I had hoped to wait a couple more months but for various reasons I now need to make a decision in the next week or so. Any thoughts on aspects I may have missed gratefully received! :-)
I use a MacPro in the office for all my heavy work. I've been using a late 2008 15" 2.53 MBP (first unibody) for tethered location shooting with a 1DsMkIII (12"PB before that). However I travel o/s reasonably often and lugging the 15" round the world through 10-12 flights is a pain (cue the violin). I had planed to buy a 13"MBA but with the new 13"MBP now on the scene the choice is a lot harder. A MBA with Sandy Bridge & Thunderbolt would be perfect but I doubt if that will happen in the next few days!
Obviously the new 13"MBP has a heap more performance than the MBA (specially as spec'd below) but as I hardly ever use Photoshop 'on the road' I'm not sure that is a major factor. Size & weight are however so the MBA's 1kg vs the MBP's 2kg is VERY appealing (15"MBP – 2.5kg)
The main purpose of the laptop is using it as a big viewfinder when shooting in a location studio environment, as per:http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacBookAir-performance.html
As you can see the much more powerful iMac didn't produce better shoot/import/view times and my MBP takes about the same time as well so I assume the 13"MBP would be similar. For comparison the 12"PB took 90 secs!
The MBA has the same 1440x900 res as my 15"MBP, rather than the 1280x800 of the 13"MBP.
I normally use a FW800 card reader to download my CF cards but using SD cards instead solves that problem with the MBA.
I would however have to change to using USB (with chargers) for back up to my external HD RAID pair. A lot slower but normally done after the day's shoot so not a major problem.
When optioned as I'd like, both the MBA and MBP are almost identical in price (not inc shipping).
MBA – 2.13GHz/256GB/4GB + 2 x 16GB SD cards (B&H) – AUD$2324.00
MBP – 2.7GHz/OWC 240GB SSD/OWC 8GB + mounting for extra HD in optical drive bay – AUD$2361.00
So basically I'm thinking while the MBP would provide a much faster experience normally, it probably would be about the same for the uses I'd put it to, for the same price but half the weight.
Have I missed anything? Sorry for the long post.