graphics but that may well change when the Pro's are upgraded to Haswell.
    The retina display model was running Borderlands 2 and CoD perfectly with the options maxed out...some people have reported glitchy graphics performance, but a simple SMC reset on the machine and it'll run the stuff top notch...WITH the less than optimal HD 4000. "Relatively poor performance" is not reflective of what i experienced with the retina model (mine was a 13" early 2013 model).

    To the OP, as JustMe'D linked, i wrote a pretty inclusive "guide" that will give you a lot of information about the models and what they offer. It's really hard to tell YOU which model to get because just saying "I plan to do photo and some video editing" doesn't tell us much, you can take an air and load photoshop to edit pictures and iMovie to edit film and be just fine...DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS...that's the name of the game.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    it would help to know a total budget.
    If you are looking at the least expensive way to get into a mac, yes the new 13" air may be the way to go.
    However, the Air base model only has 4GB ram that is part of the motherboard. If you don't order it with 8GB ram reinstalled, you will forever be stuck with 4GB of ram.
    I personally don't think any laptop sold in todays market should have less than 8GB ram. Ram in the MBP is user upgradeable.
    Also, the air has a very small HD, 128GB. Being into photography and video, you will be reliant on external storage. The MBP has a 500GB HD.

    If HD size isn't an issue, and you prefer to keep things external; I would have to recommend the Retina Pro.
    The resolution and color depth is so much better than the Air or MBP, and it comes With 8GB ram, a very fast SSD, and the faster Processor when compared to the air.

    Good luck in your decision.
  9. #9  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by mayconvert View Post
    it would help to know a total budget.
    If you are looking at the least expensive way to get into a mac, yes the new 13" air may be the way to go.
    However, the Air base model only has 4GB ram that is part of the motherboard. If you don't order it with 8GB ram reinstalled, you will forever be stuck with 4GB of ram.
    I personally don't think any laptop sold in todays market should have less than 8GB ram. Ram in the MBP is user upgradeable.
    Also, the air has a very small HD, 128GB. Being into photography and video, you will be reliant on external storage. The MBP has a 500GB HD.

    If HD size isn't an issue, and you prefer to keep things external; I would have to recommend the Retina Pro.
    The resolution and color depth is so much better than the Air or MBP, and it comes With 8GB ram, a very fast SSD, and the faster Processor when compared to the air.

    Good luck in your decision.
    It's important to point out that ONLY the non-retina MBP has user upgradable RAM...the retina model is the same as the Macbook Air when it comes to such things.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    It's important to point out that ONLY the non-retina MBP has user upgradable RAM...the retina model is the same as the Macbook Air when it comes to such things.
    But at least with the 15" retina MBP, you can order it with 16GB of RAM. Sadly, the 13" retina MBP is maxed out at 8GB, even if you go CTO.
    Curmudgeon and Former Member/Participant
    iPhone 5S / iPad Mini Retina / 15" MacBook Pro Retina
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  11. Thread AuthorThread Author   #11  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    The retina display model was running Borderlands 2 and CoD perfectly with the options maxed out...some people have reported glitchy graphics performance, but a simple SMC reset on the machine and it'll run the stuff top notch...WITH the less than optimal HD 4000. "Relatively poor performance" is not reflective of what i experienced with the retina model (mine was a 13" early 2013 model).

    To the OP, as JustMe'D linked, i wrote a pretty inclusive "guide" that will give you a lot of information about the models and what they offer. It's really hard to tell YOU which model to get because just saying "I plan to do photo and some video editing" doesn't tell us much, you can take an air and load photoshop to edit pictures and iMovie to edit film and be just fine...DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS...that's the name of the game.
    Thank you, your input really helped me. I read your post and I believe a MacBook Air I believe will be the choice for me.

    Thanks
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe'D View Post
    My needs may be different than yours and I've stated on numerous occasions that I would choose a 13 inch MacBook Pro without the retina display over one with a retina display. Heck, I'm still using 13" MacBook that I bought in 2009 and it is still meeting my needs and expectations. Know what I mean?
    We understand.

    Just that personally, I find it hard to recommend the normal 13" MBP to anyone.

    It has a pretty low resolution (1280x800), feels heavy and bulky compared to the 13" air and continues to utilise a fairly slow HDD (compared to flash storage in the air). Also, at this point in time, only the Airs have been updated to Haswell; getting a pro now would leave you stuck with Ivy Bridge processors (and we have no idea when Apple plans to update their Pro line of macbooks).

    While it is true that you can manually upgrade the ram and even install a SSD in the macbook pro, truth is few people actually end up doing this.

    For the best "out of the box" experience, I would recommend the 13" macbook air.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    I definitely wouldn't even consider a MBP until after they are updated. You say your parents are paying for it ? You might want to take a long hard look at the new Mac Pro when it comes out. Throw in a nice professional grade monitor and some TB drives. All those Christmas', all I ever asked for was a pony and, oops, sorry my mind was drifting. I seriously wouldn't consider MBP until after the update. And add an external monitor, whether you you go Air or Pro.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by abazigal View Post
    We understand.

    Just that personally, I find it hard to recommend the normal 13" MBP to anyone.

    It has a pretty low resolution (1280x800), feels heavy and bulky compared to the 13" air and continues to utilise a fairly slow HDD (compared to flash storage in the air). Also, at this point in time, only the Airs have been updated to Haswell; getting a pro now would leave you stuck with Ivy Bridge processors (and we have no idea when Apple plans to update their Pro line of macbooks).

    While it is true that you can manually upgrade the ram and even install a SSD in the macbook pro, truth is few people actually end up doing this.

    For the best "out of the box" experience, I would recommend the 13" macbook air.
    I get hung up on a few things in your post, lol..."Get you stuck with Ivy Bridge processors"...you say this as if it's a bad thing! LOL...the Ivy Bridge processors are amazing, hell, even the Sandy Bridge processors were great. Obviously newer gen processors will bring some pretty cool functionality to the table that these two haven't (including substantial battery life increases from what I've heard), but the term "stuck" with either the Ivy or Sandy bridge processors is a bit misleading, as they are really great setups, and will remain relevant for at least a few more YEARS.

    And then there's the notion that "few people actually" upgrade their machines with RAM and SSD on the non-retina display model of the MBP...what difference does that make? I bet you even fewer people would even pay attention to the processor change that comes in the next round of MacBooks, so if you want to talk about who does what with their computer, I'm guessing those same people who don't upgrade their internals won't care about the processor names either, they simply see "i5" as the base line and "i7" as the top end and make their choice on pricing differences.

    The fact is that you're looking at only around a 10% difference between the i5's between haswell and ivy bridge, and mainly for graphics integration...the i7 option on the MacBook Pro's is still a better option for performance even with the Ivy Bridge, and if the i5's have shown us anything, Ivy Bridge processors will remain perfectly sufficient for quite a while after the new Macbook Pro line brings the haswells to their setups. Now that's not to say the haswell computers won't be worth every penny of their cost, just based on battery life improvements alone I'm sure they are, but we're not talking about all single core intels here, these Ivy Bridge Macs are still completely relevant.

    No offense, but there's pretty good evidence that shows people who pay attention to the newest processor specs as closely as you've pointed out are probably ALSO the same people who would do things like a simple SSD swap or RAM upgrade on their machine. We all have opinions, and yours being that the Air is the best out of box experience is fine...I just disagree, and the Air doesn't meet my needs on many levels, especially since it's missing both the ability to easily upgrade the internals AND the option to have a retina display model if that was something that mattered to me.

    I mean my mid 2012 MBP is now running a 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD for general storage...now I'm sure most people would never need that kind of internal storage on their system, but the kicker is this, I spent less on both of those drives with the dual drive adaptor that takes the place of my super drive than a person would upgrading to JUST the larger SSD on either the Air or Pro's from Apple.
    Last edited by SeanHRCC; 06-21-2013 at 07:08 AM.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    I get hung up on a few things in your post, lol..."Get you stuck with Ivy Bridge processors"...you say this as if it's a bad thing! LOL...the Ivy Bridge processors are amazing, hell, even the Sandy Bridge processors were great. Obviously newer gen processors will bring some pretty cool functionality to the table that these two haven't (including substantial battery life increases from what I've heard), but the term "stuck" with either the Ivy or Sandy bridge processors is a bit misleading, as they are really great setups, and will remain relevant for at least a few more YEARS.
    It's a fact that the Macbook airs are currently the only laptops from Apple that have been updated to use the latest Intel processors. The OP is certainly free to use whatever brand he so desires; I just felt it was worth pointing it out so he could make a more informed decision. If he opts to stick with Ivy Bridge, it must be from a conscious choice on his part, and not because he is unaware that a better alternative exists.

    And then there's the notion that "few people actually" upgrade their machines with RAM and SSD on the non-retina display model of the MBP...what difference does that make? I bet you even fewer people would even pay attention to the processor change that comes in the next round of MacBooks, so if you want to talk about who does what with their computer, I'm guessing those same people who don't upgrade their internals won't care about the processor names either, they simply see "i5" as the base line and "i7" as the top end and make their choice on pricing differences.
    That's like saying it's okay to sell fake abalone because they taste the same and people can't tell the difference either.

    I don't need to know that my macbook uses haswell for me to benefit from the longer battery life and improved graphics performance. It's there whether you know it or not. As you use it day in and day out, the advantages of Haswell will affect your daily performance and workflow.

    The distinction here is that when I make recommendations to people, my advice is more geared towards providing the best experience "right out of the box", with as little hassle as possible. This means that while it is certainly possible to buy a normal MBP and manually upgrade its internals yourself, I will rarely suggest that because I don't know how tech savvy the user is, nor do I feel it is fair to expect him to have to go through the hassle of ordering extra parts from OWC and having to crack open the macbook to install them. Lastly, I cannot be held responsible should something go wrong, so I feel I must be very careful with my words.

    The fact is that you're looking at only around a 10% difference between the i5's between haswell and ivy bridge, and mainly for graphics integration...the i7 option on the MacBook Pro's is still a better option for performance even with the Ivy Bridge, and if the i5's have shown us anything, Ivy Bridge processors will remain perfectly sufficient for quite a while after the new Macbook Pro line brings the haswells to their setups. Now that's not to say the haswell computers won't be worth every penny of their cost, just based on battery life improvements alone I'm sure they are, but we're not talking about all single core intels here, these Ivy Bridge Macs are still completely relevant.
    Well, is there any benefit of going with a MBP over the latest airs for photography? To me, the airs would represent the best all-rounded combination of weight, size, battery life and specs.

    No offense, but there's pretty good evidence that shows people who pay attention to the newest processor specs as closely as you've pointed out are probably ALSO the same people who would do things like a simple SSD swap or RAM upgrade on their machine. We all have opinions, and yours being that the Air is the best out of box experience is fine...I just disagree, and the Air doesn't meet my needs on many levels, especially since it's missing both the ability to easily upgrade the internals AND the option to have a retina display model if that was something that mattered to me.
    The retina model is as locked down as the Air in that both have soldered ram ram and lack a cd-drive that can be swapped out for another storage drive. If the OP is going for a retina MBP, then all the more reason to wait for Haswell. Those high-res screens suck battery life like crazy, and we will probably see a substantial improvement to both battery life and graphics performance with Haswell, especially since the 13" version lacks a discrete graphics card.

    Likewise, it is not my money, so I generally shy away from recommending the more expensive options unless I feel there is a genuine need for such a high-end product.

    I mean my mid 2012 MBP is now running a 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD for general storage...now I'm sure most people would never need that kind of internal storage on their system, but the kicker is this, I spent less on both of those drives with the dual drive adaptor that takes the place of my super drive than a person would upgrading to JUST the larger SSD on either the Air or Pro's from Apple.
    And the catch here is that you had to add in that SSD drive yourself, which mandates additional effort on your part. Unless you are volunteering to be there in person to help the OP install the SSD in his macbook when it arrives, I won't insist on such a route, exactly because I don't know how tech-savvy the OP is.

    I am sure we all have his best interests at heart, just that we go about it in different ways.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    It doesn't take a "tech savvy" user to do these internal upgrades on the MBP...I sent the youtube video to my sister, who has NO tech savviness at all within her, and she was able to knock it out with no issues, she even learned a few things while doing it (which is always a good trade off to "additional effort" (if someone cold even consider it that).

    I get your point, you're going about this in a kind of ultimately simplistic manner, and i can respect that...I'm sure there are some people who would rather watch another episode of the Kardashians show vs. picking up a screw driver and giving a MBP a significant increase in usability and performance. I approach it a little differently obviously, having done it myself and then in turn lending the smallest bit of effort to influence and see through other people who have also done it.

    And yes, the Haswell's will certainly bring some battery optimization to the table...the real beauty of the update in my opinion, and the one that will probably get me on board with those new machines down the road a bit...my only point before was really just stuck on your comment about being "stuck" with the ivy bridge processors, as if they were some kind of unworthy investment vs. the haswell in the new MBA. To me it just sounded silly, but to each their own.

    Lastly, you asked if there was any benefit for going with the Macbook Pro for photography...and the answer is a resounding YES. The i7 Ivy Bridge processor is still the better option across the spectrum, even including the Haswell in the MBA, you have more usb inputs on the machine (and anyone who has done photo or video editing will know, you're going to find yourself with multiple pieces of hardware being connected quite a bit, so more is better), retina display option for photography is arguably one of THE main focuses for that new display, the for superior color representation and resolution is pretty much MADE for this kind of work...
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Wait, so are we talking about the retina MBP or the normal version? Because only the latter can be manually upgraded.

    Either way, OP likely knows that Haswell exists, so the choice is ultimately up to him.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis... View Post
    Alright, so my parents are thinking about getting me a macbook for my graduation gift. The reason is because I am very into photography and I know you can get some good editing programs on it. I did just buy a chromebook because I didn't know they were thinking about it. But I don't know what would be the best laptop. The Macbook pro or the air. I just don't know what the big difference between them is and if I get one will I be missing something from the other.

    Like I said, I would use it for editing my photos and even videos.

    Thanks,

    Blake
    Are you taking this laptop to school? Will photography be your field of study?
  19. Thread AuthorThread Author   #19  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by sting7k View Post
    Are you taking this laptop to school? Will photography be your field of study?
    I will be taking it to school with me and yes, I plan to take photography classes.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis... View Post
    I will be taking it to school with me and yes, I plan to take photography classes.
    Your school should have plenty of powerful desktops for you to do major work on. If it were me I would want lots of ports and a memory card slot for all your camera stuff. So the MBP is what I would say is the one to go for.

    But...for the price of that MBP you could buy a PC with the same specs AND a really nice camera.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    lol...we're having this discussion about the merits of these high end macbooks and i completely forgot this is going to a student who is just getting into college. Get yourself a used macbook you can beat up, one that has cheap internals to replace, and use your schools resources for your photography work. To be honest, there's no reason for you to have one of these top end machines when any legitimate school that offers photography courses will have machines that will function perfectly for what you'll need.
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo_Campher View Post
    I think the Air is the best bang for buck laptop at the moment followed by the 13" Pro (non retina).

    I find it really hard to recommend the current 13" Pro Retina due to the relatively poor performance of the integrated HD 4000 graphics but that may well change when the Pro's are upgraded to Haswell.
    Depending on the MBP they get, there is one with a built in graphics card.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Actually thinking about picking up a laptop for myself, and figured I might as well go Apple if it's as good as it's reputed to be (I never had one before so most of my hands-on experience is what I got at retail stores).
    Thing is, I can't make up my mind between the 13" rMBP and the 13" Air.
    Battery life and portability-wise the Air is certainly more alluring with that 12 hours it can (reputedly) churn out, but I'm concerned whether it's going to run more resource-intensive tasks.

    What I plan to use it for:
    - email
    - document editing
    - web browsing
    - videos
    - some graphic editing (mostly editing color schemes and palettes, custom program)
    (- probably some web design and coding as well)

    What I also want to use it for:
    - photoshop
    - ZBrush

    Optional, if possible:
    - Maya
    - Gaming.(Blizzard games and Borderlands 2 mostly)

    My questions are:
    - is the Air capable of handling the first two categories, or am I better off getting the rMBP?
    - Can the rMBP deliver on the advertised 9 hours?
    - how is the rMBP with games? Is it capable or should I give up on Maya and Gaming with the Iris graphics models? (from the Autodesk website it seems that for Maya I'd need a dedicated graphics card so I might have to live without that, and just leaving it for my desktop, as I'm not interested in the 15" models)

    Am I better off just get a regular laptop or tablet and leaving the latter two categories to the desktop and saving the money?
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lych View Post
    Actually thinking about picking up a laptop for myself, and figured I might as well go Apple if it's as good as it's reputed to be (I never had one before so most of my hands-on experience is what I got at retail stores).
    Thing is, I can't make up my mind between the 13" rMBP and the 13" Air.
    Battery life and portability-wise the Air is certainly more alluring with that 12 hours it can (reputedly) churn out, but I'm concerned whether it's going to run more resource-intensive tasks.

    What I plan to use it for:
    - email
    - document editing
    - web browsing
    - videos
    - some graphic editing (mostly editing color schemes and palettes, custom program)
    (- probably some web design and coding as well)

    What I also want to use it for:
    - photoshop
    - ZBrush

    Optional, if possible:
    - Maya
    - Gaming.(Blizzard games and Borderlands 2 mostly)

    My questions are:
    - is the Air capable of handling the first two categories, or am I better off getting the rMBP?
    - Can the rMBP deliver on the advertised 9 hours?
    - how is the rMBP with games? Is it capable or should I give up on Maya and Gaming with the Iris graphics models? (from the Autodesk website it seems that for Maya I'd need a dedicated graphics card so I might have to live without that, and just leaving it for my desktop, as I'm not interested in the 15" models)

    Am I better off just get a regular laptop or tablet and leaving the latter two categories to the desktop and saving the money?
    I wouldn't recommend the MBA for what you are doing. I got one when the new Haswell refresh was done and the performance for LR5 wasn't stellar and gaming was worse, I got the i7 proc with it. I now have an rMBP with an i7 and like it better. The weight difference is barely noticeably. I run to much stuff (Win8.1, Steam, FF, etc.) at the same time to tell you if the battery will make it 9 hours. I CAN get through most of my 12 hour shift on a charge IF I don't stay on the net the whole time.
    I could paint a masterpiece with all the colors of your ignorance.
    Thanked by:
    Lych (11-27-2013)
  25. #25  
    Karenkcoulter's Avatar

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    Default Re: To go Pro or the air.

    Definitely go for the rMBP with that wish list of applications.
    Thanked by:
    Lych (11-27-2013)
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