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07-11-2019, 11:23 PM   #1
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MacBook Air 2018 for photo editing.

I'm in the market for a new laptop as my mid 2009 MacBook pro is no longer cutting the mustard.

Does anybody use the new MacBook air? I'm looking for real life opinions and I mainly use Lightroom classic.

07-11-2019, 11:46 PM   #2
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The CPU of the new macbook air is quite slow, it will mostly depend on wich camera you have, the more megapixel it gets, the slower the macbook will be.
In my experience, coming from a K3 to a K1 make my surface pro with a i5 CPU a pain to use for photo editing, while it was ok with the K3. I know you asking for macbook air experience, but the two computers have a CPU quite similar (dual core i5) so you can expect the same kind of behavior.
I would personnaly go for a machine with at least a quad core CPU and 8gB ram if I wanted to buy a new computer, moreover if I wanted to use it for 10 years as you did with your current MacBook Pro.
Macbook pro seems a better choice for you IMHO.
07-12-2019, 12:17 AM   #3
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I'd suggest looking into Windows-based offerings (Acer Swift 5 and Asus Zenbook) as they offer far better bang for the buck.
07-12-2019, 12:24 AM   #4
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Does this suggest that your budget is determined by price ($999)? In today's world, I think I would have 3 requirements (at least these): 8th Gen i5 CPU, 8GB (I wouldn't settle for less than 16GB personally, even if that means waiting a little bit), SSD any size. Unfortunately there isn't an Apple that has those 3 and fits in that same category. What is being described to me... is an ASUS Zenbook 13. It has an i7, 16GB, and 500GB SSD. If I were to buy a laptop for photo/video editing, and it was in the same range as the MacBook Air, it would be this. I think its the best value, and punches well above its weight. You can't get a Macbook or Dell XPS anything with these same specs. If you want more than this, I'd say you should save for Pro or XPS 15 (which might be 2x this price). I've used them too. The keyboard lift is not just a gimmick. It does help! ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Durable Laptop 13.3?tag=pentaxforums-20& FHD Wideview, Intel Core i7-8565U Up to 4.6GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD + TPM Security Chip, Numberpad, Windows 10 Pro - UX333FA-AB77, Royal Blue: Electronics

07-12-2019, 02:16 AM   #5
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Try a second hand MacBookPro with at least 16GB RAM. The "Air" will be very slow for any RAW file editing.
07-12-2019, 05:23 AM   #6
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You may want to consider the MacBook pro or desktop iMac which have more power than the air. The air is really designed for lightweight/compact portability. I looked to upgrade my 2010 MacBook pro and ended up getting a desktop iMac instead. The one I bought has a 6 core 8th generation core i5 with a discrete 4GB video card. Everything on the computer, including Affinity Photo runs really fast. I think the 4GB video card, even more than the processor is what speeds up graphics intensive programs. The cost was actually less than many of the laptop options.

Last edited by jddwoods; 07-12-2019 at 05:44 AM.
07-12-2019, 05:50 AM   #7
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I was assured my MacBook pro would be more powerful than my aging iMac 17 quad core. It's not, I have an 8GB i5, it's painful to use at times. Processing images take raw power. I thought this laptop would take over from my i7 quad. It will but it's a pretty serious downgrade. An i7 is still an i7. I only they didn't cost 3 grand Canadian, but 3.6 Mhz instead of 2.8, 6 cores instead of 4. There has been improvement in the last 10 years, I just can't afford it.

Last edited by normhead; 07-12-2019 at 06:38 AM.
07-12-2019, 02:20 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Yeah MacBooks can be pricey initially. But you have already had your current Mac for 10 years which is a long, long time for a laptop. That makes it a pretty darn good investment. It is why both my laptop and my desktop are Macs.

As others have stated, the Air is mainly designed for lighter duty and just doesn't offer the processing power needed for comfortable photo editing. The MacBook Pros have the "oomph" needed and as well as a gorgeous Retina display. My suggestion is a 13" MacBook Pro with 16GB of memory. An SSD is standard with capacity an option. Choose from two 8th generation processors (a Core i5 and a Core i7). You can find your balance of specs versus cost. And if you keep your photos on an external hard drive, you won't need more than a a 256 or 512GB SSD.

I am currently preparing my wife for my upcoming purchase of 13" MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles, including the 2.8GHz Core i7 CPU, 16GB of memory and a 2TB SSD. It will price out at $3100, but I suspect it may well be the last laptop I ever buy so I am going for all the whoopee.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

07-13-2019, 11:18 AM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by dave_walton Quote
I'm in the market for a new laptop as my mid 2009 MacBook pro is no longer cutting the mustard.

Does anybody use the new MacBook air? I'm looking for real life opinions and I mainly use Lightroom classic.
It appears, from recent reviews, that the new 13 inch MacBook Pro, even at base config for $1299, is quite powerful with the new 8th gen chip. Might be worth a look.

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