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Author Topic: Anyone using Macbook Air 11.6"?  (Read 3648 times)
soboyle
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« on: March 16, 2011, 07:41:38 AM »
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I'm interested in how well the Macbook Air 11 holds up to Lightroom for image review while on the road.
Seems like it should do a fine job if 4 Gigs ram are speced.
Is there enough screen space to be usable for image review in lightroom after a shoot?

I like the 11" for size and weight and price. The 13 is a bit more desirable for screen space and processor power, but for me the 11 is the choice for size/weight/price.
Anyone using the 11" Air for an on location review and backup machine?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 08:40:54 AM by soboyle » Logged

Czornyj
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 12:32:31 PM »
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I have the 11" Air with 2GB of RAM - it works just fine, much better than I expected. The 120GB SSD is fast, so working in Photoshop/ACR/Bridge/LR/Apperture is no problem at all. Maybe for someone who uses a 12 core Mac Pro with SSD/Velociraptor array, 32 gigs of RAM this little thing may be to slow, but years ago I use to work with Photoshop 2.5 on my 486/33Mhz with 4MB of RAM, 120MB HDD and Windows 3.1 - that's why I'm not so demanding now.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 12:44:22 PM by Czornyj » Logged

soboyle
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 12:49:07 PM »
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How do you find the screen size for image review? Big enough?

I'm hesitant only because the processor seems anemic for the price of the computer. Otherwise it seems like an ideal solution for on the road use.
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Czornyj
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 02:59:09 AM »
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How do you find the screen size for image review? Big enough?

I'm hesitant only because the processor seems anemic for the price of the computer. Otherwise it seems like an ideal solution for on the road use.

The screen has the size of an iPad screen, with some additional space for tool palletes. The anemic processor is compensated by fast and noiseless SSD. I'm connecting this little thing to >50" display and using it to conduct 3 day color management, printing, ACR/Bridge/Photoshop/LR/Aperture photo editing&retouching workshops. It's fast enough to present RAW conversion, work with layers and masks, and retouching techniques. It only slows down a bit when Quick Selection Tool or Content Aware Fill is in use. But - like I said before - I'm not very demanding, so YMMV.

Otherwise it's really compact, thin, light, absolutely noiseless, and - last but not least - it fits in my i1pro spectrophotometer bag:



« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 03:41:32 AM by Czornyj » Logged

soboyle
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 07:26:33 AM »
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Marcin,
That's pretty impressive - teaching workshops with this little gem.
You have me convinced it is up to the task. My only other hesitation is the battery life - 5 hours is a bit short, you can't wander too far from an outlet.
I'm considering the 4 gig ram model, but wondered how much space OSX takes up on the SSD - I wonder if the 64 Gig SSD would suffice, considering that I would have external drive to backup to while on the road. Apple charges another $200 to jump to the 128.
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mrenters
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 07:57:17 AM »
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I'm considering the 4 gig ram model, but wondered how much space OSX takes up on the SSD - I wonder if the 64 Gig SSD would suffice, considering that I would have external drive to backup to while on the road. Apple charges another $200 to jump to the 128.

Check to see if the online Apple store has any refurbished units with the configuration you're interested in. In my experience refurbs are as good as new and you can get a better equipped machine for the price you'd pay for the regular one. I'd go with the 128gb unit myself.

Martin
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soboyle
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 11:41:09 AM »
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Refurbs are cheaper @ Apple - but after adding tax, almost the same as new from B&H (without tax).
I know, I know...
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soboyle
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 08:48:57 AM »
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I picked up the Air 11. Very impressed with it so far.
It is exactly what I was looking for in a portable on-the-road computer,
Small, very light, excellent screen, snappy performance. It is the most elegant computer I have ever seen.
I loaded 5D MK2 files into lightroom on it, and performance was good. 
For my needs - essentially quick review, storage and backup while on the road - a great solution.
For writing, fantastic. The keyboard has a great feel to it.
Only wish - backlit keyboard.


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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 03:58:57 PM »
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I've been using the 11.6" MBA since December, and the backlit keyboard is the only thing I would change as well.  It's about as close to a perfect notebook computer as I've ever seen.  And the optional optical drive?  I've used it exactly twice, both times to load software that I already had on CD.  Otherwise, with the advent of the Mac App Store, i don't think I'll ever use it again.  This is the future of computers!
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soboyle
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 08:18:07 PM »
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A good solution for loading programs on the Air without the external CD drive, is a program called ImgBurn. It creates an iso file of the CD you want to install. You can then copy that file to the Air and install from it. Worked like a charm for Lightroom.
I couldn't get Remote Disc to work for me on my windows machine.
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budjames
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 10:13:52 PM »
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If it had a backlit keyboard and FireWire 800 port, I'd buy it tomorrow.

Anyone have any experience running Parallels+Windows 7 VM?

Cheers.
Bud
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Bud James
North Wales, PA
www.budjamesphotography.com
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