5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 9:02 AM by bcoppola1
bcoppola1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm upgrading from an older Mac Mini 2GB purchased in '08.  I've looked at some recent comparicson threads here, but help me clarify my thinking for my specific situation...


I'm strongly considering the 13" MacBook Air. Aside from Web surfing and email, the most demanding regular use I foresee is photo editing in Aperture and maybe Adobe Lightroom. I'm not a pro, just a fairly avid amateur. I use iWork for home word processing, editing a club newsletter, etc. For photo editing I have a new non-Apple 24" monitor with DVI input. Hence, I probably will not need the sexy Retina display, tempting as it is.


Beyond that, I may download and demo industry specific software, both Windows and Mac versions, to practice and learn for my job. Adobe Captivate is on my list right now.  I see in another thread that dual booting Windows in BootCamp is doable and works well.


I'll also occasionally use the Adobe CS suite (CS4 for now)  for web design - no application development.


I also like to keep my computers as long as possible to amortize the cost. 4 years for my old Mini is actually pretty short. I had my old G3 tower for nearly 10 years! So I wonder if the limited upgradeability of the Air would be much an issue.

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • JShimazaki Level 2 (355 points)

    IMHO, in the long run it's not worth it because of it's limited upgradeability. Plus, the cost of repair is more expensive when your warranty expires since most of the basic components are soldered on to the logic board. The main selling point of the Macbook Air is it's small size which makes it great for travelers. I think the Macbook Air's base model are too expensive for what you get. But, it would depend on which model you plan on getting.

    I'm a techie so if I can't upgrade the most basic component of a computer then it's not worth it to me.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,240 points)

    Your last sentence probably makes the MBA unsuitable for your consideration because the RAM is not upgradeable and the SSD uses a proprietary connector which limits your choices should you want to upgrade it (and increases the cost). The MBP offers the same portability with better graphics performance (it has a discrete video card rather than Intel integrated video), and its RAM and drive can be upgraded.


    I have an early 2009 MBA which I've upgraded to 8GB and added an SSD to. Except for when I'm traveling, it is my professional workhorse and I can easily believe I'll get at least another 2 years of use from it. Because the MBA cannot be upgraded like the MBP can, I'm completely unwilling to estimate how long I might keep one. OTOH, I tend to resell my notebooks after 2 years and get a very good resale value from them.

  • bcoppola1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, darn both of you to heck. You convinced me to spend more money to go with a MBP. However, I convinced myself to splurge on a Retina display model. You only live once, right? Actually it was the flash storage that tipped the decision. Looks like I'll get the basic 13" 128GB config later today at the local Apple store. As I'm not a gamer or doing video editing the integrated Intel video should suffice. After over four years I've only used about half of my old Mini's 120 gig HD so I think it'll be enough even if I dual boot Windows. I'll check on that though.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,240 points)

    Actually that puts you right back in the same MBA situation I described earlier. The retina MBP is not upgradeable either. Only the standard MBP models can have RAM upgraded and can easily have their drives upgraded.

  • bcoppola1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks dwb. I though again about the upgradeability issue but still went with the MVP Retina. Reasons:


    The 8 gigs of RAM should more than suffice for any foreseeable use at home. My professional heavy lifting is done at the office, which is all Windows.


    I have only used about 60 gigs of my old Mini HD in all this time. If by chance I fill the 128 gig SAD, external portable HDs are cheap. An external SSDs may come down in price by then.


    Also, technolust played a part.


    The responses here did make me think seriously about my final choice. Thanks to all.